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Old 11-23-2010, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Infidelity and Alcohol?

Will someone please help me understand whether or not infidelity can be blamed on alcohol?

My husband is an alcoholic. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until August, when I found he'd been having a 2-year affair with my grandchild's mother and had spent thousands of dollars on hotels and prostitutes. Along with this, I learned he'd been hiding vodka all over the house. I'd see him drink a couple of beers each night and over the weekends, and assumed his constant sleep and not eating were products of cancer/surgery he had three years ago, after which everything changed.

After the discovery, he quit drinking, is extremely remorseful and patient with what I'm going through, is seeing a counselor, has been going to a weekly AA meeting and got a sponsor. I know that's all good, but I am having a horrible time reconciling his vile infidelity to alcohol, which is what he blames for his behavior. He wasn't so drunk that he was unable to find and arrange for prostitutes on Craig's List. He wasn't so drunk that he couldn't plan vacation days from work to hook up with my grandchild's mother. He spent the last two years being sexually distant from me, but he remained affectionate and considerate as he has always been. I had NO clue, and am terrified that I could have been so unaware.

We are separated right now and I am trying to work through this. I can handle alcoholism; I can't handle a husband who could so artfully carry on such gross infidelity for two years.

I feel that I'm the only one wrestling with this, but my head tells me I can't be the only one. What I read tells me that when an alcoholic is drinking their inhibitions erode and they act on whatever is available- including sex. However, this has been two years of day-after-day cheating.

Can someone shed some insight, please?
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't believe an infidelity can be blamed on alcohol if it lasts for two years. While alcohol can loosen inhibitions and they may give into a one-night-stand situation, the fact that he carried on full fledged affair for two years kind of shoots the alcohol excuse in the butt.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Suki.

I was cheated on too. It hurts. The pain lasts a while. The only way that I dealt with the pain was to live it, walk through it and eventually it lessens.

Some people are programed differently. Cheating is part of their make up or at least they bend enough boundaries to where they are able to justify pretty much anything they want.

If you are at an odds with his behavior, then maybe you look into what you want in your life. You have the power and ability to have the life you want with or without this man.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR 3!

I also agree with Suki and MissFixit. I was married to a cheating, lying AH. My next relationship was with my now exADFH (ex alcoholic defacto). He couldn't stand cheating. He was always very loyal and I valued that in him so much. The first A would blame me for everything and I never knew where he went when he did his 'disappearing act' or who he was with. In his current relationship, he recently, took off for a week, screwed someone I know, came back and lied to his partner saying that he went to a club, and someone must have drugged him because he can't remember much about what happened next except that he may have had sex with someone, but can't really remember if he did or not due to the tranquilisers that were dropped in his drink!...he's such a compulsive liar.

Hypothetically, if the second one had ended up having sex with someone in a drunken state, I know he would have admitted it, wouldn't have blamed the alcohol, would have felt terrible about it and probably wouldn't have forgiven himself. He would never have had an affair. All in all, two alcoholics with two different personalities and two differing sets of values.

As they say in AA, alcoholism is a three-fold disease. It's physical, emotional and spiritual. If your AH only removes the alcohol and doesn't address the emotional and spiritual part of the dis-ease, his character defects will remain and this will show up in his behaviour and actions. While you're giving yourself the time to process the situation and feelings, keep sharing and reading here. There's a lot of support and experience on these boards. I know it's helped me. You may also find Al-Anon meetings helpful too. All the best 3.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Many of us on SR have experienced our Alcoholic partners/husbands having affairs, including myself. Alcohol seems to go hand in hand with lots of other 'nice' traits.

My AH of 22 years, more noticeably when he is drinking, is completely unreasonable and irrational. When I have caught him surfing for porn or smoking without my knowledge and hiding it, he always has an answer for it, he never accepts responsibility and its always someone else who is to blame.

When I discovered that my AH was having an internet affair that had been going on for over a year and had been getting quite serious, he stopped it dead. He told me he loved me, agreed to go to counseling and the minute I found out, he cut off all contact with her and threw out all of the 'gifts' he had received from her.

These are actions, what many talk about on here. Sometimes words are not enough and its their actions, what they do, that affirm their true intentions.

Incidentally, I had a very close friend who found out her husband was having a sexual affair around the same time, but her husband wouldn't stop seeing the other woman, wanted his cake and eat it and made it impossible for her to stay in the marriage.

It sounds like your AH is following through with actions and that is a positive - but at the end of the day, its about you and what you can put behind you and live with. My feeling is that you may be better separating the alcohol from the infidelity. It is what it is - infidelity and its all too easy to blame on the alcohol IMO (again no responsibility taken here).

My AH affair hadn't become sexual (other that written) and because of his prompt actions in stopping it dead in its tracks, I was able, with the help of counseling, to put it behind us and move on and the trust in that area has been built back up too (that was a slow process).

