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Alcoholism and Gambling addiction

I have been married to my husband for 1 1/2 years. He is a hardworking man who drinks heavily every evening. When we met, he only drank beer. He slowly introduced whiskey back into his life and our relationship after having not touched it for over 10 years because he could not handle it then.

While he "handles" it now, he is a totally different person when he drinks it. Insecure and rude which results in verbal and sometimes physical abuse.

He hardly remembers what he's done or said so I began taping him. Even when he hears the dialogue, he blames me for instigating or fighting with him. I should be a good girl and just leave him alone.

Since drinking whiskey, his liquor bill has gotten to be about $80/week with about $40/week for beer. If we go to the bar, he will spend about $40 just on drinks for himself. $2.25shot and $1.75 beer. You do the math!

He is binge drinking most nights, passing out in the bed and continuing the cycle. He also started gambling quick draw at $60 bets and has gambled over $900 in the last month.

I am writing because I have communicated with him at every level and shared with him that I can't take it anymore. He works construction and work has been very thin.

Finally a few days this week he found work and last night took a cash advance on his pay to go and gamble when he knows that our bills are behind and he could have lost it! Help me. I do care about him deeply and when he is good, he is the best. Why does he do this? Answer

He does this because he has a problem, it's call an addiction and is defined by loss of control. It's the characteristic that separates those who develop drinking and gambling problems etc. ... from those that don't.

'Normal' drinkers can control how much they drink. Once they start, they can say 'no'or choose to stop after having had a few. People like your husband don't have that ability. There's a saying for people with alcoholism - 'one is too many and a thousand never enough.'

The only way your husband is going to stop or do something about his alcohol problem is if he wants and chooses to. Until he's ready to change, there is very little you can do.

That doesn't mean your hands are tied entirely, but you just have to be realistic about your expectations. The most important role you have to play is to try and facilitate your husband getting professional help ...

You do that by putting boundaries in place and clear consequences for crossing them, and if that doesn't make much of a difference you may have to perform a formal intervention. The reality is for many women in your position it reaches the point where you have to force him to choose - 'get help and turn your life around or I'm leaving you.'

And in more cases than not, the husbands choose alcohol, that's why you have to be realistic about what you're up against. Hopefully your husband wakes up to the fact that he's destroying his life and wants to change, but there are unfortunately no guarantees.

So do what you can, but if it eventually reaches the point where nothing you've tried helps, you'll have a tough decision to make. You can't sacrifice your own well-being and happiness for the sake of your husband, with the hope that things may change one day.

And abuse is under no circumstances ever okay. If it happens again you should leave. And if it gets physical, call the police and have him arrested. That's why boundaries are so important ... he needs to know what the consequences will be if there is any form of abuse again. Whatever you do, don't allow it!

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