DEAR DOODLE: I am trying to find out if my marriage is something I can stay in and still remain sane. My husband has a very demanding job which takes all his time. He is also responsible for making a lot of very important decisions.
He is regarded by many as "perfect". He is a strong Christian even though he doesn't go to church unless I make him. He wants to make all the decisions about everything - including what I wear and who I see, but he doesn't always know the right thing to do. He feels it is his job to take care of me and everybody else in the country. Lately, a lot fewer people like him, so it's had an impact.
In short, he is drinking again. He had a wild youth until he was 40 or so, but he found the Lord and stopped all the drinking, drugs and wild behavior. Our marriage has been pretty solid and my only complaint up until recently was his love of fart jokes. I always thought he was immature but he always told me to loosen up. So, I did for the sake of my marriage.
But his recent behavior is too much. He forgets he is married to me and forgets he has a lot of people relying on him. And he is starting to do really stupid things. Like he got drunk before we commemorated a really important anniversary last week and ended up doing some things which drove me crazy -- like stepping on the American flag and staggering on the way to a commemorative pool where we were supposed to put a wreath (it was the anniversary of some deaths). I had to do all the work because he was about to pass out. Then he blacked out and didn't remember these things, so I showed him the news photographs. Then he started yelling about 'photoshopping', whatever that is. (Shopping for photos?)
He has been afraid for some time that I'll stop off somewhere and "meet up with someone." But he is the one who is having a long-term affair with a co-worker (he doesn't think I know, but I do). This has all become completely exhausting. We obviously fight a lot because of his drinking and these issues. Then his bodyguards step in when I start to yell so I can't even let him know what I think.
I am trying hard to make this work, but everything inside of me says this will not change, this is not normal, and no one can continue like this. Your thoughts?
DEAR DRAINED: My thoughts are that he either sees a couples therapist with you, or you see a lawyer on your own. There is something wrong with this man, and you are correct that you cannot live like this. And what is with the bodyguards? Is he paranoid?
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to live with an alcoholic with their grandiosity, controlling behavior, blackouts and criticism. The problem is his to fix. If he fixes it, then you can see what remains.
--- DOODLE BEAN