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A Email From My Husband...

My husband wrote this email to me last night after we had another large fight.  Our relationship has been really strained with his drinking bouts.  It came to a head when he left our two young boys and I a couple months ago, because he felt I should just leave him alone about his drinking. 

He has black outs, drinks at least 3 to 5 bottles of wine or 10 to 12 beers or mixed drinks a night, not only socially but even when he is all by himself.  He cannot go to bed without several drinks to destress.  I never thought it was a problem until the last several years (we have been married 20 yrs).  Especially when he tells himself and me that he is just going to have one drink then ends up totally drunk, then proceeds to drive our family to an event or boys to their sport activities. 

Both of his parent's are alcoholics...he knows this well but claims he can handle his drinking, and that he is just having trouble controlling it lately.  He told me he would only come back home if I would "be supportive," and not bug him about it anymore.  He wanted me to let him drink, in fact for us to go back to me drinking with him again.

I have never been a big drinker, but when I started to notice his problem.  I stopped all together...for the sake of the kids and us.  I wanted too be more aware and hopefully inspire him to stop drinking too. It completely backfired, he felt I was judging him and that he had lost his best friend who he could drink with and he no longer felt that he could be comfortable around me because he felt because I wasn't drinking and made him feel like I was counting how much he was drinking.  He started to drink more away from home...as much as he could before coming home pretending like he hadn't been drinking or would say oh I just stopped for "only one drink on the way home," while staggering and slurring as he walked in the door. 

I agreed to leave him alone about his drinking so that he would come back home to us.  I love him and don't want him to have to be alone and I want to be there for him.  He came home, the boys (they 9 and 5 yrs old) were so happy to have him back in the house.  His conditions were that I not judge him and to please join him...I started to do so.  Even bought and made his drinks for him...it was fine for a couple weeks but he started to be angry at me a lot, I felt like anything I was bending over backwards for him to appease him and not have stress out about the littlest things.  He is even fighting with the boys now.  I snapped yesterday, it was Mother's Day, we were out to brunch and boys were being so sweet but he was being so sarcastic.  My oldest son said to him can't you at least not be sarcatic on Mother's day Dad...he flipped out at him.  I came unglued...I couldn't hold it together anymore...it became unbearable.  We left the restaurant the boys quickly went to their rooms and we started to yell and scream at each other.  I took a bottle of rum and started drinking it...I just wanted to feel what it was to be numb...I was hurting so bad inside I didn't want to feel it anymore.  I drank the entire bottle on my own...and locked myself in my room to sleep. When I woke up the next morning this want he wrote me in an email:

My Beloved S***,
 
I want to try to share my feelings with you at a time when I am clear in my thoughts and can share with you my true feelings.  This letter rambles on with no clear direction, kind of like me…but so be it…
 
First of all I want you to know that I have never been angry at you or felt anger towards you for anything other than for holding a mirror up to myself and showing me how I really am.  You are truly kind, wonderful and giving and I respect you for that more than anything.  I am sorry if my defensive actions and how I act towards you make you feel otherwise.
 
I am deeply sorry for all of the imperfections and hang ups that I have.  I know that living with me must be a daily challenge because you never know which way the wind is going to blow and how I will react.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must be trying to live with a man like me and trying to figure out how to meet my needs when I don’t even know how to address them.  I feel the same way about myself…
 
Please, please, please don’t ever feel that you are the one that is causing the pain in this relationship.  I know it is me and it truly hurts when I take the time to sit down and think things through…which is maybe why I avoid it.
 
When we married I felt deep inside that I was not good enough for you, that you deserved much more than me.  But being the selfish person I took you thinking that I could be better and eventually become the husband and lover that you truly deserve…Time has proven that I was wrong…
 
I have tried to be a better husband, friend and person when times are tough that I revert to my learned ways and that hurts you and scares me…I know that.  But I keep striving to change one step at a time.  Sometimes I take two steps forward and one step back, but I try to make progress…
 
There is no doubt in my mind that you are the woman for me, my soulmate, the person that I want to grow old with.  But every day I feel that I do not deserve you. And feel guilty that I have taken you along on ride with no real destination in life…I hate fighting with you or even seeing that disapproving look in your eyes.  It kills me to be honest…
 
Drinking….the thing that scares me more than anything is that you will drink like I do to numb your mind.  I have learned that drinking does not solve problems it just defers them to a time later when everything aggregates.  Still I continue to drink although I know it is bad.  Please Please Please, do not follow me down this road…
 
