advertisement
Question
Posted by: Purple | 2010/05/11

Mid life crisis - husband woes

HI CS,

I''ve just read the question and answer on mid life crisis. I thnk my husband, who turned 40 at the end of last year is also having such a crisis.

However, he was fairly wild as a teenager and as a student (so was I - its how we met). He''s also been through his sports car driving phase (at 35) and now drives a sensible family car (though after some pressure from me). As this car allows us fun camping trips and adventurous days out, and he talks so much about the fun he has in it, he has convinced a few of my friends husbands to purchase similar vehicles for themselves.

My concern however is that he has suddenly taken an interest in becoming a DJ (something he did when younger) and in going out clubbing. He seems to think that he fits right in with everyone and can''t see that they are all having a bit of a laugh at him because when you are 19 or 20 someone of 40 is completely over the hill. I think it probably does his ego some good though, as people that young probably think he''s fairly wealthy, eventhough in reality we are just bordering on comfortable and eeeek, everything costs so much.
I know he''ll eventually grow tired of this, and his friend who has gone with hm a couple of times is already starting to say how old he feels when he is aorund all the young girls and boys and how the thumping music is starting to annoy him. My husband thinks he''s really in touch with what people in their teens and twenties listen to in terms of music, but he listens to really awful stuff that is not what people that age actually listen to (I don''t hear them playing that stuff in their cars, but I hear plenty of people who were teens in teh 80''s playing it).

Over weekends when he doesn''t go out he sits at home and drinks beer until he is unsteady on his feet and will just sit down at the diningroom table or in the lounge and just pass out right there. Last night he spilt coffee all over his computer after doing just that - and it wasn''t even weekend.

He''s driving me mad. I''ve a good mind to take my son and stay in a guest house tonight and tell him to spend tonight growing up.

I find him extremely irritating when he''s been drinking. He''s slow and stupid and can''t string a sentence together and you certainly can''t converse with him. While I''m busy with my son he''ll interfere and tell him to go and bath while he''s in the middle of eating supper and stupid things like that.
I don''t really drink at all (I have the odd alco pop if we are out with people, but I just have one), so I don''t know if I''m just finding him so annoying because of that or not, however, given that he falls over, I think its a problem regardless.

I don''t know if this is a mid life crisis or if I grew up and he just never did. He''s starting to get embarassing though and I''m fast losing my patience with him and don''t want my son to be exposed to his behaviour - and my son has noticed and starts to get panicky if he sees someone drinking alcohol, though I have explained to him that one or two drinks with your friends is fine, that its not fine to have more than this or to have them on your own - and also of course that one must be a grown up to drink acohol. My husband doesn''t get voilent or aggressive, but he does get very annoying. For the last year I''ve just left him wherever he passes out, but he just complains that I didn''t switch the TV off or didn''t turn a particular light off, he really can''t see that there is a problem with his behaviour.
If I get home and he''s been drinking I will point it out to him and even if he has a drink in his hand he will flat out deny that he''s had anything to drink. I am starting to think he might be losing touch with reality.

He grew up in a disfunctional family and has three siblings who are alcoholids, one of whom is also a drug addict. I thnk his father was also an acoholic and I know he was phsycially abusive. He died when he wasn''t too much older than my husband is at the moment and my husband has always been convinced he will also die young - which if he carries on like this might just be possible.

I''ve tried talking to him when he''s sober and he just says I''m exagerating (whoops, sorry I can''t spell that).

I''m not really sure what I can do to try to resolve this, and as I" ve been typing I''ve been thinking maybe some shock tactic of coming home after work tonight to find us gone might be the best bet. I''ll leave a letter with an ultimatum - sort yourself out or lose us. He might just choose the booze instead, but I''m not prepared to live with that. I''ve spoken to my parents who have just said that whatever I choose to do they will support me. They''ve seen him drunk and were horrified - but I''m their daughter so anything less than perfection would horrify them.

I" ve told him many times that he needs to sort out his drinking problem. I just don''t know if this is really alcoholism or if it is just heavy drinking. Mostly during the week he doesnt drink at all. He also has a senior level job and performs very well at it - wins awards and all sorts, so he tells me he couldn''t possibly be an alcoholic.

Is this perhaps related to hitting middle age and might it pass?
I" m 33 so still have a few years to go before I''m there myself.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi, Thanks for your observations.
I suspect the actual hardware varies, but the idea of trying to recapture either a youth you miss or one you wish you'd actually had, probably holds.
I think folks over 40 under-estimate how irrelevant they may seem to the kids, and the kids under-estimate how relevant their elders are.
And many of us, at all ages, have a false sense of how eternally cool our current fashions are. I have visions of hordes of old folks, when these kids grow up, finding their wrinkled tattoes and droopy body metal rather nasty, but hard to get rid of. it's easier to change one's mind than one's body. He's in touch with the kids that were, not those that are.
He's a problem drinker, and with a family history like his, alcoholism would be highly likely without a special effort to avoid it.
Remember the evidence on state-dependent learning, which means that the sober alcoholic probably genuinely can't remember how awfully he behaved when drunk, so can't so easily understand other people's concerns. Sometimes it helps for someone to video or audio-record their drunk behaviour for them to see when sober.
And isn't it dramatic how easily alcoholics find reasons to convince themselves they don't have a problem with booze ? Many alcoholics hold down brilliant and high-level jobs - for a while. But they're like the heavy smokers who were found in one research project to be unafected by an anti-smoking film showing over-glowing ashtrays and then lung cancer - they were content that because they kept their ashtrays tidy, they wouldn't get the lung cancer preducted for them

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/11

Hi, Thanks for your observations.
I suspect the actual hardware varies, but the idea of trying to recapture either a youth you miss or one you wish you'd actually had, probably holds.
I think folks over 40 under-estimate how irrelevant they may seem to the kids, and the kids under-estimate how relevant their elders are.
And many of us, at all ages, have a false sense of how eternally cool our current fashions are. I have visions of hordes of old folks, when these kids grow up, finding their wrinkled tattoes and droopy body metal rather nasty, but hard to get rid of. it's easier to change one's mind than one's body. He's in touch with the kids that were, not those that are.
He's a problem drinker, and with a family history like his, alcoholism would be highly likely without a special effort to avoid it.
Remember the evidence on state-dependent learning, which means that the sober alcoholic probably genuinely can't remember how awfully he behaved when drunk, so can't so easily understand other people's concerns. Sometimes it helps for someone to video or audio-record their drunk behaviour for them to see when sober.
And isn't it dramatic how easily alcoholics find reasons to convince themselves they don't have a problem with booze ? Many alcoholics hold down brilliant and high-level jobs - for a while. But they're like the heavy smokers who were found in one research project to be unafected by an anti-smoking film showing over-glowing ashtrays and then lung cancer - they were content that because they kept their ashtrays tidy, they wouldn't get the lung cancer preducted for them

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement