How Do You Get Rid of My Husband's Toxic Friend?

Updated on May 30, 2017
S.A. asks from Fort Worth, TX
13 answers

My husband and I have been married 23 years. We moved into a nice home with a pool last year. He even added a $15,000 outdoor kitchen and patio. Since moving here, my husband has been inviting his friend over every weekend. They play golf and then his friend will come over afterwards. My husband will grill for him, and the two of them will drink a 24 pack of beer till midnight and watch sports all day. This Friday, Sat, and Sunday, he spent 30 hours with his friend. They are not gay. We have 3 kids, and my husband rarely spends quality time as a family. I have begged him for quality alone time, to have family time, and to compromise and have his friend over just 2x a month. He refuses and says I will not dictate their relationship. His friend is single with no kids and he clearly knows how I feel. My husband told me he would rather spend time with his friend because he does not nag about him drinking too much. We both work full time. In addition to his friend coming over every weekend for the past 14 weeks (12 hours each day), they go to happy hour at least 2 other week nights. I am feeling so neglected and shafted that I want a divorce!!!! I have tried date nights (we went on 3 dates in 12 months) but if he spends 2 hours with me, he says it justifies him spending 12 hours with his friend the next day. He thinks I should be happy with 2 hours but it is not enough for me if he can spend 30 hours with his friend. He has been friends with this guy for 20 years. They used to go out 2x a week for beer but he would not come to the house. Since we got the new house, pool, and outdoor kitchen, he is over here EVERY weekend. I have prayed his friend would get a girlfriend but he used to date a stripper and has one night stands from women on Tender so that is not happening. My husband refuses counseling and thinks I am wrong in all this. If we had no kids (15, 13, 8), I would divorce him in a heartbeat. He thinks I am crazy to feel neglected since he is here at the house and not at a bar for 12 hours on the weekends. He is usually at the bar 3-5 hours on a week night. I am a teetotaler and do not drink at all. He is a functioning alcoholic. When we were dating, he spend quality time with me. Once we married, he told me he did not have to put any more effort into the relationship because I was his. I only stayed with him because of my values and culture and then the kids came along.

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So What Happened?

Dear ladies, I just got home from work and my husband & I spoke. We are calling it quits. He does not see a problem having friends over all the time. I am tired of working full time, cooking, cleaning while all he does is drink, go out and watch tv. After 27 years total together, it seems so crazy but I am tired of his bachelor ways. As for why we had 3 kids, he was not always this selfish or self-centered. We had our good moments, and the Bible taught me to forgive. He is in law enforcement and has been a good provider. I have my master's degree and work in physical medicine. Things just took a nose dive the past 3 months once the outdoor kitchen was completed. He said he will continue having his friend over because I will not dictate how he spends his time.

We are going through a mediator though. Is that a good idea? We basically agree on how to split most assets. I will fight for custody of the kids. Any advice on divorce, child support, using mediator vs attorney, etc? Thank you all for your sage advice and words of wisdom. I am blessed to hear feedback from compassionate, caring women. Thank you all so much for giving me clarity in a tough moment.

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Your question's title implies that the friend is the problem and is toxic.

By the end of your question, you seem to acknowledge that the problem is your husband: his lack of involvement in your family, and his excessive drinking. So that's good - you understand where you are at.

And I'm so sorry you are in this situation.

You say you won't divorce him because you have 3 kids. So here's another way to look at it: your 3 children are learning that it's acceptable to drink 12 beers a day while sitting around a pool (how dangerous is that?) and operate a grill and just feed a friend vs. the family. Unless your husband's friend stays over or calls a cab, they are learning that it's okay to drive after that much drinking. They are learning that a woman's needs don't matter at all, and that a "marriage" consists of 2 people occupying the same house but having such poor communication that one person checks out entirely (not wanting to be with his wife at all) and the other becomes a nag (whether that's your view, it's your husband's). And he has spent all your family money on beer, on golf and on renovations that your family can't enjoy because it's a Men's Bar & Grill.

