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Hi. I just found this forum. I’ve been married over 20 years. To start I’m not guiltless in the sad situation I call my marriage. However, I have been dealing with a lot of emotional abuse I guess yoi could call it, I was an enabler to his drinking and acting out, going out, never speaking up or I guess standing my ground. I just got to the point where I didn’t want to argue so whatever he said or wanted I’d do and I’ve been miserable for such a long time. The worst part is for many years his behavior not only affected me it affected our children. I cannot tell you why I never left, why I never stood my ground and said stop, or I’m not putting up with this. No clue. So as of recent because our marriage has been in shambles he had been drinking and threw a scary tantrum. He finally fell asleep on the couch and kids and I slept in our room and locked the door. For the first time I was legitimately scared. I left the next day with kids and I had never left before. I came back home and things were super stressful. He has been on his best behavior for over 6 weeks. It’s the weirdest thing ever. We have been seeing a pastor and his wife and he listens , doesn’t get angry, we never talk about anything said on the way home or before the next session. Sorry this is so long. There is soooooooooo much. So much history. So much he’s saying now and I have no clue what to do. I feel for the most part that I don’t want to be together because I don’t believe someone an change just like that and if they can, wasn't I or we worth it the 100 x before ? Why change now? Because we are older? It’s just so weird. I feel like I had to try the counseling to know I did everything I could and especially because it included God in it. I’ve tried counseling before he’d go to first appointment and then not show for the next two or three, but I guess because I actually left he’s like,”oh ****, I better go.” Anyway, so much more keeps happening but I guess this is a start putting this out there.
thanks.
 

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Hi. I just found this forum. I’ve been married over 20 years. To start I’m not guiltless in the sad situation I call my marriage. However, I have been dealing with a lot of emotional abuse I guess yoi could call it, I was an enabler to his drinking and acting out, going out, never speaking up or I guess standing my ground. I just got to the point where I didn’t want to argue so whatever he said or wanted I’d do and I’ve been miserable for such a long time. The worst part is for many years his behavior not only affected me it affected our children. I cannot tell you why I never left, why I never stood my ground and said stop, or I’m not putting up with this. No clue. So as of recent because our marriage has been in shambles he had been drinking and threw a scary tantrum. He finally fell asleep on the couch and kids and I slept in our room and locked the door. For the first time I was legitimately scared. I left the next day with kids and I had never left before. I came back home and things were super stressful. He has been on his best behavior for over 6 weeks. It’s the weirdest thing ever. We have been seeing a pastor and his wife and he listens , doesn’t get angry, we never talk about anything said on the way home or before the next session. Sorry this is so long. There is soooooooooo much. So much history. So much he’s saying now and I have no clue what to do. I feel for the most part that I don’t want to be together because I don’t believe someone an change just like that and if they can, wasn't I or we worth it the 100 x before ? Why change now? Because we are older? It’s just so weird. I feel like I had to try the counseling to know I did everything I could and especially because it included God in it. I’ve tried counseling before he’d go to first appointment and then not show for the next two or three, but I guess because I actually left he’s like,”oh ****, I better go.” Anyway, so much more keeps happening but I guess this is a start putting this out there.
thanks.
It might very well be that you leaving scared enough to get his attention. Sometimes people do change.

Many who find themselves in a situation like yours hang on for years trying desperately to hold the relationship and family together. There is a very good book that has helped a lot of people in this situation: Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie. The link is to a version of the book that I think is out of print but there are a lot of used copies for sale. This author has other books on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It might very well be that you leaving scared enough to get his attention. Sometimes people do change.

Many who find themselves in a situation like yours hang on for years trying desperately to hold the relationship and family together. There is a very good book that has helped a lot of people in this situation: Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie. The link is to a version of the book that I think is out of print but there are a lot of used copies for sale. This author has other books on the topic.
Thank you so much! I think this is what we have is the codependency issue. I think he’s afraid to lose my presence but not me necessarily. I’ve always been there for him no matter what. I have to try to get a book. Thanks again.
 

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Has he stopped drinking? If so, how long since his last drink?

no one should stay when you don’t feel safe! Especially you and your kids should leave until a LONG time has passed where he shows serious change! That includes never drinking again, and never showing rage again.

how old are your kids?
 

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My husband used to drink more when younger. What bothered me the most wasn’t that he used to come home drunk, but how he behaved when drunk. He hasn’t been drunk like that in years, but I always wonder “ What if” everytime he is out drinking with friends. That feeling tortures me and it will never go away.
I know how you feel.
 

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Do you think he'll turn his behavior around or go back to his old ways?
I think that the most likely thing that will happen is that he will go back to his old ways. I'm a believer. I know that God CAN change people, but He doesn't, against their will. They have to submit their will to God in order to be changed. It's much easier to remain as they are.

