husband went drinking.



In my very long vent (sorry) from yesterday, I stated husband went to GNC for some pills for his knee's. Well, he finally came home. He said he ran into some buddies from work and went to have a drink. OK, fine. husband does not drink often. He might have one beer a week. And in the 21 years I have been with him he has never had "one too many", been "hung over" needed anything for pain..he's a man you know. So, I knew not to ask about how much he drank, I could tell. He then said he wanted to go to a near by bar for a bloody mary. I offered to drive and pick him up. He says no..he didn't drink that much. OK. been there done that. husband is a very mean drunk, or drinker. He proceeded to scream at me at the top of his lungs about how "he hurts(knees)", but I hurt worse. Then how his teeth hurt, but mine hurt worse, then how MY job is SO hard, and how he has only taken TWO vacation days in the last year. Meanwhile, I am trying to interject and it just gets out of hand. He hits me in the arm and I left. I grabbed my purse, thinking I was going to get in the car..then forgot I gave the car to easy child to go to the concert. So I start walking. Came to my neighbors house and they have their camper all set up, opened up. They were still up so I asked them if I could stay in their camper for the night, which I did.
First of all, I took out, and paid for really good insurance so husband could get his knee(s) replaced. He refused saying it wouldn't help.(nothing helps him...he is a man)
I DO say I hurt, (never said worse than him) but I call the doctor and I try to do something to relieve the pain.
I have made Dr. appointment's for husband but he cancels. So, I quit making them. In 21 years he has never had a physical. I make an appointment for that, and he refuses to leave work early and cancels.
My job is not hard, my HOURS are hard. He stated to me that he would never work anything but first shift. got to do what you got to do. The hours are the toughest for me since nobody else thinks you have to sleep.
I go to the dentist, and if my teeth hurt I call the dentist. here too, I have made numerous appointments for husband and he always cancels, so I don't do that anymore.
Vacation,,I have begged husband to take vacation with us (me and the boys). We have a cottage (my family) up north on the water and I have begged husband to come every year. He always told me "I don't get vacation". So, I quit asking. I know he does, but I am not going to beg him to take it.
He rarely sleeps in the same room with me, so I doubt he even knew I was gone last night. I went home early this morning to shower so difficult child wouldn't realize I was gone. husband never mentioned last night. I am so angry. Does he actually believe all the things he said? When he is yelling like that he doesn't let anyone say anything, just continues louder and louder.
So husband starts cleaning/washing the deck today. (big deck with lots of spindles)Hurts his back. Tells me he never had this kind of pain where it hurts when you breathe. I get him ice, he says that makes it worse. I get him heat, he says it doesn't help. (difficult child was at friends most of the day) I get ready to pick him up and husband says, "I'll get him". I ignored him, picked up difficult child, dropped him off and came to work.
Do I address these issues with husband or just let them be?
If I would address them it could never be in conversation, that would just make him angry and he would either yell or do the silent treatment. If I write him a note, more than likely he would throw it away without reading it. But, I would feel better. Long again. Sorry.


Well-Known Member
I have no idea. It seems you have more problems than just difficult child here. Again I am going to bring up counseling. You and husband need to find a way to communicate because soon difficult child will be grown and out of the home and then where will the two of you be?


Well-Known Member
Gosh this is tough, I know I lived with a man like this, my dad. My mother never addressed anything because she was afraid. We all just ignored the leephant in the living room and he went on verbally abusing mom anytime for anything.

If it were me I would tell him that when he drinks he becomes abusive and you won't tolerate it, you will leave. But then you have to be prepared to leave. It sounds like there are a lot of issues to work out between you and counseling may be the only hope.

I'm sorry, you have some tough decisions to make. But I hope you don't allow him to control you forever.



Well-Known Member
My ex was a pretty good husband when he was sober but when he drank he was like yours and he got so he drank most of the time so I got rid of him.
Obviously, it doesn't do any good to try to talk to them while they're drinking and I think you did the right thing to get away. However, in your case, it doesn't sound like the drinking is the problem, if he only averages a beer a week.
I do think some of this needs to be addressed while he's not drinking but that isn't easy either. I agree that counseling may be the only hope but I wouldn't make any big bets on your getting him there.
You say you have been with him for 21 years. Is this something new? Has it always been this way? Is it getting worse? Is it an every day thing or is it an occasional thing that has just really gotten to you? How important has it become? If he will agree to some counseling, great. If not, you have to decide whether you want to live that way or not. That is entirely your decision to make. If so, you know what you are up against. If not, you will have to be the one to take action. I wish I could offer more suggestions but I learned long ago that you cannot change some one who doesn't want to change. You can only change your reactions to them.
Good luck.


husband has been like this since difficult child was born. Prior to that we were a happy family. easy child is his stepson and they got a long great. His whole world revolves around difficult child. He can do no wrong. He actually believes I make up things about difficult child! Even after school has called him too. What ever it is, he will justify difficult child's actions. It is awful. As far as drinking, it is not often, but always a very mean person.


