Post # 1
Going anon for this……..embarassed….worried…..unsure….I dont even know where to begin other than my husband is starting to show signs of alcoholism and has admitted to drinking as a way to cope. The past year has been tough for us, and we have often been working opposite scheduled. She works during the day and I am usually gone or just leaving by the time he get home. On the nights I work, when I ome home hes either drunk or passed out drunk. I’ve addresed how this is upsetting and hurting to me to get home from work to a drunk husband who I havent seen in days, and phrased it more of how I want to visit with him and I missed him so him being drunk doesn’t really seem like its true quality time. It wasn’t always like this. He had beers in the house for football games, or wold have drinks when we go out to dinner. then he started having 3-4 sometimes even 6 when we were out at dinner….then he would want more. It was like once he started he couldn’t stop. Again I addressed this is a frustration and something that hurt me (and our budget). Beers for the game, or a few drinks together are fine but now it was that he was getting drunk at dinner together, and drinking alone while I was at work. He admitted to being very stressed and this was his way of coping and he promised he would work on it and wanted me by his side. He also suffer from ADD and Anxiety however he does not believe in medicine and soI think alcohol has turned into his way of coping. Instead of nagging about his drinking I suggested we seek some help for his stress and anxiety. It was always talk but he wuld never follow through with any of it. I had a bottle of wine in the house from one night of cooking…..and I went a couple days later to have a glass only to find it had gone missing. My husband only days earlier said he didnt like the wine. So i thought it was safe, but aparently he was stressed and he dank the random open bottle of wine he doesnt even like. He recently volunteered at a fundraiser and there were some people with liquor samples giving out gift bags of different types of liquore. Again these were items he didnt like and he gave to me. I thought it was cool because I had a variety of liquors to have on hand when the mood strikes for a fun cocktail. I came home from work one night to find all the samples had been consumed. Hes basically drinking anything and everything even if he doesnt like it now. He drinks alone, and he drinks stuf he doesnt like. Hes gotten to the point where he lies to me. I find empty cheap liquor bottles hidden in cabinets, under the sofa and in his dresser drawers. He is probably only drunk 3 nights a week but he drinks a solid 5-6 night a week. Hes not to the point of drinking and driving, he doesn drink in the morning or the day, its just at night after work. He works 10 hour days and so I know hes stressed and I know this is his way to cope… I dont know how to help, I don’t know whayt to do He admits its a problem but doesn”t follow through and sometimes he says “im not going to drink this week” and then he doesnt drink for 5 days, but then on the way home one night he will get a 6 pack and drink it all and say “its ben weeks since ive had any” when really its only been days….his sence of time is so skewed. Please don’t judge, please dont insult and please don’t tell me to leave him because I am not. We made a comitment and hes going through a rough time and Im not leaving him because things aren’t easy right now I need to see this through and help him.
Post # 2
worriedanon: Go to some Al-Anon meetings. They are for the friends and family of alcoholics. They will help you learn to cope with his drinking so you are not enabling.
Post # 3
It would probably help to go to an Al Anon meeting to be able to talk with others who have loved ones with substance abuse issues.
Post # 4
You have to remember that this is an addiction, and you can’t help. He has to help himself. You show support and love him and hope he takes control of this. He may not be able to control his addiction as much as you can’t control his drinking.
Post # 5
Not going to tell you to leave him.
I think you’ve been right not to nag, but to keep telling him how you feel. It’s good that he admits his problem.
I think that if he doesn’t follow through on getting help, then you should help him follow through…”I put this appointment on the calendar. For me and for the sake of our marriage, I would like you to go. I will take you. Please promise me that you will go.”
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. Go to Al Anon meetings. Educate yourself about this disease. It is a progressive disease, so if he doesn’t get help, it will get worse and he will die from it eventually. Decide if that’s something you’re willing to stick around and witness. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I went through it with my husband 7 weeks before we got married. He’s now been sober for over 18 months. Only because he decided to get help though. I couldn’t do anything to force him to come to that conclusion.
Post # 7
I would never judge or insult someone in your situation, and I’m hoping that majority of the lovely bees here wouldn’t either (they seem on the whole to be very kind bunch)!
