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My Husband Has Alcohol And Anger Issues

by Janie
(Lakewood, Colorado)

My husband Ray and I have been married now for 8 months and dated for a yr before that. We are a blended family; I have 3, he has 3. Ray and I were married to immature people before this. Ray drank a lot in his marriage because she acted like a child and would not show him affection; thus, he drank, thus, she didn't want to give him affection.

I came from a life to where 5 people in my family died from alcoholism and I moved from family member to family member who were either getting a divorce, were alcoholics or drug addicts. I did not sign up for an alcoholic husband. Yes, I know, I married him. I honestly thought he was only drinking because of HER. Well, on top of that, he takes Lexapro for his anxiety. He can lose his temper on the smallest things.

Last night, my 8 yr old was pouring the ranch dressing on her plate and a lot came out. He instantly made it known at the table that it was ridiculous of her NOT to see that it was coming out fast. He went outside to cool off after I told him in front of the kids that "it's OK, the ranch was only a dollar". Well, then, he opened the door and motioned me to come talk. I did, it only got worse.

He began yelling at me at the top of his lungs in front of the neighbors, almost pulled the screen door off the hinges, slammed the door and yelled at the kids as he proceeded to our bedroom. All night he kept at it. His oldest son lost his appetite when he was yelling at me and so my husband yelled at him for not finishing his food. I dozed off in my room in my chair w/ tears in my eyes. I woke up to him getting mad that I was ignoring him.

Ok, so, I tried to talk to him. I told him that this is typical child like behavior for an 8 year old. Kids are still learning how to gauge a full container and pour it with ease. I went to school for Early Childhood Education. I also reminded him that I've worked w/ kids for years and you just have to be patient w/ them and pick your battles.

He then didn't like what I had to say. He kept saying, "you just don't get it, do you?". I said, "nope, I guess I don't". He then proceeded to tell me to shut up, called me a b multiple times and so I was at a loss. I just fell asleep while he stayed up and drank. I didn't even want to kiss him this morning. But, I chose to continue w/ my morning routine w/ the kids as if nothing was the matter.

He was like, "are you gonna ignore me now?" I replied, "no, Ray, I just gotta get the kids ready". He refuses to talk to an anger management specialist. At this point though, I'm seriously considering an ultimatum by our 1 yr anniversary. I refuse to live like this. Our kids do not need this unstable behavior nightly. He only gets his kids on Wednesdays and every other weekend and he's like this every time they're here (and even when they're not).

Please help. I need advice, some cheery words, something!

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Janie, and thanks for telling your story here. I think you're thinking clearly. Your husband is clearly an alcoholic, he will not be able to control his anger until he has dealt with his alcoholism. I suggest you attend some ALANON meetings, to get some understanding and support.

I'm glad you don't want to live like that. That tells me that you're healthy. If your husband is smart and strong enough, he will get sober and get some help with his anger. If not, neither you nor anyone can be happy or safe with him--not to mention the damage he's doing to the children.

I encourage you to read this page on alcohol abuse and the following page on relationships: how to deal with abusive relationships.

Take good care of yourself and your children, Janie. That's all you can do. The rest is up to your husband, but you can't get him to do anything, and I don't suggest you try. The ultimatum is something you do for yourself, not to get him to change.

Make up your mind to create a safe, healthy, loving life for yourself and your children, and you can do it.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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