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Married To A Drunk Pastor

I've been married for 12 years to a pastor. Our marriage has always been rocky. Most of our problems are alcohol related. He has gotten drunk and broke things even when thing are going well, I am on defense. How do you think God feels about my decision to leave him?

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 ---Grace on 8/10/09
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We look to the scriptures for answers - God hates divorce, asks we forgive and most importantly to commit all our anxieties and cares to him. Is your husband being unfaithful and you have forgiven in the past with no sign of repentance? Consider leaving him, 'for the marriage bed shall not be defiled' also, separation is not forbidden and it usually works miracles. He being a pastor in this bondage makes it tricky, as is a false narrative which bothers you of course and him too.if he doesn't repent you know very well that it is only a matter of time before the truth comes out. Praying for you tonight and wish you the peace of God that surpasses every understanding as you persevere through this trial but God will have his way in the end.
---Mairi_Makenna on 8/2/14

Sis.Rita, I agree this woman is in a bondage,you are right! She could go to the Overseer and report bring witneses if necessary. I knew only one pastor wife, did leave her cheating husband! Everybody was shock he fell into a relation with his own niece. She came to my house a young girl, I told her, No way getting me mixed up in your mess, you can not see him in my home. She the niece was pregnant.
Love of Jesus!
---Elena_9555 on 7/30/14

Elena, the wedding vows don't just mention 'til death do us part'. There is something about keeping oneself only for the other. If that part has been broken I really don't know why the rules of the Pentecostal church should be of importance. They should be disciplining HIM. She should see her pastor and say that she no longer wishes to be part of that organization and then set the wheels in motion for a divorce. He has absolutely no intention of being faithful so she should not be bound to remain with him. It is an appalling and very unfair and unbalanced situation.
---Rita_H on 7/27/14

Hello,Sis.Rita, you know that is the truth she already been through the ringer now she got to worry about gossip! Mercy, people got too much time on their hands! Poor woman.
Well, the talk will die down. As for the fact, they say she can never leave or divorce becuz they are Pentecostal!!
I seen two pentecostals divorce but Not the Spanish, she oath Till Death Di they a part. Bring other women & cheating that good ground..the day he flirt with me she sat there.
I kindly removed myself told them
I will never be bk .
---Elena_9555 on 7/26/14

Elena I know a pastor's wife who WAS in a very similar position to the one you describe. She is no longer in that position but now lives alone having left him to get on with his sordid lifestyle. Sadly, she is the one condemned by many who have only heard that she has left him. She knows it's because they don't know the whole truth but is content, after being very hurt initially, because she knows that 'the ONE who sees all and knows all' does NOT condemn her.

The lady you know is free to leave whenever she can find a way of doing so - it is not easy though.
---Rita_H on 7/26/14

elena, the pastor you talked about is not qualified to be a pastor. someone needs to expose that. he is digging himself a hole. bible says if a man can't control his household, he is not fit to pastor.
---shira4368 on 7/23/14

Hello, I know a couple, wife devoted christian, but, her husband
this( delicate) it'true,husband dates other women.
he is a Pastor of a church, acts LIKE a single man,Folk say she knows /turns her head. I feel sorry for her.He tried to talk to me, yrs.bk.

I said "goodbye" politely to his wife never put my foot in that church again.They pentecostal, Can She NEVER leave ???nor get a writ of divorce!
is this true? Or should she keep putting up with his adulterous behavior dating Outside their matrimonial home?

Love of Jesus!
---Elena_9555 on 7/23/14

Janice, the Bible gives us a right to separate but not to divorce, and not to go out dating when separated because the both of you are still one in the eyes of God. Separation is a time away from each other, and let me say separation means a whole lot. No one who is married wants to separate. God gives you this time for prayer and time for Him to work in not only your husband but in you also. Pray to God, and think about what you are going to do very carefully. Listen to your conscience, not to your heart, because if you listen to your heart, you will want out because of how you feel right now. I will pray for you, peace.
---Mark_V. on 8/25/13

Wow! To Steve his post on here 12/11, it true..that's how I feel the last church I attended. Got deep issues, pride goes before a fall.