Active Member

Not to be too dramatic - but he hit you!!!!!!!!!!!! :nonono:

I think you need to pack difficult child up and leave for X, Y, or Z for awhile to get husband's attention. Drinking, or no drinking - he hit you and things need to change now! Before one day soon it goes too far.

Weren't you worried about leaving difficult child alone with a drunk dad? Even if his physical well being was not at stake, what about his emotional? He does not need husband and you arguing to this degree with all of his other emotional problems.

I know it is hard. I have been there done that. I have been pushed around by a drunk, drug addicted man - and I stayed way too long. It had an emotional impact on my son that was irreversible.

I will be sending you thoughts of strength and peace.
I was going to respond a couple hours ago, but thought I'd hold off and let others respond to you first. I did not want you to think that I was picking at you.

Kjs, if you do not leave, I do not know what else to tell you. He hit you. That is abuse. And he has been emotionally abusing you for years. He tries to convince you that your problems are not as bad as they are. You mention constantly that he yells at you. My parents stopped yelling at me when I moved out of my house. Nobody's SPOUSE should be yelling at them.

I read in the general forum that you said you would leave if it were not for your financial situation. You have got to sort out your priorities. What if he beat you? Like put you in the hospital beat you? What would you do? Would you still say "I can't leave him, I can't afford it?"

Do you want to wait around until he beats you to find out?

I left my DEX without a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. It was the absolute hardest thing I ever did. I went through a domestic violence shelter. It was humbling. But I stand up tall now, and I will never ever let a man take advantage of me again. Correction: I will never ever let ANYONE take advantage of me again. That does not mean I walk around like a tough guy. I learned to be assertive. Not passive, not aggresive, right in the middle. Assertive. I ask for exactly what I need, and I say exactly what I mean. THAT took counselling. It has been suggested to you countless times to get yourself into counselling.

You really ought to consider it.

Your safety and your son's welfare needs to be the priority, not the deck. Not husband's back. Please take care of yourself!!


First need to clarify something. difficult child was not home.
And I know to familiar the rest. I was also involved in the domestic violence center many, many years ago. They called it the battered womens group back then. There was no mandatory arrest, you had to file a complaint. I had police tell me back then I must LIKE it because I have witnesses. Yes, but what will happen to me tomorrow when he gets out.---This was not husband.
I was very much involved, went out of town on seminars. Became a very strong person. Learned so much.

I truly believe husband is falling apart. He just doesn't drink. I can count on one hand how many times he has had too many. I know we need to go to counseling which I don't believes helps. But it will allow me to say the things I want to say without getting yelled at. He does yell at me alot. I have caught him crying alot recently also. I ask what's wrong and he says nothing. So, I leave him alone. don't know what his problem is, but he isn't willing to help it. Can't force him.

I am holding on to the hope that husband will finally realize he doesn't want to feel this way and accept help. He always has a reason why he won't take medication, pain medication, headache medication. Anything. His loss.


New Member
Sounds too familiar to me. Sorry to hear this is happening. In an ideal world, your husband would accept counseling as an option, but since he won't even see a doctor, your chances of a therapist visit is nil.

I was married to a man like that, but a younger version and he drank daily. I kicked him out when I realized the affect he was having on our children. He never hit me, but he was definately agressive and intimidating.

I don't suggest people to break up their marriages. That is such a big deal and so personal. But I would think hard about how you are dealing with him and the verbal/emotional abuse. I know he hit you, but it sounds like you have accepted it. I know I'm gonna get a backlash on this, but a lot of marriages have a knock-down, drag-out fight once in awhile and someone gets hit. And I don't think that is cause to divorce -- just MY opinion.

Anyhow, something I learned when I got divorced was how delicate a man's ego is. Many men (especially in your husband's generation) was brought up with-physical abuse in the home and taught to not show emotion. "Be a man" kind of thing. I remember treating my DEX as though he didn't have any emotions. I never stopped to consider what he may be going through or what I was doing to carry on that "be a man" attitude.

