Did we cause our loved one to drink?

Published by at 2:04 am under First Steps

The second of six “Introduction of Al-Anon Meeting” podcasts: Did we cause our loved one to drink? If we are not the ones with the drinking problem, why are we talking about our powerlessness over alcohol? Can we control our loved one’s drinking? Can we cure our loved one’s drinking problem?

How to locate a meeting

This is a series of six Al-Anon Family Group podcasts, especially recorded to introduce you to Al-Anon meetings.


75 comments on “Did we cause our loved one to drink?”

  1. FacingTruth says:

    I have just found al- anon, as directed by a wonderful marriage counselor. I only wish it could have been many years ago. I had a maternal grandfather who was an alcoholic. Also, both of my dads brothers became alcoholics. Social drinking was considered socially acceptable by much of my family. Watching my mother worry about her single father…and riding many hours with her to go rescue my grandfather from crawling under an 18 wheeler to go to sleep…or staying awake all night before school, as she struggled with trying to keep him from leaving in the middle of the night, in his confused drunken state…and if he wasn’t leaving, he may sing all night long, or shout obscenities to the invisible people of his past. It was an awful feeling to hold my breath when he came near to hug me…not sure if it was the liquor or urine that was more repulsive. There were memories of his sober years that I am thankful for. Strangely enough, I knew that I feared the thought of alcohol controlling me…and vowed to restrain myself. It was just the beginning though. I married first to a husband who would drink, b sober a few months, drink again and tell me I was no fun. I became convinced I was to blame for his extramarital, promiscuous behavior…but stayed in that relationship over 4 years. Forward to the next involvement with alcoholism, and the abusive behaviors so common to the illness. I was determined to raise our two boys in a healthy environment…by now trust was an even bigger issue. The rejection made me grateful that my future husband would consider an automatic family. My husband is a very gifted, but hurting,man. The son of a recovered alcoholic father, and an alcoholic mother who left when he was at the tender age of four…she was never to b seen again for over 30 years. Believing this man to b an occasional drinker, I still failed to face the truth. My own sweet mother had been first thru an abusive, then an alcoholic marriage. She later revealed to me that my father had been a drinker also (when she married him,)but diabetes kept him from joining his brothers… allowing my grandma one sober son. Two years into the dating relationship with my husband, I should have seen the writing on the wall, so to speak. The wonderful feeling of spending time with this gifted, attractive, man melted my heart of hearts. There were many painful times ahead—as his secrets, and self destructive habits spilled over into all of our lives. I learned that his walking to work wasn’t just for health purposes, or thoughtful management. Ignorant young women can be lulled to sleep by the charms of a handsome man…who asks for a ride. He prided himself that his lies about alcohol would go un-noticed…as he had “just one” if asked. The distance between us grew as fast as the five children we raised. The drinking stopped for the most part with my husband…but addictive behaviors remained. We went to church all those years…but even after years of sober life, this disease calls us to face the truth. The unhealthy behavior patterns have given us three children who are challenged by either drug or alcohol addictions, or both. The bitter feelings, resentment, blame, power struggles, distrust and loneliness have been a challenge. I was sad that there is not an al-anon group for many counties away from our area. When I read the words…don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel…I knew that was the message our children had received. I can not change or save anyone from themselves. I have no power over all of the anger, rages or choices. I am learning how to stop taking blame and draw boundaries for myself. It is lonely separated from the man I love…but not as lonely as it was inside the marriage, not facing the truth. I pray for all these tender hurting souls…and thank God for guiding me here.

  2. Lantana says:

    What Lily wrote is what I would write, exactly. I have moved past the point of trying to control the situation and am now on the divorce fence. Should I do it or not. I have found through all this, I’m not as attracted to him as I once was and I don’t respect him like I used to. I’m wondering if these feelings come back or are lost forever.

  3. Karen C says:

    In reading this title, Did We Cause Our Loved Ones To Drink?, I realized that question never resonates with me. I always felt that I was not the cause of someone’s drinking. Alcoholics and abusive people would like anyone to be the target and blame for drinking. I have been that target. When accused of causing the drinking, I will question the situation, review the circumstances leading to the accusation and I always arrive at the same conclusion: We had a disagreement, but that is not the reason to get fall-down drunk, or We were at a party, or We went to a sports bar to watch football… or however the initial statement begins, but that is not the reason for becoming drunk.

    Many people experience life without alcohol addiction. So, it is the alcoholic’s coping skills, life experiences, genetic predisposition, or some other issue that is at the root of the alcoholism, not me. It gives me great relief to hold the alcoholic accountable for his/her “choice” to consume alcohol and enter the stages of alcoholism.

  4. Lily says:

    My husband of 26 years has been a drinker since I met him. I have done the, “If ya can’t beat him, join him.” I have pleaded, argued, cried and left too many times to count. I have gotten to the point of just shutting down and not talking to him when he drinks. This is a very lonely life I have chosen to lead.

    My kids have moved out and we live together in a 4 bedroom house. We barely talk. Most of the time he is mad at me for whatever he finds at the time. He says he drinks because I don’t clean the house, make dinner, come home from work on time, talk about my hobby too much, or any other excuse he has for the day.

    I find myself sick to my stomach at the smell of the house and him when he drinks. I know I can’t fix him, change him or make him better. He has to do that for himself. I just want to fix me, change me & make me feel better. How does one do this and stay with the one person they love so much because when it’s good it is so good. It’s like waiting for the reward all the time.

    I love the man I married many years ago, the man that could make me feel secure, loved , beautiful in more ways than I could imagine. How does one separate that, decide to let that go, stop looking for that, and move on and away from this man who has come in his place, a man who finds nothing good in me, a man who resents me, says I am fat and ugly, stupid and no good, selfish and on and on, while slurring his words, falling down, staggering around and finally, thankfully, passing out.

    How do you move on? One moment, one day at a time. Looking at what you can do to help keep your head above the water and breathe. I try not to feel trapped in this lonely life I so willingly have accepted and made for myself. I want out. I want to change the rules. I want to find happiness. I am seeking the light and can’t seem to see it yet, but I will I have faith in me and I will find it.

  5. Exhausted says:

    I am so happy I found this site, I can relate to almost all of these stories, especially Libby’s. I just did what she does. I left the family room because my husband just woke up from a nap and grabbed for his glass to get another drink again!!

    My husband drives me to work in the morning and picks me up after work. He is retired. He must start drinking about 1:00 pm because when he picks me up at 2:30 pm I can smell alcohol on him. He is not really drunk at this point, but on his way. When we get home he automatically pours himself a drink and doesn’t stop until after we have supper. 4:30pm until he is really argumentative and passes out on the sofa, which is approximately 6:00 pm. He sleeps there every night because he gets up about 11:00 pm and watches TV all night (not drinking alcohol at his point). He falls a sleep about 3:00 am and then I get up at 4:30 to get ready for work and then he gets up at 5:00 am to drive me to work. Then the day starts all over again.

    We have been married for 38 years. I am 57 and he is 60 years of age, no children, just a dog. I am trying to cope with the alcoholism as a disease, which I do know it is. I cannot attend an Al-Anon meeting because I work and I do not drive. I could take a bus but the service is not that great where I live, so this sight is really a help to me. Thanks so much!

  6. Broken Heart says:

    My husband has a drinking problem. His mother had a drinking problem. His brother died from an overdose. His youngest brother has fetal alcohol syndrome. He does have one more brother, but I do not believe he deals with any addictions.

    We have been married for 13 years and together for 17. We have two young children together. He has always been a drinker, but really became worse once we married. He is very successful in his career, stays in good shape and is very attractive. I do not know if many casual friends would ever guess him to have an issue with drinking. Living with him has been like one very long roller coaster ride. He has his good moments, but he really has his bad ones too.

    I wanted to leave several years ago, but I did not want to break up my family. Back then, I really thought I could fix it. I felt strong. The more his issues bothered me, the more I worked on trying to take care of me and my two children. As of late, I feel really broken. I have finally let this disease take me.

    My children are old enough to start asking questions. If they see their father drink, they do not want to drive with him. They tell me they do not like the way he acts and why is he so moody? I am done trying to protect him from his children. I have started giving them insight. They are probably still too youg to understand.

