How to Help an Alcoholic

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Since you’re here, you probably have a friend or loved one who is an alcoholic. And you probably want to know: how do you help an alcoholic in the real world? What can you do that will make a difference? Let’s find out:

First things first: work on changing your behavior, not the alcoholic

It is a hard fact to swallow at first, but the truth of the matter is that you are probably not going to be able to directly change an alcoholic’s behavior. Manipulating or threatening the alcoholic will only drive them deeper into isolation and heavy drinking.

If you try to control another person’s drinking, you are going to experience a loss of control and real powerlessness. Instead, if you focus on changing your own behavior, you will experience full control and an empowering mindset. This is how you go about helping an alcoholic: by focusing on your own behavior and how you choose to interact with the alcoholic….not by focusing on how you can manipulate or change the other person.

Keep reading. I will explain more below about how changing your behavior can help the alcoholic.

How can I convince an alcoholic to quit drinking?

This is a very difficult thing to do, most would say it is downright impossible. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference in the potential sobriety of a person. Show your support as best you can and let them know that you will support them in any way that you can if they choose to stop drinking.

There are no secret tricks or manipulations when it comes to this stuff. Some people imagine that there might be a way to threaten or coerce an alcoholic into quitting drinking. There definitely is not. If you threaten them, they will simply withdrawal further away from you.

Most, if not all alcoholics, are slowly self destructing, and they know it. Threats mean nothing to someone who is self destructing. You can’t intimidate someone who has nothing to lose. It is simply more fuel for the alcoholic fire.

Trying to shame an alcoholic into sobriety doesn’t work either. If you succeed in shaming them, this will only make them want to drink more because they will truly feel shamed. The alcoholic really is a sick person. Would you shame a disabled person? Of course not.

So basically, there is no way to directly convince an alcoholic to quit drinking.

All efforts to influence an alcoholics behavior are going to be mostly indirect, but this does not make them unimportant. You can influence their behavior and decisions, just not in a very fast or direct manner. More on this below.

How can I help an alcoholic make the decision to go to treatment?

Much like trying to convince someone to quit drinking, this can be a difficult task. But getting someone to agree to treatment is much easier, but at the same time, it is probably not very useful. Here’s why:

Recovering alcoholics who are sober now will talk about a point of surrender that they reached in their drinking. Virtually every one of them that you talk to can pinpoint that moment of surrender, when they finally threw in the towel and stopped fighting against their disease. This is the moment of surrender. This is where recovery starts.

No one knows how to induce this moment. If we did then we would have solved the problem of addiction and recovery. The best we can do is to encourage people towards this moment.

Once someone has reached the point of surrender, anything you do to help them will basically work. Any treatment center you send them to will produce good results. If they have not yet reached the point of surrender, then nothing you do will matter. At all. Nothing you do can overcome a lack of surrender. The alcoholic is still fighting and struggling and trying to control things and it’s just not going to work.

So how can you convince them to go to treatment? Simply offer to take them to treatment. If they’re not interested, then it makes no sense to press them further, because they are not ready. Even if you can somehow manipulate them into it, you are wasting your time. Not ready means not ready. And this has never been more true than when it comes to quitting drinking.

The best we can do is to be prepared to get them into treatment when the moment is right. Have a plan, make some calls, see what is available for alcoholic help. Then when the person has finally surrendered, you will have some options as to where you can take them.

How do you know when they’ve surrendered? When they ask for help. When they are ready to change on your terms, not on their terms. When they throw up their arms and say “I’ll do whatever you tell me to do. Show me how to live,” that is surrender. That is the start of recovery. Anything else on their part is more manipulation (such as “give me money,” or “I promise to go to treatment next week.”).

How can I organize an effective intervention for an alcoholic?

I have already written extensively about interventions, and I have a small bit of experience with them. I still think it is a possible option in some situations, but for the most part I am starting to see more and more evidence that formal interventions are almost never helpful. There is a sliver of hope here, though, because they occasionally do work in guiding an alcoholic towards recovery. But more and more I am seeing that they are never the magic bullet we think they might be; they cannot possibly be an instrument of real change. An intervention can not be the switch that goes off in the alcoholic’s mind that creates real surrender. That switch must be flipped in some other way, unfortunately, and there is seemingly no rhyme or reason to it.

But an intervention still might have benefits, even if it can not force recovery to happen instantly. For one thing, a formal intervention can:

1) Let the alcoholic know that people do care.

2) Show them that help is available (in the form of treatment).

3) Be a step towards their eventual surrender, even if it doesn’t get them clean and sober right now.

So if you are considering an intervention, understand that while the goal of the intervention is probably for the alcoholic to attend a treatment center and never drink again, this is probably an unrealistic expectation and you shouldn’t get your hopes up that high. More likely it is a step on their path to eventual sobriety. It might plant a seed for their awakening later on. Keep this in mind if things don’t go perfectly as planned. How do you help an alcoholic? Not by whacking them with a two by four, unfortunately. It takes gentle nudging in the right direction, and this idea of “planting a seed” is just that type of nudging.

How can I stop enabling an alcoholic?

This is really the core strategy that you need to focus on in your dealings with another alcoholic or addict: do not enable them.

What is enabling?

It’s just what it sounds like. If you enable an alcoholic, you allow them to continue drinking when they otherwise might have had to stop for some reason. But this gets tricky, because sometimes when we try to help an alcoholic, we are actually enabling them. Other times when we think we are “hurting” an alcoholic, we are actually helping them by observing healthy boundaries. Figuring out the difference here is critical.

If you can stop enabling the alcoholic, then this will get them closer and closer to facing reality and making an eventual decision to stop drinking on their own. This is the goal of helping the alcoholic–to force them to examine their own reality and hopefully make a change. Trying to convince them verbally is pointless. Threatening them is pointless. The key is to not enable them. Here’s how to go about doing that:

1) Don’t deny them consequences of their drinking

If the alcoholic in your life gets pulled over for drunk driving and lands in jail, leave them there. Do not bail them out. Sitting in jail is a natural consequence of their behavior, and they need to experience that consequence. It is part of the learning process. If you deny them that consequence, then they cannot learn.

Obviously, it might take several consequences before the alcoholic “wakes up” and decides to try something different (like recovery). But if there are never any consequences, why would the alcoholic ever decide to change? They wouldn’t. So do not deny them the natural consequences that occur due to their drinking.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to punish them or get them into trouble. Just let them fall on their face. If you keep “putting pillows under them” when they fall, then they will never be motivated to change.

2) Understand when you are helping versus enabling

Genuinely helping an alcoholic would involve things such as directing them to a treatment center, encouraging them to get help, or possibly taking them to an AA meeting. Examples of enabling behavior would be like if the alcoholic needs to borrow 50 dollars to keep their electricity turned on.

Just because the alcoholic needs money for something other than drinking does not mean you should give it to them. In fact, you should never loan or give money to someone who is still drinking, regardless of what they need it for. Doing so is enabling because they will continue to spend their other funds on drugs and alcohol.

Your approach to “helping” them needs to become very “hands-off.” The only way to really help them is when it is directly linked to a recovery effort (such as going to meetings or rehab). Everything else you might do for them is just manipulation and control on their part. Help for alcoholics does not come in the form of money or favors. Knowledge and encouragement is what they really need.

Beware of bargaining as well. “Loan me 50 bucks today and I promise I will go to rehab on Monday” does not cut it. Never bargain with them like this. It’s just more manipulation. If they want to bargain, you set the terms, not them. For example: “I will drive you to rehab on Monday if you are still willing to go.”

3) Understand and practice detachment

Detachment is the idea that the disease of alcoholism is separate from the alcoholic themselves. It’s the idea that we can love a person but hate their disease. When we practice detachment, we can view an alcoholic’s outrageous behavior as being part of their disease without taking it so personally. We can still love them even though they are sick and their behavior is unacceptable at times.

If you really want to help an alcoholic then you must start practicing detachment. Doing so will save your sanity as well as to start pushing the alcoholic closer to facing their own reality. That’s because your detachment will force them to examine their own actions instead of your reactions. When you stop reacting to the alcoholic’s outrageous behavior, it takes away an “out” that the alcoholic can use to shift the focus.

Detachment is not easy, and you might not do it perfectly at all times. But it’s important to understand the concept and to practice it as best you can. Even if it seems like you are distancing yourself from the alcoholic, it is still the healthiest behavior you can choose. You are choosing to distance yourself from their disease and the emotional turmoil that it creates.

4) Set healthy limits and boundaries

How can we know what healthy boundaries are? By separating the disease from the alcoholic.

In other words, if the person were not drinking, would they still need you to bail them out of jail or call in sick to work for them? Of course not. So don’t do those things for them, ever.

Always ask yourself before attempting to “help” the alcoholic: “Could they do this for themselves if they weren’t drinking?” If the answer is yes, then you should not “help” them with it.

Likewise, if the alcoholic is drunk and is engaging in unacceptable behavior (such as being verbally abusive for example), would that behavior be acceptable to you if they were sober? If the answer is no, then you should not tolerate that behavior….ever.

If their behavior is unacceptable when they are drunk then it is unacceptable, period. You should not tolerate it if you would not expect it from them if they were sober.

This is the process of setting healthy limits and boundaries. You have to decide what is acceptable behavior on their part, regardless of whether or not they have been drinking. In other words, the drinking can no longer be an excuse for their behavior. Separate the disease from the person and act accordingly.

Sometime, when the alcoholic is sober, you will want to communicate your limits and boundaries with them. This doesn’t have to be an angry argument. Simply tell them in advance how you will behave under certain conditions. For example: “I will not loan you money in the future, regardless of what you need it for. I will not bail you out of jail. I will not call in sick to work for you if you are hung over.” And so on.

Always, always, always follow through on your promises. Never make idle threats. Say what you mean and follow through with it. This is the only way to affect lasting change in the relationship.

You might be tempted to make a threat that you do not intend to follow through with. Don’t do it. Only set limits that you fully intend to enforce.

5) Don’t react to their drinking episodes.

Most of the big arguments happen when an alcoholic gets out of control and either gets into trouble or makes a fool of themselves. We have a tendency to react to these situations, and it is natural for us to believe that the greater our reaction is, the more likely it is to change their behavior (or at least get through to them so that they hear us). This is the wrong strategy.

When you react to their drinking episode, they can shift to focusing on to your reaction instead of on their behavior. Carry on as normal and they are forced to examine their part in things. Stop giving them fuel for their fire by reacting and blowing up at them. This just creates arguments and possibly drives them into isolation and more drinking.

This idea of non-reaction does not mean that you forget about your limits and boundaries. By all means, stick to your guns with them. That is extremely important.

Enforce limits and boundaries with decisive action–action that you had previously decided on in a rational moment of clarity and probably also communicated to the alcoholic. In the heat of the moment, do not react. Do not pour fuel on the fire. Simply follow through with the actions that you decided on (such as, “if you come home drunk again, I’m going to go stay over at a friend’s house for the night,” or whatever the case may be).

This is how to enforce limits and boundaries…with action instead of arguing. With detachment instead of emotional turmoil.

Action items – What you can do:

1) Detach. Separate the person from the disease and act accordingly.

2) Don’t enable. Never do for the alcoholic what they could do for themselves if they were sober.

3) Don’t react. Stop blowing up at the alcoholic and thinking that this will change things. Ignore their episodes and they will be forced to look at themselves for once.

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  • Pamela

    My husband is a cheating alcoholic, and it’s very difficult to not react to his cheating. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Pamela

    I don’t think you should treat his cheating any differently based on the fact that he has been drinking or not. In other words, don’t let his drinking be an excuse for anything. Act accordingly.

    Some behavior is acceptable and some is not. Communicate what is and what is not and outline what course of action you will take based on his behavior. Don’t threaten to leave unless you’re willing to go through with it.

    I would also urge you to ask for help and possibly seek out an Al-Anon group.

  • Marie

    I should have read the title bar .. I left a post on your home page. Glad I found this page.

    I believe that through my own need for sanity, I’ve followed your advice unsuspectingly- detach, dont enable, dont react.

    I suppose I need to stick to my guns and not see this man Im trying to help until he can meet me sober and also listen to my suggestions of getting into rehab. Ive mentioned it to him in the past -probably at times when he was drunk and, of course, there is no problem as far as he’s concerned.

    I suppose in a way this is harder than being the addict himself. As the addict will know his “point of surrender”.

  • angela

    how do you detach when small children are involved and the alcoholic is very undependable, especially with money for the bills? Just wait until we are homeless? And have no car? I am having a difficult time right now. He is working out of town and we see virtually none of the money. And there is always an excuse. this is the worst he has been.. Plus I have to deal with lawsuits due to bounced checks (large amts)because the account was in my name. How do I deal with all of this?

  • Patrick

    That sounds like a difficult situation, Angela, and I’m afraid there are no easy answers. I would encourage you to get to an Al-Anon group and seek advice from others who have been exactly where you are now. I would also take what steps I could to protect yourself as an individual, especially with the financial stuff. I would try to get some legal counsel that can at least clear your name in the case of the bounced checks.

    Hopefully you can find strength through this stuff. I know it’s not fair. Get to an Al-Anon group and start putting yourself (and your children) first.

  • Angela

    I am with a ” functioning” alcoholic. He owns a business, has a million dollar home and all the nice things that come with it. He is an angry alcoholic – toward me, his kids, whoever gets in his way. His dad was an alcoholic and he doesn’t see the similarities in himself. The biggest problem is that he has never had any consequences to face except for an occasional scrape. I would love to move out and not enable him, but with no where to go and no money how I can I do that in the same house?

  • Eric

    My father is an alcoholic with no money and no insurance. He has been in a drunken state for over a week now. My step mother just called me to tell me that I need to get him out of the house. He cannot live with me. I don’t know where to take him that will help him. He is 57 years old and recently lost his job of 25 years. He needs to be deemed disabled and put on social security disability insurance. I don’t know what to do. Aren’t there social workers that I can call or people who’s job it is to help people like my father?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Eric

    I do not think that the process of getting someone on disability is a very quick one. It sounds to me like you would do well to encourage your father to seek treatment.

