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Is this my issue...or his? Need advise

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Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 12:15 PM

I don't know where to post this. Sorry for the long post. i havent posted in a while because we've had a great couple of weeks. i was actually going to post last week about how great things have been. and then sat night happened. We went to my younger sisters bday party out of town and my bh was getting really drunk (my family stresses him out plus he has a problem with drinking too much in "party" situations-This has been a major problem for me and he had promised not to drink too much) Then there was a slide show for her bday. We are in a large room with 75 to 100 ppl sitting at dinner watching this long slideshow. A pic comes up with me and her and 2 guys hugging. We are talking about maybe late 1970s when my sis amd i were about 17 or 18, im not sure because i didn't see the pic cause I was eating. It was definately before i met my husband. I had a promiscuous past before I met my h but I told him about it when we started getting serious back in 1985. He was drunk sat night, triggered badly by this photo and started asking me who the hell was that guy and we are done because I was lying to him about this guy on the photo cause I couldn't tell him who he was and whether i had slept with him because I didn't see the picture. I don't even remember the picture...etc. anyway it turned into a huge thing but luckily I don't think too many ppl noticed his behavior because I left. Ppl noticed I left and I had to lie and say later I got sick in the middle of dinner. I called my adult son who collected my h and brought him to our hotel room. Anyway turned into a huge can't argue with a drunk person. The level of anger he still has at me was staggering. Its been almost three years since dday. It took about 4 more hours for him to settle down and pass out, but i really thought the whole thing about the photo would blow over after on Sunday but it hasn't. He immediately agreed to stop drinking, we will see if he does. He apologised sincerely but I've been too upset to talk to him but I had decided sat night that I had to leave him if he didn't stop the binge drinking. All of this is a major problem obviously but my real problem right now is he still wants to know who was in the photo. I think he is overreacting. He knows what he did at the party was wrong and knows he needs to stop drinking but he believes he has to know who is in the photo from 1979. I met bh in 1985. I think he is obsessed and not handling his triggers well (even sober) and this is an issue he needs help with. He has always had a problem with my past before I met him. I don't know if I should just do what he wants and try to get a copy of the picture. Is this my issue - sort of A related because he triggered- or his issue?

Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 12:27 PM

I'm so depressed right now I'm just so sad. He told me sun that he felt like he died 3 years ago and he would never be the same. I dont know if we will ever have a healthy marriage again.

[This message edited by Silentthoughts at 12:33 PM, October 21st (Monday)]

StillGoing posted 10/21/2013 12:33 PM

Did he want to go to this party?

While his behavior is his responsibility, knowingly going into problem situations is just an open invitation to disaster.

tushnurse posted 10/21/2013 12:39 PM

Personally I think this is an issue for both of you.

First he has to find a better way to deal with his triggers. Is he in IC? If not he needs to be. If he refuses then he needs to get a book or two on dealing with triggers and PTSD. For him to stay wound up about it for 4 hours drunk or sober is an indicator that he really has not learned how to deal with it at all.

Second I see some of this falling to you, because you have to be there to support him, when he does trigger, and learning better ways to communicate, so I would guess some MC is in order to work on communication skills.

You probably also need to make a timeline as to what you did prior to meeting, prior to M, and of course if not already the whole A.

Then you both need to work on communication if he knew going in that this may be difficult could there have been a way to not go? To limit the amount of time there? To keep him away from the bar?

This is a sucky experience, but it really does open the door for you two to learn better skills.

((((and strength))))

Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 12:49 PM

No he did not want to go but he did not want me to go by myself and it was a situation i needed to go to. my whole family was there including my adult children and no one knows but the kids about what happened. and we talked about how to deal ahead of time but he just didn't do anything we had talked about. He started drinking before we even went down to the party even tho he said he wouldn't. Was completely drunk by 8pm. I try to help him with his triggers but when he was as drunk as he was there is no talking rationally or even trying to reason with him. The police actually showed up at our room around 9pm but luckily my son and his wife were there. My h was really loud and someone must have complained. We have never ever ever had police involved, I was mortified. We don't even get speeding tickets.

[This message edited by Silentthoughts at 12:50 PM, October 21st (Monday)]

StillGoing posted 10/21/2013 13:04 PM

You are no more responsible for his drinking than he is for your affair, but there was no reason to go to that thing in the first place IMO.

Your family doesn't know, so in order to maintain that secret, your H suffers more for it. He could have decided at any time not to go, not to drink until he got out of control or even to divorce you over something like this, absolutely. OTOH you deciding you had to go locks him into an extreme decision no matter which way he goes. Working out what to do beforehand isn't going to reduce the resentment about it.

He needs to take ownership of these problems, because his problems are his alone. You bringing him into a situation you know is going to be difficult doesn't help anything though.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/21/2013 13:14 PM

I am so sorry that you are dealing with must have been very hard on both of you.I don't have any groundbreaking advice, but perhaps some perspective (?)