Kids…You are probably the most loving, caring, capable  and committed mother on this planet.  My concern is that because of the past and your need to try to make sure the past doesn’t happen again that you are going overboard.  Try to enjoy the kids…try not to worry about them so much.  We have given them a good base of love and knowledge and they will learn to work through things.  Try not to push so hard, boys need their moms to be there when they fall just to cuddle them and make them feel the world is not coming down.  I wish I had a mom like you, perhaps I would be better equipped to deal with life…
 
Change….please don’t try to change for me.  I know this sounds ridiculous given the messages I have given you and it is confusing…but here it is.   I love you and respect you.  I don’t want you to change to accommodate me.  All I want is understanding from you and acceptance of who I am.  I don’t need you to bend over backwards to meet my needs.  I just want you to support me while I try to figure out my way through life.  You understand things much better than I do and can see the path that I should take much earlier than me…I know that.  But still for some stupid reason I feel the need to try to figure the direction…this doesn’t make a lot of sense I know and I am trying to figure this one out.
 
I guess what I am saying is that I don’t want you to change but want you to let me be who I am…although I know that I need to change  and need a push sometimes…but you shouldn’t be the one to change….
 
I love you and respect you S***…

I am more confused now more than ever...I don't understand what he means in this email...please help me to understand if you do. 

justcouldcry justcouldcry 36-40, F 4 Responses May 11, 2009

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I would get out.

Dealing with an alcololic is a no win

Okay...so, on Mother's Day, your kids go to their rooms, and hear mom and dad screaming at each other, then mom gets wasted, just like dad......wow!



You are a classic enabler....I don't mean to sound harsh....well...maybe I just want to be blunt, so that maybe you will here me....I was in your shoes....(except I would never drink, and leave my kids to pretty much fend for themselves) my first husband and I were married for 23 years....He started drinking in private about 5 years, before the marriage ended....



It took more and more....yet, he could "control" it...he "didn't have a drinking problem"....stop "b*tching and maybe I won't need to drink more".....so, I stopped saying anything at all....I refuse to drink or have it in the house, for my kids to see it.....it goes against my beliefs....it used to go against his....



Long story short.....his drinking got worse....I told him to get help, or me and our 4 kids are gone....he didn't believe I'd ever go....so, he kept it up....I left, with my kids.....What they were seeing and hearing was way worse than coming from a broken home.......It's better to come from one, than to live in one.....



This is a problem that is bigger than you are....Stop trying to save this man....He has to save himself....He has to want that bad enough to do the work....you can see that all the work in the world that you do for him isn't working...and it never will.....He needs to claim his disease....and get control over it, or it will kill him, and it will take you and your boys down with him.....He is not worth your family.....



Your sons are suffering silently....make no mistake about it....when children grow up in this kind of environment, they become damaged....it is your responsibility to protect them....and yes, even if that's from their own father.....He's sick....the best thing you can do for him, is to make him have to get help.....and buying and fixing his drinks isn't doing anything other than pickling his liver even further, and now, you're doing it, too....



Stop the madness....make him move out....tell him the way he can have you and the boys in his life, is to go to AA for the rest of his life.....and to get help for his disease, before it kills him.....Tell him if you didn't care, you would just leave....and not ever look back....but, he's destroying your family, and he hurting your sons....and he has to man up, and take care of himself, because he's the ONLY one that can do it.....Good luck.

long email: short response aa/alon retreat or mak a decision separation or divorce

To sum it up I think he's crying for help - and I believe that you drinking a bottle of rum the other night scared him. He obviously loves you but unfortunately he's the only one who can deal with the problem of drinking.



I used to drink a lot and mu husband was so desperate he wouldn't know what to do - in the end it was me who realised what a bad habit this is and how I'm hurting everyone that is dear to me.



Same with your hubby - he needs help - professional help - but you are not the one to give him that help - by not drinking with him you make him feel guilty - by drinking with him you scare him. The good thing is that he's aware that he's hurting you and the children - so all I can suggest is try and persuade him to go to AA - as he really has a problem and it could be fatal - perhaps if you could try and make him see how bad it is for his health, he might agree to seek special help.



After I gave up drinking - my husband started to drink more and more - he's now up to 2 bottles of wine per night - I know exactly why and i feel so desperate that I can't help him - but I'm working really hard to try and help him.



I think you should also look at the reason why he is drinking, what's bothering him in the first instance - as it's obvious this is not a social thing but just some frustration. Once you can establish the cause, then you might be able to help.



good luck !!! and thanks for sharing your story with us.