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 KJV)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat
 

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You have every right a reason to feel wary about that sudden change. he knows he really screw it up this time, and he is trying to fix it before you leave him. It may work, it may not. And even he changes permanently, the other question is - do you want to stay with him? You have to ask yourself if there is anything left on your side.

you say he listens when you meet up with pastor and his wife. But does he talk, does he actively participate in the session? do you talk directly to him and tell him how his behavior makes you feel, and how it affected you over the years? Does he respond to it, acknowledges your feelings and what he could try to improve on his side?
Who does most of the talking in these sessions? If he just listens and agrees with everything, that looks more like he is just doing anything what he think is expected from him to keep you from leaving him at this moment. But how much of it does he get, it's another questions. Are you able to see if he really gets it what's happening?
 

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What you said, is everything that I see and goes through my mind. Mostly I feel like he is just going through the motions. Just like at home when I bring up very serious things he never acknowledges them....you hit the nail on the head and no he won't acknowledge them in counseling. He tends to go around the questions. The pastor tries and does successfully get his attention but after so many times he eventually moves on to something else. It's like pulling teeth. He hesitantly speaks when it's about the hard stuff. I genuinely cannot figure out if he is truly stumped or he is just playing it up (like "I don't understand, what do you mean"). When the pastor tells us to repeat stuff back to each other we do. Last night was the first time he spoke up more and this was our 3rd meeting. I said I felt he is untrustworthy and he got upset and said, "wow, we don't even know them (pastor and wife) and you are going to say I'm untrustworthy so they will think bad of me. So I went off and said I don't care what they think, that's not why we are here, he asked me a question and I answered, etc...I went off. The pastor and his wife told him they do not judge they have been through things themselves and they've seen and heard a lot worse to make him feel more comfortable. To me he comes off as a different person in front of them like he seeks their approval. I think there are just so many things going on with him. I think he thinks if we get through all these sessions (I may have already said this) that everything will be fine because he attended the sessions. He is a narcissist so for me that is all I know and tend to see. On the drive home last night he said it's so great to live this life we have, everything we've been through with the woman of my dreams, you. I was speechless. I honestly do not know what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think that the most likely thing that will happen is that he will go back to his old ways. I'm a believer. I know that God CAN change people, but He doesn't, against their will. They have to submit their will to God in order to be changed. It's much easier to remain as they are.

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 KJV)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat
Right.
Has he stopped drinking? If so, how long since his last drink?

no one should stay when you don’t feel safe! Especially you and your kids should leave until a LONG time has passed where he shows serious change! That includes never drinking again, and never showing rage again.

how old are your kids?
 

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I think that the most likely thing that will happen is that he will go back to his old ways. I'm a believer. I know that God CAN change people, but He doesn't, against their will. They have to submit their will to God in order to be changed. It's much easier to remain as they are.

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 KJV)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat
Right. I believe if it is truly his desire to seek guidance from God, it is possible but I cannot do that for him. He says he understands I'm relying on God but that we have to make the personal choice each and every day to act on our marriage if we want to make it work. It's like the pastor said last night and the other times, "It absolutely will not work without God in it." He encouraged us to start attending church and getting involved in small groups, etc. I am in my journey and it's far from great but I'm in it and I know what God is capable of and if we are think differently in regards to needing Him then I don't see how it can work.
 

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Has he stopped drinking? If so, how long since his last drink?

no one should stay when you don’t feel safe! Especially you and your kids should leave until a LONG time has passed where he shows serious change! That includes never drinking again, and never showing rage again.

how old are your kids?
He has not been drinking at home at all. It has been maybe 4 weeks. However, he went to play golf the other day and he's played and been home right after. Well, this time he came home later and was still playing it cool but I could tell he had at least a few. He fell asleep on the couch so that kind of confirmed it and when I woke him to go to bed he opened his eyes and looked back and they were so bloodshot and he was speaking in Spanish-he talks in his sleep and said yes, he had a drink and something else about a drink but I couldn't understand it all...I just shook my head and then he said in English, "oh yeah I was going to bed."

I had never left before and I left because I didn't feel safe. I did come back home sooner than I wanted and it's because I felt sorry for him. It's pathetic, I know but it's how I am and I am trying to get better. My kids have always come before him and they always will, that's why we left. The reason they have come before him is because he never showed me much affection and I didn't either because he was hardly home and my kids just were an unconditional love I had never experienced before. My kids are 15 & 7. I told him when I came home he could never drink again and no, I haven't brought up the day/night he played golf. It's like maybe I'm expecting him to just screw up again and that what I believe to be a front won't last and then I can say guilt free I'm leaving.
 