    I would start with the phone book and calling local places that can direct you. Even if they can not help, they will know who can. Follow the trail until you find someone that offers detox and residential treatment. That is a good starting place and they can best help your father in the short term. It sounds like he might even be a good candidate for long term treatment.

    Good luck in your search. Try to get him into a short term treatment center and they can help him from there. Good luck to both of you….

  • Joe


    I was wondering if you could help. My mum has recently fallen off the wagon recently after 10 years of sobriety and is now in the grip of it again but is nowhere near as bad as she was before. She was helped in the past by AA meetings after trying rehab which didnt work. Is there any advice you can give? She doesnt think the meetings will help again.


  • Patrick

    Hi Joe

    Ten years of sobriety is not trivial and I would think she should focus her efforts on duplicating her previous success. Yes she eventually fell off the wagon but 10 years is no accident. She obviously learned how to live sober and that is something that she could feasibly return to if she had the desire.

    Does she have the desire? She knows how to live sober. 10 years proves that much.

    I would say it is all up to her. Meetings don’t have to be her solution but she did something for 10 years that helped her through….she needs to return to that strategy and make it work for her again.

    Good luck to both of you….

  • Diana

    My son is a 31 year old alcoholic that is sinking deeper into debt every day. He is really starting to lose control of his temper. At this time he is going through a divorce that is due to his drinking and drug problem. He has a 6 year old son that he gets to have every other weekend. Last night I recieved a call from his soon to be ex. My son called her drunk, wanting to say he was sorry for the past and that he wanted to say goodbye to his son on the phone. He stated that he had his rifle out and that he couldn’t take life anymore. All of us ( his family ) rushed over to his apartment. His new girlfriend had locked herself in the bedroom in fear. My son did have his gun out. He has alot of debt due to not being employed. He lost his good job due to his drinking several months ago. He is feeling helpless and sorry for himself. We stayed and talked to him until 2:00 AM this morning. What should we have done in this instance? I feel like we should have called the police, but I was alone in this thought. Where can we go from here when he has no money to get help. He also damaged his hand badly from punching the tv and fridge, but refused treatment because of his money situation. Please give me ideas. We live in Wisconsin.

  • Patrick

    Hi Diana

    In terms of someone threatening to hurt themselves, I would tend to side with you Diana and try to get him in to a safe facility of some sort. I know some hospitals will admit psychiatric situations like that right through the Emergency room, although I’m not sure if that is an option where you are at. But I would tend to side with you and do whatever I could to help someone who is suicidal.

    As for the addiction, I would call around to local treatment centers and get information directly from them. Here in Michigan there is a certain amount of state funding that occurs for people to go to treatment when they do not have insurance. Each state is different though so you will have to get on the phone and find out. Cross your fingers and hope that there are funding agencies in Wisconsin like there are in Michigan. Best of luck to you and your son…..

  • kell

    My Aunt is scaring my family stiff with her drinking. She is blacking out and passing out after 2 bottles of wine per night and we are scared she will continue falling/passing out and hit her head and kill herself. She is fiercly in denial and gets very angry if we bring it up. She has been through a lot these last few years and it feels like she is at her lowest point. She has disowned her own children because they are telling her what she doesnt want to hear and have had enough of seeing thier mum like that. She has recently been talking about suicide and going away, and I am very concerned for her wellbeing. What can I do without coming over too strong? She will never talk to me again if I try to interfere but I am worried sick. Thank you if you can help us.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Kell

    Steep denial is very difficult to overcome in a situation like that, especially if the person is rather stubborn to begin with. If she is suicidal then her problems are bigger than alcoholism. You might even consider attempting to treat her for the suicidal behavior first. In some cases you can get her into a safe place that can help treat her for that, although I’m not so sure she would go willingly. I believe most facilities that treat suicidal thoughts also consider substance abuse and usually have groups that focus on that as well.

    Of course none of this matters if you can’t convince her to go. It varies by state here in the US, but there is also the option of committing someone for a few different reasons. In some states you can commit others for substance abuse, but not in all states.

    That stuff can get complicated and I hope you can just convince her to get help. Not easy to do if she is resigned to just calling it quits on her own life. Prayers for both you and your mom….

  • lynn

    How do you help an alcoholic and recovering addict if their physical environment, past criminal record, longtime partner and current financial situation supports their behavior after multiple attempts of sobriety? As an outsider looking in, it seems like it’s an endless cycle…surrender, detox, sober for 30 days, feels useless because no job offers come from past criminal record, move back in with alcoholic partner in bad neighborhood, drinks again…and so on. How can I help without enabling the person?

  • Sara

    I think I have finally realized that my boyfriend has a drinking problem. He is very successful at work and never drinks during the day. We see each other mostly on weekends (as I live about 45 minutes away via public transport). On weekends, he downs 2-3 bottles of wine each evening. His personality doesn’t really change, he’s still pretty sweet and harmless. Up until recently, I have been drinking with him (a fraction of the amount) mostly I think to avoid confronting his problem– I could pretend he was normal if I drank with him. I’ve stopped doing that recently. I even confronted him on the amount he drinks– he asked how it impacts me. I can’t say that it directly does– we live in a city and don’t drive, and he doesn’t become an angry drunk or anything. The only particular thing I could point to was that when he is drunk he hogs the bed and snores loudly, which causes me to sleep on the sofa sometimes. I’m not sure where to go from here to show him consequences for his actions– should I leave in the middle of the night when he stumbles into bed (which would entail wandering the dark streets for a $50 cab ride home?)

  • Patrick

    Hi there Sara

    Sounds like you are in a tough situation. I think if you stick around long enough your boyfriend might eventually start experiencing some consequences from his drinking. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from your decision to leave or whatever…if he is truly alcoholic then he will force the issue himself. I would just urge you to use good boundaries and set some healthy limits, don’t let his drinking become your excuse for letting things happen that you otherwise would find unacceptable. For example, if he drinks a few bottles of wine and then insists on driving you somewhere. That is crossing a line that is not acceptable to most people. Now that is just an example, if you find yourself objecting to something but say “oh, well he is drunk so it’s OK,” then that is a red flag…it’s NOT OK, and this is where you could get into trouble.

    So proceed with caution, communicating about this stuff can be tricky and create resentment and anger, but that might be the path you are forced to take some day. Set limits and communicate them if you have to. Let him know what you will not tolerate.

    You could also seek help locally from Al-Anon meetings, they can advise you based on their experience….

    Good luck to you both.

  • Debbie

    My husband is an alcholic that works everyday, and I would say that most people have no idea he has a problem. Even I for the longest time, didn’t believe it. We have been married now for almost 11 years and his drinking has become a true issue. I have asked him to stop, I have offered my support in everyway possible to help him. He is in denial that he has a problem. He will not seek help and I don’t know what to do. I love him and he is such a good man. The only advice I see for people that love alcoholics is to leave them. Is there any other way???

  • Patrick

    There are of course 2 options, Debbie, you can leave or you can stay. It’s not necessarily a good idea to leave, things could in fact work out really well in the end if you stick it out.

    But do not fool yourself if you decide to stay. Realize that you can NOT change him. Only he can make that decision. If you go to Al-Anon meetings for support you will learn that it is best for you not to cling to a false hope that you can somehow convince him to stop drinking. Yes, you can still support him in any efforts he might make to stop, but realize that you are powerless over his drinking. If he is in denial then the best you can do sometimes is to make sure you do not enable him and let natural consequences play out as they will.

    If everything stays relatively calm and good in his life then there really is no problem (even if you know there is a drinking problem) and he will not seek help. The only way he will seek help is if HE sees there is a problem. Even then it might take a lot for him to see his disease and decide to do something about it.

    Therefore, do not deny him of his pain or of his consequences. If he falls on his face, let him fall. If he lands in jail for drunk driving, let him sit there. Only when he experiences enough pain and the alcohol can no longer medicate the pain enough will he decide to change. Unfortunately for some they have to lose their loved ones before reaching this point.

    Best for your serenity, Debbie, is to find help locally in Al-Anon meetings or something similar. Good luck to you and your husband…

  • Patrick

    Hi Lynn

    I know it is tough when someone has a past that is holding them back in recovery with legal problems and such. I believe in a holistic approach that addresses our full life and the whole situation, so addressing those other needs is critical as well. For example, finding an agency that can help with job placement and finding work for someone can be just as important as the support to actually stay sober for some people.

    So it seems to be about finding resources that can help him. He needs to get connected with an agency that can assist with this type of thing. Good luck to both of you…..

  • Charles

    My wife has been showing signs of alcohol abuse. I am struggling with how to set boundaries and avoid enabling her in social situations with family, friends, and usually our kids (ages 11, 14 & 17).

    We are at get togethers multiple times a month at a restaurant, or at a family or friends home where the adults are drinking. My wife has had gastric bypass surgery which seems to increase the effect of alcohol. She often becomes intoxicated, which is noticeable by her speech, behavior and sometimes coordination. My kids recognize the problem and are often embarrassed.

    I always stay sober and drive home. Am I enabling her by doing this? How can I set boundaries in these situations, without trying to manipulate and control her drinking?

    I have already tried pleading, and controlling and getting angry with her. None of this worked. I am ready to try detaching and setting boundaries, and to stop enabling if I am. Any advice is very much appreciated. I love her and want to do the right things to help.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Charles

    I think detachment is what is necessary in your situation. The problem is how to go about doing it while maintaining your life with the person.

    Part of the idea is to make her face the consequences of her drinking. Getting angry with her did not work. The experts suggest that if she really screws up and goes off the deep end, you should not blow up at her and get angry, because this will shift the focus off of her drinking and on to you being angry and blowing up.

    Instead, the key is in non-reaction. This might sound like you are avoiding the issue or ducking something but it is the best strategy when she expects anger. You must not react. Continue as if nothing is wrong and this will force her to face the consequences of her drinking.

    You might also encourage your children to do the same but I don’t know if that is really fair to young children. But the idea is to force her to take a look at her drinking. If you save her from embarrassment then this will not happen. If you protect her from consequences then she will not feel the pain of them and eventually change.

    Can you take a few months off from doing the get togethers? If so this might force the issue and she will no longer have this social situation where drinking is encouraged. Then she’ll have to drink at home or find transportation or risk drunk driving. The idea is not to make her crash and burn but only to make her honestly face her drinking problem.

    I have tried to apply the suggestions to your situation but if you went to an Al-Anon meeting the people there could probably help you even more. Good luck to you Charles and to your wife, I have hope for her recovery…..

  • Charles

    Hi Patrick,

    Thank you for the advice. I will try detachment as you suggested. I obtained a list of Al-anon meetings nearby. I plan on going to a meeting during the next week.

  • Sabrina

    This is a great site. So often people just need advise on how to react, how to handle situations. In alanon there is no advise.
    Do you know of a website for recovery victoms to share and talk about feelings.
    Thanks for sharing your web site.

  • Patrick

    Hi Sabrina

    I would start your search at

    There you can do live chat with other Al-anon members. If that doesn’t seem to help much, perhaps those people can direct you to other resources.

    Good luck to you Sabrina, thanks for the comment.

  • C.G


  • Sarah

    My friend is an alcoholic and she HATES herself when she drinks. Every time she drinks she always ends up depressed and unmotivated about her life. She gets very suicidal and wants to be detached from everyone. She claims that the she has REAL feelings when she’s drunk and when she is sober she is feeling-less. She believes her drunk self is her TRUE self. She doesn’t live with me, but she calls when she is drunk and is crying so I go to her house and she tells me how much she hates me and wants to be alone, but I know that’s not what she wants. She hates her disease, but still isn’t ready to admit it’s her problem. She hates herself for not being able to fight it alone. She has said she would want to go to rehab for 30 days, but her family can’t afford it, because she doesn’t have health insurance. How can I help her? Please help me! I want to help her so bad and I don’t know what to do.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Sarah

    I would call around to some local treatment centers and see what they offer for funding options. Insurance is just one way to pay. In some states they have grants that will pay for people to go to rehab. In other cases they might do a payment plan.

    I know how it is with your friend and feeling like she has feelings when she drinks. It’s like you block out the negative stuff with the booze but can still have a good time. Unfortunately that becomes less and less frequent the longer you keep drinking. The “window of happiness” gets smaller and smaller with each passing day. Then one day you realize that alcohol is no longer fun at all, and the best you can do is to black out. Not fun.

    Hopefully your friend will seek help before she gets to that point…..

    Good luck to you both.

  • Elaine

    My husband is 54 and until 3 years never drank. He up until that time was a wonderful husband and father. He has had ulcerative colitis for 20 years and 3 years ago had a heart attack and quadruple bypass. Since then he has become an alcoholic and has progressively became worse. He has been through an intensive outpatient program twice-both were unsuccessful. He was fired from his job three months ago and has pretty much drank night and day since then, with only few days here and there with no drinking. He is drawing unemployment and spends the biggest part of it on drink. Fortunately, I have a good job and so for now, I can hold on financially in hopes that our house sells soon, etc. However, he was the major wage earner and unless we decrease our assets quickly, things will get bad financially. (If he doesn’t spend his money, he will access credit to purchase his drink.) He has up until this time been a wonderful husband and father and it is difficult for me and my children to believe what has happened. I know he feels worthless, is extremely depressed, and pretty much does nothing but lie on the sofa and watch TV. For the most part, he is still kind to us but, like most people who have drank too much, he can be loud and kind of “sickening” in his behavior. Due to his health problems, I really fear for his life and my children love their Dad (as I do) and want him to just QUIT!! He has seen a psychiatrist (until recently) and is taking medicine for his depression, which I think is counter productive due to his continued drinking. Counselors at the intensive outpatient say they have never seen someone become so dependent and advanced in their alcoholism in such a short time and feel he needs to a 30 day inpatient program. I have offered to take him and have talked to several so I would have somewhere for him to go should he agree. He says he will get help when he decides to get help….I have been trying to detach myself and not react as much as I used to to his drinking. I have thought about trying to have him committed but truly I’m afraid this might send him over the edge…I’m not even sure his heart could take it. This man used to be very concered with his appearance and now I have to remind (encourage) him to take a shower. He says taking a shower gets him out of breath. Should I just let him lie on the sofa and drink, knowing that his health is rapidly deterioriating? I feel like his circumstance is different because his health is so bad. (He has been hospitalized in the past three years for pancreatitis, his heart attack and two chronic episodes of colitis. He takes remicaid infusion every six weeks which is an audio immune drug or else he would have to have a colostomy.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Elaine

    Wow that is quite a story and quite a stressful situation. It sounds like your husband is in very poor health and I wish I had a magic bullet for you on this one.