Everything in a man's life is wrapped around his identity as a man. His work, his children, his home, his wife. He may not take vacations because he believes he'd be considered not a hard-worker. What was his father like about work? He may not go to the doctor's for a host of reasons. Did someone he love or was close to die in a hospital, get misdiagnosed and die, or does it consist of missing work to go? And the difficult child... if your husband is anything like my dad (which is just a few years older than your husband), he may be in denial because he thinks it's a reflection of him.

Maybe you can take a different approach to what you've tried before. Just simply asking 'what's wrong' won't get you much of a response to someone used to not talking. You're the best person to get him to talk. You've known him the longest and the most intimately. As for your anger and your need to get things out, I say take it out on a therapist where you can role play. It might help you not get as upset when talking to husband.


Well-Known Member
Have you considered going to counseling without him? You say you don't believe counseling helps. I kinda agree with you. Both of my difficult children were sent to counseling and it didn't help either one of them but that is because (I believe) they were there because somebody else told them they had to go. I do believe counseling helps people who want to be helped. I'm not suggesting you necessarily need counseling per se but perhaps a counselor could give you some insight into how to respond to your husband when he is like this.
I do believe men tend to hold things in too much. I've been told by many people that in spite of my being a pretty feminine woman in many ways, I think and act "like a man" and I know I do tend to hold in emotions. I think I see going to a doctor as a sign of weakness and I think that a lot of men feel that way. They think that if they just "tough it out" it makes them a better person. Hopefully I have enough female sense to see that that really doesn't make sense but I think I do understand the male point of view.
Perhaps he is having a belated "mid life crisis." Perhaps he has troubles at work or someplace else that he doesn't want to burden you with. If he seems to be "falling apart" there may be reasons which he is too ???? to share with you. Maybe he sees admitting his problems as a sign of weakness and he does not want to show that side to you.
Only you know if he is worth the time and effort to try to save but you do have 21 years invested in him. If you do want to leave, I wouldn't let the financial part stand in the way. When I divorced my ex, I had financial problems too but peace of mind is worth a lot more than money. If he thinks it is OK to hit you, even on the arm, that is a bad sign. And being yelled at all the time is something NOBODY should have to put up with.
Perhaps a counselor could help you sort out your options. I don't think counselors are there to solve your problems but I do believe that, if you want them to and are willing to work with them, they can help YOU solve your problems.

Wiped Out

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Staff member
I think it is a good idea to go to counseling even if husband won't go. Mostly just sending gentle hugs your way. I'm really sorry things are so difficult right now.


my elephant is passed out on the couch down stairs, Luckily he does not hit me, after being being assaulted by a nut case in 2001 I'd probably kill him (d/h) if he did (post traumatic stress disorder). I have been in counseling on and off for years. D/H has always refused to go. Now that things with difficult child II have been so bad d/h is faced with an in home therapist getting in his face and a militant SW as well (mandatory family counseling) not sure how much longer he'll last.


no one knows what it's like to walk in your shoes.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Whatever his issue or problem is, if he is hurting you and your marriage suffers from it, you clearly need to be helping yourself.

If he won't go to counseling with you, then you go alone. There are many programs out there that offer counseling on a sliding scale fee basis - YMCA, YWCA, Catholic Charities - check with your local churches and social services office or through a woman's shelter.

Just like you, many of us have been where you are now. We're all entitled to live in a happy, fulfilling marriage that is based in love and mutual respect, without yelling and constant judgement. Your H sounds like he may be suffering from depression, though he chooses to ignore it for whatever reasons. The fact that he is in pain yet refuses any kind of help screams to me that he feels like if he acknowledges the help or assistance it makes him less of a man. I live with a man like that. It is hard, but you have to detach from that BS and let him deal with it himself. He may have to hit his own personal 'bottom' before he seeks the help he needs.

Many gentle hugs to you.


