Married In 1968--mostly Unhappy Since

I think I must be an idiot to stay in a marriage for this long that makes me so unhappy.  I was eighteen when I married (not unusual back then here in Missouri) and I can honestly say that I could probably count my happy times in days rather than years.

My husband is a binge drinker and has been all along.  It just took me a while to figure it out as I came from a family that didn't drink at all.  He admits to being an alcoholic, has been in treatment at least three times, but never stays sober for longer than about six months.  That is actually a huge improvement as he used to drink every weekend.  However (isn't there always a but...) he now stays drunk for up to three or four weeks when he does drink. 

When he isn't drinking, he is bad tempered, self centered, very critical of everything I do and of our son's and their families.  He doesn't have any real friends, when he drinks, he holes up and drinks alone except for trips to buy another bottle.  When he is sober, he stays outside all the time (we live on a small acreage).  His hobby is old cars, and at times he has owned upwards of forty vehicles.  He doesn't ever restore them, as he doesn't have the skill or the money.  They are simply a way for him to hang on to the past.  He is currently taking bankruptcy and hasn't helped me pay any household bills for years.  He's always too broke for that!  For the last five or six years of his working life, he couldn't hold down a job (or didn't want to).  So he drew unemployment and sold off some of his old cars to pay his credit cards.  He then began borrowing from one card to pay another, using the short term loan places to pay his bills, etc.  You get the picture!  Now, the final result-bankruptcy.

I am retired and babysitting to supplement my retirement to keep our bills paid, although I refused to pay any of his credit cards (thank God I'm not on them).  I am crazy, but not stupid!  Well maybe the stupid part is debatable since I'm still married to him.  The only reason I can figure out why I'm still here is because I feel responsible for him.  He's like a 66 year old child who can't even take care of himself.  I think if I left, he would soon drink himself to death.  Besides, I have paid every penny on this property, and I'm not inclined to move out and let him lose it!

On the brighter side, I have two wonderful sons and six beautiful grandsons.  Thankfully neither of my sons has a drinking problem and my daughter in laws are good girls.  I wish I could find some common ground with this man I married.  We don't spend any time together, we have separate bedrooms, he watches TV in the den and I watch TV or read in the living room.  We never go out together.  I know I will have a battle on my hands getting any money out of him to help with household expenses even after his bankruptcy is done.

I have talked with him about what I need until I am blue in the face.  It does no good.  He promises to try to be a better husband/father, but it never really changes.  I feel like I'm drowning in unhappiness...
Romy2005 Romy2005
1 Response May 18, 2012

Your story sounds close to mine...only I married my high school sweetheart, sight unseen, 33 years later. He contacted me online after all those years apart and I fell for his many lies. I moved to a very small town and we married two weeks later. Two months later, I knew I made a mistake in marrying this boy in a man's body. To make a long story short, it has taken me three years to finally save money to leave and that's just what I'm doing. He too, has a drinking and drug problem and will not get help. Through his family I found out he has had this problem since he was teen-ager, but I didn't notice it then because we didn't date very long.<br />
He can't keep a job, has his 91 year old father pay all our utility bills, has no driver's license, and hasn't worked in a year. The last job he had, he got fired from and he admitted to me that he's been fired from every job he's ever held. I'm not used to living like this and therefore, I can't wait to walk out that door next month. Alcoholics don't care about anyone but themselves, so I'm going to let him and his alcohol live all alone. I feel like I've been his mommy for these three years. I'm so done living with a man who can't be a man or a husband. Good luck to you and I hope you find happiness along the way.

Thank you for your comments. I admire you for having the courage to do what you think is best for you. It's hard for me to focus on what's best for me, I have a real problem with giving too much of myself to others. I wish you good luck and happiness in your future.