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Convincing My Wife She's an Alcoholic?

My wife drinks between 100-150 units of beer and wine a week. She's suffered blackouts, insomnia, panic attacks, been violent to name just a few of the effects. We've been together for 6 years and her drinking hasn't abated.

On top of this she takes pain killers and paracetamol by the bucket load. During this time I've tried everything I can to get her to stop but she will not accept she is an alcoholic. I've tried taking her to treatment etc. but she decided she didn't want to go and has a blinkered view of any help.

Nothing I say convinces her to stop. There's always an excuse - 'Menopause, Her mom dying when she was young, Her abusive ex husband'. Anything but the truth.

I'm a very patient man and try to live my life around these problems for my own sanity. I can't just sit here and watch her kill herself in the hope she comes to her senses. She knows she's got a problem but will not do anything about it no matter how much I try to convince her.

As time goes by I feel myself becoming more and more detached from her. I'd leave her if I thought it would help but she'd be dead in a month. There must be something more radical I can do to change things?


If someone isn't ready to listen you can't make them hear. The reality is, if your wife isn't ready to accept she is an alcoholic and needs to do something about her problem, nothing you say or do will help her see otherwise.

About the most radical thing you can do, is arrange a professional intervention with the help of a specialist - with the aim being that if your wife doesn't agree to getting treatment for her alcoholism, there will be severe consequences, e.g. you'll leave her (you'd discuss an appropriate consequence and plan of action with the help of an intervention specialist).

If she sees you're serious it might shock her into agreeing to get help, because clearly nothing has worked up until now. But there are still no guarantees it will work because someone in your position married to or in a relationship with an alcoholic needs to remember these three principles:

1) You didn't Cause your wife's alcoholism, 2) You can't Control your wife's alcoholism, and 3) neither can you Cure her of her alcoholism.

Your wife needs to accept she has a problem and more importantly has to want to do something about it. As frustrating and helpless as it feels to you, unfortunately until she reaches that point there isn't a lot you can do. That's why many marriages simply don't survive an addiction.

So look at doing an intervention and hopefully that will lead to your wife getting the help she desperately needs. Al Anon is also a place you could learn a lot because it's designed especially for spouses and family members' in your position - so try get yourself to one of their meetings.

I Hope things work out. Best of Luck

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May 19, 2010
by: Anonymous

Its so hard to watch someone you care about destroy themselves and theres nothing you can do .. until she decides for herself that shes had enough its out of your control .. it took my husband 4 yrs to finally realize that he had a problem .. its still hard but hes been sober for 55 days so far .. thank goodness .. god bless you and just know you can't control it or fix it for her .. she has to want it in her soul ... take care of yourself best you can ... find a group or someone you can confide in .. its important you be able to talk about whats going on with you too .. take care

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