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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default What is your marriage like?

    I have been married for over 15 years to a smart, talented, educated, fit, handsome man. He is also a moody, passive-aggressive alcoholic. There are times he is my best buddy and my hero, and times he is mean, not helpful, and very critical. I am learning to cope with the help of the Al-Anon program.

    I don't know what marriage is supposed to be like. My parents were very negative about each other, about life, and critical of all thier kids even though we are all pretty nice folks, we have jobs and are productive members of society who volunteer for various causes to give back to society.

    At this point I am the single wage earner as my husband has taken himself out of the job market, and that combined with the fact that I have reason to believe that he has been unfaithful to me has me really down.

    So what I am asking myself is it better to just go along and muddle through, or start the war (and it will be war) that is called divorce? I really don't want to lose my horses, and my home and have to pay him alimony.

    Thanks in advance, if you have any thoughts on this situation!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,801

    Default

    Take a look at the forums and information at www.soberrecovery.com. Plenty of info there to help you decide and get support for whatever you choose to do.

    In my humble opinion, and based on a lot of experience and observation is: unless your husband is willing to change, muddling through is usually not a long term solution. I assume you don't have children, so you won't have the guilt from splitting up your family. Find a good therapist as well as going to Al-Anon - having a variety of perspectives helps.

    Get a good attorney and you will be able to limit your losses. Don't fear doing what you need to do in order to be mentally healthy and free to discover what a good marriage is.

    Good luck - it's not easy....!!!!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,010

    Default

    Have you talked to a professional, honestly, with him?

    My DH is a great guy, with some quirks that sometimes leave me wanting to put my head through a wall. I'm sure that I have my things that drive him nuts, he's just 18 x's more patient than me.

    We are going through a rough spot, starting about 6 months ago, involving a female friend of his. The thread is here. I took the advice of the posters who encouraged me to seek professional help with him, and it is helping! We're still at an impass, but I'm learning why and so is he, which I think is important to help fix the problem.

    It sounds like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, it sounds like he is wicked depressed and dragging you down with him. Can you separate for a bit so HE can get the medical help that he needs, then you can try to repair your marriage together, with the help of a professional? It's probably not going to be pretty, but in the end, if you think it's worth it, it might be the way to go.

    I don't think that there is one way or another that marriage is supposed to be like. My former best friend has a marriage to a complete asshat that would NEVER work for me, but she loves it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,227

    Default

    Its like a horse you own-- if your interactions leave you more frustrated and sad then happy its probably time to reconsider.

    I personally have maybe one bad day with DH every 6 months or so and most times are good. However, we are both happily employed, don't drink, and don't have kids (by choice).


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    I have to believe that everyone's marriage is different and what works really well for some wouldn't work well at all for others. So maybe it doesn't really matter where everyone else is at. How is this one working for you?

    I've not been married long enough, nor do we have the kinks worked out well enough, for me to feel comfortable at all speaking to what a "normal" marriage is.

    Based on what you are describing though, I guess these are the questions/thoughts I might have:

    -Do you want to stay in this marriage? If the answer is yes, then I think counseling, even just on your own, would be wise. If the answer is no, then I think you need to consult with a few attorneys to see what your options are.

    -If you want your marriage to work, what changes do you feel need to take place for it to work better for you?

    I guess that as someone who got married later in life after seeing most of my friends get married young, get divorced, get remarried, etc, plus coming from a divorce family, I feel pretty adamant that I want my marriage to work and I'm willing to work hard. But it can't be a one sided thing.

    So if you want to fight for your marriage, I think that counseling is the best bet because with an independent third party involved who can be more objective, you might get insight and information that will make your decision more clear.

    I wish you the best.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,146

    Default

    I will ask myself a morbid question when I'm faced with these kinds of situations -what if I got a terrible diagnosis tomorrow (that I'm going to die soon) what would I be content with and what will I regret?

    I had to have that conversation with myself when my dissertation was making me crazy and ill because sometimes you feel loyalty to a thing because you've put alot of effort and time towards it.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2010
    Posts
    4,688

    Default

    Regardless of what you want to do, I would advise going to counseling. Go alone in the beginning if you have to. Even if you had already decided what you wanted to do (even if that meant getting out), talking to a professional about it will help.

