I Couldn’t Navigate My Wife’s Alcoholism Alone

After many years of marriage, I realized that my wife’s drinking was becoming a serious problem. A family counselor insisted that my wife attend 30 A.A. meetings in 30 days and that I attend as many Al‑Anon meetings as I could find in 30 days. Resentfully, we complied. Admittedly, I was a controlling person. I had been a military pilot and learned that, anytime my life got “off centerline,” I had to be quick to fix it. However, I was totally baffled by the fact that I could not fix my wife’s drinking.

When I entered Al‑Anon some time later, my life changed. I began to work the Twelve Steps, and I continue to attend meetings every chance I get. Once my wife started attending A.A. meetings, I thought that we had both finally found peace again. Eventually, though, she started finding ways to push away from her meetings. Things went from bad to worse when she started blacking out. It seemed like the honeymoon was over, but she finally agreed to go to in-patient treatment. She has been home now for less than two weeks.

I have learned that there are no promises and no guarantees for the future. I cannot negotiate with alcoholism. Through this process, my Al‑Anon tools were put to the test, as was my faith in my Higher Power. However, I found the strength to weather this storm, thanks to this program. My journey has not been easy. It has brought the pain of new growth and humility. I still believe in the love that binds my wife and me together, despite alcoholism, and I believe that together, we will win this one.

By Rick H., Georgia

The Forum, May 2018

2018-04-26T14:33:11+00:00 April 26, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|


  1. Carlos M. May 2018 at 6:04 pm

    As I’m writing this post, my wife is crying from the agony of defeat from alcoholism. It is most painful to say the least, as this disease slowly eats away at her very existence. I recently began attending Al-Anon meetings and they have helped me immensely, though the brutal emotional challenge is there while seeing her being consumed by this illness. I’m praying for her to seek help at A.A. though her reluctance and unwillingness to accept that possibility is too great for her. One day at time as it is said.

  2. Anonymous May 2018 at 1:28 pm

    My wife and I are about to go down the same road and it looks bleek I’ll be honest, but I promised her for better or worse and I’m going to try anything! Of course divorce would be easy but I choose her!!!!!❤️

  3. Heather F. May 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you so much for posting your thoughts. I too am an alcoholic and my husband doesn’t understand Alcoholism. He is in the military as well. We both have a great deal to learn and I’m praying he’s willing to join Al-Anon while I’m in in-patient treatment. thank you!

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