Losing all hope

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sweet geranium
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/13/2011 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi everyone,

I am new to forums in general so please bear with me.

My husband of over 30 years has been impossible to live

with for the last 3 years, since I told him that I couldn’t put up with his excessive drinking any more.  His drinking has always worried me but because he functioned so well, e.g. he managed a successful professional career, renovated our home, has been a good dad, has always respected me and spoken to me and about me in the best possible light etc, I never made a big fuss about the drinking.  However after 30 odd years and with getting older things started to change.  Things such as he could no longer remember our conversations, started to withdraw from social activities and started to sleep all the time.  I suggested he visit our family doctor and he was diagnosed with depression.  He was referred to AA, prescribed antidepressants and referred to a therapist.  All of which he has followed and done, except the AA bit.  Instead he has chosen (after many months of trial and error) to do control drinking.  That is that he still drinks a couple of glasses of wine every night and constantly struggles to leave at this.  In therapy a few core issues came up such as ‘father issues’ and ‘low self esteem’ and was given book recommendations and thoughts to ponder and work through.  It has been 3 years of this now and we don’t seem to be getting any closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  In this time he has given up his career, gained weight, has retreated even more from life.  He visits his therapists(has more than 1) every week, but for some reason he is not motivated to heal.  He just keeps everything up in his head and does not follow with any of the exercises he is asked to go through and this includes working through his father issues which have now turned into ‘son’ issues as well as he torments one of our children for the slightest misdemeanour. (By the way our son is 24, has a successful career, a wonderful disposition and is by no means a burden to live with). I always thought we had a happy marriage as we seemed to always see eye to eye on most subjects, especially the important issues such as finances, raising our children etc however this has all now all changed. I am my wits end.  I can’t comment or suggest anything as he takes everything the wrong way and constantly tells me that he is doing the best he can.  He is off his medication now (doctor’s orders) but at home he is just a dark cloud.  We all treat him with respect and kindness but we cannot keep living like this for much longer, especially me as it is now taking a toll on my health.  I try to keep elevated and I go out more often than what I used to but at the end of the day I have to come home to this dark cloud.  Has anyone been through a similar scenario and is there any advice, words of hope you can offer please?  Thank you all for reading this very long winded post.  With gratitude Sweet Geranium


Leebme
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/13/2011 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
My only advice is life is too short to spend with someone who has decided to live their life as the tail and not the head. You do not have to go down or stay down with him. We can safe no one but ourselves. I hope you will at least consider this is your one and only time around in this life - 3 years is enough time to devote to someone lie your spouse. He has the means to get help and goes to people who are suppose to be assisting him but for some reason it isn't getting better. It is not your responsibility - YOU are your responsibility. This isn't to be cruel but in the end - do you really want to look back at time wasted on someone who didn't care? about you or themselves? There is no benefit in being a martyr. Save yourself and it just may end up saving your husband.

Mrsnyums
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/13/2011 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sweet Geranium

It sounds like you've done everything you can for him. It's up to him and he's just not ready to let go of his security blanket yet so you have a choice. Either stay with him and be dragged down with it all, knowing there's nothing you can do, and perhaps enabling him in some way to continue. I think you also need to think of how much trauma and damage this is doing to your son and the future issues he will have because of this. Or, you leave. Which could be very scary for you and very stressful there is no doubt, but it will put distance between you and the negativity and your husband may realise that he has to change something. Alternatively, he may not and may continue as he has been. Either way, you and you son will be better off emotionally. I think you will not realise how much stress you have been under until you get yourself away from this situation.

This advice is only from reading a few paragraphs of your life and if there is one sentence in here that helps you to see things from another perspective or clarifies something for you then I'll be really pleased that I've helped. It's a very difficult situation you are in. I wish you all the best with your choice.

sweet geranium
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/13/2011 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Leebme and SueTho for your insights.

