How should I handle these problems?

mc_huddApril 7, 2008

Hello. I've only posted here a couple of times, but lurk quite a bit. I've been hesitant to actually ask for advice and air my "dirty laundry", but Im completely lost as to what to do next. So, please offer any advice you think will even help a smidgen, IÂm desperate... LOL.

So, hereÂs the scoop: I am 24 (will be 25 in May) and my DH is 24 (will be 25 in Nov.), weÂve known each other since Kindergarten, we graduated together & stayed in touch after high school. We never seriously dated in school, but IÂve always had a special place in my heart for him, and from what he has told me, the feeling was mutual. We finally started dating in Feb. 2005, he moved in w/ me shortly after since he didnÂt have a place of his own & didnÂt (doesnÂt) really have much of a relationship w/ his mom; in Feb. 2006 we got our own place together. He proposed to me in Mar. 2007 & we were married in Dec. 2007. So, except for him moving in w/ me shortly after we started dating, I think weÂve moved at a fairly decent pace; not too slow, not too fast.

Anyway, several months after we started dating I noticed that his drinking bothered me. I knew that he drank before we started dating, but never knew how much he was capable of drinking, I guess. Now, since weÂve been married, he has left w/ his "buddies" to go drinking (against my wishes) & not returned until the next day, twice, in about a month & a halfÂs time. The first time this happened, we had been bickering at each other most of the day & he told me later that he just couldnÂt handle it anymore & had to get away. But, the 2nd time, we were fine w/ each other. He came in & asked if I minded if he went & I told him that I wished he wouldnÂt & he turned around & walked out the door!

Both times he came home & we talked about it & he admitted how stupid it was. But the 2nd time it happened he said that time was stupid, but the 1st time he had a legitimate reason. I told him that I didnÂt think there could ever be a legitimate reason for him leaving & not returning until the next day, but couldnÂt get that through his head. Am I wrong about that?

IÂve also told him many times that running away from a problem doesnÂt make anything better, at the time heÂll agree that IÂm right, but then 2 weeks later he does it again!

This only happened a couple of times not long after he moved in w/ me & not since then, so I donÂt feel like I knew this was going to happen when we got married, I thought this was a phase he was out of... Actually, I didnÂt, I never thought about it to be honest... It never crossed my mind that he would start doing this.

To make matters worse, the 1st time this happened he told me that he was talking about our problems w/ his "buddies"! OK, I think itÂs great to have someone to talk to, but the thing that gets me is that he will barely talk to me about our problems & that these ppl are not his "buddies", they would drop him in a second if it was convenient for them & the same w/ him! Also, these ppl consist of a young couple that arenÂt married, a man whose wife just left him, a man who is living w/ his gf & son in his gfÂs momÂs house & a man who left his wife of approx. 20 yrs. for a woman he met over the internet! Yep, great ppl to be giving advice! Then, the 2nd time this happened, I heard his truck speed away & when I asked him why he left so quick, he told me that he ran out to our garage & told his "buddies" that he had to hurry up & get his truck out of here or I might do something to it! I have never destroyed property b/c I was mad... DonÂt get me wrong, the thought has crossed my mind, but I would never do that b/c I wouldnÂt want it done to me! So, now IÂm known as the "Physco B#$%h" around our small town, when I was the one at home, where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing - being a wife, & I get the bad reputation! I find that I really resent my DH for this!

What am I supposed to do about this? I really do love my DH, but I hate it when he does this. I decided when we got engaged that divorce was not an option and IÂm going to stick to that, but IÂve seriously wondered if I made a huge mistake when I married him. He wants children, but I told him that I refused to bring a child into our mess. IÂve tried to be mean, IÂve tried to be nice, IÂve tried everything that I can think of & nothing seems to work... His drinking really bothers me b/c his mom is in & out of the hospital constantly w/ problems w/ her stomach & now her liver (due to heavy drinking) & I donÂt want him to end up like her. I donÂt think heÂs an alcoholic yet, but I think he could be easily, and will be if itÂs not stopped. We have had so many fights about his drinking. I feel like he puts drinking in front of me.

He also has a huge problem communicating w/ me. He closes up when I try to talk to him most of the time. But, when he does talk, he apologizes for whatever heÂs done & sucks up, then does it again 2 weeks or a month later. He lies to me. I have very little trust for him & heÂs not trying to gain my trust back, although he says he hates that I donÂt trust him. I donÂt feel like he respects me or what I do for him/us. I feel taken for granted most of the time. He verbally abuses me when weÂre in a discussion & he gets caught in a lie or in a sticky situation. He acts so childish sometimes; very irresponsible in certain situations. Sometimes heÂs like Jekyll & Hyde; HeÂll be loving & sweet one night, but the next day he leaves & doesnÂt return. He is a little bit self conscious, which also can cause problems. HeÂs really bad at dealing w/ tough situations, which is where the drinking comes in. He likes to run away from reality.

I donÂt want our marriage to be like this. I want to have a husband that other wives are envious of. I want to be the kind of wife that other husbands are envious of. I know things wonÂt be perfect 100% of the time, but IÂd like it to be good at least 80% of the time! WeÂve been married a little over 3 months now & I would say weÂve maybe had 1 good month... Those arenÂt very good figures!

I will admit that IÂm a little nit-picky sometimes over little things, but IÂm working on this. I am a responsible person, maybe a little too responsible sometimes. I am not perfect, some of our fights are my fault. I do have problems, but I donÂt think they are affecting our marriage like his problems are. Am I just in denial?