Bro.Steve Yes! all respect to you AGREE this type leaders do hurt the flock.. we can't rationalize or allibi here
That's why so important Get the Word,love of God .. Way Before a Man
not follow someone till the entire congragation fall... Jesus is the perfect one..
---Lidia4796 on 8/24/13

Janice, it is not necessary to live with a person who verbably abuses you. If you do nothing, nothing will change. I am not in anyway suggesting for you to divorce him, but to separate from him, always looking to go back. You have to make the first move. When that happens, you are making a point, and give the reasons why you are moving out. Force his hand to do something about his problem.
If you do nothing, nothing will change. God knows what we need and many times it takes time for Him to change a person. God sometimes lets them stay in sin, to bring them to a greater faith. Ask God if it is the right thing to do. Listen to your conscience.
---Mark_V. on 8/21/13

I feel your pain. I am in the same situation but my husband does not even mention the word alcoholic. I know I enable him by covering up for him. When he gets drunk it's awful. he calls me everything but a child of God. Being a pastors wife is a lonely world!
---janice on 8/15/13

Grace & others in similar situation: May the good Lord grant you grace to know exactly what to do in the situation confronting you. It is not easy for others to tell you to leave him because God can solve your problem as HE had solved others.
---Adetunji on 6/5/13

There is a common belief if a person isn't willing to be treated for alcoholism the treatment won't do any good. I thought that too until I took classes at college on alcoholism and learned putting an unwilling person into treatment does as much good as it does a willing person.
---Darlene_1 on 6/5/13

I was married to a drunk until he was born again by the Spirit of God, then he just didn't drink anymore. how wonderful like was when my husband gave his life to Christ. I sure miss him so much I think about him every single day.
---shira4368 on 6/4/13

You cannot help someone who does not acknowledge he needs help. ---lovie on 5/28/13

You cannot help someone who does not acknowledge SHE needs help.
---aka on 5/29/13

\\I am stuck in the same pit. afraid of exposing him in the name of protecting "the gospel". on the other hand he is enjoying this covering and just spiralling down and emotionally pointing that it's my duty to protect him.\\

lovie, it's one thing to protect your husband, his reputation, and his ministry.

It's another to simply be his enabler and allow him to continue his self-destructive behavior.

You are being an enabler. He's demanding it.

Go to Al-Anon, for the families of alcoholics, and learn how to stop enabling him.

God bless you, dear soul.

Christ is risen!
---Cluny on 5/29/13

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I am stuck in the same pit. afraid of exposing him in the name of protecting "the gospel". on the other hand he is enjoying this covering and just spiralling down and emotionally pointing that it's my duty to protect him. I am sooo hurt by this. You cannot help someone who does not acknowledge he needs help.
---lovie on 5/28/13

Years ago our our pastor was caught drunk and was fired. Our pastor left his wife and remarried. I have spent 30 years working with people that have addictions. I am devistated & I will never forgive myself for not knowing, I saw the signs yet accecpted the excuses. Coming home from a deployment, I was devistated to lose my preacher, he was the only pastor I have had that cared & loved me, I never got to say good bye. We have stayed out of church for years now, the hurt is deep. Did you ever think about WHO ALL you would hurt and how the effect? As you use to sing: The devil is a sly old fox, if I could catch him I'd put him in a box. I bet the devil is laughing now! Follow the Godly advice given by others. Im pray for you!
---Steve on 4/12/11

Honey. God ain't got nothing to do with this. You are married to an imposter, anyway. This man is hiding behind a title but he is "lucifer" in disguise. You are sleeping with the enemy. A drunk pastor. I should have departed from this sham of a marriage a long time ago. Give it up and seek better things for yourself. You are living way below, what God has for you. Leave that drunk on the pulpit floor and move on.You deserve so much better.
---Robyn on 6/26/10