This drinking problem has been ongoing for many years, and you have put up with it. Go to Al-Anon and get your kids into Al-A-Teen. Get individual counseling for yourself and the kids, even if your husband won't go. Don't keep trying to persuade him to do this. You are way beyond "date nights" and "family time." Your marriage is in severe crisis and you have to, for your sake and that of your children, get a handle on why you put up with this. You also need to see a financial counselor and get your affairs in order, because your husband is in a downward spiral - he is blowing your children's money, engaging in risky behaviors, and is not going to keep his job, let alone live very long, given this lifestyle and his decision-making. Work with a therapist and a planner to start to set the wheels in motion to separate your children from this nightmare of a role model. You are damaging them far more by raising them in this environment than you would by separating them from their father's destructive actions.

ETA: based on your addition that you are splitting up, I think you really REALLY need an advocate for yourself. If a mediator can represent both of you, it's cheaper. But still, you have absolutely got to get someone on your side here. Splitting assets down the middle? No way. You have 3 children, with college and orthodontia and school activity fees and who knows what else looming. You absolutely need to figure out a way that he is NOT driving those children anywhere, or having them around the house with a pool and a drunk father. You are going to have massive behavior problems with those kids - and who can blame them? You should consider a way to inform the law enforcement agency of his behavior so that they can drug/alcohol test him on the job. Yes, it puts his problem on their radar, but if he's involved with the public, that's a huge risk to a lot of people. Maybe they will force him into treatment. Get some really good legal advice on this. He needs life insurance (and a lot of it) and you need some assurance that the premiums are paid. If he loses his job and throws away the savings or disposable income on his partying ways, can you support the 3 kids? Is he keeping the house with the pool and the outdoor kitchen? Then can you afford to move and keep a roof over everyone's heads? I think you need to get a lawyer and absolutely not agree to any division of assets or visitation or anything at all until you have a lot more protections than you have now!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I think you and your kids need to start attending some Al-Anon meetings to learn how to deal with your husbands alcoholism.
A functioning alcoholic is still an alcoholic.
And that's some bromance your husbands got going on there.
I know personally of at least 2 occasions (a neighbor and a distant family member) where the husband was hanging out with a buddy all the time where the husband up and divorced the wife to spend MORE time/live with the buddy/boyfriend.
Maybe he's not gay and maybe he is - it doesn't really matter.
The point is - he is not participating in your marriage and family.
You either learn to accept living like this or you make your plan and you get the divorce set into motion.
The kids are going to grow up thinking that this behavior is normal and acceptable.
You need to kick him out or leave to show them it's not.
Hubby's relationship with alcohol and his buddy are tied up together.
It might be best that you get the divorce and let the buddy deal with the inevitable eventual train crash that's coming sooner or later.
You can see it coming - time to get you and the kids out of the way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with the other posters who suggest you contact Al-Anon. It is apparent that he is an alcoholic. Their is some lines of work these have a higher rate of such things, and law enforcement is one of them. He doesn't sound like he has any desire to change or fight his addiction. But Al-Anon can help YOU cope with the things you will have to deal with as a result. And help you learn how to help your kids deal with it as well.

Good luck to you.

And yes, go see a lawyer, pronto. A mediator is there to help the two of you sort out what you both are comfortable with doing, more or less. A lawyer will tell you what you are entitled to and what you can do to protect yourself from him changing his mind. It's not uncommon for couples to think they can settle everything themselves and be done, but especially when there are kids involved, it can get nasty quickly. You need to find out what his responsibility regarding child support will be, what you are entitled to as far as any retirement he may have, etc. And since he is an alcoholic, you may have stipulations that should be imposed regarding his time with the children. HE's not likely to want to agree to anything like that. He already doesn't see any reason to curtail his drinking habits. Why would he do so when you aren't around? Do you want him picking up and driving around, being responsible for your 8 year old child while he's intoxicated and has his intoxicated friend over? Even if he isn't driving them anywhere, if he's the sole adult in the house and is routinely intoxicated, he isn't taking his responsibilities seriously and could be incapable of proper supervision. Think about what you imagine a "weekend at Dad's" might look like for your 3 kids before you think you don't need an attorney to hammer out and argue specifics of your divorce. And he's law enforcement? Odds are, if it's routine for him to spend so much time in bars already, that he is going to think the rules don't apply to him, and to expect anyone trying to enforce them to bend a little for him. Make sure you have someone in your corner who can cover those bases from the start.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You're married to an alcoholic, functioning or not. I would start with Al-Anon for yourself - it is a great resource for families of alcoholics. You'll find people who have been in your shoes who can offer you advice and share experiences, as well as resources to learn about the role of alcohol in your relationship. You'll then better understand what you're dealing with and will be able to make informed decisions about how to handle this in your relationship (from intervention to divorce).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My friend could have written this. She was miserable. She left her husband. Hard decision but best one for everyone. Her husband was not happy, she was not happy and kids were not. Now the kids actually see their dad every second weekend, and have more of a relationship than they ever would have if they'd stayed together. In their case too, there was also a drinking bud.

