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Is My Husband an Alcoholic Even Though He Only Gets Wasted Once a Week?

I have been with my husband for the last seven years, married for five. There has been a lot of alcohol abuse on my side of the family which was quite severe - and which is why I initially didn't think my husband really had a problem.

My husband has drunk every week for the last seven years. Every single Friday, regardless of what's happening he has to get drunk. For example, the day I brought my baby girl home from the hospital he still had to drink that night.
He gets so drunk that he regularly falls asleep downstairs, forgets massive chunks of the night and sometimes he doesn't know where he is.

Last night was particularly upsetting because he wet the bed whilst he was asleep, however me and my three year old were also asleep in there (This is the only time it's happened. My husband always promises that he won‘t drink again next week but that never happens instead he nags me and I give in.

I'm here to get some help, if he only drinks once a week does this make him an alcoholic? Or is he just relaxing like he says he is and I am just being over-dramatic because of my past? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Answer

Alcoholism is defined by dependence and loss of control. Is your husband emotionally and/or physically dependent - and is he unable to control his drinking once he starts? So it isn't necessarily about how frequently a person drinks - many binge drinkers can be regarded as alcoholic even if they don't necessarily drink every day.

Whether that makes your husband alcoholic or not is difficult to say. But his drinking is obviously bad enough for you to regard as problematic which in itself can be a clue - because when alcohol starts causing undesirable consequences for a person, e.g. starts affecting their relationships, family life, work, daily functions, emotional state etc. - that's usually a good sign that they're an alcoholic.

Look at these signs of alcoholism and see how many you spot in your husband. But whether or not he meets some definition of alcoholism shouldn't necessarily be an issue either. He drinks enough for it to bother you and if he's wet his bed because he got so drunk, you should try and address it.

So have a serious conversation with him and highlight the example of his bed-wetting to illustrate his drinking has got out of hand. Tell him you don't mind him having a few drinks to unwind, but getting as wasted as he does is just not on anymore, especially because of the impact it will have on your kids. And see how that goes.

Try also breaking the Friday night pattern - go out and do something different with the family so its harder for him to drink like he does. Dinner, movies, whatever. By finding activities to replace his usual Friday night drinking with, it might break the pattern. Some people just drink themselves to oblivion because they're bored and have nothing better to do. So tell him he can have one Friday night a month to get wasted - the rest of the time you guys are going to do stuff as a family so he won't have the opportunity to get wasted like he usually does.

You may have to experiment and play around with it - and may find by breaking his usual pattern is all it takes for him to not drink so excessively. But if nothing works, then it may be that he has a problem and then you'll have to start looking at other measures to try and get a handle on things. Let us know and we can then look at that scenario if need be.

Best of Luck

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