Snoopee - you are very right as far as his ego. He will be 54 in two weeks. He was brought up in a house with a lot of physical abuse, both to his step mother and to him. He told me once that he use to hide under the bed when he was 3 or 4 hoping his drunken father wouldn't find him because he would get beat.
His bio mother left when he was very young. His step mother left before he was a teen. he asked me once why she left him, why she didn't take him with. I told him back in those days, she couldn't take him, she wasn't bio. His father died in a drunken one car accident when he was in high school. he lived with friends. When I first met him my mother got very sick, and he said everyone he ever loved, died.
Now these comments he has made has come over 21 years. Very hard to get him to tell me anything. He actually thinks it is none of my business what happened to him before I met him.
His brother is AWOL, living in Canada. Haven't seen each other in over 30 years. Rarely speak. When brother does call he wants money. No steady job, not even a steady address, so we cannot reach him. His brother is where I recieved most info about his father. Brother cannot let go of the past. Still very angry at father for their childhood.
When husband's stepmom left (he called her mom) she took her two girls (half sisters) They were only 1 and 2 years old. husband has never seen them since. A few years ago, uncle decided husband should speak to the girls, sent their address. husband wrote a letter, and recieved one in return stating never to contact them again. What their father did to their mother is unacceptable, and the mention of his name reminds their mother of those times.
husband cried, and said he was just a little boy. Very messed up childhood.
I had a storybood upbringing. Dad went to work, mom stayed home. Dad did the punishment. Had a summer home, was involved in winter sports too. Only downside is there was like two families. There is an older group(4 kids) then a bunch of years, they were actually out of the house, and along came my brother and me withing 2 years. Never heard my parents argue. Worst I heard was mom wanted me to go to church with her, and dad wouldn't let us. Two different religions.
Wish I could find another approach to get husband to open up. Any suggestions?


Active Member
Don't try to get him to open up. Just because you know that's what he needs, doesn't help. HE has to realise it and many people (not just men, although I'm tempted to say mostly men) never do.

The behaviour that was modelled for him, was big, strong, tough. Abusive. THAT'S how to be a man. NEVER admit to weakness unless you can use it for emotional blackmail - a sort of, "Don't you complain to me, I put up with far worse than you do."

As women, we tend to talk more, we talk to resolve problems. Men are almost the opposite - to a lot of men, talking about it makes it more real and therefore more of a problem. I know this sounds sexist, I'm sorry, but there it is. There are always exceptions to the rule but the trend is there.

It's a bloke thing. husband used to do it. he'd talk to me, say he was worried about this or that, medically, and ask me to make an appointment to see the doctor. Then he would cancel because he felt better. This happened over and over. Then he would talk to me again about how tired he felt, or how much his joints hurt, or whatever. So I would say, "If you're worried, see the doctor. I'm not a doctor, what do you want me to do? You have my sympathy but I can't fix it."
So once again, I made an appointment for him to see the doctor. I made it for a Saturday morning, so husband wouldn't cancel because he was too busy at work. husband still was concerned about his health and kept the appointment. I went too. That's how I know what happened next.

We got in to see the doctor. "What seems to be the trouble?" the doctor asked.
"I don't know, nothing, really. It's just Marg who's wanted me to come and see you, I feel fine, really."
I could have killed him. As we drove home (the memory of the doctor's smug, condescending smile burning on my retina) I asked him why he had done that - why he made me look like a fool, purely for the sake of his precious ego.
husband was shamefaced. "I really don't know why I did that," he apologised. "I just don't know - I should have told him about the tiredness and the joint pain - I know we need to find out what is wrong."
I still refused to make any more appointments, though. I made sure husband made the appointment, and to ensure he did, any time husband tried to talk to me about not feeling well, I replied with, "You know what to do. Don't ask me to fix it. Don't complain, and then do nothing."

That was quite a few years ago and we still don't know what is wrong, apart from a hereditary tendency to early arthritis, but he DID 'fess up to the doctor for which I was grateful.

Since then, whenever someone repeatedly complains to me about their health but never does anything about it, I get to a point where I tell them I am not buying into their little drama. "Either stop complaining, or do something."

They can't have it both ways.

Like you, I will help out if someone has pain - want a cold compress? A hot one? But I offer no help if they're only going to use their pain as a weapon, or a competitive tool. I only care when the problem is genuine.

And on the point of comparison - I learned, back when I was doing a lot of volunteer work for a charity, that it is wrong to compare your situation with someone else's. People still do it with me - they say, "Goodness, how can you cope? And yet you do - you are disabled yourself, you are raising difficult child 3 with his autism, you've done a lot with your older son too, I feel guilty now about complaining about my aching joints."
I tell these people to complain to me all they want and not feel guilty - what I deal with is what I deal with. Would I cope with their aching joints? I have no idea. And maybe they'd cope much better with my life.

We never know. But we should NEVER compare. This is a very important lesson.

