My husband is an alcoholic, we have many problems. When he is extremely drunk he threatens to kill himself, when he is like this I just let him ramble on, whilst keeping an eye on him until he finally falls asleep.
Over the years I've had to hide knives etc, last night he told me he has found the easiest way to kill himself. When he is drunk he just has to put a plastic bag over his head when he goes to sleep. When he went to bed he put a bag over his head and I took it off, needless to say I hid all the plastic bags.
He never talks about suicide when sober and as far as I know only looks up ways to do it when drunk. I'm no expert on this issue but I always thought that people who were seriously considering suicide kept it to themselves?
I would like peoples opinions and advice on how to deal with this. Is he just doing this for attention?
(" I always thought that people who were seriously considering suicide kept it to themselves?"
Not always, no. Depends amongst other things on the person and whether they're intrinsically or habitually a fighter or flighter and/or a 'cat' as opposed to a 'dog' (pack animal).)
Also, alcohol can unlock the Pandora's Box, meaning, everything that normally gets kept firmly under wraps away from the awareness comes flying out and around in front of them where it can no longer be ignored, as then so overwhelms him that he "wants to die". From what I can tell, he doesn't, he just wants a Pause switch, which is why he drinks. That's the trouble with drugs, though: taking too much is as ineffective in that "let's forget everything" regard as taking too little. However, the Dutch courage part, the part that momentarily sees suicide as no great shakes, still presides.
He's doing it for attention and to bounce off the walls, yes, but unless he does it in reaction to your making him feel under-appreciated and/or your having just attempted to talk him into promising to give up drinking then I'd say it sounds more like a misdirected cry for help and wanting 'someone in space to hear him scream' than a control and cowing attempt. But I imagine it also feeds his ego to see you highly anxious and keeping vigil. Shows you care, right? So why is his ego so starving hungry for reassurance that you still love and care about him or that anyone does? There's your issue, I think.
Does he think you have a magic wand up your sleeve? Or that you'll take everything over for him so that he doesn't have to deal with any of it? Are you Mrs Capable, Mrs Mummy-Nursie? Is this why you haven't sought help from your doctor or his yet and are trying to deal with it single-handedly each time? Is this why you've never called the Police or his parents or anyone?
Because you deep down KNOW he's not serious yet suddenly now aren't q....UITE so sure due to the natural fact he'd have had to have heightened his performance/its effect on you to conquer the fact that you've been steadily growing more and more desensitized to it all thus not reacting the same degree of alarmed as you used to?
I mean - LOOK WHERE YOU ARE. And then consider where you're NOT.
Agree you'd find Alanon a blessed relief and, also - see if he'll go with you. Because unless he's after a BAFTA, he has to appreciate how CHILDISH his so-called way of dealing with things is.
...That or couples counselling.
...That or, next time he puts a plastic bag over his head, make a mouth-hole with your fingernails for him to breathe through and then Magic Marker him comedy eyes and a nose and take a photo to show him next hissy fit. (If you think I'm joking - no, I am not. I've snapped many an hysterical wanna-be soap-opera star out of their self-indulgent melodrama fit by taking the right royal mickey, drunk/drugged or not. It has to be done to the hilt, though. Works for me, anyway. Worth a try?)
Yes, I agree with susiedqqq. I think you should go to Al-anon (for spouses or friends or associates of alcoholics). I've been to al-anon and I didn't have a wife who was an alcoholic. I just had a friend who said, just go to those meetings and see if they help. I knew someone who was an alcoholic.
Anyway, my wife and I were having a lot of problems and I just wanted to have someone to talk to about problems. So, susiedqqq is right, in my view. You don't have to be an alcolohic to go to those type group therapy meetings. You can be the spouse or friend of an alcholoic, and still have a group or meeting that is open to you. I went to them for a year or two or more.
Usually in most "average size" towns, they can have 4 or 5 al-anon groups, and more alcoholic anonaymous groups. I would go to every al-anon group I could find, I was so desperate for help. What you might find is that you like 1 or 2 of them, and the others might not be what you want. So you can find 1 or 2 or 3 of them that you like, and maybe keep going to them.
You can also try to get your husband to go to alcoholic aynonmous. They will have alcoholoics there who can deal with him, who have used every excuse in the book, so they can't be fooled. That's what he needs.
I had forgotten about al-anon, I was thinking of AA, but a lot of times they won't go, then what? Well, as susiedqqq said, you go to the al-non meetings for the help you need.
I don't think he's doing that just for attention. My psychologist asked me at every meeting, "are you thinking of hurting yourself or others?" So they take that pretty serious if you say yeah. You can also try to find a private counselor or psychiatrist for yourself. Ask around at the al-anon meetings, "do you know of a good psychiatrist or counselor?" and see what they say.
Listen to susiedqqq when she says, "I lived with an alcoholic who threatened to leave me and the kids and we would all starve. I believed him for a few years. Alanon changed my life and strengthened me enough to realize that my husband was manipulating me and controlling me so he could drink."
So, look up the addresses/phone numbers of al-anon and AA in the town nearest you, write them down, try to get your husband to go, then you try to arrange things so you can go to an al-anon meeting, the first one if possible.