View Full Version : My husband is an alcoholic

08-05-2008, 06:48 PM
Hello Marilyn,

I am struggling with my husband who is also an alcoholic and I have a few questions for you. Hubby claims he is only a "heavy" drinker but I disagree. He has been drinking approximately 12-14 ozs of vodka every night before dinner. He now chases this with 1-2 beers. He frequently falls asleep (passes out) while trying to get his dinner down. He will venture into the bathroom and fall asleep on the commode for 45 minutes or more! 2 weeks ago he wet himself while sleeping on the sofa...On top of this, his memory has gotten horrible. He will tell me something and then repeat himself 10 minutes later and this is when he is sober in the morning! One of our close friends died and he had no recollection that this women had been in the hospital with a brain tumor! He had even talked with this friend's husband regarding her prognosis 3 weeks before she died.

I have learned to leave him alone and have been pretty good at ingoring the situation for many years. He has an arrogant abusive temper and I don't trust him so I suffer in silence. It's a terribly lonely existance. We've been married 38 years and I can't remember him never having several drinks before dinner. He calls it relaxing....:mad:

My question to you: Is 12-14 ozs considered a lot? He doesn't drink at all during the day and is sober when he wakes up. His normal schedule is this: Starts drinking about 4:30 in the afternoon, alseep by 7:00 PM and then awakens as early as 2:00-3:00 AM.....He manges to be bright a cheerie and on the golf course by 7:30 every morning.... At what point does the chronic drinking start to affect your health? My husbnad is 69....and for all practical purposes is healthy as a horse. My family Dr tells me that his body is never free of alcohol and since he replenishes every day at the same time he can hide his addiction becaue he never has any withdrawl effects....

I applaud your efforts to support others in their quest for information. Hope you are having a wonderful day.....

08-06-2008, 06:05 AM
Hi Annie--
You know what Annie? What and how much an alcoholic drinks never determins if a person is an alcoholic or not. What determins if a person is an alcoholic is what happens when they drink. There are several types of alcoholics. Some are bingers and drink only a few times a month/year. Some, like me at the end drink all day every day. Some drink just wine, some just beer and some just alcohol. Some drink all.
Normal, non alcoholic people do not need a drink to relax. The behavior you decribe of your husband definatley sounds alcoholic. As far as your heath questions, its best you discuss that with your dr. I can tell you what happend to me. My liver enzimes were elivated, I stopped growing body hair, I constantly was dehydrated and always had a head ache. Thats the thinks I knew without being dx'd by a dr. My liver was throbbing everyday. I was killing myself and I knew it. Yet I still could not stop. I was at the point where I drank to maintain and keep the wd's at bay.
I doubt your husband feels bright and cheerie in the morning. When he awakes at 2-3 in the morning, does he start drinking?
You know Annie, I have done some horrible things to myself and my family while activley drinking. Things that I would never do while sober. The guilt and shame that I carried with me was God awfull. In a alcoholic home, everyone is affected. I wish I could give you a hug. No person should have to live what you describe, lonley. What I can tell you is that you deserve to live a happy, safe life. Do you have friends that you can talk to about this? Its not your fault and you dont have to carry a burdon (sp?) that someone else is creating. Thank you for reminding me of how I hurt my family. I never want to go back there.
I'm praying for you and Bernice and would be glad to talk to you some more if you like.


08-07-2008, 02:41 AM
I am an alcoholic. Your account of your husband's drinking is an exact description of mine about three years before I reached my rock bottom and stopped in 1983. So you see, no matter how bad it seems, there is always hope.

As to your fellow's argument that he is simply a heavy drinker: the difference between alcoholics and heavy drinkers is 'CHOICE'. Heavy drinkers choose to drink—a lot—because they like it; alcoholics drink because they have to. The question your husband needs to answer, and answer honestly, is: Can I choose NOT to drink. If is answer is, "Yes," as it most certainly will be, he needs to demonstrate that TO HIMSELF, not to you. I suspect that he will be excatly like I was and try to fool himself.

