How To Rid The Fear Of Living With An Alcoholic Spouse

gazelle jumping

The National Geographic Channel videotaped a heard of gazelle’s in a field. They had caught the attention of a pride of lions off to the side in the bushes. The female lions and cubs walked to one end of the field while the males went to the other.

The gazelle’s heard playful noises from the mothers and cubs. They were afraid and ran towards the male lions. Obviously, not all of them made it out of the field.

It’s okay to be afraid, but just like the gazelle’s, you need to know which direction the fear is taking you.

Understand Your Fear

If you live with an alcoholic you might fear the loss of his job, the effects of his behavior on the children, or his addiction may take his life.

Those are real fears because it’s a possibility they’ll happen.

When consumed with fear you have one of two choices, either you’ll avoid it or have the courage to face it.

If the gazelle’s would’ve had the courage to run towards their fears they would have had a better chance of survival.

Counter Fear with Courage

Courage is doing something in spite of your fear.

Who wouldn’t worry, or be concerned, if their security and personal well-being was threatened? That’s a rational fear.

Accept your fears as real. Let me give you an example. You’re concerned he may lose his job because of his drinking. What can you do to replace his income? When you’ve established an alternative plan your fear will be relieved.

It’s an example of why you need to have a plan for what could happen.

That takes real courage. What are your plans if he does lose his job, or your marriage doesn’t work out, or if you’ll have to plan a funeral?

Courageous people admit they’re afraid, but they rise to the occasion and take action in spite of their fear.

Remember the story of the gazelle’s. Face your fears.

What are some of your fears with an alcoholic husband? How will you handle them? Let us know in the comments.



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Here’s What 16 Other People Thought...

  1. Louise

    This article couldnt come at a better time. Having struggled for two years to ‘help’ my fiance who is an alcoholic and cocaine addict, I have finally realised that I need to walk away for the sake of my son. Sadly all im left with is the fear that something may happen to my ex now im not there to pick up the pieces of his life but I realise that whatever happens I have done my very best. Thank you so much. Your articles have helped me when no other doctor, advise group or websites have.

    • Tom

      Louise,
      I feel your pain. Unfortunately when dealing with alcoholics and addicts there comes a time when loved one’s have to let go. Maybe one day the pain he feels from his drinking/using will exceed the pleasure. Then maybe he’ll get some help. Until then..it good your focusing on what needs to be done for you and your son.

  2. David

    Thanks for the article. While I am currently dependent on my husband, I am working on improving my employement status and my children are all grown and left home so I’m not worried about loss of income if my husband should die or leave. I’ve also made myself more knowledgable about our finances and house repairs. I am very afraid of my husband becoming chronically ill, especially dementia. If he died, that would be bad but at least it would be over and I could move on. If he became sick, he might become violent. Even if he was nice, he’s a pretty big guy and I don’t know how I could manage him if he was physically disabled. I’m also afraid of what the stress is doing to me. What if I die and he ends up sick and alone? He’s an angry person who pushes family away. I hate to think of that. I feel suffocated by a sense of forboding most of the time.

    • Tom

      That’s great that your beginning to take more responsibility for finances, home repairs etc.
      Preparing yourself for what might happen is a good idea…and it can eliminate some of the stress you may have. Regarding the possibility of him getting violent…do you have a safety plan? Knowing who to call…where you’ll go, etc. is also important.

  3. phyllis

    I have been legally separated from my husband for 6 months now. His drinking has continued-he drinks around a fifth of vodka a day.
    He drinks and drives and I worry that he is going to get into an accident and kill someone or himself. I had to legally separate as I do not want to lose everything that I have worked hard for if he gets into an accident–plus it is so hard to watch someone every day destroy their life. I know I need to face the reality that eventually something horrible is going to happen to him if he does not stop drinking. Several years ago his liver enzymes were elevated and I know this is progressive.
    The thought of planning a funeral after being married to this man for 37 years is very hard.
    I feel bad for leaving him as in our wedding vowes it says to care for each other in sickness and in health, but my health is suffering due to his disease. I do attend Al-Anon frequently which has helped a lot.