ETA: read what isn'tthisfun wrote - make sure that he does not drink when he has kids (same as my friend).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

ETA after your SWH: Please make sure you get a good lawyer. Just because he acts like he will be cooperative on the assets doesn't mean that he won't start hiding them. And he probably doesn't care one wit about keeping the kids, but he will start trying to negotiate to get more assets in exchange for giving you the kids. You need a lawyer...

I'm so sorry you had 3 kids with this man. I really wonder why you had so many of them with him...

He must have a pretty good job to have a house with a pool and nice outside yard. Do you work, or do you stay home with the kids? I hope you have a job.

Have you gone to a lawyer and gotten some advice? That would be your very best bet. Don't tell him you're leaving. Get a good lawyer and find out what to do.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Sam, the issue is not the friend. If it wasn't this particular guy, it would be another friend in his place. The problem is your husband. This is who he is, doing what he wants to do. He has flat out told you that he will not be 'told what to do' by you. What you want doesn't matter to him. You are not important to him. He will not do counseling and dismisses your feelings as 'crazy'.

You need to decide if you can live like this or not. If not, see a lawyer. You can not fix your marriage because your husband likes things the way they are. If he figures that you've decided you're 'stuck' either by value choices or because you're financially under his control, there is no reason for him to worry that anything might change.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm very sorry. That sounds like an awful situation, and you sound miserable. I would be too, if I were in your position. I'm glad you recognize your husband is an alcoholic. Please take the advice of going to an Al-Anon group. Once you so a search in your area, I'll bet you'll find there are a lot of meetings on various days and times and locations. Your life and happiness does not have to be run by someone else's drinking. Also, your children aren't blind. They are watching this dynamic play out in your home. It doesn't sound like they would be missing any kind of quality time with your husband if you were to divorce. Alan would be good for them too. Have you had any conversations with your children about how they feel about your family situation? You can just ask a very open question. They may surprise you. The question isn't how to get rid of the toxic friend, it's how are you going to make a better life for yourself and your children away from this toxic behavior of your husbands.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The friend is just a part of the problem. The problem is your husband.

How did you end up with 3 kids if he was like this from the beginning?

If a man told me that I was his and he would not be putting effort into the relationship since "I'm his", he'd be out the door in a heartbeat. Marriage is partnership. He can't be that good of a dad if he is drinking all the time. I am not one to jump on the horse of getting a divorce but there are some good reasons to get rid of a loser and this is one of them. Think of the example you are setting for your children.

You need some legal counsel. If you are not involved with the household finances and savings, then get involved. Hopefully you have a job.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your husband loves alcohol more then any of you.

That is alcoholic.

He will continue to love alcohol more then you, more then his finances,more then his children and more then his health because that is what alcoholics do.

Please contact Alcoholics Anonymous and ask them where the closest Al-anon meeting is.

Please contact a therapist that is licensed and certified in addictions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Sorry you're calling it quits.

One thing I am going to say anyway though.

His friend is only been coming over since you moved into this house. A year is what YOU said.

Your problem with your husband is about you, and him, and his family. NOT THE FRIEND.

The friend is the current scapegoat. Who did you blame before this friend? You said it's been married 23 years and HE TOLD YOU right after you got married that he's not interested in spending time with you.

HE TOLD YOU he didn't have to invest any more time in you or his family.

The friend isn't the problem. Your marriage is the problem. He's not interested.

I agree with you, he's never going to be the family man you want.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Myers on

Your husband is the problem. Your kids don't need to be around this. Its hurting them more with you staying with your husband. Get a divorce. Its going to be hard but better for you all in the long run. It's not worth staying in this relationship and environment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i would try al-anon and a marriage counselor before just calling it quits.

1 mom found this helpful
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