Dear Dr. Archer,
I desperately need psychological advice. I have been married to a good husband for three years, but he has a drinking problem and still in denial. We have two beautiful boys, 1 and 2 years old.
My husband is always accusing me of having other boyfriends and bringing me down. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and did not take his medication. He would go out on weekends and come back the following morning or afternoon. He almost lost his job twice by not being able to go to work.
He has an anger problem, as well. When he's drunk, I constantly worry about the children, as he shouts and bangs his fists on the door or wherever he can. Or, he'll come home, cry, and take out knives and tell me he's going to kill himself.
I recently began a new job, but I'm battling keeping my concentration; I don't feel safe and don't want to live like this anymore. He is taking medication now and seeing someone, but he still continues to drink with his medication. What am I to do?
I'm sorry, but you say your husband accuses you of having boyfriends, shouts, punches doors and whatever else he can get his hands on, and you call him a good husband? Sorry, Monique, but that in no way describes how a good husband acts.
Add on top of that the fact that he actually threatens to kill himself with knives makes me wonder how you concentrate at work at all.
Alcohol should never be mixed with medication, but especially bipolar meds. Alcohol is a natural depressant and will interfere with how his meds work. Check out Life, Love and Bipolar
if you'd like to read more (and you should) on this subject.
Fact is, you should not want to live the way you're living and I'm glad you've come to that conclusion. You are responsible for two little boys who are witnessing this outrageous behavior.
The denial days are over. You need to talk to your husband, and he either gives up the alcohol, starts taking his medication on schedule (no exceptions), stops accusing you of having boyfriends and gets a grip on his anger OR you need to separate and talk with an attorney. In other words, he needs to start treating you like his wife, not the enemy.
If that doesn’t work then you can consider an intervention to deal with the alcohol issue. I can guarantee he’ll never get his bipolar under control unless he stops the ethanol abuse. This could work, because if he stops drinking, the meds will work better and his condition could be treated.
To stage an interfvention you need to get an expert involved, what’s called an interventionist. You can talk to local therapist and ask for recommendations or discuss rescources with your family doctor. If this interests you you can check out Addiction Intervention
, which discusses the process and helps get you in touch with an interventionist.