    Perhaps at some point your husband will be receptive enough to join you in counseling. How he handles that will speak volumes. If he refuses to go to counseling either alone or with you, there's not a lot you can do other than stick it out with the status quo. If he does make attempts at seeking help, then there's some potential. I think you just have to move forward in the process and realize you may have to walk for a bit before you see the light at the end of the tunnel.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,841

    Default

    So sorry Halter Broke I have been married for 13 years, and I agree with the poster that says what works for THEM may not work for YOU, etc. In my opinion, the MOST important aspect of marriage is ... do you like each other? I have a LOT of faults. My husband has a LOT of faults. Do we fight like cats and dogs sometimes? Yes. Can we BOTH be passive aggressive with each other? Yes. Does he bring me to tears sometimes with his mean stare? Yes. However ... at the end of the day, WE are each other's best friends. When I think of the people I WANT to spend time with, he is at the top of my list. For me to contemplate divorce, it would have to be that I was happier on my own than with my husband.

    Again, just an opinion, and I really feel for what you're going through. I HAVE asked myself if I would be happier on my own, and the answer for ME is no. And I am NOT one of those people that must surround herself with people; I'm perfectly content to be by myself once in awhile.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,022

    Default

    Marriage isn't easy. It has it's ups and downs. But honestly, if being married to that man doesn't add to you happiness in life... time to make some changes.

    Now that doesn't necessarily mean divorce. But sounds like you want some improvements. I'd give him the opportunity before I packed up ad left.

    In the end.. this is the only life you get. Spend it wisely.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,445

    Default

    OP I think your answer is in your post-you started with wondering how other marriages are and ended with "muddle or go to war"... it's a bummer but I think right now you know which direction you want to go you're just afraid of the cost.

    You've got two of the big A's already in the mix, Addiction and Adultery.

    I suggest you now involve the really big A-Attorney. You may decide to stay and make it all work out but you owe it to yourself to really really know what the stakes are. Inform yourself now so you can make clear decisions down the road.

    In your shoes I'd be talking to an attorney and a marriage counselor...


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2004
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    1,078

    Default

    To answer your question, you know the team of horses that just keep on going? Some times they back their ears at each other to nip at each other but who just get down to pulling together when its tough going and when it's easy going one will take most of the load off the other. If you try to harness them to someone else they throw a fit and will only work with their old partner. That's what my marriage is like.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    1,214

    Default

    I second what cowboymom said. Based on just the information you have given, if you were in my state, IMO (as an attorney) you would not necessarily be stuck paying alimony. There are a ton of considerations and only by meeting with an attorney will you know how that is likely to play out. Just because he isn't working doesn't mean you would have to support him after divorce, so don't make that assumption be the basis for your decisions.

    I'm not married and couldn't tell you what a marriage should be like. I'm old enough to have friends and family that have gone through divorce, in addition to handling a lot of divorce cases during my clerkship, so my opinion is pretty jaded on all that!
    \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns




  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,775

    Default

    I wouldn't trade my guy for anyone else in the world. He's my best friend, and I am his.
    You are what you dare.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8,269

    Default

    I'm on my second marriage. My first was mediocre - we got married too young and shouldn't have gotten married. My current marriage is exceptional and I count myself quite lucky indeed - we've been married for 8 years and together for almost 10. Mr. PoPo and I are together 90% of the time - we both work from home and we're both here all day long. For some people that might be too much, but for us it works quite well as we enjoy each other's company. Granted, we don't sit at the same desk and chit chat all day, but we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, we take an afternoon break and walk the dogs, we hang out after dinner and watch TV or read, etc. Actually, if you saw us out to dinner you'd probably think us quite boring because after spending all day together, sometimes there isn't much left to talk about! I still feel like a newlywed with Mr. PoPo and my tummy flip-flops when he kisses me. Our life together is an adventure and I know he supports me 100%, as I do him. He is my rock and seems to worship me for some crazy reason that I haven't figured out yet! He always tells me how special I am, how much he loves me, how he feels so luck to have the life that we do.

    That's my marriage, but there are a million different types of marriages out there. My parents have been unhappily married for almost 50 years, which isn't something to emulate, in my eyes.

    Let's say you didn't have to pay DH alimony - would you be more inclined to go for a divorce then? I think that is your answer. For me infidelity is a deal breaker, as would be dealing with an alcoholic.

    I agree with others who suggest to seek counseling, at least for yourself. At the very least it will help you learn how to cope with what is going on, but it will also help you define the kind of life you want to lead and how you can get there (with or without DH).

    Best of luck to you.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Thank you all for your very compassionate replies. This is a tough time of year for a lot of folks and as we head into a new year, this is a time of reflection, so it gets a little more emotionally intense.
    Don't know when this will get closed for posting so I want to say I really appreciate what you have said.

