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Avatar universal

Love my husband but he is a downer

Well hello to all.
I first want everyone to understand I love my husband and will never leave him. He is my world and the one God wants me to be with. We have been married going on two years, and been together nearing 9 yrs. We have been through so much together and were friends first. We even helped each other through harsh break ups. In the past he has been abusive physically, mentally, and emotionally. But we have grown up together and things have gotten better. We have even found God together.

With all that being said my concern comes from his way of looking at life. He had a hard childhood and many messed up relationships in the past that have turned him against life. He always is looking for something to keep him away from reality from smoking bud, to drinking. At the beginning of this year he stopped smoking and swears he won't go back, and I pray hard that he won't. But now he drinks every night. He believes it relaxes him but I think it just brings him down, and in return brings me down.

Right now we have alot to be grateful for he is starting to get his hours at work. I got a new good paying job. We also have began to go to church again and get closer to his family. At the same time instead of being able to see the joy in our blessings, he sees the negative sides to them. Such as our time together is going to be slightly shorter. We won't have time to spend our new wealth. And so many more things, some of which aren't true.

The issue is that I am starting to feel depressed and overwhelmed by the changes that are coming. This isn't the only time he has only been able to see the negative, in everything we do...he does. He always is saying how do I stay so positive. I believe his issues stem from past problems that he hasn't dealt with. These issues make him feel like no matter what he is failing at life. I also know that his drinking doesn't help. When he drinks he isn't himself and he is more judgemental and quick to find the negative.

I have sat here with him many nights and had to listen to him downing himself and his life. This hurts me cause we built this life together, and while we don't have much we have enough. I love him and trust that God is with us. I try to always remind myself of what we have to be grateful for. But lately I am starting to feel down and out to over what is to come. I just wish my husband could think more positive to help me also stay focused. So tonight I am praying someone would have dealt with the sane issues and has some advice for me on how I can help my husband stop drinking and feel better about life.

Please, if anyone out there has been through this and has any advice I would be grateful. For now I am just going to speak life over our lives and pray for my husband. I also pray I learn how to help him.

9 Responses
13167 tn?1327197724
I'm a strong believer in brain chemicals as a cause for our outlooks on life.  

I don't think he's a "downer" because of past experiences,  but rather,  he's a "downer",  and additionally he's had some bad experiences in the past.

There were people who were able to find small joys in life at the Nazi concentration camps,  and other people who go from one aggravation to another in an otherwise extremely cush,  carefree life.

Would he consider going to the doctor for depression and consider taking antidepressants?
Avatar universal
"God Helps Those Who Help ThemSelves"

Perhaps Your Husband would be open to couples counseling.  You could suggest it as something that will enhance Your Marriage and Your lives.  You could approach Him with "Let's make a Good Thing Better"

Or perhaps You and Hubby could get involved with counseling from Your Church.

Good Luck
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there sweetie, glad you've found the forum and are asking your question.  I think so very very often the excessive drinking (or whatever the excessive activity that isn't good for us is) is about depression.  I feel strongly from what you've written that he should be evaluated for this.  Drinking and depression go hand in hand and it is a viscious cycle.  And the problem with abusing alcohol is that it is an issue that progresses.  May be that he is drinking every night now and it is X drinks, in a year it can be daily still but with X more drinks than before.  It is so important to be clear with someone we love when their issues are escalating.  And with his demeanor and way of looking at life, your husband could easily spiral out of control down the road.

you need to talk to him now.  I think couples counseling is good but that he needs individual treatment and help via a first step to his general practitioner to discuss low level depression.  He may be started on medication which is very helpful (although he would need to cut way way back on alcohol) and then he should add in a talk therapist/psychologist.  If his past relationships haunt him now, he needs to explore that.  If his childhoold is playing a role, then he needs to explore that.  

As you are so very committed to him, is he equally committed to you and willing to admit that he needs to change some things for the sake of the relationship?

I would approach him of this.  If you are scared to do so or afraid to rock the boat, then I fear codependency on your part and would then suggest a counselor by your own self to look at this dynamic.  

