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You Asked: Having Marital Problems and Scared

Dear Sugar,

My husband and I are having marital problems. We've been married for two years, and two weeks into the marriage, his father went into the hospital with a ruptured esophagus. We spent many hours driving his mother back and forth and staying at the hospital at least four times a week. Sadly, he passed away last January and then we had to move in with his mother to help take care of her. She was totally depressed and very sick, and my husband dealt with it by drinking. She ended up with lung cancer and recently passed away as well.

It was obviously a really tough time for my husband, and now the drinking has escalated and he's really unhappy. Our sex life is pretty much nonexistent — we've probably only had sex about ten times in two years. I try to talk to him about this, but he says things like "just take your half and leave," and "go find someone else to have sex with, maybe that will make you happy."

Last night he went to the bedroom and shut the door, so I left him alone. In the morning, I saw that the shot gun he uses for hunting was down from the rack and sitting next to the bed. I'm not sure who he was going to use it on, but now I'm really worried. Since I can't talk to him, I am going to find a counselor and see if that will help. I love him and I know he loves me, but I don't know what to do.

—Scared and Broken-Hearted

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Scared and Broken-Hearted,

This is a really serious situation that you're in, and I'm worried for your life. A man battling with depression, who treats it with alcohol, and has access to a weapon is not a safe person for you to be around. I know that you love him and desperately want this relationship to work, but things are beyond you right now.

It's great that you are going to see a counselor. I'm sure they'll give you some great advice about how to deal with this situation and make things better. They may suggest, and I would agree, that you move out until he starts seeing a counselor, too, since he definitely needs someone to talk to about all this. He's got to realize that talking about his feelings is the only way to grieve his parents deaths, and that numbing his mind with alcohol is only a temporary fix.

After you get yourself into a safe living environment, perhaps with a family member or good friend, I would notify the police since you're worried that he may use the gun on himself. This may seem like an extreme response, but when your safety is at risk, you really can't be too careful. Emotional abuse is never okay in a relationship so you've got to look out for yourself and let professionals give him the help he needs. I hope things work out.


