The Enabler

The enabler is “the rescuer” of the addicted person.  As long as the problem is continually swept under the rug, the addiction will continue to progress.  No one believes or comes to grips that there is a problem! Denying the problem runs rampant in homes where addiction is fed.  The longer the addict continues to use, the worse it is for everyone involved.

What happens to the person who is controlled by addiction?  Many things take place, some of the things that control the addict are not always apparent to anyone else.  These are only a FEW:

  • Emotional imbalance – mentally and spiritually.  But what isn’t apparent about addiction is actually the most important element of who a person really is.  The lack of spiritual realism.  They deny the Holy Spirit to intervene within the framework of who they are.  As long as the addicted person continues by themselves,  they will remain a slave to their addiction.  Unfortunately, it usually takes something very drastic and horrific to happen to the addict before they actually give up their addiction and ask God for forgiveness and help.  This is called the “end of the addicts ropes”, or “bottom out effect.”
  • Decline of health. 
  • On the outside, many addicts look like everyone else.  They go to church, acknowledge God, raise families and have careers or own businesses.  But through all of this, they still lack the spiritual maturity and godly wisdom to realize the impact, and the consequences of their addiction.  These things aren’t ‘t important to the addict.  For the addict just being able to continue on with their lives without anyone realizing they have a problem gives the addict more justification and credibility for remaining in their addiction.  They themselves remain in denial, talking them selves out of having a problem.  They must bottom out! The setback with that is, the enabler keeps rescuing the addict’s behavior and so they never bottom out!

The addict, one way or another, must come to grips with thier REAL source of who they are and the potential of their existence. But if the addict is in denial, this is going to be difficult. The addict is usually a selfish and arrogant individual who hasn’t come to grips with who they are.  So how can they know, understand, accept, and believe in their creator for guidance?

Enablers can do something to help the addict, but they’re afraid that it will somehow change the addict, or that the addict won’t love them anymore.  In essence, the enabler needs to get help first, so they can then help the addict.

The three main (not all) reasons the enabler keeps saving the addict and why the addict can’t stop using:

  1. Fear – panic, trepidation, apprehension, terror, afraid of the unknown, etc
  2. Denial – mentally refuse to believe, and emotionally refute
  3. Spiritual loss – proud, haughty, unbeliever, rebellious, arrogant, self-righteous

The addiction takes hold of the mind with such force the addict is afraid to even think of living without the addiction. Addicts try to stop, but their bodies and mind tell them they can’t. They are filled with fear and terror at the thought of not getting their next fix, afraid they will not be able to cope in life.

But this just isn’t so!


33 responses to “The Enabler

  • lisaandrea3200

    Hi Alli,

    I stumbled across your journal googling this topic. I am encouraged by your blog and was hoping for advice and a question for you.. Did you want me to just ask you on here or do you have an email? Look forward to hearing from you..

    In Him,

  • Carol

    Good evening Alli. I am also the wife of an alcoholic. I don’t even know what to say….. I just feel broken tonight. I just discovered your blog and I hope to glean wisdom from you and the people who write in. I am tired of coming home each day to someone who can’t even carry on a conversation. I fear for his health, am angry, am sad, am lonely. I fear he will hurt someone or himself while driving. He’s such a sweetheart and a good, good man. Alcohol is ruining him. I feel such an urgency to confront him because it’s getting worse. He isn’t one to complain, so he holds his worries inside. I believe this is where it all started. I believe his worries are getting the best of him, yet he won’t share them with me. Please pray for us. Pray I will be able to confront in God’s timing, and not act on my own. I don’t want to continue to be an enabler. Please also pray that he will listen to me, or to someone. In the past I have nagged about his drinking and now I know that was the wrong thing to do. I would appreciate any comments you may have.
    Thank you….

