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My husband wants to party like he's 20 again and now he needs a break from me.

I'm 40 and my husband is 41. We lived together for 2 years and have been married almost 12 years. We've been through a lot! One example is our house burning down to the ground in 2005. We have always said though that if we can make it the things we've gone through, we can make it through anything.

We've always had a great time together and I could never imagine us apart. Well...about 2 years ago he became a manager of a popular night club. I didn't like it at first. The fact that he's hanging around pretty 21 year old girls wearing next to nothing, drinking and dancing on the bars and he's become friends with a lot of young single guys. I admit that my jealousy has been an issue my whole life.

Especially coming from a family where my dad left us for another woman when I was only mom's best friend. My husband tells me that the girls are all annoying and it makes him appreciate me more. So I've learned to deal with his job.

However, I still get upset every now and then, and I'm not one to hold back my feelings or bite my tongue. However, he reassures me that nothings going on. So I continue to deal with it. I work days; he works nights, so I don't see him much at all. Just on his two days off. Usually Monday and Tuesday. But I work those days, so I only see him from 6 p.m. until about 11 p.m. when I have to go to sleep. When he works, the bar closes at 2 a.m. and after it closes he does his paperwork until 3 a.m. After that he likes to have some drinks with the guys in the parking lot and then he goes to a friend's house nearby because he doesn't want to drink and drive. And I can appreciate that. And I want him to have friends and have fun.

However, he doesn't come home until I'm already gone for work. I have yelled at him about it a few times and asked him not to drink so much after work and just come home. Even though he's coming home an hour or two before I go to work, it makes me feel better knowing he's home and not out doing who knows what with who knows who.

Lately however, maybe the past 2 months or so, he's been going out every single night (except Monday and Tuesday, which then, he's usually drunk.) So I've been extremely upset that he has to drink every single night and stay out all night long! Then I find out he's with other girls who are just his "co-workers" and nothing more.

I've been begging him to stop and please come home. I even negotiated with him and asked him to please only go out once or twice a week. He agreed. However, he's continued to go out every night. He knows how much this upsets me and now he actually told me he wants a break. WANTS A BREAK?! He gets a break every night at his "job" aka the "ultimate man cave"! I asked him if there's another woman, but he says no. He said that he loves his job and is never finding another one and it's not fair to me that I'm upset all the time and that I deserve better. What a crock! When I try to talk to him about what he's feeling he just says "I don't know. I need to think about things." Could he be having an affair? It's just not in his character. Could I have pushed him away with my nagging? Now all he wants to do is drink, smoke pot and hang out with his friends (girls and guys) until all hours of the morning. Maybe I'm not exciting enough anymore.

I'm a legal secretary and I've been under a lot of stress with our house burning down and work and all. When I cry and ask him to just hug me, he says, "Just go to work and focus on that."

I'm going to talk to the pastor of my church tonight by myself to seek help. I feel so helpless. All I do is cry and ask God for answers. There's so much more to this story too, but I just don't have the time to tell it all. Just hoping for some good feedback.

Noel's response

I think talking to your pastor is a good idea. I also suggest you go to an alanon meeting, as it sounds as though your husband may have a drinking problem, and alanon is a twelve-step group for spouses of alcoholics. You will find a lot of help there.

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