Elephant in the Room

Many years ago, a friend of mine went to dinner with my husband and me. As we walked to our car afterward, she asked me “Does he always drink like that?” I said with a plastered smile and fake, casual voice, “Oh, no, he just drinks socially.” I was sad, angry and embarrassed, but I also was living in denial about his alcoholism. She encouraged me to try Al‑Anon, to which I responded, “Why should I go to Al‑Anon? He is the one with the problem.” That was all I was willing to admit. She briefly explained what Al‑Anon is, but she did not mention why I might qualify for it. That was the elephant in the room.

A couple of years later, on a Thursday night, all my rage and frustration of feeling helpless about his drinking rose up in me and exploded like a volcano. I was a madwoman, screeching and cursing him. I told him that I wished he would die and I wished I would die, too, because I couldn’t live in my own skin anymore. I recall that incident like an out of body experience. I thought, how could that woman be me? The next day, I gathered the courage to attend my first Al‑Anon meeting. What a gift…what a miracle. It had never occurred to me that I was powerless over alcohol. That first meeting had a profound and lasting effect on me. Meanwhile, my husband was mortified that I had gone to a meeting because he was afraid that now everyone would know that he was an alcoholic. We both believed he hid his drinking from the eyes of the public. Today I know that alcoholism truly is a family disease.

By Jeanine G., Louisiana

The Forum, June 2018


2018-05-30T09:29:44+00:00May 30, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|


  1. Terri D August 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I know the elephant in the room so very well. No one of his family or friends will ever talk about his drinking problem. The only one that seems to care enough to bring it to the forefront of our marriage is me. I love him enough to talk about it and I love him enough to leave so he can figure out what he wants. I will accept it if the vodka wins because it will be easier for me to make my own life than it would to try to stop drinking on his own and fail.

  2. Sarah July 2018 at 12:33 am

    2 years been expressing concern. He didn’t think what he consumed was unusual so I doubted my instincts and tried not to ‘nag’. Blood work results came back with liver damage (high bilirubin, elevated liver enzyme levels, etc.). He finally sees that he’s damaging his body. But I’m scared he doesn’t realize he is alcoholic. He thinks cutting out alcohol will be easy. I’m not sure what to expect in the coming days and weeks when he doesn’t have his crutch. Is he going to do as he’s said before and not have any alcohol? Or will he come up with a reason he can handle just one to celebrate or unwind? Will he acknowledge he’s been over drinking? Or is it going to continue to feel like pulling teeth trying to talk about ‘it’?

  3. Bridgett July 2018 at 11:36 pm

    I’m so tired! I can leave him alone to his drinking but now he ends up coming home drunk and has even driven my kids while drinking. I can’t babysit him and because he is so sick he won’t even acknowledge that what he is doing is wrong. He tells me I am crazy and overreacting!

  4. Kaz July 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I have this problem, everyone thinks my hubby is so funny and so lovely. But he drinks so much, he gets embarrassing. Turns on me and then falls asleep. I’m so bored of our relationship. He is never going to get help or change. I don’t know what to do anymore, all I know is I’m miserable. We have kids together, if not I think it would have been over a long time ago. I hate the thought of him drinking because I know he won’t stop, and what’s to come. It’s like having another child.

  5. TJ June 2018 at 4:33 pm

    so I guess we stop hiding it from others? I’m going to try and disengage, if he drinks i’m calmly going to say “see you at home” and take myself home, i’m going to give up trying to control what I cannot…so he’ll be left at the social event explaining where I’ve gone.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.