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My Husbands Depression and Alcoholism

by CB

I feel guilt because my husband is depressed. He has been battling alcoholism and trying to recover for 6 years and his attempts always fail. I have moved on even though we still live in the same home.

I left for the beach last Saturday and he has been calling me crying about how lonely and depressed he is. When I am there he barely speaks - comes home drinking, expecting supper and goes to bed complaining about everything from work to feeling bad???

He is not supposed to drive (no license)- but he still does. He has no money, no friends, and is having a pity party. Why do I feel so bad?



Depression and Alcoholism do go hand in hand, especially because alcohol is a natural depressant and so only makes things worse.

Feeling bad is natural, often also because alcoholics are great at playing the self-pity game, and so use that as a form of manipulation to get us to feel sorry for them.

But doing that helps no one and you need to learn not to be an emotional dumping ground for your husband - because it actually just enables his behavior.

How hard has your husband actually tried to achieve sobriety? Has he been to rehab, worked a recovery program, gone to regular meetings ... basically made the commitment to turning his life around?

Because if he has, I don't think he'd be sitting around feeling sorry for himself. He chooses to remain an alcoholic ... when if he wanted it badly enough, he could choose a life of sobriety instead - because there is all the help and support out there available for him to achieve that if he wanted it.

Remember you didn't cause your husband's alcoholism, can't control his alcoholism, and neither can you cure it. So there is nothing to feel bad about. Your husband is entirely responsible for the choices he makes - if he wants to change and quit drinking badly enough, he'll make it happen.

I know it can sound harsh, but feeling sorry for him doesn't help. A bit of straight talking might actually be more helpful and break down those barriers keeping him stuck in a cycle of addiction.

Best of Luck

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Jan 14, 2011
Tired of dealing with depressed, addicted, alcoholic husband who also has ADHD
by: Anonymous

Married 30 years with the past 10 a progressive spiral downward - a nightmare. My husband comes from a dysfunctional family with two alcoholic parents who died at young ages due to alcohol related illnesses. My husband's ADHD and alcoholism became an issue in his forties and the anxiety he began to experience led to job difficulties, depression, and addictions to on-line pornography and cocaine use. It became a nightmare that nobody around us - family and friends, would ever have anticipated. We were the all American family and he was a success story - someone who overcame so much and beat the odds. Then, it all fell apart. Long story short, he has lost jobs, gone through rehab, drained us financially, and wallows in his depression - it seems that when he does try to make a comeback professionally it backfires on him. At age 52 it is difficult to find a job especially in this economic climate. I have struggled to keep us from going under financially, have tried to help our family regain some sense of normalcy - breaking that dysfunction cycle, but it has been very hard. I have no compassion left and he continues to put blame on me rather than taking responsibility for himself. I have read books, made suggestions, encouraged him to find some way to deal with this, to cope, to find health and heal, to move on, but he does nothing. On top of all that, in the midst of his fall, our teenage daughter plummeted into clinical depression and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She is very angry at him and says that she hates him. The other younger two children are more forgiving. I have my hands full dealing with both husband and sick daughter. I'd actually like my husband to leave, but he is unable to support himself. We had a separation for a few months and I was much happier. I know I must sound cruel, but I am done with this marriage. They say help is out there, but good luck unless you have excellent insurance and a lot of money to pay for therapy and medications. Trust is just gone and he can't seem to understand my perspective at all, nor does he really want to talk about it or deal with it. Any advice?

Jul 16, 2010
I understand
by: Escher

I can understand how you feel. My husband is an alcoholic too. He tries to tell me what a horrible woman I am when he is drunk, and I haven't seen him sober for two years.
Please, just remember what the truth really is. Don't buy into his comments. Don't let him drag you down too.

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