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#969881 01/14/02 05:04 PM
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Alana Offline OP
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Hello everyone,<p>I'm new here and my story is long and complicated, but I'll try to keep it somewhat short. <p>I've been married for almost 10 years to someone whose drinking has become progressively worse. Things started to get really bad when he joined a bar pool team. He missed work on occasion because of hang overs and he became verbally abusive to me when he was drunk. My husband is also a smoker. Before we got married, he said that he intended to stop, but he never did. I told him that I didn't want any children that we might have growing up in a smoke-filled environment. Up until five years ago, he never smoked in the house, but then he decided that since he paid half of the rent, he had a right to smoke in the house. This caused a lot of problems. The drinking itself caused problems in out sex life. It also caused problems with our (or my) plans to buy a home because he spent all of his disrectionary income (which was a lot) on bar-associated activities.<p>Anyway, I told him I was concerned about the drinking and he would say that he knows he has to stop drinking so much, but he would never admit that he is an alcoholic. He finally started to blame me for his drinking. I think I believed him. I am still struggling with this. He would say that I am not affectionate enough and that all I care about is buying a house. He said that he just wanted to have fun and that I didn't. I'm not a drinker and I have no interest in staying out until 4am drinking and playing pool. He also said that at the beginning of our marriage he was trying to be someone else and that when he decided to become who is truly is (a pool-playing drunk?) I no longer liked/loved him. <p>In December, he left to return to his country when he was laid off from his job. I found out a week after he left that he has been having an affair with someone he met over the internet. She is now in my husband's country. I found some files on our computer where they discuss that the have been "together" for three months. The files were dated November 6. In October my husband went away for a week to a pool tournament in Virginia, he said. I found out from the files that he and this woman met and stayed in a hotel, having sex and planning to be together. She is also married and has a daughter. We have no children, but I was hoping that we would.<p>So, my husband is currently living with his mother and trying to get his life back on track, he says. He has to find a job. I'm not sure what is going on with him and this woman. He says that he is having doubts about their relationship, but that he is still planning to be with her, but that I should put all of my energies into our marriage. At the moment, at least to my knowledge, he doesn't have any plans to file for divorce. <p>I don't know what to do. I guess I am in Plan A now, but I don't know what I can do when he is miles away from me. I am afraid about the influence this woman has on him. I would like to save my marriage. Since he left, I have been writing letters to try to show him that I still love him and that I am taking responsibility for creating an environment that contributed to him seeking an affair. I know that he has problems, but I'm not sure if he recognizes his problems. He is not the kind of person that likes to be lectured to nor does he approve of counselling. Perhaps I've done that too much already. How can I help him and save my marriage? Thank you in advance.

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Alana, <p>I've included some links below to get you started on the MB site.<p>One of the things that Dr. Harley says is that a couple cannot really start in marital recovery until underlying pathologies are addressed. Until your H addresses his alcoholism, it will be very difficult to recover your marriage. There are a few MB'ers here who are dealing with both alcoholism and infidelity. It is a very tough road.<p>You do not say which country your H is from. Are you at all concerned that he might want to take your child outside of the USA? You may want to seek some legal protection if there is even the slightest chance of this happening.<p>Other will be along to help... right now I have two very giddy pre-teens to get to bed.<p>[ January 15, 2002: Message edited by: zorweb ]</p>

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Alana,<p>I am so sorry that your thread has not been answered, that can be so discouraging on your first attempt to reach out for help!! We really are a great bunch of people that are here to help and support you as you go through this pain.<p>
First I will say Welcome!! Read all the information here that you can find here, there is alot!! Go over to Just found out there is a thread there of welcome. Also look for any post from redhat he has a lot of links in his signature line. They are helpful!!<p>Patience is something that you are going to need to get yourself through this. It is a rollercoaster and there are many ups and downs.<p>Post often and ask questions as you need. If your thread goes un-answered again, just bump it, by replying to topic and typing bump.<p>Again Welcome, remember you came to Marriage Builders and that is why we are all here to build on our marriages and to support others that are building on theirs.<p>Dawn

