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My Husband is an Alcoholic and Has End-Stage Liver Disease.


(California)

My husband was diagnosed a little over two years ago with cirrhosis. He is going through the transplant program and is awaiting a liver transplant. He went through the mandatory six months of AA meetings prior to being accepted in the transplant program.


He continues to go sporadically but I am pretty much convinced that he sometimes uses AA as an excuse to go to the market for a quart of Tequila which he skilfully hides from me. His actions will get him kicked out of the transplant program and rightfully so.

However, I can not bring myself to rat him out. This illness is a devastating illness that has pretty much destroyed my ability to earn a living as I am a full time care giver. I realize I can't make him do what's right just because I want it. But I can't seem to walk away either. There is no abuse, or children, we have been together for 36 years. Any feedback would be helpful.
Thank you.







Answer



You would think for someone like your husband who's alcoholism has gotten so bad it's lead to cirrhosis, a fatal condition if he doesn't get the transplant, would motivate him to do whatever it takes to stay sober. He's literally being offered a 2nd chance and is throwing it away.

Alcoholism is often called a cunning and baffling illness/disease. Cunning, because it can creep up on you and give you a million reasons to drink when you know you shouldn't. And baffling because despite all the negative consequences and the numerous way in which it destroys a person, many alcoholics refuse to do something about their problem.

Unfortunately you can't control your husband and the choices he makes. He'll have to bear the consequences whatever they are. Whether you should expose his suspected drinking is not for me to say. You have to make that decision for yourself.

But while you can't control what your husband decides to do with his life - you can control what you decide to do with yours. If your husband wants to keep destroying his life so be it, you don't have to let him take you with him. Your happiness and well-being is something you have control over, whether or not you choose to stay in your marriage.

So figure out what you want from your life, and irrespective of what your husband decides, make a decision to try and achieve that. What hobbies, passions, interests etc. can you pursue that will give meaning to your life? Make time for yourself.

You don't have to play the role of martyr and ensure all your husband's needs are being met at the expense of your own. Find a way to start connecting with yourself again and listening to your heart and what it wants. You're not obligated (even though you might feel that way) to take on all the responsibility for the mess your husband has made of his life due to his alcoholism.

So have a long and hard think about things, and connect with your heart and what it wants. Once you do that you'll be amazed at the answers that come out. It takes courage to make changes, but don't let fear get in the way of that. You have more power and potential than can begin to imagine. So whatever you do, don't sell yourself short. Take care and good luck.

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