I am very distraught and have been all night. I called friends tonight and poured my heart out. They are not used to this. My best friend of 32 yrs has probably never heard me cry since 10th grade. For the first time I phoned her and cried for over an hour. You see I am the friend everyone runs to. I am the one who gives the advice to all my friends while keeping everything that is going on in my life to myself. I am the rock solid one. I have kept things together for years. Tonight I couldn't take it anymore.
I have been with my husband for 17 yrs - we have not been married all that time though. He is a good person over all. I have tried for several years to be what he wanted but now I give up. I have not talked to him since Tuesday night. Wednesday after work he did not come home so I went and took my mom shopping and when I can home at 9:30 he was sleeping -he had been at the bar drinking. Thursday same thing - he did not come home - so I went out to the bingo - and when I came home he was already sleeping. Tonight same thing - did not come home - I went shopping and when I drove by the beer store our car was there but yet he did not come home and now it is 2:30am and he is still not home. I don't know what his problem is as we did not have a fight before this happened. I am tired of his disappearing to a bar a few days a week. I can't live this way anymore. I have written him a letter and I am giving it to him tomorrow or leaving it on the table whatever comes first.
I know I am not happy with this situation. He thinks I shouldn't have a problem with him going out and having a few drinks. I say there is a problem when I don't know where he is or when he is coming back or that he is drinking and driving. He never calls me to let me know what is going on. He got a 12 hr suspension just 3 weeks ago and it doesn't seem to fizz him. I am tired of wondering and worrying about him. He is at his worst and I can't fix it but I feel I am near a breakdown and have to get out. I just don't know what's ahead of me as we have been together since I was 19. I am very hurt and scared but I have to start to think of myself fist for the first time in my life. All our relationship has been centered around him and I am starting to see more clearly lately that there is more to life than this. All week long he barely speaks to me yet he can take a day out of the week to go and sit with a bunch of losers at a bar. I feel I have to fight for any attention I can get. My self esteem has taken a beating. I don't need this. How do you move on?
Browneyed-babe, can you look in the newspaper or call the health department and find out where you can attend an Al-Anon meeting? I forgot what the whole word is for it, but it is for people who have alcoholics in their lives. You kept mentioning how you are always focused on your husband and you do not meet your own needs. This is exactly what they deal with at these meetings. It will really open your eyes as to what is going on and they will help you deal with these issues. It seems that you have the same set up with your friends, you meet their needs instead of your own. Please go!
Browneye: I am 36 and going through the same thing. Only I did tell mine 2 weeks ago we are done. I am having a hard time. We are still living together until he can save up money to get his own place and stuff. It is really hard I am not going to lie to you. But I am hoping the pain goes away sometime and I hope I can stick to it, because he is the same as your man, only mine started coming home and being mean to me, and it led to me drinking and being unhappy all of the time. I hope this does not happen to you.
Hang in there and do what you feel is best for YOU! He should be taking care of you and taking you places. I believe it is the alcohol that over rides the enjoyment you used to share together. I know that is how I feel. If you need anyone to talk to please feel free, because I REALLY NEED someone to go through this with and my friends can only listen so much. They don't believe I am going through with it. I did it once and I will do it again, I HATE THAT I HAVE TO! And if you are feeling like you failed and all that, trust me it isn't us that failed it is they did. They may wake up and quit one day and it might be to late to get back together and then again it might all work out PERFECT IN THE END. At least that is the way I am TRYING to look at it.
Trust me I cry to bed and I cry when I wake and sometimes in the middle of the day! I HEAR IT GETS BETTER
Wow, I had the same exact feelings for 18 months, and it's incredibly frustrating and life-consuming to live with an Alcoholic.
My advice, based on my similar experience is:
First try to remove yourself from this situation, and try not to worry about the safety of someone who is grown up enough to know what he is putting you both through. If he gets into trouble, then this would at least wake him up a little.
Also, a definitely helpful startegy is "setting your expectations low with him". So you don't set yourself up for shock and hurt. Accept the possibilty that he might do it again.
It is VERY hard to distance yourself, but it is achievable. I would say widen the circle of friends you have, and do more activities outside your home.
Can you stay over at your mum's for few days? The feeling that he lost you might knock some sense into him.
I would strongly suggest avoiding him too, because he might get violent to you, and NOTHING would convince them that they are wrong unless they realise it themselves.
Don't know what to say but HE needs to accept that he has a problem, and he doesn't seem to. Has he always been drinking or is there a particular event that triggered it?
I used to panick to no extent when my ex used to do the same exact thing. Don't know where he was, if he was safe, etc. And I would take my anger out on him by arguing. I even suffered severe anxiety. My anger finally turned into resentment and desire to get away for the massive disrespect he showed.
You need to burn your anger in a positive way....not confronting him. But maybe calling a counselling/emotional support helpline, investing your energy in a more positively rewarding thing, and focussing ON YOUR OWN SAFETY AND SANITY.
Thank you everyone for your replies. He ended up coming home at 6:30am - he said he tried to reach me Friday night but the line was steady busy - he said he was at a friends and wanted me to pick him up but couldn't reach me so he slept there til morning as he couldn't drive.
I told him exactly how I felt and he said he didn't know he was affecting me this much. He said things would change that we would start to do things together and his behaviour would stop- he promised. He said something happened at work that ticked him off and he was so angry he had to get away. He said he is very unhappy with his job and that's the reason he is behaving the way he has lately. He did not say that he would stop drinking though. Just slow down.
I am going to try and go to an Al-anon meeting. I went years ago but I have a hard time believing alcoholism is a disease-a compulsion yes but I always think they have control before the first drink. I will give it another try though - if not I will seek counselling as I am feeling anxiety too much and don't want to have a breakdown.
I can't go to my mom's as it would be too stressful for her - she is older. I don't want my problems out in the open. I am a very private person. His family may be able to help as they have seen the decline with him too. His sister has also had to quit drinking as she has a problem also so she may be able to help. I am going to see how he is in the coming weeks and if it continues then I will start looking for my own place. I know he does not want to lose me as he keeps telling me. He is not violent, is is just annoying when he drinks and he is a weekend alcoholic with the 1 day during the week stint. I have changed my behaviour lately as I normally would argue with him when he was drunk but now I don't speak to him at all and it drives him nuts. I know now he is the one who has to change, I can't change him, only meself and that's who I am going to work on, me.
I agree w/ one poster here, seek an Al-Anon group. I was in an Al-Anon for years and with the comraderie, group discussion and with the help of the books, I was able to survive the many "alcoholics" in my life.
I just recently re-married after being divorced and raising my son for 17 or 18 +/- years... this is my 2nd marriage and my husband's first (that sounds so foreign to say husband) LOL
But back to you, I have learned from my first marriage, my few relationships and now from my wonderful husband that marriage is not the same as relationships. In a marriage, you just can't walk away, things needs to be worked out. You can't just give up, you can't just stop working on the relationship (of course, unless you're being abused, that's a different topic). I know I'm not perfect and neither is my husband, and I am expecting a lot of ups and downs, you're at the down part of your marriage right now and I know it's not fun.
I hope you can find peace within yourself even if there's turmoil around you. Al-Anon helped me find that inner peace. It's a valuable tool that's available to us.