    Depending on what state you live in, you might be able to commit him to a facility. But like you said this might “push him over the edge” and indeed might strain your relationship to a breaking point. It could create resentment and draw him further into his drinking.

    Of course you might get to a point where it is worth it to take that risk. If you are not interested in seeing him continue as is, and you’re willing to risk some major consequences, then it might be worth looking into.

    Keep in mind that it probably won’t do much good to commit someone, but there is a shred of hope that just getting sober will click the light on for them. But this is less likely than you think, based on my experience (both as an alcoholic and as a full time employee at a treatment center).

    In this case Elaine I think you should consult a doctor who is knowledgeable about alcoholism and addiction and see what they say. Obviously you can’t force someone to get sober but a doctor might here those health problems and say “Commit him at any cost.” I really have no idea as I’m not a medical professional but I am as concerned as you are about that state of health.

    I have seen so many alcoholics die since I got sober 8 years ago. It really is frightening. With that said I wish both you and your husband good luck on this and I hope he can get the help he needs….

  • Madona

    I love your advice about detachment. I really need to learn how to do that. I get so angry when my husband looks me right in the eye and lies to me like I’m the crazy one. And I am most of the time. Can you suggest a good book on how to detach from an alcoholic that provides exercises on doing so?

    And in regards to setting boundaries is sleeping on the couch good enough when my husband comes home drunk if I have no where else to spend the night?

    Thank you so much for your help!

  • Patrick

    Those are good questions Madona and I would encourage you to seek help from an Al-anon meeting for more specific advice. I can tell you that one of the best authors on this topic for a good book to read is Mealody Beattie’s “Codependent No More.” Look it up at the local library or just Google it and read up on her stuff.

    At any rate, good luck to you and your husband both….

  • Orysia

    My brother is 52 years old and in the past year he has been put out of his home of 27 years,his wife filed for divorce, she filed a restraining order against him, he was arrested in his driveway with hi first DUI,has been to 30 day rehabs twice, detox facilities 4 times,Got stopped for a Second DUI and recently went to court drunk and was issued a third DUI, Lost very lucrative job–He has his a PHD and is exteremely intelligent and tries to tell everyone how to handle him and his addiction. I have read Codependent No More but somehow I still feel like I need to do something to prompt his sobriety. He is presently in his apartment, isolated from everyone, hoping to die so he has said many times. His wife and I have intervened on several occassions and brought him to crisis intervention. He detoxes and starts all over again. He has maxed out his credit cards and I’m afraid will be evicted from his apt. I am trying very hard to detach—Do I call him—do I visit his apertment–Do I just pray and wait the outcome of this last seemingly hopeless situation? Please Help with some advice.Thank you for listening

  • Patrick

    Hi there Orysia

    That is a very desperate situation and it sounds like you have already run through the entire gamut of interventions and crisis rescues and whatnot. Not many options out there that you haven’t already tried.

    In some states you can commit people for this but in others you cannot. Not sure if that is the right choice anyway. We all know that it has to be his decision to change and not yours, but I understand your desperation.

    I suppose you could try to expand your intervention efforts. Get more family involved. Not sure that is the right answer though.

    Prayer, yes. Not much else for you to try. Hopefully he has “had enough” pain and will make a change. Prayers for both of you. Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    im 13 years old. my best friend is 15 and a freshman in high school. this is her second time being an alcoholic. i grew up with an alcoholic father. he never hit us or anything but i was still scared of him. my other best friend who is also a freshman in high school was just in the hospital for alcohol posioning. trying to convince your best friend to set down the bottle of vodka when your on the phone and throw it away is one of the hardest things ive ever had to do.

  • Patrick

    Hi there anonymous 13 year old,

    You are so young for these kinds of problems. I hope what you see in others will be lesson enough for you: steer clear of the booze! There is no great life in abusing drugs and alcohol. It is only misery heaped on more misery. Good luck to you….

  • Steppingstonecenter

    You’re absolutely right about reaching the point of surrender, before true recovery can take place. Unfortunately, unless this takes place, there is nothing anyone can do to stop the addiction. Manipulating addicts to a rehab center just doesn’t work, either. However, I would think the kind of rehab center you choose does matter. Any center will give you the basic detox and recovery treatment but the atmosphere and the understanding help of professionals goes a long way. A home atmosphere helps more than a prison-like system. Treatment centers like Stepping Stone have had a good success rate.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Stepping Stone Treatment Center

    I’m sure you have a fine rehab facility, and I appreciate your insights. But I still think that he quality of the treatment center is one of the least important variables when it comes to long term success rates. My own experience has been that a “lessor” treatment center was the one that finally did the trick for me, simply because I was ready at the time. It didn’t matter how nice or homely other treatment centers were for me because at the time I went to them I just wasn’t ready to change.

    I also agree that manipulating an addict into rehab is usually a losing strategy….on the other hand, it might plant a seed that will later come to fruition for that person.

  • Scott

    How would you deal with an ex-wife who is an alcoholic as well as bipolar? I wish she would stay out of my life totally but we have a daughter together that I raise. I feel bad for her because she is losing everything she has and it doesn’t seem like she can comprehend it. I’m at the point that she probably does need to lose everything but it just seems like a shame that it has to happen. I know I can’t help her but at the same time it’s hard to see things ever getting better for her.

  • Patrick

    Sorry to hear about that situation Scott. It sounds like you are doing what you can and simply raising your daughter with or without your ex-wife’s help. She will have to find her own bottom. Maybe you can suggest rehab but you have probably done that and she does not sound like she is quite ready to change.

    Pray for her and if it happens it happens. Some of us do manage to change some day. Good luck to you and your ex….

  • Linda


    I think my partner of three years has a drinking problem. It’s was not easy to notice or to point at it, as he never ever becomes violent or rude, or gets into trouble with a law (actually he tends to drive when drunk and even drives with his 10 year old son when he takes him home).
    He is 40, musician and was in music industry for a long time. As much as I know from his stories he was well into drinking and drugs and being depressed. After one lost lawsuit he has a big debt that he never felt he will be able to pay off. He lost trust of his industry and stopped playing and composing. He had good jobs after that but no joy or satisfaction from them. When we were in a good financial situation I suggested to quit and go back to music. So he is doing a course and composes little by little again. He got a bit optimistic, we are planning a family and life together. We also decided to move to our home country this year after his studies because I have my own place there and family will be there for us too. However as he is in such debt, he is planning to file for bankruptcy and then leave. All these failures make him depressed no matter how much I try to cheer him up. I think he thinks he failed his previous relationship, he will lose his son to a new boyfriend of his ex, so he continues to drink. He used to drink a bottle of wine or two a night, and when he hooks up – he looses it totally. He doesn’t drink spirits normally, but when it gets out of control he would drink anything. Sometimes he doesn’t drink for couple of months and is very happy about it, telling how well he feels and that’s the way forward to him. But then he goes out with his other troubled friends and won’t come back home, and when he does I’d found out he was taking drunks and drinking a lot. As I said he doesn’t cause a trouble, so sometimes I was comforting him (everyone slips…), sometimes I’d get angry and nag him about it, I’ve tried to control him and our alcohol intake at home, but it just doesn’t work. I’ve suggested to look for help, but he says he tried it (I suppose AA) and it didn’t work, he was taking antidepressants for a long time but the show goes on really. He agreed he has a problem (actually says it himself) and wants to sort drinking out, or asks me to run away from him, leave him because he’s ashamed. He says he want to have a second chance and start new life with me. However, recently he said he is drinking in secret and much more than I think or know. That was very unexpectede as I thought I knew and could recognise the level of drunkness on him. I am lost and not really sure what do to. I want to help him but don’t know how. We live in London (UK). Your advice would be very appreciated.

  • http://internetexplorer E.J. Phelps

    I have a daughter in law that is an alcolholic. She gave birth to a little girl this month. She drank the whole pregancy, yet the baby seems fine. She is still drinking and getting drunk, yet her husband is staying sober to take care of the baby. I worry she will get drunk during the week while daddy is at work. She hates to see me when she is drinking. How can I help her if at all possible and when do I get outside help?

  • Patrick

    @ Linda – Hi there Linda, I’m not sure there is much you can do at this point other than be honest with him and support him if he wants to get help. That is classic behavior that he feels so ashamed and asks you to leave him, thinking that this might somehow force him to face his drinking problem. Tell him that it would not work and he must face the problem with or without you, your actions make no difference. In fact if you left it would probably depress him further and give him excuse to drink. He must take the necessary action to pull himself out of it and seek help. There are other avenues besides AA but that would be a decent place to start. Treatment centers would be a good option as well.

    @ E.J. Phelps – Hi there EJ. I doubt you can help her in any sort of direct way as she has already demonstrated that she will not get sober for the sake of others (as evidenced by her drunken pregnancy).

    As such you should intervene when you feel that she is truly a danger to herself or others. If you think she might pass out and thus neglect the baby then that would be cause for alarm in my book. Of course, intervening in this manner will usually involve the police and that will create huge resentments. Not a good situation and no easy answers for you I’m afraid. She might have to learn things the hard way and if that means losing her child for a while then it might have to come to that.

    Good luck to you both….

  • kathy

    I have a 60 who is in a halfway house working on her 2nd attempt recovery. the last time she was sober for 6 months. This house told her she needs to get a job in 5 days or will be out unless she can pay them for 2 wks. stay. She is not having luck with jobs. How do I know when to help with cash even when I don’t have much to spare?

  • Patrick

    That is a tough call right there Kathy because if she is already in treatment then you have to have hope that she is in it for a real change this time.

    On the other hand, you should not be made to sacrifice yourself for her. That is not right and you should not feel like you are expected to do that. If she has truly surrendered to her disease and is determined to follow through with her recovery, then she will find a way even if she is discharged from that facility.

    Now being discharged from long term treatment is a pretty good excuse to go relapse, but it is still an excuse. It is not up to you to save the world, you can only do what you can and it sounds like you will seriously short yourself if you put up the money.

    It takes time to get a job….I would have a tendency to make her find her own path on this one instead of throwing your money at it. She made it to 6 months sober in the past, so you should not be bothering with sacrificing your own money just to get her to 2 weeks of sobriety. Just my 2 cents of course, but if you have to bend over backwards to keep her sober and it’s only been 2 weeks so far, you are in for a long, long road.

    Good luck with whatever you decide…

  • http://Jackson

    I started dateing this guy in july after meetng him 2 years earlier at a party. We broke up but have still been casual dating. He got arrested a couple of months ago for a DUI. Even though we both drank and party alot I know he needs help and he has come to realize that after having to serve jail time and loosing his liscens. So my question is how do i go about helping him with recovery without over stepping boundries and pushing him away from what we have going on?

  • Renae

    Due to some unique cirumstances my husband and I have opened our home to those trying to leave the world of addiction both alcohol and drugs behind. We are very stern in who can live here – they must be 3-6 months sober, come with references (character) that we check and need to supply their own food. We don’t bother insisting on RENT as more often than not they are destitute, they often come with legal problems and we encourage them to clear these up. We offer no counseling as they are to be involved in rehab programs and they are to clean up after themselves, help with household chores and more or less act like an adult. No vulgar language, no falling off any type of wagon and no disrespect to anyone in the house are the only rules. Because neither of us has ever had any addiction we feel we have offered a safe haven but are not experienced in advising these individuals. Our problem is how do we set boundaries that will help our houseguests move forward and yet not make them feel like they are being ‘talked down to’. Every conversation we try regarding finances, communication with family or simple household responsibilities ends up in us feeling guilty. Your comments are appreciated.

  • Patrick

    @ Quartermain – well you have to decide about your OWN boundaries first. What is acceptable to you? If he continues to drink to excess do you really want to be in a serious long term relationship with that? If not then you need to communicate this boundary to him in plain and simple terms. Not as a threat but simply as your course of action. Give him time to choose his own path and if it is meant to be then he will make the decision.

    If not, then walking away from the relationship might be what he needs to “see the light.” That might be the catalyst of change and things might come around again some day off in the future, you never know….

    @ Renae – that is a very interesting situation you are in and I believe that is exactly how Hazelden got started in Minnesota if I am not mistaken. It sounds like you are running it as a long term treatment center similar to a halfway house.

    I personally lived in a long term treatment center and so I experienced strict rules and strict enforcement of those rules. You don’t have to talk down to anyone but you should establish a baseline of respect and clearly lay out the standards. If people are offended by the rules and your expectations of them then they are not cut out for living there and should leave. This attitude will become more powerful over time as you bring the addicts themselves into it. Have them help you screen new admissions and tell them that you need them to help you find out if the new potential admits are serious about their recovery. Are they willing to go to any lengths? Are they willing to live by a strict set of rules and help out around the house on a daily basis?

    Small conflicts should be expected but let them know that there are procedures for dealing with them and everyone is expected to work through their differences with maturity and respect. If they fail to do this then they will be forced to leave, plain and simple.

    Rule number one is to maintain an environment that is conducive to recovery and growth. If you decide that someone is violating that, they have to go.

