How can a long-term husband turn so bad?

I’m seriously asking this question even after almost 41 years of marriage to a functioning alcoholic. Six years ago, he did the unforgiveable and left to drink and live with an old girlfriend from before our marriage. What a shock! He has caused pain and sorrow in our family that is nothing you can imagine. Doesn’t see our three adult sons or our grandchildren - rarely - is so detached from them it’s sad, sad.

We are fully married yet, but he lives with this person. We share all of our funds, except for one check that she uses. I’ve tried for six years to use principles of standing for my marriage, being sweet and kind, wearing my wedding bandm whatever I could. I will never remarry and have prayed intensely that my husband will hear the Holy Spirit and get sober - or that he get arrested for drunk driving again. This will save many souls - maybe even his. He has four priors.

His acts become more cruel and hurtful. His cousin died - he didn’t tell any of us - so that he could drink at it and take the "friend’ He’s 68 years old and it will take a miracle to change him - but I believe in miracles.

How does one though maintain a cheerful, joyous attitude when your heart continues to be broken. I pray hard and try to make a life for myself. But as you get older it’s a little trickier.

I’m not a widow with a loving, good annointed husband to mourn. I am a partially (mostly) dumped wife who has to watch her money and her children suffer. I’ve tried to pray for the other woman, but she has caused so much pain and been so cruel. Lord, take her and do with her what you want!! - Best I can do.

I feel that if I don’t pray pretty intensely for him no one will. But he’s mean and belligerent to me. I just annoy him - mostly when he’s on his way to a drink or had too many.

I’m tired, but have to keep taking all the garbage and trying to show God my faithfulness and that I can be joyful when someone is sticking me in the back. Sometimes it works - but deep down this isn’t the life I want. At our ages we could have had a beautiful life and I do have parts of that. But the loneliness and betrayal are killers.

Life can seem long when you’re in this position. You kind of go along praying and living, but can’t quite seem to get to the state of deep prayer you want - especially as time goes on.

Pray for me, please.

I am off to bed now so its a perfect time for prayer. I will pray for your husbands problems and for your comfort. You certainly have a cross to bear but seem to holding up your end of the bargain. If I understood correctly he has been drinking a long time. Booze for years and years has great impact on the mind, I am not making excuses for his behavior but perhaps he isn’t the same man you once knew because the drink has ruined his ability to think properly. So tonight I will pray for you and just want you to know that the devil takes great pleasure in what is happening to you now so keep your guard up!

If it were me, I would open a new account and transfer all the funds into it in my name only. Why should you share your money with his GF, or with him for that matter if he’s mean to you?
But that’s just me. I’m sure God will bless you for your efforts to be compassionate and faithful.
Praying for you.

Hi Romick. My situation is similar. I had to leave my husband 21 years ago because he was beating me, drinking and addicted to cocaine. I took my then six year old son and moved out. I went to court, got a restraining order, and forced him into rehab. He did stop the drugs but continued to drink, although he “controlled” it better. He did provide court ordered child support and was a good dad, in his own way.

At first I didn’t get a divorce because of my boy. I didn’t want him to be yet another statistic. When I returned to the Church, I realized that God must have been behind my decision to remain true to my marriage vows. Now, 28 years “married”, I still refer to him as my husband and he still calls me “wife”. He has colon cancer now and we have grown closer in the last year than I ever thought possible. I look forward to the day when we can really talk together about how he can prepare for meeting his maker.

I am sure the future looks very grim to you. I must admit that before I came back to the Church, I did engage in extra-marital relations. So I wasn’t a saint the entire 28 years! But for the last 10, I’ve been walking with Christ and though I may sometimes be physically alone, I am not spiritually or emotionally lonely.

I look at it this way. I have great empathy and compassion for my husband. I was blessed. God came and got me, pulled me out of my misery and sin and brought me home. My husband has not yet heard the call. He is truly alone. If I can set an example of Christian love for him, (and pray constantly!) perhaps he will experience the peace and joy of Christ before it is too late.

