I Don't Love my Alcoholic/Verbally Abusive Husband Anymore. Is Withholding Sex a Part of Detaching from His Awfulness and Blame?
Very long marriage, 17 years. Husband is a closet drinker who has never sought treatment and swears he can cure himself but always drinks (he maintains that he doesn't), displaying drunken behaviors.
He is always asking me to have sex with him even when I tell him "No, you called me a "scumbag", "piece of shit", horrible wife yesterday!" He displays poor behaviors and says awful things in front of the kids. He wakes up the next day and acts like not a thing occurred and blames me when the kids are angry with him.
The husband says he has seen a psychiatrist for his depression of our marriage 3 times. I know for sure that he has not shared most of the truth with this psychiatrist because she would have recommended an alcohol treatment program, meds for anger outbursts, and intensive therapy for the underlying causes of his depression.
It has been an awful cycle over the past 10 years. I would always give in to sex with him and within a couple of days, if he asked for sex again and I said "no" he would abuse me verbally and emotionally. He also verbally abuses me in front of our children who now are aware of his drinking.
I have sought counseling but no matter what I have tried, he continues to maintain I am to blame, meaning over the past 10 years, my "neglect" or not enough sex has caused the marriage to fall apart. I know he is the cause.
What I am trying to tell him that our kids are the most important part and we need to behave like adults BUT all he goes back to is my "neglect". He refuses to change, stop verbally abusing, get into an alcoholic treatment program. I have repeatedly discussed divorce with him and he refuses to accept it.
I am trying to get a job and try to be able to have a more stable income, as I have been mostly a stay at home mother for almost 16 years. He hasn't changed and now my feelings are not loving and I hate the thought of him touching me. He feels I am ruining the kids life but I know he has done it on his own. I am a very loving, caring, and understanding person but he has pushed me so far over the years, I feel like I can't chance my emotional well being any longer and do not love him.
So what I am asking, is withholding sex from the alcoholic/abusive husband reasonable? What other steps can I take to get the husband to see that he is the cause of his own problems and the demise of the marriage? How can I get him to see how he is destroying our kids???
You are not obliged to have sex with your husband just because you are his wife. If there is no love, connection, or you feel you're not being treated well - then it is your choice to not have sex with me. Don't let him manipulate you (something alcoholics are excellent at) into having sex with you if you don't want to.
All your husband is doing is shifting the blame onto you - because it allows him to continue drinking and deflect the attention from himself and his addiction. Again, just a form of manipulation. By making his drinking 'not his fault' - it also allows him to not have to take any form of responsibility for anything.
The thing is - you can't make someone see something they don't want to. So there really isn't much you can do to make your husband see that he is the cause of the state he finds himself in. And withholding sex isn't suddenly going to help him realise either.
There is no 'magic cure' to help an alcoholic come to the realisation that they are the cause of their own mess and that unless they become brutally honest with themselves and take total responsibility for their lives - nothing is going to change.
It usually takes reaching rock bottom for an alcoholic to get to the point where they're ready to change. But that 'bottom' is different for everyone and what it takes to reach that point changes from person to person. And some just never reach it ... and will simply die as drunks.
So eventually as the spouse/partner of an alcoholic - you have to accept you can't control what your husband does. He will simply continue drinking and abusing you, irrespective of what you say or do. In his mind, you provide him with a reason to drink, so as long as you're around it's likely that will continue.
I think it's time you leave your husband - for your own sake and his. You need to find peace, happiness and meaning again - and maybe the shock of you actually leaving him will help your husband reach his 'bottom' where he's ready to acknowledge his addiction and do something about it.
Because otherwise it seems very unlikely anything will ever change ...
All The Best