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A Couched Potato Husband

A Couched Potato Husband

January 9, 2000

I've been married for 12 years to the... 

I had to have him when we were younger. I pursued him. Now I am practically crazy, constantly on a roller coaster.  He will never answer a simple question. He sleeps 12 - 14 hrs a day. He will not get off the  living room recliner, once he's on it. He does not sleep in our bed, and after 9 years his wedding band is very uncomfortable. He hardly ever says a word, and inspects everything I cook very carefully before he eats it. On Saturdays he spends most of the day with his friends and sometimes does not come home for dinner, he also smokes pot. I love this man, we have one eight year old son, but I don't know how much longer I can go on this way.  He won't do any family type things like go to a movie or church. Help!

Dear Mrs. Potato,

Oh boy...

Your husband sounds as though he may have a mood disorder - like depression - in addition to his anger.  His behavior may also be attributed to the marijuana; you don't specify how much he smokes. The pot may be contributing to his inertia, or he may be using it to self-medicate a mood disorder, he may simply fall squarely into the addiction camp, or perhaps there is a physical illness. Or any combination thereof. First and foremost, he's got to stop using...anything. Without sobriety and a good evaluation, it is impossible to say what could be wrong. 

If you could move him from his recliner into a doctor's office, it is a step in the right direction. Tell him you're worried about him and need him to take care of himself. Ask him to stop smoking. 

Unfortunately, you don't give the impression that he is willing to help himself. He probably does not think anything is wrong, otherwise you would not be so frustrated. I'm glad you think something is wrong.

Bottom line: you can't fix it for him. Fix yourself. Take your anger and use it constructively. Make yourself the best self you can possibly be. Get strong. Get counseling. Attend Nar-Anon or some other 12-Step resource.. (Check out some 12-Step links here.) These are good things to do whether you are preparing to make a move or just to make your life better.  

Who knows? Maybe your transformation will knock him out of his stupor long enough to recognize he needs help.

Good luck to both of you,  Dr. Irene