I do love my DH. HeÂs a very sweet, nurturing person. HeÂs got a good heart. I just think he doesnÂt think of the consequence of an action before he acts & thatÂs what gets him in trouble. He has never physically abused me & I donÂt believe ever will. He holds a steady, good paying job, in which he works very hard at. He supports me monetarily, but not emotionally.

Sorry, I kind of rambled there a little bit. IÂm just so desperate to do anything to make our marriage better right now... Please help me! TIA

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There is never a legitimate reason for a married man or woman to stay out all night without letting the spouse know. It appears that there is a serious problem with the drinking, which is a sickness. Have you considered marriage counseling and/or AA? Get some professional help now for both of you. If he refuses, leave and stay. I know that you want your marriage to last, but YOU CAN'T fix the drinking, staying out and the verbal abuse. It won't get better without some professional help.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:24AM
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Mc Hudd

I think you are on the right track with your thinking.

I think your DH is acting like a mature kid.

What would concern me, a lot, is his ability to deal with the pressures of having children.

If he can't deal with married life, the way things are now, then it isn't going to get any easier.

He really needs to grow up.

Stay at home, with you, and work on his relationship, with you.

The drinking would bother me a lot, as it does you.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:37AM
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He may not be a full-fledged alcoholic - yet, but he definitely has a drinking problem. His drinking behavior is causing problems in his marriage, and his response is to blame you and keep drinking. He has a drinking problem whether he is willing to admit it or not. Is he aware of the heriditary componant in alcoholism?

He also sounds immature, as evidenced by his 'escapist' tendencies and occasional willingness to accept blame.

Does he really want to be married? Because his current behavior is not the way to *stay* married...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:10AM
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OK, is your main problem with the alcohol or the staying out all night? They are two separate problems. Would you be ok with him drinking at home with you; would you be ok with him staying out all night with his friends if he wasn't drinking?

I am not 100% seeing this as a drinking problem but rather an immaturity issue on his part of leaving and staying out all night when he is a married man. I take it the not coming home at night is the real problem.

Obviously, you don't want a divorce but if you hang on to that "I'll never leave you no matter what or how you treat me" attitude, you're giving him approval to get away with murder. I wouldn't even have a discussion just tell him the next time he leaves and stays out all night (without calling or without a real excuse) that he will find his stuff outside or that you will change the locks, etc... Find something serious that you will and can do to let him know you will not accept this behavior, and follow through. You have allowed this behavior when it shouldn't have been allowed... trying to discuss it or change someone's opinion on it doesn't matter. Who knows, maybe his father handled things this way and he really thinks it is best to just leave all night.

Even agreeing to discuss it makes him think it's at least an OK thing to consider doing. All that matters at this point is that you will not put up with it no matter what his opinion on it is. You will not put up with it- so don't.. Period, the end. You can only control how you react to what he does; you can not change his opinion on things.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 11:38AM
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Unfortunately, husbands that stay out all night and have a drinking problem early in a marriage seldom turn into the kind of husband anyone would envy. I am a lot older than you, and my opinion based on seeing lots of couples is that either problem usually gets worse, and as Carla points out--they are two different problems. The kind of friends he has are most likely to cover for him if he isn't really out all night drinking or very likely to heckle him into falling off the wagon if he quits drinking. Nobody starts binge drinking overnite so this is a serious problem. I would imagine he drinks a lot at home.
Drunks are nasty husbands and the worst possible parents--unpredictable and punitive. As AA will tell you--he has to want to quit.
Please don't think that having children will make him responsible or straighten him out.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 3:34PM
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During my parents' 10-year marriage, my dad was an alcoholic who stayed out all night several times a month. My mom never knew where, but I'm sure she had some good ideas. My dad always held down a steady full-time job too, was responsible financially, and is, for the most part, a good person--especially during the past 25+ years that he's been sober.

Face it: Your husband is an alcoholic. Call it a "drinking problem" if it makes you feel better, but you're only fooling yourself. Marge is right that he will ONLY change when HE feels he has a problem and wants to quit. YOU will not change him no matter what you do. And please do NOT bring a child into the world until your husband is sober.

If you want to stay in the marriage and work things out--and it sounds like you do--get yourself to Al-Anon, a support group for families of alcoholics. They can help you cope until (and if) your husband decides to change.

My dad changed in his second marriage after threatening his stepson with a rifle and banging up the house. His wife called the sheriff, who gave my dad two options: Jail or alcohol treatment. He chose the latter. His missed my high school graduation because he was in treatment. But that's OK. He hasn't had a drink in 27 years.

I wish you the very best of luck. What you're dealing with is not easy.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 3:53PM
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Am I mis-reading something? We have a twenty something year old guy (no kids) who has gone out drinking with his buddies two times in a couple months and that's considered a drinking problem? I drink about once a month with friends and I'm a lot older with kids. Since when is downing some beers with the guys once a month considered a drinking problem? Am I missing something? I guess these guys could be a bad personal influence, or maybe the bar is a singles type bar, which could be upsetting or another problem... but I'm not seeing the "drinking" as the issue. You gotta let your guy unload with the boys from time to time.

I would think the bigger problem may be that he leaves and doesn't come back at night (sober or not, right)? I'm just not seeing AA is needed with what's been presented. If someone told me when I was in my early 20's that I needed to go to AA for drinking once or twice a month (even in excess), I'd think they were crazy. Don't bark up the wrong tree.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 4:45PM
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Carla, Maybe they see what I'm seeing... he's escaping instead of dealing, and alcohol is how he's effecting it. Although, that along with leaving her out of in control (no matter what she says he leaves, no way to find him if he doesn't want) and he holds all the cards, that is kinda scary! She's being trustworthy and upfront, and he's not. I could see how it can be construed as alcoholism.