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My husband used to drink more when younger. What bothered me the most wasn’t that he used to come home drunk, but how he behaved when drunk. He hasn’t been drunk like that in years, but I always wonder “ What if” everytime he is out drinking with friends. That feeling tortures me and it will never go away.
I know how you feel.
I am sorry and I get that too. I have been so used to him coming home like that which is sad because he could have killed himself or someone else. It's what he'd say and do when he came home. I never thought much about what he was doing after so many years because I think I just stopped caring. I'm gonna pray for you that the feeling will go away and that things will be good and great for the both of you.
 

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I wanted to say to EleGirl and whoever else is interested that about 5/6 days ago my best friend sent me a you tube video her therapist sent her...it was Codependent No More. Part one and part two. I listened to some and was like, "yup, yup, yup that's me" and after you sent that recommendation I listed to the rest of both parts and it was everything!!!!!!!! So, so happy I listened to them.
 

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@NotSure74 It's great you are both speaking with your Pastor. It really is. But here's a question, is the Pastor qualified in relationship advice and alcohol dependency counselling? Because if not, there needs to be the intervention of experts in relationship problems and alcohol dependency as well as your Pastor and his wife.
 

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What MattMatt said - how qualified is Pastor in handling your issues?

Second - your husband is focused on looking good in front of Pastor and his wife, because they are part of your Sunday social circle, you still will be around them when this is over (one way or another). For that reason it might be better to have complete stranger to do it, instead of Pastor. But that would be more expensive.

It doesn't seem like he is getting it. Maybe it will take few more sessions, but chances are that he thinks that just being there makes him a good guy.
You said that you do not talk about session and your problems outside the counseling. Do you think if you start conversation about it , went back to something that you wanted to discuss deeper, he would respond positiviely, or he would throw tantrum, or just disregard it?
Does it seems like every next sessioin moves forward a little, or not?

When we did our MC, the sessions were brutal. He would fight like a lion against things that I said, I would say my part with non-emotional voice, trying not to get pulled in the quarrell. We both were physically exhausted after each session. But by the next session he would stew on the things I said and would go back to them. But that's how he always behaved. I had to go through the battle of the century to get something accross. No wonder we will be divorcing.

You do seem like you are all spent already. Life with someone with alcohol dependance is not easy. You really have to be honest iwht yourself if you even want to fight for that.
Maybe IC just for you?
 

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@NotSure74 It's great you are both speaking with your Pastor. It really is. But here's a question, is the Pastor qualified in relationship advice and alcohol dependency counselling? Because if not, there needs to be the intervention of experts in relationship problems and alcohol dependency as well as your Pastor and his wife.
He said from the start that people at church would speak to him about their marital issues and after some time the lead pastor asked he and his wife to offer guidance. He said he wasn’t a counselor but he does try to help marriages/people understand that they have to be whole and happy on their own in Christ and can’t expect their spouse to make them happy. He talks about forgiveness and just because someone can forgive doesn’t mean they trust them right away. He said my husband is an alcoholic but no, he isn’t an expert in either. I think they are good for both of us but especially him because he never trust anyone and it seems like he listens. I don’t know if he absorbs it.
 

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they have to be whole and happy on their own in Christ and can’t expect their spouse to make them happy. He talks about forgiveness and just because someone can forgive doesn’t mean they trust them right away. He said my husband is an alcoholic but no, he isn’t an expert in either.
There is not much in these words that would convince your husbad to improve. This sounds more like a way to get you stay in marriage - forgiveness, not expecting happiness from your husband but from within (which is great thing, but it sends message to your husband that he is off the hook). No wonder he thinks you guys are doing great after those sessions.

he needs to hear how he damages his family, and is about to lose it. What he hears is that you must forgive him and work on yourself to be happy.....
 

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My late husband was an alcoholic. We tried marriage counseling, but I finally told my husband to stop going with me. Why? Because, as the counselor said, "Your husband is one slippery character." What did he mean by that? We'd be in a session, and my husband would avoid, minimize, deflect, and just play dumb. It's what addicts do, and it's known as avoiding responsibility. Thus, he didn't have to admit he had a problem or that he needed to dig deeper.

This is just my take on what you have said so far, but if your husband truly has a problem with drinking, only HE can come to that conclusion and do something about it. At this point, I'd say he'll do the minimum he can get by with, then he'll revert to his old ways. All you can do at this point is take a wait-and-see approach.

My husband tried AA. and he was in three in-patient rehabs. Sadly, none of the help he received stuck. I wish you and your husband the best. But it's your husband's responsibility to realize and admit he has a drinking problem.
 

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There is not much in these words that would convince your husbad to improve. This sounds more like a way to get you stay in marriage - forgiveness, not expecting happiness from your husband but from within (which is great thing, but it sends message to your husband that he is off the hook). No wonder he thinks you guys are doing great after those sessions.

he needs to hear how he damages his family, and is about to lose it. What he hears is that you must forgive him and work on yourself to be happy.....
@WandaJ , that is what I feel like , what it seems like is happening. It’s like I’m thinking it but you put it in to words for me.
 
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