    • wivesforchrist

      Hi Carol!
      It is such a crazy world to be in when dealing with someone who has an addiction! I relate to EVERYTHING you just wrote…..been there. The advice I would give is….boundaries!!
      You may come to these boundaries on your own, or through the help of someone, group or organization. Know what you will tolerate, and what you won’t. And know that it’s okay!! But stay firm on what these are…..which is NOT easy all of the time. Sometimes it may be, sometimes you may find yourself back in the same position of enabling, but in the end – staying true to what the boundaries are let’s him know you mean business.
      In my case, it did come to a crossroads where eventually “he” had to make a choice. One in which I forced and he responded. I know this is not the case for everyone. But like I mentioned within my posts… had taken “Years” to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I was fighting for a good man (like you see in yours) and I know I was fighting against something that was not of him. We named it “The Beast”. Your husband is not your enemy! The addiction is!
      What I do truly believe is they REALLY don’t want to be this person the chemical makes them become. It is an escape. Like you mentioned – maybe from worries.
      I hope this helps. And I am here to chat anytime! Even if it is just to vent:)

      • christine

        I have the same problem my husband denys his has problem with drink I have tried not to enable it means I almost live a separate life I’ve made excuses before for why he is not with me but recently have started to tell the truth to family and friends who are praying I had to confront my husband a few times just recently because after 7 years of great pain my mother dying of cancer then six months later I had breast cancer and in remission my father is about to die from alzihemers the family is always fighting and I have to arrange the funeral I battle with my own guilt as I just want to be released from being my dads carer so I can give attention to this problem
        I confess that I am afraid but have confronted him reminding him his diabetic and who’s going to look after him if he gets ill I’m tired and burnt out from all the stress over the last years he is in control of the finances and its true to say I am afraid of the unknown I have no where else to go neither of us could especially me afford to go anywhere and I feel trapped in having to see this through to the bitter end I do believe god is with me but feel so alone at times I believe I am a child of god and have gone and stayed in a hotel a couple of times he phoned me there and said he was sorry cone back but has done nothing to help him self I have lost respect for him but still ask the holy spirit to give me grace for each day I really wonder if I had the money to go I would I am concerned about how much stress I can take and don’t want the cancer to return its ok to be understanding that his kind and not abusive but my patience is running out I’ve tried all ways to challenge this and as the lady said its no good just nagging it burns you out I am screaming out for help to god but I have no money to move away im tired of begging him to understand and even telling him I feel unsafe is doing nothing I do my best to not become over anxious myself again I feel trapped I do believe Jesus loves me but I cant see any hope for the future unless he gets help I didn’t realise he was an alcoholic when I married him 10 years ago because his a binge drinker and therefore has convinced himself he can stop I thought so too with dads death pending he just escapes through computer tv sports and has buying sprees too he says he has to have something happy to look forward to
        I find myself blaming myself that if I hadn’t had to look after mother father and my cancer he might have stopped and he uses my problems of being anxious as an excuse for his behaviour in my mind that there’s hope that god says he knows everything that’s going on and he is with me and not to be afraid or dismayed as he will help me through as he has done so in the past but there are moments I confess financially I don’t know how I would survive if it meant Me going I know there’s no easy solution to this but ask if you would pray for me the thought that his got to come to son horrible end if he stays in denial of course scares me I don’t have the energy after operations to care for him if it happens the only hope I have is that god knows all things and cares for me and my husband I find it so hard not to be anxious or have any respect for him thank you for listening help me lord I cry

      • wivesforchrist

        Hi Christine!
        Thank you so much for being so honest and transparent! This is how we expose lies and continue to fight this battle!
        How are you doing?
        I will continue to pray for you and your husband!

      • Carol

        Hi Alli
        I came across an email of the replies from your blog, from May, 2014. I had written a reply to you on Alcoholism in Marriage, expressing my sadness, loneliness, and anger. I had completely forgotten that I wrote to you and it was an eye opener to see that I am in the same place in one way, and a different place in another. You were right… I needed boundaries. I have SOME boundaries now, but they are not boundaries to control him. They are boundaries for what I allow to control me. I always thought that to make a boundary meant bossing someone around and telling them how it was going to be. But it was not that. I have been in Christian counseling for 3 years as well and she has helped me see the many facets of how this awful thing called alcoholism has effected me. In November 2014 we had the most heated argument we had ever had. I was at my most pathetic codependent enabling state. I remember it like it was yesterday. And, that day I decided I would not fight about his drinking again. This is his choice. I would go on about my life and love him and interact with him while he is sober. It is not my job to change him, it is God’s job.
        His grown son has been an addict and alcoholic for 30 years and he just recently received help and gave his life over to the Lord. My husband became a Christian as a teenager and has never matured in the Lord…. but honestly I see God working things out in his life and drawing him. His childhood was so terrible and he was singled out many times by the wrath of his father. I’m excited to see what God is doing in our life 3 years later. Learning to love him in spite of his disease is a challenge, but I am sure there is a plan. He has no power to resist alcohol on his own. Please pray that God shows His power to my husband and he is free of this. Continue on doing the work you do, sharing and caring and listening to others. God bless you Alli !!!!