MC, you sound pretty logical. What is happening right before the incidents where he leaves? How is he acting? Guys do need their space. Really, like we need to talk, they need to retreat. They can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. He NEEDs to find a better way to do it, for the sake of his marriage and your sanity. I hope it gets better soon.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:04PM
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I see four issues. In order of how offensive they would be to me.....

1) Spilling his marital guts to his friends.

2) Leaving and staying out all night.

3) Drinking.....could be higher priority but unclear how much of an issue this, by itself, may be from you post.

4) Arguments. Likely related to other three behaviors. Again, can't get a handle on frequency or nature of them from your post.

Really bad behavior for a married man. Please avoid having babies with this idiot until you get a better handle on what's going on.

Appears to me the argument part is the only one you need to own your part of. The others are his. Maybe some kind of Peter Pan thing at work. In any event, he sure doesn't sound like husband material to me.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:11PM
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why wouldn't he take you with him to spend time with friends? why does he have to go with his friends without you? one thing is to go with friends to sporting events or simlar stuff during the day, but going to bars at night leaving wife at home is inappropriate. My Xhusband used to go with friends by himself(not drinking though, he does not drink) while I was at home with the kid! He didn't do it too often but even those once in awhile times were so wrong. I am long time divorced but I still remember how wrong it was. your Dh has to stop it right now, if he wants to go out with friends you should be right there with him and friends. or if he does need time without you, then he should do it during the day and not in a bar but something more appropriate, like ball game or such.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:16PM
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There are some alcoholics who drink every day and some who are mostly sober, but go on a bender periodically. Why not attend some Al Anon meetings (these are for the family of problem drinkers) and see if the shoe fits or not. Not all 20 year olds act like this and it is first and foremost a "disease of denial". Personally, I think with his behavior and his family history, he sounds like a real good candidate for alcoholism, if he is not one already.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 9:52PM
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I could be overly sensitive. I lived with an alcoholic father for the first 10 years of my life. He didn't go out drinking every night, but often enough (and gone overnight often enough), that it eventually destroyed his marriage. My husband drinks 1-2 beers almost every night at home. He never gets drunk, never threatens or hurts anyone or the house, and very rarely goes out drinking w/o me. Your husband may not be the classic alcoholic, but based on my personal experience, I'd say he's headed that way if he doesn't turn things around soon.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:59AM
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Going out with "the guys" is perfectly normal.

Running out of your house quickly and telling everyone your wife is psycho is not normal. Being married and staying out all night without coming home or calling and explaining is not normal.

With alcoholism running in his family I see red flags. This situation will only get worse with time-I know a few people who have been in similar situations.

Time to sit down and discuss this and set boundries. Let him know time out with his buddies is fine, no need to run out of the house! Maybe you could go out with some girlfriends on those nights! Or maybe sometimes you could go out with his buddies together (didn't you mention that one of them brings their girlfriend with?). But also let him know that not coming home at night is not fine! Your married and he belongs at home to sleep.

How often does he drink? When he drinks does he have a few and be social or does he get drunk and stupid? If he is drinking to the point of drunk every week I would say he has a problem. If he is the type to only have a few drinks and still be social then I do not consider that a problem.

There are groups (AA and Alanon) to help you both cope if he does have a drinking problem.

And do not bring kids into this situation. Get your lives where you want them before you plan a family.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 11:50AM
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I agree with Mom2. It is definitely not right for him to tell his buddies his DW is nuts. He should be upholding her and pointing out her good points. He should not be dashing off, preferring his buddies, especially when some of them have just ended their relationships.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Hi everyone. Thanks for all of the replies. I just want to answer some questions &/or clear up some points I may have missed.

First of all, almost everyone who has posted has advised me not to have kids until this gets straightened up. I agree, I mentioned that in my first post. I WILL NOT bring an innocent little baby into a bad situation.

Popi~ I don't think he has the ability to deal w/ the pressure of children... That's another reason I'm waiting for things to get (& stay) better.

Sweeby~ I have asked him that question before. I told him that if he didn't want to get married, he shouldn't have... I don't feel like I pressured him into it. I also told him that if he didn't want to be married to tell me now & we'd end it b/c although I said "divorce isn't an option", that doesn't mean that I will sacrifice every fiber of my being to stay married to him. He says he does want to be married... I'm thinking he just wants to have his cake & eat it too.

Carla~ I would have to say my "main" problem is w/ his drinking. But, his staying out all night doesn't make me happy either. The reason this is a drinking problem is b/c he wouldn't just go watch a ballgame or play cards w/ these ppl, there is always alcohol involved. They only see each other in passing when they're all sober... In fact, none of them would probably even like each other if they were together sober. Also, he hasn't just drank twice within the last 2 months. He works out of town & also drinks every night after work (at least 5 out of 7 nights). He is also the type person that says he's going to have 2 beers & 2 turns into 6. I sometimes wonder if he really enjoys doing anything, b/c he always wants to involve alcohol. I love to listen to music, just sit & listen to my CD collection, but he can't even do that... He gets bored & tired. He does however, LOVE to go to the bar & drink & listen to music.

The bar he has went to isn't a singles bar, but as far as I'm concerned all bars are the same (around here at least). At least 85% of the women that go to bars are looking for something, whether they're w/ someone or not. So, any bar he goes to w/o me is going to bother me. Also, if he wanted to just go spend time w/ the boys, fine, great, have fun, but that's not what he wants, he want to go get drunk. I honestly don't think I'm "barking up the wrong tree".

Terrig~ I have faced the fact that he is turning into an alcoholic. I honestly don't think he's there yet, but he's not doing anything to fix himself, so I have no doubt that unless something gets done he will become an alcoholic.

