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+00:00April 26, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|


  1. Glen W. July 2018 at 10:40 am

    I went to Al-Anon, this morning, 8am. Best blessing, after yesterday and last nite. I have to go, for me. This is still between her an her God.
    Just help her to stand. I’m no hero, she is if she gets thru this📿📿📿📿,Prayer for all.

  2. Glen W. July 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Yes,well, I just wanted you all to know how thankful I am for you listening!!! Sometimes it’s just to know someone hears me. The heart question always arises, Do you love Me? or I will love you, always, and fight for you. So much, and this disease!!! Thank you all for hearing me,GodBless.

  3. Glen W. July 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Well,this disease⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️as all know takes not just emotional toll but one on our spirit! Wears us down to our knees, asking, begging God,please!!!!!!help her, and help us who love her!!!! I know all of you are in agony, and I, too, have no answer, my strength, I hold on to God’s hand! Just hold me up, help me to hold still, help me when I forget she does not hear me.

  4. Alethia June 2018 at 3:57 pm

    My husband is a drug addict and alcoholic. He is currently incarcerated for fighting me and my son (20). I called my son to help me. It is a horrible feeling to have to two I love the most fight each other. I just married my husband this year in the midst of his mess. We were thinking that it was unhealthy to shack up and we wouldn’t get our blessings. I just joined an Al-Anon group and a yahoo group and have learned sooooo many wonderful things in a week than I have ever learned in my life..

  5. Glen W. June 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks,to many who share here!
    The pain.

  6. Anonymous June 2018 at 12:25 pm

    My husband is an alcoholic and he is not the same person that I married. His drinking has gotten bad since we had our child from his own unresolved issues. He says that he wants to quit but doesn’t. He has quit before and he says something like “I am going to quit for the month” so I know he can physically do it. I think it is more of a mental battle. We have certainly had our ups and downs and I have had my issues to work on (meaning I have been to blame for some things). I am not a drinker so I don’t really understand. I know it’s a disease and I know that he really has to want to quit but it’s becoming difficult for me to deal with and he does not drink around our child but he doesn’t seem to understand that even when he isn’t drunk, the alcohol is still affecting his brain and the way he is acting (I am not a doctor but that is how it seems to me). He has gotten more forgetful and he is just more critical and snippy. He drinks 6-7 days a week. Vodka. He sits outside for awhile when he gets home from work (late around 10:30) then gets mad at me when I’m ready for bed. Says it’s a waste of time to even try to spend time with me because I’m just going through ball asleep. Meanwhile on his night off sometimes he takes a nap around 7 and I never give him a hard time for falling asleep. He is a good person, husband and father but the alcohol makes him very different. I don’t know what to do.

  7. Lindsey L. June 2018 at 10:40 pm

    My husband is about to be 30, his drinking has gotten worse and worse over the last 4-5 years. We have 3 daughters, our oldest is sick, we almost lost her in April. She was born with the illness she has and my husband blames the drinking on his nerves. That having a few beers a night makes him feel so much better with our daily stress of a sick child and the normal things like bills and work. I don’t understand alcoholism. I think its a cop out, I was raised to face my demons head on, but I feel I am always cleaning up his mess and also taking care of our girls. He is a wonderful person, very sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. He is much different when he drinks. Not mentally abusive, but cocky, and rude. I have to ignore him or call his parents to come get him. I don’t even recognize him, he’s not the person I married, and he’s not what I want to bring my children up around. I feel I am stuck. We have good weeks, days, or months then he will downward spiral. He doesn’t believe there is a problem. I don’t know how to make him see it.

  8. Patrice W. June 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I never see him high but when he leaves I know what he is doing. When he is home everything seems to be fine but when that mood hits and he has that look I don’t know him anymore and it breaks my heart. It went from the first of the month to every weekend.

  9. Glen W. June 2018 at 9:14 am

    Yes, yes, wife is also alcoholic. This is the greatest test of my faith and how long do I keep going. She has copd and still drinks. This is so hard, and the hardest part, she’s the one I love.

  10. ken June 2018 at 10:12 pm

    When my wife isn’t drinking she’s the most person I have ever met. But when she drinks and she takes ambien she turns into a person I don’t know. Says things to me that are so hurtful and mean, spends money she doesn’t have then I have to cover her debits. I have had to get her out of jail for shoplifting when she had thousands of dollars to pay for whatever she wanted…and it goes on and on. I love the sober her and hate the drunk her….have taken this for 17 years I feel if I leave her she will end up dead or in jail and if I don’t I will be miserable or ruined by a lawsuit….I don’t know what to do, it breaks my heart.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!!!!❤️

  13. 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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