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Post Info TOPIC: Does anyone ever stay married to their AH?


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Posts: 2
Does anyone ever stay married to their AH?

My AH relapsed again tonight. Every 3 months like clockwork. Thats kind of doable, but kind of awful. Im not sure I can do this anymore. We have 3 kids. He makes the money. Hes a good man/ dad/ etc. in between the benders. Whats worse for everyone: dealing with a divorce or waiting for/ dealing with the relapses. I have always found a way to be hopeful, but Im not sure I can anymore, or that I want this life.


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 9052

Welcome to MIP Cjm42 - glad you found us and glad that you shared. Alcoholism is a progressive disease that's truly never cured. It can be treated through abstinence and some type of recovery but it's considered a life-long disease as well as a family disease. The latter is because almost all who live with or love an alcoholic are affected. Al-Anon is one recovery method for friends and family members of alcoholics who are affected.

I do encourage you to attend local F2F meetings (Face-to-Face). That's when I found out I was not alone and where I found support from others who really understood what it's like to love an alcoholic. As far as staying/going, I'm still married and others are not. Recovery is a personal journey where we are each allowed to find our path to what gives us peace and joy.

Please keep coming back - you are not alone!


Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 749

Welcome, Cjm42. Glad to see you here.

I would echo what IamHere shared.

Through Al-Anon, I found a way to define, set, and maintain boundaries that worked for me in my marriage. I am still with my alcoholic spouse, who is closing in on three years of recovery. I suspect a few recent relapses, but it really isn't my business and I've let my suspicions go. Bringing the focus on myself and what I am doing, what is and is not acceptable to me, and what I will do if something is not acceptable has made a HUGE difference in my life.

I hope you find a face-to-face meeting to try. I think I've heard to try several so you can find one that is a good fit for you. My face-to-face meetings and MIP were life-changing for me, and I am thankful to others in the Program for walking with me on this journey. I hope that the same will be true for you.

Keep coming back.



If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu

~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 16485

Welcome CJ a fast answer to your question is " a resounding"YES" I remained married to my husband even after numerous slips, because i was attending alanon, accepted the fact that this was a disease, and although a stay at home mom, I was committed to working on myself though this powerful program.

Keep coming back My hubby did finally achieve long lasting sobriety and i am glad I did.




~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3181

Hugs and welcome,

None of this is easy and thankfully no one has to be alone in doing so. That said some people do and some people don't for a myriad of different reasons. It doesn't take away anything from anyone who stays or who goes it's a very personal decision and no one else has to live with the choices/consequences. It's very easy to say stay .. it's very easy to say go .. living it .. a different issue.

I did leave and I am not sorry I did for me it was the right choice because of my kids. I probably needed 500k meetings in order to stay and there was not enough meetings or physical time .. we were both very damaged people by the time I got to alanon. I was not in a place I wanted to wait longer.

Many people do stay and have wonderful lives regardless if the drinker is drinking or not. I hope you find your own answers through the support of alanon and the boards here.

Hugs S :)


"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay

~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 964

Greetings and welcome-I am still with my A spouse. When I found Alanon over 4 years ago, I was in an anxiety/obsessive state of mind about whether to stay or not. What I found out is that I needed to heal and get stronger myself, and there was no pressure to leave or stay. Alanon has helped me so much, detach with love, have better self-esteem, not to be a doormat, etc. I feel stronger and better and able to acknowledge the good parts of my spouse. Recently she has been sober for a number of months, and we go to counseling together and separately with addiction trained counselors. Live is not perfect but we are making progress. One of our slogans is progress not perfection. Keep coming back, Lyne



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 322

Whether you leave or stay Al anon.can be immensely helpful to you 

I would suggest going to online meetings here 

Look up the tools for al.anon. 

Some people do relapse. Nevertheless there are plenty of sober people in.AA.  Many people manage it 

For some it takes multiple tries 

Leaving or staying both are really difficult. 

Don't let yourself get too debilitated 

This is the holidays too and you are dealing with that added stress.  

Learn to detach it takes work 

Keep your expectations low. Expectations is what got me in a lot of trouble. When I adjust them my life improves immeasurably 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 980

Welcome, Cjm42!

You are in the right place to get help for YOU!! You will find we don't give advice -as that is one of the Al-Anon principles - but we DO share our own ESH (Experience, Strength, & Hope) about our lives with our loved one (Qualifier).

My ESH: My first experience with Al-Anon was when my husband went to rehab for meth addiction. Long story short, I came to Al-Anon because there just didn't seem to be much hope in the NA family meetings... and I so wanted to believe that my husband would beat this. He embraced recovery, and I took him back. My son was young, and that was THE deciding factor for me... as our marriage had been one-sided for many years. Within 6 months he dropped all recovery actions... sadly, over time, so did I. Now I know that I should have stayed in Al-Anon... the next 7 years may have been better FOR ME had I done so. 

This time around, it is alcohol (way more debilitating IMHO)... but I am trying to be smarter and work MY program... to the best of my ability. For when I do, I can manage MYSELF around the chaos that is an addicted life.

I had to leave the house for my and my son's safety in August (my AH would not leave). I decided to file for legal separation b/c my AH amped up his drinking, and I had to protect myself from legal ramifications. By being away from the chaos that was my AH, I was able to work this program to the fullest, and found out more about ME! The first one was that I ALLOWED him to walk all over my first boundary... If this happens again and you lose your job and our family has to exist on public assistance, I am OUT! I stayed and stayed, thinking things would be different. Afraid to live with only my income. The second thing (and this took more time working on me - like peeling the layers of an onion) was that I could not live with the constant fear of relapse. FOR ME, the psychological damage was too great, and Al-Anon wasn't doing it for me in that regard. NO matter how much I worked on me, the FACTS were that my husband was/is a selfish and childish man... a life-long liar. The more I learned about alcoholism/addiction, the more I realized that I would not live with that. This is MY "shortcoming," and I am willing to own it. But also that I could not live with a partner who behaved like this, substance abuse or not! I found out that deep down inside, I was always hoping that he would "rise to our marriage" and become someone he just wasn't. THAT, was all on ME! So, my legal separation is now being processed as a divorce.

But like all before have said, it is a very personal decision. Only YOU can decide if you can live that life... but Al-Anon certainly does help you to see that you are not crazy, you DO deserve the very best, and that you have value outside of your qualifier. It also helps you see why you do what you do... very enlightening IMO.

Since you have children, I will say that being as honest as you can (in an age-appropriate way) about this disease is beneficial for them. They "know" way more than you think, yet don't always have the capability of processing their feelings. Seek a counselor, or Al-a-Teen. The first time my son was very confused (he was 10)... not by the disease. b/c I was open about that, but the emotional roller-coaster that is life with addiction. He became a different, much happier person the moment we moved out... no joke! All along I thought that I was doing a great job at covering up... that he was doing OK with living with this family disease.

My heart goes out to you, and I will add you to my prayers! Stay strong!



Music makes my soul soar!

"The TRUTH is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself." St. Augustine

~~If nothing ever changed, there would be no BUTTERFLIES~~ anonymous

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