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What you are doing right now is all you can do:
Plan A your husband from a distance by writing as often as you can. You say that you have taken responsibility <p>RE: I am taking responsibility for creating an environment that contributed to him seeking an affair.<p>I hope you don’t mean this literally. You and your H share the responsibility for the condition of your marriage. You have no more responsibility for it then he does. If anything your H contributed more to the problems with his alcoholism and refusal to live a life conducive to a marriage. And your H has total responsibility for his decision to have an affair. What I’m saying here is make sure that you only take responsibility for those things you contributed to the state of your marriage. You have told us a lot of what he contributed. Could you share with us what your contributions were?
Also, remember that you can only control your own actions. Plan A and MB is not about making your husband do anything. It’s about you being the best you possible. And perhaps he will eventually decide to return to you. It is very much like the old adage… “If you love someone, let them go. If they don’t return you never had them.”<p>Seek counseling for yourself. Seek to improve yourself, Plan A your H and start moving on in your life. You will know when it is time for Plan B if you need to go there. Remember that Plan B is to be started only after you have done a good Plan A and your love for your H is running out.
Please respond here so we know you are still with us.

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daybreak/zorweb,<p>Thank you for replying to my post. It's good to know that people are listening. I want to clarify that my husband and I do not have children. The OW is married and has a daughter. My husband is from England. He is 36. I am 31. He returned to England in December. The OW is also English, but she was living in Canada. It seems that she left Canada in November to return to England. I learned from the files I found that she had already asked her husband for a divorce. I'm not certain what the situation is with the OW and her husband. <p>In November, my husband told me of his intentions to leave. He didn't tell me about the affair. I had to find that out for myself. Before he left, I found a letter from the OW containing pictures of her bare-breasted. I confronted him with the evidence, but he denied everything. He said that she was a crazy woman from the internet sending him these things. I finally got him to admit that he was with her during the week that he was supposed to be at a pool tournament. He said that he lied because he knew I would be upset. He denied sleeping with her and he said that he went because our marriage had already broken down. He didn't tell me our marriage had reached that point. Before he left, I tried to get him to complete the Emotional Needs questionnaire, but he refused. He refused any kind of counselling. He said that two people that can't solve their problems on their own have no business being together.<p>Anyway, about me creating an environment conducive to an affair.... Well, after my husband informed me of his intentions to leave, he blamed me for everything: for his decision to leave and for his drinking. I've felt that if I didn't nag him about his smoking and drinking or nag him about buying house and having children, he would not have drunk so heavily and he would still be here. He said that I didn't want to be his best friend. I guess I demonstrated this by not going out with him to the bars. I would sometimes go to watch him play pool but I hated how he would get drunk and not remember anything about his games the next day. I didn't like the bars and I certainly didn't like the people he hung out with.
Before my husband joined the pool team we used to do things together. After he joined the team, it seemed that we no longer had anything in common. Friday nights he ventured to the bar and stayed until closing. Slept most of the day on Saturday, woke up with a hangover and settled in front of the TV for the rest of the day. Sundays were usually spent doing chores around the house and getting ready for the work week. Yet, he would complain that we don't do anything together. I would get angry with him, so I guess that was a love buster. My anger spilled over into our sex life. He became less tender and more selfish during sex so I didn't look forward to it anymore. I tried to express my feelings to him about this, but he just ignored me. He would complain that I didn't want sex often enough. So that was another love buster.<p>Anyway, I am not perfect. Early on in our marriage I had inappropriate discussions with two people on the internet. It didn't mean anything to me and I certainly had no intention of having an affair, but it hurt my husband. I stopped talking with those people 7 years ago. <p>When my husband left I sought counselling through my company's EAP. The counsellor I saw couldn't understand why I wanted to be with my husband. She wasn't in the least bit sympathetic to me saving my marriage. She just wanted me to attend Al-Anon meetings so that I wouldn't blame myself for everything. In late December I had a telephone counselling session with Steve Harley. I'm not sure what I got out of it. He basically said that Plan A will be very difficult because we
don't have children and that I will feel like a doormat. Steve wants me to complete the Love Busters questionnaire. I'm thinking about having another session with him, but haven't made an appointment yet.<p>Right now, I am a rollercoaster of emotions. Some days I am really angry. I want to hurt my husband as much as he hurt me. On other days, I am depressed and feel sorry for myself. I am NOT looking forward to dating etc. My husband was my first and last(?) boyfriend, so I'm not used to the whole dating scene.<p>Anyway, that's all for now. I'd appreciate more advice, questions etc. Thank you for reading my long post.<p>Alana

