Al-Anon Family Group

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Post Info TOPIC: First Post -- Would Very Much Appreciate Feedback (Thank You)


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First Post -- Would Very Much Appreciate Feedback (Thank You)


This is my first time posting here, but I have read many threads and they have been helpful in my journey in navigating life with an alcoholic spouse. I regularly attend Al-Anon meetings and rehab support groups, but I've yet to be able to discuss the below out of the shame and fear that it has caused me. I will try to be as concise as possible in my story, but I want to provide a fair shake to my spouse to I will include as much relevant detail as possible. Ok, here's my story:

My wife is an alcoholic and we have been together for over 5 years and her alcoholism has been an issue throughout the relationship. I encouraged her to get help over the years, but nothing really stuck. We had a child almost two years ago and then rapidly deteriorated as her drinking worsened after having a child. What used to be a somewhat troubling nuisance turned into my wife ruining a lot of family relationships, hospital visits from injuries she sustained while drunk, getting fired from work, and most importantly, putting our infant daughter in harm's way. This has mainly concerned my wife going into our daughter's bedroom in the middle of the night while intoxicated and pulling her out of her crib, taking her down stairs (where she has fallen carrying our child once), actually getting in the crib, etc. These incidences happened probably 15 or so times. Shamefully, I have never called Child Services, etc., as I've tried to deal with it internally.

In November my wife, facing potential divorce, finally agreed to get help and went to an inpatient rehab facility for 30 days. She made great progress there and we were extremely hopeful for her return to the family, but when she returned she quit doing her program and right at about 30 days home, she had a relapse. I was not home for this, but her relapse included getting our infant daughter out of her crib in the middle of the night and carrying her down two sets of stairs into the (finished) basement and passing out on the couch while our daughter was forced to sleep on the basement floor unsupervised. My wife basically has no memory of any of this, but we pieced together what happened based on a phone call she made to a friend from rehab. I was quite upset over this, but I was calm with my wife and wanted to follow our relapse plan. We knew that things weren't working as is and we began discussing her possibly leaving home (maybe to sober living) until she could get her life in order. 

Anyway, 3 or 4 nights after the initial relapse, my wife and I got into a pretty minor argument over her lack of help with our daughter (she broke her promise to help with meal time, bath time, and bedtime with our daughter) and she stormed out of the house and went to a bar. I spent the next two hours begging her not to drink and to come home, but she stayed out until 1 am or so. She got home at 1 am and woke me up and was very verbally abusive to me, which had been a problem for a really long time and something that she had agreed to stop upon leaving rehab. I was calm and patient lying in bed in the dark during all of this, but the verbal abuse continued until about 3 am, at which time I told my wife "if you don't stop verbally abusing me then I am going to record you on my phone so you can see what you've done tomorrow." She kept going on, so I started recording, but again, I was in a pitch black bedroom and she more or less stopped at this point, so I stopped the recording and put down my phone. My wife then asked me to erase the recording, which I complied.

It was at this point that my wife got extremely angry and aggressive and demanded my phone. I explained that nothing was really recorded because she stopped and that I deleted it anyway, so there was no need for her to obtain my phone. She then attacked me while I laid in bed. She got on top of me and wrapped her legs around my neck, more or less choking me. This went on for 20-30 seconds to where I was having a difficult time breathing because I just let her persist since I didn't want to fight back and she then bit me on my shoulder (leaving a giant bite mark), which freed up my phone, which she grabbed and left the bedroom. At this point our infant had been awaken and was screaming in her bedroom because she could hear my wife's commotion. I followed my wife into the hallway, at which time she kicked me square in the groin area and as I kind of knelt over in pain, she punched me in the side of my head with a closed fist.

It was at this point that I decided enough was enough and I called the police to have my wife arrested for assault/domestic violence. Police came to the house, took statements, she gleefully admitted what she had done not even realizing the severity of her actions, and the police arrested her. My infant daughter was either crying in her bedroom during all of this or (for whatever reason) the police allowed my wife to get her and she witnessed the police in our home. As a small aside, this was hardly the first time that my wife had committed an act of violence against, but previously I had never done anything to hold her accountable for her actions. The reason why this was different to me was because my daughter was present for all of this and is at an age now where she understands what's going on and I felt that I needed to make a stand for both my daughter and me that domestic violence will never be tolerated in our home again.