Rob~ The first time he left, we had been bickering @ each other most of the day, so he "left reality" as far has he was concerned, and, like I mentioned in my OP, he thought that was a legitimate reason to do what he did. The 2nd time, we had just gotten home from my sister's house, we had been helping them move & they bar-b-q'd, so he had a couple of beers while there. As soon as we pulled into our driveway, his "friends" pulled in behind us & they all went to the garage... No reason what-so-ever to leave, except that he wanted to drink.

Fine~ Honestly, I wouldn't go anywhere w/ these friends of his. One of the guys is an ex of mine that I can't stand. I also do not like to drink. I think it is OK for special occasions or every once in a while (meaning every couple of months, if that), but I'm just not a drinker. Also, I don't like these ppl, b/c of what they're doing. I feel like if they were really his friends, they would be saying, "Ya know what? You should probably just stay here, going out & drinking isn't worth ruining your marriage over." The girl in this mix should at least be smart enough to do that! Also, I honestly don't like my DH much when he's drinking, he gets stupid & obnoxious.

I hope I addressed most of the issues addressed above... If not, pls say so.

I would also like to say to those of you who have mentioned it that I know this has been studied & "proven", but I do not believe that alcoholism is hereditary. I think that is just a good excuse personally. I think it may be a product of what you were raised around & what you're used to, but I don't think it's preprogrammed into you. I think that's like these ppl that say, "My step father raped me when I was 14 so that's why I murdered 20 ppl in a mall." All that is is a cop-out, a way to blame someone else for your mistake. Please don't jump on me for saying that, it's just my opinion & how I feel about it. My mom has tried to get me to believe that too & she still hasn't succeeded.. LOL.

Again, thanks for all of the replies... I will be checking back in to see if there are any other suggestions. Thanks! :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:31PM
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You've gotten some good thoughts here and seem to have taken time to really weigh the situation. Nor do you fail to see the good points in your partner which I always think is a good sign in a marriage. It does sound like the drinking is a huge issue. He sounds alcoholic to me-- can't stop at 2, needs alcohol to enjoy himself, needs alcohol to tolerate his friends, all of his friends need alcohol every time they get together... Not good. Whether or not the tendency to alcoholism is genetic is not necessarily the major issue. He did grow up in an alcoholic family so that's shaped his ideas of what family life is. Bear in mind that long term heavy drinking can really play hell with your body-- not just liver disease but dementia, cardiomyopathy (heart damage), you name it. Leaving out drinking and driving. It is one thing to grin and bear it while DH goes out with buddies you find obnoxious once a month. If he's doing it several times a week, that suggests he's more interested in drinking with buddies than in being married. I've always felt that people's behavior, more than what they say, shows their real priorities. I'm sure he wants you, his marriage, and a nice stable life, but unless he can start acting as if those are his top priorities, he is a poor long-term risk.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:48PM
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The first time he left, we had been bickering @ each other most of the day, so he "left reality" as far has he was concerned, and, like I mentioned in my OP, he thought that was a legitimate reason to do what he did.

Him taking a break to end the argument is legitimate. It's not unusal for couples to find a code word to stop when things are getting too heated. You might think about setting this up. That's neither here nor there, but might end that excuse.

BUT a more mature way to do it is, "Honey, I need a break for a few minutes" and then goes outside to cut the grass or take a walk or something else which will give him time to get rid of the pent up ?thoughts? energy? whatever he has going on. And you let him do it. Then you get back together and talk about what the core issue of what the problem was.

Night and day difference? Then your thinking was right to start with and you are within good boundaries. Just reassuring you!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 8:52AM
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OK, more things to ponder. As I said in my OP, my DH works out of state doing bridge construction... A hard job w/ long days. His current schedule is 10 days working (gone) & 5 days off (home). The last time he was home (Mar. 28 - Apr. 2) he didn't have anything to drink, but also didn't have the oppurtunity, as we were busy every day. So he went back to work on Apr. 3, will be home Apr. 12. Well, Sunday night he called me & said that they (DH & 2 co-workers) were moving their camper (they stay in this while gone) to a different location & he'd call me later. Well, as soon as I heard who he was with I knew he'd be drinking that night. He finally called me around 9:30 pm & finally said he'd had 3 beers & that's why he was so late calling (usually calls around 8 or 8:30 pm). We went on talking & he mentioned again that he'd had 2 beers... I told him that he had just told me 3, why did it change to 2 now. He said it was really 3, he didn't know why he told me 2, he was afraid I'd be mad about 3 & not 2. So, he lied to me. I told him that I didn't care that he drank, but not to lie to me about it... He is the worst person about telling little (sometimes big) lies, which I think makes things worse when I find out he's lying. So, anyway, I was very proud of myself for not being mad at him... Usually I would've been mad about him drinking, also would've stayed mad about him lying to me. I have been trying my hardest to not be "naggy" here lately.

Then, last night the company took the employees out to a catered meal. I talked my DH into riding w/ my brother-in-law (also employed w/ this company) so incase he drank, he wouldn't be drinking & driving. (I knew w/o a doubt he would drink.) So, he did ride w/ BIL. He finally called me at 10:10 pm & the first words out of his mouth were "I'm drunk"... That didn't not set a great mood for the rest of the conversation! When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was cooking something to eat, I asked him if he hadn't eaten at the dinner, he said he only ate a little bit b/c he wanted to have a drink. Then, he told me that he was going to let me go, b/c he had to eat & couldn't eat while talking on the phone.

