Is he an alcoholic? Help!

Old 04-22-2003, 03:40 PM
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Is he an alcoholic? Help!

Hi everybody!
This is my very first time here, but I have a question, and maybe you guys can help me with it...

My husband drinks every day, basically since I met him. I guess I thought he would drink less when we get married, or maybe I didn't think of this issue at all. I don't know.
Well, in the beginning of our marriage he had about 3-4 beers a night. I tried talking to him about it, and argued with him a lot. The problem is, that he thinks drinking beer every night doesn't make you an alcoholic. For him you only have a drinking problem when you get drunk everytime.

After a couple of months I called AA and talked with a Lady about him. She said, as long as he doesn't see his addiction, there's basically nothing I can do.
Hoping he would realize himself how much he consumes, I didn't say anything for the next months. The result: the 3-4 beers per night turned into 5-6.
I talked to him and we made a kind of deal, that he would only drink on weekends. (I know that he shouldn't be drinking AT ALL, but I know that I can't expect him to go out with his friends and stay with a soda...)

Well, our deal worked for 2-3 weeks, until I caught him drinking Kool-Aid with Vodka in it.

Nobody expect for me knows that he's drinking every night, and friends who I talked to about this issue, would have never thought he does.
He never drinks and drives, or consumes alcohol before he goes to work.
At work he is one of the best. But every evening he drinks...

All this spread about 1.5 years.

I wanted to leave already a couple of times, but out of business reasons I can't.

I'm just so dissapointed, and I don't know what to do. My husband thinks "I want to control his life", when I tell him that I worry.

He is in the military, going to AA would ruin his career permanetly. But that doesn't matter, since he's thinking he doesn't have no alcohol problem and that i'm all imagining this, he wouldn't go there anyways.

Am I really wrong in thinking he's an alcoholic, by him having about 5 beers average per night?

He has never beat me, but there where little incidents which shocked me.

We had a big arguement the last 2 days concerning alcohol, and I felt terrible. We talked and he said he would only drink on weekends in the future. I love him and I wanna be with him, but for some reason I just can't play this "everything's fine" role anymore.
We talked and settled everything, but I still have this uncomfortable feeling in my chest.

I just don't know what to do. I love him and don't want to lose him, but I just can't watch him drink anymore. It makes me wanna cry everytime.

Am I really overreacting? Am I wrong with thinking there's an A. problem?
What should I do?

Thank you already for your help, I really appreciate it.

Old 04-22-2003, 04:32 PM
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Nature Girl
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: By The Lake
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Welcome to our forums and please know that you are not alone.

You may feel more comfortable on the Al-Anon or Nar-Anon boards (the same people use both) as there are many people there who have been where you are and who would be happy to share their experience, strength and hope.

Please feel free to join us and tell us a little more about yourself. There is a lot of great information on the "sticky" posts at the top of each of those boards, so have a read around and make yourself at home.

I am going to copy this post down there for you so you won't have to type it all out again. I hope that is okay with you and that you will find the responses more appropriate to your need.

Again, welcome.
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
I think the real question is

"Is his drinking causing problems in your relationship?" Your post answers that, it most certainly is. "Alcoholic"..."problem drinker"..."maintenace drinker"...the labels aren't important. His drinking is causing problems in your relationship, that is your issue. What can you do about it? Not much. You can't make him stop and you can't make him see that he has a problem. It might not be a problem for him. The thing is, it's a problem for you. So you can deal with it from your end of the relationship. You can attend Alanon meetings, you can join us in this forum, you can join other support groups that can help you deal with this. You are powerless over his drinking, but you are not powerless over how you let if affect your life.
Glad you decided to join us here. Stick around, I think you will find lots of help and support.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:27 PM
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Hi Charlotte,welcome to the forum.

The lady you spoke to on the phone is right.If your husband does not think he has a problem and that drinking is making his life unmanagable then there is very little you can do.

Alanon may be able to help you to deal with having an alcoholic in your life but he has to take responsibility for his own recovery.

I abused alcohol for twenty years and in all that time there was nothing anybody could say to me that could convince me that my drinking was out if control.It was a reality I had to face on my own when my drinking finally brought me to my knees.

Alcoholism is a progressive and potentially fatal condition and if left untreated will continue to get worse.

If it is possible I would suggest getting a copy of the AA Big Book and encouraging him to read it.Your husband's condition is not a hopeless one and many of us have been able to arrest our condition before we lose everything.

In the meantime there is a lot you can do for yourself.Alanon can help you to get some perspective and maybe help you to make some healthy decisions.

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Old 04-22-2003, 11:04 PM
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a work in progress
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Location: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 54
Welcome Charlotte
I'm glad you found your way to this site. There are a lot of great people with a lot of great insight here, as I'm sure you've already seen by the replies.
I just wanted to let you know that there are people that have been in your situation too, myself included. My A never considered himself an alcoholic, even tho alcohol was part of his life every day. I remember the deals, the sneakiness, the justifications, the temper tantrums, the intricate manuevers to make me end up feeling guilty and worthless.
One of the best things I learned was detachment, letting go of the alcohol and refusing to let it effect my life. You aren't the one abusing it so why should you let it control your life.
Concentrate on you, find an Al Alnon group to join in your area. I'm sure someone here can point you in the right direction. Learn to put yourself first, scarey thing to contemplate, I know, but you really need to take care of you first. Take the focus off your A, he needs to come to grips with his own problems and hopefully seek the help he needs.
I'm so glad you found our group. Read some of the other posts too, they helped me a lot to understand this disease and to understand that I wasn't alone. Sending lots of support and love your way,
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: State of Confusion
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Hi Charlotte,

Your husband sounds very much like mine. Mine has been sober for several months now, thankfully, but he was drinking far more than I ever knew. He also was one of those 3-4-5 beer a night guys. What I didn't know was that he'd had that many on his way home from work every night. So really, he was packing away twice as much as I thought. It's amazing what these guys can hide! If you've "busted" your husband already, he might be doing it more often than you know.

