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My Husband Drinks on His Prescription Anxiety Meds Every Night.


We have an 11 month old baby. My husband is productive and a good father, but he is an alcoholic. He drinks everyday (not sure how much because he is in the garage all the time).

When I ask him how much he has drank he says "very little" but I can tell he is messed up because his eyes are different, the things he says are out of character and he is slow to react. He takes prescription medicine for anxiety, so even if he only has 2 beers, it affects him pretty quickly. He has been going to bed earlier than normal, I find him fallen asleep sitting up, either in the garage or on the couch.

I try to talk to him (about the empty promises, our life with our daughter) - and about 50% of the time he apologizes and makes the promise that he will quit. The other 50% turns out into him telling me I am never happy, so negative and always critical of him and my personal favorite, "crazy".

I've threatened divorce, but never follow through. We have been together for 6.5 years, married for 3.5. I don't want our daughter growing up with an alcoholic father, but the thought of her not having him in her daily life is also hard to swallow.

He refuses counseling OR any other help, says he would rather end our marriage. What do I do? Answer

Hi Charlotte

If someone doesn't want to listen, you can't make them hear. That's the tragedy of being involved with an alcoholic, until they're ready to do something about their problem, there is usually very little anyone can say or do for them to see the 'light.'

What your husband probably doesn't realise is that his drinking pretty much renders his anxiety meds useless. But even knowing that would probably make very little difference to him right now anyway.

It might be worth considering performing an alcoholism intervention because it can be an effective method for getting someone you love into treatment. But the danger is it can also make them feel they're being pushed into a corner and so further damage a relationship.

You have to understand that you can't control or cure your husband's drinking. He is entirely responsible for that. So you have to focus on your own needs and doing what is best for you and your daughter. It's about learning how to practice healthy detachment so that your husband's choices don't end up taking you down with him.

Try and get yourself a copy of Help Me! I'm In Love With an Addict: How to Survive a Relationship with an Alcoholic or Drug Addict. It goes into a lot of depth as to how best to help yourself and the alcoholic in your life, in this case your husband. It may not seem like it now, but the power of choice remains your biggest ally.

You can get through this. Look to also surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through and who can offer invaluable support. Groups like Al-Anon can really help tremendously in that regard. And know that if you take positive action, things will work out in the end.

Good Luck and Take Care

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