I confided in his family out of concern--was it the wrong thing to do?

family
alcohol
relationship

#1

Yesterday, my husband got drunk, took his son, and left for the night. I tried to call him, and asked him to come back or to bring his son to his mom’s house if he was going to be drinking, but he refused, and wouldn’t answer my calls. I didn’t know what to do or who to call, so I called his sister (one of my best friends), and confided in her as someone who loves him too. His family has been under the impression that he’s been sober for the past 2 years (he hasn’t), and I haven’t told them up until now out of respect for my husband’s wishes, and trying to give him agency over how he wants to eventually recover.

Now his sister and his parents know (as far as I know no one else in his family knows), and are obviously concerned and want him to be well, but he is PISSED at me. I imagine he’s dealing with all sorts of shame and vulnerability, etc., but basically he’s told me it’s over, and to get out of the house, and never come back (I’m now staying with my mom for the time being)

I know in my heart that I didn’t purposely out him to try to control the situation, or him/his recovery (but obviously that’s what he thinks), and I really just needed some support in the moment and advice from someone that I knew would support and love HIM as much as I could.

Now I’m wondering, was I out of line? I am grieving right now, and I know he’s not himself while he’s under the influence, and that anger is normal and to be expected, but my heart hurts so so much.


#2

The alcoholic being able to keep it a secret is half the power they have over us as their spouses. They know we won’t say anything because it’s embarrassing and we don’t want others to know our sad reality. They don’t want others to know because of their ego.

I think the loneliness of having to deal with this is why you told his family. And he had your son. When it comes to kids and safety, you need to do what’s best.

Just know you did the right thing. And you are lucky he said to leave. Because you can and take that son with you. He needs to focus on himself and you need to focus on you and your son. Can you even imagine having a day where you weren’t consumed with whether he had drank or not? How much more productive your life could be if you didn’t need to always worry about the addictions?
I’m being reflective of my own life too and I did this over Christmas for the first time and it was awful. But it started my husband in aa so it helped, even if it’s going to take time. Take care.


#3

I just saw that it’s his son so I guess that part doesn’t apply, but you were still right to notify his family if his son is a minor.


#4

@Sarah1910 Right. He’s my step-son, but I also have two of my own, and they are with me now. His family now is able to keep in touch with him while I take some time for myself, which makes me feel better about his safety, etc. But honestly, it’s just the worst thing ever and sucks so much. Thank you sharing your story though, I really hope something positive comes out of this whole things too.


#5

Sometimes I think our secrets keep us sick. I think you did the right thing. Kids’ safety comes first. I believe his anger is his addiction talking. You telling his family threatens his addiction. I’ve been there many times with my S/O with telling his mom things. I always find that it’s a fine line between protecting his dignity and protecting myself and not enabling him. I found out this week that one of my S\O’s recent slips was due to his aunt paying him $10 for some side jobs. I was very tempted to tell his mom that this was occurring, but decided against it when he was honest with me about it. This week he did some more jobs for his aunt and she paid him $20. This time he was honest about it and gave it to me. Other times when things get dangerous or he becomes out of control I have no choice but to tell others.

Again, I think You did the right thing. You always have to protect children. You are not alone. A lot of us are dealing with the same kind of stuff every day. I know I sure am. The other thing I try to remind myself when my S/O tells me we are done (which happens every time he drinks): It’s not him talking; it’s always his alcoholism talking. When we stop enabling and keeping secrets, we are a threat to the disease. It (the addiction) will do anything and everything to push those threats away including pushing loved ones away. My S/O has also told me that he doesn’t even think he deserves me when he’s drinking like that, so it’s also a lot about shame and self-esteem. It’s tough in the moment because it feels so lonely to be shunned. I’m trying to remind myself that if and when that happens again, I will focus on myself and living the life I want, with or without him. It’s so tough. :cry: sending good vibes and prayers your way. :pray:t2::heart:


#7

@Blondie I agree. The words they say are very impactful. My S/O becomes very verbally abusive when he drinks. He always pushes me away too. No matter how many times this happens and no matter how many times I read to not engage and that they have no clue what they are saying, it still sucks every damn time. It is tremendous pain. I hate it. And I don’t know why but every slip and relapse is still a shock to my system no matter how many times I go through it with him. My S/O is sober today And has been for almost a week but I feel lately like I’m always waiting for the next ball to drop. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth it. But the 4.5 months he was sober this year was amazing. I try to always remember that with hope that he can do it again.