    I have been to an attorney for a consult, have been keeping a journal, have been to individual and to joint counseling. Will probably consult with another attorney as I think my husband may leave me when I stop paying his credit card bills. So the decision may be made for me. Or maybe he will get a job to pay his debts, which would be good for all concerned.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Default

    Sorry that you're in this situation. You've gotten some great advice already. If it were me, alcoholism would probably be a deal-breaker. Cheating DEFINITELY would be. There are some things I would really like to change about my husband (and plenty I'm sure he'd change about me) but at the end of the day we are each other's best friends. And I think that's how it's supposed to be.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,495

    Default

    What Perfect Pony and CBM said, among many others.

    Best wishes, strength, and chin up. Survey says we only live once: is this life acceptable to you? Ask yourself this:

    Is this the life you are willing to live for another 20/30/40 years?

    That question hit me hard when my FIL died, leaving DH an orphan...and it was a time of reflection and pause, and I created some strong drama in my -our- life as a result...not infidelity (that sounds like too much work LOL) or even separation, but all of a sudden there were things I would not tolerate out of DH, period: We had some choppy waters adjusting, but we did, I did, he did and we're great now, truly we're on good footing largely b/c I started to live differently and he had to bend or we'd break. He bent, I knew it, I bent when he also asked himself that question...and we mended our lives together.

    Bless you.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2008
    Location
    Where The Snow Flies
    Posts
    2,490

    Default

    I recently left a long term relationship after realizing that I was in love with the man I'd hoped he'd be instead of the man he really was. I'd get caught up in those fleeting moments of grandeur that he'd display where he really was the perfect man, and not take an honest assessment of who he was the other 99% of the time.

    The fact is he cheated on me and I caught him. He was dishonest about a lot of what he did while I gave him 100% transparency. I was expected to do for him and be at his beck and call but I couldn't rely on him to be there for me at my time of need.

    Sometimes hope can be stronger than the truth. When I was finally able to look at the whole picture and found that my need for equality wasn't being met - I was able to walk away without a problem and felt the greatest sense of relief once I did. This was my first holiday as a single lady again and to be honest, I didn't miss him at all. My only feeling towards him right now is I feel bad for his next victim. He's just not my problem anymore.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,178

    Default

    Well, I am currently single, so you can take this reply with a grain of salt, but 6 months ago, I was married. To an alcoholic. An addict with severe anger issues, and Bipolar Disorder. Still, he was the man that i wanted to grow old with. I have a now 10 year old from my first marriage, and my late husband and I had a daughter together, who is now about to turn two. We were married on Feb 6 2010, and while we had good times, our marriage was speckled with some pretty awful times as well. I have no regrets for marrying him, but I do wish I was more adamant about him getting help. I didn't know then what I now know about addiction
    I think if he had gone to a year long treatment program, he would still be alive today. But as others have said, you can't force someone to get help.

    About few weeks before he died, I knew he wasn't being truthful, and I knew he wasn't staying sober, so I made him leave, until he could get help. He never did, and while I was away for a few days with my parents, his parents found him dead, in our house.

    Im not telling you this to scare you, but I want people to know the horrible consequences addiction can have.

    Get counseling. Insist he get help. If he refuses, then do what you have to do to prevent his addiction from ruling your life. That doesn't have to mean divorce. Addicts can and do recover, but until his addiction us treated,then you can't really work on any marriage issues.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    6,962

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by halter broke View Post
    I have been married for over 15 years to a smart, talented, educated, fit, handsome man. He is also a moody, passive-aggressive alcoholic. There are times he is my best buddy and my hero, and times he is mean, not helpful, and very critical. I am learning to cope with the help of the Al-Anon program.


    I don't know what marriage is supposed to be like. My parents were very negative about each other, about life, and critical of all thier kids even though we are all pretty nice folks, we have jobs and are productive members of society who volunteer for various causes to give back to society.

    At this point I am the single wage earner as my husband has taken himself out of the job market, and that combined with the fact that I have reason to believe that he has been unfaithful to me has me really down.

    So what I am asking myself is it better to just go along and muddle through, or start the war (and it will be war) that is called divorce? I really don't want to lose my horses, and my home and have to pay him alimony.

    Thanks in advance, if you have any thoughts on this situation!
    Hmm..lets see now.
    Married my husband 33 years ago.
    After I buried my daughter, I found out he's been cheating the whole damned time.

    His addictions ?? Women and Work.

    Divorce process is entering it's 4th year.

    Save yourself the grief and go, but only if you can live with the guilt
    *************************
    Go, Baby, Go......
    Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector



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