    It is possible to bring the houseguests themselves into this process and even have a voting system to help with accountability. If someone is slacking off or acting out, let the peers call them out on it. Shape up or leave. Bring everyone into this “policing” process.

    Just my 2 cents based on my 20 months living in long term with 12 guys and one therapist…..


    my boyfriend jerry is aalcoholic he yells and snaps every day to the point where i can,t it any more . been with him13 years love him every much. can,t live with any more.don;t know what to do with all this any.

  • Patrick

    Sounds like a tough situation there Christi, not sure what to tell you other than to encourage treatment and consider attending some Al-Anon meetings for support. 13 years is a long time so it is silly to tell you just to walk away. Sometimes people do change so there is always hope. But you have to look out for yourself first in some cases, getting to Al-anon can give you guidance in that area. Good luck…

  • Celia

    I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. When we first met I realised he drank alot but I thought that was us just having fun in a new relationship. I moved in with him about 4 months ago, where I relaised just how serious it truelly was. He drinks almost every night. What I can’t understand is that he has a very senior job and manages to do it well. I am still unsure about how serious his problem is because he is very good at making me feel like I am paranoid and he has it under control. Last night he consumed about 3 bottles of wine, the first one was behind my back before i got home but i knew he’d had it because he becomes “happier” when he has had a few drinks. Today we had an argument about it yet again and he assured me he won’t ever drink again because he’s over it as well. I’ve heard this many times before but still find myself somehow believing him! Usually after an argument he goes 1 or 2 days without any alcohol, then brings home 1 bottle, the next night its 2… and it gets more and more until we have an argument again. There have been numerous occasions where he has been in public and made a fool of himself, he even split his head open at a work function late last year but that still didn’t flick the switch. After speaking with his sister I discovered his mum was a severe alcoholic, drinking from dawn till dusk, hospitalised many times.. but he can’t talk about it with me. I have threatened many times to move out but I feel like im giving up if I do.. and i feel like I should be with him to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid. When I say he needs help he says he doesn’t… he will admit he is out of control but thinks he can quit cold turkey.

    I have tried the detachment thing in the past but i find he sees it as my acceptance and continues to do it.

    My dad was an alcoholic of an evening as well and growing up in that environment was horrible and i dont want that life for myself or future children I may have.

    Should I move out if it happens one more time? How can I get him to go and see someone to address his problems.

  • Heather

    A mom on my daughter soccer team is an alcoholic… we always knew she like to drink but wasn’t to recently learned that she pretty much drinks ALL THE TIME. Last week, we noticed her sneaking drinks from her car during practice at 10 in the morning and this week she was reach bottom and put out a cry for help. She wants to stop drinking. Her house is really unlivable by most standards (no PGE, dirty etc.) A few of us are trying to help and we took her to an AA meeting yesterday. However, I have to be honest, having no experience on this subject, I dont know what else we can do. Who do we call, what do we do with her kids? She is a single mom and really NO money. She does have insurance. Of course, we want to sensitive to her daughter who has been living with this for god no how long. Appreciate any advice.

  • Patrick

    @ Celia – it sounds like you know the basics of alcoholism and the family dynamics involved. He will either quit for himself or he will continue to drink. What he will not do is to quit drinking just because you beg him to…or threaten to leave over it.

    This is unfortunate and so the choice will be yours ultimately. Perhaps you can leave the door open somehow if you decide to walk away from the relationship. But I think you will have to choose eventually, and make up your mind if you want to go your own path and part ways. Or you might decide to accept him how he is and stay.

    But I would not recommend the false hope thing, and just clinging to the idea that someday might be different. I would set a firm boundary and then stick to it. If it is not his time to change then this should be obvious soon enough. How long are you willing to live this way with his drinking? Another 5 years? Another 10 years? Set a firm boundary and stick to it.

    @ Heather – Sounds like you did well by getting her to a meeting. The next step might be to get her into treatment if you don’t see any improvement. If she has insurance (or even if she doesn’t) then this could be a good route to go possibly. Good luck with it all….



    can’t CHANGE it!!!
    didn’t CAUSE it!!!
    can’t CURE IT!!!




  • Patrick

    @ ANONYMOUS – Whoa there, that is quite a message you got there! But I agree with your ideas and I feel for you that you have been through so much turmoil. The 3 C’s sound like good advice….thanks for your comment.

  • Linda

    I need help on how to have my brother committed for help. He is somewhat homeless. He stays on my dad’s porch. My dad locks him out. My dad is 85 years old and doesn’t need my alcoholic brother over there. My dad has told him he needs to go somewhere else but he doesn’t. My brother is 57 years old. He got drunk last week and fell and split his head open and had to have stitches. It was a battle to even get him to the hospital. He has fallen in my dad’s front yard drunk for everyone to see him. Today he fell again in my dad’s front yard and someone stopped to see if everything was okay and if he needed help. My dad nor I have the money to get him help. How can I get the state to help commit him for help before he kills himself. Please help!!

  • Patrick

    Anyone have any suggestions for Linda? My state does not allow committing for substance abuse so I know very little about it.

    Beyond that, Linda, you might get creative and see if there are any recovering alcoholics who would be willing to talk with your brother. This can be arranged when someone is recovering from a bad bender and might be slightly more open to new ideas at that time. Just a thought, I know it will be tough for you to find people who are willing to do that….

  • danielle

    okay my dad has a big problem with drinking and when i talk to him about it he gets madder and mader and i tell him i dont want to cause a fight i just want you to think of what your doing to the family but he wont understand so i basically gave up on him but i want to help him but we cant afford to send him away for treatment.I also called his parents to see if they will talk to him but they refuse because they think they will lose a son in the process and that really gets to me because its there son and they arent doing anything about what should i do?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Danielle

    Well you are essentially powerless over your dad’s drinking and it sounds like his parents have accepted this fact. There are organizations that can help you deal with this, one of which is Ala-teen. Ask a counselor, a teacher, or anyone who you trust to see if they can hook you up with Ala-teen somehow. You will get a lot of support there and maybe even a few answers to your problems. Good luck.

  • Vincent Albino

    I need help for my father, he is a heavy drinker and is in complete denial. He scares me because everytime I vist him he goes out for hours doing god knows what. Then he comes back and passes out on the floor. I am afriad if he doesn’t change he could end up dying!

  • David

    Hi I have been married to For 20 years.
    My wife has always been a heavy drinker.I have known for years that she is an alcoholic and in the past we have argued about this with her denyiny she has a problem.Things came to a head when I discovered she has moved on from wine to vodka and drinks this secretly almost every night.She has a good job and holds it down, in every way she is a great wife, works hard looks after the house and her appearance, she is never abusive when drunk, she is normal in every way exept for the compulsion to drink. Finaly after many years she recently admited she had a problem and went for couceling, this seemd to have no effect, after getting drunk one nite at home and being sick etc I moved out, after about a week she agreed to go to AA and I moved back in.This worked for about 2 months but for the last 4 months she has been back on the vodka, she stoped going to AA some time ago. I am just so tired of worrying about this situation.Last night I said her that drinking was going to kill her one day and she agreed. We no longer argue about it, she knows what she is doing. I have spoken about the situation many times with my family and they are so sick of hearing about it they just tell me to either put up with it or leave.They make me feel weak but if I leave her I will be leaving someone who I know deep down is a good person and who I love and also I will have to give up my home. I am going to al anon on Tuesday. We are not talking at the moment, that is my fault as I had words with her about the drink the other day, she has stoped drinking because of that but I know that as soon as the dust setles she will resume again. Do you think my family are in fact correct?

  • Patrick

    @ Vincent – That sounds bad….the best you can do I think is to confront him head on when he is sober and encourage treatment. Doing so while he is drunk won’t help much obviously. Catch him in a rare sober moment and try to urge him to get help.

    @ David – That is a tough situation David and I do not think your family is either “right” or “wrong,” but perhaps you will have to make a decision at some point. They will help you to see this in Al-Anon. Your family is really saying “either accept her as she is or move on.”

    You are not weak if you accept her and stay, as long as you do not have any illusions about it. Don’t cling to false hope that she will change tomorrow. Perhaps she will change, but that is besides the point. You have to decide every day if you can live with her behavior. Good choice about going to Al-Anon…..

  • jennifer

    Hi –
    I recently uprooted my life and left my partner who is an alcoholic, although doesn’t admit it. He knows he drinks too much but doesn’t call it what it is – alcoholism. He wants to quit drinking, he knows it affects him. We’ve been working things out and I truly believe he is trying to change. Yesterday was his first day not drinking. He’s doing it all by himself, just quitting cold turkey – both drinking and smoking. My question is – what do I do to help him? I want to encourage him, but I don’t want to be in his face about it, reminding him. But I don’t want to not recognize what he is doing. What should I do?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Jennifer

    Well, as you know by now it is a “show me don’t tell me” kind of thing. He needs to stay sober and make some changes in his life and this will require big action on his part. If the can not deliver on this then it will be all too obvious. As far as you helping him, I think you can be realistic and supportive without being overbearing about it. You could always go to an Al-Anon meeting yourself and maybe get a better idea of what you should and should not say to him in different circumstances.

    My thought is gentle encouragement + not getting your hopes too high or inflated is the best way to go….

  • Jubilee

    My brother is thirty years old and has a son who is 9 1/2. When he drinks, he becomes very violent. He has been beaten up by other men approximately three times in like 5 years. The last time he was beaten severely bad, the guys who did it left him for dead. He went back to drinking maybe two months after that. My nephew has actually seen his father get beat up by another guy. It is haunting my nephew so much that the school has gotten involved. My nephew is with my brother, so he suffers right along with him. We (my mom and I) do not know what to do or what direction to go. My brother always says that if the State takes his son, he will kill himself. How do help my nephew and my brother? It seems unfair to have to chose between the two?
    SO brokenhearted.

  • Steve

    What do you do when you have a couple who have admitted their problem. And have isolated themselves from friends and family, but yet continue to feed their affliction off of one another.

    UPDATE: Answer for this comment is right here.

  • jane

    Hello, At age 24 my son was hospitalized due to severe pancreatitis due to alcohol. He spent 2 months in intensive care and almost died. After being released from the hospital I discovered he was drinking, even with drains still in his stomach. 3 years later he completed an inpatient 30 day rehab. When he returned he relapsed after 3 days. He has lost his apartment and almost lost his job. We are providing him a place to stay till he gets back on his feet. When he gets caught drinking he says no one understands or doing the right thing for him. He also gets very angry. We took his car keys and drove him to work for awhile. he wants to be trusted again but does nothing to prove that he can. I am afraid he is going to die if he keeps this up. It has changed his whole personality. He doesn’t follow through with any of the things they told him to do after rehab. This has been hell for the last 3 years.

  • Patrick

    @ Jubilee – That sounds like a bad situation and I’m not sure there is a lot you can do. If someone is self destructing and threatening suicide like that then sometimes all you can do is encourage them to get help. I don’t think you should try to manipulate him in any way or it will create resentment, etc. I know in some states you can commit someone for this sort of situation but I doubt that is the best move. I would just encourage help in any way I could. That is a tough situation….

    @ Jane – I know where you are at because I used to be in your son’s position of not following up after treatment. It took me several tries to make it stick and I finally quit around his age at 25. There is hope. I would slowly start removing your trust until he earns it back. Get to an Al-Anon meeting and they will say the same thing…start setting limits and boundaries and don’t allow him to take advantage of your while further harming himself….

  • Meghan

    My brother is an alcoholic. Spent 9 years in jail for vehicular homicide (drunk driving, hit, killed and left the scene) I flew in from my home to visit him in jail once a month. Even changed my wedding date so he would be there. I have since learned to not enable and I believe that I have been successful with that. Here lies my concern. His neighbors have called me reporteing that they have seen him “washing” a car while drinking. He still does not have a drivers license nor insurance (he lives with my parents who are away for the winter). There are many young fearless children on the block. My concern is obvious, that he will be drunk and drive and hit again. What do you suggest I do? Do I ask if it is his? Do I have a police friend show up and question him for a drivers license? Do I disengage the car so it is no longer usable? He is no longer on parole so that is not an option. Please help! Thanks.

  • Lynne

    My husband is an alcoholic & he can drink for days without stopping and not sleeping & he’s not paying the bills until the last minute & some don’t get payed at all ,,,,&&& he has no respect for me ,when he’s drinking so how can i stay calm & try to talk to him to get help ..Because when i do try to talk to him it’s in the morning but he’s always telling me his famous phrase ,,i don’t feel goog this morning don’t start again this morning let me read my paper but i am at the end of my rope and i’m about to trow the towel because we are going to lose a lot ,our relationship ,our family and house & fishing boat & gear ,,we are almost there …please HELP

  • Rod

    My wife has finally admitted she is an alcoholic and wants help.What is the first step I should take as i don’t know where to start.

  • Patrick

    @ Meghan – I don’t know how aggressive I would get in terms of trying to prevent his driving. Obviously if he has been drinking and he is threatening to drive that is one thing, but it sounds like you are not right there to witness any of this. I think you can express your concerns and offer to get him help but I don’t think you should manipulate him like you are suggesting. This usually creates more resentment, etc. Encourage treatment and be honest about your concerns….

    @ Lynne – Sometimes you have to make a decision. I’m not sure what you can do but what if you left for a while and stayed somewhere else? This is an example of setting a boundary if you do it when he gets loaded. It might upset the routine enough to wake him up a bit.

    @ Rod – See my other articles about helping addicts and alcoholics…check the archives page, etc. I have written a ton on this already. I would get on the phone though and call a local treatment center, ask them your options and ask them for a list of numbers or even just the names of surrounding treatment centers in your area. Get on the phone and ask questions, explore your options for rehab/treatment. That’s a good starting point.

