Husband drinking again. Can pretending not to know be part of a healthy model?


I have stayed at my parents home several nights in the last 2 weeks, taking care of my father who is in his last few days of his battle with cancer. I suspected my husband had started drinking again earlier in the week when he stopped wanting to talk to me in the evenings, but confirmed this last night when our grocery app showed his purchases. (Yes, I checked. No, he doesn’t know).

Less than four months ago, our marriage of 24 years nearly ended over this and he made a declaration to me that he would do several things – go to meetings, never drink again, etc. We’ve been round and round this road, including counseling most recently. I believe that drinking exacerbates his heart issues, as he heavily drank on all 4 occasions when his heart stopped. He got a pacemaker at 47 and permanently retired for health reasons from his job (ironically, he is a cardiologist) at 48.

I am trying to Thought Model my way through this, rather than explode my family (including 2 boys, 18 and 20) while experiencing the largest loss of my life with my dad. But I also feel deeply betrayed. I have told him the only thing I need from him right now is stability. I go home every day for at least a few hours and he has promised to be this rock for me.

Thought Model
C Chris bought alcohol
T This violates the promise he made to me
F Betrayed. Convicted. Hurt. Disappointed. Sad. Alone
A Do nothing. )Possible actions… Confront him. Take massive action as I have in the past. Move out. Make him leave.)
R Disrupt my family at the hardest possible time of my life. My boys are closer to him right now and will choose him if forced. Alone.

Intentional Model
C Chris bought alcohol
T This is an addiction he hasn’t kicked
F Acceptance
A Say nothing
R Everything stays the same for me. I return home and… he doesn’t drink? Or he hides it as he did last December? Or he tries to justify returning to it as he has every time in the past.

The problem with the intentional model is the R line. The reason I finally left for a week in January was I told him I cannot be around his drinking. It is too damaging for me to worry every night if he’s going to die. Do I land right back in PTSD (which I have from the traumatic medical events in his past) if I don’t confront this?