What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Anonymous.

Photo by: James Sutton 

We were married for 30 years: together for 22, and separated for 8, before he divorced me in order to marry a woman with money and a house and health insurance; all to take care of himself.

I thought he was the love of my life, and so I held on for as long as I could. He didn’t even try to stop me from leaving. Alcohol was his true love, he cheated on me with the bottle for most of my marriage. He hid it all quite well, especially under the gaze of our religious constituents. We beloved to a strict Christian religion, and after I left, I found that I had no friends left. They had only liked me when I was a Mrs., and part of a so-called respectable marriage.

When I left him I lost my son too, who had left home a few months before I did. I never realized that my husband was slowly poisoning my son’s mind and heart, with the same hatred and resentment that he felt for me, over the years.

I assume you can fill in the blanks of the misery I experienced for 22 years, filled with disappointments, delusions of a better future, depression and wasted years of hope and buckets of tears. Now, my son is also an alcoholic as a result of watching his own father drink. Funny how alcoholis really believe that no one notices, as long as they can hide their bottles.

My husband was obsessed with maintaining his image, to the point that he destroyed me completely, and sacrificed me as his scapegoat, him the pure, sinless self-righteous high priest; and painted me the harlot witch upon the billboard of slander, where everyone we ever knew can throw rotten eggs, ridicule, and assist him as he wallow in self pity, and basks in the falseness of his innocence.

When they say an alcoholic will destroy everyone he loves, believe it. He will not be able to show affection, and she will suffer with loneliness for as long as she remains with him. And if she has an affair she will be labled as the whore, and he the innocent party. She will be tortured by the false accusations he hurls at her in his drunken stupor. She will never recover her self-confidence as long as she remains with him. Because an alcoholic hates her because ahead is not an alcoholic. He is jealous of her well being and stable peace of mind, and wants her to suffer as he does. And he succeeds mightily if she loves him and hangs on his word. She longs for his love and approval, but will never have it. She only wants to help him, but he only wants to destroy her, or at least tear her down to his own level, si he wont have to feel so guilty for drinking. So he won’t look so bad in front of his son. She takes all the beatings for his inner demons that torture him day and night. She is his mental whipping post, for all his imagined enemies, fears, phobias, and twisted fantasies.

He hates her because she is clean and innocent in their son’s eyes, and he wants to shift the blame onto her. She is living with the devil himself, only she doesn’t know it. And as long as his mistress, the bottle, is in his life, his wife is nothing more or less than a despised enemy who cooks, babysits, cleans, and does the grocery shopping. He even hates her for all the good things she does, because it makes him look even worse.

If you think you can change him, you’re wrong. Whether you’re a nurse, a social worker, a nun, a saint: forget it. Only he can change himself. And you will still come out the loser, and will take all the blame for your husband’s drinking. He is a master of manipulating people, and that includes everyone you know, including your kids.