    He has told me, I do not know how many times, he would get help. About two weeks ago, he told me he knew he needed help and he needed to take some time to try and like himself before he could talk to a doctor. Same old song and dance.

    Yesterday I yelled at him for a while. I believe all of my anger from the past years of our marriage came crashing down. Now he is mad at me for telling him how bad he is and that he has affected the children. How selfish he is with his drinking, and I believe he loves us the best he is able. I told him if he had to choose between us or a bottle of wine that he would choose the wine. I know it and it hurts. I am damaged goods.

    My children do not understand what is going on. My marriage is ending. It is so sad. I have lost the battle. It hurts to have your dreams crushed. He was supposed to be my forever. I cannot take it anymore. My children and I deserve better than this.

  7. liz says:

    Just reading some of these comments makes me realise I’m not on my own, and the feelings I have are not unique to me and I’m not going mad!

    My partner binge drinks and sometimes doesn’t come home. On the occasions that he does come home, he is verbally abusive, pees on the floor etc. I’ve already had to call an ambulance as he fell off the top flight of steps to our door and cracked his head open, not to mention the broken collar bone he got after falling over after a drinking session 3 weeks earlier.

    I feel angry, but mostly so sad as it is heart-breaking to watch someone you love drinking themselves into oblivion. I don’t know what else I can do for him, but I know now especially after reading some of the above that I need to look after me and I hope to start by visiting a meeting x x

  8. Elena says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and giving me the courage to seek the help I need.

    It is heartbreaking to accept that I cannot help my only daughter stop drinking; I have devoted my life to helping people solve their problems and always thought I was pretty good at it, and now it has become evident those skills are useless as this disease can only be conquered by my daughter’s actions and resolve.

    I grew up with an abusive and alcoholic father and having endured both physical and emotional abuse, I vowed that I would not become like him, nor would I become involved with anyone with a drinking problem. I never imagined that I would again battle the alcohol demons at home and yet, here I am trying to pull myself together as my daughter continues to self-destruct.

    I must focus on learning things that will help me to cope with her disease, while at the same time find the peace that I desperately need.

  9. barb says:

    PS, we don’t live together anymore, so he’s not hurting me physically, but he’s still up to his old ways and has not gone to rehab.

    I am choosing to leave him behind because there’s nothing I can do for him anymore. It’s tough, but I have to, and I have to remind myself every day.

    He chooses to not get help. He may not choose to be an addict, but he chooses to not get help. He chooses to not get help and treat everyone that loves him, very badly.

  10. barb says:

    Today. I made the committment to accept that it’s his life to save and he’s the only one who can.

    He had every excuse to drink. If I griped at him because he got drunk and hit me a night or two before, that gave him an excuse. My birthday was two weeks after the birth of our first child, my parents had come down and the day they were leaving I went to Walmart. I got groceries and I put the groceries away and accidently put the 5 pound block of ground beef in the freezer because I was spending time with them {It was important to me because I was working on a healthy relationship with my family}.

    That night after they left he’d been drinking already and wanted, I forget what to eat with the hamburger meat, even though there were other groceries. He threw a fit, called me stupid in every way he could, hit me with the 5 pound block of meat and proceeded to go get more beer because of my stupidity.

  11. Becky says:

    I was thinking about my husband’s drinking all the time–when I was at work, home, when I was with him or not with him. My thoughts are still focused on “what’s he doing” much of the time, but not all the time.

    I was going crazy thinking about this all the time. I realize this is part of my sickness. I was obsessed. I imagined him ”cheating” on me with another woman. Maybe because that would be easier to fight. I realized I couldn’t fight alcoholism, but I could find this other “woman” and DO something. After checking phones, emails, texts, every website he had been to for months–nothing. I had to admit the other woman was in the can. Or the disease. I’ve known this for 10 years. I also realized I had a problem. I’m sick and need help.

    In the last few weeks I have started to coach myself by saying, “ What he does is on him.” I can’t control him; I can’t control him; I can’t control him. I’ve tried. I tried yelling, crying, threatening, sex, leaving, embarrassment, all the usual.

    I am not focused on worrying about if he will: lose his liscense; kill someone driving drunk; lose his job; wreck and die driving drunk on his motorcycle. On and on and on–but not all the time.

