I now understand why people get a divorce


#1

I love my husband. I do. But he, I have to admit, is a drunk. He spends all his time at the local bar. I know why he does it, but I have tried everything from being understanding to yelling.

I don't know what to do anymore. I just found out he has spent $6000 dollars in just the past few weeks. I confronted him about it, asked him where it went to, and he can't or won't say. The bank records show that he is taking a lot of money from the ATM and doing many, many numerous small transactions at different stores around town. I am the main bread winner. I don't go shopping but for groceries. So that six thousand bucks is almost all him.

We argue all the time about his drinking. I don't begrudge a man going out for a beer or two after work, but he is now (didn't used to) spending at least 6 hours a night at the bar, every night.

We never talk anymore. Just argue. He comes home sloppy drunk and almost immediately passes out on the couch. Before he does that, he has the nerve to blame me for our problem -- if I would only come out to the bar with him we wouldn't, he says, have any issue.

I am so sad and lonely. But I don't want to 'compromise' by going to the bar. I've been there once on a Friday after work to try to meet him half way, but I hate it. And meeting half way just seems like I am okaying his behavior.

I want my husband back. I have tried everything. Last weekend I even said the D-word. He got very angry at that, again blaming me.

A good (non bar) friend of his has even talked to him and told him he has his head up his you know what. That worked for a total of 3 days. After his friend talked to him, he told me that he would stop drinking and spending, then went right back out again and did the usual.

I think need to cut him off, money wise. I plan to go to the bank tomorrow and start a new account and let our current account just be his. I hope that once he is cut off he will stop spending so much money at the bar, or, at least, I won't be dragged down with him -- at least not in terms of budget; I know that because he is my dh I have to deal with his money issues. Even so, just the separation of the money feels like I am giving up on our marriage.

I want to go to our Priest, but, to be honest, I really don't want to hear about how I am being a bad wife -- because that is what he would say. Along with how my dh's drinking is my fault somehow.

And, my feelings are very, very hurt. He obviously doesn't love me enough to want to spend any time with me -- just at the bar with his bar buddies. The irony? When I meet any one of his bar friends, all they do is tell me how much my dh loves me and how he talks about me all the time about how wonderful I am. Well then why the heck doesn't he want to spend time with me??? If it weren't for these bar friends saying what they do, I really think that he may have a woman on the side, as well.

I love my husband. And I don't believe in divorce. But I sure as heck can understand why people do it. He is spiraling down and taking me with him.

I guess I just needed to vent. And find out if there was anyone else out there who has gone through the same thing and see how you might have saved your marriage. I am at the end of my patience.


#2

Not really responsive to the question, but you need to make sure that you do not remain on the account that will be his. If you remain on that account, YOU will remain liable for bank overdraft charges that he incurs. Also, the bank has the option of offsetting your account to bring the "joint" account balance into the positive. I have no problem with you getting your own account, but do NOT remain on a joint account with him.


#3

First of all, and I hope you believe this 'You are NOT a bad wife'. Any priest who tells you that a woman should put up with an alcoholic will have a lot to answer for on judgement day.

Now, whether or not you choose to leave him is 100% your decision. And anyone friend worth having will respect whichever one you choose.

Now why does he spend more time in the bar than with you. Because alcoholics suffer tremendously and their addiciton makes them loose sense of reason. No matter how great a wife you are, you are no match for alcoholism. Until he chooses to sober up, you can not do it for him

So did I answer your question on how to save your marriage? No. But I hope I have helped raise your self esteem

CM


#4

[quote="Patrickulating, post:2, topic:203309"]
Not really responsive to the question, but you need to make sure that you do not remain on the account that will be his. If you remain on that account, YOU will remain liable for bank overdraft charges that he incurs. Also, the bank has the option of offsetting your account to bring the "joint" account balance into the positive. I have no problem with you getting your own account, but do NOT remain on a joint account with him.

[/quote]

Get an account of your own at a different financial institution. And like the others said, get your name off the present account.

Frankly, unless there's something else here that I don't understand, I don't see why you don't simply change the locks and call the cops when he staggers home slopped out. Women today always get "the benefit of the doubt" when there's an agitated inebriated man involved in the situation. This guy doesn't understand anything unless you "speak his language." (Tough love).


#5

[quote="Patrickulating, post:2, topic:203309"]
Not really responsive to the question, but you need to make sure that you do not remain on the account that will be his. If you remain on that account, YOU will remain liable for bank overdraft charges that he incurs. Also, the bank has the option of offsetting your account to bring the "joint" account balance into the positive. I have no problem with you getting your own account, but do NOT remain on a joint account with him.

