|June 12, 2001
I have been married for almost 20
years to a man I considered my "soul mate". He is out of the
house again after another "incident", one of several in the last 5
years. The latest is he came home 1 1/4 hours late for dinner,
drinking on his anti-depressant/anxiety meds (something he insists
is fine to do!), and was screaming at me, calling me a b#*ch, and
everything else, because his dinner wasn't on the table. Our 19
year old son pushed him away, after his father got in his face
like a drill sergeant, screaming and spitting on him, and after
asking his father to get out of his face twice. Then my son
called the police and his father left. My husband came back after
midnight, and took a hammer to our electrical panel, leaving 95%
of the house without power. Later in the week, even after
securing a restraining order (which I couldn't have served because
no one knows where he is), he got into the house, and stole every
locking doorknob (?). Oh boy...
I, as well as he, have been going to
counseling on and off for the past 5 years, since his first major
outburst, which came right after he had to close his business down.
He let everyone in the world walk on him (employees, customers,
etc.), and took it out on everyone in our home, instead of dealing
with the real situations at hand (maybe that would ruin his "great
guy" image?).Only in his head... I am on the road to recovery, as I took the
counseling seriously, and really wanted our marriage to work.
However, the more I stepped back from being an "enabler", letting
him take responsibility for what was his, the angrier he got. I
think the big difference in what we wanted in the relationship, is I
wanted to be with him, he clearly needed to be
While I love my husband, I cannot take
this irrational behavior, and neither can our children. We have
done everything to give him the opportunity to get well, but he is
clearly in a case of major denial. As he said when he called,
"you're the one who thinks I have the problem. I am out taking care
of my customers, and I'm fine. I don't need to be on this
medication now that I'm not with you." Sure, non-intimate
relationships, he's great. Everything thinks he's such a nice guy!
He is such a Jekyll/Hyde it's scary. However, after surfing your
site, I now realize this is a common trait, and this has helped me
know I'm not the "crazy one". He's even said that I've changed,
I've grown up, and proudly says he hasn't! He wants me to file for
the divorce, because he doesn't have the money to do so.
I don't think he wants to take responsibility
for asking for a divorce.
I am heartbroken, and can honestly look
in the mirror and know I've done everything I can to save our
marriage. I can't fix what's not mine, only he can. I cannot make
him change, only I can change me. For the sanity of myself, and our
children, I must get out of this marriage. How
unfortunate, but good for you for sticking up for yourSelf and
protecting your kids This is the last place I
wanted to be in my life, but here I am. I have the love and support
of many family and friends. They told me "enough is enough" years
ago, but in my throes of "co-dependency", I thought I could fix it.
He, on the other hand, avoids his true friends, who will tell him
what he doesn't want to hear.
We have two great children who deserve
more stability in their lives. They have hated how he's treated me
and them in the last 5 years. I know now, I must end this, before
it destroys us all. I might add, I've made sure they are going to
counseling too, because it's been a tough situation for everyone.
I've even told my kids that they have every right to even be angry
with me, because I took him back every time he was doing well, only
to have him start out well to get back in the house, and then go
back right to the same old misbehaviors within months of being
back. However, I love them, and my husband, and really wanted to
believe we would be one of the "success stories". Clearly, this
doesn't appear to be the case. Did you
also tell them they also have every right to feel angry with dad,
even though he chooses to be unable to help it?
I have been with this man over half of
my life, and the death of the dream of "growing up and old together"
appears to be gone. I have repeatedly asked him to check himself in
somewhere, either inpatient or outpatient, as this is bigger than
him. I've told him he's not a bad person, but has done some pretty
crappy things, but it can be fixed if he's willing to work hard at
his recovery. This is the only way we can save our marriage. He
wants the divorce. So be it, though I don't
believe him and think it's his stubborn ego talking. He wants to be
taken care of, and he's mad that you don't want to do it. Telling
you he wants a divorce without taking responsibility for getting it
is, I suspect, his way of upping the ante to get you to take
responsibility for him.
I have made the decision to move forward
in my life, even though it's a difficult choice. I still feel like
I'm "abandoning" him, cause clearly he has some
psychological/alcohol problems going on. He's even told me, "if I'm
so sick, how come my family is abandoning me?" Probably
manipulation huh? Yes. When the divorce is finalized, he won't have any
health insurance, as I've been the one carrying it through 90% of
our marriage, with his numerous jobs and self-employment. I guess
this is what makes me feel the worst. Watch
him try to use it against you! Knowing that me pulling out
is only going to make it harder for him to get help without
insurance, if and when he ever decides he needs it.
Worrying about the welfare of other people is
what got you into this mess to begin with. If hubby wanted help, he
would have gotten it. If he wants help down the road, he'll find a
Why do I still feel that I've failed,
even when I know I haven't? Irrational
guilt. I still love my husband, but hate his
"misbehavior". While I miss him being around, and the many good
times we've had, I will admit I don't miss him coming in the door,
drunk and verbally obnoxious, turning our world upside down just as
the trust rebuilds.
I strongly suspect that hubby is
an alcoholic, which is an illness, certainly a spiritual illness if
not a physical and mental one as well. Nevertheless, hubby has free
will. He may need to "hit bottom" before he asks for help. Or, he
may continue doing what he's doing forever. Whether he's sick
or not, he is not your responsibility and you don't have the
power to help him!
I think you need to examine the
irrational guilt you have about taking care of yourSelf.
here and consider reading
The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting
Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life
Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your
Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You
You may also
want to look into
meetings, where you'll find too many alcoholics' partners who share
your issues. Also, look through the
Thanks Doc for your web-site and keep up
the great work. L. Thank you for your kind
words. We're cheering you on as you continue to heal. Dr.
comments for L?