What Can I Do to Convince My Husband He Has a Serious Problem with Alcohol?
Hello. My husband has been drinking every day for the last 3 years, he's always drank way more than the recommended units but now he drinks on average 5 or 6 litres of cider a day.
He is being treated for depression but lately he is overly anxious and I believe paranoid (claiming lots of different people talking behind his back). He insists that I'm the one with the problem, that he is fine. He is rarely drunk and doesn't start drinking till the evening time so appears to be functioning ok. Only at week-ends would he drink in the morning.
What can I do to help him realise he has a very serious problem. Both his parents are alcoholics and he sees heavy drinking as the norm. His dad died aged 60 of cirrhosis of the liver and he said he will be dead young regardless of drinking anyway so what's the point. Thank you very much, Caroline
You can start by familiarising yourself with all the signs of alcoholism in the alcoholism symptoms
section of this site. Read the signs, take the test (on your husband's behalf), and you'll have a pretty clear idea of how bad your husband's drinking is. But I think even without doing all that, you realise things pretty desperate.
It's all very well you knowing and recognising how serious his drinking is ... and lets not beat about the bush here ... because your husband is most certainly an alcoholic. So why does he refuse to acknowledge it?
Most alcoholics live in denial for most of their drinking lives as to the extent of their problem. And nothing you say or do will convince them otherwise. It usually takes for them to reach their rock bottom before it hits home how serious things are and that they need to change. The fact that your husband is also still functioning in most areas (generally referred to as a functional alcoholic) - provides him with even more justification that his drinking is not a major problem.
So where does that leave you?
Having to remember the three C's of Addiction in someone you love: You didn't Cause your husband's addiction to alcohol ... you are powerless to Control his drinking ... and nothing you do will Cure him from his affliction.
I know that's probably not what you want to hear because I know you're desperate to help, but unfortunately that's the reality of the situation, as many of us who have been involved with an alcoholic can testify to. Until your husband is prepared to take responsibility for his drinking, and wants himself to achieve sobriety, you're going to be fighting a losing cause.
As a last resort, some people do attempt to perform a professional alcoholism intervention
, in an attempt to get a loved one the help and treatment they desperately need. It does work, but as with all these things, there simply are no guarantees, and in some instances can do more harm than good, so it would be something worth discussing with a professional first.
I suggest you surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through and who can offer their advice and support from having been in your shoes. Al Anon, which is for family members of alcoholics, is therefore something I definitely suggest you consider getting involved in.
There may not be much you can do about your husband's drinking, but that doesn't mean you have to sit by and do nothing about your own happiness and well-being. Because those are things still entirely in your control, irrespective of what your husband ultimately decides to do.
Good Luck and God Bless