This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Slanonymous 2 weeks, 4 days ago.
- April 24, 2019 at 9:35 pm #841807
Hi all. I need a neutral opinion on what is going on in my household. We’ve been together for 14 years and married for 9. About 4 years ago, my husband relapsed. Completely drained our funds which resulted in bankruptcy and foreclosure on our home. He also lost his job and his confidence. I don’t know how but I got through to him and he got off drugs. Since then, he’s had a temporary job that lasted 5 months, he drinks like a fish, rarely does any kind of chores while I work two jobs and clean the house. I’ve tried going on strike, he ignores the messes. I stopped writing out chore lists because he wasn’t doing them and to be honest I don’t feel like I should have to. He’s home and I am at work, he should just take care of all of the household chores even if he doesn’t like them. True story, he said he wouldn’t do dish or laundry because he doesn’t like to. He will cook and will take out the trash (once it’s overflowing). We moved about 3 years ago and he still has not put away his clothes. He rarely showers and I don’t have any idea when the last time it was that he brushed his teeth. He has a sleep apnea mask but refuses to use that. His job hunt is him relying on me or his father to suggest jobs or to actually apply for him. I stopped checking for jobs for him about 6 months ago. His father tells me to make him do stuff but I don’t feel like I should have to do that to someone who is an adult. A few weeks ago, he went fishing with his cousin and I packed up all of his clothes and put them in his car. When he got home, I gave him a 7 page letter detailing how unhappy I am. He thought it was just about the dishes and laundry not being done, when really it is about him taking care of himself, cutting way back on his drinking and in general helping me out around the house because it shouldn’t all be on me. I honestly resent him not having a job and just all around being unmotivated. I’m tired of having all of the stress put on me and having no time to myself. If I’m working my second job, I’m working too much. If I’m reading, I’m reading too much. If I work out, I’m working out too much. I don’t know what he wants from me. I’m sure it sucks being home all day by himself, but the solution is easy to me. Either go back to school or get a job. I try not to make any kind of snarky comments or show that I am resentful, but I am finding it hard not to anymore. I completely shut down for a few months and while after we had that conversation and we agreed (at his request) to give him 3 weeks to 1. Get his drinking down to a more reasonable level because 12-15 bottles of vodka a month is ridiculous. 2. Either get a job or enroll in school for his cdl and 3. Start doing more chores around the house. He has been doing the dishes but that’s really all that he has added to his day time routine. He has one more week to accomplish finding a job or enroll in CDL school which requires a physical that he has not scheduled yet. I’m afraid that when the time is up I am going to cave on our agreement if he does not have those things in place. There is no intimatacy. I feel like I have a really lazy roommate and not a partner. Am I stupid for staying and letting him continue to live here? I don’t think I should move out because I pay the rent and with him not having a job, how would he pay the rent? I don’t know I feel at a loss here. I don’t know if I want a divorce, but I do know that I want him to get his act together. Am I asking for too much? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.April 25, 2019 at 5:39 am #841813
You’re not stupid, but you have a huge pair of blinders on.
First, yes, you need to follow through on your ultimatum. Get ready to kick him out and tell him to go live with his dad.
Second, yes, I think you’re asking too much to expect him to get his act together. I don’t think he can do it, and definitely not with you enabling him by paying his bills while he does nothing but drink vodka that you pay for.
He’s an addict. He has a disease. I think your best plan here is to follow through on your ultimatum, kick him out, and start attending an al-anon or narc-anon group for family members of addicts. You need to really understand the dynamics of addiction and enablement. This isn’t something where he can magically pull himself together. He would need to seriously want to get help, go to AA, stop drinking completely, all of that.
Could you go back to working a single job if you moved to a smaller apartment for just yourself? Think how much of a relief it would be to get YOUR life nice and organized the way you want, to take care of yourself, to come home to a nice clean place and warm up a meal you cooked. Take a bath, read a book or watch a show. I don’t know, envision it.
Final note, my first husband was a pizza-delivering weed smoker and drinker who kept dropping out of college. He then joined the military and had it all. Awesome job, no drugs, nice life, taking classes toward a degree… got a fantastic civilian job after his 4 years were up… then abruptly quit that job and started drinking vodka at home, smoking weed with friends, not keeping the house clean, all that shit. He didn’t want a job “working for the man.” He wasn’t applying to jobs. Sound familiar? I didn’t make an ultimatum because I don’t believe in them, but one night I had enough and kicked him out to go live with his grandma. We separated and then divorced. I won’t go into detail but he never did get it together. As far as I know, he’s been working at pizza places all these years and smoking weed and drinking. His dad was an alcoholic who died an accidental death. It’s a disease that takes hold. You can’t fix it.
