[This message edited by Silentthoughts at 12:33 PM, October 21st (Monday)]
While his behavior is his responsibility, knowingly going into problem situations is just an open invitation to disaster.
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.
[This message edited by Silentthoughts at 12:50 PM, October 21st (Monday)]
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.
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 stands...do 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.
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.
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.
But, the drinking makes it unworkable. You can't R with someone with a drinking problem. He needs assistance, stat.
I edit, therefore I am.
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, 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.
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.
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.
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.
7 years of double-digit ONS, LTA, hookers - the works.
First found out: August 20, 2013
Whole truth: January 1, 2014