I think it is great that you are going to church.  Look for a men's group for him to join or a mentor.  good luck
Avatar universal
Thanks to the both of you.. My husband allows himself to open up to me that is how I know that his past haunts him. We talk alot and have discussed how the drinking and his smoking habits affect his behavior. He started to become extremely angry when he didn't have the smoke. He loves me and didn't want to lose me, so he quit cold turkey and found inner strength to help him through.

The point is that he does love me. In fact at times the drinking and smoking was to escape the reality of how sick I had been. He always would cry that he was scared I was going to be taken from him, becuase I was his angel. My husband suffers from a lot of heartaches. I at times believe he needs counseling too. But he struggles to open up to others. He has mentors at the church and men's groups but he just doesn't open up to them.

When he is drunk he lets alot out and I am always trying to comfort him. I am very forward with him. Yes this has caused us to argue, but after a bit it's like he realizes I am right. He started to stop drinking last week, but then we hit a moment that was heart breaking to both of us. And I let him buy more beer.

My husband is a wonderful loving husband. He just is in need of confidence, and a more positive outlook on life. I don't think he will ever speak to a therapist or anyone to easily. He would have to trust whoever he spoke to and they would have to be friends with him to open him up. He struggles to trust people. It took me 8 yrs to gain his trust.

So, I guess unless there is any other advice. I must just leave my husband in Gods hands. I love my husband, and while I do worry about his drinking escalating, sometimes in the past that is what it took for him to hit rock bottom and decide it was time to change. I don't want this for him, because this usually means he is almost forced to change but he needs to want to do it too. So, he will stick with it.

I am gonna continue to pray that something grabs his heart and helps him see the need for change. I also will be praying for a wonderful mentor to come into his life. That will open him up and get him to realize there is alot more that he needs to leave at the cross. Thanks again for your response, may God bless ya,

973741 tn?1342346373
Oh goodness sweetie, if I wasn't convinced by your first post I am now.  You are a codependent wife.  You aren't expecting him to treat and recover from his problems but making excuses for him.  That means this is your life that you are allowing/choosing.  

Do you understand that you are part of the cycle?  you think it is awesome that he opens up to you when he is drunk so you are fine with him buying the beer.  After all he loves you and it isn't his fault, etc.

This is VERY unhealthy thinking and you are as embroiled in this negative lifestyle as he.  

Again, there was advice that was very clear here.  Your husband needs to seek medical attention for what is most likely depression and he needs to begin understanding how drinking and depression are intertwined.  You need to see it too and demand that he take action.  he needs to talk to his doctor and he needs to see a therapist.  Period.

I am also going to encouage you to seek therapy.  I think you have some very ingrained and unhealthy patterns as well.  

Don't leave it to the cross.  God does amazing things and will hopefully protect you and your husband but God also gives us tools to solve life's problems.  Don't ignore the things that could help your husband because it is too difficult to insist on it.  good luck
Avatar universal
I don't mean to sound like I'm "preaching", but I do think God doesn't mean for us to turn Our issues to Him.  He gave us "Free Will" to make Choices AND He gave Us Intelligence to make Choices. God wants Us to make the right Choices.  It's on US to do the Right Thing.  Of course, it's much easier to make/know the Right Choices when We have God in our hearts and it appears that You have that.

I agree with SpecialMom - You sound co-dependent AND therapy is likely in order for You AND for Him.

We don't choose therapy because We have more problems/issues than anyone else - We choose therapy because:
We are Brave Enough To Face Our Problems/Issues.

I also agree with RockRose.  When One is depressed or stressed, for a long period of time, there are actual changes that occur in our brain chemistry (Yours,His,Mine,EveryOnes!!).  This too, needs to be addressed.  No shame here as We have no control over the chemistry of our brains.

I'll suggest again:
God Helps Those Who Help ThemSelves.  WE have the tools - HE wants Us use them.
Avatar universal
Thank you both I get why you would say I am co-dependent. I think at times I give into his behavior, and don't know what else to do. I have spoke to him when he isn't drunk or on anything and I try to put my foot down. I just feel it has to be his choice and no one can force him to change.