  • linolson1

    just stumbled across your blog my husband and I are a mess right now thanks so much with your blog. Have been married for about ten years my husband was actually sober for 4 years. Then the past 6 on and off. He has an addiction to Vicodin and started doing crack. Never would I ever would I think I would be associated with someone using that stuff let alone my husband. I was at my witts and was ready for separation. He is in a recovery center now for 2 weeks and will go into another facility for 28 days. I feel like I have lost my self I have gained weight depressed. I take it out on my kids and losing my temper. When we started church we agreed to break generational sin I feel like we are failing.I feel like there is some hope for our marriage with all the recovery time he is doing he sounds really. Just helps to know I am not alone.

    • wivesforchrist

      I’m glad you have found a place here where you are not alone!! I have some experience with my husband and Vicodin. Fortunately he has not escalated to crack. But it’s encouraging to see your husband is in a recovery center. Keep praying. And remember….God never wastes a hurt!

  • margaret

    it would be nice if there someone can have some suggestions for the enabler. Most often for the wives or family member. I live with an alcoholic and i know i am an enabler. I am as afraid of the unknown. I am confused about leaving him. i am confused about how he his reaction would be to that. he is nice man controlled by alcohol. As a christian wife where is the line? i can stop tallking to him, taking care of him, ignoring him. it does not last long and the cycle repeats itself.

    • wivesforchrist

      The enabler – been there too! For many years I rode the same roller coaster with him. Drinking, not drinking, thinking that if I stopped he would, if I did with him I could control it more, the list could go on and on. I would also take the blame for his drinking and drinking more. It’s a terrible trap to be in!
      I stopped enabling when I put up boundaries and committed to sticking to them. NOT EASY! You receive more harsh remarks, judgments, isolation, and loneliness than when you enabled. Kind of weird isn’t it!!?? But……when you go against the grain, when you do what the devil doesn’t want you to do – the harder battle begins.
      When my husband went through treatment – there was (and still is) a target on his back. The target is Satan trying to pin him. When we don’t go against the grain – Satan leaves us alone. Doesn’t need to stir the pot.
      The cycle unfortunately will continue to repeat itself, unless change happens. That point is different for everyone. Sometimes it is voluntary and sometimes it is forced.

  • newlease13

    …. Just “thanks” . Although I know my Hope is my Creator, Father, and my Healer, there are just some days I feel it is hopeless. I don’t wish this for anyone, however, finding like minded and hearted people can lighten the load.

    Be well,

    • wivesforchrist

      This is the exact reason I started this blog. I felt so alone. Like I was the only one who was a Christian wife dealing with these strongholds. Everywhere I went on the web were individuals who were bashing their spouse, venting in ways I felt were not what I wanted to hear.
      Granted……we do have A LOT to vent about! But I wanted it from a different perspective. One in which God was at the helm. Doesn’t mean we don’t go through icky stuff, it just means I have someone bigger than me to go to:)

  • Kchtos

    I’m a wife of an alcoholic but we have been separated for a few months. Both of us are Christians. We don’t believe in divorce. Although originally when I separated my intent was to divorce. The Lord caught up to me and I surrendered myself and my marriage to the Lord completely, since then I have prayed like never before and I have decided to abide by his laws and commandments. My faith was low compared to the new feeling inside of me today. Originally I enabled him, I had many angry outbursts from the problems his alcoholism were bringing to the marriage and our children and many of those angry outbursts he says only lead him to more drinking which may be true. Many times I went to the bars and friends houses where he was at to scream at him. There were many sad instances in which I did not angrily reacted to him and they still resulted in negative consequences. He’s had 3 DWIs. He has not stopped drinking since We separated. He has asked to come back home. I have been standing up to a firm no. My response has been a loving: The Lord will soon bring us together again when it’s time. I have not slept with him but I have in a loving sense maintained a relationship in which we go to church together, we go out to eat, we go to movies or just watched a movie home or played with our children outside. I really don’t want my children to resent his absence. My boy is 8yrs and my baby is 8 months. He recognizes his addiction, and he says that only God will help him overcome it. He has told me he has noticed a big change in my behavior, especially the fact I’m not angry all the time as I used to, even when I discover he has been drinking. My concern is I don’t know how long to continue with this, like I said he continues to drink. We do not want to divorce, nor live separated the rest of our lives. He is not going to accept help other than just continuing to attend church. He also accepted to do bible study together. I do believe God has touched me and brought me closer in faith to him than ever before I do feel more secure, less worried and more happy….but there has been times I feel I am really going nowhere. My husband says there’s many consequences of being separated and he is concerned that there may be more hurt to the relationship the way we are currently holding it. do you have any advice?

