Alcoholism has a negative impact on the person who struggles with the addiction, but it also has an impact on their family.
As a loving family member, you know this all too well.
When it’s your husband that can’t (or won’t even try to) stop drinking, you already know the impact this can have on your life.
Maybe he’s the type of guy whose always had a beer in his hand, or maybe his drinking never used to be a problem. Maybe it’s become such a part of his personality that it’s hard to imagine going out with your husband (or staying in) without it turning into a drinking night.
Maybe when you were both younger and didn’t have as many responsibilities, it wasn’t much of a problem, but as you get older, you see more and more how damaging the alcohol is becoming.
In any case, you want your husband back, and you want your life back, right? Or maybe it hasn’t gotten too out of hand yet, and you want to put a stop to things before it gets worse.
Whatever brings you here, here’s what to know about a husband who won’t stop drinking, and what you can do about it.
Husband Won’t Stop Drinking? Start Here.
Communication is the keystone of a relationship.
The first thing to do is to talk to your husband, but try not to approach it in a way that will make it hard for him to be receptive. You know your husband, and you probably have a good diea how to bring up something that’s a more sensitive topic.
This can be hard to talk about because it’s possible that he’s never thought about having a problem with alcohol before, or it’s something that he’s well aware about and might even feel insecure about if he’s been unable to stop on his own.
Approach him with love, let him know how you feel about his drinking, let him know some of the ways it’s affecting you (but not in an accusatory way). The goal is to just have a good, healthy conversation.
Try not to wait until you’re super annoyed about his drinking, or when he’s drinking, as that creates a backdrop for a less-than-productive conversation.
What If He Doesn’t Want Help or Won’t Acknowledge The Problem?
The ideal situation is that you bring up that you’re concerned about your husband’s drinking and he tells you that he understands, and he wants help to drink less, and you both move on to making a plan on how to do this.
Unfortunately, many wives of alcoholic husbands don’t always have such a receptive response.
Another option is gather some of his loved ones, friends, and staging an intervention. This is usually you something you do when the drinking is really starting to have a negative impact and people are well-aware of it.
On the other hand, some alcoholics can more or less keep it a secret from their loved ones. Sometimes, they’ll drink with their friends and its a social thing, or sometimes their drinking is a secret to almost everybody.
See also: Alcohol tremors and shakes
When someone’s showing up to drunk work and being sent home, getting into car accidents, getting fired, getting deep into debt, fighting with their wife and family all the time, scaring the children, and so on, it’s pretty obvious that it’s past time to get help and it’s time for serious intervention.
When someone’s more or less keeping themselves together, that doesn’t mean they don’t need help and that doesn’t mean that you need to be a prisoner of your husband’s alcoholism.
This Is His Battle, But You Can Be There For Him
At the end of the day, your husband has to want to quit drinking. If he won’t acknowledge there’s a problem and he really doesn’t think there is, at least get him to acknowledge that you feel like there’s a problem and his drinking is causing you distress. In that sense, it comes down to this: If he says it’s not a problem and he doesn’t need the alcohol, is he willing to drink less for you / or quit drinking altogether?
If he’s unable to stop or unwilling to stop after finding out that his drinking is causing problems, then that’s a clear sign that your husband has an issue.
If your partner’s drinking is causing you problems, and it hurts you to see them hurting themself, but they aren’t willing to take the steps towards recovery, then at a certain point it’s really not your responsibility to live like that.
It’s their problem, it hurts you, and it’s one thing if they’re willing to get help and to accept help but if they aren’t willing to get help, you have to ask yourself, how much are you willing to put yourself through or allow them to put you through?
Getting Help For An Alcoholic Husband
There are certainly local groups and organizations, wives of alcohol husband support groups, and similar resources.
Also, you can look into treatment for them. This way, when you bring up the conversation, you can have a solution for them.
If you need a starting point, call the phone number at the top of this page and take the first steps. Addiction treatment specialists are standing by to help you, so that you can help your husband.