My Wife Has a Drinking Problem. I Need Good Advice on How to Deal With This Situation.
Hi my name is Ryan. I have been married for close to 10 years and have 2 wonderful boys. I love my wife and want to make things work.
I am writing this as I do not know where to go, who to talk to or how to deal with my wife's drinking. So I am writing this to see if there are any other people experiencing similar problems and who may be able to offer me advice on how to deal with this problem.
To give a brief background my wife and I have always enjoyed a few drinks when going out but after my wife's best friend died only days before my second son was born things began to change. She never drank while pregnant but after he was born I think she turned to alcohol to deal with both depression and her quilt of her friend's passing. All of a sudden things we did for fun turned into reliance into dealing with her emotions and stress. This has now been going on for about 4 years.
I always missed the signs of when she was drunk in the early days as there were many fights and being a typical male I never saw through the actual reason behind why she was fighting with me.
Whenever I try to talk about the issue I usually encounter 2 responses - one is outright aggression toward me for even thinking she has a drinking problem, the other response is usuallly a fight which turns out into something I've done wrong and diverts away from the actual reason we starting having the discussion.
I have tried everything from pleading to threatening to anger to diplomacy and I am now at the point of an ultimatum. But I don't want to lose her or my boys and I am willing to try everything in my power to make things work but I after 4 years of this I hate to say but sometimes I think it would be better if I wasn't on the scene.
Below are things I have observed over the last 4 years: My wife's preferred drink is vodka. I find empty bottles hidden all over the house but everytime I asked she had some excuse of why that bottle was there or that she didn't even know it was there. She now throws the bottles in the garbage so I can't find them ...
She never actually has a drink visable - she always hides her drinks from me even if i know she is having one. When I have a sip of her drink it is usually very strong. I think she mixes about 1/5 of a bottle into 1 drink. She drinks on her own quite often. I smell alcohol on her breath quite often but she always denies it. I worry she is driving DUI with my boys in the car but even mentioning this causes outright agrresion to suggest she would do it. She uses any stress or emotional experience as a reason to drink.
I have found that after 1/2 a bottle her attitude changes toward me and she tries to pick me apart and tries to find a reason to fight with me. I am usually a very tolerante person but she pushes me till I snap. I then will either leave or will verbally respond which always turns into a huge fight.
She has pysically hit me on a few occasions in the heat of the moment. She always becomes very short with the boys at this stage which also causes fights as I try to tell her privately that she is over reacting. Her language becomes extremely fowl and abbusive after 1/2 a bottle which really stresses me - not for me but for my boys.
One weekend recently I kept a track of how much she drank over the Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I was shocked. She drank 2/3 of a bottle before lunch on Saturday and about 1 1/2 bottles over the day. She drank another 1 1/2 bottles on Sunday and for the first time I noticed she had poured herself a drink which she had not drunk but it was poured all the same on Monday morning prior to dropping me and the boys at work and school.
I approached her in regard to this and she denied that I could be right and said that the drink was from Sunday and I know it wasn't - I had checked and the drink was still chilled. This discussion turned into a problem she had with the way my family had treated her 10 years ago, when we had first met and basically steered totally away from the actual issue. She also sleeps alot and is constantly waking for water and food at odd hours through the night.
Even as I write this it seems so obvious. But how can I help someone who doesn't want to help themself and won't admit that they have a problem which so clearly she does have.
Please tell me what you think I can do to help her. How can a broach the topic of her drinking? Do I need to leave to make her realise that I am serious? The last 4 years is starting to breed resentment in me and our love is fading.
Sorry for blurting all this out here but this is the first time I have said anything to anyone in this regard but I have run out of options.
Hi Ryan. Your wife has more than a drinking problem - she's without question an alcoholic. And the only way to deal with that is to act decisively. Because unfortunately as you've come to realise ... reason, threats, begging, or pleading simply don't work.
Your wife is in denial about her alcoholism, and that remains the biggest obstacle you face to her getting the help she needs and her attempting to turn her life around. That's what all the fighting and aggression are about, because in acting out and trying to turn the focus away from her, it means she doesn't have to confront or acknowledge her problem.
So once you reach your point where everything you've tried has failed, you have to draw a line in the sand and say 'enough is enough' - because if you don't, things are just going to continue to get worse. And as much as you love your wife, if you don't do so, all you end up doing is enabling her alcoholism further, because you aren't holding her accountable for her actions.
This also isn't just about you or your marriage, you have children to consider, because the long-term effects on them of having an alcoholic parent will be considerable. So that's why it's so important you take strong and decisive action immediately ...
And in your case that means its probably reached the stage where you should be contemplating performing an organised, professional alcoholism intervention
with the end goal being your wife gets treatment for her alcohol addiction and turns her life around ... or there will be extreme consequences from your side.
You can't let things drift any longer and hope that things will somehow miraculously change. There are no guarantees, but it's time to draw a line in the sand if things are ever going to change. And if you haven't yet, for more detailed info on how to perform an intervention and what you can do to help not only your wife, but also yourself - consider getting yourself Help Me! I'm In Love With An Alcoholic
. There's a lot more you need to understand in how to deal with the situation effectively, that we can't go into here unfortunately.
Being in a relationship with an alcoholic is one of the most difficult things imaginable to have to deal with. So for the sake of your own well-being and especially your children's, it's time to deal with the situation head-on. And even though it may not seem like it, forcing your wife to confront her alcoholism, is actually the most loving thing you can do for her.
Best of Luck