Drunken Husband

Updated on September 10, 2011
J.K. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
24 answers

So my husband decided to have a few too many tonight and act like a real jerk. I knew he had too much since he was getting louder and louder and repeating himself, so I decided to go to bed and read a book, he repeated starts asking me what movie i want to watch, I say I dont care Im reading... So then he starts saying things like 'what the hell is wrong with you', what is your problem, ect. I keep anwsering Im tired I just want to go to sleep, finally I said I dont want to talk to you now bc you are raising your voice and will wake our dd. His behavior continued to escalate until he was standing over me yelling and using profanity. This went on for about 1/2 hr. I didnt respond to him except to keep asking him to calm down and lower his voice, and to tell him go to sleep please. He has a problem with alcohol, and in the 3 yrs we have been married there have been 2 similar instances to this. I am 7 months preg. and dont have a full time job, so Im not in a position to leave him, any advice?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

thank everyone

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on


I agree with J. W...if you want to leave him - leave. However, when a man has too much to drink, walking away from him and telling him "I don't care" - that will only piss him off more - and like J. W - I don't have to have a drink to get pissed for someone pulling that with me.

You've been with him for 13 years...married for 3....so you knew about his drinking - I would suggest that he go back to AA and you attend Al-anon groups so that you can learn how to deal with him when he falls off the wagon.

More advice? Don't keep alcohol in the house...it's only begging an alcoholic to drink it and in my opinion - that's cruel. You know someone has a problem with alcohol you don't keep alcohol where they have EASY access to it...

Good luck

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Go read my posts from when I was pregnant/had a newborn, dealing with the same thing... I got great feedback :)

Hang in there honey!

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I really think there is no way he doesn't act like a jerk (at least sometimes) when he is not drinking. "Very passive/sensitive", "apparently he was very upset about something I did last week that he never talked to me about" = he cannot communicate until he is drunk? My husband does not have the drinking issues but will nitpick at what I say, my clothes, etc. becuase he is mad about something else. I think this is something you need to address with the counselor as well.

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

Put a camera in your room or whatever room most of the confrontations occur in. Let him get shitfaced and come home ranting. Later that week when he's in his right mind and sober, play the video for him and don't say a word. Let his talking do the talking. Then when it's over ask him if this is the way he wants his children to see him.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to Alanon. It will help.
IF your husband is an alcoholic, he needs to realize it and get into a recovery program. There is NO way you can force this it has to be his decision. Many can talk the the talk but he needs to walk the walk, not just pay lip service. IF he is an alcoholic, don't fall for the lies about "I can do this myself" "my family is my support group", etc.
It sounds as if your husband's behavior is abusive as well.
Good luck.
ETA: Marriage counseling is not the answer. addressing the addiction IS the answer. A recovering addict should not be drinking and if his rehab was worth it's weight in salt, HE would know that. No. None. Never. That's the idea behind recovery. Rehab doesn't "fix" addicts, it teaches them how to stay clean & sober.
Marriage counseling is like putting a butterfly on a gun shot wound.
ETA after your update: An addict who is NOT active in a recovery program is just a ticking time bomb. Without AA/NA he has NO accountability. Addiction is forever. So is recovery. He needs a sponsor yesterday. And he needs to be going to meetings every day for 30 days right now.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am just wondering was this all him? I can't help but see the signs of the I am going to my room to pout technique. Any woman with half a brain knows that sets off men who have not been drinking, drunk guys have no chance of being rational.

So then after he realizes you have left the room he comes to check on you. He gets the I don't care I am reading with the cold shoulder. So yes he gets angry. I would get angry with someone pulling passive aggressive nonsense and I don't have to have one drink to do it.

If you want to leave him then leave him but don't pick fights with him when he is drunk to prove you are right.

Although I agree with everyone about a drinking problem there actually isn't anything in your post that would suggest he has a problem. Once a year? That does not sound like a drinking problem despite his past.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Contact his AA sponser and ask if he can help you with this situation. He needs to get back into AA and go to meetings and follow the steps.

For yourself and your children get you into Al-Anon, it's for the families of substance abusers. You will learn how to handle his behaviors.

Now for some harsh realities. This man is an abusive alcoholic and it will only get worse. He has you convinced that you need him because you only work a part-time job. He has to keep you convinced that you are too inept or stupid or unskilled or any of his other brainwashing techniques he has used on you--for his sake he needs you the only time he feels good about himself is when he is putting you down.
You can leave there are shelters you can go to, even with a part-time job you can get a low income apartment, you only pay about 25% of your income for rent and utilties. You can get day care assistance, food stamps and medical asistance to help you become independent. After the baby is born you can look into financial aid to go back to school and get a degree so you can get a good job with good benefits so you can take care of your children. You can not now or ever depend on him to support you or the kids. He is a drunk and drunks are unreliable.