    • wivesforchrist

      (Originally I enabled him, I had many angry outbursts from the problems his alcoholism were bringing to the marriage and our children and many of those angry outbursts he says only lead him to more drinking which may be true.)
      Please do NOT blame yourself for his decisions! He ultimately is responsible for his own behavior. That would be like saying because he wasn’t there for you emotionally, you sought an emotional connection with another male and it was your husbands fault. Not so!
      Do our actions sometimes infuriate them? Oh yeah! But so do their actions. In no way am I saying 2 wrongs make a right. But I am saying each individual is responsible for their own actions.
      In my situation, God was the MOST important aspect. I wouldn’t have been able to be strong enough. And my husband could not lean on his own understanding or strength. However, our situation needed more. He needed help in achieving the end result. It took an absolute fall flat on his back realization for this to happen. And me being very strong in my boundaries to see it through. It takes a very humble and pride less man to come to such a conclusion. Usually, they think they can control or fix it. That’s the DNA of a male.
      When you are with him lately, do you ever drink? That is an important part of the wives not being an enabler. The way I looked at it was……what if my husband had lung cancer from smoking? This is an illness. How fair would it be of me to continue to smoke around him? And it would probably be recommended to stay away from places where there was smoke. I see alcoholism in the same manner.
      Yes…..I do avoid places or situations in which there is alcohol. It has changed many aspects of our lives. Some are extremely hard. But at the end of the day, and especially waking the next morning……it’s all worth it!

  • Kchtos

    No. I don’t drink at all not even socially. I was not reading my bible lately and I was missing church a lot until the day I decided to leave him. I expected he would some day hit rock bottom, I’m embarrassed to say many times I wished him bad because I came to realize that’s what would change his attitude. That’s when I stopped rescuing him and stopped being an enabler. But then magically no more negative consequences to his drinking occurred other than random little fights between us. When I looked at my newborn 3 days after his birth and found myself home alone and he was with friends drinking it was me who hit rock bottom. A few days later I burst into tears and ask god for his forgiveness because I couldn’t and wasn’t going to stay with my husband anymore. I cried God for his help and my decision to divorce my husband. My heart didnt want to let go, I decided to separate but even though he can’t hurt me because I’m not there to see him get drunk, being lonely and having just part of him occasionally is heartbreaking too. I sometimes think about going back but I’m afraid of going back to the same issues. I haven’t found him reliable. My faith has grown. I have found something in God that has helped me remain strong. In the past the most we would remain separated we’re 3 days. It’s been many now. I get scared to think one day I will stop loving him or he will stop loving me. I’m afraid he will never give up his drinking and this way of leaving will become acceptable when I know very well it’s not. I know divorce is neither an option. I’m waiting on God.