I just found this and felt for the first time like I am not alone. My husband is an alcoholic and a pastor. He even got a DUI and the congregation forgave him and wanted him back. He stopped for 6 months after the DUI but started up again. Very sad and lonely being the Pastors Wife and not feeling like you can share with others the struggles of what I am going through.
---Sue on 6/17/10

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A lot is also how often this happens, AND how much it damages you. There is a common assumption in this blog that your comments mean that he is (a) addicted and (b) an alcoholic (the two are about the same). If that is the case, a time apart, when you tell him that you cannot go on with him while he is addicted, may help him to realize that there is a real problem.
---peter3594 on 3/10/10

I am a pastor, and used to be an administrator at a homeless mission for men with addictions. There is only one solution.
1. Separate from him. Tell him that you will not come back unless he turns his addiction over to God and seeks help. He will not change unless he wants to, and it has to get really bad before some addicts get to the point where they want to change.
2. Tell the elders in the church.
3. Anything less than that is enabling him, and that will destroy his life.
4. Get your friends to pray for him, and love him. He needs to be able to come back after he is healed, not permanently rejected. All of us have to deal with sin problems.
---Steve on 12/27/09

My heart goes out to you beloved. This is a sticky situation. A drunk pastor is a oxymoron. I cannot imagine my pastor being a drunk and in the pulpit ministering to me and the rest of the congregation. He needs to step down from the pulpit and get himself some spiritual help/counseling. Quick! This is a disgrace for a pastor. But we should always pray for one another and bear the burdens of the weak.
No one can truly tell you what to do in a case like this. You live with the man and knows him better than we do. If you feel threatened or in danger. I say,leave and don't look back! God does hate divorce but you can separate and pursue a peaceful life for yourself,love.God bless
---Robyn on 12/27/09

This man does not possess Biblical qualities necessary for him to be a pastor in the first place. He is certainly not treating you as Christ treated the church either. I have no idea about what God will do or how he would feel if you left this man. Fasting and prayer may help but you may want to ask as many people as possible to pray for him regarding repentance and knowing Gods love. Sounds like he is far from God. If there is any adultery involved, then I know that you are not bound to him:)
---jody on 12/27/09

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iam there with u i hope things go well
---meliss on 12/26/09

First, I am sorry for what you're going through. You can ask God for yourself. Listen and he will answer you. If it is in your heart to help and stay with him, you must get him to realize for him self. I believe that any addiction is a sign of a demon that control that body. Together you can take control over that spirit. If He isn't willing, and is leading you in the wrong path in life, then I believe that God will understand. Trust in God and may God bless.
---Buzz on 9/29/09

It is written God hates "putting away" which is leaving or divorcing. Being a Pastor is not something men should decide to do, but are appointed to do of the LORD. Whomever the LORD set free is free indeed. No weapon form against us shell prosper. Sounds as though the brother needs a pastor sent of God. Encourage and empower you husband through prayer. Do what is written and God will change or move him. Stand for the LORD and submit unto His will, not the way of the world as so many claiming "faith" in God, yet surrendering unto the ways of the world.
---Greg on 9/28/09

Patie, nobody can help an alcoholic until the alcoholic wants the help. Please don't tell this poor woman that she can help him reform. He is addicted to alcohol. The only person who can truly help an alcoholic is Christ Himself. Until this man is motivated to seek help, all the help this wife gives is for naught.
---Trish9863 on 9/25/09

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YOU can help him reform if you really want to

pray to God, let Him show you how you can show love as well as guard the safety of other family members while helping your husband to overcome his addiction by the power of Christ.

