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Still Trying to Figure Out If He Has An Alcohol Problem: A Wife's Story

by Monica
(Ottawa, Ontario)

Hi. My name is Monica. I am 27 years old. I am an addict. Not an active addict but an addict non the less. I am 8 years clean. I did cocaine, Ecstasy and I binge drank every weekend. I did things I wasn't proud of and hit my bottom. I also worked my way up.

When I met my husband almost 8 years ago, I was fresh out of rehab. He was supportive of me and our relationship blossomed quite quickly. He was amazing and because of his support I was able to over come the drug use and change my life style. For this I am forever grateful to him.

See Mathew has an energy about him. He is one to make people laugh and he can be quite personable. When he smiles, he is really handsome. And I don't want to forget the way he treats my girls. He can be the worlds best dad at times.

Then there is the uglier side of Mathew. The side I have come to hate. He can get angry. He yells, he gets frustrated, and he takes out his aggressions and stress of work on his family. Not every day, but when he has a bad day like any other person in the world. And then he drinks.

It began about 6 years ago, maybe a little less. His friends from work had a hard habit of being on the bottle. Mathew would drink nightly at our house, barbecuing and having beer in the back yard. The boys would clear 24 a night and it was something we'd laugh about. The end of the night usually resulted in him falling asleep, but that used to bug me. I wanted quality time with my husband. I admit our social drinks got a little out of hand some nights.

I understand I am being an enabler while drinking with him. But I want to set one thing straight. Since rehab I don't drink often. Sometimes a few times a month due to social events. But if Mathew had a choice it would be every night.

He can say it until he is blue in the face, he would like to have 1 or 2 to relax after work. But eventually he has 3 or 4 and gets drunk. And now lets talk about Matt while he's drunk. He has a classic Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde complex. Like I said he can be very pleasurable to be around. When he is drunk he is the meanest person I have ever met.

Everything makes him angry. There is no one particular trigger. He has gotten physical several times in the last year, once hitting a very good friend of his. And here I am left to pick up the pieces. I tried to explain to him what is in my heart and how I feel. I feel he has a problem with Alcohol.

I have no support because no one I speak to really understand what is happening inside of my heart. I am, torn 2 ways. I love him to death, and I want to be happy and I hate who he is when he is drunk.

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help yourself
by: Anonymous

help yourself - get to alanon - they will understand and can point you in the right direction - god bless.

Thank you for your words of support
by: Monica

Thank you so much for your comments..they really mean the world to me. I agree, I must help him understand how his behavior is affecting my family. But no matter how I try to bring it up he never listens. It's like I am wrong. He can do good for a while, and not touch a drink. He thinks he can socially drink, thinks he can have a good time. But his good time comes at a cost for someone else. If it's not me (because I have grown immune to his stupidity) it's someone else. And it's not fair that other people need to have a rotten time, because that one person can't control his behavior on alcohol.

Similar story
by: Anonymous

Hi Monica,
Your not alone. Your story sounds so much like mine. I'm married 31yrs now and most of my memories are not your husband mine always came home and had to have a drink because work was so stressful. Things were ok at the beginning he would drink and fall asleep. But as the years passed he would not only come home and drink but he would take out his bad day at work on me and his children. Sound familiar. He even took this one step further if my mom ,brother, aunt or uncle was around they also felt his wrath. I'll never forget the day we told our parents and my aunt and uncle that I was pregnant with my third child, my aunt said one wrong thing and we all choked our food and left in a rush.I could go on and on with these stories. To make a long story short his alcoholism progressed and unlike drugs it took 28 hrs for everything to explode. I walked out on him twice and the last time I even had divorce papers drawn up. That was when he decided to go to rhea for 28 days. That was last august. He has had three slip ups but this time I don't care what he does. My three grown children are having a hard time ignoring him because my oldest son works in his construction business and he made the business go down and in this economy it's hard, my second son got thrown out of the house by him, and when my daughter graduated college last yr he went to the graduation drunk. What I'm trying to tell you is don't wait as long as I did make some kind of move now while your still young and your children are still young. I am not going to lie it does not get took 28 hrs for my husband to get good help and still every day is a struggle. I won't drink any thing when he is around or if we go out. My three adult children are all messed up especially my two boys. Talk to professionals who deal with alcoholism and get involved in al anon . Don' wait seek help and talk to people who are also dealing with alcoholics. God bless you

No Question
by: C-P

Thanks for sharing your story. I don't think there can be any question of your husband having an alcohol problem, whether that has yet developed into full-blown alcoholism is another question, but that shouldn't really matter because things are bad enough that you know something needs to be done.

You've been through Rehab and understand what needs to happen to turn your life around - and unquestionably that is a process your husband also needs to go through now. So you have to try and facilitate that process and try and help him get to the point in his mind where he is also ready to turn his life around. Unfortunately the 'nice approach' doesn't usually work, so it might mean you have to adopt a tougher/harder or tough love approach so that your husband can see how serious you are about him changing and turning his life around.

Ultimately though it all boils down to your husband accepting he needs to change and being prepared to make the effort to do so. Hopefully though if he can see you're serious about him doing so and are no longer prepared to tolerate his ongoing destructive drinking/behavior, he'll reach that point faster.

Good Luck

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