  • TMH

    It has taken me years to be able to admit this to myself let a lone anyone else, but I am married to an alcoholic. He is a very smart, strong and hard working man who loves me so much but his drinking has been a source of contention between us for most of our marriage. He has trouble sleeping (ever since he was a child) and he sees alcohol as the only way to get some rest. He tried some medications in the past but he is worried about becoming addicted to them and is afraid that he would kill himself by accident using them.
    He has made some changes over the years, he knows to stay away from whiskey because it makes him really angry, that was tough learning curve for us, but he drinks every night just beer.
    We have two little boys and as they are getting older I worry about what they are seeing and observing as “normal” male behavior.
    I know I have enabled him. I used to confront him about his drinking but it ended with such horrible fights that I stopped. I just accept it. Even though he is dealing with a DUI now and taking alcohol classes he hasn’t hit rock bottom. He also smokes marijuana now to help him calm down. Honestly I prefer that he smokes over the fact that he drinks. The mmj makes him silly, happy and kind. THe alcohol makes him testy, loud, unkind, confrontational.
    I feel very lonely. I never envisioned my life to look like this. We met at bible school. He provides well for us so I have nothing to complain about there, and he makes sure to point that out to me often. I don’t believe in divorce although it is something I have thought about a lot. I have left him a couple of times (once for 4 days, once for just 1 day) and he told me that he was on the verge of suicide when I did. I believe him too. He feels unloved even though I try so hard to show him that I love him. I do not hold back in the bedroom, I arrange date nights, take care of his needs. He blames his issues on his mother who verbally abused him his whole life and kicked his dad out of the house when he was 10. I am desperate for some hope. I am praying all the time, I am seeking GOd’s will in all of this but feel so isolated and horrible for having these problems. No one around me can relate or understand what our life here is really like.
    OUr schedule is dictated by his drinking. I am so angry about all of this. I am angry that no one from our church has tried to help him even though he admitted to having a “slight” problem with drinking to our small group and pastor. I think that because he is successful and a very intimidating person people just assume that he’s got this under control.
    Wow, this got long, sorry. I guess I needed to vent a little.

    • wivesforchrist

      No worries how long your comments are!
      It is such a hard place to be navigating through the insanity!
      Talking about it somehow usually makes some sense about it!?
      Know it IS NOT your fault in regards to these issues! It’s hard, but don’t put the blame on you. We are ultimately responsible for our own actions – good, bad or indifferent. It’s pretty common for a guilty party to place blame on someone or something other than themselves. It’s really how they can keep on keeping on in their patterns. Otherwise they would have to look into themselves for the root of problems. Right?! And I have learned that my nagging typically has not produced good results in regards to them looking into their own selves for these issues. They have to realize them for themselves. This may or may not happen?
      I didn’t have a great upbringing. Father wasn’t around, didn’t know The Lord until I was 23. Really lived a life that was not Godly! Does my past give me reasons to continue in the same patterns? I don’t believe so. But does my past make me who I am today? I do believe so. I can sit and blame my father for a lot of issues or bad patterns. But that doesn’t get me anywhere. I am an adult, married and with children. I am responsible for my actions. Just as our husbands should be too.
      My husband suffers greatly from depression. This is an illness. My husband also suffers from addictions. This is also an illness. But I do believe these can be overcome. But only through The Lord and His strength. Not my husbands or ours. But there also has to be a realization regarding the addiction and harm. That’s hard for me, because I’m a fix-it kind of person. But I’ve witnessed miracles!!
      Hold on my friend!

  • Hope

    I have been married for 42 years. I left a couple of times because of him blaming me for everything. I always felt marriage was important before The Lord, so came back when he promised to quit drinking. ( which lasted 3 days) and I wanted to keep my family together. But lately it is getting crazy. When he drinks he thinks really negatively about me. Every bad person or behavior becomes me in his mind. I take riding lessons from him ( as we train horses for a business) and he takes every mistake or failure to perform the way he wants, personally. Which is fine to be an intense coach, but every little thing becomes days of lectures and anger and punishment until I repent and beg his forgiveness. I promise myself I won’t ride for him any more as he very demoralizing, but then he threatens to leave me because he needs me to ride.
    He gets angery because I won’t talk, but he just shouts me down if I try and tells me to make sense if I want him to listen (which means agree with him). I should be submissive!
    I know God is bigger than this. I have resonsibilties that make it quite impossible to leave. I think if he quit drinking things would be much better, but I can’t bring it up. Very defensive. He is getting unhealthy.
    Am I an enabler if I don’t tell my pastor? Or men at his bible study? I guess I don’t know how to be a respectful, submissive wife and set boundaries?

  • christine

    I have addressed this with my husband several times the last two times he fell over I am in remission of cancer and just getting over looking after mother with cancer and a father with Alzimeres I don’t have any where to go too my husband controls the money and I feel trapped my own health is not good at times my husband is diabetic and when trying to address the issue hr laughed and said I’m exaggerating his not willing to address the situation its bot a marriage its just existing this puts pressure on our lives never knowing what tomorrow brings he isolates so its hard always making excuses to family why I am they cant come around the whole thing destroys any hope of normal life I don’t know what to do he binge drinks then we have the effect of mood swings and him sleeping away his life he dose not take responsibility for his diabetis lord god help me and guide me strengthen me and give me wisdom I pray in Jesus name amen

  • Teri

    I don’t know where to begin. As I type this I am crying. I have been here before with my husband who is a christian leader. I am trying to learn to not enable him. I am chronicly ill and live in chronic pain. He wants me to act like everything is ok when it isn’t. I cannot let him try to make it up to me again. I need to decide what the boundaries are. It is harder to forgive. But his alcoholism is not stopping and I am tired of being miss treated.He is a good man but this is getting to hard to tolerate anymore. We have been married 34years.