I know an unbeliever in our neighbourhood who was able to contain her husband's addiction for close to fifteen years. We all admire her love and dedication. Her only short fall was that she gave up on medical help because of constant relapse. her husband finally died from his addiction but i appreciate her ability to love and stay committed to her husband who had turned into an addict after marriage

don't lose heart...
---patie3447 on 9/25/09

This is delicate. But, I Corinthians 6:9-10 says "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of GOD? BE NOT DECEIVED: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, NOR DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of GOD." I'm finding that this Verse applies to EVERYONE. Those who are lost, and those who claim to be Christian. If a Christian layperson or Pastor is an alcoholic and regularly gets drunk, then, they are living on the edge of the very Pit of Hell. If they refuse to repent, then you are free in the LORD to leave. Be not UNEQUALLY YOKED!
---Gordon on 9/25/09

Leave him. If you stay you are sending him the message his behavior is acceptable.
---Trish on 9/7/09

Did you give him an ultimatum first?
---amand6348 on 9/5/09

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SusieB -- Of course, there are churches that do not condemn drinking. But can you name one accepts a drunk in it's pulpit?
---Donna66 on 8/31/09

The funny thing is that some on here don't realize that there are churches where the doctrine allows a minister to drink alcohol, smoke and anything else he/she wants to do.
---SusieB on 8/31/09

Did you know that it doesn't matter that your husband is a pastor? He is a flesh human being who struggles with his "old man" like the rest of us. The choices he is making are violent and injurious to you. It is important that you acknowledge that truth.

You are the only one who will be able to make the right decision on what action is needed to keep yourself safe. There is nothing godly in choosing to remain a victim. But God tells us that the true worshipers are those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. So now, walk in truth and trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.Prov3:5-6. God bless you!
---Kathleen on 8/28/09

Well I have heard it all! I am so sorry for you,honey. This is so sad. Aman of the cloth acting like this and doing these ugly things. My,! How can he stand in the pulpit and keep a straight face? Knowing he is a hypocrite and terrorizing his spouse.Among other evils. Honey you need to get out of there, fast. How in the world did this happen? Does he even realize he suppose to be a servant of God? I would think of my own safety and any children and we would be gone from that place and him.
---Robyn on 8/26/09

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Well,he is in sin.He should not be getting drunk or as a pastor even drinking lightly as that is a stumbling block to many and he is to be an example.If he is breaking things the next think he may break is you or your children.This type of behavior esculates.Pray for his deliverence but get away from him until you know he's changed and by the way the elders deacons etc.have a right to know what he is doing.
---shirley on 8/18/09

I would suggest that marriage is for better or worse. There is always a chance that he will change.

I have a friend who was a cocaine addict. He beat the habit and has been clean for 20 years now. His wife stayed with him and is glad she did. They now have a happy marriage and what they did was best for their kids.
---obewan on 8/18/09

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Sheperds of a flock should know better, more is required from those who know the way,
If the blind lead the blind, both shall Fall into the ditch.

Drunkards, Liars & theives,ect. ect. ect.
GOD say's that he "HATES" them(those are his words, so take it up with him if you dont like it), your husband being a preacher should already know that.
my prayers r with you
---YLBD on 8/18/09

Thank you Donna, I hope I can encourage people too. :) God bless you :)
---Mary on 8/17/09

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Congratulations, Mary, on five+ years of sobriety. I hope your post will give hope to any that feel thay thay or a loved one cannot get victory in this area.
---Donna66 on 8/16/09

Hi Donna, I totally agree--amen :) I'm a recovering alcoholic who has been sober over 5 years now and there's times I still desire that liquor--but I just say NOOOOOO and stay sober, thank God. Strange thing is, I can even be perfectly happy with my life and still crave a drink and I used to think you had to be unhappy about something. Nope!
---Mary on 8/16/09

Donna, I am with you in your answer on 8/10/09. Here is why, when someone has a problem, no matter what you say, do are suggest will not make a difference. We cannnot make someone do something they don't want to do. The problem continues on and on. After you have exhuasted every avenue, you will find yourself going to God. To whom you should have gone to in the first place. When we were lost we depended on ourselves. We thought we could solve everything. We found out different. Separation is for reconciliation and for allowing God time to change the individual and you. With that thought in mind, and because nothing we do can change things, we put our spouse in the hands of God. If you do not separate most surely, nothing will change.
---MarkV. on 8/16/09

