updated 9 Jun 2012, 15:38
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Mon, May 07, 2012
The Star/Asia News Network
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Losing out to alcohol


Ever since I married my alcoholic husband, I've often had to eat dinner alone.

At the end of each working day, he will phone and say he's going out for dinner, followed by a drinking session.

He comes back drunk and just dozes off. There's no communication between us, no time to talk to our young children.

I have a stressful working life and have to do the chores, run errands and fetch the kids home at 7.45pm.

Is it unreasonable to yearn for a simple family life, for hugs and kisses from my husband before bedtime?

Sex sucks as he cannot get a hard-on, no matter how I stimulate him.

Nothing interests him except sleep. I'm frustrated but have to keep silent as he's very egoistic about his sex drive.

He knows alcohol has killed that, but he still succumbs to it.

He asks why I cannot take his drinking, like the wives of those in his industry, and blames me for being unreasonable.

He is a divorcee; his ex-wife had told me she felt no emotional security with him.

It has crossed my mind to end my life but my kids still need me.

I still love him very much but he loves alcohol more than me! One day, when I get someone reliable for the kids, I'll end this suffering life.

Wife of alcoholic

No, you are not being unreasonable in wanting those things from your husband. Hugs, kisses, attention, company, conversation and sex are normally what one would expect from a relationship.

How sure is he that the wives of others in his field put up with their spouses' behaviour?

The husbands may just be saying that, or the wives may just be putting up a front.

Not getting affection and attention from a partner is no justification for suicide.

You have the children and no matter who you think is best suited to look after them, nothing will compare to their having you.

They don't need you just because they are small; they will always need their mother.

Did your husband's behaviour gradually become like this over the years, or was he like this when you first met him?

If his ex-wife has told you that he'd been like this during their marriage, it could point to a long-standing problem.

Long-term use of alcohol, and alcohol abuse and dependence can affect sex drive in men.

If he fails to sustain an erection, it is not your fault.

The real problem in your marriage seems to be alcohol.

Alcoholism is a medical problem and it can be managed. The most important thing for those who want to kick the habit, though, is the will to do so.

People who are looking to quit drinking also need support from those closest to them.

You may have to go through counselling with your husband and even engage in couple's therapy.

The therapy will address the pain you have endured in your relationship, and serve as an anchor to prevent a relapse.

If your husband is ready to admit he has a problem and wants to address it, the first thing he needs to do is consult a doctor.

Medical centres have their own addiction programmes, or will be able to refer you to any number of them. There are also specialised addiction counsellors whom he can approach.

If you love him and want to see your relationship through, see if he is willing to go down this route.

It will not be easy talking to him about this.

But if you're determined, don't despair when he tries to shut you off.

You can even start with a medical check-up; most people would get a wake-up call when they get their liver function test results.

Should you think that he is not willing to address his problem, it is only advisable to seriously consider your options and take action for your and the children's future.

Is this the kind of life you want for yourself and them?

Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/o Star2, Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya or e-mail [email protected]. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

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