    • wivesforchrist

      Thank you for sharing your heart! Addiction has no boundaries! That’s where we have to decide where our boundaries are. I’m so very sorry to hear that you are chronically ill and live with pain! This must make it so much harder to deal with on a day-to-day basis. We just celebrated our 21st Anniversary and even though he is not drinking, he is addicted to prescription medications. An even more silent killer! But I have to continue to separate the addiction aspect from my husband. My husband is a good man, the addiction is NOT!
      Stay strong!!

  • Barb stewart

    I just joined blog which I’ve never done. Checking to see if I’ve completed the process correctly

  • Barb

    I found this site by searching biblical principles for a husband dealing with alcoholism. My stepdaughter is battling this. It is destroying their marriage. As I read through all the posts my heart breaks for all of you. I’ve dealt with this nightmare for many years. I am 34 years out of the nightmare that took everything that meant the most to me. Lost my marriage, my husband, my family. It’s has taken years to get to where I am now, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually healed. The nightmare ended with my husband attempting suicide. It is only by God’s grace that he is still alive. He suffered brain damage from the carbon monoxide but still functions to a certain extent. I had decided to go to Alonon as I’d tried everything else. Counseling, threats, you name it. At my first meeting they told me not to make any decisions for a year. That made sense to me as I didn’t want a divorce. Returning home after each meeting I was verbally abused, made fun of, accused of being with another man. It was tough. After the first meeting I told him, “you do what you want, you can stay sick but I am going to get well.”. He did not take that well but I’d made up my mind.

    At the end of the one year I sat him down and told him this was his last chance, do something to heal yourself or our marriage is over. Somehow he knew I was serious this time. I checked on my daughter then went to bed. The next day the police came to my house to tell me they were taking me to the hospital, my husband was there. They didn’t tell me what was wrong. I got to the hospital, taken in a private entrance, a minister met me then told me what he had done. There are no words to describe the next three months of my life. He was in an induced coma to deal with brain swelling and so much more. It just got worse from there.

    I could go on and on but I think you can understand the big picture.

    What I learned about myself through Alanon was just how sick I was. The problem wasn’t just him. I was perpetuating the problem. I can tell you I did not appreciate that until I learned what enabling really means. D been doing it for years. I probably thought that if I loved him enough he would change. Very foolish and destructive to me, to him and my family.

    I prayed and prayed I heard nothing. I realized I wasn’t hearing God’s voice because I wasn’t listening from my heart. I was SO broken…So sad…Angry. I was barely functioning, felt dead inside yet holding it together for my daughter, she was on 2 1/2.

    I went to the church for guidance. That didn’t work out well. The pastor said I needed to do what I thought was best for me. Instead of Godly guidance I got empty advice. I do not belong to that church any longer.

    Boundaries as mentioned before is something you have to do. It is your protection, it is your sanity, it is your hope. I would never suggest divorce to anyone, please understand that. My choice was mine alone. I was not going to raise my daughter in that environment. My ex-husband has been sober since 1990. He attends AA meetings weekly. The underlying problem has not changed, he just doesn’t drink anymore.

    God’s love and grace have saved us both. We are good friends, we have shareed our pain from that time. We have raised our daughter together in spite of everything. She is a happy, well adjusted, successful 30 year old.
    I thank God for that.

    Perhaps Alanon isn’t for you. My church offers a ministry for family and friends of addiction. I found that so helpful. Fellowship is a wonderful thing sent from God. It gave me peace if only for a little while. It gave me a sense of community because the others understand the struggle and the pain. They encouraged with no judgement.

    Addiction is ugly. It is painful. It takes your soul. It breaks your heart. It causes some of us the inability to hear God’s voice. For me personally it was a long time before I heard his voice again. What I know now is he never left me. He will not leave you. Lean on him even when you wonder where he is.