OK, here are my questions: Am I wrong to feel like he's very inconsiderate? He knew that I had to work today, get up at 5 am. I had waited up for his call, which, obviously could've been earlier, and when he finally did call, he wanted to get off of the phone to eat, which he should've done at the company dinner! I felt like he was yet again, inadvertantly, putting alcohol before me. My reasoning is b/c if he had eaten @ the dinner instead of "saving room" for booze, he wouldn't have had to eat when he got back to his camper & could've talked to me.

I also was thinking that while I was on the phone w/ him that I just can't win. He told me that he was drunk b/c he knew he had a sober driver & didn't have to worry about it. *Drunk driving angers me very much!* Like I said earlier, I knew he would drink, but didn't think he'd get drunk. What he said transulated to me as, "I didn't want to get a ride from someone, but I did & now I'm going to show you that it just makes me act worse." DH feels like I'm trying to control his life... I've told him that I'm really not, except for trying to keep him alive & healthy. So this also made me think he was saying, "You may control one thing tonight, but you won't control it all." or something like that.

I'm just so mad right now. I didn't even get to have a civil conversation w/ my DH last night b/c his alcohol was more important. I'm mad at myself for trying to be understanding & nice, it never gets me anywhere... What's the point? Am I just being overly sensitive or picky? Should I just leave it alone? What in the world should I do?!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:20PM
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Mc Hudd, you have a good head on your shoulders. Your assessment of the situation sounds right on. The question is WILL he grow up, sober up and stand up as a man and a husband? And if so, how long will it take, because your life is on hold until and unless he does.

You were married in Dec. 2007-in many states, a couple can get an annullment-not a divorce-in the first year.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:34PM
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I really could not live with this selfish man,get rid, u can do so much better.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 5:02PM
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You are hurting right now. You know what you should do. Do you want your marriage badly enough to keep allowing yourself to get hurt again and again? When I am angry with my DH, I try to cool off before I make any decisions so that I can think rationally. With your husband's work schedule, you have plenty of time to think.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Blondiel~ You're exactly right... That's what I do too. I've only threatened to leave once & actually left, but returned after a few hours after my head was clear. I'm usually very good at staying rational though, I think about stuff before I say it & things before I do them.

I do want this marriage to succeed. I don't want to keep getting hurt, but I keep thinking that one day he will finally understand what I've been trying to explain to him. I just hope by the time he realizes (if he ever does) that it's not too late.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 6:25PM
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He IS an alcoholic- his drinking is having a negative effect on the most important relationship of his life- his marriage. Once alcohol starts having a negative effect on any of the important aspects of life- family, job, financial security- that is beyond just a problem and into the disease. It doesn't matter how often or how much he drinks; it's affecting you and he knows it and he isn't doing anything to stop because he can't stop- he needs help.

My father is an alcoholic. He lost his job, 3 kids, wife, and STILL drinks 16+ years later. Some people just never learn. OTOH, some people DO learn- they learn that drinking is something that they cannot control, and to get in control of their life they have to stop drinking, completely. Being an alcoholic, he cannot have just a beer or 2. He is incapable of stopping; it is beyond his control; he has a disease and the cure is not simple self-control. He needs help. The sooner he gets that, they happier he will be. And hopefully he will come to this realization before you've taken all the hurt you can and left.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 7:42PM
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asolo're 24....and this is the foundation of the rest of your life? Seems like decision-time to me. Common statement: "Love" isn't enough.

Based on what you've written, I'd be making plans. I've known people like you've described your husband. I've not known any of them to change until they threw one entire life away and began another -- usually with a ten-year interval.

I pity you this disappointing situation. However, I encourage you to see things as they are. Unless you want to travel with him on the path he's chosen -- jerky behavior with jerky friends -- I'd suggest a re-evaluation.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 8:27PM
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I'm so sorry. You sound like such an intelligent and strong young woman. I never usually come here and I got lost on the forum and ended up here. I'm going to echo the common thought here. From what I have read, your husband is more than likely an alcoholic.

You cannot work on your marriage until this particular disease has been addressed. An alcoholic does not have to be a falling down drunk. They come in all descriptions and from all walks of life.

The hardest part of the equation for many, is understanding how this may be considered a disease. You need solid support and I would recommend that you seek this out for yourself. Are you able to go for counseling? I've tried to read all responses as well as yours, but I may have missed something.

This is difficult for a new marriage, but you seem to have a good head on your shoulders. You need information too. Get online and read all that you can absorb on alcoholism, or go to the library. I was trying to locate specific sites for you, but you're intelligent. Go. Do a bit of homework. After counseling and arming yourself with information, you will be in a position to make informed decisions. You cannot save this marriage as long as the alcohol is is making it a threesome.

Good luck. I will try to find my way back here.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 4:53AM
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MC, I wasn't going to comment about the alcoholism is/isn't a disease part, but I think it can help you. My hope is that you will be able to have a bit of empathy for him, and more importantly, see that it does need medical treatment not better will power.

Yes, you can be genetically predisposed to alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease in much the same was as diabetes is a disease. Just like diabetics don't process sugar in the right way, alcoholics don't process alcohol in the right way. Their "brain receptors" change the "formula" to make it a far more powerful drug than say you or I can tolerate and their bodies end up needing it (more and more!), just as much as a diabetic needs their insulin. But don't take my word for it, truly, it's too important an issue to ignore. If you want to stay married, big if, you have to be equipped to handle this hurdle in your marriage. You can get information by heading to an Al-Anon meeting, or talk to some professionals at your local rehab center. Best of luck!

If you want set a time limit for him to address the problem too, in order to so feel like you've addressed your marriage's problems with real effort and not just walked away, it's a good idea. Don't waste a decade of your life, but do give it some time. Your time, whatever you pick.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 8:34AM
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"I do not believe that alcoholism is hereditary."

