Am I overreacting or has my husband got a problem? Please advise.

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi all I have joined this group because I am not sure what I should do right now. I'm sorry if this is a long story...

I have been with my husband for a long time. We have had a lot of challenges in our lives but always got through them, we have always loved each other very much. Around 2 years ago he started drinking more than usual and in a different way. He would drink in the away from me on his own all night. We were bickering. I felt that the drinking was putting a wedge between us, I didn't like him drunk and he didn't like me saying anything about it. Things got worse and worse. At Christmas 2016 I felt I had said everything I could say and asked him to leave, I wanted him to change instead, it was meant to shock him, it wasn't a good way to approach it but I didn't know what else to do. Since then things have just got worse and worse. We have had screaming fights which we never did before. He has been so drunk he has no idea what has happened the next day. Any time I tried to talk about things it ends up with him turning things back on me, he said he drinks because I nag, whereas I see it that I get upset because he is drinking... He will disappear on and not answer calls drinking all night and returning hours later. He would tell me he would be home after work and then not come back until the early hours very drunk. He has roared at me with the kids in the room. He has ripped our door off the hinges. Last year I threw him out, I meant it. I still loved who he used to be but I didn't recognise him anymore. He stopped drinking, stayed away a few nights, then told me he realised the drink was stopping us from being together, was harming his life and wasn't doing him any good. He went to the GP and was referred for counselling, for 4 weeks things went really well and we were really happy although he did struggle to sleep at first he didn't have withdrawal symptoms. Then it was Christmas and he started to drink socially. He drank every day for a few weeks. I didn't say anything hoping it would sto[p after Xmas, I was so upset when I realised it wasn't going to and he reacted like he used to, saying he just likes to drink, he wants to be able to get drunk and I should let him and not have a problem with it. We have argued repeatedly. He has started to drink less. Usually 2-3 times a week though often only once. However on those days he drank a lot, he disappeared again, he would lie again. In May I asked him to leave again saying I couldn't bear it any more. Again he stopped drinking and came and told me he wanted to be back and he wanted to try to sort things, he said he knew he was two different people, he was sad inside and the drink stopped him from thinking but he loved me and the kids and wanted us to sort things out. On his own back he went to the GP and got anxiety tablets, these helped him for 3 weeks then things changed again. Again he lied and stayed out drinking and expected me to behave normally after it. I have discovered he smashed a pub window and wasin a cell overnight, he never told me until I found a letter from the police. He was drinking less frequently but he was telling me he wanted to drink more on that day to make up for it, he wanted to be drunk, I was being controlling. It was awful and constantly I felt like we were going to end up again where we had been last year. I love him very much, I worry about him all the time but he has left because he says he wants to be able to drink how and when he wants too and he can't deal with the trauma any more. I know what he means but I am terrified that this is the end because I am sure he is the love of my life and I would love us to work it out.. He had said it was over for good this time but we both love each other and he has now agreed that we will treat this as a break and see what we can do. I don't know anymore if he has a problem (I think he is an alcohol abuser rather than alcoholic) or if he is right and I am just being stupid and overreacting because of things that have happened before...  It seems so sad to me that I am going to lose my best friend, especially when we seem to still both love each other very much...

Thank you so much if you read all of that, it's my first post and there feels like there is so much more to say!

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Also I just want to add this has ended up recently with me feeling like I am going crazy, I feel sick and nervous all of the time, I am acting unlike myself. We had a night to ourselves recently and I tried to calmyl and nicely start a conversation he was so dismissive and refused to talk, then told me I was stupid, it ended up in a massive fight and I went upstairs and smashed up a load of my things. I'm not perfect and am aware that the reactions I'm now having aren't healthy and I don't know if I have made this all worse in my head or if I am right about the problem but obviously not handling it in the right way.

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    • Posted

      Welcome and what a story. I drank MASSIVE amounts for many years but finally stopped 5 1/2 years ago since my wife did threaten to finally throw me o ut. Twins aged 2 years 2 years 4 months were the catalyst which made me stop. I never became that aggressive and ripping off doors! Never argued all night but was lying, hiding bottles, very argumentative and weird and later regretful! Sorry to be brutal but he really has to leave. How old are the children if i may ask? How you can cope i do not know! Regards Robin
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    • Posted

      Thanks Robin, I am sorry you put your wife through that and very glad you have managed to stop and save your family, that is very good to hear.

      He has left, at the moment he is staying away, it's been five nights now. We have not ended the relationship as such we are just seeing if it is possible to save it. The aggression has been the worst thing alongside the lying and losing trust. He was rarely angry in the past, we were together for many years with only a handful of arguments until all this started. The thing I can't understand is how easily he seems to be able to see this as just how things are whereas I see that this is not how things ever ever were before and I cannot believe things have gotten so bad...

      Kids are 6 and 15. I will cope because I always do I would just rather cope with my lovely husband by my side rather than with this man I don't recognise having to go through a divorce and working out childcare. We have been together our whole adult life. We have had difficult times but always loved each other. This is our final real chance to make things right and I just really wanted some reassurance/advice on my feelings about what was happening, whether I was being crazy and overreacting or not. I feel better having these responses and feel ready to stay strong and find a way forward from here.


