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Is My Husband an Alcoholic or Does He Just Drink alot???!

by Wendy

We've been married for 23 years. He is 52. In 2008 he had a mild heart attack, and in 2010 he developed serious heart rhythm issues as well. So, he shouldn't drink. Actually, IN the hospital, on several occasions, they (made the mistake) of telling him 2 alcoholic drinks a day were "ok". I just groaned inside when they told him that.

When our children were small, he was NOT a big drinker. We didn't even have it in the house. Once in a while a beer. We don't have a good marriage - arguing, and he has been abusive in the past, IS verbally abusive still.

Financially we have to stay together at this time.
About 3 years ago, he would rarely "go out with the guys for a beer after work" on Wed & Friday nights. I was ok with that at first. He was home within an hour. That has changed. He goes just about EVERY Wed AND Friday night, and he stays.

NOT all night. But I know he gets there around 4pm ... and usually gets home around 8:00, but, he must "slam" the beer or something, because he is very very drunk! He says he "saves up the 2 a day beers the doctors said he could have, to have them all in one night. He's out with young (late 20's) co-workers, maybe he's trying to impress them?

On Christmas eve last year, he stopped for "a few" ... and came home with the mirror all smashed on his beautiful truck - we never knew how he did it - we think he was parked too close to a tree? Another vehicle? And backed up crashing it into something. He doesn't know.

2 weeks ago, he came home, backed his work van over the side-walk, and into the steel post on our chain link fence--that post is now sideways.
Last Friday night, he came home and was extremely drunk-so much so, that his heart (which IS affected by alcohol) was racing - he vomited about 8 times thru the night, fell into the bathtub backwards, it was horrible.

I HATE Wed & Friday nights. I try to make up reasons to call and get him out of the bar ... "lets go out to eat" ... lets go here, lets go there, but if he does come home, its ruined because he's too drunk to go, or we go, and he mouths off about me so loudly and bad that I want to leave.

He drinks more now than ever, but its the two nights that are the worst. Its like, he goes, and he cannot leave. He's taken now, to going alone. And hoping that someone from work will stop in.

When he drinks to the point that he slurs his words, vomits, hits things with his truck, falls all over, but doesn't do it really at home, EVER ... is he an alcoholic??? I am at my wits end. Answer

Hi Wendy

Alcoholism is defined by dependence and loss of control. An alcoholic is either emotionally and/or physically dependent on alcohol - and lose control once they start drinking i.e. can't moderate.

So it's difficult to say whether your husband is alcoholic. And he doesn't necessarily need to be drinking at home or every day to be regarded as one. Alcoholism is also progressive and is characterised by the following stages of alcoholism, so it may be that your husband is in the early/development stage.

But on the other hand it may just be a phase your husband is going through and maybe he's trying to recapture some of his youth ... hanging out with younger co-workers at the bar and doing what young adults often do, i.e. get drunk.

Try and have a conversation with your husband when he's sober - in a calm and controller manner - express your concerns, and try and find out what's actually going on with him.

Yes it could turn out to be alcoholism, but it may also be some kind of mid-life crisis developing. It's unusual for alcoholism to suddenly appear so late in life, especially when a person hasn't really had any history of alcohol abuse until recently.

Talk to your husband, and try and understand 'where he's at.' Doing that will probably go a long way to helping you understand what's really going on for him and allow you to determine the best approach to use going forward

All the Best

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