That's your choice, but my paternal grandfather was an alcoholic (died of liver cancer), my dad is a recovering alcoholic (27 years sober), and my brother went through treatment but claims he can now handle his booze, so he drinks a beer now and then, and he's right--he handles it well.

I know my dad GREATLY regrets wasting over 30 years of his life drinking. He ruined his marriage to my mom and it didn't help his relationship with his kids either. He and I have never been close.

I believe alcoholism is hereditary and is a disease.

BTW, denial is a BIG part of alcoholism.

Get yourelf to an Al-Anon meeting. My dad still goes to AA.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 5:00PM
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McHudd, I have a couple of questions for you to ponder if you're willing. It is hard to convey tone on the internet, please be assured these are serious questions and not meant to be ironic.

If you got to write the script for the next 3 years with your husband, how would it go?

Do you believe that if you say the right things and behave correctly, your husband will stop drinking and become more considerate of you?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Kitchen~ I'm not sure what is available around here for counseling. It would depend on how much it cost... We could probably afford it though. I have thought about this a lot lately, I'll look into this a little more. I have researched on the internet. I even gave him a sheet I printed off that tells the personality traits of an alcoholic... All but a couple were my DH, it was like they wrote those traits from knowing him. He finally admitted to me that he supposed if his drinking was hurting our relationship that maybe it was becoming a problem, but I don't know if he really meant that or not... I would assume not. I like how you called it a "threesome", that's exactly how I feel. I almost feel like I'm being cheated on, but w/ something that I can't compete w/!

Rob & Terri~ I still think it's a cop-out. I can't see the comparison between alcoholism & diabetes. I will not comment any further, b/c this really isn't the issue.

Dem~ Hmmm, interesting questions. Well, if I (emphasis on "I") got to write the script, my DH would only drink on special occasions, he would be able to stop @ 2, etc... We wouldn't have alcohol constantly coming between us. Our marriage/life would be as perfect as possible. (That's the short version.) :)

On the other hand, if I wrote it the way I am seeing into the future now, I see my DH not caring or trying to help fix our problem & me eventually giving up & leaving.

As for the 2nd question: No, I don't think I'm causing this. I have tried to do things that I thought would make him slow down on his drinking, start caring more & nothing has worked. Do you think that I'm not saying the right things or behaving correctly? If so please tell me... Like I said, I'm desperate!

My DH is just like any 24 yr. old, I would assume, he likes sex! I have told him that it's me or alcohol & stuck to it... When he drinks he doesn't get me. That hasn't even worked. Maybe I should make it 1 night of drinking = 7 days no "me". :)

I would just like to tell everyone thank you for your comments & support. I have a sister that can see what's really going on, but I feel like she's the only one on my side... She will tell me if she thinks I'm wrong about something though. My parents love my DH so much, I'm happy about that, but sometimes I wish they didn't like him quite so much. They always take his side if I tell them about our problems & they turn things around so it seems like it's my fault that he's doing whatever. So anyway, thank you!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 10:35PM
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I thought your answers were interesting. The answer to number 1 sounds like a good outcome. I did notice the words "perfect as possible" and you mentioned wanting an "enviable" marriage earlier. My word of advice is to keep your focus on the inside of your marriage vs the outside. Other people's envy means squat at the end of the day. "Perfect" is a tough word in association with marriage or any other human endeavor. You can have an apparently perfect, enviable marriage that is hollow or implodes, shocking everyone who thought the two of you were "such a perfect couple."

Re the second question, it really pointed up the differences in how we think. To me it is utterly clear that there literally is no behavior or line of action from you that could stop his drinking. Only he can stop his drinking. You're in a power struggle now, trying to wrestle him into better behavior. How much like wrestling are you going to feel when you are older, more harried, and have children to feed and care for? Withholding sex from a newly married 24 year old is different from withholding from a 40 year old who's been drinking hard for a long time. Google "alcoholic impotence." (You know, it might be better if *he* googled that one.)

If it were me, I would make my position plain (scenario number one). I'd give it a short time span, maybe a year to 18 months. If he hasn't changed by then, I would get out in time to form a family with a kind non-drinker. Maybe he will be motivated to change himself.

You sound like a thoughtful young woman who wants to do the right thing. Your loyalty to him is a valuable trait. I hope things work out for you both.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:12AM
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"Rob & Terri~ I still think it's a cop-out. I can't see the comparison between alcoholism & diabetes. I will not comment any further, b/c this really isn't the issue."

Alcoholics crave alcohol like diabetics crave insulin. Pretty easy to understand, but then I have experience w/both. My grandpa--the alcoholic--had diabetes too. Alcohol + diabetes=bad, bad news! Liver cancer is pretty ugly. He died in his 60s when I was 9. Only thing I remember about him was he was always jolly. That's 'cuz he was always drunk. :-(

Threats and ultimatums don't usually work with alcoholics, unless you wear a badge.

You should heed the advice of those of us who've been where you are: Your husband will NOT change until HE realizes he has a problem.

Last I knew, Al-Anon was free.

Sorry if this sounds critical...but you asked...and though I'm not married to an alcoholic, I grew up with two. I won't live with one again.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Dem~ I agree w/ the "perfect as possible" thing. That's why I worded it that way. I don't believe there is such a thing as a 100% perfect marriage. I would just like ours to be as close as it can be... I also don't really care what anybody else thinks as long as *we* are happy... That was just the "dreamer" coming out of me... LOL. I also see your point about the power struggle. I will not be here long enough to see how it will be when I'm in my 40's w/ kids. I know there is only so much of this I can take. I understand that withholding sex is probably not the right strategy, but when I came up w/ that idea, I was lost as to what to do next. Thank you for your kind words... I hope things work out too!