  • Anonymous

    I have read and read these articles.
    I cannot live anymore with an alcoholic.
    I had no idea that he was an alcoholic.
    I want to leave him but I feel so guilty. Even knowing that it is a disease which there is no cure. It is so said because he stopped for 5 months and told me it has been the most miserable time of his entire life. There is just no hope. I believe it would be best for me to just leave.
    Please help me/

  • Jim’s Friend

    Alcohol, you vicious bitch you took my friend from me. I miss my friend of sixteen years,I have watched him deteriorate for the last three years.I helped with an intervention last month that almost caused me to have a nervous breakdown. I understand what you mean to detach yourself from the person in order to save yourself, and hopefully forced the alcoholic into self awareness. Alcoholism is a selfish disease, they only see themselves and not the harm they cause people who care about them. I am taking a hard line against the alcohol,I miss my best friend, but he is not the same person I loved. Maybe he will find his way this time to make his way back. We are all praing for him.Thank you for your webpage it gave me some knowledge and some peace.

  • stacy

    hi there i have a brother that drinks sometimes from sun up to sun down. some times he is so out of it he can’t even here the phone ring. he has told me when he has been drinking that i’m a trouble maker. i dont think he would have said that to me if he hadent been drinking. he has lost his drivers lic because of his drinking, if he gets it back ever and gets cought he will go to jail. i tryed to tell him that he has things to live for. what can i do as a sister to help him with out him gettin mad at me forever.

  • Patrick

    @ Jim’s friend – Sorry to hear that your friend is struggling. No, it’s not fair to you or to others. But the alcoholic feels trapped (at least I did) and even though I knew I was hurting my loved ones I could not figure out a way to stop on my own.

    @ Stacy – Sounds like he might resent you a bit no matter what you do, especially if he is miserable from the drinking. I would try to somehow encourage treatment and see if you can’t get others to help you encourage it as well. He will probably see that as being threatening to him but what else can you do? You have to let him know that you care and want to see him get better somehow. He might take offense to this but that is out of your hands.

  • Cayla Morris

    I need help sooo bad. Im a thirteen year-old, and I just moved away from my mother because of a drug/alcohol problem that she had. I’m currently living with my single father, and up until a year ago, things were going great. Then he started drinking ALOT more. The problem is hes a mean drunk, and if you say anything wrong, or lose somthing, just any little thing will set him off. He would never do anything to harm me physically, but his words burn. He just gets plain hatefull. Ive been thinking about moving, but when I think about leaving him, I think about leaving the real him, and it tears my heart & soul up. If I move, I sure as hell am not going back with my mother, and I’m worried if I leave, ill be put in a foster home. Of course, Ive got family that will always be there to raise me, but im worried about the parental rights and custody thing. I just dont want to tear up my relationshhip with my dad – because hes my best friend. Im wiping my eyes just typing this. Please E-mail me back. I just really need some advice. PLEASE HELP ME. ='[

  • Patrick

    Hi there Cayla

    13 is very young to be asking advice on the internet. I hope you can find other people around you who can help you. Safe adults who do not drink. School counselors, a minister, a friend of the family, etc.

    It sounds to me like your father is dangerous and abusive. Verbal abuse is still abuse. So maybe he does not actually hit you. That is besides the point. If he is verbally abusing you then that is still a bad situation for you.

    You say your dad is your friend and you don’t want to lose that. What if you left for a while….perhaps that would open his eyes a bit? Show him that he can have his relationship with his daughter back if he were to sober up? Something to think about.

    I will tell you this: people like your dad, if they keep drinking….they generally get worse….not better. His only chance at changing his life is to quit entirely. If he continues to drink and you stick around then eventually he will probably hit you.

    My advice for you is to seek help. Professional help. Ask about it at school if you have to. Call a national teen abuse hotline if you have to. But please, ask for help.

    Good luck to you and God bless……

  • Renee

    I am 6 months pregnant, and the father of my child is my ex boyfriend. I got pregnant after we broke up. He is very excited about the baby and can’t wait to be a dad, however he does have a problem with drinking and this scares me…. and it has recently just gotten out of hand. He is not an angry drunk at all, but he just drinks to much. I want us to be together but he pulls away from the idea right now, its like we are together but we are not. I fear alcohol may have a huge roll in this but im not sure?! I dont no what to do or what to say anymore. I told him iw ould help him with whatever he needs, and he did admit he does haev a problem and wants to stop drinking. but he has said that before, and im afraid he’lls top for a while, but start right back up again. I dont want this to affect our relationship but im scared it will. Help??!!

  • Cristina

    I have recently started dating an alcoholic. I didn’t notice at first, or perhaps I didn’t mind. Now some time has gone by and we both care about each other, so I truly just want him to be his happy sober self.
    First of all, we reside in Europe, and I am a bit confused about treatment options over here, any ideas? Or links?
    Second, he “kindda” admits he has a problem, but he claims he “doesn’t drink that much”, although at least 5 days out of the week he downs a six pack of beer, just to start. Normally it’s more.
    Once he got verbally abusive when drunk, and I stopped him firm in his tracks, kicked him out of my house. When sober I talked to him about him and made it clear that I would not stand this behaviour. It hasn’t happened since. The latest “big incident” was him falling off his bicycle drunk and passing out on a street. Obviously there IS a serious problem present.
    I also wanted to know that if by “going out for a couple of drinks” with him, am I enabling his behaviour. We are both in our 20’s and students, so it’s common to go out for drinks. Should I concentrate more on spending time with him doing “sober” activities/ showing him how fun it can be to be sober too? I am trying of course, but I know I can’t push him into recovery (although I already drop hints). I thought that perhaps a straight out switch to ONLY non-alcohol related activities would be too obvious, and I don’t want to intimidate him. Keep in mind that in Europe it’s very normal to have a beer here and there, wine/beer with our meals, etc.
    Should I stop drinking too? Could that help? I’ve noticed that he drinks very little (for him that’s about 6 beers a day) when he’s with me. I can’t make my presence constant and of course I don’t want him to depend on me for his “drinking less”.
    Last, any advice on what I can do to “help” to perhaps lead him to the path to recovery? I’d appreciate any tips. Thank you!

  • Patrick

    @ Renee – It sounds like the two of you want to make things work. If he is drinking actively then that is definitely a major part of his behavior and how he acts towards you. I think you are going to have to deal with the alcoholism if you choose to stay with him. It might be an up and down road for a while. It takes time to get sober for some people. You would think that having a child would be a huge wake up call but this is not always the case. Good luck to you at any rate.

    @ Cristina – Yes there is a big culture difference there because here in U.S. I would recommend that you never drink around him, as that seems to me that it is enabling. At least that is how I took it when I was still actively drinking. So I really think you should consider not drinking around him, even if that is a bit awkward according to your social norms.

    You are right, a six pack is way too much. Anything over 2 beers is suspect in my book.

    It sounds to me like he still has quite a bit of control, but that he is slowly starting to drink more and more. Sounds like things will get worse before they get better. I would investigate your local treatment options and try to learn more….sorry I don’t have any links or resources for Europe…..

  • Lari


    Just found this site while looking for help in a new relationship with an alcoholic. I appreciate all these posts left to read and the sound advice being shared within. I live in Canada and am just getting involved with a fellow I have known on and off through work for years. I have watched him go through a messy divorce (he is only in his early 30’s) and he’s told me about his past cocaine abuse, overdose and rehab visits, so I don’t go into this blindfolded. I am a VERY healthy person, don’t drink, am very active and live a very conscious and holistic lifestyle as this helps me cope with my own depression, so I am also empathetic to diseases…

    The thing is, he thinks he just ‘likes drinking beers” when that means 20, at home, alone until he passes out and can’t answer the door or phone.

    I am not a nagging type and won’t be made into a babysitter. I know how to detach and I do not like AA’s approach to the disease. (Sorry, no disrespect) Is there tried and tested way to really let them know you will not put up with it, set hard boundaries, without having it be interpreted as a threat? He seems to make everything black and white. When I express disappointment, he says I am “angry” even though I am calm and kind when expressing it. I care so much about him and want to do the right thing to carry us through this and find ourselves on the other side of this. Thanks again.

  • elle

    My sister is 42 years old, divorced, with a 5 year old daughter. She is on wellfare & works part-time under the table. She has been an addict since she was 15 years old. She was the first person who allowed me to smoke pot with when I was around 10 years old. She almost always looks & acts hung over. I know when she goes on binges because I know the bartender at the bar she goes to. He tells me everything. She drives drunk with her little girl. She had her car taken away from her by the police for driving drunk. (the officer enabled her by NOT arresting her) She pawns her daughter off on anyone who is willing to watch her. We recently had a shower for my other sister & My alcoholic sister arrived 1 hour late looking like she was hung over. I have HAD IT! I am the Only sibiling out of 4 who is involved in her life. Our Mother chooses to avoid her. I love her but HATE her addiction. I am tired of watching it self distruct her. I know she feels like an outcast at family gatherings. She doesn’t take care of herself & it shows in her appearence. Her disease is making her OLD. I want her to have a good life & be happy. She is envious of me & my happiness. I want to write her a letter & tell her that I know she is an addict & I want to get her help. Am I over stepping my boundaries? Should I even bother with the letter?
    Please Help?

  • Kim

    I guess my husband is what you call a functioning alcoholic. He has his own business but manages to make it through each day. Things were much worse last fall and he actually went to detox for a week. This is when I really realized this was a major problem. I had no idea he was hiding alcohol around the house He was clean for two weeks then slowly began drinking again. We have a six year old and a three month old. We’ve been married for almost seven years and his drinking only became a problem about three years ago. It was off and on, depending on where he was working and who he was around. He would’t drink for afew months then he would for a few.I understand that this is a disease. but it is a messed up one. Any other disease a person has they want it fixed so they can live thier life to the fullest, but not alcoholism. Or do they? I am struggling with “being there” and being supportive when I need him to help raise the family he made. He has issues from his childhood and had an alcoholic father. I understand that we are not to enable them, but how do you tell a six year old that Daddy is drunk and can’t play or take you out. That Daddy is too hung over to go for a walk? I know it is covering for him but what else can I do?. It feels like I am stuck. If it was only him and I, I think would be able to manage better. At this point I am finding myself getting angry about the situation more and more, instead of being supportive. My son has seen us fight nd yell and scream. Never in a thousand years did I ever think this is what our life would turn out like. I realize now that the fighting is just as much my fault as his, I should not have reacted to his drinking. I feel horrible that we’ve brought another child into this situation. I Love my husband and just want to see him happy and healthy. I love my children and want to see them happy and healthy. I just do not know how to get that place. He would go back to detox If I pushed him, but he would only be going to please me. Would it even help him? I just want to do the best for everyone in my family, but I don’t know what to do. I know that this is a disease and every thing you read about it has the line “would you leave someone with a disease”? But when is it too much? At what point do children have lasting effects from this type of situation? What is my best bet at getting my husband help. He truly is a wonderful man, without the alcohol. I only want to see him happy again. I hate that I am becoming angry with him and resentful. Is there any advice you can give?

  • LeeLee

    I am currently with someone who is an alcholic. I love him dearly. However is addiction is becoming a set back for me. He is unemployed and is always looking for me to support his addiction and give him the pity party he begs for. We live together in apartment in which I am forced to pay all the bills by myself. Ever since we moved out of his mother’s house and started living on our own, he’s expressed a great desire to want to be there for me and wanting to change and be a better man, yet everytime he faces the reality that he doesn’t have a job he feels as if he is limited and there is no way he can come out of his situation of not being able to find a job. He always feels as if there is nowhere for him to go or anything for him to do. I, myself am getting frustrated with his problems, yet want to help him anyway possible so that we, as a couple, can go on and elevate our relationship.

  • Chloe

    Iv just discoverd my ex is an alcoholic, hes been getting help from the doctor, but i dont think hes sticking to the plan as i found an empty vodka bottle on him. He also lies alot about how much hes had to drink. I said i will help him and i wont judge him and he did open up and become more honest but i dont think he tells me everything which is fustraiting. Im hoping your infomation will help, but its so sad and hard to see him like he is. He has a good job at the moment and i dont want to see him loose it. My grandad died aged 50 from being an alcohlic, im so scared that my ex will go down the same path. Do the majority of alcoholics over come their addiction?

  • Chris

    This is a very helpful article. Thank you. My only question is, can a recovering alcoholic limit their drinking to social activities? My belief is that they need to quit entirely.

    My mom seems to think that she (with the help of her husband) has successfully transitioned herself from a light to moderate alcoholic to a “social drinker”. Thanks again.

  • JW

    How can I detach myself, when the alcoholic is my mother? My fiance is currently in bootcamp, so my son and I are staying with my parents. My mom watches my son for me and lets me borrow her car while I am at work. I pay her $100 every two weeks for rent, and for watching my son. How do I detatch myself from a situation like this?

    How do I not give her the money, when she is basically supporting me and my son right now? When she is drunk she will verbally abuse me a lot. Do I just ignore it, or do I stick up for myself? If I say something back to her, then she throws up to me that I am living under her roof, using her car, and that she baby sits my son.

    Also, should I completely ignore her when she is drunk? If I do that I will have the above thrown in my face as well.

    Thanks for the help in advance.

  • Erica

    My mother is an alcoholic of 20+ years. She was sober for a period of about 6 years but relapsed about 8 years ago. She has made many attempts at recovery since then including detox, rehab centers, AA meetings, pretty much everything possible. This past Sunday, the 24th, she made the decision to stop drinking again. Yesterday, the 27th, we had to take her to the hospital at 6a.m. because the withdrawl symptoms were too bad, she needed medical treatment. She stayed there over night and I stayed with her and she is still there now. How can I help her be successful this time? I practice detachment and am being as supportive as I possibly can be.

    Also, I know its probably the withdrawls, but last night when I was in the hospital with her she was very angry and saying that we are a horrible family and she will never forgive us for this. We did not force her to go to the hospital. She packed her own bag to go and was in a normal state of mind when we got there and was fine with it. But as the day went on the hallucinations started and thats when she started getting angry. How can I deal with this and help her when her mind is being affected by the hallucinations?