You will find great support here and in the al-anon forum. Try to find/read the al-anon book and maybe start going to meetings. It will teach you how to take care of yourself -- the most important thing for you right now.

I'm curious, though, how would AA ruin your husband's military career? Can you explain that to me?

Best wishes and I hope things work out.

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Old 04-23-2003, 04:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: georgia
Posts: 531
Hey Charlotte, Welcome

Sound like the posters ahead of me have given you some great advice. I really wanted to underline the fact that the label of what kind of a drinker he is doesn't is the fact that it is causing a problem for YOU that does!!!

Read the Stickies at the top they have some real helpful info and keep coming back. There a lots of us here that are married to similar guys!

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Old 04-23-2003, 04:57 AM
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Just wanted to say welcome and that you've received some great advice. If your husband's drinking is a problem for you, then that's the issue you need to address with yourself and how you want to deal with it. You can't change him or his actions, and as long as he doesn't think there's a problem, he won't change.

I just wanted to stress again what Peter said about alcoholism being a progressive disease. My dad, who's a recovering alcoholic, started out with a few beers a night, which turned into a 6 pack a night, which turned into kool-aid w/vodka in it, then vodka w/a splash of kool-aid, and finally just straight vodka. As long as your husband continues to drink, his problem will get worse, not better.

We're here for you so keep coming back!

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Old 04-23-2003, 04:59 AM
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I am curious about something. Take away the beers at night and what kind of man is he? Does he love you and treat you well? Is he basically honest and solid? Is he there for you when you need him to be? Believe me I know about how they seem to "check out" in the evening but other than that how does he treat you? Is he a good and reliable husband?

I ask this because my Ward does the same thing. He does not now and I doubt if he will ever see this as a problem so therefore at least right now the problem is mine.

With the exception of those beers and now vodka more times than not I am married to a rock solid hardworking moral man. And I love him and appreciate him for those good qualities and find something else to do when he "checks out" I could beat my head against a wall but I have chosen not to because he isn't going to change and I am only hurting myself.

Since I know that alcoholism is progressive I am aware that if it progresses to a point that I can no longer tolerate it I will have to act but for now I choose peace. And a program of recovery for myself. After all he also eats all wrong and does not exercise which could affect my future just as much.

Check out Alanon meetings in your area.

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Old 04-23-2003, 06:06 AM
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No More Mrs. Nice Guy
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Posts: 724
Welcome Charlotte!

JT makes a very valid point. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Many here have found they can love the A but not the disease and have learned to detach when the behavior becomes disturbing or unacceptable. Attending Al Anon meetings, reading the recovery literature and posting here are all things you can do for yourself and YOUR recovery.

Keep coming back and tell us more about you.

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Old 04-23-2003, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 55
Hi and welcome.

I completely agree with the posts above regarding what you can actually do to help your husband.

It is an unfortunate fact for anyone, whether alcoholic or not, that until a point of desperation deep enough arives, few there are, including myself :-), who will seek out help. That is especially true for those of us who know we are alcoholics.

I encourage you to check out alanon. They may be able to provide some information I cannot, and will certainly have a network of support for you in your area. I would also encourage you to stay in touch with AA where you are as well. Might be helpful to meet someone to discuss the diease with in more detail. It will also provide you someone to bring in at the right time rather than try to do it yourself, if that time arrrives.

And remember, this isn't your fault in any way. Your response to the situation is entirely human and normal, and as much as I empathize with you having grown up in an alcoholic home myself, watching my mother degenrate to the point of near death, I applaud your compassion and courage to seek out support, and information, that will assist you through this difficult time.

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Old 04-24-2003, 04:18 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: madison, connecticut
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Like you, I thought my husband was an alcoholic. He never drank during the week because he worked 2nd shift. But every weekend the Yukon Jack would come out, and he's be stumling drunk. I also wondered if I over reacted. Maybe he wasn't an alcoholic. After all, he never drank during the week. But then about 2 years ago he was diagnosed with hepatitis C. He was told by his doctor that he had to quit drinking or he would die. My husband did quit for about 1 year. But for some reason he started driniking again, just as bad as before. Now I knew that he was most definitely an alcoholic. His life was on the line, and he still drank. I think that if you have to question whether or not he is an alcoholic, then probably he is.
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:30 AM
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Hi everybody, and thank you so much for all your answers!

I have a big test tonight, so I can't write much right now, but I'll be back!

Somebody asked why it is bad for my husbands career if he joins AA...
Well, success in the Army depends a lot on what peolple think of you. And going to AA is, I guess, a confession of you having personal problems... Many people in the Army are alcoholics. It's sad, but the military encourages you to drink.
Many (especially single soldiers) spend every night getting drunk.
Maybe other people made different experiences in the military, but that's the "Army world" in know.

I asked my husband if he can't join a civilian AA group, but he doesn't want to.
When I told him that I had talked to the Lady from AA, he said that she would tell me anything to make me believe he is an alcoholic...!

Well, I have to go now. But thank you so much for your support!


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