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I look after my Mother who is in her early nineties and has very poor sight and heart problems. My husband and I moved here to look after her and also because at the time, she was a great help to me. My husband has always been fond of alcohol and with two small children, he wasn't pulling his weight. I needed surgery and it was my Mom who was there for me and helped me with the children and with my post-op recovery. But then her needs got greater and now she is deaf can't see and is needing my input all the time. Husband spends every spare minute out at bars and comes in drunk every night. Mum is trying to get me to throw him out. I feel so torn. I know he is unhappy too but he is now at the stage where he has quit his job without warning me first he would do that, also he is in with a drunken circle of single alcoholic friends at the bars and they are persuading him to leave me and he's talking about moving to Spain. We have two teenagers and I don't know what to do or where to start. He won't discuss anything with me just says he is waiting for me to throw him out so he can live his own life. Can anyone help me sort this mess out. I don't know what I can do. He turns his back to me whenever I try and ask him to open up about how he feels. He has always said he liked living with my Mom but I think he has lied so as not to hurt me and the resentment has built up. What should I do next? I can't see the way ahead.

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And Jessie, you are right on, hubby is an alcoholic, that pink elephant in the room. Call it what it is.

DL, find ALANON! For families of alcoholics. They also have Alateen for children of alcoholics, find them for your children. It will help them to develop methods of coping with their Dad's illness.
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DLaura,
All have made very valid statements. Maggie came closest to what I am thinking. You are enabling your husband and this is not just recently, it has been going on for many years. And your children are at a very impressionable time in their lives. If you continue to enable by accepting inappropriate behavior you are teaching you children that thus is OK. Forget about hubby, send him on his way, enjoy and keep your children safe and content. Are kids grades showing a decline? Could be they are not happy with the home situation either but do not know how to tell you.
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Is your husband adding to your life or subtracting from it? I think you've probably asked all of your friends these questions a million times. And you already know the answer. A co-enabler virus is as bad as alcoholism.
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DLaura, I agree with what other people have said. It sounds to me like your husband is married to the bottle and his drinking friends. Trying to break that relationship is something that only he can decide to do. If he chooses the alcohol and drinking buddies over you, there is little you can do. He has to be the one that leaves the alcohol. You can't do it for him. I have a feeling that as long as he is drinking, then your life will not be a happy one. And I know that you can't change him. You can be there for him if he decides to change himself, but you can't change him. Instead of ignoring the pink elephant in the room, it may be best to ask him what he wants. If he wants the alcohol side, then you can begin rebuilding your life separate of him. You may want to consult with an attorney about the best thing to do regarding separation. Since your husband is not working, he might sue to alimony if you have any money. I don't know if he would do that to his own children, but people never fail to surprise me.

Maybe you could do a trial separation, then decide where to go from there. Being married to an alcoholic is horrible, so you have my sympathy. AlAnon is a great idea of a place to start. People there will know what you are going through. You may get the best advice from people who have been there.
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Hang on, I'm just trying to work out the timings, here.

If your mother is in her early nineties, and she was a great help to you when your children were small and your husband wasn't pulling his weight, and you're in your early fifties, so your kids are now, what… how long exactly have you been living in your mother's house?

I echo Jeanne's point about your husband's never having been what you'd call a tower of strength.

"Where do you start?" indeed. Because this is an old, old situation which must contain an awful lot of detail.

What's brought it to a head for you?

Do you think your mother is right? She can be fed up on her own account of having a drunk around the house taking up your attention. But she could also be desperate to get her daughter free of this man before she's no around to help.

I don't see how any of us can know. LadeeM and ProfeChari have both generously shared their perspectives and you would be wise to heed them; but the fact is that 'every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way' and you need counsel based on the particulars of your own history. I think Al-Anon is great idea; do you also have Relate or any similar organisations near you?

It is very hard to be a loving person in your situation. Big hugs to you. Just be confident that everybody - all of us here, your mother, probably your husband and I'm sure your children - wants things to turn out well for you.

And most important of all, you HAVE made a start. Well done, it can't have been easy.
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DLaura, I highly recommend Alanon for you..... it helps you to understand so many aspects of your life, not only your drinking spouse..... if he is still around, you will possibly see changes in him, and maybe not.. but it will help YOU to make choices and start to feel better about yourself...Living with an alcoholic is crazy making.... we get lost in the craziness.....
I pray you really consider this.... you can find them in the phone book and there are online Alanon meetings if you are unable to go out...... please come back and let us know how you are.......
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It is entirely possible, DLaura1961, that you could salvage your marriage. But you'd both have to want to. It sounds to me like you'd like to but that your husband would not. It takes two to make a marriage. It especially takes two to mend an damaged marriage. Do you have two?

The attention you spend on your mom MAY be part of the problem. But face it, he wasn't there for you BEFORE you started caring for Mom. In fact, it was Mom you turned to because your marriage was not working.

If your husband is willing to work with you on repairing your marriage, if he will go to counseling with you, if the two of you can work together on what you learn in counseling, then go for it! Put effort into it even if you have to get some additional help for Mom.

But if he is still not willing to carry his weight, you are probably better off with him in Spain. Be sure to have a lawyer to look after your interests. (Do you think he quit his job in order to avoid child support?)
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HI DLaura1961. I can only address one part of your concerns. My mom was in ALF, five minutes from our home. Being an only child and my father being deceased, I was all she had. My dad (and I) had always spoiled her, and she wanted a lot of my time and attention. I did not realize that resentment and feelings of neglect were building up in my husband during the 6 years before her death. It was true that I spent time with her everyday, and she and my teaching were the focus of my life. My husband held his feelings in until after a few weeks past the funeral. Then the worst year of my life began. In addition to mourning my mom's death, I was living with a stranger who resented my teaching and anything else I did. I admit the housecleaning was neglected, also. Our house wasn't like hoarders lived here, but we are just now getting our house back in order after doing some remodeling. It took some very serious discussions and airing our complaints, which we agreed to stop if either of us raised a voice, to mend our relationship. All of my friends advised me to kick him out and get divorced. I cried a lot. I was fortunate to have a good support system, all of whom respected my love for my husband and were there for me. My husband didn't drink or hang out at bars. He was willing to help me get our house and our relationship back to the way they used to be. I am glad I made the effort to keep my marriage together. My parents are gone. I have no siblings or children of my own I am happy to say I have five step-daughters and six grandchildren. I am close to all of them, but they didn't come into my life until I was in my 40s and none lives near us. Sometimes, especially now that my husband is having some serious health problems, I miss my parents so much and I feel very alone. I intend to enjoy every day my husband and I have left together. My advice to you is to ask yourself if there is still love between you and your husband. If there is, let him.know you want to make him the focus of your life. You might try the support group for friends and family of alcoholics. Tell your mom and children that you need their help and that you have enough love for them while you are trying to put your marriage back together. If I had it to do over, I would have set some boundaries on the time and energy I spent with my mom. She was in a safe place, and I could be there in an emergency in minutes. I think it all boils down to if you and your husband want to make your marriage work. I hope it works out the way that will be best for you. You have more than your share on your plate, and I can sense your being pulled in many directions. Get your own health and mind on an even keel, then go for what is best for you and your future. There are wonderful people here who are supportive and will be here for you. You are not alone.
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