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DH has "put up with my depression so I need to accept his alcoholism"

(13 Posts)
13months Mon 03-Aug-15 01:14:53

Our marriage has been in trouble and we are in counselling together. He (so I thought) had a historic drink problem - it was a major issue for many years until he hit rock bottom and went dry for a few years. He then started drinking again - slowly at first but it built up. I was monitoring it and pushing him to moderate - which I thought he had - only to recently discover that he had been secret binge drinking for years from the boot of his car when I was in bed at night at weekends. He has now gone dry again.

I brought this up at our weekly marriage counselling session - he got angry as he didnt think it necessary to discuss as he was now dry (8 days - apparently) - his out burst was around that alcoholism is a disease (although he denies he is an alcoholic - just has a "drink problem") and that as he has had to put up with my 3 bouts of depression over the last 14 years (x2PND and after the sudden death of my mother) when he has had to endure me looking dishevelled and being depressed - so I should be sympathetic and compassionate to him and his illness.

Is this reasonable? He never complained when I was ill - he mostly dissociated himself - but clearly it has festered.

PoppyField Mon 03-Aug-15 01:26:14

Hi OP,

Sorry you've had a nasty shock about this. He is not being reasonable, but as far as I know, alcoholics are rarely reasonable. He thinks you shouldn't bring it up at marriage counselling? God knows, I should think it is wholly relevant to your relationship. Presumably he was angry that you brought it up because he is in denial and he wants to stay there. He does not want the truth to come out to a third party.

He is trying to blackmail you to put up and shut up, but there is no reason you should do that. Why should you be sympathetic and compassionate to his 'illness' when he insists he doesn't have one? He's denied being an alcoholic, so he can't be ill can he? He can't have it both ways.

You had depression, he stayed with you. Well three cheers, what a hero. You don't have to put up with his alcohol 'problem' because of that. You don't have to suffer his unreasonable behaviour. You can decide to leave him for whatever reason you like - he just wants to make you feel guilty. I am sure that is one of many attempts to push your buttons.

Ask him why he is going to marriage counselling with you? Does he want to repair the damage in your relationship? Doesn't look like it to me. He is drinking in secret, denying it and then getting angry with you for trying to address it. Those are not the actions of a reasonble man. He doesn't want to stop drinking, and he doesn't want to be pulled up on it. Sure as eggs, you cannot stop him drinking so you have a decision to make... others with more first hand experience of this will come on with more sage advice, but it doesn't sound as if he is going to change for anyone, even you.

13months Mon 03-Aug-15 01:41:22

Thank you Poppy - I brought it up as we have been in counselling for months and I have been trying to fix our marriage for much longer. The secret drinking discovery has just thrown all of that up in the air as it is now apparent that I did not know what/who I was dealing with throughout this time as I have not had the full picture until 8 days ago. I also never hid my illness, denied it or exacerbated it as he has done with his.

madwomanbackintheattic Mon 03-Aug-15 02:13:18

Right, but alcoholism is an illness and alcoholics lie and hide it. Part and parcel of the illness just like your symptoms of depression.

So you both need to grow up a bit, acknowledge you both have mh issues, and deal with your relationship.

If you are going to play my one-upmanship, you should probably just file for divorce now and not bother.
Neither of you sound particularly invested in this counselling

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 03-Aug-15 02:22:48

No OP. Just as he chose to put up with your depression. You can chose to accept with his alcoholism. Or not.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 03-Aug-15 02:32:34

It isn't a competition
Perhaps you need to listen to what he is trying to tell you about his illness

Atenco Mon 03-Aug-15 03:07:43

Well yes they are both illnesses but... I presume you got help for your depression and didn't refuse treatment. You knew he had an alcohol problem before but you didn't not know that he was feeding it instead of going to AA, for example.

Squeegle Mon 03-Aug-15 04:59:18

I think you had another thread about this didn't you?
1. Don't expect an alcoholic to be reasonable. It's all manipulation, you will always be the baddie.
2. You need to look after yourself. He isn't.
3. You need to detach ;with love).. Tell him you will be there for him after he is sober. Only he can do it.
4. Al anon can help you. Please don't be manipulated by his twisted thinking. Your job is to look after yourself, his is to look after him. No, this is not the ideal in a partnership - but it's no a partnership where alcoholism is concerned. You can't really help.

I'm not unsympathetic, I have been where you are. It's hard to have confidence in what you believe is right, but you need to build up and work in that confidence. Get RL support, don't hide it, it's not your shame - tell some trusted friends. Alcoholism thrives on secrecy.
Good luck - be strong- forget about counselling till he's been sober for 6 months.

13months Mon 03-Aug-15 08:43:14

Squeegle - yes I did revive my old thread when I caught him red handed blotto in the middle of the night the other week. I dont think it is a competition but I believe I have been open and transparent and sought help for my PND and grief (which I am well over).

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2300903-Anyone-else-unable-to-forgive-OH-historic-alcoholism

Nolim Mon 03-Aug-15 08:51:46

What did the counselor say?
Agree with others that this is not a competition or a zero sum game.

PleaseGetOffTheTableDarling Mon 03-Aug-15 09:01:44

I think when dealing with addiction, sympathy and compassion HAVE to be understood to include facing up to the problem. It would not be supportive of you to enable your husband's drinking by ignoring it at your counselling sessions. Of course, as others have said up thread, addicts are not reasonable, so it is unlikely your husband will recognise this.
I hope you find a way forward.

pocketsaviour Mon 03-Aug-15 14:41:20

OP I'm wondering, based on your previous thread, whether your depression/PND may have been exacerbated by your H's heavy drinking?

But in a way, that's irrelevant. His comparison doesn't hold water; he surely didn't say "13months is depressed and I am perfectly okay if she stays depressed forever." I assume he would have said "My DW is depressed, this will be a hard time but I'll help her through to the other side."

Just as you said "My DH is an alcoholic [an in denial one] and I accept that he needs help to get to sobriety." That doesn't equate to "My DH is an alcoholic and I'll just let him carry on drinking because oh well."

Jan45 Mon 03-Aug-15 14:46:29

His attitude stinks, comparing his addiction to alcohol to your life changing events that caused your depression, I'm afraid it just highlights his lack of responsibility about what he is doing, 8 days dry, big deal, he's a liar and he has an unhealthy addiction that will in time damage his health beyond repair as well as having financial implications.

Perhaps your depression would lift once you got rid of this dead weight, and yes I did say that, alcoholics do have a disease yes but it's one they perpetuated themselves, sounds like he's going along with things out of a sense of duty rather than actually wanting to quit for good.

I'd not be around tbh, I'd have had enough by now.

Give yourself that permission OP, very rarely do you get a happy ending.

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