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Alcoholic Husband

Question:

I have been married for 6 years to my second husband. We have known each other since I was 2. He was married 2 times before and I was married once. I love the man I married, but I just don’t know where he is. I live with someone that has become a total stranger. He goes out “to play pool” and forgets to come home. He is usually drunk when he does return the next morning and then the silent treatment starts. I have asked him to stop, I have made threats of leaving, but I cannot take my children from their home. I have thought of asking him to leave, but I am really afraid that he would be too stubborn to ever come back or try to change. I really do want our marriage to work. We were good together, but as soon as he turned 37, he started telling me that if I wanted to act old fine, but he would go out drinking and enjoying himself anytime he wanted. We have a set of twins (3) together and I have a 9 yr old. The oldest hates it when he’s home because his always in a bad mood and we don’t ever do anything “family” together anymore. I am just lost and don’t know what to do. I really think it all links back to the weekend drinking, but I don’t know how to make him see it. What should I do?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

It wasn’t that you wanted to act “old” now, was it? I think you were choosing to act “responsibly” instead, and your husband was too immature to handle that. Based on your description, your husband is almost certainly a certified alcoholic in deep need of help and treatment. There are few ways (if any) to get through to an alcoholic before they have “hit bottom” (so to speak) and ready to deal with their denial and the wreckage they have created. Your husband’s drinking is very bad for your children to witness, as is the poor example of failing marital communication and lack of intimacy you and he are displaying for them on a daily basis. I encourage you to ask yourself, “Which is worse? Staying with this man and exposing my children to his chaos and abuse, or leaving him and facing the financial, emotional and other uncertainties of life without him?” I suggest you seek some outside counseling, either from a therapist, clergy person, or friend to help you to see the situation more clearly. If you come to believe that his behavior is unacceptable and irresponsible (as do I), then work on getting the strength to stand up to him and tell him things need to change (he needs to stop drinking, he needs to treat you better, etc.) Offer to work on this with him in therapy. If he refuses, then start packing your children’s bags, because the situation isn’t going to get better. Believe in yourself. Best of luck and strength to you, – Anne

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