I have been trying to stop being the rescuer as I realise that if it's to be, it's up to him but when I gave him the ultamatium to stop drinking within 3 months or I would leave, he became even more morose, went away for a few days to a place where it was cold and no phone service. This made us all here at home sick with worry as we couldn't contact him. One of those nights that he was away, there was a knock on the door and I was sure it was the police that had come to give me some bad news.....we are all on tenterhooks all the time. He of course did not stop drinking, he cut down dramatically but now he has the depression and all related issues.

I hear what you are saying Leebme...life here on earth is short and this is what I am wrangling with because on one hand I want to just leave and make a new life for myself whilst I still can (i'm only 55), but on the other hand I don't want to throw away the history and not to mention that if it weren't for the alcohol and now related issues, he is a very good person. He has never cheated, always worked very hard and very generous and a good heart.

SueTho I think that is what I need to do thank you.....tell him that the he just needs to stop and that this is his last chance at keeping the family together although I feel he is out of his body and not present enough to really care. I don't know if this is because of the depression or self sabotage....as in if he doesn't stop all together I will walk away and then he can blame me for splitting up the family and he is then free to go back to his drinking....and even have a reason for doing so.

As you can see there is lots going on in my head, sometimes I feel I am going crazy myself and don't know what I want.

Thanks again for your encouraging words and great to get some independent feedback. I really appreciate it.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 8/13/2011 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sweet Geranium,

Welcome to the forum.

You have a long history together. He has been drinking all of these years. His drinking is going to be hard to stop. Perhaps he could get some help from the doctor. They might have to put him on antibuse for awhile. But drinking that long, it is very difficult to just quit. He will be sick. So have patience with it. You might want to go to some alonon meetings or to counseling to help you cope with this. I know you don't want to let thirty years go for not, so you might want to see him through this. Know that drinking makes depression worse as it is a depressant itself. But If he doesn't want to quit, it would be hard to watch himself destroy his life and body. It does catch up with you, especially where the liver is concerned. Whatever you choose to do, we are behind you 100%. Know that.

Best wishes,

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

sweet geranium
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/14/2011 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Mrsnyums
Yes it is a security blanket that he has. I feel his fear of moving forward and at some stage he has made the decision that to stay 'stuck' is better than moving forward. This may be fine for him (evend though this is an illusion as it is NOT fine for him) but it certainly isn't fine for the rest of us. Sometimes he reminds me of this naughtly little boy just being stubborn and this is when I get really mad. I am trying to cope by just being 'love' and not worry about his antics as I don't want to feed them but some days I can try all I want but I can't be 'love' even if you paid me.

Our children are urging me to leave and make a new life but they don't understand that it's not quite that easy. We have a lovely home (not flash or ostentatious) but just lovely, cosy and inviting. We have worked so hard over the last 30 odd years to achieve this and I would rather not leave it all behind but then on bad days I think that no matter how lovely my home is I can't live here a moment longer....it is a real rollercoaster. I am very concious though of being an enabler - it's the last thing I want to continue to do as I must take partial responsibility for the last 30 years where I have enabled him to keep drinking by the simple act of not making an issue out of it.


Karen hi and thanks for your comments, I so appreciate them and thanks for your support. I had a little cry when I read your comments as I really felt your support - you are all probably on the other side of the world and complete strangers and yet your support so powerful and tangible. Thank you so very much. xx

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 8/14/2011 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
It is so hard living with somebody with an addiction problem. It is easy to become an enabler. It isn't your fault, it just happens. You try to help them cope in ways. But their way is to continue with the substance that they are addicted to.

My mother was addicted to and abusing her medications. It was really hard with her. She would get high and then run out early. When that happened she was very difficult to live with. I know my situation was completely different from yours. My mother was an alcoholic though, she had just stopped drinking after I was born, so I saw the medication abuse where my older sisters saw the acoholism. She had five kids and didn't raise any of them. But that is another story for another day. I found keeping her happy was the best way for me to cope, but I was just a kid. But I became the one who tried to keep the peace in the situation. I don't know how your husband gets when he drinks. Other than depressed. So I am guessing he is a mild mannered person. So I am hoping that you don't have to deal with any anger issues of any type.