    I want to stop punishing myself, blaming myself, secluding myself. I want to stop verbally abusing him and others around me. I want to be a nice person and happy.

    I am sick and need help. I’ve never said that before.

  12. Claire says:

    Wow. After reading the majority of these posts, I have seen so many instances of my own life, and I haven’t even listened to the podcast yet.

    My husband and I have been together for 6 years, and just last week celebrated our first anniversary. I woke up that morning to him continuing his binge from the night before. I’ve almost come to the stage where I just don’t care anymore. I mean, I love him with all my heart, that’s why I married him, but like so many of you, I didn’t marry the disease.

    At times I feel that my husband is in denial of his alcoholism because he holds a respectable job, has a comfortable relationship, nice house and car, loving wife, etc. I know you’ve heard it all before. He feels that his drinking doesn’t impede on his life (it does), doesn’t affect his work (it does) and is not the crux of our relationship dilemmas (it is). Yet, he admits that he has a problem! So why not get help?

    I have tried everything too. Emptying bottles, collecting a stash of his empties to try and embarrass him with the truth, yelling, crying, threatening to leave. The list goes on.

    Then I read about the three C’s. This is something that I know I will carry with me while I change the energy I have been putting into convincing my husband to get help into energy to help myself (a good friend calls this “good selfish”). I’m going to be “good selfish” in getting the help I need to heal myself, and hope that my husband does the same.

    Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories and providing anecdotes that have and will continue to help others, including me. I wish you all the very best. xx

  13. Maddie says:

    I am also married to someone who drinks. I was also abusing alcohol and now have stopped. It has been 6 months and every day I am struggling. The anxiety and depression I have now from the drinking is almost unbearable. Last night he drank and then drove home from his business. I have asked him before to not drive after even having just 1 glass of wine. I don’t even know how much he drank because I think he lied to me about that too.

    We are in marriage counseling, but I am even afraid to do be there with him. I am afraid of him and the anger he exhibits when he is drunk. Once he pushed me very hard on the ground and I hit my head and had bruises and a sprained wrist.

    I will try to work on the 3 C’s today and try to let go. But when do I say I need to leave him and move on? Why can’t I explain to him that being around people who are drinking a lot right now is really hard on me and I am desperately trying to stay on the right track and not drink.

    Thank you for letting me say me peace here – this is the first time I have found this group. I just wish I had a friend nearby that would support me, but I guess that is what a sponsor is for. I will try to find a meeting and move in that direction.

  14. Janice says:

    Tonight I’m hearing my husband snore loudly in the bedroom, as he passed out about 6:30 p.m. I’ve been married to him for just a few years and It’s getting worse. As you all know, alcoholic lie extremely well regarding their drinking. I could tell within 5 seconds he had been drinking. Why do I ask him…it does absolutely no good…just riles me up.

    I’ve found it in his briefcase, basement and all the other stuff. The water bottle filled with Vodka on our vacation…was the best. Al-anon is so right…we can do nothing to control it…so I might as well not even look for the bottles. When am I going to learn?

    As above, I’ve been angry, I separated from him for six months, I’ve tried bargaining…that I will drink a glass of wine with him at a nice dinner, if he promises not to “sneak.” Well, now he gets the glass of wine at a dinner, and then he is also sneaking. I’ve been attending Al-anon meetings for over a year, and he also goes to AA meetings…(sometimes sneaking drinks after the meetings.) He goes quite often…because he likes all the people there…but he will lie at the meetings.

    He’s a charmer, “everyone likes him” type of guy, and very social. He goes to the meetings and lies (that he’s been sober..he even told me this.) He lies to his sponsor. I’ve asked him if he’s told him that he has a glass of wine with me. He said, “No, i just can’t.” I called the sponsor tonight and told him about his social drinking, sneaking, and about how he had been lying to him for over five months about his sobriety. I then handed my husband the phone to tell him. Another probably “NO” that I shouldn’t have done, but I did.

    I’m really at the point, “Would my life be better without him? I’m even asking, do I want to put up with this disease? (Yes, that is making me feel terrible. I”ve been looking up divorce lawyers tonight also.) I do know that I need to calm down and not overreact, but I’m seeing a night alone without a man slurring his words, as so nice.

