Friday, March 15, 2013

My Husband Has an Addiction: Answered Prayers

Many have asked where I've been hiding and what's been going on. I've been keeping quiet for a reason because some things are not meant for public judgement. 

After talking with my husband tonight, he told me to talk about what's going on. He has come to grips with the truth and he is WE are growing from our situation, together. Every situation can have a positive.

In December, I wrote this:
You don't have to be an alcoholic to be trapped by alcohol. I don't even care to drink, ever, and I am trapped. It consumes my life, it is sucking the life out of me.  
When you love someone whose life is consumed by alcoholism, you stick by their side. You hope for change; you hope for help. And in the time hoping for some relief, you drag yourself to the bottom with them. You don't even realize you've hit rock bottom until you're there. You don't see a way out and you begin to feel the life you're struggling to make it through day by day is the only one you'll ever know. You can look at the situation from the outside and say you'd leave, but would you? You can't judge unless it is your relationship. 
You tell yourself it will get better. You find reasons to hold on to hope. You convenience yourself you need to stay because you feel obligated to help them. You end up blaming yourself, finding reasons as to how or why it is your fault.  
You feel trapped. 
I've allowed myself to be dragged to the bottom because I love someone so deeply who has an alcohol addiction. I hope this is the bottom, I can't see it getting much worse. 
The consequences of his alcohol abuse does and will affect me. My husband is a wonderful man.- Sober. I'm not sure when or how his addiction actually started, I just know it progressively got worse. It was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; he was two different people. He would do things, and say things he didn't mean and wouldn't remember them the next morning. He would hide alcohol, and couldn't stop at a limit. 
This all does seem to be a wake up call for him. I hope I'm not being naive in thinking it is. He has asked his command for help, and I truly hope he means it and I hope they give it to him.  
I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do or where to go from here. Yet, I still find myself trying to be positive for him. Honestly, after how I was treated when he was drunk this last time, I should have left. I just can't give up on him. I feel that if I give up on him, I'm giving up on me. I said for better or worse, and this is "for worse". I won't give up on him and turn my back on my marriage. I love him too much to walk away.  
Maybe this is God answering my prayers to help him; to help me.
 My husband has had issues with Alcohol for quite some time now, for the majority of our relationship, but it was never uncontrollable or more than I could handle. During our most recent deployment, I knew it was becoming worse. He would spend hundreds on Alcohol during port calls, and sometimes be too drunk to get in touch with me. When he came home, it was like a huge port call to him. Drinking was an every day thing, causing lots of tension between he and I. I would work 8 to 10 hours a day and come home to beer bottles everywhere and my husband passed out from drinking too much. Once, I thought he was dead. I was so frantic when he wouldn't wake up and even felt for a pulse, but because I was shaking so badly, I felt nothing. I smacked him, yelling, "Please wake up!". Thank God he woke up.

We decided to stay in Virginia for Christmas. We said we needed the time together. He found out he was going to have Duty on New Years, so rather than taking Christmas leave, he took New Years leave because he wanted to go to a New Years party. This meant he had Duty on Christmas Eve. He had been drinking excessively up to Christmas Eve. He promised he wouldn't drink for Christmas Weekend. He left for duty and wasn't supposed to be home until Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve night, he drove home. He walked in the door and he couldn't walk straight, couldn't look straight and his uniform was ripped. He reeked of liquor. He was so drunk he was convinced he was sober. I was angry, but I refused to show it because I knew it would spark an argument. Drinking and driving is something I'm severely against, and something that really gets under my skin, especially after I lost my best friend in 2008 just after she turned 18.
He could sense I was upset and decided he needed to go back to the ship; He wasn't supposed to have left the ship (nor drink) in the first place. I told him I would take him back and he started to get upset, so I took his keys. He was in no shape to drive and there was no way I was going to let him. Things got ugly from there and eventually, a friend came and took him back to the ship.

Some time during all the chaos, he lost his military ID. By the time he got back to the ship, he had already forgot everything that had happened. He emailed me to ask if I knew where his ID was, after being escorted on the ship. Honestly, I ignored his email.
A few hours later, extremely early into Christmas morning, he emailed again. He had started to sober up and they were telling him what had happened and how much trouble he was in. He was a mess and apologizing. I didn't respond to that email either.

Early the next morning, his Lieutenant called me. He asked how I was and asked about everything that happened at home. He then asked if I wanted my husband home or if I wished for him to remain on the ship. My husband was now sober, I wanted to talk to him, so I gave them permission to release him.

He came home to the mess he created and absolutely lost it. He didn't remember anything, he was just seeing the aftermath and the strain he put between us. He broke down. For several days he just stayed in bed. He wouldn't eat, he'd just sob. 

He asked, "Why are you still here? You deserve better.". Yeah, I guess a lot of people would leave. But I know who he really is and he was overcome with a disease called alcoholism. So, I told him the truth, "I love you. When we got married, I said for better or worse. This is a worse. I know you, and when you drink, you are not yourself. I believe in you and I'm not giving up on you. I'm not giving up on us.". 

