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How Do I Get My Husband To Realise He Has a Drinking Problem?

For the last 10 years my husband drinks on a daily basis. For the last 4 years he drinks anywhere from 12 to 20+ beers a night. Whenever I talk to him about my concerns for his health he denies or makes excuses.

If he's drinking he gets angry with me and if he is not drinking he says things like "I'm in pain from my broken shoulder" or "being here with Mom makes me want to drink". The most recent episode of drinking was about 24 or more beers and he was
at the neighbors and the wife came to me very upset over the way he was behaving. I could go on and on. Please help!!!! Answer

The truth is that you can't make your husband realise he has a drinking problem if he's not ready to acknowledge it. Unfortunately denial is the biggest obstacle alcoholics face in dealing with their problem, and until they're ready to address that, your task is exceptionally difficult.

So the way to confront your husband's denial about his alcoholism is with absolute and total honesty. You have to tell it like it is and not sugar-coat any of his behaviors. But do so in a controlled and well thought-out manner, because if you do so from a place of anger or obvious disappointment, the message usually gets lost in a fight or him getting defensive.

Then you also have to create clearly defined consequences for his continued drinking and set up boundaries for what you believe is reasonable and acceptable. If those boundaries are then crossed, your husband needs to fully experience the undesirable consequences that accompany his continued poor decision making. You may not be able to control or cure his alcoholism, but you can draw a line in the sand and effectively say 'enough is enough.'

Your husband needs help and by hopefully putting your foot down and creating consequences it will start to break through the walls of his denial and get him to the point where he's ready to admit his problem and receive help for it. Performing a professional, controlled, family alcoholism intervention may also help facilitate this process and get him to agree to help.

All the while though you have to make sure you don't lose yourself in all this. Despite your best efforts there are no guarantees, and ultimately until your husband wants to change, there is only so much you can do. So be sure to focus on yourself too - your needs, happiness aspirations etc. - because while you can't control your husband and the choices he makes, you do have control over your well-being.

For help on this and more detailed information on how to handle the situation you're faced with, you may want to consider getting yourself Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict: How To Survive A Relationship With An Alcoholic or Drug Addict. It's difficult to go into as much detail as necessary here so that will expand on some of the thoughts touched on here and help you take your life forward.

So whatever you decide, be sure to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can, and know that your situation is far from hopeless. Because you are still ultimately the master of your own destiny, and so irrespective of what happens with your husband, shouldn't prevent you from living out a life of joy, peace and fulfilment. It won't be easy, but is definitely doable.

Good Luck and God Bless

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