Hello, I am worried about my husband’s fidelity to our marriage. He is a convert, before we were married almost seven years ago. I am pregnant with our fifth child. In the last six months, he has become an alchoholic and when he goes out drinking he is always with a certain younger attractive lesbian among others he works with. Several people have informed me they are concerned about his their ‘flirtatious’ relationship. He simply tells me they are friends, and he is more of a ‘father figure’ to her. Our marriage is suffering because of his drinking and I feel his faith is faltering. What is normal for a opposite sex relationship outside of Christian marriage? And how do I talk to him without him getting upset?
Hi, GStewart, welcome to the Catholic Answers Forums! I am really sorry to hear that you have been having troubles. I can imagine this has been very hard on you. I’m sorry I can’t think of any sound advice for you yet, but I think you’re right to be concerned, about the drinking & the relationship.
I will say some prayers for you & your family. I’m sure you will get some good advice here. There are some very good people at CAF.
Hi GStewart ,
I am sorry for this difficult and tragic experience you are going through. You are right to worry because this behavior is inappropriate. In fact, because you have been told may suggest that its not something “harmless” but serious. No husband should ever be like that ever. He has a duty to reassure his wife on how she is the only woman in his life and going to the bar, getting drunk and flirting with any woman (lesbian or not), is unaccaeptable.
He may have some type of depression issue that he needs to seek treatment for.
He needs to see AA because they have an excellent support program that is somewhat faith based (though not a particular religion) that can help him.
Unfortunately he needs to to agree to do these things and right now I imagine he will not budge. In that case, it is best to sit down and talk with him; tell him you are concerned about your relationship. For a marriage to work, a husband and wife must love each other first and formost. He cannot be a good dad unless he tries to be a good husband. See if you can get to something like retrouvaille.org/ or talk with a priest together. Maybe an approach is something like this:
“Honey, I am very concerned about our marriage and stability for our kids. I want things to be good for us and them. What do you think we could do as a couple to improve things? In what ways do you wish to be a better husband and father?” This approach may help him to open up to things deep in heart he silenced, but knows he needs to address. Maybe then you can bring up Retrouvaille, or AA.
Along with AA there is a program called Alanon which is for spouses or close relatives of alcoholics. Some alcoholics haven’t crashed hard enough to seek help in AA, but for your own sanity you can try Alanon for support.
True they deal with an individuals own choice of a higher power which is whatever the individual wants to call God. Studies at U. of Minn. on a similar program that was a-religious and had no higher power did not work effectively. A reliance upon God is important to the effectiveness.
I am guessin ol hubby is just about at that stage in life when the attention of any attractive female is reinforcing to his male ego, lesbian or otherwise. He just doesn’t get it yet that he is making an a** of himself and hurting you in the process.
This is the one bit I will comment on. Friendship is a good thing as the Catechism tells us. For a married person, that friendship should never exclude the spouse. I have male friends, my husband knows them and has a friendship with them. DH has female friends, same thing - I also know and am friends with those women.
Prayers for you!!
I am definitely going to try an AlAnon group. I actually tried going last week, but unknowingly at first, ended up sitting through an AA meeting. I did learn through them that really NO ONE can help an alchoholic but themselves and they do have to crash hard enough to want that help. I don’t want it to go on long enough for our children to be affected by it, (our oldest is 5 1/2) But I also don’t want to do anything to make him want to drink more. This is so frusterating!
Thank you for this comment, I wonder if I should show my husband. Pretty much all of his friendships exclude me unless there happens to be a family event going on. I have met them all, and disaprove of them because most of them are in there early twenties and have no faith or morals and only get together to drink. He says I am only mad because I don’t want him to spend time with his friends. This only upsets me, because it is only when he spends time with them that he drinks overly excessive more often than not to the point of not coming home. He dosn’t get this.
Sounds like marriage counseling is in order…
These are not friends, they are enablers. They are an excuse for him to drink. They are not his peers, they are not his friends. He is using them so he can pursue his drinking and call it socializing. If they were his friends they would want to include you, and would be concerned for his well being. That does not sound like the case here.
Please pursue Alanon, and also Retrouvaille to try to save your marriage.
And - remember - controlling his emotions is HIS responsibility, not yours. Do not feel like you have to pussyfoot around him and not upset him. This is serious - and controlling his anger and emotions are his responsibility, not yours.
I will keep you in my prayers - and especially your children who are living with this as well. No matter how hard you try to keep this from them, children have a way of knowing something is not right in their little world. They are in my prayers.
smells like teen spirit, not appropriate for his age.
Thank you all for your replies. Your prayers are most needed. I am determined that our marriage will remain in tact, but this is so difficult because it seems like I am the only one paying for his actions. My love for him doesn’t come from my emotions right now, it comes from the knowledge that God has brought us together to help eachother to heaven.
Perhaps you could block the lesbians phone number, etc.?
You have my prayers.
It’s her husband, not her 14 year old teenage son
From my experience, when dealing with alcoholics, sometimes you have to treat them as children, because that is their maturity level.
She certainly doesn’t need an alcoholic for a father figure, anyhow.
If she’s a lesbian, she’s not serious about frlirting with him if that’s really what’s going on, but if he sees it that way he’s making a fool of himself whether by thinking she is returning his attentions or by thinking she means it, regardless of what she is really doing. He is humiliating himself. If she sees him as a substitute father, she is also making a big mistake. You would do them both a favor by sitting them down with you sober and talking this out thoroughly.
I spoke with my husband, who said this girl is like this to everyone (which she is, as far as I have seen). He says he didn’t realize his behavior was so bad as to draw attention from others. After apologizing he said he will make an effort not to do this anymore. I think in a sober state, it will still be difficult for him to tone down his approach to her, as it is a way they are used to being with eachother now. Forget about when he is drunk!!
But at least he is aware of what it looks like now, and while his IS sober it may be on his mind. I hope.
Please pray for him! :gopray:
I will continue to respect my husband as a grown man. It is the alchoholism that I despise, not my husband. Although, at times, it is very hard to distinguish the two, I know, that my husband is a good man.