Struggling to support my husband
My husband was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago with anxiety, depression, childhood trauma and PTSD. I supported him and helped him get back on track within 8 months while parenting our 2 children so they were not aware to what was going on as my husband didn’t want them to know and he was coping very very well and all medications were working etc.
fast forward to now with an extra child in the mix and he is on a downward spiral again, while this time really struggling myself to support him.
little to why I think he is having a bad time, he was made redundant from his absolute favourite job that helped him stay focused reason being the company was going offshore, he then got another job and 3 months later again redundant because the business went into liquidation, we then lost our son through miscarriage, and he was recently diagnosed with autism (high functioning)
through all of this I have put all my feelings and emotions aside to support him and make sure he is coping fine.
however he has now taken to alcohol at least 3-5 times per week to get that “effect” that masks everything. I am absolutely struggling with this, he knows I absolutely hate alcohol unless it’s for special occasions. The amount of money he spends on it is absolutely ridiculous, not to mention most of time when he goes out to the beach just to clear his mind I end up finding out he has brought alcohol and is essentially self medicating, to the point I sometimes don’t know how he has managed to drive home, nor can he remember what he has said or done. I am absolutely petrified he is going to do something he shouldn’t.
I’ve reached out to his gp and care team but have been told they can’t help unless he wants to be helped.
I honestly want to be there for my husband but I am honestly struggling with this, I have 3 kids one of which is a toddler to care for too with 2 high schoolers having bullying issues at school. not to mention just finding out I am pregnant with possible twins.
Does anyone have some advice on how I can cope with this a little better? And be able to show him that what he is doing is not good for his mental health but also that of his families?
like I mentioned above I am petrified this will turn into destructive behaviour.
thanks for reading
Thanks for your post, I hope you are able to get something out of these forums. I'm sorry to hear about everything you're going through. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Supporting someone who is using drugs and alcohol can be really hard. You might want to tell them to stop using, and you might have tried this, but you can’t force them to change – they need to ultimately make that choice for themselves. There are however things you can do. They are all listed in this very handy page that I would highly recommend reading here (under the getting support section): https://www.beyondblue.org.au/mental-health/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health
In the meantime, it is important you look after your own mental health. Carer gateway is a great resource for any sort of carer looking for support, counselling or peer groups. You can check out their website here: https://www.carergateway.gov.au/ I would recommend you touch base with your GP regularly to see if you need any professional support also.
Please keep us updated and I hope the resources here help a little.
Hello Concernedwife, I was in exactly the same position as your husband and know what you are struggling with, and no it's certainly not easy, especially when you don't knoq how much money is being spent on alcohol and the dangers he may cause by driving.
I lost my licence and it's possible he will too, but you need to be able to control your money and allow him just a small amount every week, this could be frustrating for him and his displeasure may be shown, but in reality it's for his own good, because alcohol will never be able to used as self-medicating, it will never work.
I understand his circumstances and this is obviously disappointing for him, but in turn you have a family who needs to be looked after as well as yourself, which could mean you need to protect all of them and yourself from seeing what he is doing.
If you move in with your parents/sibling/friend for a short time may be a good option as my wife did exactly that, but be careful when he says he 'will cut down' because it's possible that won't last.
He has to make his own decision to stop drinking and going into rehab doesn't necessarily work, because as soon as people come out, they could start once again.
First of all look after yourself and your family, they all need you, and your husband does need help, but again he has to decide whether or not this is what he wants.
I eventually decided on counselling and eventaully knew I was doing something wrong.
Please ask any other questions you like.
The situation you both face is so heartbreaking and stressful in so many ways, individually and as a couple. I feel so deeply for you both as you face what feels so overwhelming.
I can't help but wonder whether the possibility of bringing twins into the world is a tipping point factor for your husband. I've had conversations with my husband over the years about the stress he sometimes feels in providing for a family, especially during the years where I was a stay at home mum. While we support a family of 4 in our household (ourselves and our 17yo son and 20yo daughter to varying degrees), the stress of bringing in enough money while performing to maintain a job has played on my husband's mind on a number of occasions. The tipping point I mention, when it comes to your husband, is based on the stress he must be feeling when it comes to supporting a family of 7. Given all the stress he's faced since childhood, I can't help but wonder whether he's kind of thinking something along the lines of 'I just cant do life anymore, I can't cope, but I can cope while drinking, to relieve the stress and sufferance'. Of course, drinking is shocking for depression, making it so much worse in so many ways. Once a drinker, it had a terrible impact on me during my years in long term depression.
While I consider your husband and all he must be feeling, when I think of you I feel for you just as deeply, given all you've faced over the years and are still facing. Being such a deeply feeling caring person can be so taxing: Feeling so much for your husband over the years while trying to help raise him through and out of periods of depression and anxiety, feeling the sufferance of your children and the truly horrible impact of bullying, feeling the incredible grief that comes with miscarriage, feeling the exhaustion that comes with being in the role of primary carer and pushing yourself to find energy that's just not there is a lot to feel. Now, feeling yourself having to cope with the effects of alcohol in your marriage is another factor.
When it comes to the question 'How are you feeliing?', these days I think of the question differently. I'm feeling through my nervous system, through my imagination, through the mental programs/beliefs that exist in my head. I feel through my physical chemistry, my energy levels, inner dialogue and so much more. While answering 'Good', 'Happy', 'Depressed' etc made no difference to how I feel (when people asked that question), I realised a difference comes through how I manage my nervous system, imagination (what I see in my mind), mental programs, chemistry, energy levels, inner dialogue and more. At times it can feel like a full time job. Instead of 'How are you feeling?', I think 'What are you feeling?' can be far more telling in the way of identifying specific emotions.