Take your time, especially as you are now separated, attend counseling and you will eventually know whether it is something that you can put behind you or whether you cant. You can also use this time to make sure AH continues to follow through with his actions, remaining in sobriety.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't say that a two year affair can be blamed on alcohol. When I was still drinking I cheated on my wife. We were living separately at the time and getting a divorce for financial and legal reasons. We were still romanticaly involved at the time also. Being the alcoholic I was my thinking was warped and twisted. I thought my wife was stringing me along until the divorce was finalized, I now know that wasn't true. I've always had low self esteem and poor confidence and the thought of being strung along was no help, but like I said I wasn't being strung along, my mind was only telling me so. What I was doing to make myself feel better was going out to the bars and flirting with other women. I honestly had no desire to be with other women, I loved my wife and still do. I just really wanted to feel desirable in the eyes of women so that I can make myself feel better about myself. I didn't actually carry on an affair or have any one night stands, but I was just as guilty. I wasn't being emotionally, mentally, and in a sense physically faithful. I eventually got caught, I was a blackout drinker and the night I got caught my wifes friends were at the bar. Apparently the girl I was dancing and flirting with was kissing on my neck and grabbing my nether regions. I can neither deny or confirm this as i was in a blackout, but I can't imagine my wifes friends would make it up. In my situation I can attribute my behaviors on the alcohol, because when sober I would never have done such things. I love my wife and don't want to ever be with any other woman, ever. We are now completely separated, have no romantic relationship and I miss her. It's a double edge sword for me, half of me regrets what I've done because I'm no longer involved with my wife. The other half doesn't because that led to my rock bottom as I immersed myself deeper into drinking and using. Though I'm not with my wife which still hurts me because i still love her very much, I'm sober and trying to still get back on my feet. I may or may not be able to ever be a husband to my wife as I don't know what will happen in the future (our divorce is still not finalized), but at least now my kids have a chance of having a decent father in their lives. Had i continued on the path I was going all bets would have been off. I walked into AA very suicidal, and AA saved my life. I'm still somewhat of an emotional wreck, but im sober and I know this will pass. I just have to be patient and vigilant.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It cannot...

...nor can anything else. It's just another in a long list of inappropriate behavior they get to explain away with "I was drunk," because people like us continue to accept it.

I've said before and I'll say again, I drink sometimes and I've been drunk a few times over the years. I've had opportunities to cheat on my alcoholic wife and I've never done it. Not only that, but being under the influence is not an excuse for ANYTHING I have ever done, and I've done plenty of stupid things; far more than my share (and I did most of them sober).

It's a bullshi* excuse. They all are. They are separate issues-- completely separate issues.

Be strong, go to Al-Anon a lot, and never forget you aren't on this earth to be miserable, forfiet your life to an alcoholic, or save grown-a$$ men from their alcoholism.

Take care,

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's a bullshi* excuse. They all are. They are separate issues-- completely separate issues.
Agreed. A cheater is just that....a cheater.

Alcohol is not a 'get out of jail free' card for cheating.

He may be attending AA, but he's not even close to taking responsibility for his actions.

Quote:
He wasn't so drunk that he was unable to find and arrange for prostitutes on Craig's List. He wasn't so drunk that he couldn't plan vacation days from work to hook up with my grandchild's mother.
He's a cheater, end of story.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My wife is very good at faking the "actions"

...and 8-ball is correct that the words are completely meaningless. Completely. However, actions are easily faked too, especially when the person you are wanting to fool also wants to be fooled.

I wanted to be fooled and I was able to make it happen because her actions were the right ones. For me, I need to see those actions consistantly repeated over a very long period.

Know thyself and, if you want to be fooled, be extra vigilant with yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight Ball View Post
Many of us on SR have experienced our Alcoholic partners/husbands having affairs, including myself. Alcohol seems to go hand in hand with lots of other 'nice' traits.

My AH of 22 years, more noticeably when he is drinking, is completely unreasonable and irrational. When I have caught him surfing for porn or smoking without my knowledge and hiding it, he always has an answer for it, he never accepts responsibility and its always someone else who is to blame.

When I discovered that my AH was having an internet affair that had been going on for over a year and had been getting quite serious, he stopped it dead. He told me he loved me, agreed to go to counseling and the minute I found out, he cut off all contact with her and threw out all of the 'gifts' he had received from her.

These are actions, what many talk about on here. Sometimes words are not enough and its their actions, what they do, that affirm their true intentions.

Incidentally, I had a very close friend who found out her husband was having a sexual affair around the same time, but her husband wouldn't stop seeing the other woman, wanted his cake and eat it and made it impossible for her to stay in the marriage.

It sounds like your AH is following through with actions and that is a positive - but at the end of the day, its about you and what you can put behind you and live with. My feeling is that you may be better separating the alcohol from the infidelity. It is what it is - infidelity and its all too easy to blame on the alcohol IMO (again no responsibility taken here).

My AH affair hadn't become sexual (other that written) and because of his prompt actions in stopping it dead in its tracks, I was able, with the help of counseling, to put it behind us and move on and the trust in that area has been built back up too (that was a slow process).

