Those of us who have been in a significant or long-term relationship have likely been told at some point that there will be tough moments during that relationship and that we should stick around for our partner.
But there should still be limits regarding what we should have to put up with, advised the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor browneyesbaker328 had enough when their alcoholic husband was given expensive alcohol for his birthday.
But when he was being rude to them for trying to help him, the Original Poster (OP) decided that crossed a line.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for pouring $400 whiskey down the drain?”
The OP was angry about one of their husband’s birthday gifts.
“My husband turned 40 last month. His brother bought him a bottle of $400+ 18-year-old Whistle Pig double malt whiskey.”
“He is an alcoholic. I’ve been asking him for years to quit drinking.”
“So yes, I was mad about the whiskey especially since I had specifically asked his family to avoid bringing alcohol to the celebration.”
Then the winter became much worse.
“Fast forward a week and it is below zero and snowing. My husband, drunk as an elephant on fermented apples, stumbles outside in nothing but his tighty whities, mud stomper boots, and a tank top to take a p**s and promptly falls off our porch into the snow.”
“It took me 45 mins to get him inside and a whole lot of him calling me every bad name under the sun (even the one that starts with c and rhymes with runt).”
The OP couldn’t take it anymore.
“Enough was enough. I took that bottle and poured it down the sink. I rinsed out the bottle and threw it in the recycling.”
“The next morning he woke up and was beyond p**sed. He is still angry and still thinks I am a huge a**hole for pouring out.”
“So Redditors… Am I the a**hole?”
The OP also shared more about her living situation in the comments.
“I was married off at 18. I belong to the same devote Baptist sect as the oh-so-popular Duggars.”
“The man is the head of the household. I have 5 children under 10 and have never had a job.”
“I spoke with my elders. They told me it is my place to care for him regardless.”
“However, I recently got a new friend I met at the library moms group. She has been helping me try to see my worth and place in this world.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some questioned where this relationship was going.
“I am torn here. I don’t understand why are you staying with a man who is making your life a living h**l obviously, and why do you make his life living h**l in return.”
“If he doesn’t want this himself, he will never stop drinking, and there is no way you can make him. You are doing a thankless job to a man whose only thanks will be spit in your face.”
“Do you really need this in your life? You are an AH to yourself mostly for this.” – ijustwanttoaskaq123
“I’m also an adult child of an alcoholic. OP Get help for yourself and your kids. Alanon and Alateen are free options, your health care provider may have others.”
“Pouring out my mom’s wine and vodka didn’t make her stop (at least hers was cheap stuff). You can’t change him until he is ready but you can help yourselves.”
“I’m 46 and my mom passed away six years ago, but I still have lasting effects from my dysfunctional family.” – Necessary_Echo_8177
“Listen to your new friend and don’t give another bit of attention to elders that tell you stay with your husband, but don’t TELL him to make any changes. This is the typical patriarchal, keep women under the men’s thumb.”
“I wasn’t born into the situation you are in, but I was married to a man that participated in the ‘Shepherding movement.’ I finally left with a two-year-old and not much else. It was very difficult, but not impossible.”
“I would start doing research to get yourself out of there. I would also use birth control to prevent any more arrows for your husband’s quiver.” – wind-river-7
“One of the best lessons I learned in my life is that my (former) church’s elders were mostly full of shit with broken moral compasses, as there’s no other way to describe a person who covers up child sex abuse, for instance.”
“I’d put these elders, who are encouraging you to enable your husband’s slow suicide and the destabilization of your children’s mental well-being, in the same category.”
“I hope you leave. You’re worth more than this.” – soooooomanycats
“You need to start working on an escape plan. are there any women’s shelters near to where you live? do you know anyone who has left the church that you like or trust and who may be able to help you get out?”
“If you’re still not ready to do this for yourself, then think of your kids: they don’t deserve to grow up like this. they will see how your husband treats you and they are likely to mirror that with their future partners, either finding themselves attracted to similarly abusive people or becoming abusive themselves.”
“Even if your husband never directs his abuse towards them, this is something that can and will traumatize them. you need to get out for yourself, but you also really need to get out for their sake too.”
“I am so glad you have this friend at the library. you all deserve a better life than this, and you can make that happen with solid planning.” – LilBabyADHD
Others said what the OP did wouldn’t help in the long run.
“Yes… pouring the whiskey down the drain won’t make a difference. He will still be a drunk.”
“My mother went as far as to ask for the owner of the bar my father used to go to, ‘Please, don’t sell alcohol to my husband anymore.'”
“That’s not how it works. There’s always another bar, and there’s always another drink.” – umareplicante
“I grew up in a community somewhat similar to what the OP is describing.”
“So the goal with the framing of this isn’t ‘I want to leave’ but ‘I fear for my husband’s soul in the eyes of God.’ With this phrasing, the goal is to get the Elders to see it is now beyond woman’s work and that they need to intervene and force him into a ‘program’.”
“I say ‘program’ because it would most likely be something unregistered and run by someone within their wider circle that just had him do heavy unpaid labor and pray a lot, but it’s something. This does not cure anyone because that’s not how addiction works AT ALL, but it does get him out of the house for a minimum of a month.”
“This gives OP the time to organize her own escape with this new outside source and prepare her children who are most likely heavily indoctrinated. Even a few extra days can be crucial time to prepare for an escape in a situation like this when you are realistically looking at never being able to return.” – PoeDameronPoeD**nSon
“OP I saw your comment about being forced into this marriage at 18, with your elders not permitting you to leave. Despite your husband being declared an alcoholic by the elders and the courts!”
“These elders are forcing you to become a nursemaid for someone who does not respect your wishes, who does not treat you well, and who you did not marry out of love.”
“Please contact some local woman’s shelters to see what they recommend with helping you and your children leave, as well as finding a job in the future.” – VividEfficiency7347
“My father is a recovering alcoholic and sometimes in the middle of their drunken states we get angry and do things. I remember when he told me he was sober and I found his secret stash.”
“I poured out all the alcohol out and then put the bottles on the kitchen counter for everyone to see. If you don’t have anyone helping you with your husband’s alcoholism, I highly HIGHLY recommend going to a support group. It was the only thing that really helped me move on.”
“I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope it gets better for you OP.” – GhoulsAnonymous
“The money was spent whether it destroys his liver or not. You saved his liver the trouble. His brother can go f**k himself for enabling.”
“The whiskey was his penance for nearly dying or losing digits had you not worked your a** off to get him in the house and out of the cold.”
“He is still alive because of you.”
“OP, I know you are in a difficult situation, and ‘just leaving’ isn’t as easy as it sounds – but should there be a next time just tell him that he drank it or spilled it himself.”
“My mother used to do that with my father when he’d get really drunk, ‘Oh Frank, you must have finished that bottle last night.'” – SnarkSnark78
“I used to live with an alcoholic and did this all the time. I’m not proud of lying — gaslighting him, if I’m going to be accurate. But I had to mitigate the damage and get some peace somehow. I’m so glad I’m far away from him now.”
“OP said in a comment that she’s in the same religious cult as the Duggars. I hope she’s able to find resources to leave with her kids.” – rrienn
The situation was much more mire than a spilled bottle of expensive whiskey, as the subReddit discovered.
This spilled whiskey opened up a much larger conversation about relationships and what we should put up with when we’re in one, but also what we may need to escape resource-wise when we really need to get out.