    And lastly, she keeps saying that this time she wants to do it “her way”. She says she has tried everyone elses way and it doesnt work so this time she wants to do it on her own. Basically meaning she wants to stop drinking cold turkey and probably not attend any meetings. Is it even possible for this to work? And if so, what is the best way for me to help her be successful?

    My mom is an amazing woman and I dont want to lose her. Please help me. Thank you.

  • Anita

    I am the enabler of my husband who has been an alcoholic for as long as I have known him. In the beginning, I didn’t give it much thought because we both drank socially and it usually was on the weekends. He used to bring home a six pack and maybe drink 3 of them, but now he is drinking around 20 beers a day. I had no idea he drank that much, but apparently he gets up during the night and drinks while me and our daughters are sleeping. He cannot sleep a normal nights sleep and cannot function without drinking when he gets up. He cannot work or be around his clients without getting the shakes if he doesn’t have a few beers first. Right now, he is unemployed and has been home all day depressed. He blames his condition on what’s happening in the world and obsesses about conspiracies within our government. A friend got into the 911 theories and he has gone down-hill ever since. He used to be able to function, but now he simply cannot. He wants me to help him dry out and doesn’t want to get help with the withdrawals. I FEAR THIS WILL KILL HIM!!!! I don’t know what to do, I want to help him but I don’t want him to have a heart attack or seizures during the process. He has also made scary comments about what he’ll do once he quits drinking. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol talking or if he would actually follow through with his threats. A year ago, he received another dwi and was supposed to attend his classes. He attended a few and had enough time to attend them all, but just didn’t do it. Now he has lost his driving priveleges and is unemployed and depressed. I fear everyday that when I get home from work, I may find that he has hurt himself. I pray everyday for God to watch over him and to touch his heart. He used to beleive in God, but that’s something else that has changed. He and his Conspiracy theory friend took the time to read the Bible and other versions of it, from cover to cover. They read it to try and dispute it’s accuracy and not to gain spiritualy from it. This hind of hinders any 12 step program that I know of. It’s hard to convince someone that he can do all things through him, when they don’t believe. I beleive, because like I said, I’ve prayed almost every morning this week and today he announced to me that he wants to dry out. At least he is admitting he has a serious problem, but he doesn’t beleive he needs anyone but me to help him. What should I do? I want him to try, but I feel like he drinks way too much to do it cold turkey like he’s wanting to. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone about this but me. He does not respect any authority or anything that is spiritual. Please help me to help him. He has so much to live for but, has no joy in his life. I want my husband back and my girls want their Daddy back. I read what you said about detachment, but I don’t know if I’ve been doing it correctly. It feels more like abandonment because he is always drinking and we are constantly doing things without him. I’ve spent years going on beer runs and telling the girls when he’s in a bad mood. The friends they have over, have to know him and be ok with his drinking, so the girls are affected. He has stopped attending family functions and I cannot depend on him to help drive the girls somewhere. It has just been easier to depend on other people or just arrange my schedule where I can do it all. I know this isn’t my problem. I understand that he has to want to quit and no amount of nagging or threatening will make him, believe me I’ve tried it all. I have been an enabler to his condition for over 15 years. I need some advice on helping him dry out and to be a better wife of an alcoholic. I NEED HELP! I mentioned going to a treatment center, but he refuses. What should I do?

  • joan

    my son is an alcoholic. He is 30 yrs. old. He has been in treatment 2 times and relapsed a week after getting home. He has lost relationships, jobs, been in jail, had 3 DUI’s,can not drive for 10 years and still will not surrender. He believes he can do this himself. He wore a monitoring device for 6 months to detect alcohol, was required by law to go to AA 5 days a week, live at home, if he violated he was looking at 1 year of jail. He was sober the entire time and did nothing but complain about the AA meetings. After 1 week of the bracelet coming off he was drinking again. He continually says he doesn’t need AA, he can do this himself. Clearly he’s not doing it though. Last week he lost his job again, due to smelling of alcohol. I have become increasing depressed watching my son destroy himself. The therapist told us yesturday that until he surrenders he will never recover. I was told i needed to start taking care of me. I am trying but its so hard trying to understand why a person can loose so much, have nothing good in ones life and not ask for the help they need. I still want to be able to figure out some way of getting him to see what he needs to do. And then again, what does a person do if they are unable to afford a treatment facility yet again. Our finances have been depleted by so much of this.

  • Rey

    My mom has been an alcoholic since the day I was born. I’m 30 years old now. She is a wonderful person and raised me well. The wierd thing is, is that she still keeps the house in tip top shape. The house is clean, clothes are washed, dinner is made, etc, etc. She hasn’t worked for 30+ years and my dad is the supporter. My Dad, sister, and I have watched her hide drinks, stash money to buy more. When my Dad is at work, she’ll get up right after he leaves early in the morning and stock the freezer and then hide drinks so he doesn’t see them. My Dad has yelled at her so many times to ease up on the drinking and she doesn’t. She is so embarrasing at family functions and in public. She’ll say inappropriate things all the time. She can’t go a day or minute without drinking and I’m scared for her. Her doctor has already suspected liver damage. She hardly ever eats and is very thin. She’s had several injuries as a result of her drinking. One of the worst was when my sister woke up in the middle of the night and found her semi conscious on the kitchen floor unable to help herself up. When my sister woke up my Dad to help get her up, they noticed a huge knot on her forehead. The worst incident is when she broke both wrists. She woke up one morning in tremendous pain. Till this day she swears, an evil spirit did that to her. I know in my heart she probably fell while so drunk and didn’t even remember falling. She’s 54 and I’m afraid she’s slowly killing herself. I’m 5 months pregnant with her first grandchild and I don’t know what to do about exposing my future daughter to her. I love my Mom very much and feel helpless!! I don’t want to lose her but I don’t know what to do. Please help!

  • Dave

    I hav just read Anita’s comment. My wife is an alcoholic, it has been getting worse over the years. last week she drank AT LEAST three bottles of vodka. she is still managing to hold down a very good job and fool people that all is normal in our lives , God knows how she manages. I am glad we do not hav any kids, I know that is a terible thing to say. Despite this situation I love Diana I know she cant controll this . It was driving me insane with worry Etc , all the normal things that we go through. I too needed help, and hav posted here once before. I find this site usefull. I hav recently started going to AlAnnon ( for relatives and friends of alchoholics). At first I found it a bit stupid and tried a few diffferent groups in different areas untill I found a group that had people in that I kind of could relate to. You should go at least five or six times when you find such a group even if you dont feel like it at the time or if the situation at home is going through a good phase . Sharing with others is very calming and can help a lot. If the situation is affecting your kids and they are ready for it Alateen could maybee help them. Give it a try , it may help you.

  • Patrick

    @ Rey – wow that is heartbreaking about your mom, I don’t have the words or the experience to give you much wisdom. Prayers for you both, get to Al-Anon and try to get some support there.

    @ Dave – Your advice is sound and I hope Anita will take some direction from you/us. Getting support is important…it is hard because we tend to focus on the fact that our alcoholic spouse or loved one needs help, not us. But if we can help ourselves and get some guidance and direction from real live people, it can start to slowly make a difference in our relationships. This is the key, Anita…you need to learn how to somehow stop enabling him. Make it known that treatment but don’t push. When the time is right he will go. Other than that you must focus on yourself and take care of YOU.

  • Lizy

    Hi everyone i feel you on everything you are saying I have been married for 3 months and my husband has slowed down a lot with his drinking but yet he still can’t control his drinking at times he hangs out with his friends and get drunk afterwards come home and start arguments in front of the kids and when the morning comes he acts like nothing has happend. Why do me act out when they drink? Why do the verbally abuse when they are drunk?

  • Sandy

    I have lived with a hidden drinker just about 25 years now “its getting really bad” my son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren live with us, he is stressed to the limit. He loves the grandchildren ( lives for them). I am asking myself every day, what am I doing? I pray, pray, pray. He doesn’t go to bars he has always been a provider and a good man, but he has lost two of his best friends at 50 and 55, which was good people but they also drank…I ask him all the time, is he going to be 49 this year, if he wants to die young….One died of diabedies and the other of sophagial cancer, he doesn’t get along with his mother much anymore, and my boys can’t understand him, it is like Lizy said he acts out and gets really weird and then in the morning acts as if nothen has happened, I am a really easy person to get along with and I have done this many years, I don’t want my grandchildren watching his anger…What is a person suppost to do? I am ready to set him up, we have policemen in the family! Maybe a couple nights in jail would help, and he has been drinking on his way home from work……

  • krystal

    Hi there, i have been with my boyfriend about 7 months now, and although we haven’t been together long I love him dearly. He is quite a bit older then i and i don;t want him to feel like he’s being “controlled” by a young girl. I have 2 children and all i want is a “normal” life. I knew when i got with him that he was a heavy drinker it used to be every night in exxsive amounts, I tryed to break things off with him early on when i found this out because this wasn’t the lifestyle i wanted, but regardless of what i said he wanted to be with me no matter what he had to do. He is after giving up alot to be with me in the way of drugs and alcohol, I find that i make a big deal over him having a few drinks and then the following day he goes out and gets plastered and comes home promising to change and that its not going to happen again.I am pregnant with his child and giving up on him is the last thing i want to do.Everyone in his life has given up on him, and…he has been showing me progress and has the occasional break my problem is i don;t know how to handle the situation when he comes home intoxicated, I don;t want him to think that it’s okay that it will just blow over, but at the same time i don;t want to push him more into it…how do i do both???Im sooo confused!HELP ME PLEASE

  • robert

    A very close friend of mine has a daughter that is an alcoholic and her son suffers a mental problem, both are adults.The daughter is now displaying signs of the same mental disorder.My friend is a member of alanon.She is deeply connected with god.It is said that we are given only what we can handle,but I see a women that is on the brink.I understand the problem but i feel so helpless.I am one not to take the back seat…What if anything can i do to help her

  • HELP


  • keith kirchgesler

    i just wanted to say my sister has been drinking since 12 and still does to this day had to kids 1st at 15 and had family raise them while she went toparty she dont think anythings wrong, shes constanly paranoid about everything.. they like thembetter you treat him better he got more ect ect she hates me daughter cause she thinksmymotherplay favorites so instead of letting us move in to helpsave my mom from moving out nopemy alcoholic sister debbie,says forget it and kicks herownmother out rather then let her disabled brother..come help his mom out.they used to get somad when i told them mom cant drinknomore… then it was i the bad guy then the dr said you have to stop ok dr sounds good.
    whats wrong with ppl. i will touch that rotten stuff ever again debbyand her spoiledrotten kid britteny both need rehabs !
    they have seperated the whole family

  • sarah

    Hi, my husband is a alcoholic, he has always been a ‘heavy’ drinker but has got steadily worse over the last 3 years. We have been together 10 years, I love him dearly but have had enough. He lost is brother suddenly in January and had a blow out and then he actually admitted he had a problem, he works away from home during the week, and actually rang AA and they called him back and asked him to go to a meeting. He didnt go, his reasons were that he just needed to get a grip, stop drinking vodka and spirits and stick to lager. I have been doing a lot of research into what I can do for myself and for him. I have told him that I wont be sticking around much longer if it carries on and he does try to cut down. I am trying to get as much info together as possible and I plan to give him all the information and tools then basically say here what you need to do this is your choice. But the more I read and learn about alcoholism I dont know if I can do it, as the ultimate outcome is we wont be together, and I think this is what im struggaling with. I am scared of what the outcome will be as obviously he isnt just going to stop, and im afraid that he will just say right then im off as he is like that. I love him a lot but only when he hasnt had a drink. We have just come back from holiday to ibiza and he used this opportunity to drink as much as possible, it hurts me so much that he can just have no regard for me as alcohol is so much more important. I just dont know what to do anymore, or do I just have to face up to the fact that we aernt going to be together.

  • eva

    hello my second husband is a recovering alcoholic and addict who was sober for 5 years (5 beutiful years of our lives) but a few months ago he brought home a joint telling me it was for me with the excuse that it is not fair for me to be sober as well when i don t have a problem) my reaction was that i did not agree and that it was an excuse for it was him who wanted to smoke that. He said my reaction was wrong that i should support him thorugh anything yet he promised it was only that one joint, a week later he purchased marihuana and started to lie to me when i confronted him and told him not to lie to me he said he was sorry and that he wouldnt lie anymore that to please love him and support him and not oppose his marihuana use because if i love him i need to let him be and accept his choices and he continued to smoke pot telling me he felt great and could control it. I distance myself became detached from him yet his pot smoking soon became an everyday and then an all day high on pot situation and he eventually told me to live with it accept his pot smoking or he would leave me that my love was conditional to his sobriaty and that was not love … i tried even harder to detach and accept his choice yet i did not engage and became distant and when he was not high asked him to go to his AA meetings which he stopped going to a year ago…he refused and again told me to just love him and let him be …last evening he did not come home from work and last night for the 1st time ever he did not come home to sleep… and i feel devastated hurt disapointed and I don’t know what to do or how to react my children (from my 1st marriage 13 and 16 ) could not sleep last night waiting for him because their father is an active alcoholic and he used to black out and not come home to sleep so last night my children and i have relived with their stepfather something so devastating that has never happened before with him and I just don’t know what to do or how to react he walked in at 11 am did not look or speak at me at all he just went to bed and when he fell a sleep i got close and smelled the strong oder of liquor he has relapsed… i dont know what to do? what do i tell the children?should i end the relationship how do i do so? what should i tell him? how should i speak to him? i love him so dearly but he is a multiple addict pot, alcohol and cocaine! eventhough i have never seen him or been with him while he was consuming before we got together I don’t know were can this lead to… he is extremely smart and sweet… he has been playing these mind games with me…and trying to place the blame on me ….in a very convenient manner…i am so hurt and disapointed and in shock don’t know what to do…please help please give me some advise… of how should i approach this situation words that i can say proper choices to make anything please…

  • Ronda

    I have fallen in love with a drunk He is wonderful and helpful when hes not drinking but when he is drinking he is mean and hurtful I am now six months pregant I truely thinks he loves me inside but i will not raise my son with the fear and the hurtful words and always letting me down I feel like i got a partime boyfriend he says he want to get help when he is sober but when he is drinking he want to stay drunk forever and nothing matters. we fight and arugue all the time about this and says he wont do it again 3 days later hes drunk before i get home at 5 I really want to help but i dont think i can anymore i dont want to be the enabler should i just leave and wait for him to quit

  • elaine

    my 37 year old son has had 3 dui (one in witch he fell asleep at the wheel and have a large scar on his face), just lost his wife of 4 years and she will not even let him see his 1 year old daughter. he spend 2 weeks at cumberland height (after an intervention). all i hear is all the stress he is under. finally he sold his house and is waiting for a loan to go threw on another house. my husband and i let him stay at our house until he moves into his new home. rule was no drinking… first, he was drunk the day he moved in… that was two weeks ago. last night we find out he was drunk and drove to our house after getting into a fight with a friend….
    today i want him out of my house to either go to a halfway house or go anywhere else and figure it out..
    my heart is broken

  • Rose

    I have been with my boyfriend for over eight years and we have two kids together, three years old and six months. He is an alcoholic. He has been arrested twice for DUI…and twice he was bailed out. Once by his mother and the other by me.
    He doesn’t drink around me or our kids. He mostly drinks alone and denies he has been drinking even when it is obvious. I was in denial for many years and made many excuses for him. But I’ve finally realized that I am part of the problem. He is not violent and he doesn’t argue with me he just ignores me then acts as if nothing is wrong and I let it slide everytime. He has totalled both our cars while drinking and driving and has managed to keep the police out it. His mother calls it luck but his luck keeps him drinking. I cannot deal with this anymore. I don’t want my children to see him this way. I told him he has to get help or he has to leave the house. He hasn’t done either. I haven’t followed through with having him leave because our daughter is very attached to him. He and his mother uses that against me. I don’t want my daughter to suffer but I want him to take the initiative. What can I do to help him and my family?