Let me know if you need anything. :heart:


#6

@Jess thank you. Yes. I try to remind myself of these things all the time. I know that the addiction is threatened and that’s why he is pushing me away. I also know that, drunk or not, his words have impact. I do not deserve to be treated that way, and my kids need a stable environment to live in. This is so hard, but you’re right: all I can do is focus on living my life the way I want, and remember that I can not control his choices, only mine. :heart:


#9

@Jess Wow, yes. The fact is, when he is sober, everything is so peaceful and good. I hope one day we can get to that place permanently, and I also try to remember that each hurdle is making us stronger as a partnership. We’ll see where this takes us, but for now, I will breathe and thank my lucky stars for this amazing community, and that I don’t have to feel so alone. :sparkling_heart:


#8

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a “normal” husband that didn’t have an addiction. Like would I be able to not worry when he says he is going to the hardware store or to the gas station. I just wish that this wasn’t taking over our lives, and our kids lives. I know he is trying, but is that enough? The instability sucks so bad and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies.


#10

@Sarah1910 I think this stuff ALL the time. But I know that I choose him because he is a wonderful person underneath all the shit. Loving someone with an addiction is truly the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. So thankful I have this community and the knowledge that I don’t have to do it alone. Thank you so much for being here. :heart:


#12

@Sarah1910 - I think about this too. And then I remember that there is no “perfect” person out there without their own struggles. Every relationship comes with its own set of ups and downs. Addiction is ours. And we’re getting through it and it’s making us stronger, and I actually see “normal” couples now who aren’t communicating the way my husband and I do, and I’m not jealous at all. I’ve also talked to other women who appear to “have it all” only for them to tell me their husband is an alcoholic. We’re all just trying to work through our relationships with others and ourselves. And even if there was no addiction, I feel like as humans we find something to worry about or get anxious about. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, right?


#11

@Blondie - I’m so sorry to hear about this! How are you today? How are things going for your recovery and his?

I’ve been in the same situation - when my husband was still in active addiction, he didn’t want me to tell his family but I needed to for my own recovery and mental health. At the time, his family was the only support network I had. So I told his sister. I did that for me, because my health and my feelings and my needs matter too. So no, I don’t think you were out of line at all.


#13

@momentsandlight yes. That’s what I said too—I was scared and needed someone safe to confide in, so I did. We’ve had a couple conversations about it since then, and he goes back and forth between being very angry and understanding. I know it’s all part of the process!

Things have been very good since I got back home. My boys and I were gone for a week, during which time he made the decision to quit “for good”—his words. Obviously I’ve heard this before, but this time seems different. He is open about stuff he NEVER would have been before, we’ve been communicating honestly every day, and he still seems just as committed, after 2 weeks, and is even open to different options for extra support. So I am choosing to stay optimistic, and we’ll see where it goes! We agree that we want to stay together, and he says he doesn’t want something as stupid as alcohol to ruin our otherwise wonderful relationship… and I agree.

Send good vibes, we’re doing the thing!


#14

@Sarah1910 @Jess @momentsandlight
I wanted to give you all a little update, because you all helped and encouraged me SO much through this shitty thing. As of today, hubby has stayed sober for 40 days. His longest stretch EVER. He has found an online recovery program he really loves and connects to, and we talk daily about his journey and how grateful we both are for his continued health. Our communication is way up, and we are attending a marriage retreat together soon to really capitalize on the momentum we’re having.

Things are peaceful, and very good right now. Feeling endlessly thankful for this platform, and the courage you’ve all given me. <3


#15

Lovely update @Blondie :slight_smile: Do you mind sharing what online recovery program he’s finding useful? Others might explore it as a resource too.

Also, i wondered if you would let us know - in your view now, do you think it was good you confided in his family? Thanks so much for sharing, it helps us all learn from one another’s experiences.
:heartbeat:


#16

Love reading this, @Blondie. Thank you for the update. :heart:


#17

@Blondie happy to hear this!


#18

@Jane the program is called One Year No Beer, and he’s still really liking it. We’re over 50 days in now and he says he’s still feeling strong :muscle:t3:
Just focusing right now on being grateful for each moment. :heart:


#19

Amazing, thanks for the update and sharing the resource!