Can I ask...are you opposed to answering his question about the guy in the picture?Not answering probably makes him feel as if you are hiding something. And trust me when I say, it DOES NOT matter if it was 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. Bear with me for a moment...:)

I do know that I was NOT up front about my past (pre M) with my H (he is the WS, me the BS). He knew I had lied, fudged some things, etc. and...I was completely unaware, but it led to many many "triggers" for him throughout our entire marriage.
During our M, I was very protective and defensive about the information from my past, never fully understanding WHY he needed to know, WHY it mattered, he should love me FOR ME and not who I was or was not before...etc. etc.

As we go through R, I have come to realize how important it was for him to just HAVE THE INFO so he wasn't constantly wondering. I had to come clean about everything, not because I "owed it" to him, but because I wanted him to love me for all of me, not some image I had created of me. If he was the person that would walk over mistakes I made before I even knew him, then good riddance. (He did not walk).
I apologize, I digress (sorry!)

But my question still you feel you are holding on to info about the guy in the picture because you are protective of your thoughts/action/past? I understand this...however, from the viewpoint
of a BS, ANY secrecy or "surprise" info is a kick in the gut. It brings back feelings of insecurity and Dday all over again.
I don't think he was over reacting over to "just a picture." I think the picture and the fact that he didn't know "something" about you is probably what sent him over the deep end. Length of time after D day doesn't necessarily take the pain away, we just learn how to store it differently. I think his box was opened that night, and coupled with the stress of your family event and the alcohol consumption...Kablooey.

I am so very sorry- this must be an awful time for you guys.
There are more than likely some very very unresolved issues. I wish peace and strength to all of you.

Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 13:26 PM

Stillgoing, i told him ahead of time I could go alone if this was too much for him. he had to take vac from work anyway so I could have said he was working and I could have shared a hotel room with my son and his wife. I rarely see my family and if i really wanted to go to my sisters 50th it was important to me, and difficult to get out of. But H insisted on going with me. He made a promise to me not to drink too much but he just completely lied to me because he was drinking but telling me he wasn't and whammo I realized he was drunk when we sat down to dinner at about 7:30. I knew this was going to be stressful for him because birthdays trigger him because I was online while he was at work during his birthday in 2010 and my family stresses him out but he never expected me not to go or even asked me not to go.

Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 13:39 PM

Wondertwin, I don't have a problem with answering about the guy, but I didn't see the pic, but I could probably get a copy of the slideshow. I told him about my past back when we got serious back in '85 as I said, but it always bothered him. I am upset that he just assumes the guy in the photo was someone I slept with. We all take photos with ppl of the opposite sex it doesn't mean we had sex. He really has a low opinion of me. The drinking is a whole different problem for me but I feel he minimizes my triggers (i have FOO issues) when he is drinking. He used to be a happy drinker and then about 2 years before the A he started to be an obnoxious, mean drinker and his drinking contributed to my mindset which made it easier for me at the time to justify my behavior online. He rugsweeps his drinking and my triggers over it. He says he will stop drinking now but I don't know if he will.

LA44 posted 10/21/2013 13:59 PM

I agree with tushnurse in that the problem belongs to both of you but he needs to stop drinking.

Obsessing keeps us from dealing with our actual pain. Drinking would initially dull that pain but then it takes over causing The Ugly.

I know if I drink too much (which is rare) then my thoughts go to the A and that is when I get mean.

I see that as my responsibility to manage. I have also asked my H for help ie: don't get me a drink when I haven't finished the one I have.

Of course you want to attend your sister's 50th. That is understandable.

As for the guy in the pic. Again. He is obsessing which is easier then dealing with his actual pain. What happens if it is a guy you slept with back in '79 before you even met him? My H was with many women before he even met me. It's a huge whatever to me now. The A however, that happened during our 16 year marriage is NOT!

I think IC would help.

heartache101 posted 10/21/2013 14:29 PM


Honey get him into counseling. We all have a past b/4 our spouses...

Why does your family make him nervous? How did the kids do with this??

Ok back to you guys.. I say counseling for him to deal with his mood swings. And you my dear counseling to learn to communicate with him and calm him down and someone for you to lean on in reallife... This is stressful stuff...
You can make it! Then maybe you can do MC?? I say IC first.

bionicgal posted 10/21/2013 15:12 PM

One of the many books I have read about infidelity/marriage stresses honesty about the past as well as present and future. I don't think it is unreasonable that your H triggered over this.

But, the drinking makes it unworkable. You can't R with someone with a drinking problem. He needs assistance, stat.

Silentthoughts posted 10/21/2013 15:41 PM

You guys are all so amazing. when i first posted i was thinking I was going to have to leave him for a bit to get some clarity and really thinking he was being way crazy but I'm really thinking about what is being said and i have a lot of thinking to do. I have some problems with being empathetic enough to him so it helps to step back and try to remember what he has gone thru these past years and how the triggers still affect him even if i think its crazy. his drinking is on him, but this is both our issues if we plan to stay married. i have always known deep down his binge drinking is a deal breaker for me and my behavior online is a deal breaker for him. So we are both in situations that we would have thought when we first married would be relationship ending but here we are...neither of us wants to end our marriage.

