Powerlessness & Acceptance
Hi Jim, can you help?
I am 6 weeks estranged from my husband who is a recovering alcoholic of 20 years. Over the past year he has been so hard to live with that I've felt I've been walking on egg shells everyday. He has been under a massive amount of pressure..... in a job he hates, moving home twice, constant pain from a degenerative back problem and fighting his ex to enable his eldest daughter to come and live with us. We've both had to live through this and it caused a relapse in my depression but I've been in therapy for 10 months and am so much better.............. but he won't let me help him. I keep thinking he is in a dry drunk phase and has been for some considerable time but he doesn't recognise this. I may be completely wrong and don't want to set of another tirade of abuse by contacting him to suggest he gets help (back to AA would be a start). We haven't communicated other than by e-mail which have been more and more irrational for nearly 5 weeks, he through me and my daughter out of our marital home, whilst his 13 year old daughter is still with him. He has not friends that he talks to, never goes out anywhere except to taxi his daughter around to varies dance classes and hide away in his office or behind a computer screen or his I-pad!!!
Can I do anything??? Or should I leave his well alone until he works things out for himself that he need help? He has blamed me for everything because I walked away............. but I had to protect my daughter as his anger and aggression became directed at her!! I had to put my child first....... just as he would do.
Any advice would be gratefully received.
Jim LaPierre Says ...
Hi there and thanks for your question. I love that you signed your email ROC because by the time I got done reading it I was thinking that indeed you are a ROC(K). My gut feeling is that by the time you finished writing it out you knew what the answer was. You are powerless to do anything at all for your husband and while this is painful it is the simple and unavoidable truth. He needs help on multiple fronts. We could say that he's going through a dry drunk stage but I'd sooner say that all signs point toward continued drinking and sober or not his behavior is consistent with the type of rage that only an alcoholic can pull off.
Take time for you. Move the focus off of him and maintain it on yourself. Make some investments in your health and well being. Therapy is great - my challenge to you is what else can you add to boost yourself? I encourage you to be with the good people of Al Anon and talk with folks who have experienced similar straights.
By maintaining the focus on yourself and being rigorously honest with you, the road ahead becomes more clear.