March 12, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene,
I am in such a state of confusion, maybe you
can help me think things through...
I have been married for 15 years and have
two boys ages 10 and 13. I have known for years that I was
not emotionally available to my husband but didn't know why. I was
just not there for him...I tortured myself about it, what was wrong with
We went to counseling in December of 1999. I
told her how my husband is very self sacrificing, and perhaps I took
advantage of that. Then I explained how he occasionally gets
drunk, physically restrains me and screams in my face explaining what a
bad person I am and how I never "let HIM" do what
"HE" wants to do. Suddenly it all clicked for me. I
was not responsible for his actions! (She immediately told him
he needed to go to AA and after we left the session he said he would not
consider it.) You were angry over how he treated
you, especially when drinking, but you were in denial...
He had three drinking incidents in December
and I quit going to counseling, it was all too much for me to deal with.
Good. You've had it with the drinking. Your anger
is now closer to the surface. He now says he will quit drinking
if I want him to, but it seems too late. I can't tear down the
walls I have built around myself. You can
tear down the walls, but you are so angry, you may not want to
- at least right now - while he is behaving poorly. Why not test the
waters? Agree to go back into counseling with him if and only if
he stops drinking immediately and stops being abusive immediately.
One drinking episode and you are history. Or something like that.
How do I know if it is over??? Right now you don't. Should I try to keep this
together for my kids' sake? Give the marriage a
shot for your kids' sake. One day, you may be glad you did. Am
I a victim of abuse (I am questioning that now)? Your
husband can certainly act abusively at times. Pay attention to the stuff
you don't like. He probably has more abusive behaviors than you realize
just yet. Read The Verbally Abusive Relationship. As you
identify abuse, you need to insist that he clean up his act. Only
then do you have a chance to reclaim good feelings towards your husband
and your marriage. You can't give the marriage a shot as long as his
mis-behavior continues to make you angry. He is otherwise a
"nice guy". Divorce is a dirty word in my
family...how can I even consider it?
Maybe I am just being selfish, I should
be thinking of the future, and my kids. You are
being self-caring! At their age, these boys need their
Dad. You can certainly see what a "fog" I am in.
I need some objective advice. Can you help? Hope
Thanks for listening, Bonnie Good luck. Dr. Irene