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  • Posted

    You are not over reacting. Your husband sounds as though he definitely has a problem with alcohol use if he can’t stop for any decent length of time when he has said he wants to. Nobody can understand unless they have been there, the way the person with the alcohol problem can have such strong denial that they make you feel as if you are going mad. The problem is real and not in your head. This situation seems to have made you unwell too? I am saying this as I’m in a similar boat - I’ve lost weight and dealing with symptoms of stress. It has mental and physical effects on both of you. He doesn’t mean to twist things and make you feel awful but it’s part of this illness/problem/however you want to frame it. Could write lots more but please just know - you are not alone. There are lots of great people on here who will also give advice I’m sure. Just checking - you feel safe from harm? Read it all in a bit of a rush so sorry if i got the wrong end of the stick. 


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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. Firstly yes, I do feel safe from harm. Partly because he hasn't harmed me yet and partly because he has moved out at the moment any way to take the heat out of the situation.

      You explained it really well, his denials are making me feel I must have some of it wrong and making me question myself. It is so so difficult to remember what really happened and to think straight when someone tells you the complete opposite so often. And yes it is effecting me badly too. Fotr a long time it has been the main thing that takes up my brain power but recently it has just been too too much. I have felt so distrustful, disrespected, belittled by it all and that is effecting my stress levels, my happiness and my self esteem. I agree that none of this is done on purpose. When he is able to stop drinking he is a different person (the one I married) and would never hurt me or do any of the things he does in drink or during a phase when he is drinking but he can't deal with the shame and hurt it causes to properly look at what he has done and that is part of the problem I think.

      Thanks for your reply. xx

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  • Posted

    Ooooh, sad times it was heart breakin to read that

    I put my partner through that. Watching me wee the bed, throw up in the bedroom.

    It became normal because my partner tolerated it, and because of that I drank more thinking it's just a little bit excessive to the norm.

    Don't do it. Don't normalise his drinking, it's too much and it's affected his behaviour.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for this.

      I can say for sure I have never normalised his behaviour, I have always told him I can't deal with it and have always tried to lay down my boundaries. The problem is I am the only one who is saying this. His family ar edrinkers (in some ways worse than him), he has disconnected from his old friends, there is nobody else saying to him that things are out of hand and so it is easy sometimes when he ois constantly telling me I am overreacting, exaggerating or being a nag, to start to doubt myself and wonder whether he is right... I think I needed to just wroite it all down and hear someone else's opinion from outside of the situation.

      Thanks for your reply.

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  • Posted

    Hello sadtimes

    First of all, I hope that you and the children are safe. Have you contacted al anon for spouses and families? They can give you a lot good advice and support especially if he is violent.

    What a lot you have been through. I can thoroughly empathize with you because I have been where you are now. Although my Husband did not get violent, I was the one the did that I'm ashamed to say. It is so frustrating.

    I think a break from each other is a good idea. He needs to realize what it is he wants.

    It is a very difficult illness to understand looking in from the outside. It is all too easy to blame the person. The alcohol is the enemy that is what you have to understand. I found this change of mindset gave me power. I felt more able to support my Husband.

    I understand that there are people with AUD- (Alcohol Use Disorder) who can stop and remain abstinent, but unfortunately, that is only about 5% of the population. Abstinence is not the only answer though, there are medications to help, but your Husband has got to WANT to take action.

    Try and let him know if you can that you do not blame him, the alcohol has altered his brain. I hope he comes to realize that you are on his side.

    Hoping this helps in some way

    Kindest Regards

    JulieAnne x

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    • Posted

      Hi JulieAnne101 thanks for your reply. Yes we are all safe. He isn't at home at the moment and despite his horrible angry behaviour and damaging property he hasn't been physically violent to any of us. If he had I wouldn't be here I don't think. That would've been something I could not go back from.

      I think I do see the alcohol as the enemy. I have always tried to explain to him that it is a wedge between us. That without we are fine and that we have a lot of stresses and starins but this is the only thing that has been able to push us apart like this. The problem is it's as if I am insulting his friend, so it doesn't work. If I say booze is the enemy he says that's ridiculous and it's my reaction to him drinking that is the enemy, it's like he will defend it against me and above all else, does that make sense?

      Despite this he will still get angry about things eg I said that he had said "I need to drink on a Friday at the the end of the week.\" He was angry that I had twisted his words because he says he "wants a drink" not "needs" one... He likes to get drunk, he wants to get drunk but he says he doesn't need to... In the past he has admitted the problems it has caused and has tried to moderate drinking following a short period of abstinence but whether he drinks 10 cans once a week or 4 cans every night it is a switch in his personality and attitude. Like between drinking he is different, he is snappy and uncommunicative and cares less about us all and as it gets closer to the day he is going to drink he becomes short and frustrated and impatient and he always always tries to lie about how much he has had. Though he doesn't accept this is true I am sure it is because I have witnessed it, sober, over and over again.

      I have told him very clearly that I am not asking him to change who he is, I am asking him to take away the drink which is altering his personality, I love the man he really is, not the man he becomes on drink. I have told him I love him and I want to make things work but we both need time to calm down, get some perspective and make some decisions. It's been five days apart now, which feels like a lifetime, and I felt like we had a break through last night, that he knows we love each other but we have to find a way to live now that so much has changed. I can only hope that he decides that the only way things can work for now is for him to stop drinking. I honestly feel that if he could stop drinking at the same time as taking his meds and getting some counselling in the long term he could be able to live normally again, drinking occasionally and not being out of control. The problem is he stops drinking, doesn't heal his mental health or deal with the things which have upset him and then starts drinking again feeling just as sad inside and having learned no new coping strategies so of course we have the same problems again...

      Thanks so much for your message and advice


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