Kjs, from what you say you probably also know this. But your husband is not only using comparison, he's competing with you over it. This is, frankly, sick. It fits in with his denial at other times and determination to complain rather than do anything about it. And while you let him do this, he will keep doing it. What HE chooses to say and do, is his choice. But you don't have to take any of it on board. Don't take him a cold pack, or hot pack, unless he asks you nicely. Otherwise, ignore it. He chooses to allow these problems to continue untreated, so at some level this is what he wants. Don't take it away from him or even try to. HE must choose to put his pain down when HE is ready to. It is in our nature as women to try to nurture and mother, but don't do it with husband. You are his wife and not his mother, although I suspect a lot of his anger directed at you is the 'mother' side of you that he sees and deeply resents. So don't be his mother, in any way. Treat him as an adult, an independent person making his own choices and having to live with the consequences of them. Let him fetch his own analgesics. It will help him face up to the reality of his pain that much more quickly.

And when he complains about his pain (I include emotional pain here) then don't wear any comparison, don't buy into it at all, ignore it if you have to, but merely say to him, "You know what you have to do if it is so bad. Stop trying to be so macho and take control of your own health. Either do something about it, or stop whining."
And keep a spare set of pyjamas for yourself in your neighbour's campervan.

The only time you need to go carefully, is when he's been drinking. And I strongly suspect it's the pain that's pushing him to drink more - I've known too many people who use alcohol as an analgesic. Understandable, but foolish. There is a very good line from somewhere - "A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient."

Concerning husband's family, if his uncle wanted him to make contact, and husband's attempts to do so were rejected, has uncle been told of this? It must have been so hurtful for husband to be rejected like this, and for this reason. The rejection may have genuinely come from his stepmother, or it could have come from a daughter being too protective (and perhaps possessive).




I am typing my reply before having read what anyone else has said, so I may be repeating.....

I know you want to feel better and you deserve to. So here's a hug to start out with ((( KJS ))).

When others continue to offer solutions to someone who constantly rebuffs them,both loose ground. You are getting frustrated, perhaps angry, and maybe depressed. It sounds like he has been there for a long time.

Until he takes on the accountability for what is bothering him and you let go of it, you are both going to be miserable. For you, disengaging is much easier said than done, but is much healthier in the long run.


Well-Known Member
Until he takes on the accountability for what is bothering him and you let go of it, you are both going to be miserable. For you, disengaging is much easier said than done, but is much healthier in the long run.

I agree.

And that's where counseling helps if you go alone (because you know he won't go...). The counselor will help you learn to create boundaries and not be a doormat. It does not mean you explode or provoke husband (heaven knows, he can provoke himself!). It means you stand your ground... or in this case, leave.
It's scary. But so is living with-a guy like that!

by the way, most of your original note was spent defending yourself. Clearly, he has put you on the defensive. There is no need for that. That's the first thing the counselor will tell you.

Many hugs.


Active Member
this is abuse. emotional, verbal and physical abuse of you.

you can choose not to let this continue to lower your self esteem. no one has to be responsible for another being's happiness. if you do not feel like you can deal with this, get counseling to get you strong enough to set some boundaries.


That is my goal. He is NOT going to bring me down. I had a great job, was a boss, loved my job of 18 years. Then in 2003 Lost it. I have had some bad hours, bad places of employment. Finally am at an excellent company. Hours are not the best, but it works. I worked very hard studying the school laws, special education laws and will not be snowed over by them again. difficult child knows what he will be accountable for, and knows what I will intervene with. difficult child knows he can get to me, but I am getting much better. He resents the fact that I will speak to his friends, ask questions, verify his where abouts. Oh well. husband does none of that. I refuse to let him run wild and do as he pleases. However things turn out with him I will know I did what I had to do. husband is in denial regarding difficult child. Doesn't believe in counseling, psychiatrist's, therapist's. doesn't believe in medication(but does make him take it). husband refuses to allow difficult child to have chores, too young. Won't even let him in a room that I may be cleaning if it has a smell such as bleach. he says, "oh, honey...stay away don't breathe this". No wonder the kid has anxiety and thinks he is dying. husband accidently called me "hon" one day. LOL. I responded and the look on his face was priceless. I know it was meant for difficult child. I need to get him to a counselor. So I can point out that he is hurting difficult child rather than helping him. sorry for rambling. I have a new goal. I will not let husband bring me down. I will do what I need to do, and not sure what that will be at this time, but time will tell.

Take care and thanks for all the advice and thoughts.