My husband says that I am controlling and it is me that wants to see him as down trodden, unemployed, having problems with alcohol and drugs instead of seeing him as the extraordinary person he feels he is. He says he has a deep acceptance for himself and has lived under the shadow of not being good enough all his life. He says I didn't want ordinary in the beginning, so why am I suggesting now he 'should be' now. that is get a job, take responsibility for his own life instead of living off me etc. Is there any hope when there is a chasm like this?
Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.
I am sorry to hear about these marital probelems.
Having worked in the addictive disease field for over 30 years. issues around CONTROL are always present.
Particularly, in situations as you describe when you are married to an alcoholic, not in recovery.
What happens is a process where the Alcoholic -understanding at an unconscious level that he is still out of control - projects the desire to BE IN CONTROL onto the other - in this case you- thus labeling you as too controlling because it is something he desires and cannot maintain.
This is a primitive defense that he uses to try and bring you down to his level of maintaining the addiction and not getting back into treatment which is the only healthy option.
If he is not attending AA these problems will continue.
It is healthy for you to attend AlAnon meetings so that you have some support.
In respect to hope and addiction.............I will say that, as you know- There is no cure for addiction,only treatment. Without treatment there is progressive decompensation as alcoholism is a progressive disease......it only gets worse!!!!!
Therefore- what you see is what you get and it will get worse.
That is why the only person that you can control is YOU. Forget about what he says as any alcoholic without treatment has lost their ability to make consistent, rational decisions or choices.
Melody Beattie (see above link) is perhaps one of the most influential writers alive that has focused on Codependency and all that is related to choices in living with someone who is "out of control" She has a number of books and informational links and pod-casts at her website and I encourage you to review her work as it will help you clarify your path for the future.
Should you have further questions of me, I am happy to answer.
Otherwise, I wish you the very best.
I know is is a difficult struggle.
PLEASE CLICK GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON SO THAT I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR MY TIME
I ALSO APPRECIATE POSITIVE FEEDBACK
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I know all this as you are probably aware and it is very painful loving an untreated alcoholic. What you have advised gives me little hope which is why I ticked the box I did - sorry.
I am sorry that you feel so hopeless. Why do you suppose that is are you willing to get help if I can provide you some resources?You can be helped & find hope even if your husband is unwilling. You have to preserve your own sanity and emotional well being or risk the progressive emotional decline that you see in your husband.In New Zealand, you will find a tremendous support system in the fellowship of Al Anon which is a world wide organization for family members of loved one who suffer from alcoholism. Here is the link to the New Zealand Webpage-http://www.al-anon.org.nz/Just call their number and you will begin to see how much help they can provide-as the organization has provided for millions- Worldwide. This is the hope you are looking for.I have seen Alanon help thousands of people in my career.Now it is your turn.Best, Bill
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