SusieB --- actually, whether an alcoholic is, or is not, "healed" is of secondary importance, AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT DRINKING. A common motto for recovering alcoholics is "One day at a time"... they do not presume anything for the future.
---Donna66 on 8/15/09

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Look for a Titus 2:3-5.
God desires that we live in peace *1. Yet, it is impossible to let disobedience rule in your relationship with your husband, without affecting your obedience to Jesus. If your husband were to ask you to sin, Acts 4:19 and 5:29 allow you to say no *2. While we are not permitted to falsely judge, or to diminish another, James 4:11-12, God tells us to correct a sinful brother, 2Thesalonians 3:6. The disciplining of a presumed Bishop is not a punishment, but recognizes that man is not qualified *3, and does not meeting various Biblical standards *4. Elders: 1Timothy 5:19-22 (reputable witnesses). If the charge is justifiable, Romans 16:17-18 and 1Corinthians 5:6-8, 11-13 apply.
---Glenn on 8/15/09

SusieB I have to say I have never heard of an alcoholic who has been cured of alcoholism ... in that he can now drink alcohol without the bad affects of the addiction kicking in again.

Neither have I heard of a drug addict who has been cured, so now can take drugs without the addiction taking hold again.

What God does do for them is to give them the strength to resist the urge to return to drinking or drugging, or gambling.

They are no longer bound by the addiction, but it is still there.

Unless you have evidence otherwise.
---alan8566_of_uk on 8/15/09

SusieB: I believe God can and does heal all diseases, including alcoholism, in SOME, not all. Problem is, IF an alcoholic has been healed of the alcoholism, how is one supposed to find out if they have been truly healed? They would have to test out drinking alcohol to see if they relapse into drinking alcoholically or not. That is a gamble I do not recommend to anyone with an alcoholism history.
---Trish9863 on 8/14/09

Matthew 18:15-20 concerns personal offenses, and allows the matter to be dealt with in private if there is repentance, but 1Timothy 5 does not.
*1 Psalm 34:14, 1Peter 3:11, Matthew 5:9, Romans 8:6, 12:18, 14:17-19, 2Corinthians 13:11,Galatians 5:22-26, Ephesians 4:3, Philippians 4:4-9, Colossians 3:12-17, Thessalonians 3:16, 1Timothy 2:1-4, 2Timothy 2:19-26, Hebrews 12:14, James 3:18, 1Peter 3:10-11.
*2 1Corinthians 11:3-10, 13, 15-16, 14:34-35, Ephesians 5:22-24, 33, Colossians 3:18, 1Timothy 2:11-14, Titus 2:5, 1Peter 3:1-2, 5-6.
*3 Acts 20:27-30, 1Timothy 3:1-15, Titus 1:5-16, James 3:1-18, 1Peter 5:1-3.
*4 Romans 6, 1Corinthians 6:20, Galatians 5:16-6:5, Ephesians 4:17-32, 5:3-18, Colossians 3:5-10, 22-23.
---Glenn on 8/14/09

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Alan...Guess that means that the Lord cannot deliver anyone from alcoholism. How is it that Jesus healed all kinds of illnesses in the Bible, but He can't do it today?
---SusieB on 8/14/09

Just an amendment to what trish says

(I'm not an alcoholic, but know well someone who is, and has explained a lot)

If you are an alcoholic, you don't necessaily drink.

Once an alcoholic, always and alcoholic. They may not have drunk for 20 years, but they remain an alcoholic ... and if drink one sip (even unknowingly) the compulsion may kick in.

---alan8566_of_uk on 8/14/09

When I first began my journey of recovery, as I am an alcoholic in AA for almost twenty years, I thought I had to figure out why I drank. I had tons of excuses, as I had a childhood full of trauma. I had to learn that alcoholics drink because they are alcoholics. Once the addictive brain gets the alcohol, all bets are off, and the alcoholic just drinks.

