In his new memoirs If we break, Kathleen Bühle doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of his 24-year marriage to Biden hunter and the ramifications it had on his own mental health and that of their three daughters, Noemie, finneganand Maisy.
In the book, Buhle shares that she started noticing Hunter’s drinking might be a problem around 2001 after the birth of their second child when he took a job as a partner at a lobbying firm. in Washington, DC, which led to a lot of late nights. and long periods away from their home in Delaware. “I saw his drinking spiral go from social to problematic,” she wrote. “Seeing how much he could consume scared me… For the first time, I didn’t trust my husband.” In the fall of 2003, Hunter entered rehab for the first time, and upon his return, the author said their marriage “felt stronger than ever.” But after seven years of sobriety, Hunter again relapsed into denial, forcing Buhle into the permanent role of sobriety detective. “As my suspicions grew, so did Hunter’s defense,” she says. “He made me think I must be crazy, when what I wanted from him was honesty. But I didn’t know how to ask for it.
When Hunter returned home after finally agreeing to a second stint in rehab in 2012, Buhle says she tried to “reignite our marriage…We weren’t fighting, not at first. We just seemed to drift apart. From the outside, everything was as it should be… But inside, at home, we weren’t sharing. And in the spring of 2013, she started noticing the warning signs that he was drinking again.” I didn’t trust my husband, and he didn’t trust me either, as if my own suspicions of him made me suspect… Sometimes I even believed that it was my own skepticism of him that was the problem,” she wrote, blaming herself for driving her husband even further into his addiction.
After Beau Biden is diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer, Buhle once again watches her husband’s drinking become “worse than ever”, finding beer cans and vodka bottles strewn about their home. She begins to lose faith that he will ever be able to stop. “Each time he drank, the process of getting him to admit he wasn’t sober took longer and was more exhausting,” she says. “The denials got angrier and more bitter too. For the first time, Hunter insulted me. And as Beau’s illness worsened, Buhle writes, “Hunter’s drinking was evident in the darkest and most angry way.”
After more than a decade of battling her husband’s alcoholism, Buhle admits the reality that Hunter might also use drugs had never even occurred to her. That was until he confessed in late 2013 that earlier that summer he had failed a drug test needed to join the Navy, testing positive for cocaine – a drug he completely denies having taken. Years later, after Beau’s death, Buhle would also discover evidence that Hunter smoked crack, found a broken glass pipe in an ashtray at their home after a night of drinking, and later discovered a pipe and a small bag full of it. of a white substance. hidden in their car. But by then Buhle writes, “After years of thinking it couldn’t get any worse, I had lost the ability to be surprised by him.”
As if coping with Hunter’s alcoholism and drug addiction wasn’t enough of a challenge for their relationship to endure, Buhle also uncovers evidence of his infidelity years before he gets caught cheating on her with it. his late brother’s wife, Hallie. After Buhle finds photos on his iPad of a woman in a dressing gown in her Paris hotel room, Hunter eventually admits he cheated on her five times during their marriage, claiming that they were “all prostitutes. All out of the country,” and only when he was drinking. Buhle admits that not only did her entanglement with her husband keep her from leaving him, but she was also told by Hallie that if she left him, she would only regret it as Hunter would surely move on to someone else. Buhle’s therapist also told him at the time that “he didn’t think Hunter would be able to handle the loss of Beau and me at the same time.” So she decides to stay. But just as the author finally begins to forgive her for her past indiscretions, Hunter begins to distance herself from her again, spending more and more time with Hallie and her children after Beau passes away. She notices that Hallie is also starting to treat her more coldly. After years of friendship and family vacations, Buhle writes, “For the first time she seemed really tired of me. Soon, she would stop answering me at all. One of my last texts told him that I didn’t understand what was going on and that I felt like I was being punished. I did not have any answer.