Don’t keep doing this. Make a change. If he’s able to get it together, it won’t be under the current circumstances.April 25, 2019 at 5:49 am #841814
Also, he’s an alcoholic! A commercial driving job is probably not the right pursuit for him. He’s drinking 3-4 bottles of vodka a week. And the physical is likely to find drugs in his system which is why he’s not doing it.April 25, 2019 at 8:37 am #841818
You need to see a divorce lawyer as in yesterday. In California if you are married for ten years or more you will be paying alimony forever. The poor baby, does not like to do chores, while you work two jobs and try be keep things clean. Why, just why do you like to be miserable? You are also shortening your life with unnecessary stress and for what? Please care for yourself.April 25, 2019 at 8:44 am #841824
I agree with Kate. Talk to his Dad, and kick him out to his Dad’s place. Tell them both if he can’t pull his shit together, you’ll divorce him. He needs to stop drinking, and get a job. Maybe he needs to go to AA or rehab. That’s not your problem.
Go to al non. Don’t expect him to make big changes. Focus on yourself and take care of yourself for now. He’s the only one that can change his life or behavior. You’re not responsible for him.April 25, 2019 at 8:46 am #841825
I would guess his dad is a drinker too. My friend’s MIL is widowed and is a hard-core alcoholic (multiple bottles of rum a week). The MIL’s siblings are always giving my friend and her husband a hard time about not doing enough for the MIL (which is BS), and surprise! They’re also heavy drinkers.April 25, 2019 at 9:02 am #841827
You’re probably right about that.April 25, 2019 at 9:47 am #841831
Kick him out and file for divorce that very same day. Enough is enough! MOA. NEWSFLASH: The man is an alcoholic loser and —worse! — a total user. Yet much of your letter is a (dirty) laundry list merely whining about his (surprise, surprise!) curious lack of household chore accomplishments. THE MAN IS AN ALCOHOLIC!! Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees…April 25, 2019 at 9:54 am #841832
Why bother with an ultimatum if you aren’t going to follow through? If you don’t plan on doing anything about it, you are just being needlessly dramatic.
At this point, you are enabling his behaviour and causing yourself so much stress.
Kick him out. Consider moving to a smaller apartment you can afford with just one job (if possible). Rebuild the things in your life that give you joy. See a divorce lawyer to understand your rights and what the process might look like. Go to al-anon to understand his behaviour patterns and how you reinforce them.
You can’t make someone change if they don’t want to. He clearly doesn’t want to. The real question is- do you want change for yourself?April 25, 2019 at 9:59 am #841833
Divorce! It sounds like he is giving you nothing and isn’t fixable. He has no desire to get his act together. He dislikes housework, he dislikes working, he likes being in an altered state. I think, at root, you’ll find that he basically doesn’t like himself. Admit you made a mistake in choosing and sticking with him and move on. Therapy!May 3, 2019 at 7:38 pm #842460
He is not capable of being the husband you want him to be. Nothing you can do will motivate him, externally, to be who you want him to be. It’s tough when you’ve had 14 years of history with a person … you feel like you’re fully invested and you need more than ever for all of your work for him to pay off, in that he finally changes to being the wonderful husband you want and deserve. I recommend googling the “sunk cost fallacy.” Also, I highly recommend going to Al-Anon for yourself. Just keep going.
I was engaged to an alcoholic for seven years, and walked away. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the best thing I’ve ever done. The Universe rewarded my courage with an amazing job and career success I never thought fathomable. I now believe my time spent with that alcoholic wasn’t about him, it was about me … me becoming a strong and grown-enough and responsible enough person to start valuing myself and save myself.
You sound incredibly hardworking. You owe it to yourself and the Universe to stop casting your pearls before swine and invest your energies where it will do the world good. Your husband is actually hurt the more you enable him … leaving him will be the best thing you can ever do to love him.
Love yourself. Take care of yourself first. Be independent and fierce by yourself. Al Anon will help you. You will have to face your own life and grieve your decision to stay with him for so many years. Your life will no longer have the distraction of him and the excuse and drama of him, and you’ll be forced to do the hard work of deciding what YOU want and who YOU want to be. It’s scary. But you must do it for yourself! The Universe will reward you. Trust the unknown. Be strong! Sending you thoughts of courage, growth, and self-fulfillment.