When someone says, "Alcohol brings out the true person someone is" I believe that to be the biggest crock of poo. My husband has many personalities as a drunk and you never know which one you will get. Sober, he has just one and, to me, is one of the greatest men alive. 

My husband did get in trouble with the command. And thankfully, because of his hard work and dedication along with his good conduct record up to that point, his punishment wasn't as severe as we had expected. Honestly, we thought he was going to get kicked out. It was the most terrifying thought. 

He had to go in front of the disciplinary board on February 12. We didn't know what would happen from there, they said they'd let him know within a few days. The next day, he had to go to the XO and before that found out he would be going to Mast. He was honest with the XO and because of that, the XO said that he would speak with the CO about being lenient. 

He wasn't told a Mast date, but Valentine's Day, I came home from work to a dark empty house. Empty as in he wasn't home. Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with a mutual friend from his division and he let me know. His first class was supposed to call me, but to this day.. never heard a word. Thank goodness for the mutual friend to let me know what was going on. 

My husband was given a 15 days restriction as well as $850 was taken from this month's pay (youch!). He spent 15 days on the ship, with no contact with me (with the exception of a few emails). Straight from Restriction, he was sent to rehab, where he is currently until the first week of April. 

Rehab is for 35 days. I get to see him on Sundays for a few hours. We don't get to talk much at all. He is constantly bouncing around from class to class as well as AA. 

Some people have said how strong I am for staying. But I know that some people see me as weak for not leaving. I don't know that either category pertains to me, nor do I care what category I fit into. I do know that the past few months have been hell; stressful, emotional and draining. But I can gladly say there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

It's not about being strong or being weak to me. To me, if something's broke, and fixable... fix it. I prayed and prayed for him, for help for him. God answered my prayers. It definitely wasn't what I had in mind when I prayed for help, but God delivers. 


  1. <3 I am so glad to hear he is getting the help he needs. You are an exceptionally strong woman and I admire you for that.

    1. Thank you Sarah! Taking it one day at a time and not letting it hold me back.

  2. I'm so glad he's getting the help he needs. He's lucky to have such an amazing woman standing behind him. Huge kudos to you for sticking it out through what so many wouldn't.

    1. Thank you Doc's Girl!
      I've had someone tell me I was dumb for staying, but I feel it would be dumb for me to leave.

    2. Hey Cuz. I love you and I know it has been a very long time since we have seen or talked to each other but I am always here for u to talk to. Daddy or Uncle David was an alcoholic. I honestly believe that if he had quit sooner he would have been here a little longer. It took rehab for him too. Just remember that it takes a stronger person to stay and support then it does to run away and hide. U are doing the right thing and if done the line it don't work just be proud u tried our very best. I love u and if ever u need to talk I am here. Your cousin Fran

    3. Do not let people tell u that u are dumb for staying it takes a stronger person to and support then it takes to run away and hide. My daddy or Uncle David was an alcoholic and I truly believe that if he had quit sooner he would have been with us a lot longer. My mom stayed by him every step of the way even while he went to rehab. I always admired her for that just as I do you. Just remember that u are doing our very best and hang in there and it will all work out and if down the road it doesn't just remember you did ALL you could. I know we haven't talked or seen each other in a very long time but I am always here for you. Call me anytime I love you and hope to see everyone soon

  3. It is great that he is getting the help to straighten out his life. I don't think you are weak for staying. I think you are strong for helping him through this. You know the man he is when he is sober, and hopefully that man comes back to you once rehab is over. He will need a great support system, and it sounds like you are there for him.

    1. Thank you! He's definitely got a great support system with me. It has already brought he and I much closer.

  4. Weak for not leaving?! That's crazy talk right there. I think weak people WOULD leave. They can't deal, so they leave. I think you're amazing and strong for staying with him through that; it must be very difficult. My husband and I have definitely had some hard times, and I know that if the world knew the situation, they'd think I was crazy for staying. But, you don't just give up. Especially when you know that's not who he is at his core. Kudos to you for staying. I'm SO glad he's getting the help he needs.

  5. I haven't been reading blogs lately so your post tonight caught me by surprise.

    I 100% understand because I've been there. My DH showed up drunk to duty. Someone smelled it on him and he blew a .17. He had driven to work and no one suspected anything until they smelled it on him. 30 days restriction and a demotion were his punishment, as well as enrollment in SARP. He didn't have to do the in patient one, but did go everyday for about a month, in addition to AA. It was hard. It was hard for him, hard for me, hard on our marriage. But it brought us together and made us stronger. He's been sober for 2 years and 4 months. It's been a long journey but so very worth it.

    I don't think you're crazy for staying. I had people tell me I was crazy for staying too but there was no way I was going to leave. Like you, I take my marriage vows very, very seriously. It's going to be hard but you guys can make it.

    Please, if you ever need/want to talk, let me know. I know how lonely it can be for the spouse! You need support too!