I’ll remember you in my prayers tonight!

I’m sorry to hear about your situation and I really hope that things get better for you.

My Mother had a similar life - my Dad was an alcoholic, had numerous affairs, fathered an illegitimate child and was generally nasty and cruel.

She stayed married to him for 21 years but in the end it was just too much for her - she divorced him because he refused to stop drinking.

Since the divorce, my Dad has turned his life around. He has his own apartment and is a much nicer person. I think the divorce shocked him, and it made him realise just how good my Mother was to him.

My parents get on better than ever now. They still see each other but live apart. My Dad is still a heavy drinker but at least my Mother doesn’t have to see it everyday. My Dad respects my Mother now.

I don’t like divorce but in this case it seems to have been for the best. I hope that you can sort things out with your husband, and all I can really say is to just hang in there and to not let him get you down. You aren’t defined by your marriage and still have a great life to live.

You are in my prayers. I have been married for 38 years to an alcoholic, and I know where you are coming from. My husband, however, has not, as far as I know, cheated on me. Alcohol was the “other woman” in his life. But what I have to say to you, you may not accept or like, and that is ok. It is this: you are every bit as precious to the Lord as your husband and the other woman whom you lovingly pray for, and you need to recognize that and begin to take care of yourself. By allowing the other woman to use your money, you are not doing that, and furthermore, you are contributing to a sinful situation, and allowing someone else to control your life. Your husband’s alcoholism has become the focus of your life, from what I am reading, and that must stop. You have your own life to live and your own relationship with God to nourish.

Contributing financially to the relationship and “taking his garbage” is what is called enabling. It is destructive behavior, both spiritually and mentally, because it allows or enables the alcoholic to continue in a pattern of his own selfish and destructive behavior without facing the consequences of the behavior, and to control you. Most family members in alcoholic or drug-abuse situations feel it is their duty or responsibility to take care of the alcoholic, to contribute financially to them, to get them out of messy situations , to not rock the boat, to keep the peace at all costs, to cover up for them, etc. That is the worst thing anybody can do. It gives the abuser control over their lives, which is what he or she wants, and allows them to see themselves as “little gods”. It does nothing whatsoever to help them.

I think, from your post, that you deep down recognize that something needs to change in your situation, and that the path you are following is not good for you, and is not God’s will for you, that is why you are asking for help. What you are doing now is not working for you. There is help available in a program called Al-Anon and in counseling. You cannot change the alcoholic, but you can change yourself and your life for the better, but it takes a lot of courage and hard work.

Please feel free to E-mail me if you have any questions. I am not an expert, but I have been there, lived through it, and survived:) by the Grace of God and other people willing to share and support me. God bless you.

Bless you and your family for all you have gone through. There is enough depressing stuff in life, much less what you have been through.

No you are not a widow, and yes you are a wife. At least you don’t live in peyton place or fantasy land. No, your husband probably will not change without his little world comming crashing down around his feet. I can only pray for you.

Try to stay away from him as much as possible. Keep your wedding vows, and do not worry. I know that is hard to say and hear but it is the best I can do in this type of situation. There is no need to hurt yourself or your kids intentionally.

St. Rita, this mom is doing the impossible. Please pray for her


Consider praying for the woman’s conversion of heart that will lead her to reject your husband. Where else can he go then? One of the most easily said things, and the hardest to do: Let it go. Offer them up to Jesus, as you have, but with love in your heart for both of them. If the Lord called them today, we suspect where their souls would spend eternity.

You are in my prayers.

Praying hard for you and that your husband will come to his senses.

Life can seem long when you’re in this position. You kind of go along praying and living, but can’t quite seem to get to the state of deep prayer you want - especially as time goes on.