As Cluny and I have suggested, attend Alanon, and learn from others how to cope with the fallout of loving an alcoholic.
---Trish9863 on 8/11/09

I'm not going to suggest that drinking a sufficient amount of water is a cure for alcoholism, but alcohol is very dehydrating to the body.

It's like being stranded at sea. You're NEVER supposed to drink seawater because the salt content will dehydrate you. Once you drink some, you will become dehydrated and delerious, and then you will carelessly drink more until you die.

Alcohol is also dehydrating and causes a person to also make careless decisions.

I once heard a recovered alcoholic say that drinking extra water helped greatly ease their recovery.

Do not leave him, HELP him (provide ENCOURAGEMENT).
---more_excellent_way on 8/11/09

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A big AMEN to Cluny's advice. You'll just spin your wheels trying to figure "why" he drinks. And knowing "why" doesn't solve the problem.

You don't need to get a divorce, but leaving him temporarily might "motivate" him. You could let him know that you won't return until he quits drinking. It usually takes something rather drastic for an alcoholic to actually want to quit drinking. (This, of course, is just my idea...not an expert opinion. I'm just speaking on the basis of other cases I've seen.)

Al-Anon can give you really good advice and support. They can help teenaged kids, too, if you have some. Let the Lord help you through this difficlt time. But please don't consider divorce.
---Donna66 on 8/10/09

do the words, in sickness and health ring a bell. alcoholism is a symptom of a greater sickness.
to find healing first you two must work together to figure out what the root of the sickness is, history of military service?
physical/emotional abuse as a child? abandonment issues? or maybe even something
like a lack of forgiveness of self.
hope this is found to be encouraging.
God bless you two best.
---kevin on 8/10/09

You can ask God and find out directly from Him how He feels for yourself.

If you want MY opinion on your decision, it's this:

This might be necessary for him to hit bottom, as 12-Steppers say, and admit to himself that his life is out of control.

I would urge you to leave the door open for reconciliation and also attend AL-ANON, which is for people adversely affected by the alcoholism of others.

You might need to search your own conscience and see if and how you've been his enabler: allowing him to engage in this destructive conduct. This is one thing Al-Anon helps with.
---Cluny on 8/10/09

If you leave him, he will be free to make someone else his victim . . . like maybe he managed to charm and fool you. Before you decoy yourself with divorce, you might do well to learn from how you were able to fool yourself about him. Or else, you could just fool yourself into something else, if you haven't learned how you helped yourself into this situation. Can you consider it is possible to restore him? Galatians 6:1. But if he is not a Christian and in a church that does not deal with this by the Bible . . . 1 Timothy 3:1-10 is very clear he is not qualified to be a pastor. 1 Corinthians 6:1-12 and Matthew 18:15-20 > if you can tell the difference, take this up with real Christians who know you, and work this out together.
---Bill_bila5659 on 8/10/09

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Grace....I think you should ask God what He thinks. He'll tell you.
---SusieB on 8/10/09

I think you know the answer to your question. To leave your husband would be wrong. There are other options. First of all, pray. Second, attend some Alanon meetings to learn how other wives deal with their husbands' drunkenness. Third, seek marital therapy, and discuss his drunken episodes there. A third party could provide your husband with an evaluation for possible treatment.

Alcoholism is not the end of the world. Your husband can stop drinking, if he seeks help.
---Trish9863 on 8/10/09

Well I ''think'' has nothing to do with what the bible says about marriage. The bible is clear that you can leave for peace it did not say you can re-marry.1 Cor 7

If your husband is more drunk than he is sober then he is going to need a friend, you are the best friend that could help him to find God again but it won't be easy!

It's pointless leaving him when he's down if your going to leave him make sure it's not for another!
---Carla3939 on 8/10/09

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