No “Happy Anniversary” Here

Question: Dear Luise: I am thinking of asking my husband of 18 years to leave the house.  Things haven’t been good for while now.  He is a great guy and I know that he loves me, the problem is that he drinks a lot and spends a lot of time with his friends drinking.  The only time that we seem to argue is when he does drink, and it is like he is looking for a fight.  His friends and everyone think he is such a nice guy, they don’t see this side of him.  He has a very short temper and has even hit my teenage son on occasion.  5 years ago I had to go overseas as my father paased away, and I found out that while I was gone, he was at our friends place and ended up having sez with my best friend, using the “we were both really drunk” excuse.  I have forgiven him and we have moved on but the emotional abuse is getting to me.  For example, this past weekend was our anniversary and he spent the whole weekend with friends, and he got angry with me when I confronted him with the fact that he didn’t organise to do anything with me and he got angry and hasn’t spoke to me for 2 days, not even to say happy anniverasary.  I have thought so many times of leaving him in the past year or so but then he becomes really sweet and says he will make it up to me and that he loves me so much and well, it is a real roller coaster ride and I feel it is time to get off.  Please what are your thoughts?  Thanks. M.

Answer: Dear M.: Some people can live permanently on a roller coaster and some can’t. The “I love you and I’m sorry” can get to be an old story. What it boils down to is…what is your pain threshold? You are being neglected in a way that seems abusive to me, but that’s actually your call.

A heavy-drinking, party-animal is cute in college and expected…but 18 years later it looks more like an immature and thoughtless loser.

I left a marriage of 18 years because staying there any longer was evidence, to me, of my lack of self-respect and my refusal to practice self-love. It seemed to me that I was expecting someone else to give me what I wasn’t giving to myself. Blessings, Luise

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