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Bombshell from OH

19 replies 4.6K views
*Trigger warning - sexual assault*
I'm writing here cos I can't talk to anyone in real life, my OH has binge drinking issues and goes out and I never know when he's coming home, we've had many arguments and discussions about this and I had enough about November last year and basically blanked him for a few months and tried to stopped letting it affect me.

In January he stopped drinkng of his own accord and things got better between us. But the drinking and going out all night started again in February. Since the lockdown he's not been sleeping at night and has been up all night and sleeping most of the day and drinking at night in the living room, there's been friction between us.

He's been going out a few times recently and reverting back to the old ways of coming home early hours. We spoke about his binge drinking and he said he needs help, we watched some youtube videos on alcoholism together. We had a couple of good days at home and he was acting loving to me and we were getting on. Then yesterday he went out in the day to get some shopping and by midnight he hadn't come home and I was upset and was texting him telling him he's a drunk liar and can't be trusted.

He came home an hour later and I was really riled and we argued for an hour and were making plans for our divorce, he tells me I'm crazy and he drinks because of me, I'm telling him ok then when we're not together he can get his act together. I showed him the MSE post I wrote last year listing all the problems and nothing has changed.

Then he tells me that age 16 (he's early 30s now) something awful happened to him (*trigger warning*), involving beating, sexual assault against him and he was locked up for 3 days without food and he says the drinking stems from this, he has anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, sweats at night and drinks to deal with the thoughts of the incident and he says he was beaten around the head and was unconscious and thinks he had brain damage from that. He says he has suicidal thoughts sometimes.

So I'm in shock about this and don't know what to do. Only had 2 hrs sleep last night. Just need to get it out. If any thoughts or advice please let me know, thanks...


  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Assuming you believe him, he needs to go to therapy.

    Have you talked to him about it. If it's something he's kept hidden for 16+ years, it's going to have been tough on his. There's no time limit of these offences, so he can report it if he wants to. 
  • downshifteddownshifted Forumite
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    Didn’t want to read and run, you must be worried and upset. Now he’s told you would he be willing to seek professional help?

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  • ArchergirlArchergirl Forumite
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    Has he ever had counselling?, Now he has spoken to you about it it may be a bit easier for him to try and get his act together,perhaps he could go to an online AA meeting, I am sure there will be some and it may be an easier first step than going in person.
    If you still love him you can help him through this but if you don't you will need to decide what you want to do next.

  • Retireby40Retireby40 Forumite
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    Did they explain and tell you the whole story. Who did the abusing. Where did it take place? Assuming it was for 3 days it must have been family or something. A missing 16 year old for 3 days would raise alarms.

    I am in no way saying it is untrue. It is nothing to be joked about at all or disregarded. However one thing I have learned is that addicts will lie about anything and I do mean anything to stop a person from leaving them.

    They need to tell you the true and the full truth be open. Then it's time to look at counselling etc. Because it is likely that the scars of it are still present. At 16 you think you know the world and then something happens and makes you rethink everything.

    How did their life develop after. Obviously you weren't with them but you know their life. Did they go to college or uni and leave. Did they hold down good jobs. Or was there plenty of chopping and changing? Are they close to their family. Some of these things may give you some indications on the effect it had on them.

    I said it before and I'll say it again. Go into this open minded. Compassionate and supporting but open minded. Good luck.
  • winterblues2019winterblues2019 Forumite
    32 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Thanks for all your comments, I feel better sharing it, can't tell any of my friends or family...I met him 12 yrs ago when he was about 21 and pretty much from day one he was having heart problems and pains in his chest and we spent many hours in a&e together and were told by docs it was anxiety, the heavy drinking has always been there, he didn't go college or uni, he's working in building trade and not happy but doesn't take steps to change his job, he did tell me years ago he was caught by police in another country for immigration issues and imprisoned for a while, I think the incident happened there.

    I'm sure he does need AA and/or counselling, if he'll go is another thing. I think I'll just have to not have a go at him for the binge drinking and disappearing for hours and accept that I can't change him or trust him in that respect, I feel really sorry for the young boy he was if this is true and I'll try to be compassionate.
  • ArchergirlArchergirl Forumite
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    All very nobel, but don't ruin your life, he needs to do something and not just what he is doing for the rest of his life...
    Have a sit down when he is sober and outline the problems and how you can tackle them together. if he isn't interested I would say it's time for you to move on.
  • PolarpenguinPolarpenguin Forumite
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    All very nobel, but don't ruin your life, he needs to do something and not just what he is doing for the rest of his life...
    Have a sit down when he is sober and outline the problems and how you can tackle them together. if he isn't interested I would say it's time for you to move on.
    BIB you also need to think of your son, he needs a stable home. You can't carry on living your life as you have been doing, regardless of the root cause of his behaviour, it he is unwilling to seek help, walking away would be the best option.
  • winterblues2019winterblues2019 Forumite
    32 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Yes thanks, I'm the breadwinner and have a regular income *touch wood* so far, I'm paying my debts and saving up at the same time and will make moves to sell our house and get my own place at some point, tbh he has done my head in for years, it's very up and down and I know he has problems but this relationship has put me on edge and there's so much I can't tell family and friends and I don't like living like that. I watch Love Over Addiction on youtube for support and advice, but the revelations at 3am really stunned me and I feel numb.
  • NinjaTuneNinjaTune Forumite
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    Do you think he would speak to someone over the phone or online about this? and are specifically for male survivors of sexual abuse/violence.
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  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
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    Many people try to deal with trauma by blocking it out, sometimes using substances to remove thoughts from their minds. I'd been with my husband probably 10 or 11 years before he told me about his own dad's violent behaviour. Once you speak to someone you have automatically acknowledged and accepted that something painful happened. That in itself is traumatic. Have you thought about writing your partner a letter? It's a good way to calmly get your point over. Let him know you are pleased he shared his past with you and you are always willing to listen and his revelation has not made you think any less / differently of him. Explain that his behaviour is ruining his own life as well as your happiness as a couple and you want better for him. There are charities for survivors of abuse where he can get advice. Part of being in a relationship is being there when the other needs help but there is only so much you can do. If he never changes, regardless of the reason for his beaviour, you can't live your life worried where your partner is and arguing all the time. Him blaming you is unfair. Even if sometimes you irritate him ( don't we all irritate people sometimes?!) how he chooses to react, by drinking or being argumentative is his choice. Nobody makes you angry. You chose how to respond. 
    It's tricky because you don't want to upset him by bringing it up, but he needs to know you care. I'd say just that. I'm pleased you told me and I'm always willing to listen and help how I can, but I will be guided by your wishes concerning this topic. 
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