    This is a good place to vent. Good luck to all of you. We all know each other’s pain. Someday, I hope I’ll recover myself. I just can’t seem to let go of my own emotional feelings when I see him drunk.

  15. olive says:

    I first attended an Al-Anon meeting in July of this year when my husband finished 28 days of residential treatment. I felt very skeptical, scared, and angry as to why I should be going to these meetings as there was nothing wrong with me, sure it was my husband who had the problem. Well, since then I am finding out just how sick I am and have been for so many years.

    I have started to realize that I have very strong feelings–anger, resentment, loneliness, pain, but I now see it is ok to have all these emotions. It is how I deal with them that is important. Just today loneliness came up for me. I would have been annoyed with myself before for having such self-pity for myself, but today I felt it, cried, told myself that it was perfectly ok for me to feel this feeling, but then I wrote all the reasons why today I needn’t feel this feeling.

    My Al-Anon friends are there for me. I have taken up a new hobby (dancing). I have more friends there, and I was able to tell my husband how I felt and that it was ok for me to feel lonely but that now I had ways of dealing with it.

    I thank my Higher Power for helping me with this situation today, and I hand over my alcoholic husband, my son & daughter to him every day, and myself. In doing so, I ask him to be with me so I will do his will, as I now know without him my life would be definitely unmanageable. I know without my weekly meeting I would not be as well as I am. My story seems so less important than others’ in the room, but I must tell it as honestly as I see it, and in doing so I can move on. Thank you. “One day at a time” and the Serenity Prayer are my life lines, together with my meetings–just for today.

  16. StageLeft says:

    Hello. My name is StageLeft and I am an alcoholic. I have been sober for 13 1/2 years. I never went to treatment. I just couldn’t do it anymore, because one of us had to be in control. God gave me the power and strength to resist the temptation and I have relied on Him solely, as I am powerless over this addiction.

    My husband entered treatment two weeks ago this coming Monday.

    He lives in a 3/4 house in our town, where he has to work and pay rent, attend counseling, classes about his addiction, and AA meetings.

    We are at odds. Having been married for 21 1/2 years and parenting 5 children, mostly together until the past few years, I feel he should go fully in-patient and he wants out-patient. He agreed to in-patient at first, but after seeing that they take your freedoms (like a cell phone and telling you when and where to be and at what time), he says absolutely no to in-patient.

    I am struggling to find balance. I want him to be in a program, and I feel him living at the 3/4 house and working isn’t ideal since he has tried all these years to quit over and over again, while living in a home with family and working and hitting the same aluminum can over and over. I don’t want him at home with us, either, because I feel that if he does slip again at this point that we will have to suffer through yet another episode of his wallowing.

    There is so much he has done, and now that I can look back at it all, I’m angry and don’t want him around. He feels the tension and says he should leave for good, then. I don’t want him to leave for good, just to give me time. I asked him to go to marriage counseling with me at some point and he doesn’t see the point. Yet, he wants me to make the decision to be there when he’s done with his treatment, right now–or forget it. It’s a power issue, in my mind. He’s trying to manipulate the situation, yet again. It’s also a result of faulty thinking from being under the influence of his addiction for so long. He has fallen into a terrible line of thinking that I won’t buy into and it’s hard for him to understand. He is very extreme in his thinking, which is very common from what I can tell. I told him he needs to work on his sobriety (2 weeks now!) and soon we can seek counseling as well, so we can try to mend what has happened and move forward.

    A few years ago I learned the three C’s in my first and only Al-Anon meeting. Since that day, I have had more control over how I think about his disease. I let him have power over what he did and no longer tried to make him change. I never went back, though, to another meeting because it caused a lot of contention between him and me. He accused me of having a boyfriend or conspiring to leave him and telling our business to others.

    I feel like I am strong enough to withstand anything at this point. The things we have been through have been horrific over the years. Nobody in their right mind would have stayed. I stayed because when things were good, they were very good. He is a great man and God has great things in store for him, should he decide to lay down his life and rely upon the arm of God. I know his potential is awesome. I want him in my life, sober. I am willing to stay and see if things can work out, without the alcohol, and with him having learned and seeking to educate himself as to why he is powerless over this disease.

