Spunky’s Free Advice: My Husband Lost His Job and Began Drinking

depressed drinkingAs we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The first request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response.

Dear Spunky and Dr. Richards,

I am a 28-year-old female who got married when I was 24. The first three years of our marriage were wonderful. We were both working and life was good. Then my husband lost his job. The first month, he tried to find another job, but after that he gave up and began drinking. The more time that passed, the more he drank, and when he drinks he is nasty, sarcastic, and acts like a big know-it-all. I continue to work at my job, but he’s not the man I married and he’s drinking up all our money. What can I do? – Lost in Toledo.

Spunky says:

Dear Lost in Toledo,

First and foremost, not all males of my species or yours are true tough guys. In fact, I have seen some male dogs who, after losing a race to me, act just like your husband. They make all kinds of excuses, some even claim the race wasn’t fair. But I notice they don’t ask for a rematch, because, once beaten, their pride takes the hit. Though you did not state why your husband lost his first job, it sounds like he expected another one to be right around the corner. When that didn’t happen, he folded like a two-dollar suitcase. Sorry to say it, but I think you are really seeing the man you married — just a different part. It is the way he stands up to adversity, and it’s important that you take the blinders off and accept that this part of him is real — not good, but real.

What I can tell you is this: he’s no terrier – terriers don’t quit. But for you, take heart because all may not be lost. He certainly needs help; your marriage may need help. Ignoring the problem will not solve it. You asked, “what can you do?” My answer is this: you can require that he step up and start participating in life again. Tell him you are willing to help him do that, but you are not going to watch him go down the drain. You both need to agree on a plan with clear goals, including him seeking out different kinds of work, seeking counseling, and asking him to express his feelings more constructively and drinking a whole lot less. If he refuses to change or even to try, then you have two options: you can go down the rabbit hole with him or get on with living your life, with or without him. I suggest you keep your money safe to pay the bills and the rent, but I do not advocate burying it the back yard like I would.

Above all else, keep yourself safe. Yes, you may still love him, but you are not required to help him destroy both of your lives.


If you have a problem, please submit it via the comment form below, or send us an email via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!


Who is Spunky?
Spunky is a 12-year-old terrier mutt and the protagonist of the Spunky Murder Mystery series, a series of cozy mysteries for dog and cat lovers, written by author Holly Lewitas. Titles include The Nose Knows, The Nose Sees All, and An Army of Noses.


Photo: “An Ode to Jack” by Craig Wilkinson is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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