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Alana, I have to say that this post caught my eye because of your name - that's my name too! It's not very common, so I had to take notice. I go by Ali, though.<p>Anyway, my H showed a lot of the characteristics that yours did (drinking, trying to blame me for the problems). I wanted to make my marriage work, also, but I can honestly look back and say if he hadn't made the effort to quit drinking and using drugs, we would be divorced right now. I know that the drinking is what led to his As.<p>You're in a very difficult situation. The issue of his drinking will have to be addressed and resolved in order to make your marriage work. And there is a difference between accepting partial responsibility for creating an environment in which an A is possible and beating yourself up. You can't continue beating yourself up, hon! <p>Definitely Plan A as best you can, and do the LB questionnaire like Steve said. But I'd Plan A for no longer than six months, then I'd move to Plan B. Drinking puts him even further into denial, and if you don't put your foot down (in a non-LB manner), he'll sit on the fence as long as he can.<p>Best of luck to you, and welcome to MB. Listen, post, and learn - you've found a wonderful tool.

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I am also married to an alcoholic. There is nothing you can do to help your H, if he dosn't want help. I don't mean to bring you down, but I've lived it for 5+ yrs. My H is finally getting the help he needs (in prison). It is a hard road. Maybe checking out al-anon could help you. That is something I plan to do very soon. I can't give you a whole lot of advise. My H's recovery has just started (I am the one who was unfaithful in our relationship). You need to know his drinking IS NOT you fault. Don't let yourself believe that. He has to help himself, before the 2 of you can repair your marriage. I tried & tried, for years to make my marriage better, but when your living with an alcoholic, only 1 of you is working towards that goal. It takes 2 to make a marriage work. It can not be done when only one of you is working towards it. I wish I could help more, or tell you something a little more positive, but facts are facts. I wish you much luck. I am here if you want to talk, I know what your going thru, as far as the alcoholism is concerned.

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Thank you all for the additional comments/advice. I guess that one of my problems is that I am not 100% sure that my husband is an alocholic. He believes that he is not. When he was around he would say that he stayed out late drinking because he didn't want to face me at home. He usually went out drinking three days during the week. He didn't drink at home. But, every time he went to the bar, he got drunk. I know this is silly, but I am somewhat terrified to learn that he has stopped drinking like before. Wouldn't that confirm that I was really the cause of his drinking? I think that he will believe that. If he stops drinking he will think that it's the OW's influence that has helped him. How can I compete with his warped mind??!!<p>Right now, I'm not sure that I'm doing this Plan A thing the right way. I'm writing letters, but not receiving any replies. I don't know if he'll call me, although he said he would. I had vowed not to call him. He said that he wanted time to think. Should I discuss our relationship in my letters or should they just be informational? I miss him very much and want to talk to him, but I am trying to restrain myself. I don't want to pressure him or drive him away. But, how do I talk to him about filing taxes etc? He left a lot of stuff behind like clothes, his bike, dart board. Should I give those things away or hang on to them? He doesn't seem to care what happens to them.<p>I may make another appointment with Steve Harley next week. He wanted me to complete the Love Busters questionnaire from my husband's perspective. Every day I feel like I'm losing ground and wasting time. I feel like the window of opportunity to save my marriage is closing and there's nothing I can do about it. Anyway, more comments/advice would be greatly appreciated.<p>Alana

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HIS DRINKING IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not trying to be mean, but you need to get that thought out of your head!!! If he blames you, that is something he needs to overcome. You should check out the AA web site. I have been on the Alanon web site, they have a quiz to figure out if you "belong" there or not. I'm sure the AA web site has a similar quiz. You could probably answer the questions for your H. I know this is hard. You seem to be doing everything you can to work thru this. It would be nice & easier if your H would work with you, but you can't force him. Hopefully he'll wake up soon & realize what he could lose. I wish you all the luck in the world. Hang in & keep your head up. You will get thru this!!!!!


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