  • TS

    My husband is an alcoholic. He has been fighting this problem since he was a teenager. He recieved help about three years ago and remained sober for three years. Recentally I have figured out that he is drinking again. He was hiding it and I cought him. Now he is drinking on the way home from work. He isnt drinking on the job. He is a hard worker. When he gets home he passes out. I cant handle this anymore. This is so hard on me and my infant daughter. I am mad at myself and I blame myself for marring him knowing he had a problem, but I thought he was better and I love him so much. He is an amazing person sober. He is an excellent, wonderful,caring husband and amazing father sober. I have tried talking to him and suporting him with any help he want to get. I have offered to go to meeting with him. I tells me how sorry he is and how much he doesnt want to loose me and he want to sto, but he doesnt want help this time. He says he can do it on his own. Three times now he has said he will stop, and lies to me and continues to drink. I really think that he is lieing so much that he believes his own lies. How do I trust him again and know when he is telling the truth? How can I get him help and save our marriage? I am starting to wonder if my only option is to leave him. This would be so hard on me , but i dont know what ealse to do.

  • hurt

    My boyfriend is an alcholic, and he called and demanded that I take him to ER, to get some attivan. -I have taken him in the past, but, I just do not want to enable him. If he is truly ill should I take him to the ER, or should I let just turn my cell-phone off and hope that he gets to a point where he is demanding treatment (i.e. in a center). PLEASE HELP ME

  • hurt

    Dear TS,
    I just want you to know that I understand where your coming from, as far as your husband having an infectious spirit. My boy-friend is a phenomenal person, sober, sober being the KEY. Just wanted to express my sympathy.

  • Amanda

    I’m not sure my boyfriend is a alcoholic just yet, but I do know he does have a problem with it. He hasn’t started missing work because of it, but his drinking does put us in a financial bind. He has 3 – 4 beers a night, but then on some nights he gets completely drunk. On average he gets drunk about 2- 3 times a week and it’s not on the weekend. He mostly drinks by himself or if in a social gathering he will be the only one drunk. It’s causing major problems for us because I’m 5 months pregnant with his child & I need him to slow down on his drinking before the baby actually gets here. He claims he can stop when I have the baby, however, he’s told me several times that he would slow down & limit his alcohol. He has not slowed down at all and it actually seems like he’s drinking more. When I express my concern with him he takes it all the wrong way & claims I’m trying to control him & says I’m not as fun as I used to be. I have never told him NOT to drink, I’ve asked him several time to slow down on his drinking. The only thing I have forbid him to do is drink & drive. I’ve fought him tooth and nail over it. I know if he actually hurt himself or someone while he was drunk I would feel some what responsible because I was sober & didn’t stop him. I’m planning to have his parents come over and talk to him about it, but I think he’s going to blow up & accuse me of ruining his relationship with his parents. Both of his parents have told me they think he has a problem with it, but neither of them have come right out and talk to him about. Any attempt they have made to reach out to him was taken so lightly he didn’t have any idea they were telling him they were concerned about his drinking. I just need some outside reassurance I’m not accusing him of being an alcoholic if he really isn’t. I need a total stranger’s opinion to let me know I’m doing the right thing or that I’m at least headed in the right direction of helping him. I don’t want to just leave him because I’m afraid his drinking will only get worse & more importantly I want him to be a part if his baby’s life.

  • Emily

    Hello! I am an adult child of two alcoholics, and I would appreciate your advice on how to talk with my parents about their alcoholism.

    My mom has been an alcoholic for about 7 years (since the last of her children left for college). In the earlier phases, she was very angry and destructive. She would frequently smash up the walls of our house, and she even went as far as to threaten me with a knife. She eventually got help for her alcoholism through a support group and was sober for about a year and a half. In the past few years, she has begun drinking again. From what I can tell, she drinks a little every day and frequently drinks enough so as not to be functional. She gets very angry or withdrawn when she drinks, though I do not think she is physically destructive like she was before.

    She recently told my sister that she would stop drinking if she had grandchildren. I know she try to stop in spite of that, but I’m wondering if it might motivate her to get help since her decline into alcoholism is related to her last child leaving home. I recently found out that I’m expecting our first child (and her first grandchild). My sister and I want to talk with her about her drinking problem because we’re very concerned about her health and because I want her to be involved in her grandchild’s life (which she won’t be able to do if she is frequently drunk). My mother has said that she wants to watch the baby while I am at work, and though I do not believe she would drink around the baby, I’m still not comfortable with the arrangement if she is not getting help for her problem.

    Our father, on the other hand, is a functional alcoholic. He frequently has a few drinks by himself every night, and on some days when spending time with golf buddies he drinks way too much. However, it doesn’t affect his job at all and he always takes a cab home when he is drunk, so he has very few natural consequences to his actions. He is generally friendly and jovial when he drinks, so it doesn’t affect most of his relationships. The only relationship it seems to be harming is his marriage with our mother, as it’s quite hypocritical for him to want her to get help for her alcoholism when he is an alcoholic himself.

    My sister and I are planning to meet with them soon to talk with them about their alcohol problems. Do you have any suggestions for good things to say? Or things we definitely should not say? Thanks!

  • Patrick

    @ Amanda – I currently have a friend who was in recovery, relapsed, and just had a baby with his wife. He also overdosed on the day the baby was born and made a total jerk of himself. Now he is claiming that this new child will be his inspiration to stay clean and sober. He is refusing to go to meetings or therapy of any kind. I have my doubts about him staying clean. Your boyfriend is going to cling to this excuse that he will stop when the baby is born. And he actually might, for a short while. But I am betting it will not last, because very shortly after it is born, the “newness” of the baby will wear off. Drinking will resume. Just my opinion, I could be wrong, but unless he gets help for his problem for himself (and not for the baby’s sake) then he is not done drinking yet. I hope I am wrong about this, and maybe he will actually decide to get sober. But having a baby is not enough to change someone. It’s just not. I promise it’s not. I know at least 20 alcoholics in recovery who thought that would cure their drinking and guess what: IT DID NOT. They had to go through so much more pain and misery before they “got it.”

    God that sounds depressing, hopefully he will choose sobriety, really I hope he does. But if he is depending on the baby to be the motivating factor, he will not stay sober. It will not work.

    @Emily – I am sorry I have no wisdom for you. My parents are not alcoholics, so I have no experience here. Can anyone else chime in and help Emily out with this? I would appreciate it!

  • ambar

    how can i get my mom to stop drinkin for her good?.
    please help…!….

  • Michael

    I have a friend who is married but has already reached extreme isolation with most of her family and friends. They have already reached extreme confrontational situations, and most of her family display anger and disgust most of the time. She starts out doing basic daily activities but will easily find herself going from one “party” to the next. First casual drink at lunch, eventually dance club engaging in flirtatious and sexual activity with many men by the end of the evening with blackouts and denial that the activities took place. She has been confronted by many people in her family, she has many people in her community talking about her behavior, many men are beginning to get the news and “take advantage” of her drunken state, and her reaction to the family continues to be more of the same. She lies to everyone about where she is and what she’s doing, and she is finding worse and worse environments to feel accepted… Is there any way of helping her without giving her the impression that I’m tolerating her behavior? I started confronting her, but quickly realized that it just isolated her more… Is there a way to offer friendship and spiritual support that can eventually help her make small, less destructive changes? She seems so close to destroying her life, or killing herself with her behavior that it is difficult to watch another human being on such an obvious crash course.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this chance to read everyone’s thoughts, problems, answers, and griefs. Last night I was desperate for some hope and some answers and this site helped me a great deal. I am a Mom of a 22 year old gorgeous girl whom I love with all my heart who drinks excessively on a nightly basis at bars and I am so grieved. I have been to al-anon in the past when I was married for 23 years to her dad who was a drinker. I learned to not label or judge, but my wisdom as a mom says she is addicted. I am a Christian and my prayers have and will increase and I know the battles are against powers of darkness that I cannot control. But I know a God who is all powerful and I find my comfort in knowing that He will make a way when there seems to be no way–He is in control. I have to detach and I am teaching my older daughter(24) to try to detach as well. We have been enablers and we will try to do it no more. My youngest may lose her home, her car, her job, but that is all material stuff. I care about her soul more and that she not take someone else’s life and/or perhaps her own while driving a car. Those things may happen though and I know I can’t control it and I can’t change it. I cannot manipulate to prevent consequences. This is terribly painful to write because I want to fix my baby’s life and help her find joy. I know that she needs to want to do this first. I will offer, as you suggested to others, to go with her to AA and I have offered my other daughter to go to Al-Anon and I will continue to express my deep love for both of them. I thank you for your clear direction and offers of hope. My hope comes from Christ, and I hope that others will find their hope and joy in knowing that if they place their trust in Him, He will somehow, beyond our understanding, make a way. I know that when I was married to my children’s father, that my heart was in the Lord’s hands and there was no way that anyone would steal my joy!! God is sovereign and I count on Him to guard her soul–He loves my babies more than I ever could. Thanks again and I pray that all who write will look to almighty God for their comfort and peace, a praying mom

  • Anonymous20

    Hi my 26 year old brother is an alcoholic. He has a 3 year old daughter and a girlfriend. He came home from rehab last august but it seems though that since he has got back that he is worse. My brother and his girlfrien just recently got a place together and that’s when it all started up again.Everytime he starts drinking he will say her family is always at our house eating all of our food & we pay her moms bills. He always calls at very late hours saying he doesn’t want to live anymore etc… He also goes to my mom and dads and says some very hurtful things to them. He has called my mom numerous names and has punched my 65 year old dad in the mouth to where he knocked his teeth loose so my dad had to have them pulled out. He has been beaten up numerous times but still seems to think that he is invincible. My mom and dad were both alcoholics when we were growing up. My dad would beat my mom very badly. I remember him dragging her out the front door by her hair. My mom also was not an angel. She almost chopped my dad’s finger off. I remember it was just dangling by a small piece of bone. Also, cheating the list goes on. No, we did not have the best childhood by any means but I can’t sit here and dwell on it but my brother does. He blames them for alot of his problems. He punches stuff all the time. Puts holes in the wall. I remember one time he was going after my dad and I was trying to protect my dad and my brother kicked me in the leg and fractured my leg. No I never got a sorry for that and I don’t expect to get one. He drinks vodka and beer all the time. He drives drunk all the time but has never had a DUI. I had to go pick up my niece the other day b/c he was driving around drunk with her in the front seat with no seat belt or anything. I can’t keep going on like everything isok when it is not. Any advice would be deeply appreciated

  • Patrick

    @ Michael – what about an intervention? You might also take her to an open NA meeting if she is willing to go. Open meetings are for people who are not sure if they are an addict or not yet (and anyone else).

    @ Anonymous20 – I would take some legal action if he is driving drunk with a kid in the car. It sounds like he resents you already, so would this really change the relationship much if you took some sort of action on this?

  • Anonymous20

    Yes I think I will. He is not supposed to be drinking in the first place. He checks in with his probation officer but they never check to see if he has been drinking or anything so I don’t really know what they are there for.Thanks Patrick

  • Abby

    Hi All.
    Thanks for all the postings… makes you realize how not alone you are.
    Here’s my story: I am in my early 30s and have been in recovery for several months. My boyfriend, who I met through my recovery program, is also in his 30s. He is going through some tough personal issues right now– former spouse, children, house, money issues– and has relapsed over and over again since first going through treatment a couple of years ago. Along with being a recovering alcoholic/addict myself, I grew up with alcoholic parents who never sought help and I am all too familiar with the hiding of the bottles, the lying, the manipulation, the denial. He recently relapsed again and lied to my face about it several times before he would admit it (I actually caught him with alcohol he had snuck into my house). Since then, he has been avoiding me. He claims he is sober however he makes plans and cancels them, he blatantly lies about where he’s been and he is totally unreliable. I told him when I caught him with the booze that it was totally unacceptable to bring alcohol into my house (I mean, come on! I am in recovery myself!), that he needs to be sober if he wants to spend time with me, that my recovery is the most important thing to me, and that if he does show up intoxicated, I will take him to detox. So, again, since then, he has been avoiding me. We talk on the phone and email constantly but he continually cancels plans to see me in person. After the fourth time he cancelled on me, I told him I had had enough. I ended our relationship. I did it because I do not trust him, I believe he is not sober (I also believe he just isn’t done drinking yet…not sure he ever really surrendered), I can’t take being stood up all the time, and because I think I am doing him no favors by not making him face the consequences of his actions. I feel awful though. I miss him terribly. I love this man and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I feel guilty. Did I do the right thing? I feel like I abandoned him… and that is his biggest fear in life. But I can’t keep making excuses for him and I can’t continue to overlook his lies just because I am afraid I will hurt him. I don’t know what to do now.
    Thank you for listening.

