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What Can I Do to Convince My Husband He Has a Serious Problem with Alcohol?

by Caroline

Hello. My husband has been drinking every day for the last 3 years, he's always drank way more than the recommended units but now he drinks on average 5 or 6 litres of cider a day.

He is being treated for depression but lately he is overly anxious and I believe paranoid (claiming lots of different people talking behind his back). He insists that I'm the one with the problem, that he is fine. He is rarely drunk and doesn't start drinking till the evening time so appears to be functioning ok. Only at week-ends would he drink in the morning.

What can I do to help him realise he has a very serious problem. Both his parents are alcoholics and he sees heavy drinking as the norm. His dad died aged 60 of cirrhosis of the liver and he said he will be dead young regardless of drinking anyway so what's the point. Thank you very much, Caroline


Hi Caroline

You can start by familiarising yourself with all the signs of alcoholism in the alcoholism symptoms section of this site. Read the signs, take the test (on your husband's behalf), and you'll have a pretty clear idea of how bad your husband's drinking is. But I think even without doing all that, you realise things pretty desperate.

It's all very well you knowing and recognising how serious his drinking is ... and lets not beat about the bush here ... because your husband is most certainly an alcoholic. So why does he refuse to acknowledge it?

Most alcoholics live in denial for most of their drinking lives as to the extent of their problem. And nothing you say or do will convince them otherwise. It usually takes for them to reach their rock bottom before it hits home how serious things are and that they need to change. The fact that your husband is also still functioning in most areas (generally referred to as a functional alcoholic) - provides him with even more justification that his drinking is not a major problem.

So where does that leave you?

Having to remember the three C's of Addiction in someone you love: You didn't Cause your husband's addiction to alcohol ... you are powerless to Control his drinking ... and nothing you do will Cure him from his affliction.

I know that's probably not what you want to hear because I know you're desperate to help, but unfortunately that's the reality of the situation, as many of us who have been involved with an alcoholic can testify to. Until your husband is prepared to take responsibility for his drinking, and wants himself to achieve sobriety, you're going to be fighting a losing cause.

As a last resort, some people do attempt to perform a professional alcoholism intervention, in an attempt to get a loved one the help and treatment they desperately need. It does work, but as with all these things, there simply are no guarantees, and in some instances can do more harm than good, so it would be something worth discussing with a professional first.

I suggest you surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through and who can offer their advice and support from having been in your shoes. Al Anon, which is for family members of alcoholics, is therefore something I definitely suggest you consider getting involved in.

There may not be much you can do about your husband's drinking, but that doesn't mean you have to sit by and do nothing about your own happiness and well-being. Because those are things still entirely in your control, irrespective of what your husband ultimately decides to do.

Good Luck and God Bless

Comments for What Can I Do to Convince My Husband He Has a Serious Problem with Alcohol?

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Apr 15, 2013
My husband
by: Anonymous

Hi Caroline.
I know what yr going through! When reading what u'd written it was like reading about my husband! My husband drinks 6 to 7 lts of strong cider every evening & more @ weekends & in the last few mths he's eating us out of house & home. He'll have his dinner then go into the kitchen have a plate full of sandwiches between 4 & 6 then go bck for pies or pasties from the fridge & then have 2 to 4 pkts of crisps.. He's been drinking for the last 17 yrs but in the last few yrs its got so much worse. My thoughts r with u Caroline xxx

Mar 05, 2010
From functional to disfunctional
by: Anonymous

Hi Caroline
My husband two was depressed and he was being given medication and drinking. I hope the same thing is not being done to your husband. Meds and alcohol don't work. I learned the hard way that any mental condition depression in your husbands case should not be treated untill he stops drinking. I don't know if you have any children but after living with an alcoholic for 30 years all I can say is if you are still financially sound run as fast and as far as you can. Especially if you have children don't put them through this. My three adult children are all messed up because of his drinking. I wish I had someone to pull me out of my marriage before it affected my children. If you don't have children do it for yourself. My life has been hell but I was raised to stick with your marriage. I was controlled all my married life. Although I was able to raise my three children he fouynd every excuse for me not to return to my nursing career even when the children were old enough. Get out while you can and live your life. I wish someone had told me this years ago. God Bless you and good luck.

Mar 05, 2010
Says he can control his drinking
by: Anonymous

My husband finally went to rehab in Aug.after two previous drunk and now he says he can control his drinking he has started having a glass of wine first only on Sat. did this for three week endsand then he got drunk one day.We went on short vac and 2 out of the six days he had a glass of wine and 2 nights he had a glass of scotch. Now Friday we went for pizza and he had a glass of wine. Also today he went out and bought a fifth of scotch and 2 bottles of wine. Two of my adult children 26 and 22 still live at home and they are upset. He tells me that he can control it I know different. My children tell me I'm not srong enough to stop him from drinking. How do I get it through to them first I cannot stop him from drinking and second I hope this does not maker me sound bad but I don't care any more if he drinks himself to death. What can I tell these adult children.I'm tired of being blamed. I know he is waiting for us to get mad so he can use that as an excuse to drink.

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