When he acts up again CALL THE POLICE. You will end up in a custody battle with this man. DOCUMENT -- DOCUMENT -- DOCUMENT all of his bad behaviors. When you get to court it is not about what you know it is about what you can PROVE.

Get out ASAP you are teaching your children that women deserve to be treated this way. Is this what you want for them?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Go to Ala-non.
It is free and there will be a lot of other people in your position. They will teach you some techniques. It helps to know you are not alone or losing your mind.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I am sorry you had a rough night!! I can't TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. I can tell you that your love for him will NOT make him get sober. I thought LOVE would fix anything. But it doesn't.
After 11 yrs I am leaving my husband. He is an alcoholic. Not mean but sloppy, falling down, slurring, sleeping on the porch can't keep a job.
I am at my wits end. I can't cry any more. I can't yell any more. I can't FIX HIM!!
Telling you to leave is not the answer. You LOVE HIM! If you really want help, go to Al Anon. Until you are 100% done, you will continue to stay with him putting up with his behavior BUT if he EVER hurts you or the kids YOU MUST LEAVE. Drunken yelling is one thing, putting his hands on you is another.
Good luck Erika!! I will pray for your husband to get the help he needs and for your family to be ok!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

Standing over you, 7 months pregnant, yelling and swearing is absolutely absurd. He calls for counseling tomorrow. His problem with alcohol is unacceptable. If he refuses to get help, go yourself (which you should do anyway to learn how to handle this), and begin preparing yourself and your children to live without him until he agrees to get help for this and sticks to it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Added - Allison P - Wow. Through thick and thin? Just because you are an enabler when your husband has been drinking, and he has actually stopped drinking, doesn't mean that Erika's husband is going to quit. Telling a woman to stay when her husband is standing over her screaming profanities when she is 7 months pregnant and he's drunk off his nut is iresponsible. This is NOT the time to enable his drinking. Erika, the ladies are telling you the truth. Til death do us part is wrong when your children watch their dad be abusive, and learn that it's normal. It isn't normal and what your selfish husband is doing is wrong.

It sounds like you need to have a safe place to go with your children when he starts this. You shouldn't stay in the house when he gets to this point.

If you leave with the kids, it might speak to him when he sobers up. Especially if you don't come back right away. I'm sure there are some women's shelters in your area that you could go to. Pack a bag that is ready to go, and get out of there. You have NO idea when he might start hitting - standing over you yelling because you didn't want to watch TV but read a book instead is just an accident waiting to happen.

I agree with the idea of going to Al-Anon. They can give you a lot of good information.

I'm sorry you are going through this, Erika.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My husband gets loud and obnoxious when he drinks too, but never to the violent point that your husband gets to. I just get annoyed with him b/c his voice carries so much! I just go to bed to distance myself from him.

Do you have family you could say with? Your husband needs a wake-up call that if this is the way he treats you, that you're not going to stick around. Sure he'll be pissed at first, but after a week of no dd, no wife, no dinners, no laundry, etc, he'll likely want to fix things, esp with the baby coming soon.

I agree with the idea of "keep the alcohol out of the house." If you have any control over the alcohol that enters your house, then keep it under control. Like for me, I shouldn't get too annoyed with husband when he drinks too much and gets loud b/c i was the one who bought the beer! Granted, I bought it b/c he asked me to. I COULD not buy it then say "Oh I forgot. Sorry!" Or I could buy him a smaller pack instead of the 24 pack.

Keep us posted.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

For your marriage to work you need counseling asap and he needs to go back to AA or similar support group. As you know this will only escalate if it's not kept under control. I fear for your safety if it isn't addressed. Get help asap.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I of course I want you to leave.
Here's my dilemma in today's world: you divorce him...he gets the kids 1/2
the time.
I would worry about the kids.
Staying w/him sends the worng message to the kids.
I would talk to him when he's sober (never when they are drunk....appeasing tries to calm the drunk party until they fall asleep/pass
I wish today's courts did not side w/the alcoholic party.
My advice?
To go to see lawyer for a free counseling appt to see what your rights are
Save any $ you can get your hands on
Talk to local women's groups to see what they can help you with financially since you're not in a position.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You and hubby need to have a serious talk! Even though it has only happened 3 times, it is a big red flag. Anytime alchohol causes a problem in your relationships, it needs attention. I would start with telling him you feel about the outbursts and how it is affecting YOU. Then find an Al-anon meeting. He is the only one that can make a change in himself. You can change how you handle it. Problems with alchohol only get worse if they are not addressed. Get some help as soon as possible.