He should also apply what I call 'The normal person test' — looking at the situation as if he were a third person looking on dispassionately, he should ask: "Is this behaviour one would expect to see in a normal person?"

As I always say, "We may be alcoholics but we are not stupid." If we acknowledge that we have a problem, then we must address that problem and that means stopping drinking. This is the nightmare scenario for all alcoholics since an abstinent life is sheer hell. I found that Alcoholics Anonymous had the answers because they can tell you what to do AFTER you have stopped drinking. They can also demonstrate that there is life beyond booze. Believe me, if your husband wants expert help, that is where he can find it.

Good luck!

08-07-2008, 06:16 PM
Hello Deep and Marilyn,

Thanks so much for your input. It is so refreshing to hear from people on the "other" side. You certainly explain everything so well.

Yes, hubby has decisions to make but unfortunately I cannot even bring up the subject with him without him getting abusive and angry. He has learned he can control me with his anger so I basically slink away. I don't know how to stand up for myself without being fearful of the consequences. I know it's sick to subject myself to this behavior for so long but it is all I know.

At this juncture in his life, he has to realize that the alcohol is taking its toll on his physical and mental health. I don't think he has the ability to deal with the commitment being sober would entail. That's sad...He thinks only of himself and blames everyone else for what is happening around him..so typical.

I do have a very wonderful and strong support system but it's not here where I spend the summer months. With that in mind, I am very seriously considering making an attempt to leave. At the same time, I plan to leave a copy of a journal I've been keeping. In this journal I have written about specific events that outline my disappointments and resentments along with thoughts of what I thought our life would be like at this stage. This is extremely difficult for me as I am now 66, retired and totally dependant on my husband’s retirement income. If he chooses to pull the plug on me in anger, I have no where to turn..

My first responsibility should be to ME.....I've been through counseling and listened to all the talk about coping mechanisms, making new friends, ignoring him, etc. It all works for a while. I am just so sick to death of having had to deal with this all my life. First my parents, then my brother, who died from alcoholism and my sister who thankfully is recovered and doing great. My next conversation will be with a lawyer....perhaps they will set me straight on the financial aspect.

Again, thanks for writing. I really appreciate hearing back from you folks....perhaps one day I can write back and tell you the situation has changed, either for me or hopefully us...wouldn't that be nice....;)

I applaud your efforts. It can't be easy for either of you to get past your addiction. You can be proud of your strength.

Have another great day! :angel:

08-07-2008, 07:03 PM

Thanks for sharing more of your story me. I heard a very strong woman in your post. A strong women but scared non the less. You have every right to be scared. An alcoholics abuse to family members is horrifying. The things I have said and done to my husband when I was activly drinking, well, I shudder to think about them..... You come across as a very well educated in the disease of alcoholism. I was also glad to read that you take care of yourself by talking to a councelor and you have a support system. Because as you say, I am on the "other side" I can tell you that I did things that I wouldnt do while sober. I was insecure, had low self esteem and hated myself. In a sick way, I wanted my husband to feel as bad about himself as I felt about me.
The only thing I can and must tell you is to take care of yourself, but you already know that. Some alcoholics get thier act together and seek recovery for themself if there is a risk of loosing thier spouse.

I have to run now, feel free to write back. I'd love to talk to you more.

P.S. Thanks for your kudos to me. By the grace of God I dont have the obsession to drink. I can tell you though, my hardest day in recovery is better than my best day drunk. I never want to go back there.

