Do I stay or do I go???

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  silviam 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    My husband and I have been married 4 years this year. We’ve been together for 8 years. It seems like a very long time. We have 2 daughters our eldest is 6 years old and my youngest is 1 year old.

    My story goes like this, and please be open minded… My husband is a recovering drug addict. He has been clean for 6 years now. However he has a very addictive personality and I believe he’s latched onto alcohol. He does not see that he has a problem. At the moment, he is the bread winner. He earns alot more than what I do and pays for most things like rent, car payments, electricity, insurances etc. He works very hard and he does take on alot of stress as he has to provide for his family. I also work hard though, although I don’t earn as much as what he does. I have a full time job too.

    The problem is that he drinks every afternoon. If he finishes work early, he’ll sit with his friends and have a few drinks. His mood changes considerabily when he’s been drinking and becomes angry and aggressive. He does not see that he has a drinking problem. Most of our fights are about this. He feels that there is no problem and that I am the one with the issue. Every Saturday, he plays golf or he’ll go and watch some sort of sport with his friends and come home drunk. I’ve learnt not to confront him when he has been drinking if I do, then all hell breaks loose. He’ll punch and break things and that’s when I just move out of the way.

    The only day he doesn’t drink is on a Sunday. He sleeps late and wakes up at about 10am. What I would give to sleep until 10am!

    I want to spend time with him, and I want him to spend time with his children but he just doesn’t seem interested. Last night he tells me that it’s because of me – because I’m not social and friendly towards him that is why he wants to spend time with other people. So it’s all about me. He goes out whenever he wants to. Doesn’t ask just does and I’m left at home. To house sit and baby sit cos that’s what I feel like. I’m just around when it suits him.

    Every now and then we’ll go out without the kids. They’ll stay with their grandparents but we never spend alone time together. We’ll land up with all his friends and he’ll get drunk. So much for spending time together.

    However, I can’t go out at all. I have to ask permission, and I have to ask him to watch the kids. He will complain about it, that I actually give in and stay at home.

    It really doesn’t feel like a marriage anymore. It feels more like an arrangement. We never kiss anymore. We are hardly intimate. I just can’t bring myself to be with him in that way when I’m so unhappy. I’ve asked him to go to marriage councelling with me, he feels that it’s not necessary. It really feels like I’m fighting a loosing battle. I’m a Christian, me and my girls go to church every Sunday. I’ve taken a vow before God when we got married. How can I give up now? I try and talk to him, but it goes into deaf ears. I try so hard, but nothing seems to be working. What do I do???



    Kate – as I read your message, my heart constricted and it brought back a flood of memories, none good. (Please also see my response to “trapped by a mistress” yesterday).

    I was in a similar situation; married 14 years, 2 children aged 11 and 8, a husband who did much what yours is doing. And, I was always the “handbrake” he said … my complete role as full-time mom, cook, cleaner, shopper, driver, worker, bill-payer, the responsible adult in the marriage was overlooked.

    After he assaulted me after a drunken (and drug induced fit of rage – I realised in retrospect years later) in 2000,  I pressed charges, he begged and pleaded that he would change, I relented. I shouldn’t have. My final straw came 6 years later when yet again he embarrassed me by not taking calls or doing the work (architecture) he promised to my colleagues, work we could ill afford to bypass – and I dug a little deeper (strange numbers on his phone, I called them) and realised he was on drugs. Then divorced him. He’s off drugs and alcohol now, it seems. I have had tough times financially – I get a fraction of the maintenance due, if any a month, but my kids and I are very happy with a caring man for the last 4 years – not all men are dogs.

    We hang in there in a bad situation “for the children”, we cannot think that we can cope financially alone and we hope that the wonderful man we married will return.  And of course the perceived shame  in our minds that we have to tell our parents, our friends that we have failed. So stupid. We marry awesome men, no sign of alcohol or drug abuse then, yet when they go off the rails we feel guilty, responsible and a failure.

    Marriage is a contract before God by TWO people, so what do we do when one of those two just “checks out and does his own thing with no desire to see the problems or to fix them? Remember, we are NOT responsible for any one else’s actions or choices.

    You need to set out on paper the pro’s and cons of staying married to this man, and take into account what is good for your kids. They are not benefiting by seeing their dad always out with the boys and coming home drunk, and you having to stay out of his way. This behaviour will shape their future relationships.

    Kids do adjust to divorce, as long as they are still in a secure, caring, family unit. If you don’t go that route, your husband has to come to the party – maybe print your appeal here and make him read it. He has no idea what he is doing to your family now.

    I wish you strength, a clear mind and much peace.




    Its painful to love someone and have to leave them especially after spending a lot of time with them, but dear there’s someone else outside who will respect and treat you like a queen, Your husband deserves to be left alone hes not taking you anywhere in life, hes just wasting more of your time



    Sorry dear I answered the wrong question, I will reply again soon.still busy now



    My heart goes out to you. It is not easy to be the one holding the family together. But he clearly has a problem. I don’t know if you have tried them already, but Al-Anon specialises in support for the families of people who abuse alcohol. I found their website: and it may be worth giving them a call or emailing, because they understand your side of this problem. Good luck and all the best.



    Just being married is trouble…… the “good” days usually come when one is older…. be your children’s friend …. husband is good for the money … use him …. it is much more difficult out there doing everything yourself …. there is no guaranee that a “good sweet kind man” will come along (if he does, he is also supporting ex wife and kids ) …. go slowly and be your children’s trusting and reliable mamma …. I did … my daughter is now 30, son 37, and they thank me …. I am still with my verbal abusive husband who has calmed down at 71 …..



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