    I am going to my second Al-Anon meeting this Tuesday. I heard it is small. That is okay with me. I met a lady who attends, when I went to an AA meeting with my husband the other night. Frankly, I felt very in sync with her. She is also an alcoholic. I feel like this is a new start.

    Monday I went to seek counseling for myself again for my depression and asked if we could all come as a family. The therapist said that would be good. I am feeling like I am putting things in order. I have to. I want to live a good life from this day forward. 21 years has gone by so fast. It could have been so different.

  17. Lisa says:

    Hi. Every one of your stories has touched me in a very personal way, except for one thing. My husband was an alcoholic and died because of this horrible disease. He was only 41 yrs old. We were together for 26 yrs. He was the best person ever. He was kind, sensitive, loving, caring, funny and loved me with all of his heart. I know that .

    But he had a problem and knew it, but never had the courage to seek help. He did not get drunk – ever, but he drank a lot every day for the last 20 yrs. He knew that it was catching up with him but thought that he was young enough and had time to change his ways. It was too late. His body had enough.

    I miss him so much. We had so many great times. But I do not miss seeing him hurt himself, nor do I miss seeing him tortured by this disease. I cannot help but feel tremendous guilt for not being able to help him overcome this demon. I would have done anything for him and he would do anything for me – except stop drinking. He couldn’t. He was scared – of what I do not understand. I really need to accept the fact that it was not my fault, but it is hard. I feel like I failed my best friend.

  18. Heather says:

    I hit my rock bottom about 4 weeks ago. I was so scared I was going to have to bury my husband. We have two very precious little girls who mean the world to both of us. A friend of mine suggested I come to this website because I cannot attend the meetings but at least I can find some peace of mind listening to the podcasts. I am struggling with the 3 C’s because even though I know I didn’t cause and I cannot control and I cannot heal his disease, I cannot help but be very angered over this.

    I am trying to be better and make better choices for myself and our children. I do not go off on him like I used to when I find empty water bottles that smell like beer in his lunch bag for work. Instead I take the debit card away from him that is solely in my name anyway. I figure that is something I can control. He gets mad at me when I do that. He says he feels like a child and maybe he is right. In my mind, though, that is something I can control because the bank account along with the debit card is only in my name and my name alone. I love my husband dearly and it’s very hard to see him go to this place that I don’t recognize.

    I have been doing a lot of praying and reaching to God for the answers and for the strength to get through the day. Some family members think I should leave him, but they don’t understand. I married him in sickness and in health, and that is what this is–a sickness. I mean, should a woman leave her husband if he had cancer or heart disease? I appreciate these podcasts so I can find some peace, and maybe slowly but surely and by the grace of God I will get me back again. I just hope one day my husband joins me.

  19. anna says:

    I don’t know why I chose to write. I have read most of the comments and see a little of myself in each. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have always prided myself at being able to figure things out and help others.

    My partner is 48 years old. He is a wonderful man. He is the first man I have been with that I have truly felt loved me. I could go on; he is funny, sensitive. handsome, hardworking and caring. He is also an alcoholic. Last October, after a week long binge and many years of excessive drinking, he ended up in the hospital with liver problems. He has been diagnosed with mild chirrosis. Only recently has all of his blood work returned to normal.

    For the past seven months, he did not totally quit but drank much less then before. However, when he got the blood work back two weeks ago, I think he saw this as a green light to drink again. I have threatened to leave because I can’t watch him die. He says he will stop because he can’t live without me, but every time he says he will, usually in the morning, by later in the day he is sneaking beer.

    He won’t do anything to help himself. Only went to one AA meeting. Won’t see a counselor. In my head I know I don’t cause him to drink. I guess I do feel like I can make/help him stop, although as I re-read this it is apparent I can’t. The only time we fight is over his drinking. I know I need to talk to someone and learn more about all of this. I am just very scared.

  20. Libby says:

    My husband and I have been married for more than 30 years, and while he has always been a heavy drinker, it’s only been in the last two years that it’s gotten out of hand, and he’s become a sloppy drunk. He driinks every day, sometimes starting at 8:00 AM. I’ve blamed myself because he says I’ve never given him what he needs, sexually. We went to a marriage counselor 16 years ago, and he told her that he ate and drank compulsively because of me. I try, but it seems like he’s only happy when I’m doing something that I find really repugnant. I’m an educated woman with a career that supports us, and I don’t know why I let him play me like this. I still love him, but I’m really unhappy. When he’s sober, he’s my best friend, but that part of him has almost disappeared. Now, when he’s drunk, I just go to another room and get away from him. Am I doing the right thing?

