Q: My husband is an alcoholic and approaches me for sex always under the influence of alcohol. I feel used, as there is nothing else that we share during his rare sober moments. He refuses to get into rehab and I believe I have no option but to stick it out with him as I have no family. I have started detesting his touch, feel an intense hatred towards him and feel disgusted with myself. I often visualise him dying and me feeling liberated as his widow. Such recurring thoughts have made me wonder whether there is a message for me about how I need to live my life today. Hoping for some direction from you.
Ans: I understand your discomfort with being touched after your husband has had many drinks. As humiliating as this is for you, you’ll have to respond with clarity to any such ongoing threats.
Your options are limited to — trying to rebuild your relationship with your husband, suffering as you currently are and leaving your husband and finding a way forward independently. What would you like to do? If you feel like you have no connection with him emotionally as of today, did you ever have that emotional connection with him in the past? If yes, what changed the dynamics between you’ll? Has he changed? Have you changed? Has the relationship changed? If yes, then how specifically has it changed? This needs to be examined. To escape his clutches, you will need help.
First, you are going to have to find a way to be financially independent so that you are not trapped in a relationship just for the money. Even if you figure the money situation out, you will have to come to terms with all the scrutiny that will come your way if you initiate divorce proceedings against your husband and serve him a notice.
Things may get nasty. He may start drinking more to address his frustration with the situation. You will have to find a safe place to stay if he becomes violent. That too requires money. The lawyers will not come cheap. Since you don’t have any family to turn to, you will have to involve other well-wishers who may help give you courage and show compassion during such challenging times. If you visualise him dying, one can imagine the extreme angst you have been put through for you to want to find yourself liberated. However, liberation can get messy.
Every struggle for freedom that our schools and history has taught us about has been a bloody and sordid affair where several good men and women fell and perished protecting certain ideas while standing for certain ideals. While this may seem unrelated, it’s important for you to know that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Your dream of being liberated is going to be a long journey into the eye of the storm. When you say that you have ‘no option’, you are in essence accepting a sorry fate for yourself. We must all choose our fates and then align our behaviour to match those choices.
If you feel used, it’s probably because you are being used by your husband to fulfill his carnal needs and little else. Life isn’t fair and neither is it evenly paced. Sometimes we stutter on the road to adventure and sometimes the misadventures come knocking at our doorstep. What do we do? We must re-align, strategise and figure out how to stay nimble even when the threats appear insurmountable.
Is there a message for you? If yes, what is that message. Your interpretation to that unwritten message will chart out what next steps you take as you may reflect how you would like to live out the rest of your days.