Am I being unreasonable?


My husband has been drinking heavily and getting drinks for everyone around and has got into huge debt because of it which is meaning that we are all having to go without to get the debt paid off. He is not physically dependent on alcohol. He does binge drink and gets very generous and spreads the drink around when he is drunk. A typical trip to the pub has been costing him about £100 = $200. To put an end to this and to try and get out of the situation, I have confiscated his cards and have been giving him money when he needs it. This has been for about 2 months and I have managed to get his overdraft halved. I haven’t yet started on the credit cards.

Today is a big football game and he wanted to go to the pub to watch it so I said I would get him some money - £10. He said a drink is £3 so I went to the bank and got him £12 so that he can have 4 drinks. Anyway, he has just got really angry with me and tells me that I am mean and trying to take over his life. How dare I only give him what equates to less that an hour’s pay at work!

He thinks I am being unreasonable but I know he is aggressive and impulsive when he is drunk. I don’t know what is worse - his stinking mood about not getting the amount of money he wanted to buy drink or him being drunk and me being afraid for our safety. I feel so angry but I am not giving him any more than that. 4 drinks is enough, isn’t it? Am I wrong. I feel on the edge and I don’t want for us to fight and for me to sin. I just confessed for the 1st time in 12 years. I don’t want to get into a sin situation. Help!


I have mixed feelings on this. My husband used to have similar problems, and would cause us financial problems as a result. He has not had a drink while we were married, that is not the problem at our house, but he would spend his money and be over generous with others and leave us with not enough money to pay bills.

I think issuing out the funds on an as needed basis may make him feel like a child, or resent you. A typical person might think, “I work hard and bring home this money, why can’t I spend it?”

What we agreed to in our house was setting a fixed amount that DH could spend on whatever he needed or wanted over the course of a pay period. DH got $300 each pay check for fun, coffee, gas in his car or whatever else he wanted to do with it. All of his other needs are paid for by our joint funds.

Of course I didn’t bring it up to him when he was ready to head out and buy everyone dinner (which was one of his weaknesses) but rather at a time when he was happy and could look at the situation rationally. He has made a few jokes about his allowance, but whenever someone has asked about it, he’s said that it was a great idea and he has everything he could want.

Good luck- you’ll be in my prayers today.


I know you’ve posted before that he has charged up huge debts, won’t go to counseling, won’t do a budget, and is behaving badly.

I think given the situation with him driving you to financial ruin, no I don’t think you have done anything wrong. I hope you continue to coax him to counseling.

I am sorry it’s come to this for you.


I wish he would get councelling.:frowning: I am very tired of the whole situation. And I worry what will happen when we get out of debt. I don’t think I could just give him back the responsibility cos I have lost trust for him.:o


Linnyo, honey, I am so sorry you have this happening to you.

Even binge drinking and this spending is addictive behavior. Sad news: You can’t change him. He has to change himself.

You can, however, protect yourself. You have started doing that. Good job! You are not being unreasonable. I would have told him to watch the whole thing on TV if he didn’t like it. Isn’t Sky or ESPN International broadcasting it? You might be better off with a Pay Per View than the pub, but he’s a big boy.

Al Anon is an organization for family members of alcoholics and persons with alcohol issues. They are international. I googled “alanon scotland” and got this:
Why not give these people a call and see if they can help? There might be a group near you. Al Anon offers, besides the group factor of knowing you are not alone, strategies for living with people such as your husband.

Our dear Leslie (LSK) can also be of assistance, I am sure.


I have been married for 37 years and one thing I know for sure is you can’t change anyone but yourself. My husband and I are seperating because I need back my finacial stabilitie. if you continue on this path you will contiue to be just his mommy not his wife. Granted that is better then being poor but you have to ask yourself, if this is how you want to live the rest of your life. I do not. I am tired of the miss placed anger and all the nonsense . I am not devorceeing him but I am going and getting peace of mind. My grown children support me in this step and now is the time. I am seperating out our propert, and we live in california, and it is a lot of cash. now is the time. You also have to look at what his drinking is doing to the whole family. It does effect them all.the anger will build and build and you will eventuall wear down. I will include you in my prayers and I wish you the best in all you are going through. God bless you and keep you!


Linnyo, I think Alanon would be really good. I hope you can find a meeting near you. I just want to add that even if your husband won’t go to counseling, I think it would still be important for you to go on your own. The fact that you need to ask if you are being unreasonable, when clearly he is the one that is being unreasonable, shows just how much his drinking and his moodiness are affecting you. I think counseling will help give you some much needed perspective as well as some support in setting up appropriate boundaries. Alcoholic families have real problems with having no boundaries, and that is so harmful to the children. So, I think it is really important to find out what you need to do to protect your kids.