Join The Conversation
pinkroxmysox82 pinkroxmysox82 9 years
This is a very bad situation. A gun and acholl. You probally don't want to do this but, if things don't work out after doing group therapy and call the police. It might end with a divorce. i know you hate this but if it gets worse email me and I'll help you. this is not something you can handle on your own. go to family and I'm a Christian. You can go God in prayer and ask him what's best. I didn't catch something did I? Oh do you have kids and if so, are they aware of the situation.If they aren't, you might want to talk to them about it. Now of course, if they are younger than 5, I wouldn't tell them that because they could be frightened, or not understand. I think you should take this to God or do something like go to police, family or a woman (trust me it would be bad with a man) who handles with relationships. At first, it might be best if you would go alone. Then after a little bit when you feel more confident talking to him, about this situation, take him to the meetings and handle this with a professional. Best of luck and prayers, Pinkroxmysox82
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Get out of the house now! I know you care about him, but he is obviously severely disturbed. You probably don't want to hear it but you are in physical danger. If he is depressed and drinking and has weapons you are NOT SAFE. Obviously you care about him, you need to get him to see a doctor right now. Get yourself into counselling and tell him you won't be back with him until he joins you. I'd take the guns with you if I were you. And call the police, I don't know where you live but some cities have great victim service programs or family violence services that offer counselling and help for situations like this. Does he have other family you can talk to? Close friends? If so let them know what is going on. There is strentgh in numbers and maybe they can help you deal with this.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Aww this sounds super though- he is obviously in a deep depression and needs help. He is basically screaming for help (the comments, the gun, etc). He needs to talk to someone- and I think that going to a counselor is a SMART idea.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I would strongly suggest leaving. I know you are probably afraid to leave him alone, but you really won't be able to help if you're dead. Murder suicide seems to be a fad right now and you don't know what he's got going on in his head. Pack and go to a friend of family members house, but take the gun and turn it over to a local police department first. Even if you think he'll be upset with you......Who cares at this point. If you are ever in the situation like this again and you find him ready to harm himself, call the police department and they will have him committed, and when he's in the hospital he can get the help he needs. If someone is committed, they can not sign themselves out. The hospital has to release them when they feel it is safe. Also they are required to commit anyone who is a danger to themselves or the people around them. Good luck.
remedios remedios 9 years
I don't know if this is applicable to your situation, but you can generally have someone involuntarily committed if he is a danger. The requirements vary by state, but if you think you are in danger and want to help, this might be an option to consider. Before doing so, though, make sure you've looked at all options and are careful. For example, if you do something like that, but then the state decides he's not a danger and release him, that may backfire. Talk to a psychiatrist and/or law enforcement. If you want a less confrontational option, pick up some literature from a hospital and see if he'll voluntarily check himself in.
red4bonez red4bonez 9 years
This is very very serious! Your life could be in danger. You need the leave the house now.! Stay with family or a friend and try getting him help from the outside. Good luck and be safe!
fiestygirl fiestygirl 9 years
I really hope you read this. First, you need to get out of that house immediately. If there is any question of your safety. Please err on the side of cautious, stay with a friend or family member. I am sure anyone would be willing to help out. Second, this sounds to me to be a familial problem. You state that his father died of a ruptured esophagus. I think you mean that he had ruptured his esophageal varices and became a GI bleeder. This almost always related to cirrhosis as a result of alcohol abuse. His father was also an alcoholic whether you know this or not. Now it seems that your husband has taken to this same behavior in stress. Alcoholism runs in families. Not to mention the family dynamics of alcoholics which usually involves overenmeshment. Which your husband displayed when moving in wiht his mother following his father's death. The bad news is this is a problem that is much more complicated than anything you can handle on your own. However, the good news is that this all sounds very typical and many people and organizations have been working on the dynamics of alcohlism for years. I am sorry that this has affected your life, but please have confidence in the many resources out there ...some are even free. But first thing safe! and get out. You may be able to talk to him more clearly and efficiently from a distance.
Marci Marci 9 years
Wow, my heart really goes out to you. The first few years of marriage are usually when a couple is bonding and building the foundation for their life together. Sadly, because of other circumstances, you never got that. The death of both parents is a huge blow for your husband. I agree with lemassiabelle that it's one of the worst things to go through. But as concerned as you are for him, you really need to protect yourself here. I agree with those who suggested getting the gun out of the house. I also agree that you might consider getting yourself out of that house. Your husband needs serious help; help you're not qualified to or capable of giving him. The hardest thing will most likely be getting him to seek the help he needs. Best of luck and PLEASE let us know what happens.
blingbling blingbling 9 years
DEFINITELY get rid of the gun. But lets face it, if he is bent on ending his life, he will. Which is why it's imperative you get him help. I don't necessarily agree with those who are saying to get out and fast. I do think that you should keep yourself safe - by getting rid of the gun and anything else possible, but I also think you should try to get him help. If it were my husband and I'd found him with a gun (after all his other behavior) I would be on the phone or doorstep of a mental health facility pronto to find out what I could do. I wouldn't waste a minute. I'd also be on the phone with any of his family that could come to support me. You need to act, and fast.
sofi sofi 9 years
this is extremely frightening and dangerous for you and your husband. Are there any other family members- his siblings who can support you? You need people around you and can't be alone with him or leave him alone. Find someone to support you, take the gun when he isn't there and get an intervention going. Your marriage is important, but think of his safety and your own first. First thing to do is make sure he doesn't ham you or himself- after that you worry about the marriage. He may be very upset at you for interfering, but you are doing this because you love him. He may threaten to leave you or divorce, but get him well first and see where that leaves you. Don't be afraid of his threats regarding your marriage- threats with a gun are more frightening. Good luck- be safe!
HelloKittyMini HelloKittyMini 9 years
