Marriage issues

I am struggling in my marriage. My husband is an alcoholic and we have 3 year old twins. They are becoming more and more aware of his behavior-angry outbursts etc. I have suggested counseling and he refuses. I have suggested separation and he I have suggested separation and he gets really upset and spends the next few days drunker than usual. I don't want to leave, but I feel it might be my best option. I feel stuck and guilty
Asked by Ani
Answered
11/29/2021

It sounds like you are caught in a codependent cycle. The alcohol is the third party in your relationship, and for now, it seems he is more interested in that than you. There's no reason to feel guilty, he is choosing it himself. He may be what is called "Gaslighting" you, where he gets you to doubt the reality you know to be true. It sounds like he is possibly going to need substance abuse treatment and counseling to help him with his addiction. You need to find a safe place to take your twins and see if he is agreeable to getting help, otherwise, nothing will change. If you have a women's shelter nearby you might contact them as well. I'd start by building up your self-esteem and helping you understand the cycle of abuse so as to overcome your guilt--which he wants you to feel. Think about whether you want your children to grow up in a family where there is the constant presence of fear and violence. That's no way for you or them to live. If you can, find the book "CoDependent No More" by Claudia Black, it's a good overview of substance abuse dynamics. Talk to others, your family, pastor, friends, see what options they suggest. Also look for someone who can be supportive of you, you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you. When you married, you had dreams about this relationship. What has changed? We all change over time, but it sounds like you are disillusioned, like you have lost your dreams. What needs to happen to make new dreams? Can you do it with your husband as he is now? If not, what would have to change? What is the smallest thing your husband would need to change that would tell you you can safely stay in this marriage? Sometimes people marry thinking they can change their partner, but the reality is that nobody changes unless they are uncomfortable, and it sounds as though your husband is not uncomfortable yet. I want you to not give up hope for yourself and your twins. Things can and will get better.

(LCPC)