My Husband is an Alcoholic - and Controlling My Life! Help! What Should I Do?
My husband and I have been married for 7 years... We are both 27 yrs old and have 3 young children. I always knew that my husband might have a drinking problem because I grew up with an alcoholic father (who has now been sober for 14 years!!!)
But, my husband didn't really starting getting too bad until right after we had our youngest son who is now almost 2 years old. In the last year my husband has been in detox, jail for a DUI, and the hospital because he tried to kill himself while he was drunk one night. We were just recently separated for two months because of his drinking.
I just can't seem to get passed all the pain that he has caused me. I reluctantly let him come back home in April after he made promises that he would never pick up another drink again. He has tried AA and now says he hates it that they are all like a cult.
I don't know what to do - he has not started drinking excessively yet but I know how the cycle goes ... He has also told me that I am not allowed to go out with my friends for the occasional drink. I am in total support of my husband but I also don't think it's fair that I have to be locked in the house because he is an addict.
I am a stay at home Mom and am in this house 24/7 and I feel that I am not the one with the problem - but, somehow he always seems to turn everything on me and make it my fault when he drinks. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy and maybe it is my fault!!!!
I just don't know what to do anymore! I was recently invited to go to an all girls weekend trip and turned it down out of fear that he would get drunk and not be able to take care of the kids.
It sounds crazy but I don't want to live this way - but at the same time I don't want be with out him. Can someone please give me some advice about what to do? I feel like I'm at my wits end!!!!
There seem to be two issues at play here:
i) Your husband's alcoholism and the impact that has on you and the kids.
ii) His controlling nature and not providing you with the freedom to have any sort of independence.
Now I don't know if his alcoholism contributes to the fact that he's so controlling, but you say he's been sober recently so it doesn't seem like it. But often it does - so if your husband manages to actively progress in his recovery from alcoholism, he
may become less controlling.
I think the first thing to always do is try and communicate with your husband how you're feeling. Now I don't mean in an argumentative or defensive way - those usually just end up in fights - but just an honest heart to heart talk.
Tell your husband that you're there to support him however he needs to overcome his alcoholism - and that you'll go to Al Anon meetings if he continues to go to AA meetings (you should go to Al Anon anyway I think to help you deal with what's going on because your situation is exactly what they're there for) - but that you also need to have some free time to spend with your friends. Hopefully by speaking to your husband in a calm, caring manner he'll listen.
My worry is, is that your husband doesn't seem to want to take ownership of his recovery, and is making excuses about why AA won't work etc. etc. Because you're right - all the signs seem to be there that he'll start drinking heavily again.
So somehow you need to try and encourage him to go to AA and work at his recovery - because if he doesn't, it seems like things are just going to get bad again - and probably quickly. That's why I suggested you go to Al Anon while he's at AA because that might encourage him to keep going.
But unfortunately you ultimately have no control over what your husband does - and if he doesn't want to stop drinking and change his life, there isn't much you can do about it. Your only option then becomes to play the tough love card - and insist that unless he works at his recovery and stays sober, you'll leave him (and then you can't let him come back again so soon after his first sign of remorse).
Your current situation is really unhealthy. Besides your husband's alcoholism - the fact that you're so dependent on him - and the fact that he controls you in the way he does, is no basis for a healthy relationship.
I think you need to start figuring out - irrespective of what your husband says or does - how to become more independent and take charge of your life again. It's time to start empowering yourself again!
Because if your husband doesn't make the changes he needs to and keeps controlling you in the way he does - you need to make the decision about what is best for you and the kids in the long-term. When you look at the future from the perspective of what will be best for your children, you'll know what the best thing is to do, no matter how hard.
God Bless and let us know what happens.