As one who has survived a very painful marriage - I assure you that you will come through all this no matter which way things may go. Prayer at this time can be difficult to impossible at least as one once remembers prayer - just give your wounded heart continually to God and with no words is fine. Trust God. You will come through all of this in His Time, though at the moment it seems impossible even…

Keeping you in prayer…

Praying for your intentions…


The feeling of abandonment is the most Christ-like experience that you will ever have. Christ accepted the cup. You will be blessed if you drink from the same cup.

The peace of Christ be with you.

Praying. :gopray:

I will say a ot of prayers for you.I think you had better try to forget about him.

I remember a previous post from you and have been praying for you. My husabnd and I are separated too. You just have to get up every day and give your life to God. What an amazing story from “blessedtoo”–that’s what life is really all about, getting to Heaven and helping others get there too. Just keep praying for your husband and the other woman–you may be the only one doing so. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for the other woman.

God’s peace be with you. You are in my prayers.

As usual, I come here and feel blessed by God for your answers!

One point I do need to clear up is that the money I have to spend on joint bills is income of his. (But it’s still marital income.) It’s other, additional income (again marital income) that she spends. Not that either way is right. I do feel at times as though I am enabling in a most unwilling sense, but my only option is to get a divorce and have much less to pay the bills with. I get more than he would have to give me now. I have a smaller income of my own.

Yes, his brain has been affected alcohol and yes, I do have to detach more - something I have tried to do for years. I have been going to Al-Anon since the 70’s, but not since the adultery. That really sent me into a tailspin.

Loneliness and self-pity - as well as some physical problems - are a big problem. So many of us know that God is always with us, but isn’t it tough to feel it when you’re hurting.

Just to know you are being prayed for is huge.

Thank you all - I will remember to pray for each of you.


I too suffered for many years with an alchoholic, my brother and we were in a family business together. He did everything could to hurt me intentionally and my family, once even telling that he fully beleived he ran our father’s business better then Jesus Christ could. I finally left the business, the money, and the family of my borth. (My mother too is an alchoholic, and I’m watching over her tonight with her dimensia. Dad did his best for me in the difficult position we all put him in.)

Kind of poetic, or perhaps an oxymoron, I once saw an AA brochure that described alchoholics as acting like “litlte gods”.

I pray for all of us that have and/or are suffering through lives with alchoholics. May the peace of God be with each and every one of us, and especially my brother, and may His power drive the demons from the alchoholics, because despite what they have done to us and others, we love them. Father please hear my prayers. Jesus pleasehea our pleas.

Dear Romick,

I will keep you in my prayers. You are an example to all of us by standing by your marriage vows and perserving in prayer for your husband and the woman he is committing adultry with. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

I hope your husband wakes up one day and repents for what he has done. You might consider seeking counseling for yourself. I know Al-Anon has helped a lot of people but I don`t think it is always the best solution for each person. A Catholic counselor might be able to help you.

Alcohol and drugs destroy so many lives. We can`t control other people, but we can mitigate the consequences it has on our own lives, while still being loving and compassionate. I will be praying for you and your family.


Maria 1212

From the bible the diciples all left there wives children,to follow the LORD.I belive in miricles too!! See You dont have to put up with that! Nor does your children! You can walk away in the LORD
The things youve done is correct! You prayed for him.And you certainly can keep praying for him.And you can leave him and still
pray for him! God will lead you.If your threatened by his actions,and by his misbehavior,and his disobedeince to the Lord.
WALK away.alcohol is the problem not you.Although he has a problem,and a million reasons,the bottom line is he turned away from the Lord.And its his choice to destroy you children anything
he can,but this is his problem not yours.You dont have to be in his presents.Yet you can continue to pray for him at a safe distance away!I know money house car kids friends.Alot is tide up.Its satans old trick feel alone trapped bondage.Am I right?no escape mean while nerve after nerve is being torn.Walk away,or
file for devorce fight for house put a restraint order on him theres many things sister.Lord dont want you to go through this.If I had more space and knew more about this I feel the answers near.Your not alone! Ill pray for you,and his problem.God loves you
so does the Church,and all of us! GOD BLESS YOU dont be a bit afraid to talk to me or a local Preist!

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