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What To Do?

by Tom

My name is Tom. I have been married to my wife for 17 years. We have 3 children. For the last 3 years my wife has drank wine every night. She starts about 3pm if she can and goes until about 8pm.

I work at night so I'm not around. She is very small, just under 100lbs. She fully meets all of her daytime responsibilities. However, I'm very concerned where this drinking is going to end up.

For many reasons, some of which are my fault, yesterday she told me she felt the relationship had run its course and wanted a divorce. Her father was an alcoholic and started drinking every day at 10.00am.

I'm worried for her and mostly my children. For the first time in my life I just do not know what to do. Answer

Tom, before anything can change, your wife needs to address her drinking problem. Because her drinking is effecting her state of mind and emotional well-being from which making clear, rational, well-thought out decisions is impossible.

So you need to encourage her to get professional help as a starting point. For the sake of her own well-being and obviously for the children, because her drinking will no doubt be impacting them a great deal.

She's probably also depressed which is effecting how she feels about your marriage, and a good treatment program can also help her address that. Here's a link that has a number of resources that will help you find a good rehab facility.

That's not to say there aren't problems or you should belittle what she's feeling, but explain to her that you will both be in a far better position to address whatever problems there are in your marriage once she's gotten help and is in a better place mentally and emotionally.

I also suggest you get a copy of Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict which was written especially for someone like you in mind who is dealing with a spouse who struggles with alcoholism or addiction.

Because it covers not only what you can do to try and help your wife, but also ensure your own sanity and sense of perspective is maintained because many spouses in your position end up losing that by blaming themselves, feeling guilty and further enabling the addictive behavior.

Hopefully your wife is open to getting treatment. Just be clear it's not for you, but for herself and the kids that she'd be doing it for. And once that's been addressed you can both better focus on the issues in your marriage and decide on the future of your relationship.

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Adina is Right
by: C-P

Here's the post Adina refers to regarding her brother's chronic alcoholism and what she says is absolutely correct. Your wife is going to continue to drink, and even though you don't mean to, you do end up enabling her. She won't stop until she's ready to and you really don't know when that point will be. So you have to think of the effects this is having on your children and make a decision that also takes their best interests into consideration.

There Are NO Good/Pleasant Answers, Only Hard Choices To Make.....
by: Adina K, Israel

Hi Tom,
In reading your heartfelt question/comments I can only offer what I know to be true.
Firstly, regardless of what you do, or don't do, your wife will drink. Her drinking revolves around her family background and her inner demons. Therefore, until she is willing to tackle the above issues, for herself and her children, there is nothing you can do to change her behavior. This is key. HOWEVER, continuing to stay with her while she still drinks will only result in enabling her destructive behavior.It is a death dance of sorts.....
Consider: I am assuming that your wife drives. If so, do you really believe that she doesn't drive with the children drunk too? Again, if she has a car she is more than likely driving drunk.
Please read my submission, 'My Brother Is A Chronic Alcoholic. His Wife Is His Chief Enabler:What Can Be Done?
While the story involves a husband who is an alcoholic, the lessons learned therein are the same pattern of destruction, though wrought by a wife who refuses to hold my brother (who I love very much) accountable, the reasons why she enables him are now beside the point.
My point being, there are 3 children involved in your tragic saga. Three innocent children will be scarred for life-if they survive parenting by an alcoholic!- and through no fault of their own are living a nightmare, even if you can't see it now.

You have no good choices, but you do have options. My best advise is-from bitter experience with my brother-either she chooses her family's sobriety, or her alcohol. She can't have both.
BTW-feel free to google, 'Alcoholism:The Wreckage In Its Wake', as well as 'Teenage Murders Shock Israelis.Many Seek Answers'. My familiarity with the topic goes beyond being a 'passive actor'.

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