In the proceeding 6-7 weeks since this incident occurred, my wife has been living with her parents and there's been no efforts at reconciliation. I mostly only hear from her with respect to arranging her to see our daughter, but if I do hear from her it's usually her sending me harassing and abusive messages. Basically, she thinks that she's is a victim in all of this and that I have done some horrible thing to her by holding her accountable for her actions (finally). Her family has equally taken her side and has blamed me for everything.

So why I'm here is because in both my mind and my heart, I know that I made the right decision to have her arrested that night. But because of the messages I receive from her and her family, I feel like I'm going crazy and that I'm being gas lit and I'm questioning my whole world.

Should I have handled things differently? Thank you so very much for your time and consideration.


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 787

Welcome to MIP tyt84 and so sorry to read about all the difficulties you and your family are going through.

As far as I can read from your post, the alcoholic in your life is doing what most alcoholics do when cornered.

So it sounds pretty par for the course, especially the gaslighting and getting family and friends to take their

side. Al-Anon teaches us that one cannot cause, cure or control the alcoholic, it is their deal and your deal

is to make the best possible life for you and your daughter and let the alcoholic deal with their own issues

and consequences. Violence should never be tolerated period. Please keep going to Al-Anon meetings,

read the literature everyday (you can find a lot of it on line), keep coming back here and work those 12

Steps. Al-Anon is your best bet to get your best life back!!! {{HUGS}}


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2565

{{{tyt84}}} OMG. Alcoholics rarely can take responsibility for their actions unless a lot of treatment has transpired. I give you A+ in protecting yourself and your daughter because no abuse should be tolerated. I hope that you will keep you and your daughter safe, and continue with as much alanon as you can fit in your schedule. I understand life with an alcoholic as probably everyone on MIP does in one way or another. Keep coming back please. :)



Senior Member

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Posts: 335

tyt84, I just want to welcome you and express how sorry I am that your family is going through this rough time. Glad you have your groups Al-anon and others for support. The only feedback/suggestions I can offer is to keep practicing our slogans First Things First and Keep It Simple. You seem to be practicing healthy boundaries for the sake of all concerned. Maybe your in laws would be interested in attending Al-anon or visiting this site. I wish you the best and I hope you'll keep coming back to read and share if you are finding it helpful for your personal situation. 


Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

Veteran Member

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Posts: 42

In How Al-Anon Works copywrite 1995
page x A Special Word to Anyone Confronted with Violence***, we read 

Al-Anon's gentle process unfolds gradually, over time. But those of us facing violent, potentially life-threatening situations may have to make immediate choices to ensure safety for ourselves and our children. <end of quote>

It continues to tell us that it is not a forever solution. It also suggests making emergency plans for spare car keys and creating a safe place to stay with friends.  

I would add that someday, your wife may get sober.  If she harmed her child, she is going to have a hard time loving herself.   

This is just my opinion folks. 

Nora G 

*** I can't see well enough to put in the copywriter so let's pretend I did and I'll get to it tomorrow 


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2791

Welcome to MIP!
I am so sorry for what brings you here.
I want to commend you for putting the safety of yourself and your child above all else. I can tell from your post that it was the hardest thing for you to do... but it was the right thing to do. Al-Anon is very clear about abusive situations.

You will need to be very strong going forward, so keep up your Al-Anon meetings and use your slogans. Get very familiar with the different forms of gas-lighting, so that you do not get taken in by that.
It was my experience that the family of the addicted one will always believe them until they are directly affected by the addictive behaviors, or themselves get help through Al-Anon.Then their eyes are opened & they begin to understand your side of things. But don't hold your breath for that. Keep yourself and your child safe.

Remember, as the spouse, you are financially responsible for all of your wife's "mistakes" when she drinks, regardless if she is living with you. You might want to consult an attorney, just to keep your nestegg/finances safe from any repercussions, regardless of where the marriage ends up.

It would be smart to get informed on the disease of addiction. It is a progressive disease that affects the entire family. There is hope however, if she decides to avail herself of help - but that would be ENTIRELY up to her. But it is best to go forward with eyes wide open.

One of the best slogans (IMHO) is the, 'You did not CAUSE it, you cannot CONTROL it, and you cannot CURE it - The Three C's, because as loving spouses, we can become overcome with guilt (whether from family members, the addicted loved one, or our own minds).

As usual, this post is my ESH - Experience, Strength, and Hope. Nothing more.
I wish you clarity of mind, and peace for your home,



"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  Mary Oliver



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