I've been married for 28 years and my husband has binged on alcohol for most of them. I have been on the point of leaving in the past when my son was a child but stayed as my husband has times when he has tried hard to quit and things have not been too bad. I have also attended many Alanon meetings in the past which have been very helpful in my understanding of the condition and my reactions.
He is bingeing at least a couple of times a week at the moment and often is angry and abusive to me, trying to find fault and saying horrible things to hurt me. I have got to a point at the moment when I feel like I cannot stand much more and have become irritable and snappy, and feel tearful quite often which is worrying for my own health. However, although I feel I would like to separate, he is now 65 (I am 59) and I worry about him living on his own and what he may do, it seems heartless to leave him on his own as he gets older. He also says how much he loves me and does not want to split up, and there is a good guy underneath all this.
Any help or advice would be great.
It seems sad that after 28 years you are feeling this way but just as sad is he knows how it makes you feel yet he continues on. Just because he is drinking does not mean it is not his fault for being angry and abusive, he can learn to control this behavior. Someone that has been drinking for as long as he has certainly has learned some control, it’s not like a 20 year old drinking for the first few times.
I think you need to ask yourself if you can live with the drinking if his behavior was acceptable? If you can’t then let him know you are not going to tolerate this anymore and something needs to be done. You have been to AL anon maybe he needs to try AA? Help him get set-up with a username here, we will also offer support. Let him know that if he wants to keep you then something has got to be done, you are his wife and deserve to be treated better.
If you could live with the drinking then maybe you and him could come to an agreement on much he is allowed to drink in an evening. keep only small portions in the house and when it is gone that’s it for the night. Maybe this will get him to not start his drinking so early then when it is gone he goes to bed. This is a more than reasonable offer after everything you are having to tolerate.
These are just a couple of ideas but honestly after 28 years you probably already know the best way to handle him in order to get what you want or need. I really hope you both can work things out but remember too he can choose to do nothing and so he will have to answer to those consequences, just make sure he knows and understands what they will be. What happens after that is not your fault and all up to him.
I wish the best for you, take care.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
He has been to AA once a few years ago, but dismissed it as not right for him. He won't go for help anywhere else either.
The trouble is, when he drinks he usually goes to the pub around lunchtime and continues for several hours and when drunk he becomes a different person. He becomes verbally abusive but does not remember any of it the next day and then is sorry - so he really has no idea how horrible he can be. He has tried not going into the pub, but this doesn't last for long as when he goes to town he fools himself that he can just pop in and have a pint and read the paper and then come home, but once he's had one or two he loses control and carries on. If he could moderate his behaviour I could put up with him getting drunk, it is the tension of living with his anger and hurtful behaviour that is getting to me so perhaps I need make it clear that I am reaching my limit with this.
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