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Old 02-01-2012, 09:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How does a Christian wife resolve being with her Alcoholic husband?

Hi, I've been visiting the Friends and Family Forum quite a bit...and I am so appreciative of all the feedback i've been getting on there.
However, sometimes I feel really sad at the lack of success stories. It just seems like most people resolved years of being in tortuous relationship by eventually leaving their spouse.

I have my son to think about, and even my own self. I don't want to grow up and end up being bitter...I don't want my husband to pull the same sort of mental and emotional abuse that he does on me towards my son. I've had a pastor tell me that as long as I was safe, that maybe sticking it out is God's will. I hear where he is coming from and I know about all the verses in the bible about being submissive as a wife...i know what that means in todays context...that my husband also needs to put me first.
But he isn't putting me first.

Anyhow. I just feel a bit lost and was wondering if anyone has any great literature or audio recommendations for Christian women living with an AH, or even just personal experiences. I don't mind posting this in the Friends and Family forum, but wanted to try here first.

Thanks much.
xox
CJ
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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(((CJ))) - I'm so sorry you are going through all this. I adore, love and have known the Pastor of my church for 35 years. However, I don't really know how much HE knows about addiction. I'm an RA, he knows all about my using years, he's seen me get back into church and doing good in general since I got into recovery.

I guess my point is, though I literally trust him with my life? When it comes to addiction or being on the other side of the fence (I also have loved ones who are addicts), I go to those who have experience in that area.

There are a few success stories on SR, but from what I've seen, when things are going well, stuff starts working out again, people seem to get busy with life and stop posting.

I'm sure it seems depressing again - you see story after story of people going through all kinds of things. I've been here a little over 4 years and I've seen incredible strength, over time. Some stay in the relationship, some leave.

I don't know how old your son is, but I can assure you even very young children pick up on the "something is wrong vibe", no matter how well you try to shield them and a child's way of thinking? They think it's their fault.

I am not saying you're wrong if you stay. I'm just saying that your Pastor may not be educated in addiction - a LOT of people aren't. The best thing you can do is take care of you and your son...your husband will do what he will do, but no one deserves mental and emotional abuse.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey,
Thanks for the comfort and encouragement.
I guess I mentioned the pastor as just an extension of what I have been getting out of turning to my bible and what God's word has to say about things. Ultimately I am in a position where I need to make some major decisions, and my husband is against most of my take on things. There is no use talking to him about it either. It doesn't get anywhere. So in general, I just try and avoid him or detach myself from him emotionally. Both techniques have further estranged us from each other.

I also hear what you are saying about how being in this type of relationship will probably make my son think it is his fault. I actually think this feeling is unavoidable whichever way I flip it. If I go with my husband's way, then my son might suffer under his emotional abuse (and so will I)...and if I go with my way, then potentially I am asking for a nasty separation, possibly divorce and he might wonder if it is his fault all the same. I would love to talk to some Christians out there who've been through something similar.

Actually, my dad was unfaithful to my mom when I was younger, but she stuck with him through very difficult circumstances, there was healing in their marriage, and both of them are still together and a very strong married couple. I've never resented my dad for his mistakes, because he was always good to us and loved us, even though his actions caused a lot of pain in my family. So now I am wondering if it is my turn to do the same for my husband...but he's an alcoholic, which is a totally different kettle of fish than my dad. Ugggh! Why can't this just solve itself? I wish this burden was lifted off my shoulders. It's really hard to cope if I sit and make myself care. The only way to handle it so far is to just create distance between us.

