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Safety is Everything

answered 05:29 PM EST, Fri August 14, 2015
Hi Jim,

My husband is an active alcoholic. I've been going to Al-Anon meetings for four months. Just got a sponsor. I have a question for you though. When sober, my husband is a very passive man. He comes across as a super nice guy (I know him better now to know he's not a super nice guy). On a few occasions while drunk, he has said violent, hurtful things. He's punched a wall while drunk. Thinking about my safety, how concerning is this behavior if it's done when drunk? When sober, he does not go off in these type of rants. Will the alcoholism eventually lead him to behave violently when sober? I have not been physically abused by him, but have been verbally abused during his drunken rants (Mel Gibson type of alcohol rants).

Thank you!

Jim LaPierre Says...

Hi there and thank you so much for your excellent question. I urge you to consider that as your husband's disease progresses, his behavior will likely become more erratic and difficult to predict. Given what you've described it seems plausible that he would assault but this is at best a guess based on precious little information. I would sooner urge you to consider that at best it's a calculated risk and secondly, you are already tolerating abuse in the form of verbal assaults and violent destruction of property.

I encourage you to do what most ensures your safety and to not tolerate his behavior. If he is intoxicated and behaving this way, I would encourage you to call your local police and have him arrested. There is nothing in alcohol that makes a man abusive - there is simply the reality that his inhibitions are down and his anger is coming out - seemingly at a person who deserves none of it. Please contact me if I can answer further questions. Very best, Jim

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Page last updated Aug 14, 2015

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