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Dear Wendy

Husband and his alcoholism

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This topic contains 43 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar Slanonymous 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #668522 Reply

    The best way to help him? Point him to the nearest AA meeting. If he is serious about changing, then he needs to get himself to AA and an individual counselor ASAP.

    You should go to Al Anon and possibly individual counseling as well.

    You are walking down a dangerous path with the “we” thinking, a path that leads to codependence (

    You cannot do the lifting for him in his recovery. He has to do the work himself.

    #668527 Reply

    Just be sure that he’s not asking you to keep him sober. That’s his responsibility. You can help him but you can’t find all the meetings for him, force him to go and make him put the beer down. that’s really all on him.

    I really recommend AA or another structured meeting (there are several that are more secular). And be aware that different meetings have different people and different styles. He may be able to find one that has a lot of vets that know about deployment and military experience that will translate well for him.

    #668585 Reply

    That’s great if HE wants to stop drinking. You can support him by not keeping alcohol in the house or drinking around him (at least until he’s more secure in his sobriety). You can encourage him to find a group (like AA) to join. You can make sure you don’t make him going to meetings/counseling seem like an inconvenience for you (even if it does sometimes interfere with your plans). You can go to Al-anon and learn more about being supportive and not enabling him.

    What you cannot do is join him in his recovery. That is a journey he has to take, not “we.” He has to be willing to work through whatever is going on. If him being sober is dependent on you distracting him from drinking, then he’s not dealing with the root of the problem.

    Probably the best thing you can do for him is to express your confidence in his abilty to do this and give him the space to work it out for himself.

    #668613 Reply

    Ana- Yes, your husband is pretty clearly an alcoholic. Takes one to know one, and from your description… he is. Note to everyone: if you know someone who needs a hobby instead of drinking, then YES, they have a problem with alcohol. Just because he goes away on tour or whatever and doesnt drink during that time means absolutely nothing.

    So… how you can help is tough. Because HE has to be the one to WANT to change (beyond all this “we” need to find a way stuff). Most alcoholics (myself included) have to “hit rock bottom” before seeking out help. It sounds like your husband is nowhere near that now, so probably the best you can do is insist on counseling or something- with a person who specializes in addiction.

    All I know is my own path to sobriety (and those that I hear about in meetings, of course), and it included (and continues to include) AA. At first I just kept going because it is what you are “supposed to do,” but now (4 years later, as of next week) I cannot imagine NOT going to my home group. Many ppl find AA a bit taxing, especially at first, but the great thing about AA is that you take what you need and leave the rest.

    The bottom line is, alcoholism is a part of him- and has been since he was born. It is not an “Addictive personality trait,” nor is it shameful. A LARGE percent of the population has it (mostly unrecognized)- and it doesnt ever go away or into remission or what have you. BOTH of you need to accept this. You, Ana, need to get yourself to Al-Anon. I hear good things about it.

    Im not going to go into a huge discourse about this… because I honestly think you will disregard my advice, as you and your husband sound pretty caught up in this “helping him with his little problem” narrative. (By the way, he is almost definitely drinking A LOT more than you think- and having less alcohol in the house will NOT help.) But please also encourage him to go to AA meetings- they are EVERYWHERE, and ALL THE TIME. He can go to another town/city if he is afraid to run into ppl locally.

    Good luck.

    #668614 Reply

    That was awesome.

    #668670 Reply

    Awww thanks, Kate! That means a lot coming from you. ;0)

    #668791 Reply

    Thank you everyone. I truly appreciate you all taking the time to comment on my post. I will talk to my husband about AA, and look to join a supportive group myself.

    #669714 Reply

    Al-Anon is for you, for families and friends of alcoholics. I highly recommend this program that helps you to focus on yourself and what you can change. Alcoholism is an illness; you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. But you can get help and support for yourself in Al-Anon, and helping yourself does help others in your life. All prayers and blessings to you. I have been where you are. There is hope. God bless you and yours.

    #670033 Reply
    Alliances n

    He is young and that is good. It gets harder and harder to stop the older you get.
    I would NOT suggest AA unless he wants to go. AA has a very low success rate and it doesn’t really help anyone if they are going just to satisfy someone else.
    I have been to meetings. I have read the books. AA is too depressing for some people. Some people see it as a cult like atmosphere. It has caused many divorces. There are many reasons to steer clear. There have been books written about why AA should be avoided. I won’t get into details. Google “AA the 13th step” and you will see there are sexual predators who go to meetings to pick up vulnerable people for sex.(yes, this really does happen and it has ruined many a marriage.)
    I would also not suggest rehab…I have many reasons to say that. I have a LOT of experience in this area and I will say rehab did very little to help either. Your loved one may end up being put on a bunch of meds they don’t need. One of my loved ones was in rehab and a woman died while they were because of a reaction to all the stuff they put them on. My loved one ended up going to a different rehab and someone died there too.
    You would not believe some of the things I have seen trying to help my loved one get sober!
    What did help in my experience was something called Rational Recovery. There is a website
    And a book. The book is awesome. It is a very good read, not just for someone with an addiction, but also for their loved ones. What the books says makes a lot of sense and it is a great alternative for those who do not buy into the whole “alcoholism is a disease” theory. I struggled with this for years and years with a loved one with alcohol issues and it helped save their life. (I lost two other loved ones to alcohol.One at 43 and one at 54) They do have to want it themselves and have to do It themselves. You cannot make anyone go sober.
    Buy the book. You can get it used online for cheap. Read it first, then have him read it.
    Good luck.

    #670099 Reply

    Oh, Dear Lord, NO.

    Ana, I intend to come back later and expand upon this… but please disregard above commment by Alliances.

    Is every single AA meeting the best-ever-on-the-planet? No, that is why you try many (I imagine Al-Anon is the same) and see where you fit best. Has AA been blamed for divorces? GASP… yes. Is Alcoholism a condition, something that you are born with and that is NOT actually curable? YES. But it is VERY treatable and controllable, etc, etc- through AA.

    #670103 Reply
    Northern Star

    Alcoholism is an illness that CAN be treated and SHOULD be treated, just like any other illness. Failing to do is irresponsible. The LW can’t control anything herself, of course, but her husband most certainly is responsible for managing his alcoholism, whether through a program like AA or through some other method.

    AA is a great way to go. I personally know people who have been helped tremendously by the program. (And if you don’t want to go to AA, NA is also a possibility.)

    #670104 Reply

    WTH? AA doesn’t cause divorces. Alcoholism does…

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