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Left Alcoholic husband for second time!!

Community Member

After being married for almost 40 years, I left my husband for the first time 7 years ago. Things were very tense between us for about half of the first 6 years, most definitely on his behalf as he never accepted my reason for leaving. Then, our relationship improved & I could see a positive change in his behavior & attitude towards me. He didn’t drink at all in front of myself or family at gatherings during this time & he seemed to have rediscovered the respect for me that had previously completely disappeared!!

Drinking aside, he had always been a hard working great family man. Sadly as time progressed any nice qualities disappeared & he became an angry, impatient, intolerant, disrespectful & abnoxious man!!

When things improved & I reflected on what a decent human being he used to be, I allowed myself to be lulled into the false security of giving the relationship another go.

Big mistake, here I am 12 months down the track, back in the same situation after having been apart for 6 years!

It’s true, despite all of the promises, leopards rarely change their spots! This one certainly didn’t & I think the heavy drinking over many years has massively affected both his physical & mental health. The most noticeable being the personality change even when he is sober & the disrespect that he shows to myself & other close family members once again but worse this time!

Here goes again the process of separation! Done it before, can do it again!! He is definitely a person that is unable to just cut back on the alcohol, in order to regain his life he needs to stop altogether!

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Kezza, & welcome to the forum. I hope you will find this place has some useful resources, & that you gain from the support of people who have had partners or family member who have had/do have problems with alcohol.

As for myself, the time while I was drinking, I certainly didn't acknowledge that the stuff could be causing harm, & messing up relationships until I was in a relationship where drinking to great excess was a daily practice. Fortunately, I realised I could not do tha, not even for love. (If that is what it was ??)

I began to see how the effects caused harm well beyond the drinkers I saw around me at the time. It was so sad, & incomprehensible to me. Still is that some people go out of their way to continue down this sorrowful path.

So many excuses, so many misrepresentations of the truth, so many lies & deception, hiding & faking, blaming others. It was another time I needed to go through to question my worth if the only way to be with me was (in this instance) drink.

I felt the relationship was a sham. & it was then also feeling dangerous, with the personality traits I began to take note of.

It's an awful time, realising you've got to leave, realising reality against the fantasy, that's it's not going to be what you wanted or hoped for, not while your spouse is so deeply entrenched in drinking.

I don't know if this is re-awakening my own feelings of the time I had to leave, & later, quit drinking, or these feelings I read in your post are yours. I sense your current anger, sense of betrayal, loss & that you blame yourself for giving him that second chance. & also your impending grief over the ending of your relationship with him. If these are your feelings, I'm not surprised. You likely have more feelings to add to this list. It's okay to feel everything you feel.

I hope we can help you through the turmoil.

Also, maybe you feel their is some repair work within the family around you - this one is his responsibility.)

In the first paragraph of your post, you said, he never accepted your reason for leaving.

"Drinking aside..." seems drinking was never put aside.

With or without you, he needs to seek the help he needs to at least recover some of the health & self-respect he once had.

I'm so sorry, these last few things I point out, are things you need to keep in mind, if he makes any attempt to persuade you to return to the marriage.



Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kezza1956~

Reading your post it seems ot me you are somewhat bitter at yourself, things like being lulled, or making a mistake.

Perhaps I misunderstand you (if so please forgive my assumption), however it is not you in the slightest, in fact a desire to be with the person you originally knew, and give them a second chance, is very understandable - natural in fact. If you take that together with the fact an addict can, for a time, give a convincing display that the addiction is in the past then you have nothing to reproach yourself with.

It is very sad you have discovered you must separate again. I don't doubt you are capable of it, however I'm wondering if you have to do so alone, or if you have someone to give you support and show they care? A family member or good friend perhaps? It can be a comfort and reinforce your perspective.

I think one of mmMekitty's points is very telling - he never accepted you reason for leaving in the first place.

We would like to how how you get on so please do post again whenever you like


Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.

It is sad this has happened a 2nd time. Yet when you decided to re-attempt to make the relationship work there was something you noticed to indicate a change. There is nothing wrong with that.

It's easy to the angry and frustrated with ourselves as if we always knew this was going to happen. On the basis of the information available at the time you made the best decision you could? Unfortunately things did not turn out as hoped.

if you want to chat about more, we are listening.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Kezza, living with a person addicted to alcohol may seem to be ok in the first few years of being married, but slowly it can become a real problem, rather than discuss any issues, they turn to alcohol so nothing can be sorted out and eventually their personality can dramatically change, either drinking more in front of you or becoming a cupboard drinker, where you don't see how much or when they decide or need to have a drink.

If you decide to leave this marriage, which you have, then he may promise that everything will change, cut back on his drinking, or stop, but after a short time, it's all back to how it was before.

No matter how much you try and get him to stop, he can only make that decision himself, and those who are addicted can't have just one drink, they need to stop altogether, but when times get tough, it's not unusual for them to relapse.

You have separated from him for a reason, and if you want to rejoin him is a big decision, however, it's not if he isn't going to change and then perhaps you can find some peace, and can I suggest that there's no way you should return to him, unless he has been sober for a year or more, but by then you might be happier being away.

Hope to hear back from you.


Community Member

Hi Kezza,

Reading your post was like I was reading my own writing. The only difference being I left once. We had been together for 13 years, married for 8, and I desperately tried to help him, encourage him to cut back, opt for low alcohol versions, make excuses for him, clean up after him. And the rest. For the next 15 years I saw his alcoholism go through ups and mostly downs. He stopped drinking for a while maybe 2-3 times but this was always temporary.

We had a child together and I made the decision to leave for her more than me. She was getting to an age where she could see his drunkenness at home. I came home from work once to find him passed out on the lounge with her sitting next to him, trying to wake him up. She was only 3. In the end at around age 15, she rejected him telling him she didn’t feel safe around him.

And today he’s still an alcoholic.

I read a book once, that my psychologist recommended called “When someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs” by Helen Townsend and Jim MacLaine. It really helped me understand what was going on and how to separate myself from his situation. It might help you too.

Stay strong, be kind to yourself.