Shall I Give My Husband Another Chance?
I have been married for 8 years and we have been together for 11 years. This is my 2nd marriage.
Anyway, I met my current husband playing on a co-ed softball team. He’s 4 years younger than me so at first I wasn’t in to him, but he pursued me for like a year. I didn’t want to burden a single man with a woman and a kid, but he didn’t give up so I decided to give him a chance. He’s honestly a great guy; he’s a helpful husband, wonderful Dad, BUT when he wasn’t drinking.
He has/had a drinking issue, but never thought he had a problem with it. He said I still get up and go to work every day. BLAH BLAH!!! I had issues with that before we got married. I talked to him and let him know how I felt about it and asked him NOT to stop, but to slow down. He did better for a bit, just enough time for us to get married. When we were single we’d drink together, but once we got married I thought it was time to be more responsible. He went back to his old habit of drinking at least a 6 pack on week days and on weekend went through a 30 pack and sometimes went to store for more. Before we talked about having a baby together, I talked to him about it AGAIN. He didn’t have one of his own so he really wanted us to have one for him. I wasn’t totally against it, but I was content with my oldest daughter. I told him I did not want to bring a child in this type of environment. He said he’d be better and for a while again just long enough for us to get pregnant. He always reverted back to same old drinking habits. Yes I know married him knowing he had drinking issues, that is my fault for thinking it’d always het better. I had no problem with drinking here and there at parties or social events or family things whatever, but when he drank it wasn’t a few it was always several. I had to be the responsible one ALWAYS… I got so tired of it. I couldn’t have a good time b/c I knew I’d have to take care of him and his drunken ass. And I had to be the one to apologize for his behavior. So I come to realize he loved his drinking over me. I know I had a couple more “talks” with him about it and it would get better for a couple weeks and go back same.
So as the months and years went on I shut off my feelings put a wall up. I have had a lot of build up resentment and anger towards him. I had pretty much shut down emotionally on him. I mean I love him and care about his well being but I don’t know if that is enough.
This last year I stopped giving a crap b/c I felt like he didn’t give a crap about my feelings on his drinking problem. I rarely wanted to be in the same room as him, we just coexisted. We drifted apart really only conversing about the kids or family. To top it off we worked together as well which made it worse b/c I never got a break from him. I withdrew physically and emotionally. We rarely had sex; he typically passed out on the couch. When we did it was awful b/c he smelled like a brewery and couldn’t perform b/c he was drunk.
So one night about 3 months ago we had a huge fight we agreed that he should leave. We’ve been separated since August. I just couldn’t take his drinking anymore. I was tired of it and him. He says he hasn’t had a drink since he’s left. That he’s a better man, and that he wants to make this work and be the man I deserved. He’s willing to work on our marriage but I am not sure I want to work on it b/c of all the hurt and resentment I have. I think of it as why do I want to work hard on something that has caused me to much pain.
I am not saying I am perfect in our marriage b/c no one is right. I even asked him many times if I was the reason he drank as much as he did. To me there had to be a reason why he drank that much. But he always said no, he said he likes the way it makes him feel. I mean I like to have a couple beers or drinks now and then to unwind, but not every night 6-10+. I am not sure what to do. Since we’ve been separated I feel like a new woman, I am happy, I have lost 20 pounds, I don’t feel stressed, I don’t dread coming home, I enjoy my time with my girls. But I also have tons of guilt, b/c my girls miss him. Guilt sucks!!! I do miss him at times, I miss what we used to have, but I DO NOT miss the drunken nights, him passing out on the couch, and then waking me up at 3am when he comes to bed
I guess I am asking if you think I should give him another chance or just move on?! People say follow your heart, but my heart is the one confused here. My head is telling me to move on that your heart doesn’t need this. Help I am lost.
Dear K, Thanks for explaining your situation so well. I feel for your position. It seems you are very conflicted. Part of you wants to stay living away from himand the other part wants to make your children happy. I don’t know what the answer is, and of course only you can come to a decision. I can say a few things though.
If you did give him another chance, do you have any belief that it will work out? This is very important because if you don’t believe it, it will be self-fulfilling. And if you did give him another chance, could you make him know that it is his very last chance and that any slip will mean the end?
As far as your kids go, yes they want you together like all children of broken up parents, no matter how unhappy the parents are. it’s natural. You don’t say how old they are but I imagine they are young. Do they have any inkling of why you are apart? Have they see him drinking?
The question of whether to allow him back for their sakes is two sided. It sounds good in some ways. Perhaps his knowing you are doing it for the girls will inspire him to get his act together. But on the other hand, if it doesn’t work out the girls will have to go through a split all over again.
I think as I write this that you must make a decision of what is right for the adults, and the children will adapt. You cannot just do it for them, it won’t work. However, if you do decide to not let him back, make sure that the girls see him as much as they need to. This will be very important.
Is he in any program? AA? or similar? It sounds like he needs help as alcohol is unravelling his life. I hope he is. It’s so hard to stop drinking alone and in a vacuum.
Have you ever gone to Al-Anon? It’s for family members of alcoholics. I hear good things about it in terms of coping with living with a drinker.
I hope you can sort this out. Is there anyone you can talk with in your area? A good friend? A counselor? Sometimes talking things out helps the truth to emerge as to what you should do.
Best of luck with your decision. Love Tilly