  21. JANE says:

    I am grateful for the Al-Anon philosophy and all of the sharings I have read.

    I have learned that if I want to avoid any worry that new friends (male and female) might be alcoholics, I simply choose to not make friends with people who drink, who talk about going to the bars, who keep considerable amounts of liquor at home, for whom the consumption of alcohol is part of the web of their daily life. I have not one friend who drinks particularly; I only attend social events where alcohol is not the raison d’etre for the party; if I meet people who are inebriated, I do not get into lengthy conversations, etc.

    I know it sounds impossible, but it is what I do. I can safely say I would not dream of hanging out with any kind of crowd, no matter how small my social life is, if they are always interested more in drinking than in living a more well-rounded life.

  22. Confused says:

    I have been married to a man for 6.5 years now who is a problem drinker. While he doesn’t get drunk “every” night he will go on a binge to the point where he is obnoxious. I have asked him to get help, he says he doesn’t have a problem. On occasion his mother has offered him a drink while he has been over visiting her, this despite me telling her about the problem I am having with him drinking, not to mention drinking and driving. That has fallen on deaf ears.

    People say go to Al-Anon. That is fine and not meaning to put this program down as I have heard wonderful things, on the other hand how does it stop his obnoxious behaviour, his drinking and driving? I can understand learning what this disease is all about, how I’m not responsible for the drinking and what to do or not do when he drinks but in the meantime he carries on with the obnoxious behaviour and nothing changes there. What kind of life is that? What about my son seeing this bad behaviour? I can’t see attending meetings for the rest of my life while he continues to be in the house drunk half the time and acting obnoxious.

  23. scared wife says:

    Last week my husband got a DUI. For the past three years I have hidden my husband’s addiction. We have two small children and I am very scared. I am so angry because I tried stopping him from drinking. He now realizes that he has a problem and he has already started to go to AA meetings. It is going to be a long road ahead of court fees, working through our relationship as husband and wife, and loss of his driver’s liscence. I want to help and I know that this is a disease and it is not my fault. I am tired of playing the blame game and protecting him. I love him but I did not cause this. Yes, this is going to be a very costly money mistake but I believe that it will draw our relationship to a higher level.

  24. Confused Wife says:

    Over the past 5 or 6 years I believe my husband has developed a drinking problem. His father had many many addiction problems. You’d think that would make him realize the pain this is causing our family. He does not drink all the time but when alcohol is in view or he feels as if he needs to drink to have fun, he cannot stop. Many occasions I have had to pick him up when he’s wasted, call security, or leave him behind due (he even got out of my moving car) to his drinking. He thinks that because he doesn’t drink all the time that he doesn’t have a problem.

    When a drinker doesn’t know when to stop, is he an alcoholic? I’ve threatened to leave many times but I have come to terms with this disease and I just want to help him. If he continues to drink I know it will ruin our marriage and effect our children.

    What do I do? Where do I start in getting him to admit he has a drinking problem?

  25. Vicki says:

    In reading and listening to the online Al-Anon meetings, it has really helped me understand what my husband is going through. My husband just lost his licence from drinking and driving, lost his job, let everyone down and is trying to quit drinking. He has over 30 days sober. I am very proud of him, but when I say anything to him he says he does not want me to be proud of him and he has nothing to be proud of. My husband’s moods change hourly and right now he is not talking to me, he says that he is numb and angry and empty. He is even talking about splitting up as he said that he figured that once he quit drinking our lives would be wonderful. Our lives are almost worse now that he is trying to quit drinking. He tells me that he cannot feel anything towards me and that he needs time and space. I am very scared and feel very alone. I was feeling like it was something that I did to make him not want to be around me. I am starting to realize that there is nothing that I can do for him and I have to start looking after myself. I love him very much, but I think that this is something that he has to work through. I am going to try and find an Al-Anon meeting in my area and start attending. Thank you for listening.

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