Take your time, especially as you are now separated, attend counseling and you will eventually know whether it is something that you can put behind you or whether you cant. You can also use this time to make sure AH continues to follow through with his actions, remaining in sobriety.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's a bullshi* excuse. They all are. They are separate issues-- completely separate issues.
Totally agreed. I've been ridiculously drunk and had sexual encounters I never would not have had sober....yet I never once cheated on anyone or was even tempted.

My xah was an alcoholic for many years and never once cheated on me that I know of.

Cheating and alcoholism are different deals even though some people are both cheaters and alcoholics.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd like to add that I don't blame my flirting completely on the alcohol. It was my choice to drink and my choice to go to the bars knowing that when I drink I go into blackout. The part I blame on the alcohol is that had I quit drinking when my wife told me I had a problem, none of this would have happened.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My A had many girls and lovers. He lied and lied. He said it was all part of his addiction yapestry, he claims that now that he is in recovery, that tapestry cannot be held together...We shall see....
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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tapestry, LOL... but with the way he lied, it may as well have been called a yapestry
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I call that the best dang typo ever!
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a minute free to expound.
I lived through years of cheating, lying and infidelity.
I share a child with my A, and there were many periods of time that I deemed him inappropriate to be around the child. It was during these times that he started up with other girls, he says it was out of need for a place to stay, for booze, or for an accepting drinking partner, but...over time, when I would allow him back, it was almost as if the infidelity had taken on a life of its own. There were times when things were going well between us, he would be working, or being decent, and sometimes these women just would not cease no matter what he told them...I later found out that he was telling them more than just "leave me alone"...He would later see them when he was drunk, and he would tell them his hand was forced in ending it, that he was victimized by me....

Its all pretty hard to blame on just alcohol, after all, I drank a lot, lived on the road in a high profile entertainment world, and I never did any of that. I am not a man, but...There are men I worked with who never did it either, and many of them had bad alcohol issues.

It just does not make sense to blame it all on the booze. He planned this stuff, and he followed through..He was definitely not drunk all the while. There is a compulsion and a pathology to it, and it may have caused him to start doing it, but he continued. And continued, and paid for it, and sought it out.

All you can do is watch him with your eyes wide open, and do not be afraid to ask for proof of his honesty. I never felt bad about snooping into an email account or a phone, because I ALWAYS found something that justified my suspicions.

Things are normal now, for us in the other women department. He made clear and clean breaks with any loose end types, and he made sure to impress on them that it is his choice, that he is not in need of being rescued....

I feel safe for now, but, I cant help but wonder, what if he meets a girl at an AA meeting who is just, well...willing? That seems like all it ever took for him when he was loaded, a willing person.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's a bullshi* excuse. They all are. They are separate issues-- completely separate issues.
Yep. Completely agreed. Just as the anger management and the controlling behavior and whathaveyou.

Quitting drinking is just the first step to dealing with these behaviors. My AH can't understand why I won't come back to him now that he's quit drinking. Um, because that only means you're now a non-drunk person with a whole list of unacceptable behaviors?
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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"I can handle alcoholism;"

I must ask, how do you handle it?

Can't add anything to the others, I agree with their comments.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have never been cheated on. . .well sort of.


I don't want to minimize the hurt, the pain & the betrayal partners must feel when they have been cheated on with another human being. When my RAH was actively drinking & smoking pot (daily), I felt cheated on, betrayed, & hurt everyday! When he chose alcohol & pot over me? Our child? As much as it pained me & damaged our relationship/our family, he contined (I would tell myself). For me, his drinking & smoking pot were betrayals. When he would say, "You act like I'm out with other women cheating on you. It's only two beers." Or "it's just pot." In the midst of our insanity, I remember telling him I would actually prefer he cheated with someone than Budweiser & MaryJane. I had become so cold, withdrawn, angry, & emotionally/physically exhausted that I think when my RAH was in the throws of his addiction (before I left --we are separated--), I would have been relieved if there was another woman. The addiction was rampaging us all! My mind had become/ was as warped as my AH's: Arguably, my mind was actually more warped. I didn't have alcohol or pot in my bloodstream to blame!Of course, since he has been in recovery and I have been working on myself as well (that we've both stepped out of the insane situation), there is more clarity. No, I don't want him to be with anyone else.

I do think people can have multiple addictions. That's why "recovery" is important, not just "sobriety" from one's drug of choice (be it alcohol, prescription drugs, gambling, sex, etc.) . People can transfer their addictions. I would say the same for us codies (i. e. our "addiction" to our A's can be tranferred or acted out in other destructive ways if we aren't working on ourselves rigorously).

As for infidelity, for some, it may be part of multiple addictions.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
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My RABF did some horrible things to me when he was high...sometimes I wonder why I even still talk to him (working on those motives in recovery), but he never once cheated, and always has been adamant about not being a cheater. I know I wouldn't be around today if he had.

Addiction is no excuse for ANY nasty behavior, but cheating is kind of the ultimate wrong IMO. I personally can stick by someone who has not treated me the way I deserved to be treated in the past due to addiction, only if that person makes a 100% effort to make amends to me and heal themselves/change such behavior, but cheating is my limit. I could never forgive that! Guess it comes down to individual limits and tendencies on both ends...
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