Scared and Broken Hearted, I would first like to echo the thoughts of laurafox. I am too so very sorry for you. This must be terrible. However, I think some of the responders have unreasonable expectations of what the police will be able to do for Scared and Broken Hearted. It is my understanding (at least in my county and state) that the emergency workers (i.e. police, mobile crisis) won't come out unless your husband is going to off himself or you RIGHT then. They need a certain level of immediacy to justify a response. I don't think they will take the gun. But that doesn't mean you can't take it, and hide it (or them if there are more than one in the house). Everyone who has told you to get out of the house is ABSOLUTELY right. You may love him, but you cannot trust someone with this degree of mental illness and addiction. They are NOT the person with whom you fell in love. They are unpredictable, driven by emotional responses, and dangerous. You need to leave. He needs to get help. If he won't get help you can't help him. Sounds like he needs a program that will assist people with duel diagnosis issues (mental health and addiction). I would tell him that you are moving out of the house, not because you want to end your marriage, but because you cannot sacrifice your safety. You are willing to work with him, love him, and support him through recovery, but not through addiction. If he has any siblings, or friends who are also worried, you may want to let them know what you are doing, why, and ask that they support you in your attempt to get him to help himself. People with this level of mental health issues combined with substance abuse issues, will turn to emotionally abusive behavior (already happening to you), physical abuse (maybe about to happen or may have already happened). You are in danger. If you think you want to save your marriage (which you might not be able to do if he won't help himself), you have to save yourself first. I wish you the best during this time.
karlotta karlotta 9 years
The first three things you do: (not tomorrow - IMMEDIATELY) 1. Call the police 2. Give them the gun 3. Ask them what to do You are your husband's wife, which means you legally can get him committed. When you find a shotgun by the bed, I'm pretty sure it's reason enough to do it. He may be awfully mad that you do this, but after they treat him for a little bit, he will feel better and understand and be grateful. He is way too depressed to have a rational conversation about going to therapy or getting himself committed on his own. You are legally able to do this for him. Do it. You are his wife and you love him and you want him to be okay - take matters into your own hands. Or he's going to use that shotgun; and he's going to use it soon. I've lived through this. I've had to wash brains off a bedroom floor. Please don't wait until it's too late, even if you're scared. We're all behind you here, and I'm sure you have family who loves you and will support you. It is the best decision to take care of the man you love. Good luck.
laurafox laurafox 9 years
Gosh, I am so sorry this has happened to you. I can't even begin to imagine what you must be feeling - the love for your husband, the fear for your safety. I hope you stay safe and that everything works out for the best for you both.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
I think the others have made great points about your husband's depression, he may be suicidal, or he may be homicidal, either way, it's NOT SAFE for you, sweetie. I know you want to help out, but this may be way out of your hands :( I'm sorry to say. Get the gun OUT and contact anyone who can help out (therapist, family members, friends, and even law enforcement if need be so you'll know what to do legally speaking). I'm really sorry and I hope you can keep strong. Take care :hug:
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
wow, life certainly can change on a dime. you have both had a lot to deal with in the past 2 years, not really what most people have in mind for the hineymoon phase. as much as it might be hard to think that "things are that bad", they really are. please take the advise posted above and 1) get the gun out if you can w/o endangering yourself, 2) get yourself out of the house, 3) call a family member of his, sibling, aunt or uncle or a clergy member he respects and try and get some help. the holidays make every sadness bigger. if you can't save your marriage at least save yourself and hopefully your husband. best to you in this very sad situation.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
Get out and fast. The man has a gun and you "don't know who he's going to use it on"? That is downright scary. You may want the relationship to work, but it isn't when he's severely depressed and suicidal and obviously you feel endangered. Like Dear said, go to friends, a family member or even to a shelter for women. They may have some services that could help you deal. Your husband needs to see a doctor to help him through his substance abuse and his depression, because you should not do it alone.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
"I'm not sure who he was going to use it on", OK this statement means you need to get the hell out of that house NOW! You can keep an open communication with him but only meet with him if a doctor is involved meaning a psychologist. I would also refuse to meet him if he didn't sign up for AA meetings. You need help yourself in getting through this so I suggest you also speak to a counselor and join Al-Anon which is a support group for family members dealing with alchoholics. Yes he needs help but depression is not going to be solved quickly especially if he isn't willing to go get help!
blingbling blingbling 9 years
He is clinically depressed. I hope he will accept help. Please try to get it for him. But realize you can only do so much - if he doesn't want to accept it, there isn't much you can do. Does he have any other family that he's close with that you could maybe get with to help you get him to therapy, since you feel you can't talk to him?
cheersdahlin cheersdahlin 9 years
My friend Nick recently committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a gun. Get the gun out of the house immediatley. NOTHING good can come from having a gun in the house.
pinaychic5 pinaychic5 9 years
your husband needs more help than you are able to so please take him to the nearest pysch clinic or hospital ASAP. you shouldn't wait. the others are right. he is a great risk for suicide. he has all the symptoms. may God be with you and your family in this trying time. take cares. *HUGS*
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
Get out of there fast. The man had his gun out, which means only three reasons: 1.) He wants to kill himself. 2.) He wants to kill you. 3.) He wants to shoot SOMETHING. Dear had good advice...get to a friend or family's house and call the police about it. This is not a matter to be taken lightly.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
He needs therapy and fast.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Your husband sounds severely clinically depressed. He needs to see a psychiatrist and psychologist and get treatment as soon as possible. That is one of the first steps you will have to take. He needs to be under care because it does sound as though he is either suicidal or potentially violent. Do you have anyone who knows both of you who can help? I really hope that he (and both of you) can heal and pull through this. Be very careful.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
Oh yeah, losing a parent is the worst thing anyone ever has to deal with in life.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
This is such a tough situation because obviously you need to look out for your own safety but you must be worried to death about him. It sounds very serious and you need to talk to him before he drinks and really try to get through to him. I'm thinking he might be suicidal and drinking usually escalates these feelings. Depression is a very serious thing and needs to be treated as such. My best wishes are with you and I hope he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and realizes that through death we have to appreciate life and live happy like our lost loved ones would have wanted.
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