(Closed) My husband is showing signs of alcoholism…..

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
47252 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
1556 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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
76 posts
Worker bee

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
719 posts
Busy bee

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
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

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
3277 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010


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
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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
4534 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

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
811 posts
Busy bee

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
11094 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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
311 posts
Helper bee

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. 


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