Anyhow. Thanks for your advice.
CJ
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I know where your coming from.I ve posted quite a bit of my story and history in this forum.In my first marriage ther was a lot of mutual abuse on both of our parts mental,physical,and emotional.We all want the fairy tale ending"And they all lived happily after".But sometimes the happily ever doesnt mean that we have to be together to achieve this.I dont know of any good books to tell you about all I have is personal experience.People always want to tell you that the bible has many passages about staying together and I believe that we should put forth every effort to stay together.Im a man and Ill tell the truth,that when my first wife divorved me I believe she had every right to do so I was unbearable to live with.Ive tried to reconcile with her since then but she has moved on and wants no kind of relationship with me.We have 5 children together the three youngest ones now live with me.She voluntarily gave custody to me.Its hard but we continue to pray for her.Being in a relationship that is abusive is never good for anyone especially for kids.If the abuse happens with you it will only lead to the same behaviour towards the children.You have to think of your safety and theirs first and foremost.Maybe your leaving will open up his eyes to his behaviour and he will see that what hes been doing has caused this and want to change his behaviour.We cant change people.Dont sacrifice everything that you hold dear to please some one who has no desire to do the same for you and your children.To me ,their happiness and wellbeing are more important than whether he gets what he wants.Dont let his unwillingness to change keep you bound in a bad relationship.Its not your fault nor is it the childrens its his!Paul the apostle said that men should love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself a sacrifice for it.Paul also said that if a wife has a husband that is an unbeliever that she should stay with him,not if he is mentally,and emotionally abusive and a drunkard that cares more for the booze than he does for his wife and babies.Ive been on both sides of the fence the giver and the taker.But I then decided that I didnt want to be either one anymore nor did I want my children to be in the middle.Give children a little more credit to see the truth,mine do they say that their mother doesnt seem to care about them now, that their not responsible for it, and theirs nothing that they can do about it but pray for her to want to be a part of their life someday.If you keep compromising then it will become a life long thing for you.You cant change him and he cant change until hes willing to see that drinking is the problem and quitting is the solution.Sometimes walking away and letting go and letting God do his thing is the only thing we can truly do for them.God has called us to Peace.Ive been divorced twice and am probably not the best one for advice on these matters but I do know this Jesus always stood up for what he thought was right even if NO ONE stood with Him.If you love someone be willing to let them go and if they love you they will return to love you if not then it was never really love.


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Old 02-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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http://www.abundantlifewebsite.com/i...d=64&Itemid=33

He is one of the best on marriage. He was a drunk so he comes from experience.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I dont understand the comment.Or the dig that your giving.Marriage takes commitment from both people.At least Im willing to be honest about my past marriage.Im not perfect nor is any one else.I quit drinking 2yrs ago and quit drugging as well.This forum as I understand it is to share our past experiences and offer hope to others.Yes I was a drunk,and a lot of other things as well but I was willing to admit my wrongs and try to make things better.I didnt think we were to pass judgement or be sarcastic will those that post on this site.What have you been in your life praise seven.Because until you walk in my shoes you have no right to judge me.

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The comment is directly On Topic for the original poster, in reference to the helpfulness of sharing out of one's own ESH* hence the provided link directed to married Christians living with alcholism.
*(Experience, Strength & Hope)
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry for the misunderstanding.


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Old 11-12-2013, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have not read all these posts. I do not believe God expects us to put up with alcoholic spouses. See the following scriptures: 1 cor. 5:9-11. (NLT is the best on this one) Rom. 16
" . . .Mark those that cause division and stay away from them. . . Chapters 14 & 15 talk about unity. There is no more divisive person than a drunk. I do not believe wives are required to submit to any husband who does not even so much as practice the 1st grade life skill of living sober. Their thought processes are wacked OUT and they see life thru a liquor bottle. NO THANKS!!! An exit is the only thing you can do.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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well, for me....

I do not believe that marriage is about finding the right person, but about choosing to be the right person. I do not believe that it is always about making us happy as much as it is about making us holy.

My husband is addicted to heroin. I love him with all of my heart. He was arrested in July, and will be away in prison for two years.

I could divorce him, no contest. My pastor agrees that the Lord would give me grace if I did. I simply do not want to.

There were many nights that D (my AH) would be out using, and I would be left alone, He neglected me, and in no way shape or form loved me the way that Christ loved the church. He did not hit me, or call me names, or abuse me, but he was a thief and lied a LOT.

Every night he caused me pain, however, or I struggled with worry, I spent it in prayer. His sin drew me closer to the Lord. Watching his relapse drew me to Christ.