He doesn't have a regular doctor and we really can't afford to get to a therapist these are not excuses just reality. As I said I have tried to get him to open up to mentors and people at church who deal with these issues, but it is like he hides behind a mask. As for getting him on meds for depression, well this is where my strong beliefs come into play.

See, my mom was dxs bipolar and was on meds all her life almost. They were constantly changing her meds and upping her doses. I had to grow up with how this affected her. At age 15 I was dxs and told I would need meds all my life. But at age 18 when they tried to up my dose for the third time. I stopped taking the meds. To be honest it was a challenge. But I am fine. I always tried to convince my mom to get off hers and she is better then ever now that she has. The meds are needed for some people but other times it is just a quick fix. I don't want my husband to have the quick fix approach.

I guess I should have mentioned this earlier I have tried to get my husband to do the counseling thing. I have told him what his behavior is doing to us, and yes I have tried to stay firm. I know I messed up by allowing him to get the beer last week. But I just don't know what more to do, you have to want to help yourself.

My husband is a good man, yet he doesn't want help yet. That is why I was asking for advice how can I make him see the need for him to change. The need to get help. I don't like when he opens up to me while drinking, but I do feel his pain. I know he needs help.

The idea behind leaving it at the cross isn't to say that I am just leaving it all on God. But that we need to open our eyes, and face our problems and be honest about them. Then forgive ourselves and those that have hurt us. Let go of the guilt, and the anger. That is what I meant.

See, they have encounters at our church. Both of us have been to one. They are amazing and give you the opportunity to face all the pain, anger, guilt and negative feelings that you hold onto. They teach you to face them head on and let go of them. I just believe he hasn't let go of everything yet.

May god be with you,
480448 tn?1426952138
While I think it's fantastic that you and your husband have found religion, I'm, going to be VERY honest...a lot of times, people who are lost, and scared, and depressed....turn to God and religion for comfort, which, is okay IF those people are willing to help themselves too.  To me, it sounds very much as though, to some extent, your religion is being used as a bandaid.  Please know I'm not trying to be hurtful with that comment..it's very true and I'm just trying to be honest.  When there is a harsh reality...you throw God into the mix, to comfort yourself.  That's fine...but you have your own work to do as well.

I have a LONG history of anxiety and depression, and while I'm no doctor...I would bet money that your husband is both depressed, anxious AND has some addiction problems.  Alcohol intensifies depression terribly...I mean HUGELY,.  His drinking is only going to exacerbate his depression, and my fear is that when his inability to cope gets even worse, he will resort back to his abusive ways.  He's a ticking time bomb, hon.

This is a near crisis mode situation dear.  You BOTH need to seek help...you for your codependency/enabling issues, and likely some depression.  Alanon is a great idea for you, and it's free.

There are all kinds of mental health resources out there...you just have to do some searching, PLUS, you say on one hand, your husband said himself he is depressed about not having time to spend your newly earned money.  You HAVE to find a way to get some help.  If he flat out refuses, there is not much you can do..he has to want it.  However, that doesn't mean you can't get help for yourself.  There's help out there....you have to start searching for it.

Your husband really really needs some serious help.  You definitely recognize that, and recognize that something needs done, which is great.  If he refuses, don't just throw your hands up and wait.  Things will only get worse I'm afraid.  You can seek help for yourself and tell your husband you are very worried about him and would like him to do the same.  If he doesn't...after things become clearer for you...you may have some decisions to make.

He is my world and the one God wants me to be with.

Trust me honey..God wouldn't want a person to sacrifice their own happiness in the ONE lifetime we get in the name of love...especially when that "love" isn't willing to help himself when there are clearly some big issues boiling under the surface.

I wish you both the very best.  I hope you seek some help for yourself.
973741 tn?1342346373
AA and al anon are free.  I think this should be considered for you and your husband.  good luck
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