Keep us posted on how things are going. I didn't mean to get off track on your thread. I guess I just had a moment there. I hope that you are feeling better and that things are starting to get better. Have you decided how you are going to approach this? We are here to support you whatever you decide.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

sweet geranium
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/15/2011 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Karen I needed to hear that it isn't my fault. When I accompanied my husband to a therapy session in the beginning, I was told I had to take 50% of the responsibility by not speaking up sooner. It just makes you think that there is no place on this earth for someone with a kind heart....this is what I think on down days but then I pick myself up and tell myself that that's what we need more of...people with kind hearts.

Yes he is a mild mannered person as a rule although there have been times when he has let fly, I guess he was really struggling with cutting down on the alcohol and it was everybody elses' fault but his. Luckily for us though that this is not a regular occurance as normally he just retreats into himself. This however is a huge issue for him as he needs to learn to speak up and even be angry when appropriate - for him it seems that life is made up of 'all or nothing'.

Things have been 'ok' the last couple of days, he seems to have noticed that I am retreating from the relationship more and more as a form of protection. He showed me some writing he did yesterday and it was all about his dreams. He dreams of reconnecting with me and enjoying this time of life together and looks forward to having grandchildren so to me that is a huge positive.....what do you think?

Sorry to hear of your childhood, sounds like you did it tough - such huge responsibilities for a child - not fair!

Many blessings
Sweet Gernaium

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42613
   Posted 8/15/2011 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Sweet Geranium,

Makes me think of spring when I buy my flowers. lol... I love geranium. I use to have all kinds of scented ones. I had a plant nursery. I had ivy ones and short ones. One smelled like sour apples, one like strawberries, even rose scented ones. I sure do miss that.

It sounds like he could be wanting to reconnect from his dreams. I am not a dream interpreter, but they say, your dreams are your fears or desires. This could be a desire. And the fact that he shared that with you is a good thing too. It seems so hard when somebody that you care about retreats back into themselves. We have a tendancy to take it personal, but it usually isn't. It just feels that way. The person is not retreating from us per say, but from everything. They are going into themselves in a way. They aren't directing at anybody in particular, they just withdraw from everybody. They are so focussed on their situationn that the rest of the world doesn't exist to them. That is sad. It sounds selfish, but I don't think he can help it. Just as it is happening to you too. It isn't your fault that you are retreating, you just are, and it is for protection of your feelings. Do what you need to do to feel safe.

I would try to get hm to go to a doc, or AA. In AA he will find people who are going through the same thing he is going through.

I truly hope that things do get better. I hope that you can get him some help soon. Maybe some tough love is in order?

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

sweet geranium
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/18/2011 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Another bad night I'm afraid. Our son is a landscape gardener and most afternoons when he returns from work he off loads spare plants and other bits left over from the days work, and places them up against the house in our very long and very wide driveway. He places them there because he needs to make room in the back of his utilility for the next days job. He is self employed and has no where else to put his work 'stuff' which at times can get somewhat messy. This makes my husband so very mad. In his opinion our son should not leave his work stuff around the place (don't ask me where it should go). He does eventually get rid of these things, unually they end up on another job, but of course it is a constant stream as this is what he does and when we moved here (nearly 30 years ago) we didn't know one of our sons was going to be in this line of work otherwise I would have made sure we included a huge big shed as part of the renovation. Too late for that now as we built a large garage which is my husbands domain. He just doesn't understand that we live here as a family and that there needs to be some degree of tolerance. This is another thing which is causing stress around here. I feel there are two rules, one for himself (husband) and another for everyone else.....it may be that he has depression but I think this trait has always been there and is just coming out more now as time goes on. It is driving me up the wall. Am I wrong to feel like this? does anyone else think he is correct in his thoughts and demands? Our son will be moving out as soon as he feels he is more established. He is such a hard worker and has built up a wonderful business in just two years since he finished university. None of this seems to come into the picture.

...thanks for listening....sweet geranium
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