replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, lady claire, and I'm sorry you had such a problem with getting your info to me, but glad you finally did! : )
I understand your dilemma, and your husband seems to not want to change for the good of his health and the good of your marriage. It sounds like when he stopped working full time, he lost the will to do anything to benefit anyone but himself, and that is not fair to you. A marriage is a partnership and he's not honoring that partnership.
Not only is he endangering his health with the medical conditions he presently has, but consuming so much caffeine, smoking pot, and taking a medication to enhance memory, etc., is just plain self-destructive. His mean-spirited behavior is most likely fueled by the marijuana use, as this substance is known to alter behavior and in addition, cause depression, extreme anxiety and various psychoses. You have every reason to be worried about his general health and the effects of these substances (including the excessive consumption of caffeine), on his present conditions of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He sounds like an addictive personality and really would benefit from a rehab situation, as you've seen your suggestions to him to change to a more healthy lifestyle, fall on deaf ears.
While you will miss the intimacy and don't want to live alone, he is causing you more anguish, frustration and pain, than happiness, plus, is keeping you from seeing your grandchildren, so your knowledge that you need to separate, needs to become a reality. Perhaps you don't have to live alone, at first, and can live with one of your children, or a friend, temporarily.
It sounds like he wants to bring you down with him, but you intelligently refuse to go to the lower depths he's gotten himself into. You've done everything RIGHT, to try to get him to live a more healthy lifestyle, and he promises to change, but doesn't seem to be able to put his words into actions. If you continue to stay with him, you will continue to feel angry and frustrated and you deserve to be happy. Don't feel guilty if you want happiness. You do sound like a strong woman, and that's very admirable, but we all have our limits. You've worked hard all your life, to achieve the goals you've set for yourself; you're a successful educator and financially secure, so this should make it easier for you to separate.
The pain is so great, for two reasons: you feel guilty and don't truly want to leave him, but because of what he's doing to himself, it's affecting YOU adversely, and you need to leave, to preserve your sanity and live a better life that's not fraught with these stressors. You still love him, and I don't doubt that he loves you, but he won't *show* that love for you, by trying to make positive changes in his life, to better YOUR lives TOGETHER. Unfortunately, he is not the same man with whom you fell in love and married.
Counselors/therapists typically have built-in confidentiality agreements with their clients, so I don't know what he's afraid of, re: his professional life, but if he'd rather not go 'out' to the therapist, and it seems it's hard for you to get him to go, would she come to you? If she sees him in his 'natural habitat', if you think of it that way, maybe she'll be able to help him more effectively, and he'll feel more comfortable than in a conventional 'office' setting.
If you want to try to give this marriage once last chance, try to get him to see a counselor, in your house, with you, and maybe you can all get some of the important issues out on the table, and he can be given 'homework' to accomplish before the next session. He needs goals to attain, and his life is no longer structured for that. If you can help get him back into that mode, if might be helpful. He also must be told by his physician, how he is damaging his body and his mind, with the pot and caffeine.
I really appreciate your situation, and wish there was an 'easy fix', but I know you understand there's not. Continue to be strong, and feel you've tried everything possible, before you decide to separate, if it comes to that, eventually, but in the end, you must do what's best for yourself--you owe it to you!
Cher and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you