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My Alcoholic Husband: How Do I Talk to Him When He is Never Sober?

by Escher
(Salem, OR)

My husband has always been a drinker. He hurt his back severely two years ago and is now permanently disabled. I have not seen him sober since. He wakes up drunk and starts drinking as soon as I am out of the house at 7 am.

He drinks so much that he is sleeping 12-16 hours a day. He and his 25 year old daughter had a fight a few weeks ago and he said he was going to quit, but on his own (we don't have insurance) and he tells me he is trying to quit. I don't see it but he yells at me for being a bitch and not helping him.

Are there any suggestions to talk to someone when they are never sober or do I have to talk to him when he is just not real drunk?


Hi Escher

It's pointless talking to your husband when he's drunk. So the best time to catch him would be first thing before you leave the house - at least he hasn't started drinking yet, even though he probably is majorly hung over. There is obviously going to be no perfect time, so you just have to make most of the situation somehow.

Make him a strong cup of coffee and then have your say. And I think it's time you say what you really feel and don't hold back. Yes your husband's disability is tragic - but at some point he's going to have to stop feeling sorry for himself and try and make the most of his situation, otherwise he's just going to kill himself with the way he's going.

There are programs that can help him. And there are alcoholism addiction treatment programs that don't cost an arm and a leg, which are in fact largely/totally government subsidised. Check out the SAMHSA website for details.

I believe things happen to us for a reason. From tragic events like disabilities ... to conditions and illnesses like alcoholism ... to losing someone we love. When they do - we're faced with a choice: Let them destroy us, or help them shape us to become a better person.

I wouldn't wish what's happened to your husband on anyone. But he can still have a meaningful life and so can you. So hopefully if you get serious with your husband and make it clear you've had enough, you'll get through to him and he'll be prepared to start the process of healing by getting proper help.

God Bless and Good Luck

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Jul 12, 2010
when he wakes up
by: Anonymous

Get him just after he wakes up. Make him breakfast and a cup of coffee and talk to him before he starts drinking for the day. Understand that it may well fall on deaf ears, but at least you'll know you tried. Your husband needs help so him thinking he can quit drinking himself is not likely to get very far. Phone a few rehab centers and see if they can't help you with an intervention to get him into treatment. But the main thing is you - not losing yourself in all this. Check out Al Anon - they're there to support people in exactly your position and that can make the world of difference. God Bless

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