My husband is so detached

Old 04-23-2013, 10:57 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 23
Unhappy My husband is so detached

Hi, my husband's father was an alcoholic, and very violent. He grew up watching his father who was so nice sober, turn into a mean drunk and yell and curse at his family and beat his wife, my husbands mother. He had a big family, but it seems that instead of comforting each other, they withdrew to their own rooms. It seems like every family get together ended the same, father drunk, beating up mom, older brothers jumping dad.

When we met, he slept with tv and stereo on super loud, I learned later that was how he drowned out the fighting. And his hands tremble for no reason sometimes. One day his mom had enough and stabbed dad. Didn't kill him but they separated. My husband left home and joined military.

I love my husband to death, he is the kindest person you could meet. But he always struggled with emotions, took him a long time to be able to say I love you or be affectionate. We've been married for almost 30 years now, we're young when we go married. I know he loves me, and although I think he drinks to much sometimes, he never gets violent, just moody when he drinks. Like he shuts me out. He sits sometimes with a beer and headphones listening to music from his childhood, like he's isolating himself. Going down memory lane, to really bad times.

Our kids love him, our youngest is 17, but except for her, I can't really say his relationship with them is good. Our daughter is very affectionate with him, but she initiates it, hugs him and he always jokes with her like he doesn't like it, but he loves her for it and they are very close. Our sons, in their 20s he can't be affectionate with and they mainly talk about sports. But when they need advice or guidance, when other dads would jump in and guide, he seems more stressed and irritated, and shys away from that. So I feel like I've been their mother and father. I think he loves them, but sometimes it feels like if one of them died, he would feel nothing.

And anytime i try to communicate when I don't agree with him, he is on the defensive, so either I swallow my feelings or he acts like thinks I'm going to blow a gasket or cause a scene, and flees the scene. So many times too,I have cried about different things and he will just leave me by myself, when all I need is a hug. Which used to make me angry, and he told me he gets scared and doesn't know how to handle it. I've told him several times all I need is a hug, but he just can't seem to do it. Or if he does, I can feel how uncomfortable he is. What bothers me the most though,is his relationship with our sons. His whole family is the same with their kids. If they do something wrong,they will talk behind their backs, they are so afraid of conflict. I figure, it's your kids, why are you so afraid to communicate?

He's always taken care of us materially, gone to work and provided. Never abusive, never cheated. So he's a good man, but now that I'm premenopausal, I am not as patient and I can tell he wants to fix things sometimes but doesn't know how. I spoke to him about going to a support group for children of alcoholics, but he said no.

Thanks for letting me vent...
Slm65 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Slm65 For This Useful Post:
DNR72 (04-24-2013)
Old 04-24-2013, 02:19 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 226
Welcome Slm65 and hugs. It sounds like you're in a spot where some warmth would be welcomed. Fortunately you've found a community that has a wealth of experience and support to offer.

While I've not been in your situation, I can say that I have had to carve out time in my life to sit and listen to music (with and without alcohol) to process things from my past. It had lead to, on occasion, me feeling bad about how I handled events after. Why couldn't I have done this instead of that? I should've said x instead of y. It became shame and it ate me up inside; I felt unworthy of love for what happened, my part in it, and how I let it color my life and relationships thereafter.

Once I heard that when someone tries to show an alcoholic love, s/he can react with revulsion because s/he is acutely aware of all the things s/he's done wrong -- it pains her/him and feels ashamed. That's not to say your husband is an alcoholic. But if he's in the process of sorting out the past he may very well feel like the volume of life is turned up to 11, that the light of life is too harsh and bright.

That he may be trying to come to terms with his past? That could be a good thing. He may not be able to support and hug you because he can't seek that for himself. His mind may be too full.

What about you in the meantime? I wish I had words. Are there things you can do to nurture yourself? Others you can talk with? Other members here, would this be a situation she could reach out to alanon for help?

Best to you.
upandup is offline  
Old 04-24-2013, 08:18 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 23
Thank for your reply upandup, and for the hug, I needed it. :-)

I think my husband is a borderline alcoholic, growing up the way he did, all of the kids, and grand kids have a unhealthy relationship with alcohol. His dad didn't drink everyday, but he would drink for days at an end. I think my husband tries not to drink sometimes, he has tried to stop several times, but then he makes excuses and drinks again. Like his dad, he does not drink each day, but then,especially if he is stressed, he seems to end each evening with 2 large beers. Which is not a lot maybe, but enough to change his mood. I feel like he uses alcohol to cope.

As far as nurturing myself, thanks for asking. I feel like I've been walking behind him begging for the crumbs of his affection for 30 years, but I'm almost 50 now and had to realize that although I think he wants to change, he won't. So I went back to painting, I used to paint and draw when I was younger, so now that is my relaxing hobby.

I just wish I could get him out of his shell sometimes...
Slm65 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Slm65 For This Useful Post:
upandup (04-24-2013)
Old 04-24-2013, 09:14 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Anna's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 54,130
I'm sorry that both you and your husband are suffering. Have you considered couples counselling? It could be helpful for you both. Prayers for you and your family.
Anna is online now  
Old 04-24-2013, 09:58 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 23
Hi Anna, thank you for replying,

I wouldn't mind counseling, but getting him there is a different story. I wanted him to go to Alnon, but he won't. But I think I might go myself.

I have to tell you, I really appreciate how understanding everyone on this forum have been, and is so helpful hearing it from the perspective of those who have suffered similarly.

Slm65 is offline  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:50 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 10,212
Originally Posted by Slm65 View Post
I wanted him to go to Alnon, but he won't. But I think I might go myself.
I am a newbie myself, but I think this is a great idea. Alanon (and this forum) have helped me so much....I have a long, long way to go but at least I have some direction and a lot more hope now than I did.

If you do try Alanon, I will tell you what I was told: Try a half dozen or so different meetings, if you can. You will find some that you feel more at home in than others. Also look into getting some of the Alanon reading material, if you can. Here is a link to some podcasts you can listen to online if that works for you .

Wishing you all the best!
honeypig is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to honeypig For This Useful Post:
Dave42001 (04-24-2013), Slm65 (04-26-2013)
Old 04-24-2013, 01:35 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 23
Thanks honeypig,

I will def go in and listen to the pod casts.
Slm65 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:12 PM.