Just read the "so what happened". Since he has been for treatment already, you both should know there is no "keeping it under control". He needs to return to AA and meet or have a call with his sponsor. Get yourself to Al-anon too. Even though he hasn't physically hurt you, emotionally...he has already. You BOTH know the drill. Don't enable him any further. Just the ultimatum of "get help and get sober or get out" could be the motivation he needs.... to get help and get and STAY sober. Set the example that you are serious by going to Al-anon. My heart goes out to ou! Been there, done that! Mine is 26 years sober. Hooray!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Providence on

Do you have any supportive family members or friends you can go to, and stay with? He needs counseling and rehabilitation in order to have a healthy relationship with you. An alcoholic , especially one who has problems controling himself ( physically/verbally), is a ticking time bomb. He may not have been at the point where he would have hit you, but I am telling you that he is on a thin line of doing so. Being pregnant, you need to worry about the safety of yourself and your unborn child.

I know this is going to sound harsh, but I don't know how else to say it. Many women use the statement that they aren't in a position to leave, but I am telling you that if you stay, and he doesn't get help, or rehab, it will only get worse. You need to make a change. I would try to find a safe place to go. Let him know that you do not feel safe around him, and that if he doesn't get help to stop drinking, that you cannot stay with him. For the sake of yourself and your baby.

I also would encourage attending Al-anon meetings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's called PROJECTION. He's obviously got other things going on, so he projects it on you, since you take it. I am not judging or telling you what to do, but realize that it's him, not you. Also, your kids WILL end up in the same relationship....no matter what you do. We all tend to learn toward something familiar - healthy or not.

I like the camera idea, so he can see himself. You can't fix a problem you don't see.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dothan on

I was with my ex for nearly 10 years. We were both social drinkers from the beginning. About four years ago, he progressively started getting worse. To begin with it was only about once a month, then once every couple weeks. Over the last year, it had gotten to the point where he was drinking on a daily basis in excess. He went from obnoxious and loud to extremely verbally abusive. We tried marriage counseling, but he continually forgot the appointments, so I finally told him to just forget it. If our counseling was not important enough to remember, then our marriage was'nt important either. It got so bad that he never called me by my name anymore, only derogatory references. And on several occasions, he would purposely wake the kids up screaming and beating on the walls at 2 in the a.m. My oldest daughter would lay in her bed at night crying, and my two youngest would hide under their covers. My point being, even though there are exceptions, more often than not, he is not going to change. Not for the better anyway. I know that is probably not what you want to hear, but having dealt with this same situation myself for far too long, it is the truth. You could mention counseling, but if he does'nt see that he has a problem, its not going to help. In order for him to change, he has to WANT to. I would suggest that you look into what kind of assistance is available in your area so you will be at least prepared to leave if that is your final decision.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Contact social services, a lawyer, pastor....ANYone. Get some counselling. Your hubby needs rehab and counselling. You're subjecting yourself, your daughter, and your new baby to a time bomb.
Do you want to expose your kids to this?
Get out any way possible until he gets the help he needs.
Not EVERYthing Allison posted was wrong, ladies. Everyone's situation is different. But she did have some sound suggestions. Not 100%. Definitely not deserving of the tonguelashing she received.
Erika, this has the potential of escalating. Nip it in the bud now, save your kids from witnessing abnormal behavior, have more self confidence. Remember it's the booze talking. Whatever his issues are, they have to be addressed. Get out any way you can, anywhere you can, and offer ultimatums. He's ruining his life. Don't let him ruin yours and your kids'. If he acknowledges he has a serious problem that could be a glimmer of hope. If he embraces counselling and is remorseful, there is hope. If he's justifying and denying his situation, he's lost. Until he hits rock bottom. And then maybe not even then will he change.
But your issue is now. Act constructively.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

He will always be an alcoholic. Recovering or otherwise. It sounds like he is not working the program since he is drinking. An Alcoholic cannot drink EVER! As for you, you said "for the most part he kept his drinking under control". Are you kidding me? He is not keeping it under control. You have accepted it! You need to have a frank talk with him especially with baby number 2 coming in a couple of months. He needs to get into treatment and you need to go to al-anon. That will help you deal with the fact that you cannot control his behavior but you can control yours. You are teaching your daughter to accept this type of behavior. If you don't think she gets it or is too young, you are wrong.