I am so sorry that you’re in this situation. I have been your husband and it sounds like he is almost to that point of no return with alcohol abuse. What I mean is, that drinking is now his ‘go to’ way of coping and he’s basically a functioning alcoholic. I had a stressful job and I never missed a day due to drinking (or at least not many) and I didn’t really drink in the mornings, but I sure as hell was getting loaded – or at least drinking more than a relaxing glass of wine after work – every day. In any kind of situation where there was alcohol I found it pretty much impossible to stop.
When he says that he admits that he has a problem and wants to stop, that is a big step and really positive for your relationship. Explain to him how you feel but remember that the disease is one that is very hard to control. He may really want to change but isn’t able to on his own so you really need to go with him to counselling or get him to at least go along to an AA meeting and get a sponsor.
It is a matter of him not only stopping drinking, but learning other coping skills and how to manage his emotions. It’s a long process but it is really, really worth doing (I say this as an alcoholic myself). He is lucky to have you and perhaps in the long run, this can make you stronger together once he beats this thing. I wish you and him the best of luck.
Post # 8
Very informative and kind post!
I would also like to add that the OP’s husband needs to actually seek help. Admitting he has a problem is not enough. I know a woman with a functioning alcoholic husband. He has said that he is an alcoholic yet he continues to make excuses not to see a therapist or join AA.
Most Bees are blunt but they are also very supportive when someone is struggling with uncontrollable issues. I have posted about some sensitive topics and the Bees were caring and kind.
Post # 9
worriedanon: My little sister has a problem with alcohol (as does my aunt, but she’s been sober for 10+ years). She acknowledges that she has an issue, and has gone through phases where she’ll go to AA meetings and stay sober, but whenever things get stressful or difficult, she slips up. She lives at home with my parents right now (she’s in her early 20s) and it’s gotten to the point where they can’t keep any alcohol in the house, don’t trust her enough to leave her home alone, etc. It sucks for everyone and it totally isn’t fair to my parents. But as others have said, it’s an addiction, and nothing will get better until my sister wants to make that change (permanently).
You need to sit down with your husband and voice your concerns. You need to be there for him without being pushy or nagging him (trust me, this will only make him more secretive). You need to keep an eye on him and his drinking as best you can. But at the end of the day, he has to be the one to choose sobriety.
Post # 10
worriedanon: My husband has ADD and depression, and I’ve seen him attempt to self-medicate with alcohol in the past. Luckily, it never got quite to the extreme your husband is at right now, but it’s very scary to watch because you feel so helpless.
You need to voice your concerns – preferably when he’s sober. He may get angry and defensive, but the man you love is still there and is hearing you, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
He needs help – whether that is counselling (or a doctor) or AA depends on a lot of different factors, but he’s not going to just snap out of it, unfortunately.
If he seems at all open to seeing someone, make the appointment yourself if you have to to make it move from talking to doing, and go with him. If he refuses to consider seeing someone or checking out AA, then find help for yourself, at least, through Al-Anon or individual counseling. They may be able to give you advice, and at least, give you an outlet.
In the end, it’s up to him. All you can do is support him in making the right choices and love him. If he has a close family member he listens to, it might be worth reaching out to them for support.
Post # 11
amiona: I totally agree with you. He definitely, definitely needs to actually take steps to get better. It will not happen on its own; things might improve for a while but they will never be ‘managed/controlled’ once and for all if not.
Post # 12
He should get professional help with the symptom (alcoholism) but also potentially the underlying cause (depression, lonliness, fear of getting older?). There must be something causing this change so helping get to the root of the problem and being given ideas of a healthy alternative may be great. If he’s up to it maybe go to the gym and play something together. The physicalness of exercise and the endorphins may help perk him up when he is ready to be out and about. I wish you the best.
Post # 13
ITA with the recommendation that you go to Al Anon. It will help you understand your husband’s illness & get some support for yourself.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can to to force him to want to get treatment, which he surely needs. I agree with the PP who said he’s a functioning alcoholic. You’ll find it harder & harder to have a relationship with him as his first priority becomes the bottle.
Thank God he’s not driving drunk. At least not yet.
Please give Al Anon a try.
Post # 14
worriedanon: if neither one of you want to go the “higher power/powerless alcoholic” route, the SMARTRecovery forums are great. They’re a science based treatment, not a God based one. It focuses on the alcoholic taking responsibility for his own recovery and helps them learn how to cope with and navigate triggers. They have a Friends and Family board that is also helpful.