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Husband and his alcoholism

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by avatar jmarie 12 hours, 29 minutes ago.

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  • #668494 Reply

    Early 30’s here, daily beer drinker, and I definitely admit I am a very high functioning alcoholic. You can’t and won’t make him change. He has to feel it inside and want to change for himself. You shouldn’t have married him knowing who and how he is. You nagging him, or making him feel wrong or bad for drinking is only going to get on his nerves and and the cause the two of you to argue or fight about this constantly.

    @Purplestar that is a bit much and rather shitty thing to suggest IMO. Just because the guy drinks doesn’t mean that it’s going to effect his performance and I think it’s rather rude to suggest that not only that she tell his CO, behind his back probably, but also that “most likely he will be discharged dishonorably. I am not the only drinker in my family but have many family members of mine that are and guess what? They have succeeded in the navy, army, military and some are police officers, so do with that what you will…

    #668495 Reply
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    RedRoverRedRover

    I had the same question as a couple of others – who is “we”? Is he actually onboard with this? Or is he just agreeing because you want him to? If it’s the latter, then you’ll either have to live with him as he is until he decides to stop (which may be never), or you can move on. If it’s the former, then you’ve got a shot. He has to get into a program or something though, and he has to give it 100%.

    And what others have said, be very careful with your BC unless and until he has given it up and is sober for a good long time. I would say at least a year, but I have no experience with it so you might want to join Al-Anon where others can give better specific advice on that.

    #668496 Reply
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    RedRoverRedRover

    And I agree not to tell his CO. What’s the point of fucking up his life? Is that going to get him off alcohol? If anything it’ll make it worse. If he keeps up with the booze and gets worse it’ll eventually become obvious to his CO anyway. Let him do it to himself, no need to do it for him.

    #668500 Reply
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    blink14
    Participant

    Firstly, just because you think he is an alcoholic doesn’t mean he actually is one. You’ve told him you don’t like it – he may just not care that you don’t like it and is going to continue on with his usual habits. I didn’t read anything in your posts that gives a clear indication he is an alcoholic. He’s been around alcohol from a young age, its part of the culture that he grew up in, and its not unusual. He sees that it makes him relax, feel good, forget about life troubles for a bit – many people drink alcohol for the same reasons. I’m sure that being in the military has put a lot of stress on him and that may be another reason he turns to alcohol.

    I think you need to gauge his actions while he’s drinking – does he drive drunk, go to work drunk, come home and get hammered every night? Does he become a danger to himself or others? Part of me feels like you are overreacting. There is a difference between being an alcoholic and someone who drinks heavily or binge drinks. And that difference, generally, is the former cannot stop and will have physical withdrawal systems while the latter may have a hard time stopping the habit but isn’t chemically dependent on alcohol.

    Truly think about what you are seeing in your husband. Do you think he’s an alcoholic because he has drank for a large period of his life and you don’t like his drinking habits? Or is he truly mentally and physically addicted to drinking?

    For God’s sake, do NOT talk to his CO about this. Have serious conversation with your husband about how his drinking is coming between the two of you – he may not be an alcoholic, but his habits are clearly causing a rift, either way. Ultimately, if he does have a drinking problem, there isn’t anything you can do to make him stop. He has to decide to cut back or stop for his own well being.

    #668502 Reply
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    Essie
    Participant

    Find a local Al-Anon chapter and go to the meetings. If you’re not familiar with Al-Anon, it’s a group that works with friends and family members of problem drinkers. It’s free, and it will help you. It’s important that you learn about alcoholism and addiction. Because the single most important feature of addiction is:

    You can’t make someone give up their addiction.

    It’s a biological problem, and pleading and nagging and trying to distract him like he’s a misbehaving terrier and telling his boss aren’t going to change that. He has to want to stop, and he has to be completely committed to stopping.

    I get that you married him in hopes that he would change. Please don’t have a child with the same hope. Being a father won’t be a wake-up call that will make him give up drinking. Just the opposite. The stresses of being a parent will make him escape into the bottle even more.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by avatar Essie.
    #668503 Reply
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    Ana

    “We” is my husband and I. He knows he has a problem with drinking, and he wants me to help him stop drinking. My husband wants to change his drinking habit. I’m trying to figure out how to best help him. He is deployed for around 2-3 months at a time, and when he is deployed he cannot drink alcohol.

    #668504 Reply
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    Ana

    I have no intention of telling my husband’s command about his drinking. He is not a danger to anyone when he is drunk, he just becomes more emotional. He will never drink and drive. He frowns upon people who look at their phones while driving. My husband told me today that he wants to stop drinking. That is why I am here. I don’t know how to help. I suck at consoling people or helping people. I am a good listener, but I keep my emotions and problems to myself and therefore cannot relate to those who seek out help. Thank you for your responses. Perhaps my husband does not meet the definition of an alcoholic. I believe he is emotionally dependent on alcohol. He is a quiet and emotional person. Regardless, he reached out to me to help him, and that is what I want to do.

    #668505 Reply
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    Ana

    Please see my replies later in this post. You may be right. Perhaps he is not an alcoholic. He is not a danger to anyone when he drinks. He reached out to me because he wants me to help him stop drinking. I’m trying to figure out how to help him.

    #668506 Reply
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    RedRoverRedRover

    That’s great news then, Ana. Get him into AA or something similar. If he won’t, then you can at least join Al-anon for guidance and support. Actually, join anyway, it will be helpful for you.

    #668507 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    That is great and puts a completely different spin on your letter. I agree with the suggestions for AA & Al-Anon; individual counseling may be a good option in addition to those. One thing that stuck out was him wanting that ‘carefree’ feeling that he gets from drinking. As we get older that’s a feeling that, unfortunately, becomes more and more elusive. Maybe he can find a way to drill down on what exactly alcohol allows him to let go of and find a healthier way to get to that point. It’s pretty huge that he asked for help but it’s important for you to realize your role is to support his actions in getting better. He has to actually take the steps but asking and admitting that there’s an issue are a really good start. Good luck and keep us posted.

    #668511 Reply
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    blink14
    Participant

    Thanks for the additional details – its great that he is the one that wants help. He needs to seek out AA or another type of program, the responsibility to help him cannot solely be on you. Look into therapy, an outpatient program, etc. His alcohol abuse may not be severe enough to qualify for certain programs, I’m still not sure I’d qualify him as an alcoholic, given that he can go 2-3 months at a time without it, but I would think that something along the lines of AA may help him. Binge drinking may more accurately describe his habits. The military may also provide counseling.

    As for keeping his mind off of it – suggest volunteering, home projects you want to work on, day trips, etc.

    Cutting down the amount of alcohol stocked at home is another good way to hopefully slow him down gradually – it could be one of those things where its there so he drinks it, but out of sight out of mind may be helpful if its not fully dependent on it.

    One thing to be wary of is that many people with a dependency on alcohol (or any other substance), turn to a substance they see as less dangerous to switch that dependency need. Smoking is a massive crutch for recovering alcoholics, and if he doesn’t smoke, it may be suggested to him. If he does, the habit may get worse. A person with an addictive personality generally cannot change that personality trait, they just become addicted to something else.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by avatar blink14.
    #668516 Reply
    bittergaymark
    bittergaymark

    People drink to escape from something… What is he trying so hard to forget? That is the root of his drinking… He needs to figure that out and deal with it.

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