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Is My Husband an Alcoholic?

by Feina
(Toronto, Ontario)

My husband drinks on a daily basis almost, just a few days here and there without alcohol. I started searching for help first with a psychologist without success.

In the last year to now he has increased his drinking, for example today he bought a 750 ml Bosco's Anice 42% alcohol and drank it up between 5:45pm to 7:30pm. Every time he buys alcohol cannot stop until he has finished the last drop.

This is our daily life, although he exercises also daily I don't think this is any good. He is constantly in a bad mood, he cannot handle noise, he is always disappointed, he would be upset easily and be verbally abusive to me.

Because I tell him about treatment and my disappointment about his drinking problem, he would pretend he is not drinking and would hide his bottle in the garage and would go in and out there to drink. I need help, but he is reluctant to get any at all.


Hi Feina

Alcoholism is characterised by dependence and loss of control. Does your husband depend physically or emotionally on alcohol. And can he control his drinking once he starts, i.e. just have a couple of drinks instead of always getting drunk?

From what you say it does seem like your husband does struggle with alcoholism, but here's also an alcoholism test you can take to try and determine the extent of his problem. The bottom line though, is what do you do?

You have to understand you can't control your husband or his behavior. He has to admit he has a problem, and want to do something about it, if he's ever going to change. So don't take it personally if he doesn't want to listen to your suggestions and get help for his drinking problem. It's called denial and is the biggest obstacle preventing an alcoholic from getting the help they need.

So you have to focus on what you can control. Your own life. You have to find a way to live a life that will make you happy and give you contentment, irrespective of what your husband decides to do with his life. Groups like Al Anon (for family members of alcoholics) can help you with this.

And if that means eventually deciding you need to re-evaluate your marriage because your needs are not being met, then that's something you have to do. No one can force your husband to change so unless he wants to its not going to happen.

But that doesn't mean you're destined to a life of unhappiness and unfulfilling relationships. You have the power to choose differently for yourself. So resolve to make the most of your life and your talents, irrespective of what your husband decides to do with his.

God Bless and Good Luck.

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