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Marriage That Is Confusing And At Times Hostile

by Christie
(Houston, Texas)

I have been married 20 years and for the last 2 months we have been separated. We both were so angry and hateful to each other he decided to leave.

We split up 3 years ago for six weeks for the same reason. We had such a good time getting to know each other again that I got pregnant and we moved back in together and we did well for a while. We were so happy to have another chance at parenthood. We have a 20 and 19 year also.

Now though we are back to that same place except worse. My husband has cheated on me years ago, he has had some drug abuse, alcohol abuse and has been emotionally abusive. When he left this time his only vise was alcohol.

Now that he has left he has lost 50 pounds, stopped drinking, he’s going to church, talks positive and seems really happy. Anyway he said he wanted to come back home and work on us and I was so happy to have him back.

I love this man. He was so sweet and loving for about three days and then he literally woke up different. Everything out of him is negative and mean. He is angry and bitter.

Example: we went to dinner all he did was complain. He did not have one good comment come out of him. He was stabbing his plate so hard with his fork while eating that I could not believe it didn't break it. He asked me where my food was. I told him before we ordered that I was getting it in a to-go plate and I told him again when he asked. (I was not that hungry and had planned to only eat a little of it.)

This put him in a rage. He started yelling at me in front of everyone. He said he did not go out to eat alone that I was rude and stupid to not know they would tie it up in a bag to-go. I told him he was embarrassing me and he said good, how does it feel? He said that I always embarrass him and that I set him up to act like this in front of people. He stormed out of the restaurant and I got up paid the bill went to the car to have him rant and rave all the way home about how stupid I was for getting a to-go plate. He told me to get out of the car when we got home and he stormed off.

He came back drinking after not drinking for 2 months. He says I bring out the worst in him and so he packed all his stuff up and left. He says he loves me but I am crazy and angry and he can't take it. I am so confused. Our teenagers have seen his anger come out for no reason as well and he always tells them it’s because of my anger.

I barely speak because he gets so explosive so we are all scratching our heads trying to figure out how he turned this around. I love him and I miss him and he says he loves me. Is there any way you see this working out?

He has not always been this way. He used to be out going and loving and I was the bitter angry one but we seem to have switched roles. I wanted him back in my life so I have worked on being better to him, to myself and anyone I come in contact with.

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Sep 13, 2015
The Most Important Focus
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Christie. Thanks for your submission. I can tell you're having a hard time, and you have a lot of history with your husband.

In answer to your question, "Is there any way you see this working out?" I have a couple of suggestions.

One is that until your husband gets into alcoholism recovery, and stays sober long enough to deal with his anger issues, your marriage has little chance of working out well. As long as your husband continues to drink, the problems will continue.

And the drinking is not the only problem. It's just the one that has to be addressed first. He also needs therapy for his anger. And the clincher is that he has to be the one to come to this decision for himself.

Learn more about alcohol abuse here.

It's possible that marriage counseling could help your husband to come to the awareness of what he needs to do, I'm not sure. Right now, it sounds like he consistently makes the serious mistake of blaming your for his anger and abusiveness.

Make up your mind to create a good life for yourself, Christie, and don't accept anything less than what you want.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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