08-07-2008, 07:48 PM
I suppose a better question would be can he function if he doesn't have his Vodka at the same time every day. An Alcoholic is never sober as your doctor has told you. My brother was a school teacher and taught high school for over 25 years .....he was an alcoholic most of those years but he never drank during school hours. He was an obnoxious/arrogant drunk and was always getting himself beaten up at bars/taverns because he always thought he was better than anyone else. I am very glad he never got married or had children. His health suffered greatly as he aged so he had to take an early retirement at 60 from lung cancer(he smoked too)he was tied to a oxygen tank at home and died at 62.
Anyone that drinks like your husband will suffer bad health and each one has his own health issues. You have learned how to deal with his various moods and I am sure you are feeling quite alone/lonely if you have nothing else to occupy yourself. Since there is nothing you can do to stop him from his drinking why don't you join or at least attend Al-Anon meetings. A group of people that get together at least once a week or how ever often you want and learn how to live with the alcoholic in their life and also gain friendships with men/women in your same shoes...at least you would have someone to talk to. The times and places of the meetings are generally printed in all local newspapers...some women attend the meetings without their partners knowing that they go. Good luck.

08-07-2008, 07:58 PM
Hi Ann,
Good advise about Al-Anon. I second the motion! You may want to go back and read Stitches original post.
The Dr did not say her husband was sober, he told her that the alcohol never leaves his system.


08-13-2008, 10:34 PM

My husband is also an alcoholic.
When I married him, he drank scotch.
Now he drinks only wine.
He is now 50.
We have been married 8 years and have three daughters.
I love him very much.
He is killing himself with alcohol.
He works in a restaurant as a manager from 4pm to 1 am 6 days a week.
He drinks wine from the time he gets home 1:30 am until 4am, about a bottle and a half. On his days off he drinks beer, 2 then 2 bottles of wine.
Now that he is older he cannot tolerate the alcohol as well. His Dr. says his liver enzymes are elevated.
I have decided not to divorce him and leave him alone and have come to terms that he is going to die, perhaps soon. In my head, I'm preparing for his death. When he is gone, I would like to remarry but never again, will I fall in love with a man who drinks. He also smokes cigarettes and worries about money.
If he saved the $10 a day he spends on wine and cigarettes he'd have 50,000 in 10 years and wouldn't have to worry about his retirement.
Doesn't compute to him though.
My daughters will be my family when he is gone.
Guess, after trying to talk to him, both sober and drunk, I came to the realization that I cannot make him want to live. So I must accept that he may have to die. When he is drunk he can say cruel things if I stay around him, so I leave the room before he starts. Over time these cruel things have stored in my heart and tempered the depth of the love I will let myself feel for him.
Sad but that's my lonely reality.
He will never know the best of me.


08-19-2008, 04:54 PM
I have been an alcoholic since age 18 - I am 51.I have a loving husband of 10 years, 2 grown daughters, and a lot of people who love me.I have always been very responsible, a model employee, etc. I have tried the past year to quit - AA, herbal remedies, etc. I was sober for 2 weeks, then drank too much and got my first DUI.I finally decided to admit my addiction and told my parents, my close friends, my boss and the women in my Bible Study class at church what was going on.I was shocked at the love and support I received from everyone! It made it so much easier - you see, I was highly functining and people were shocked that I had any problems.I went to court and was sentenced to 4 days in the county jail. It was the worst 4 days of my life, but the best 4 days of my life because it saved my life. I have been sober for 28 days - may not seem like much, but it is the longest I have been sober for 3o years.It feels great to be able to remember what I actually did the night before, not to worry about someone finding my stash of booze, and not to have my husband angry with me for getting drunk. I am sorry that you have to go through that - I know countless times I hurt my husband and my children by my drunkeness.Maybe if you went away for a few weeks he would realize wht a blessing you are and decide to get sober. Alcoholism is such a deceptive disease- it makes you thnink you are in control of it, but it actually has control of you. I will be praying for you.

08-20-2008, 05:20 PM
To groovycindy.

28 days sober! That's great. But just keep remembering that
and its the CHANGE bit you mustn't forget. It is all about retraining your thinking. Go back to AA and persist until you fully understand what is on offer. AA is like medication: you can't overdose on it but you can take too little. There are no magical solutions to our problem, but one day at a time you CAN stay sober and get well.

Allow me to give you a big virtual hug and to say, "Well Done!"