Terri~ Again, I don't want to get into this discussion, b/c it really doesn't matter. I honestly don't know anything about the AA or Al-Anon meetings, this is truly my first time dealing w/ a drinker of any sort. I'm looking into this stuff though. Thanks for the info.

I now have more to add to the story. I can't believe that our marriage is in such a downward spiral right now!

Yesterday evening, around 6 pm, DH called me to tell me he was off work. We talked for about 30 mins. He told me while we were talking that he was sitting in his car waiting for everyone else to leave b/c his car was blocked in by everyone else's. He also said that the rest of the guys were sitting @ the job trailer drinking beer. I told him that I was very proud of him for coming to his car instead of sticking around w/ the other guys. Well, when we got ready to get off the phone, he said he was going to go talk w/ the guys & try to get them to move their cars. I knew when he said "talk w/ the guys" how my night would end up. I told him to just try not to sit there long or the temptation may be too much for him to handle & he agreed & said he wasn't going to drink anything. (NOTE: After I posted on the 9th, we talked/argued that night & he promised me that he wasn't going to drink for the rest of the time he was there - he would be coming home on the 12th (now that's changed, but that's a different story). Anyway, he promised, there was no coercion on my part, he did this all on his own.) Honestly, when he promised this, I didn't trust him, but thought surely he can make it thru 3 nights! NOPE, wrong again!

Like I said, we got off the phone at approx. 6:30 pm & he didnt call me back until 11 pm! I havent felt good for the last few days, so I went to bed at about 8:30. I tried calling his cell phone, no answer. I tried again at 9, no answer. I finally called my sister, whose DH works for the same place, she said her DH had called her @ about 8 & was headed home. I was furious! Then, after I laid there, until about 10 pm, I started worrying. *My DH has told me about things being stolen from their jobsite. He said when they moved their camper, they had to argue w/ some guys who thought they, DH & coworkers, were in their spot. He said he thought for a minute that there was going to be a physical fight. He is also very anal now about locking his car, which he rarely worries about, b/c of the area theyre in.* So, I started worrying that, what if he had went home, but gotten jumped by a group of guys or something & was laying there bleeding to death & nobody knew! I know this sounds a little dramatic, but its happened (in the news), and Im also quite the worrier. So, needless to say, I was awake until that phone rang @ 11 pm.

I was so mad, after I realized he was OK, b/c I thought it was very inconsiderate of him, knowing that I didnt feel well, knowing I had to work today & get up @ 5 am & also, breaking his promise... Yet again! That particular promise lasted 2 whole days.

I told him how upset I was w/ him & that I thought he was being totally inconsiderate. He started making excuses for why he stayed & said that he didnt realize it was so late. I told him to quit making excuses, that he was a big boy & he did it b/c he wanted to & he was only worried about making himself happy & nothing & no one else. He then got belligerent w/ me, so I told him I had to go & hung up.

He has called me several times today & tried to be/sound as sweet as possible. I have pretty much given him the cold shoulder. Im still not feeling the greatest & honestly, dont have the energy to argue w/ him or deal w/ this right now. He did say in one of our conversations that when he came home, we were going to work on getting his life straightened up. I want to believe this & see hope in this, but cant. Ive heard similar things so many times before & hes never completely followed thru w/ anything. Sometimes I start seeing that light at the end of the tunnel, only to later realize it was a train! He will go for a while, and then screw everything up in one night. Also, when he said, "when I come home", that just told me he is just putting it off, which means it will never get done. I honestly dont think I can help him. I think this is something he needs to do himself, but I will be beside him every step of the way if thats what it takes. And, again, Im doubtful that this will actually happen, but if hes actually willing to try, other than AA & AlAnon, what else can I do to help?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Sounds like his job and the culture of his workplace could be a big part of the problem -- maybe all of it.

If I'm reading you right, he and his work buddies go off to some other area for 10 days at a time, then they all come back home for 5 days. While they're at the jobsite, they're all far from home, living in trailers, working hard all day. Then they like to go out to bars and blow off steam at night -- pretty normal behavior under the circumstances. Not healthy. But very typical of remote work teams. And the alternative is what? Staying in their trailers reading their bibles? Singing songs 'round the campfire? Also, I imagine it's a pretty tight-knit work team, since they spend all their work time and their free time together, so going along with the group to some extent would actually be pretty important.

Imagine yourself as a 'fly on the wall' in your Hubby's work environment. You're with your work buddies, far from home, living in a trailer. 'The guys' all want to go to the local bar to have a few beers and invite you to come along. I suppose he could say "No thanks - I'm going to stay here." Or perhaps "My wife gets on my case when I go out drinking in bars." Or some other more creative excuse -- but either way, it would tend to make him a social outcast and the butt of jokes with his co-workers. And honestly, his friends would all blame you, consider him 'whipped', and lose respect for him. (That's the construction-jobsite mentality.)

Big question -- Are all of these behavior issues occuring when he's off at the jobsite with his buddies? Or does he do the same types of things when he's on his 'off' days at home with you? If he can behave like a responsible and considerate husband while he's home with you, and if you can learn to let go of your destructive mental images while he's at the jobsite, you two may be able to make this work out.

That won't remove the risk of alcoholism, but cautioning Hubby to be careful and manage his risk would be a more effective strategy than nagging him not to drink and crying or raging when he does.