[/quote]

In the case of drug, alcohol, prostitute, or gambling abuses - you need your own account that he can not use.
Do not share any joint credit cards either.
Joint accounts will ruin your credit, and make you responsible for his debts.


#6

It sounds like your husband is an alcoholic. Therefore, you should attend Al-Anon, the support group for family of problem drinkers. They have been where you are and will be able to give you the support and help you are seeking.


#7

Please don't jump to conclusions about what the priest will say - you may find him more understanding - if possible you can also speak to one of your Church deacons as they know what marriage is like - I believe that is why the Church in Her great wisdom allows them to be married. Be safe - I also second everyone elses advise about getting your name off the accounts and change your direct deposit. Pray novenas to HOly Family. I may have missed it but do you have children?


#8

I would be extremely surprised if your priest told you that the problem is that you are a bad wife. Is that the reason that your husband says he drinks?

When I went to my priest under similar circumstances, he told me, "you must leave him." When I said I wasn't ready to do something that rash, he told me I must set a deadline. He gave me six months. He told me I had waited too long for a miracle and
I needed to take action.

I would definitely talk to your priest and definitely not sugar coat the situation.

Prayers for you. I think it is time to take action.


#9

And I did forget to mention that you are also in my prayers I'm sorry


#10

You are NOT a bad wife. His drinking is HIS choice, and has NOTHING to do with you. He is an alcoholic. Nothing you could say or do would change his drinking habits. HE has to decide to change.

I say this as a widow to an alcoholic. My DH died last month from alcoholic liver disease. What I have discovered is that alcoholism is SO prevalent - everybody knows somebody who suffers from this, and yet NOBODY talks about it!! I have decided to change this. When people ask why my DH died, I tell them he was an alcoholic and drank himself to death, which is the truth. It was NO ONE's fault, except HIS. HE chose to drink, and HE chose to not accept the help that was constantly offered. It was NOT my fault, NOT my kid's fault, and NOT his coworker's fault. No one was to blame for this EXCEPT DH.

The same is true for your DH. YOU are in NO WAY responsible for your husband's alcoholism. Nadda, zilch.....and anyone, priest included, who tells you otherwise is an idiot and knows nothing about which they are speaking! (and would your priest really say that?)

When he comes home drunk, has he been driving? If so, alert the cops to his location, giving them the vehicle description, license plate, etc. and have him arrested for DWI. Better for him to get DWIs than to kill or maim someone else while he drives drunk.


#11

I agree = you really need to get to Al Anon meetings. ASAP!

There you will find help, support, and courage to make the next move, even if it's just getting out of bed and taking a shower (kwim?)

I went to some meetings and they helped me a lot!

Like one man said "I don't know you, but I can describe your day to day emotions and I can describe how you are feeling right now"

Please get to a meeting!


#12

Dear FF, I agree with the advice on no joint accounts and Al-anon. I also want to say not to think your priest will blame you. Personally, I think they know more about marriage in many cases than the Protestant ones who have a marriage and then think they know all about it. Priests can be more objective, and they hear a lot. The ones I know of have been very understanding with all kinds of problems that have turned up in my family. Give the guy a chance; he could be a great source of support.


#13

[quote="Patrickulating, post:2, topic:203309"]
Not really responsive to the question, but you need to make sure that you do not remain on the account that will be his. If you remain on that account, YOU will remain liable for bank overdraft charges that he incurs. Also, the bank has the option of offsetting your account to bring the "joint" account balance into the positive. I have no problem with you getting your own account, but do NOT remain on a joint account with him.

[/quote]

Just FYI, there is now a new overdraft federal law that requires banks to give customers the chance to opt out of overdrawing on their accounts. It takes effect July 1st, I believe. So you could call your bank and tell them you want to opt out. What this means is, you wouldn't have to take him off the account after you create a new one for yourself, and when he would be about to (theoretically) overdraw, the card would simply decline for insufficient funds, much like a credit card would for reaching the credit limit.

I just did that with my account. I left my wife on the joint account, and moved everything to a separate account. Problem is, since it is a joint account, he could simply call the bank and demand to opt back in. I know my wife won't, because she knows little to nothing about how banks work. If your husband is drunk as often as you say, he also may not be about his wits enough to know about the new law, or to make such a phone call.

Here the link regarding the new law:
visualeconomics.com/overdraft-protection-the-new-overdraft-law_2010-03-18/

That practical advice being said, I am very, very sorry about your situation. I will lift you up in my prayers. I commend you for trying so hard to keep things together.


