Posted by: Desperate | 2008-12-14

Difficult husband with drinking problem

I am desperate. I' m 68 and my husband is 70. He is very difficult, nobody is better than him. He is the best driver on the road, he is the best cook, he can do anything better than anybody. I am always wrong, I' m not allowed to speak my mind because he is always right. If I keep quiet he wants to know whats wrong with me, if I say something, then I speak too much and make trouble. I am too scared to go to a party, he makes trouble and brakes up the party and at the end its all my fault. I always try to calm him down but then I' m the troublemaker. He drinks far too much but won' t admit that he has a problem. I' m desperate and feel I cannot go on like this. He should get treatment, but ofcourse he hasn' t got a problem. Even my children say they do not know how I can cope everyday. He arques with my son and daughter-in-law everyday and the children. I feel sick everyday, have no energy or interests in anything and wish I can go to sleep and never open my eyes again. I do not know how to handle this man anymore . I can tell you so much more this is not even half of all my trouble. What can I do, please help me.

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Our expert says:
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As we get older, we often have cumulative degrees of brain damage anyway, and more so in an alcoholic ( people so often don't remember that alcohol damages the brain ). And then the impact of intoxication , and of alcohol withdrawal, are all the greater and more potentially harmful and unpleasant. And especially in some people, as they notice their abilities fading, they deny this reality and instead boast of how great they are, mainly so as to convince themselves and to try to avoid criticism. People in his sort of situation clearly do need treatment, but rarely admit that --- sometimes they need to approach severe problems before they allow themselves to glimpse the fact that they need help, however ovious this has been to everyone else. He is probably beyond "handling", by you or anyone else. I don't suppose he would listen to his children, either. But yopu need to primarily care for yourself, and your growing despair and depression --- you deserve and can benefit from help, until maybe he has the sense to accept his own need for help. What would happen if you were to leave him for a while, to stay with your children ? How would he react to that. and to having to care for himself ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Desperate | 2008-12-16

Thank you very much for your reply. I know now what is happening to him and will try to handle it. Unfortunately we stay in our own flat with my only child. We had 3 sons, but lost 2 sons after turning 24 years of age. First the one son and 5 years after, the youngest son. I lived with this situation for almost 47 years now - I should survive for the remainder of my life. I only know that it gets to me and it feels to me its not worth living anymore. My youngest son took his own life and I feel if he could do it I can do it, but I know I' m a coward and wil not be able to go that far. Please don' t get me wrong - I will not do it- I just want love and understanding and a peaceful living . Is it possible to get some medication for my husband to calm him down without him knowing. He trust me to look after him when he feels sick - I can maybe tell him its a " sleeping tablet" , or is it not such a good idea? I feel sorry for him and will never hurt him, I only want him to CALM down.

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