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  • Confused about husband's behavior

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    Old 02-12-2001, 07:15 AM   #1
    navymom
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    Post Confused about husband's behavior

    This is my first post to a board inquiring about addiction. I am very nervous about how to describe what I am going through. I grew up in an alcoholic home and lost a father (suicide) and a brother (liver disease)to this disease. You would think I would know every thing there is to know about the disease, its symptoms, effects on relationships, etc. but I am struggling with this one.
    I have been married for 11 yrs (2nd for both) to a man who, by all appearances, is professionally successful, and a good and decent man. I am 49, he is 54. We each have a grown son, neither lives with us. My husband's family history includes alcohol addiction and pill addiction as well.

    Our marriage has never been a good one, in my opinion. We have struggled with issues of control, communication, my issues with family addiction and lack of sexual desire (from molestation by an uncle at 12)all of which I have sought help for over the years and have been healing and working to stay healthy.

    One might think that my husband and I should be in the best years of our lives since we are looking foward to early retirement with a nice nest egg and don't have devastating health or emotional problems. But, after years of fighting with each other over so many things it has occurred to me that many of the painful and hurtful times in our marriage have had alcohol as a factor. I have nearly divorced him and came back because I couldn't bear to hurt him (we have 2 dogs that would have to go with me) I had quit my teaching job and was ready to move away and actually looked forward to starting a new life. Now, 2 years later, after many emotional sessions with each other trying to figure out what has us in such an unhappy relationship, I have really started to look at the way my husband uses alcohol. I am not trying to say that I have had no responsiblity in our marriage being in poor health but I truly believe that the alcohol is a major factor.
    My husband uses alcohol to medicate his stress, to relax, to be funny at parties, and drinks during the week while traveling for business. I used to be afraid to confront him (years ago) but when I started getting healthy the more unhealthy he seemed to me.
    He started smoking cigars a couple of years ago and recently announced to me that he smoked from 3-6 a day! He realized that was stupid and is trying to stop but I know he is having trouble. He also uses food as a medication and has a serious weight problem, high blood pressure, and I can hear him breathe all the time.
    Anyway, back to my problem. After yet another fight over the silliest thing, he blows up at me because I "wouldn't get him a candy bar from the kitchen after he made some sarcastic remark about me having trouble with willpower". Seems silly, doesn't it, yet he went berserk at me, couldn't believe that I would take offense at his remark. Oh yeah, he was drinking a martini at the time.
    It finally dawned on me, though I had considered it many times before, and we had conversations and arguments about it, that alcohol IS the problem here. He says I am a ***** to live with, he is afraid of me, I have hurt him with my "accusations", and I am on the wrong track. He comes back at me in all kinds of ways to dissuade me from thinking that alcohol is the factor. He defends alcohol, would never acknowledge that a hangover he has is from drinking, and tells me that because he went thru so much with his parents he would never let it be a problem with him.
    I could go on and on... I am an educated person who is trying not to overstate the problem but I really believe alcohol is the damaging factor in our relationship. I am not sure if I even love him anymore. It is hard to watch someone close to you literally have no regard for their health.
    My thoughts are this: Am I overreacting to this and making something out of nothing because I have such a sensitivity to it, Am I the crazy one here? He does not have the signs of severe addiction or alcoholism but I believe he is exhibiting early signs, how can I know for sure? Is it possible for me to continue to stay healthy while trying to sort this out? Already, I am getting those nauseating sick feelings from the arguments we recently have had.
    I can honestly say that I have done my very best to be sensitive about this with him, not shaming or condemning or name-calling, that is not my nature. But, I am constantly accused of being the one with the problems in communication skills. My education background includes school counseling and working for a local center that helps addicted youth and young parents. I have spent 10 years in therapy, group, attended a few al-anon meetings, have wonderful friends for support, but, in the end, I am living in this "hell" and trying not to get burned.
    I have told him that unless and until he begins to take his health seriously that I am going to only focus on my own health. I cannot go back to the serious health problems I encountered a few years ago. I have no interest in "working thru commincation issues, trying to be a better wife, etc. as I have "been there, done that" so many times. I will know when I know...if it is time to get out, I just would like to hear from someone who understands more objectively than me.

    Thank you for any guidance.
    Sincerely,
    navymom

     
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    Old 02-12-2001, 08:44 AM   #2
    pleesr
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    SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR SITUATION. ISEE THE SAME THING HAPPENING TO MY MOTHER IN-LAW. HER SECOND HUSBAND IS AN ALCOHOLIC. HE HIDES MOST OF HIS DRINKING, THINKS NOBODY KNOWS. WELL, HE IS WRONG. EVERYBODY KNOWS. BUT NOBODY WANTS TO COMFRONT HIM. HE KNOWS IT IS PROBLEM OR HE WOULDN'T HIDE THE BOOZE. HE TREATS MY MOTHER IN-LAW TERRIBLE. I COULD GO ON WITH A LOT OF THINGS. I GUESS, JUST FROM WHAT YOU SAY, THAT YOU SHOULD EITHER LEAVE HIM OR JUST LEARN TO LIVE LIFE AS YOU SEE FIT. I WILL PRAY THAT THINGS WORK OUT FOR YOU. GOD BLESS.
    PAUL

     
    Old 02-12-2001, 09:38 AM   #3
    TrickyDick
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    Hey NM,
    Addiction is a disease and untill the one with it acknowledges it, the road to recovery can not even begin. The addict is always the last to see it. The effects are usually attributed by them as to being the fault of others or of anything but of the addiction or the addict.

    You are in the classic position of the person who is caught up in the addiction but can't do anything about it except make yourself unhappy and sick over it.

    That is what Al-anon is all about. You know this. If you want to attempt to help yourself with YOUR problems with his addiction, go to the meetings and try that approach to living with his addiction.

    Otherwise, you are limited to two options.
    Continuing on as you have or giving him the ultimatum of stopping his drinking and going to AA meetings or a divorce.

    None of the above is going to be easy, they are all hard and hard on everyone. I think you know all of this already. I am sorry that you are in this situation but glad that you are trying to deal with it and protect yourself. Take care and come back when ever you want.
    Peace

     
    Old 02-12-2001, 11:11 AM   #4
    navymom
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    Pleesr and TrickyDick,
    Thank you for your quick responses. I appreciate your concerns and it helps to actually see something in writing. Just one more question:
    Is it possible that I am imagining his addiction because I am super sensitive to it and that I have overstated my concern over it? This is my one real fear in going to an Al-Anon meeting, is that I will sound like I am "ragging on him" when that is not what really is going on in our marriage. OK, I just read that last line and it sounds pretty unhealthy, I know.
    I will get myself to a meeting soon. Thank you for your prayers.
    Navymom

     
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