Erika, I want you and kids to be safe and secure! Please reach out to your social serivces, family members and get out and have some breathing room with this situation. It is not a healthy one! Please be careful!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

Al-Anon, Al-Anon, Al-Anon!!!!
Any person who has problems with alcohol knows that AA is needed for life not a year. He needs to go. If you know who his sponsor is, CALL them. Be open and honest with them about all of the issues. Alcoholics need the support they find in meetings and with other people with the same issues.
Get yourself into an Al-Anon program. You will be AMAZED at the love and support you will find there.
Get rid of ALL of the alcohol in your home. Do not buy any more.
I currently live with a recovering alcoholic. He has 8 years sobriety. BUT, he also acknowledges the fact that he NEEDS to go to meetings at least 2x a month to maintain his sobriety and his sanity.
I have been a very grateful member of Al-Anon for 3 years. I have learned wonderful skills, attitudes, and techniques to help me deal with ALL of the relationships in my life not just with my man. It works.
You obviously love your sober man so take your stand and work your steps so when you say you support him you also support you. Regardless of how much you love another person, there comes a time when you must love you more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

If he's not going to get help, leave him. You can. If you don't feel you have that in you, just don't respond, he won't remember what you said anyway...and try to have a talk when he's sober. If he's an alcoholic, he has to help himself. Your child will learn from YOU that it is OK to accept this kind of behavior from a man (or woman) and her future relationships will be affected.
By the way, is he a veteran? He may also have PTSD if certain holidays or situations set him off....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I really recommend that you find an Al-Anon meeting nearby and go to get some information and support before this baby comes. It sounds like you handled this well but he has a definite problem and you need to find out more about living with an alcoholic. Perhaps he will wake up and deal with this, or he may not or it may be years from now. You were right not to argue with him when he was drunk. I'd get to Al-Anon and tell him what you're doing in a calm way. This is for you and your baby. Don't know if you have other kids but if you do, all the more reason. Bless you!



answers from Charlotte on

Every relationship will have it's problems- just b/c you leave this problem does not mean there will not be another- grass is not always greener- He has a problem and obviously needs some help to get past it- Alcohol has always been a problem for us too- but after yrs of working through it, my hubbs came to the realization that alcohol is a weakness for him, THANK GOD he has learned to stay away from it. I think if you try to talk to your hubbs about it he will probably be on the defensive, and possibly confrontational. No one likes to admit their flaws, but he needs to understand how this affects you- However if you've only had this problem 2 other times in 3 yrs, I mean how bad is it really? I'm sure you are disappointed or let down over his slip up tonight, but is it really something to leave him over? His aggressive drunken behavior is not something that you should have to put up with, and he should understand that- As like most people under the influence, I'm sure this was a side of him that you don't know how to handle- Honestly, the only thing that would work for me in the past years was to pacify him until he would fall asleep, then talk about it in the morning with clear heads- Drunks can be unpredictable and aggressive and stroking the coles usually ends up in disaster- it is unfair that you have to deal with this, but through thick and thin . . . right?? In the morning you should talk to him about your concerns- Lovingly, not with judgement, try to talk to him like his wife, not his mother (even though you probably feel like it) and try to understand his perspective also- find some way you can connect with him about his "flaw" so he will be able to communicate to you about it and not feel like he should hide it from you, or feel like less of a man b/c of it- Let him know you support him, but you want him to get help or get control of it before it gets control of him, and you want him to be proud of himself, not defeated by this. Be a strong, supportive wife and help your husband be a better man- God Bless!

***** SO after one of your other posters sent me a very hateful and bullying private msg- I came back to this to make sure I had read the situation correctly- That is when I realized that you had added the "so what happened" after I had posted- From reading the original post it sounded to me like a "ops I drank to much" and a new relationship (3yrs)after reading what you added- clearly he has an addiction and you have been commited to him for much much longer- However my advice on staying with him remains the same no matter who disagrees with that- you clearly stated that he is not abusive and that this situation is not typical in your house- If he ever does start to be abusive to you, then I agree you SHOULD leave, not only for your safety but for your children- but since you stated that he is not abusive (only you and him know) I would not leave him- I do think getting a marriage counselor is a great step in the right direction! Best of luck~

Next question: My Husband Is an Alcoholic

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

More Questions About