#14

Please check the laws in your state, if it is a community property state, you may be
liable even if you change to your own account. You would be liable for half of his debts!
So do get good legal advice.
I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I will pray for you and your family.


#15

[quote="TexCatholic4JMJ, post:14, topic:203309"]
Please check the laws in your state, if it is a community property state, you may be
liable even if you change to your own account. You would be liable for half of his debts!
So do get good legal advice.

I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I will pray for you and your family.

[/quote]

That's why a legal separation might be a good idea. I would at least consult an attorney about what the legal consequences for his out of control drinking and spending are for you. If he is doing all of this drinking outside of the home, is he drinking and driving? If he is spending money recklessly all over town, it sounds like that could be the case.


#16

You could have been my mother 35 years ago. My father was an alcoholic and died at age 48 (due to alcoholic cardiomyopathy). He took YEARS of my mother's life from her. She loved my dad, but their marriage was a cross she bore until the day he died. Further, you didn't mention children, but make no mistake, any child of an alcoholic also will pay. I speak from painful experience.

Your husband is sick. He needs help. Period. Personally, I favor a family intervention where you inform him of the new 'rules' of your relationship and finances. If he doesn't comply, then you stick to your guns until he does.

I truly don't think a priest will blame you for your husband's illness. I do know that happened to my Mom (he told her to keep a cleaner house). Really, though, that was before many people understood alcoholism is a disease rather than a moral weakness. I am sure you will find a compassionate priest to advise and pray with you. I also would recommended Al-Anon. These are folks who have walked and are walking in your shoes. They too can help you learn to cope. Prayers for you and your husband.


#17

I'm so sorry for your pain and agree with the advice given in other posts. Just one note, it is nearly impossible to spend $6000 in a few weeks simply going to a bar drinking. Either there are things at the bar he is spending money on other than booze (i.e. strippers, drugs, etc.) or something doesn't add up. Find out what he is doing with the money and protect yourself!!!


#18

Your husband is being very selfish. I'd cut him off too and then once he's cut off, tell him to get his own place for a while until he becomes a husband again.

See how he likes living on his own dime.

Don't think divorce until you've had a trial separation to see if you can figure things out and spark change. I believe marriages are worth fighting for and even the worst of problems can be resolved with hard work and faith.


#19

I went to my priest with a similar situation and he did hand me the riot act. No, not for being a bad wife or for being the cause of his drinking, but for allowing myself to live in this situation for so long. He told me I must confront my husband and to get help IMMEDIATLY. He said I needed to get healthy and do everything I can to help myself as I could not "help" the alcololic. I was also NOT all those things my husband said I was. Part of the desease of alcololism is putting the blame for drinking upon everyone else. I started counseling and Al-Anon. The priest apologized to me for being so rough and to the point, but he said he did it for my own good, because I am a good person and deserved more. It was hard to hear, but I loved him for being so honest to me and seeing that my life could be better.


#20

[quote="Joannm, post:19, topic:203309"]
I went to my priest with a similar situation and he did hand me the riot act. No, not for being a bad wife or for being the cause of his drinking, but for allowing myself to live in this situation for so long. He told me I must confront my husband and to get help IMMEDIATLY. He said I needed to get healthy and do everything I can to help myself as I could not "help" the alcololic. I was also NOT all those things my husband said I was. Part of the desease of alcololism is putting the blame for drinking upon everyone else. I started counseling and Al-Anon. The priest apologized to me for being so rough and to the point, but he said e did it for my own good, because I am a good person and deserved more. It was hard to hear, but I loved him for being so honest to me and seeing that my life could be better.

[/quote]

Wow.

Something that I can't wrap my brain around is the seemingly opposite points of view w/in Catholicism. IE..the saints of old/writers/mystics who proclaim suffering, giving up our rights, yielding, turning the other cheek, etc,, VS what this priest said?

Believe me, I'm in a situation with a husband who has "checked out" --- not looking for work, spends hours and hours studying football plays for my 14 year old to try....It's like I'm going insane trying to handle everything here AND stay charitable/Catholic/Christian...? BTW, my family is not Catholic. I go back and forth with this issue, yet knowing that God Himself is the dividing line in terms of what an individual should do w/ particular circumstances...when we seek Him earnestly.

DH is losing sleep, yet during the day is just as calm as a cucumber...no discussion, no plan, no nothing. Inside I am screaming out "Make a decision! You want me to respect and abide by your decisions, so make one!" AAHHH. Give me grace, oh God....:(


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