    I’ve rambled on here…I just feel your pain, your heartbreak, your struggle with each day. Please know that you are not alone. It is with others who can understand and encourage, uplift, to understand each of us find our way with God to guide us. God cries when we cry. He hurts when we hurt.
    He knows our pain..Most of all he loves us no matter what.

    God Bless

    • wivesforchrist

      Hi Barb!
      Oh my goodness……you also have a story to be told! It sure is nice to know that we are not alone! This battle makes us feel that way much of the time and to see your words and story is proof of this.
      God does not waste hurts! And I can see through your journey, and pain, that there has been refuge, healing, perseverance, growth and love.
      Thank you so much for sharing! I know it will also touch someone out there who needs to hear and know there is hope.

  • Debbie

    Thank you all for your honesty and transparency… many others, I found this blog while googling how to live with a Christian alcoholic. Funny, when I googled this very topic last July, I didn’t find it…I think the Lord sweetly saved it for today because on the way to work this morning I was lamenting to Him that I did not have one single person on earth with whom I could talk to about this and praise God here you are.

    May I ask a question? Several of you have mentioned putting boundaries in place and sticking with them. I am so embarrassed to admit that I don’t know what that means. I understand the boundaries would be different for each of our marriages but I don’t know where to start. My AH and I have been married for 24 years, I was saved shortly after marriage and he just accepted Christ in the last 2. It was my hope (and dream) that the craziness would stop when he became a new creature in Christ but it hasn’t. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You are all very courageous women.

    Leaning on Him,

    • wivesforchrist

      Hi Debbie! Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve been posting or on the blog. Yep, life has gotten away from me:)
      Putting boundaries may look different to each person. There is no set formula or right way. I’ll give some examples instead.
      I came to a point where I didn’t allow alcohol in our home. Either with my husband drinking or others who had come over. This was a big one! Since his family are all BIG drinkers. So, they really don’t come over very much anymore. Seems as if drinking is more important. But that was a boundary I was not willing to negotiate with. Mostly because it seemed like the home is where things started and built from there. A few drinks in the evening, a few more, then it wasn’t enough and would get out of control from there. It was also an area in which I knew I enabled him. I would think, “I’d rather have him drinking here than anywhere else.” But it have him a license to drink lots.
      When we went to places together. Like a business event, or to a sporting game, out with friends, etc. I wouldn’t drink. Because if I did, it opened it up for him to start. Referring back to the Bible about not causing your brother to stumble.
      If he started some sort of conflict with me, or fight….I (for the most part) will just walk away. I’m not going to let him control my feelings.
      These are all boundaries in which help to keep you more emotionally grounded (in my opinion). There was a sermon by Andy Stanley called “Guardrails” which did a fantastic job of explaining boundaries. I encourage you to watch the series he has on this. Again the series theme is: Guardrails.
      Courageous? Thanks! But most of the time I don’t feel like it! I feel like I’m a complete mess!! But thank you! It does mean a lot to me that I know I’m NOT the only one out here who has the hot messes!

      • Lori

        I thank God for giving me this blog today. I have a very sweet, kind and loving, Functioning Christian alcoholic husband. We have been married for 41 years, have 2 children and 3 beautiful grandbabies.
        I am tired. Tired of doing everything, being responsible for paying the bills, making sure the yard is taken care of, doing home improvements, handling the maintenance on the vehicles, etc.
        A lot of it is my fault as when we got married I always did it all but now I’m tired. I have my own health issues and still work and do extra work on the side to pay for any home improvements. I am the saver and he is the spender. He has beer $ but still goes to the bank and withdraws more but doesn’t let me know. I see it when I balance the checkbook.
        The alcoholism has affected the entire family. A year or so ago our adult son wrote his dad a letter on how his dad’s drinking had affected him as a child and also as a dad himself the effect on his children. They ask why papa shakes so bad (when he tries to not drink as much). They notice and don’t understand.
        Our daughter had to deal with her dad when he tried not to drink on a trip he was supposed to go on with her. She had to give him a beer when he showed up at her house because he was going through withdrawals and his health was at risk.
        A couple of years ago our daughter in law (who is a psychiatrist) took him to a Dr (he hadn’t been to one for over 20 years) because we had a family intervention and he agreed to go. The diagnosis was alcoholism. Nothing changed.
        This past year he began losing a lot of weight and didn’t look well. He agreed to go to a local Dr. The Dr. Did a lot of blood work and put him on some supliments and also diagnosed him as alcoholic. He scheduled him for a liver biopsy. The Dr also talked to him about rehab or Dr supervision for withdrawal. My husband still doesn’t get it.
        Today I really needed someone to talk to and God led me to this sight. I try not to involve my children in the drama . They say it’s okay but I try to protect both them and my husband.
        Thank you for giving me a place where I can talk to other women in my position.