    • Tom

      Phyllis,
      Thanks for your reply. Your concerns and worries are valid. He’s putting himself in danger…and alcoholics don’t realize how it also affects those who love him. It’s important for you to focus on yourself…and what happens to him because of his drinking…well, it happens. Even though your possibly planning a life without him, don’t give up hope that some day he’ll seek help.

  4. David

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your comments. I have no worries about him being violent now. Just if he gets sick and his mind goes on him. But I guess I could find out who to call about that. That would be my next step in preparation. Then I could make myself a package to go to if the worst happens. That actually makes me feel a bit better. Thanks.

    • Tom

      Glad we could give you a little direction that makes you feel a better. The bottom line is your personal safety and security. If you know of someone who’s familiar with your situation and you could call them…it might be a good idea to have a secret “code word.” When you call and use it…they know to send for help. It appears you’re starting to look out for yourself…that’s great!

  5. my huband stopped drinking for the first 17 yrs but now he started again and can leave for days up to weeks on binges. he makes excellent income but now i think he has lost his job. i have’nt seen him in two weeks now and just hope his is ok. i am trying to bubget with my small income but i am so disgusted that everything we worked for is ruined now-the good credit and the nice life style for our daughter. i understand he is an alcoholic but i also believe he knows what he is doing and that i and my daughter pay the consequences. we have tried AA and counseling but he seems to plan when he can go on a binge. he is very intelligent but when drinking he takes bad risks and endangers his life even. It blow my mind how he can take off drinking and leave us without money while he plays with thousands of dollars. I know that i enable him but i find it so hard to just abandon him. we separated once but it didnot help. i have tried so hard to support him. once on a trip to las vegas-he started drinking and even kicked me and my daughter out of the hotel room so he could continue drinking-we had nowhere to go, 500 miles from home and no money. i managed to get home-my husband won a super jackpot and drank there for wks before he came home penniless. that is how bad he gets but i still tried to help. how can i have the strenght to kick him out now when he comes back this time he will be broke again with no where to go. we live in a rural area without homeless shelters and friend/family cannot help him or do not trust him to help or donot want to deal with it or get involved?????

    • Tom

      Michelle,
      Your pain quite evident in your words. It’s also obvious that you aren’t important in his life. Maybe it’s time to start focusing on your own security and happiness. You have no control over him…but you can start to look out for yourself. If he does show up…it might be a good idea to call the police…since you’ve already done so regarding his disappearance. Your safety and well-being should be your priority right now.

  6. veron

    My alcoholic husband, constantly mocks me and says that I am a phyco woman that need to go back taking my antidepressants, had told me I need anger management and the worst is when is tries to make me feel like an abusive mother. I am broken by these words and have had to quit my job that was the only stabe income for the family. He never sticks to a job and has a bad credit, owes a lot of money to a lot of people. But does nothing about it. I was too blind to realise that he’s an alcoholic when I married him. Now it not just me but my poor baby gurl that has to live with an alcoholic father. I hope she forgives me for the bad choice I made and for dragging her into this mess.

    • Tom

      Alcoholics blame other people…it’s never their fault. His behaviors have apparently caused nothing but chaos in your familly. What do you have to do today to start on your journey of peace and happpiness? Maybe that’s signing up for Free My Addicts Webinar on Tuesday, March 20. That’s a good start. In the meantime…be good to yourself. You can’t change him…but you can focus on yourself.

  7. yesenia

    my fear is that now that i’m living him he might hurt himself he had tried that before and honestly i don’t want to feel responsible for that, he could be very violent towards himself when he feels trap or alone.

    • Tom

      It appears your in a serious situation. Do you have a safety plan if he gets violet. It’s important to have phone numbers…a place to go…etc. Your safety and security should be a priority. And don’t be afraid to call the police even if you think he may get violet.

  8. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

    • FreeMyAddict Coach

      Loren, We would be delighted if you share this with your twitter group. We are glad you appreciate the work we do.

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