I gave him £15 and he went to the pub. He came home at tea time and ate a bit than he said he had £4 left and he was going back to the pub. He was already drunk but I thought he couldn’t do much more damage with £4. Anyway, a wee while later I realised that he had actually sneaked out his cash card. :mad: I forgot to hide it. So I went to the pub after him. When he saw me he did a runner and told this guy he was with to tell me he was on his way home so I went home. He never came home so I went back to the pub and spoke to him. I called him a liar and a sneak in front of his friends (he just met them tonight) because he wouldn’t come away form them. He refused to give me the card. His ‘pals’ offered to buy me a drink. I ran out cos I couldn’t keep it together. His ‘friend’ was really nice and came out after me. He asked what he could do to help. I said get the card and he went back in and got the card. Anyway, john had already taken out lots of money. I tried to find out how much but the machine didn’t work. I watched and he cheered as I left the pub. He really hates me. And I feel so sad. I am back home now and I have cut up his cash card. Perhaps that was rash because all he will do is order a new one. I want to lock him out but he has nowhere to go. I don’t know what to do. I think I have to break up with him but I am so scared. I’m scared to stay with him and scared to be alone. Please help me.


Honey, you don’t deserve to be treated that way. No one does. Take the kids and go away for a while to think. Consult a trusted priest or counselor. Find a lawyer who can give you advice about how to protect yourself financially.

You can’t change him or his behavior, but you can change yours. Stop putting up with this. (easier said than done, I know!)

Love yourself as much as God does. Do you think He wants you to be treated that way? —KCT


Have you talked to anyone about this, your priest or your family?

I did leave my husband who was an alcoholic. He was abusive too. For years though I did try to justify that his drinking wasn’t that bad or I would wonder if maybe I was in the wrong when he would blow up at me. I kept everything a secret from my family and any of our acquaintances. It is kind of dangerous though to keep that all inside, because you do lose perspective.

I wouldn’t do anything rash right now, but I would find someone that you can trust to talk to. I think once you start talking about what is going on, you might be surprised at how bad it has been. Then you might get a better idea if leaving is the right thing or if there is a way that you can get through to your husband. I think right now though the status quo seems to be working pretty well for him, so he is not going to want to change. In fact, he will probably do everything in his power to make sure that you are powerless to bring about change. Seriously, talking to a priest or a counselor is a good place to start. Then maybe get a feel for where your family might be on this. Would they have your back?


You are NOT being unreasonable. In fact, it is completely the opposite - you are doing exactly what you should be doing, and I salute you for it.

Whenever drinking causes things like financial problems, then he has a drinking problem. Let’s make no mistake about it.

Also, I know the old cliche “you can’t change anyone but yourself” has been quoted, but in REALITY the situation will not get better until HE changes, not you. The only change you need to make - aside from maybe finding a better hiding place for the card - is something you’ve ALREADY done by putting your foot down. Whenever alcohol or drugs are involved in a situation, the normal rules go out the window, and in the process of putting your foot down, some naive silly-sallies may accuse you of acting in an unChristian manner. Stand your ground; I’m sure some people were shocked when Christ turned over the tables in the temple.

I agree that if you can get to an Al-Anon meeting please go. You may find some new ideas to chew on, but more importantly:

  1. You will learn that you are not the only one going through some of these things;

  2. Your testimony/witness about how you put your foot down might be helpful to some of the other people there and could inspire them to put their foot down where needed too.


I am so sorry he forced your hand, Lin. But again, you did the right thing. Cutting up the card was a bold stroke of genius! I can’t tell you what I would have done with the card, but he wouldn’t have it any more to use at an ATM- it would be a part of his anatomy!:mad: :thumbsup:

Monday morning- no, tomorrow morning, Sunday- give Al Anon a ring and see what they say. Give them an email tonight. And see the priest after Mass, if possible.


He has come home now. I couldn’t bring myself to lock the door.:blush: He has fallen asleep on the couch after putting a stack of oven chips in the cooker. They will go in the bin. He saw the cut up card on the table and said nothing. I have said nothing to him. I have nothing left to say. He is causing me dreadful pain or maybe I ‘drive him to drink’. I do not know. I feel sad and I hurt myself when I feel like this. I have noone to go to and I have no friends. I am afraid to go to al-anon in case there is anybody I know. I worry that my work will find out or, even worse, parents of kids I teach. That is silly probably but it still scares me. :shrug: I think he truely hates me and I think we will have to part company but that will make me in astate of mortal sin, won’t it? I don’t want that. I need to go to sleep though and try to get perspective. I thought I had perspective but maybe I haven’t. I feel so defeated because I think nothing can be done for my marriage. I wish we could go to retrouvaille or even to marriage councelling but he will not go. He doesn’t think it is worth saving.:frowning:
I think I am running out of strength. Please keep praying for me. Thankyou everyone. I do appreciate you all.



You did not drive him to drink. That is a common way to feel, but that is not the reality of it. It is also really normal in this type of a situation to be isolated. That isn’t because you aren’t a good person or that you aren’t worthy of friendship. Al-anon is really the perfect place for you to go, and if you see someone that you know there then you will know that you are not alone. There are a lot of other family members of people with drinking problems who are going through or who have gone through just what you are going through now. Do not let that shame trap you. Anyone worth knowing would not reject you on the basis of your husband having a drinking problem. It would not jeopardize your job in the least. I just worked at a school similar to the one that you teach at and I wasn’t alone there with having a husband who was an alcoholic. There were other teachers there that had been through that as well.