      • wivesforchrist

        Hi Lori!
        You have no idea how timely your comments were!!!! Oh my goodness, I literally was just stomping around the house feeling the EXACT same thing you were discussing here!!
        I had just returned from taking our older son’s basketball team to a tournament out-of-state….10 hours away. My husband wasn’t able to go because of some business related things, so that left me to do the RV driving by myself. This I certainly don’t mind, as I really do like road trips and have the endurance to do them as well. But when I get back, I’m pretty shot!! Deliriously over tired!!

        When my husband leaves for an extended trip, I make sure I have the house really nice and clean when he gets home. I also really like the house clean when I come home from being out of town or gone for an extended period. Nope……the house was NOT clean. In fact, I had to do much cleaning when I got home!! Okay… I bit my lip and turned the other way and didn’t say a word.

        As the night progressed, I’m so exhausted, he’s sleeping on the couch with the game on. Leaving me with having to put our youngest to bed and take care of the rest of the house duties!!

        NOW I’m severely bugged!
        But wait….his comment a little earlier? “I’m not doing very well today, it’s been a hard day!”

        I see!

        Yes….just like you…..I’m also the one who does all the maintenance, yard work, taking care of our business so we have one, basically mostly everything. He usually does the dishes and laundry, but this has been sporadic as well!!

        So literally tonight I was thinking to myself, “WHY?” Why am I here? I mean when I was just away with my 2 boys and the basketball team……I had NO anxiety! I just drove hours with an RV full of teenage boys and an 8 y/o and I was relaxed!! I come home and my entire body starts to go into stress mode!! That’s not right!!!!!!!

        I was literally thinking I was going to call our Christian marriage counselor and discuss this with him! Pleading…….”help”……I continue to get sucked into this downward spiral of depression, pessimistic attitudes, doomsday feelings, etc. AND I DON’T LIKE IT!!

        And while I’m putting our youngest down, I receive the email with your comments and it reminds me of how we are here together, doing this messy life with others who have the same struggles and are doing the best we can… the grace of God!

        I’m soooo sorry to hear about your husbands health and the effects it has had on the children! That is so extremely difficult to see what the past has done through the children. But remember, we serve a God of miracles and He never wastes a hurt! He WILL use it for His glory!! Even if it is preparing your children for how they don’t want to be as adults, or how they want to do things different for their children. If they didn’t have the past to have a point of reference to doing things differently.

        It also is so frustrating to know what is killing our husbands, and typically they know if too, but nothing (or not much) changes. And that kind of change has to come from them. We cannot do it for them. I think many times we do so much of the other things, like you mentioned, because it oddly gives us a feeling of being in control of so much due to the fact that we truly are not in control of “this addiction that is controlling our husbands!” Whatever that addiction may be! At least for me, the more that I’m in control of (or at lease I think I’m in control of, because ultimately God is the one who’s in control!) the more sense of peach this gives me. Because so much of my life is so out-of-control!

        You have an extremely blessed night and I will be praying for you and your family!!


  • Lori

    I am not sure how I follow this blog. God Led me to it at a time I really needed it and I’ve been unsuccessful finding my way back. Please help me.

    • Lori

      Alli, thank you soooo much for your reply. I am thankful God used me to bring you the encouragement only one in the same situation can understand. I am new at following a blog and literally have been trying for a week to find your reply. I had become very frustrated and God once again has led me to you.
      It is so refreshing to have someone to talk to that knows what I am going through.
      Money and honesty has become an issue once again. I am tired of being in the position of controller of the funds. I’ve tried budgeting the beer money which leads to an argument, I’ve tried giving him extra cash which he drinks up, I’ve tried to get him to help me with the bills which he shows absolutely no desire to get involved in and I’m at a loss.
      I so appreciate your prayers and I am praying for you also.
      Thank you so much for resuming this blog and I thank God for you!

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