As for the kids it was hard. I didn't want to tell them initially but our oldest moved back in with us for a little while about 6 months after dday and h an I were deep into it so we had to tell her the situation. Then told both the other 2 kids within a few months along with our dil. We have always been a "don't air your dirty laundry in public" couple so it was extremely difficult to share with them, I worried they would judge me or be mad at me but for the most part they have been amazing. What child wants to hear their mom did what I did? I was very glad for my son on sat night. He came in and really helped and dil helped me. But I hated having them involved, if we were home in private I would not have involved them. They spent sun with us and my h talked to them both and apologized and told them he was going to stop drinking. He was not out of control when they were living at home, and I hadn't shared how much h had been drinking since we have been empty nesters (we live out of town) so I think they were shocked he got so out of control.

StillGoing posted 10/21/2013 15:43 PM

Stillgoing, i told him ahead of time I could go alone if this was too much for him. he had to take vac from work anyway so I could have said he was working and I could have shared a hotel room with my son and his wife. I rarely see my family and if i really wanted to go to my sisters 50th it was important to me, and difficult to get out of. But H insisted on going with me. He made a promise to me not to drink too much but he just completely lied to me because he was drinking but telling me he wasn't and whammo I realized he was drunk when we sat down to dinner at about 7:30. I knew this was going to be stressful for him because birthdays trigger him because I was online while he was at work during his birthday in 2010 and my family stresses him out but he never expected me not to go or even asked me not to go.

You still knew it was going to be a problem, and you just said he didn't want to go - ofc he doesn't want you to go on your own. I wouldn't want my wife to go on her own to a huge gathering where a ton of people I don't know are going to be, either. Trust issues suck. In my more codependent state I'd not want her to stay home either, because I'd be worried about how angry and resentful she'd be.

I think that they're two separate issues. His drinking is definitely a problem he needs to address on his own and he's entirely responsible for it.

What it sounds like on your end though is you wanted to go to a family function and pretend everything was normal and have him play along, under circumstances you knew were going to be problematic. Him getting pissed off about that picture is normal and predictable.

I think getting a copy of the picture and discussing it with him is a good idea, as well as demanding he go seek help with the drinking. I also think that venturing into situations that will be very obvious in stretching boundaries is a bad idea, because you dance at the edge of a cliff you're just asking to fall off.

still-living posted 10/21/2013 17:06 PM

I would tell him everything you can about the guy in the picture. If you are unable to determine his name then tell how hard you tried to figure it out for him ......then....I would ask him what is he going to do about his drinking and behavior. IMO, he's using this picture as an excuse for his bad behavoir which he knows was wrong. I believe this, because I've done this same thing myself.

StrongerOne posted 10/21/2013 20:09 PM

BW here.
I'm going to go against the tide here...I think that the main problem in this scenario is your husbands excessive / problem drinking. A guy you were hanging with six years before you met your H? Sorry, he does not get to be pugnacious about that. Especially if he already knew you were a crazy girl, which he did. Seriously. If my H got nasty about guys I went out with 35 years ago, when I was a teenager and befire i even knew he existd, I'd be gone. It's ridiculous. It would be kind of you to get the pic and see if you can figure out who it was, but I know I wouldn't remember some guy I went out with when I was 18.

Should you have gone to the party. Maybe not, although it sounds like your H is being rather p/a on this -- did he say I'd rather you didn't go? Could you tell that he really did not want you to go?

I feel for you H, but you have to decide if his problem drinking is something you want to live with. Because *you* can't make him stop.

Thessalian posted 10/21/2013 21:41 PM

As the BS and also the wife of a problem drinker myself, I understand both sides of this.

He does need to tone down his drinking, but before you address that, I would sit him down, tell him that you're going to get a copy of the slideshow (and do so ASAP), and you're going to go through every single shot on it and he can ask you anything he wants about any of those people. I would gently warn him that while you will do everything in your power to answer his every question, those pictures were taken over 30 years ago, and some of those people are so completely irrelevant to you now and you haven't been in contact with them in a long time that you may not know who they are, but that you will tell him everything you do know.

After that happens, I would focus on addressing his drinking problem.

Silentthoughts posted 10/22/2013 15:22 PM

Well I am getting a copy of the slideshow and will attempt to identify the guy. Probably not even someone I had sex with, the whole thing just annoys me. I know the party was hard for him but i still feel like i had to go, in hindsight it would have been better for him to stay home. He didnt ask me not to go. I actually don't know what i would have done if he had. I already don't see my family regularly (because h doesnt want to) and i feel major guilt over it. I only do big events like 50th bday parties. We had been doing so well lately, I thought he was getting better, but i feel like we are back in year 1 now. He's really depressed and obsessing over this picture. I want him to schedule with his ic guy and do the emdr again. He thinks the way he's feeling about the picture is normal but i think we are approaching year 3 and its past time to take control of his recovery. My empathy level for him is really low right now, so maybe I'm wrong, and I'm the a-hole? I get over stuff quickly tho so hopefully my empathy for him will increase over next few days. Right now tho? im pissed off and close to done. He says he's done drinking but as I've said we will see. I didn't even mind his light or moderate drinking, but he can't control himself when we are in party situations and with the A issues he just gets meaner and meaner. So no drinking at all for now.

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