The blame game, difficult child spouses, strained marriages


I thought I'd start a new thread since the title of my old one isn't accurate.

I have made an appointment for me with difficult child's former therapist. Next Tuesday can't come fast enough - things here seem to be unraveling daily.

I love my husband, but someone needs to bonk him with a clue-by-4. This is going to take a lot of work to get through. I know that I haven't been my best for the last few years - I've been very depressed, I've gained weight, my housekeeping has slacked. I get that, and I'm working on it. He however apparently sees nothing wrong with how he lives his life, even though he's an alcoholic, and EVERYONE who knows us knows how disengaged he's been as a parent. He's not a bad person, but he definitely has issues. He most certainly does NOT have all his **** together, as he claims.

Yesterday he showed up drunk at my sister in law's house (he hadn't been driving, thank goodness) and started in on her, in her house with her children present, about how she's trying to "take his daughter away." This is AFTER he sought solace in his best friend, who is also well aware of the dynamics of our household and who I can't imagine would blow smoke up husband's ass, but this friend also thinks that sister in law is loony, and I can see him thinking it's not a good place for difficult child to be. Anyway, sister in law took husband outside away from the kids and went OFF on him, saying that this was most certainly not something she sees as a project, that she doesn't really WANT to take difficult child in, but she is doing it because she loves us, knows she can help, and wants to help. She said that if he wanted, she would go pack up difficult child's stuff right now and send her back home. He let difficult child stay.

Yes, husband can't even manage to take a day to spend with his daughter without drinking. And not just a couple of beers - he had to call a friend to give them a ride to sister in law's, and him a ride home. But he has all his **** together. Right.

I know I'm not perfect, far from it. I need to lose weight, I need to get in better housekeeping habits, I need to tame my cursing. But darnit, I'm AWARE of all these things, I acknowledge them, and I'm using this time when I don't have to deal with difficult child to work on these things. In the meantime, my marriage is now blowing up in my face, and I find out that my husband is such a good actor that he just has been pretending that all is fine for the past few years (I guess I have been too, to some extent).



Well-Known Member
Many hugs, greenrene. This is a really rough time for you and your husband. I am hoping that with your sister in law's honest reaction, he can begin to see the light. It is high time he sit in on an AA mtng. If you can talk to him when he's sober, I would work on that, and hope that everything else will slide into place.
In the meantime, I am hoping that he made it to work, and am wondering if he will come home tonight, and if so, if he'll be sober.
I am so sorry. Sometimes it needs to get to this point before something changes.
:Grouphug:Many, many hugs.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
There is a saying in the substance abuse world which states, "don't argue with crazy, then you too become crazy." You are attempting to have a sane conversation with someone who is an alcoholic, this is not going to lead anywhere healthy. He needs help. You need help. If he is an alcoholic, then there is a very good likelihood that you are a codependent. One thing that happens in families where there is substance abuse, is often there will be one person who everyone focuses on as "the problem" which has been your difficult child. Once "the problem" is removed, the real problems and issues begin to arise. It seems that your difficult child is a problem, but your husband's drinking is another problem. There are 12 step groups for him, but if he is not willing to get help, then you can on your own get support for you. It's likely you are enabling him. Your housekeeping skill and your weight are a much much smaller issue then his drinking and in my opinion shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. He has you bamboozled to take the blame for all of this, don't do it. That's part of the enabling stuff with alcoholics, they blame you for everything, don't accept that blame, make him responsible for his drinking and his daughter. His drinking needs to stop so you can all be healthy enough to define the issues and then deal with them. You have an unhealthy family and it's all blowing up now because the truth is surfacing. That is very, very difficult to face, but the good news is, once it's all out in the open, then you can deal with it. When it's hidden, everyone suffers. I am so sorry, this has got to be overwhelming for you, but I am so glad you are seeing a therapist. Many many hugs for you as you go through this transition.


CD Hall of Fame
You should hear my EX, hon. "She can't be autistic AND intelligent." "It's got to come from your side of the family." And while yes, she's mostly a mini-me plus bi-polar, I'm sure the absolute abandonment by her father really helped matters. Ostrich syndrome, it's rampant.

I agree with Terry that your husband should attend an AA meeting. However, if he refuses to acknowledge he has a drinking problem, refuses to attend an AA meeting, then sadly, there is absolutely nothing you can do to help him. However, you can continue to do the very best you can to help yourself. I'm glad you have an appointment with a therapist.

Be gentle with yourself. Living with an alcoholic is extremely stressful. I have first hand experience but my situation was very different from your situation. I wasn't married to him and we didn't have any children. I loved him with all my heart but ended up having to leave him. He refused to help himself and I wasn't going to let him take me any further down then I already was.

I'm not telling you to leave your husband. I'm hoping your husband will acknowledge that he is an alcoholic, go to AA meetings, begin to help himself. However, I don't think you can work on your marriage unless he is willing to work on himself.

As far as your stepdaughter is concerned, it is wonderful that your sister in law is such a caring and loving person. Your sister in law realizes that your difficult child needs to be in a more stable setting then what your husband can offer her right now. Hoping your husband begins to see the light...

Thinking of you today, sending many caring thoughts, hugs your way... SFR


Thank you everyone, you have been a wonderful support. I'm going to read these responses over and over again - I appreciate all you have to say SO very much.

Terry, he always comes home from work, and he is (almost) always sober when he comes home. He does drink some beer every night, but most of his drinking is at home, and the problem drinking is usually on the weekends. Yesterday he did come home from work early because he wasn't feeling good - he said he was exhausted. I know that he hasn't been sleeping well at all since difficult child went to sister in law's house, and when he does sleep, a lot of the times he has nightmares. Good. Maybe it will help wake him up. He is very distraught about difficult child not being here, but he's not looking inward at all to see if maybe, just maybe, there are issues he needs to address. I hope he starts having dreams about beer bottles continuously bashing themselves over his head.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hang in there. When you go to your therapy appointment, tell him/her the whole truth, all about your husband's alcoholism, the difficult child journey, all of it. Once the truth is on the table they can help you sort through it and make choices, one step at a time, whatever is safe and appropriate for you. Don't make nice, tell the truth, that's going to be the only way out of this, that old saying the truth will set you free is true. Lies and secrets are the most damaging things for families, especially for your children, because THEY know the truth, they may be young, but kids know when the truth is being denied. Go forward with the truth and eventually you will find peace. (((HUGS)))))


Love me...Love me not
he is (almost) always sober when he comes home. He does drink some beer every night, but most of his drinking is at home, and the problem drinking is usually on the weekends.

As the child of an alcoholic, let me gently point out that drinking "some beer every night" IS problem drinking...

Your husband is drunk and dis-engaged from his world on a regular basis. THAT is a problem. The rest of the time, I'm sure he feels hungover, head-achy, tired, irritable and slightly naseaus - which must just make hime a JOY to live with (NOT!) most of the time.

Time to get some help for YOU. You have been an an emotional roller-coaster for a long time now. If you can - try and step away for a breather and clear your head.