Living with an alcoholic husband


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tips for wives of alcoholics on how to live with their alcoholic husband and possibly, help him.

  • My husband is in denial. He wants to talk about it but mostly to blame me or deny he is an alcoholic. What do I say to him when he does that?
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  • I am not sure if I am able to help my husband any longer. Its been 6 years since his 'problem' started. He would just disappear and show up whenever he was finished 'having fun'. I never knew where he was. He never answered my calls. On 3 seperate occasions he was arrested on alcohol related offenses. The next offense will cost him 5 years mandatory, in jail. I opted years back, to stay home and raise my 3 boys, who have since grown up-only one remains at home. I took great pride in being home with my children and keeping organization, preparing meals and cleaning my home. Since his drinking has gotten out of control, we have lost a home and have relocated several times. I used to drink with him, go out dancing and having, 'fun'. I have not been a drinker for 4 years and until lately, have not allowed alcohol in my home. I tried to understand his issue and told him that he could drink at home if he needed it. I now see that I am enabeling him but I wanted to keep him off the roads. This has been a major fail. Last night he left the house while I was in the middle of a conversation with him. When I found out he had gone I was heartbroken. He drinks 2-3 times a week until he is completely intoxicated. He always says he is going to get help once the health insurance kicks in at work. He plays the blame game every time. Lately, he is aware that he has a serious problem. I love him and want to help but I realize I am helpless in this situation. I need help.
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Living with an alcoholic husband

  1. 1. Living With An Alcoholic Husband by Jozzy Scott
  2. 2. How Serious is it?Living with an alcoholic husband isnt funny. As amatter of fact, it can be self-destructive. Littlewonder Herman Melville in Moby Dick warns all tobetter sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunkenChristian.If you are the wife of an alcoholic, you need to equipyourself with sufficient knowledge to help you livewith your alcoholic husband without havingproblems.
  3. 3. But You Sincerely Love HimTypically, an alcoholics wife is a nurturing, caring,loving person, and in most cases, her own familyfeels that he is undeserving of such a good wife andwoman.Be honest with yourself now. Friends and relativescannot fathom why you “put up with his stuff” andwhy you “don’t kick the bum out”. You are probablystill married to your alcoholic husband because youlove him. However, just loving and caring for himdoes not solve the problem of alcoholism. Thisarticle is written with intent of helping you live withyour alcoholic husband without chaos.
  4. 4. So What I’m I Not Doing Right?Denying the truth: Wives devote a lot of time andenergy to hide their alcoholics problems. Animportant part of this behavior is to expressapologies to employers, fellow-workers, friends,other family members and relatives for bad behavior.Acting out: This is very common with wives ofpersons with serious alcohol problems. "Acting out"is a psychological term for the impulsive, immatureand sometimes irresponsible behavior that a personuses in order to handle internal emotional stress. Todrink together with the alcoholic can be oneexample. In later stages, the hostility that the conflictcauses may begin to express itself in more negativeactivities, such as loud quarrels and physical attacks.
  5. 5. Any Other Thing To Be Corrected?Demanding improvement: Most women that livewith an alcoholic husband try to change the personor try to at least get him/her to improve. They canoften struggle with this for months, years, or theirentire life. The alcoholic becomes furious because ofall the nagging, and a common behavior is to decideto drink even more.Becoming isolated: As early as a few months afterthe arise of a serious addiction, the isolation fromfriends, family and society gradually sets in becauseyou want to avoid shame and embarrassment.Giving up: Apathy, aversion, physical pain andchronic fatigue are expressions that most spouses ofalcoholics display. You need to correct this. Only thencan you help yourself and perhaps, him.
  6. 6. What Should I Do Now?1. Don´t try to control your alcoholic, no one can. You will feel a lot better when you stop trying. The road to freedom begins with the understanding that you are powerless when it comes to the alcoholics drinking, that you only can take responsibility for your own life and not his.2. Do not take over his responsibilities – he might begin to grow up when he has to take full responsibility for his addiction and the problems it causes. As long as you make it easy for the alcoholic to drink in an irresponsible manner, through covering up the tracks and carrying out his duties, you cannot begin to grow and change the way you want to.
  7. 7. 3. Refuse to be a victim - that role is equallydestructive as the role of the alcoholic. For so manywives, after many years of living with an alcoholichusband, they become also sick emotionally andpsychologically. Remember, it is not your fault thathe is an alcoholic, so don’t be a victim of it. Healingyourself may not cure his disease, but it will make iteasier for you to live with.4. Think more about yourself - take moreresponsibility for yourself and the other non-addicted people around you. You and your childrenshould be your utmost responsibility. Your diet,hygiene and so on should not suffer because of yourhusband’s predicament.
  8. 8. And Finally,5. Refuse to be an "enabler" for continued abusethrough comforting the alcoholic, calling their job, tolie etc. Instead you should say "Thats yourresponsibility!"Think about it, if your partner’s bottles, spillages andmess are all cleaned up and tidied away by the timehe sobers up he has no evidence of how bad hisdrinking is. His mind will tell him, ‘look aroundeverything is fine and lovely, your drinking is incontrol so it’s okay for you to continue drinking.’ If hedoes not have to answer to people about hisbehavior because you have picked up the pieces andcover up for him, then you are only making him tobelieve his drinking is not costing anything. Let himtake responsibility for whatever his drinking causes.
  9. 9. Dont protect your alcoholic from the consequencesof his/her drinking. "Pain is the biggest gift" - manyalcoholics are not willing to do anything about thealcohol problem before they reach the bottom. Ifyou protect an alcoholic from the pain you delay therecovery.You can get more helpful tips to cope with analcoholic spouse on http://alcoholicspousehelp.comBest of Luck in your marriage.