If it's already gone too far, a different job may be the best way to save your marriage.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 11:13AM
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I've been married 38 years to a man whose 3 siblings are alcoholics. I've seen the destruction in their lives and marriages. FIL was also an alcoholic, MIL stayed married for religious reasons but they fought all the time and he cheated on her. I've known the family since I was about 16, the drinking gets worse over the years and they tell each other thay they don't have a drinking problem. You are setting yourself up to fail as later on he will probably tell you that you knew he drank so it's your problem. Unless he can change, and that's always a possibility, you will be more unhappy as time passes. Alcohol becomes the most important thing in their lives.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 12:03AM
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Please, you MUST go to Al-anon, if only to get more educated about what you can expect. What you don't understand is going to hurt you and your husband.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:47PM
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Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't posted for a while. DH was home from the 13th until the 24th... Not on the comp. much when he's home... & I'm just now getting caught up on stuff that fell behind when he was home!

Well, the night my DH came home we sat & talked about things, then he grabbed a pen & note pad & proceeded to write. I wondered what he was doing, but didn't question him. A few minutes later, he handed me the paper. He had written a "top 10" list of things he needed to change &/or improve on, and a little note saying that he was going to fix things, how much he loved me, how much our marriage meant to him, etc... When I asked him why he wrote it instead of just telling me, he said that now we would have something to look back @ incase he starts to "slip away" again. This did mean a lot to me & it seemed very heart felt.

Well, like I said, he was home for 11 days & never once did anything bad! He has now been at work for 4 days & is still going strong. I'm so proud of him. I'm not letting myself get too carried away at his progress, but I'm still happy about it. He does, however, still have 6 days left at work, so we'll see how he does.

He did have 2 beers while he was home one night. We both agreed that 2 was plenty, and he stopped after the 2nd one w/ no problem.

I have been researching a lot on the internet about alcoholism. I just hope I don't have to use any of the knowledge I've gained!

Thanks again for all of your help. I will keep you updated on how things are going.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Whoa! Exceptional behavior! Guess he's been thinking about it, too.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:06PM
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I would strongly urge him to get himself with an AA group. He is an alcoholic. Granted he's been "good" or dry for 2 weeks, but he needs the support of AA, or a mentor....another drunk who is now sober.
I have known more alcoholics than I care to think about....but I have known only one who decided by himself about age 22 that he was drinking to get drunk, and saw his father who was a big time drunk ( finally drank himself to death, fell into the bath tub and drowned...blood alcoholw as enough to kill a moose!)....anyhow he stopped drinking at 22 and hever went back.
Some people just can't drink!! Your husband is one! That doesn't mean he can't have fun, tell him to switch to diet coke or club soda and lime....but he is one who can't drink.

There are 2 kinds of is inherited and the other learned. The inherited variety is a father to son thing and starts in the teen years, or with the first or second drink. If the father is that sort of a drunk, 1/2 his sons will also carry that gene.
The other kind of alcoholism developes over the years and often someone who has been a social drinker for years begins to drink more and more and find him (or her) self regularly getting drunk and eventually they drink in the morning to feel better and eventually the amount of booze they are able to consume and still function gets greater and greater.
Unless he's a very unusual man, he can't do it by himself, he needs your help and the support of others who have been there and are now sober.

Tha alternative is he will get drunk again....apologize, stay dry for a while, drunk again etc....eventually he will get fired and/or will tleav him, he will be broke....and literally on the street. Alcoholics seem to have to hit the very bottom to turn around....but for everyone the bottom may be different. Perhaps he has hit his bottom, we can only hope.
Alcoholism is an additctionthat is harder for some to break than others, and alcoholics have an amazing ability to lie, to be falling down stinking drunk and tell you "I haven't had a drink in 3 weeks!".
I hope he has turned the corner....but please read my words twice and remember them.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 12:22AM
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Well, it's been 3 wks. now since I last posted & things are still good! I'm so proud of my DH for trying so hard... He really is. He was just home for 5 days (left yesterday) & only had 6 beers one night. He also seems like he's starting to have a little more respect for me, which makes everything better.

Last night, when he got to Texas (where he works), his boss had a little celebration party for him. He recently got a $2.50/hr. raise & has been praised over & over again by the "higher-ups" of the company for his speedy work. He actually called & asked me if I minded if he went! I told him no, of course. He said he would probably drink, & I said that was OK... I think this is one of those times that it's OK to have a few drinks.

Anyway, wanted to update you all on everything. What are your opinions?


    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Hey, Mc Hudd!

My thoughts:

I am glad you're happy.

It sounds like he loves you very much.

Your DH seems to be doing very well at work which is a good sign.

Six beers is a lot.

I, personally, would not want to be in the parent or gatekeeper role in relation to drinking or any other addictive behavior. My DH had an online gaming problem (!). He wanted me to tell him how much he could play. I didn't want to be his mommy. He suggested three nights a week off,and not playing until our youngest is in bed at eight-- it sounded reasonable and I agreed whole heartedly. Bumpy at first but he has observed those parameters for several months now.

I'm glad you're working together and your affection for each other does come through in your posts. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:52AM
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My post is not going to tell you what you want to hear. It is going to challenge you a bit, although I am glad to hear he is "trying". The problem I have with this is that he even has to "try" so hard to begin with. You are not a drinker. period. he is a drinker. period. When life gets stressful, I imagine he will drink. You will probably never be ok with that. As people age, alcoholism can become such a life long struggle to stay sober. No one plans to marry an alcoholic (unless they too are an alcoholic) nor does anyone plan to bring their children up in a home with an alcoholic who is the other parent. I imagine the situation begins much like yours. Ignoring the red flags, and putting on a pair of rose colored glasses. (your mom's generation will know what that means) so that we are better able to push the truth aside, and make it better than it is. If you do not plan to have children, than you are able to see if his promises are real, and he has the willpower to battle this craving. But think long and hard about bringing children and all that demands into your marriage, before he is ready, and has battled this dragon and won.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 4:18PM
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