I don’t know if leaving your husband is the right answer. What is not right is to let your children grow up thinking that they way that he is behaving, both his drinking and his disrespectful treatment of you, are OK. They are not OK. I hope your children never believe that is how a husband and a father should behave. Talk to your priest about this. There is no sin in leaving a marriage to protect yourself and your children. I think your priest can help you understand if that is what is called for in this situation.

It is not silly to be scared, but don’t let that stop you from doing the things that you know you need to do. I saw that you went to confession for the first time in 12 years. Do you know what? It was confession that gave me the strength and the perspective to make some changes that I had been afraid to make. You are in my prayers. Keep it up. You are doing great.


You have gotten good advice, so I’m not going to add to that. I do want to clarify something, though. Leaving your husband is NOT a mortal sin. A mortal sin would be if you engaged in a sexual relationship with someone else after you leave him. Even if you get a divorce, in the eyes of the Church, you would still be married unless it is declared null. As long as you continue to live chaste, you would not be in sin.

I will pray for you. My father drank and was horrible. When I was 15 my mom finally left him. I asked her “what took you so long?” I hated my dad for a long time, and I was angry at my mom for putting up with it

You deserve better.



Thankyou all for being so supportive at the weekend. I really did need you and you were there for me. My husband has admitted, after some discussion that he has a problem and that he is so very ashamed. But he has said that he will go to the doctor for help. I told him that I had spoken to the doctor because I was worried about him. I have also had to go back on medication for anxiety. I have told him that I will remain in control of the finances and if he manages to meke improvements within the next 4 -6 months than I may stay but I will not tolerate the abuse and the lies that I have tolerated up until now. I spoke to him about our kids and how his drinking is affecting them, how our eldest didn’t even bother to tell him she had done well in school because she thought he wouldn’t care anyway and how the youngest is telling her friends parents that diddy has been drinking again. I told him how it is from our viewpoint and I didn’t hold back. I believe that he is ashamed and that he intends to make changes but I know that, in reality, it will be a long and difficult process. Please keep us in your prayers please. I’m glad I can come here as I have hardly any friends and it helps to talk.


I’m glad you had such a good talk, Linny.

It would still be a good idea, in my opinion, for you to become involved in Al Anon. One good reason is their anonymity- You don’t have to tell anybody your last name, or even your real name. Another is the fact that his drinking has isolated you and the kids. In an Al Anon group- or Alateen for your older one- there are other people with the same problem.

We are real people behind the computers, but most of us can’ t just hop a bus and go to you in Scotland if you really need us. Al Anon has people right there, in the same circumstances, in the same place.

My sister had a rough way to go with her husband, who was of course much worse than yours.:wink: She finally joined Al Anon, and two of her three kids went to Alateen. It was really vey helpful for her. Instead of dumping his booze and pills down the toilet, or trying to control his spending behaviors (and they were a lot more bizarre than buying drinks at the pub- home entertainment centers, etc.), she learned, over time, just how much she could handle, and how she had to change. They are not divorced- far from it, been married 24 years and counting.

It’s worth a visit, anyway.:shrug:



This is all well and good but how many times has he acted in this way? In your shoes, I would insist on counseling. Tomorrow if possible. Accept no excuses.

And the next time he disappears to the pub. I would advise you to take the kids and go on a 2-3 day holiday. Don’t worry about the cost, he’d just spend it in the pub anyway. He needs to see a true resolve from you. If that doesn’t make him see he’s hit bottom then I’m afraid there is nothing else you can do.

You remain in my prayers.


Linny as the wife of a recovered alcoholic I can tell you I’ve been down this road many times. He needs to go to AA and you need to get to an al-anon meeting. It’s good he is going to the doctor, he needs to keep that appointment.

I love my husband dearly, and when he made all the promises to change he truly meant them, but many, many times over he couldn’t keep them. Each time he failed he fell deeper into a depression which only perpetuated the cycle of drinking. I became more and more bitter. You need support, you need to people to lean on. It took 7 years of this roller coaster ride before he truly was able to remain sober. At one point he had been sober more than a year and then started up again. He has been sober for close to 10 years nows.

People picture alcoholics as being perpetually drunk. I can tell you I’ve only actually seen my husband drunk less than half a dozen times. He hid it from me, part of the time he was in the military so it made it easy. Other times he’d go to friends or family and drink. I’d sense something was off and he’d deny it and say I didn’t trust him. It made me question my own judgement, it made me feel paranoid.

There can be light at the end of this tunnel. I know because my marriage is better than I ever imagined it could be and my husband is my best friend. But you need to brace yourself for the fact that this may just be the beginning of a long road back. Please get support from others who have been/are in your shoes.

I will pray for your family. God Bless.


I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect your husband to not send you both plummeting into debt…whether it be due to a possible addiction or not. I would discuss your concerns with him…when he is not heading to the bar…or coming from it…so he is completely attentive to what you’re saying…and ask him to seek counseling. Addictions will kill a relationship…and confiscating cards, etc…is merely a bandaid for a larger problem, should he have a more serious addiction. I will pray for you–but seek out some help. Hopefully, your husband will go for that.

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