For me, I don't tend to lean on the Lord as much when things are going well.

I don't need my husband to love me, and nurture me, to make me feel beautiful, wanted or loved. I get all of those things from the Lord. I hope I don't sound offensive to anyone's beliefs, but I have a girlfriend whos husband is also an addict and in prison, and we joke by saying that we are polygamous. You see... Jesus is our first husbands, and our human ones are second. Jesus is the cupcake. My husband is the frosting.

I'm not sure if I make sense, or if I am rambling. It is very hard to explain...

I believe that we can live separately from an addicted spouse if they are not in recovery and still be faithful to our vows. I do not believe that God wants us to enable sin or to endure abuse, but I don't think that just because you kick them out for using means that you should divorce them either.

I really do think that divorce is a word that should not be in the vocabulary of marriage. No matter what.

This is just my ESH. This is how I cope. My husband doesn't need to love me, I don't need to enable him. I don't need hugs and snuggles or phone calls. I just need to love Jesus, love my husband, be the example, and remember when he falls that only the person without sin is given the right to cast the first stone.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lily, that was such a beautiful post! I love the cupcake analogy. You have a precious gift that not many have, hold onto that!

I did go through a divorce, but my ex chose someone else, and I did try to work it out even when my heart didn't want to. I completely agree with the way you feel about marriage.

I pray that God will work a miracle in your husband while he's in prison.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! This is your textbook alcoholic(or addict) and co-dependent enabler relationship. The type substance abuse counselors study in college. Addicts don't stop . . . until THEY are sick and tired of being sick and tired, meanwhile they inflict their DUMB CRAP on the entire world around them. Then, they don't like the situations and harvest THEY CREATE, so, then they try to blame YOU, or . . . whoever is still around. (I believe the term is deflect) If YOU have time to wait around for that crap have at it. A "so called "brother" who lives like that (as a regular lifestyle-not a slip) as a drunkard (you could probably sub the word drug user) believers are instructed not to even eat with". (1 cor. 5)
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily1918 View Post
I believe that we can live separately from an addicted spouse if they are not in recovery and still be faithful to our vows. I do not believe that God wants us to enable sin or to endure abuse, but I don't think that just because you kick them out for using means that you should divorce them either.
I think you must have missed that part, doconnell. No one is saying to put up with the behavior. It's no one else's business if a person decides to wait for their spouse to change while they're separated. All that means is they choose not to see anyone else. Why is that a problem?
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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First off you are doing one thing right to start with. Seek help and seek all you can find. Don't resolve to be with an alcholic husband, resolve to be with a husband that has stopped drinking. Lily said it best when she said, it not said anywhere that you have to be living under the same roof to be married to someone. Pray pray pray for Gods guidance on how to solve your husbands problem. Then act on the nudging that God and the Holy Spirit put in your path. You are not powerless. What does that look like? I don't know but God does and truth be known, I bet you have already been nudged in some direction and failed to act. If God gives you answers he knows better than us. It is scary as hell sometimes but staying where you are is not what God has planned for your life. My mom lived with my alcholic dad for decades enabling him out of love she thought. One day she had had enough and she gave my dad an ultimatum, quit drinking or she was taking us and leaving. She even went so far as to leave him while he quit. This was not a hollow threat and he knew it. She has admitted to me that it was scary but it was also what made him change. They went on to have 10 years of a glorious marriage afterwards. I can't help but wonder what my and my sisters childhood might have been like if mom had if done this years earlier. I am very proud of both mom my dad for what they both did. My decision to quit drinking was made easier because of my dad quitting. I have always been the most proud of him for this single act. He quit and in doing so he taught me how to as well. Granted I made my own mistakes but his decisions years ago made me know I could as well. In closing what I am saying is don't resolve to stay in it but resolve to solve this. Pray then act and in that order. Peace be with you.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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how are things

Good morning Calamity, I was checking back in on a string I posted and while I was here I was pulled back to yours. I have though about you and prayed for you many times since I originally read yours. How are things?
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