I need to testify against my alcoholic husband. What do I do?



I came across your web site and thought I would tell you my situation and get your perspective on it.

I've been married for a little over five years. My husband is an alcoholic. He can go for months without a drink, then once he does, he's usually off and running to do drugs. Usually a 24-hour event with a tremendous emotional and financial cost. 

I'm in my fifties and this is my first marriage. I am his third wife. You could say I've been known to ignore red flags.

Anyway, in several years ago he received the Lord and was baptized. Last year he entered into a Christ-centered residential regeneration program that was supposed to last ten months. I started to see change in humility and humbling himself before the Lord. I was receiving intensive help too as it was important for the family to participate every weekend.

After three months, he quit. Within a couple of weeks, he took my father's motorcycle out of our garage without his permission and I was at my wits end. My dad lives with us. We called the sheriff and we got a call in the middle of the night to come pick up the bike when they found him and arrested him. The next day, he bonded himself out of jail. Within two days, he drank again, we argued and he pushed me. He was arrested again and this time he stayed in jail for a month before I weakened and took his phone call and bonded him out myself. I know this was wrong because the Lord was working on his heart and by me getting him out, he has slowly put God on the back burner. During the month he was in jail, I had filed for divorce but couldn't go through with it. We have been separated since he got out but still having relations. 

He is now facing a five to ten year prison sentence. I will be called as a witness to testify against him since I'm the one who made the 911 call for taking the motorcycle. That is a grand theft auto. I stopped by to see him after church on Sunday and I smelled booze, probably from the day before. He denied it, but I found a receipt from two weeks ago for drinks at a restaurant. I left. He says I should go ahead with the divorce cause this isn't a marriage. He doesn't know how he'll feel about me after I testify to put my own husband in prison.  I'm putting this whole legal situation in God's hands and let whatever happens happen. But he wants me to make it go away, change it by getting my father to drop charges or refuse to testify. He's acting like a caged animal the closer we get to trial.

During his time at the program, he'd come clean about an infidelity a few years ago while out of town. We worked through it with counseling. I guess at this point, I know according to Scripture I can divorce him because of his adultery; however, we worked through that and I "feel" like I'm going back on my word.

The problem is, he is putting the whole responsibility of his legal issues squarely upon my shoulders and not taking responsibility. I think he's fighting for his life, but he's being selfish, too. He says he's not going back to prison (meaning, he'll take his own life). A manipulation tactic, I'm sure. He loves himself too much.

Thank you for taking time to read my question.


Like many habitual sinners, your husband has never really faced serious consequences for his behavior. He has always been able to explain it away as someone else's problem.

My biggest concern is for your safety and that of your father. It is based on your testimonies that he will end up in jail and you've shown that he is irrational when drunk and on drugs. Despite this, you allow him into your house.

While your husband started toward change, the fact remains that he did not change. He demonstrated by leaving the program that he loves drugs more than being righteous. I do hope he will eventually change, but it is wrong to treat him as if he has changed (Matthew 7:15-20). In this you are continuing to show the same habit of ignoring things you don't want to see.

You mentioned that you are his third wife, but you did not mention why his first two marriages ended. I would guess that he was the cause of the failures and that the divorces were not because his first two wives both committed adultery on him. If that guess is accurate, then your current marriage is not valid in God's sight (Matthew 19:9). The solution would be to divorce him and take out a protection order against him until the trial is over and he's in jail.