  • Anonymous20

    Sounds to me like he is not ready to give up alcohol yet. He has to love himself before he can ever love anyone. You are trying to recover yourself and it is not in your best intrest to be around someone that is still drinking and lying to your face. I do believe he is cancelling on you all the time because he is still drinking and sadly that is more important to him right now. He has to hit rock bottom and want to get help. Once he realizes what he has lost tha t might slowly make him stop drinking because he has lost you. Ending the relationship is the best thing you could do. Stay strong!

  • shelli

    Dear All
    just found this site while looking for help for my father – from what I have read it seems that he has to decide himself when he is ready to give up drinking – if indeed he wants to give up at all – Dad is in his 50’s lives alone after 2 failed marriages – the first to my mum ended 19 years ago – they both remarried. Mum is happily remarried, dad took on a younger wife with young children was married for 10 years or so and then divorced.
    Drinking has always been his problem. It was part of his culture growing up as a working class bloke in the 60s and 70s to go out for a “few jars” most days. Special occasions would mean having a “skinful” – any excuse really.
    So fast forward to now – he lives alone drinks everyday for most of the day – I dont know what he drinks – beer and spirits probably. I havent seen him myself for almost a year. He has become tramplike and family members who see him are embarassed to have to speak to him. My mother heard from a member of extended family that they saw him in the street and were horrified at the state he was in – My mother is a compassionate wonderful lady and she confided to me that she is in a quandry about what to do, if anything, to help – I have been researching AA and various other avenues – I thought about posting an AA leaflet to him addressed to Dad – so he knows it’s from me – Is this a bad/good idea? – I have read that you shouldn’t enable an alcoholic by giving them money (fairly obvious)of by doing anything for them that they could do for themselves if they werent drinking – eg going round with clean clothes and cleaning up his flat – another concern is that if he is not looking after himself he may lose his council flat – if its dirty and a health hazard – does the non-enabling extend to this too ?
    So many questions – I’d be really grateful for someones perspective on this if you can spare the time.
    Many thanks

  • Patrick

    @ Shelli – the question about enabling is very tricky and there are really just ideas and guidelines concerning this.

    Those who are hard core in Al-Anon and really believe in codependency and the harm that it can bring would probably argue that you should not enable him in any way, and that includes doing things to help him keep his apartment. Becoming homeless might be part of the process of him making the decision to get sober.

    Think about it this way: if the alcoholic is basically holding their life together, why would they stop drinking? The way they become motivated to stop is by extreme pain, pain that they can no longer medicate with alcohol. They talk about “putting pillows under someone” when they fall as being enabling.

    If they land in jail, don’t bail them out. If they fall and skin their knee, don’t catch them on the way down if they have been drinking. Do not take away their pain or their consequences.

    You don’t have to go out of your way to punish them….they will do that on their own. Just don’t rescue them. And communicate this boundary to them as well if you think it is appropriate.

    Giving him a pamphlet on AA info will not help in my opinion, but you could show it to him and let him know that you will try to help him when he is ready. Just let him know that help is available, but no need to waste time and energy trying to push a stubborn mule up a hill. Just my 2 cents of course and good luck to you Shelli….

  • shelli

    Thanks Patrick for that.
    I think that your comments are helpful and believe that you are right. I think my mother and me wanting to help him is partly to save our own embarassment at how badly he has slid into alcoholism and how everyone that knows us as a family – when they see him could have an opinion – Like “ugh, look at the state he is in – wasn’t he married to such and such”, and “hell look at Shelli’s dad, what a state”
    – As if it reflects badly on us as members of his family. and people may say ” why arent they (i.e us) helping him?”

    Thats definitely part of it – I am sure I can work on those feelings myself and help my mum with that too.

    It looks like the only thing we can change is how we perceive and deal with it.

    Once again – thank you for your response. I feel loads better just putting it in writing actually.


  • Maggie

    My husband is an alcoholic, as his mother & father are they said is Genetic. He stop drinking after his 2nd DUI but recently he started drinking again he is not a crazy drunk & he provides the money & always goes in to work. I dont want him to go back to what he was before when he was younger. I dont know how to help & what to do in this situation as I met him when he was not drinking, please help! Thanks so much.

  • Maggie

    Left out the part where he will never go to the centers to get help as he said that does not help him & he will not sick treatment beacuse it doesnt work for him.

  • Rebecca

    hi and thanks for this great page. My situation is like most. the alcoholic in my life is my ex boy friend. We remain friends and it works for us. he was sober for 16 years, and is drinking more then ever. He is not denying what he is doing, he knows its killing him, and he does want to stop and i believe he will. I do take him water, food, and bath soaps stuff like that, never have i given him $, he always genuinly appreciats every thing i do for him. We have never faught about it. I am always trying to cheer him up and make him see what a strong person he is and he can beat this . I dont want to enable him,, is this considered enableing him?
    Thank you

  • Lois

    Hi – I have a brother, 53, who has been drinking vodka on a daily basis. I believe he is about to loose his job because his boss has complained of his bad shaking and they sent him last week for a drug/alcohol test. He is to go to work tomorrow to meet with his boss and an HR rep and I think he’ll be fired. He hasn’t eaten anything for the last week, only drinking. I have tried to get him food, but he’ll take a bite and that’s all. He has lost a lot of weight. He has a daughter that lives in another state and she won’t speak to him which hurts him. He doesn’t make a lot of money and is in a ton of debt. We are thinking about letting him move in with us so we can try to help by setting boundaries of no hard liquor in the house and only let him have beer so his system won’t overreact. Not sure what to do here, he says he’s dying and not eating for a week, he looks like it. I have gone to check on him the last 3 days and he is always stumblng drunk. Any good advise? Thanks.

  • Jennifer

    I have an uncle who is an alcoholic living with my dad. My dad pretty much supports him financially and another uncle pays for his car. He’s drunk by noon everyday and drives drunk at least 2-3 times a day. I think he gets unemployment pay which pays for his beer and one take out meal per day. Would it be wrong to take away his car since he doesn’t even pay for it? Would it be wrong to call the police for his consistant drunk driving? My Dad is so frustrated and can’t take it any more emotionally or financially and we just don’t know what to do anymore. He admits that the beer is a way to self medicate and doesn’t have any desire to stop. I’m sure part of it is because my dad took him in as soon as he lost everything. He basically has a free place to stay and a free car. That pretty much sets it up for him not to care right? I get so frustrated because it’s not fair for my Dad to take on this responsibility. So, will taking away his car be a form of not enabling him? Or calling the cops so he can spend a night or two in jail? Please help. Thank You.

  • Rachel

    I think my fiance is a weekend alcoholic. About a year ago he lost his job and things were okay for a while. After about 6 months he started drinking out with friends on the weekend and coming home really late, only to do the same thign the next day. Recently, he got a new job that keeps him very busy through the week. I thought things would improve. He has to leave home on Sundays and is back on Fridays. As soon as the weekend hits, he still drinks until he can’t even think. It never used to be this bad. We have begun to argue that he isn’t spending time with me or his daughter. He refuses to believe there is a problem and says that he might not be here tomorrow so he wants to spend time with his friends because they mean a lot to him. But what about us? I get short with our daughter when I am angry at him and that is so unfair. The thoughts of selling the house and finding another place to live and rearranging all the finances is so overwhelming! I love him so much but he is in COMPLETE denial that he even has a problem. When I confront him, even if he is sober, he rolls his eyes and shuts me out. What can I do before it consumes the rest of our lives???

  • Patrick

    @ Maggie – he has to get broke down to a point where he will give treatment a chance. He is being stubborn. I was the same way, saying “treatment will never work for me. Ever.” But it was all crap. Once I got miserable enough, I was willing to go and things changed for me.

    @ Rebecca – I am writing a post in response to you. Watch for it.

    @ Lois – sounds to me like he needs to hit bottom, which he may be in the process of doing. If he keeps the job it may only enable further drinking. Sometimes we have to crash and burn before things will change for us.

    @ Jennifer – I don’t know about calling the cops on his drunk driving, but maybe if there is a way your dad could put his foot down, that might be good. Yeah a free car and a free place to stay is only enabling him, that is pretty obvious I think. Setting him up to go to jail might create too much resentment though. But I would think your dad would take away the car at least, if he is driving it drunk every single day. That is just ridiculous.

    At any rate, I would do something.

    @ Rachel – sounds like his is in a pattern of self medicating. I doubt he will consider serious change or getting help until he faces some more consequences. Unfortunately those are going to have to be big consequences in order to have an impact. Things like job loss, you leaving, those are good examples of things that MIGHT make him change. I think you should go to Al-Anon, at any rate. Good luck….

  • Anonymous20

    Hello once again I am writing about my brother. I don’t know what to do. He is doing so bad. He drinks vodka or whatever he can get his hands on pretty much. I love my brother to death but I can no longer let him be physically or emotionally abusive to my family. It is starting to take it’s toll on my dad who is not in good health at all. This is doing nothing but stressing him out which is not good. When he goes to my parents and raises hell with them they will not call the cops because they don’t want him going back to jail for the sake of his daughter but really does he need to be around her??? The next time he gets in trouble he will be sent away for a long time & know they don’t want that.Enough is enough though,Right? We have tried getting him help but he doesn’t want it so I don’t know what to do. My mom & dad were both alcoholics when we were younger & he blames a lot of his drinking on that. I know it was hard but he has his own daughter & he is putting her through the same thing that we went through. I don’t get it. At first I felt sorry for him but now I’m to the point where I want nothing to do with him. I know that sounds horrible but I think it would be best to distance myself from him. I feel guilty for saying that because he says I’m all he has. Which is really not true it’s just I’m the one usually that will go on like nothing happened. If anyone has any advice for me it would be really appreciated. Thanks

  • Fernanda

    I really don’t know what to do with my husband. He is a nice person, and when he drinks he is not aggressive or anything like that he actually became “nicer” (if you can call that)… and silly. He’s problem is that he can’t stop when he starts driking and this drives me crazy. Huts me see him like that, see his yes like that, see him no be able to walk straight. it’s so sad!
    I would love to start a family but how I can bring a child for this environment?
    My brother is his business partner and she says that he is just tolerating him because of me. He thinks I should tell my husband what I am going through (which I already did several times) and if he doesn’t stop drinking I should no be with him anymore. I am very close to that! it’s so difficult take decisions like that!! I wish I knew the answer for this!!

  • Patrick

    Hi there Fernanda

    Yep there are no easy answers on this one, I am afraid you might have to make a decision at some point and give him an ultimatum. Either get some help or I am leaving…..

    Good luck at any rate. Hope things change for both of you…..

  • jesse

    Thanks for your site & all the QA here – it is very helpful!

    My sister is an alcoholic, and we are planning a small family intervention with her, with letters from just about everyone she knows. We are not optimistic that we will be successful in getting her into a rehab, but we do want to express our love & concern to her face and have it be out in the open. She is currently trying to control her drinking, with a prescription “neltrexone”, thinking this will be her magic bullet. Knowing that she is very against the idea of rehab (says her husband) we need to move onto some consequences. We all live in different cities, and so our engagement with her is primarily on the phone (she calls, lonely & drunk). It is not always easy to tell if she has been drinking, since she has a high tolerance. We all want to change our behavior, so would this mean:
    – not taking her calls
    – asking her about her drinking when she calls
    – ending the phone call only when we are pretty sure she is drunk
    We don’t want to cut her out entirely, but hate her ongoing pattern as is. Thanks for your advice.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Jesse

    I would recommend this for advice about interventions. You might also look into a drug called “Campral” for alcohol cravings….

  • How to help an alcoholic

    Good post here with lots of actionable advice. I have been trying to help alcoholics for a long time now and it is no easy task. It can be quiet discouraging at times and that can lead to burn out. Nice to know that there are people out there who are still trying to do what they can to help others…..

  • Robert

    Thanks for your blog and thanks for this particular post. My 19 yr. old immature son completed a 3 week treatment early this year. Came out lived in a Oxford house, followed the 12 step program, had a great sponsor, etc. After a couple of months he wanted out of the oxford house because he said the language was bad, guys were older and didn’t have anything in common with them.
    He moved home and we had strict but easily to follow rules. He constantly broke them (staying out late), and we knew he was up to no good. It was reaffirmed when he was busted for a MIP.

    We basically told him, it’s time to leave and he has. Moved back in with his drug buddies. He is in denial and tells us he is not using, yah right.

    Problem is he has our car with our name on the title. The cell phone is his ticket to all his drug dealers and people who are for the most part supporting him. Not sure about enabling but it wouldn’t surprise me. My question is……..

    should we take the car back? we didn’t have this as a rule

    Cut off the cell phone since he never responds to our messages? again we overlooked this one as well

    Appreciate your answer.

    Also, can you give my thick skull some examples of detaching from him?

    Thanks in advance

  • Tess


    Thank you for the information. I have recently realized that my father is in the severe stages of alcoholism. He blacks out quite often, falls down, and, with extremely thin blood due to a heart condition and the amount of alcohol he consumes, he ends up close to death with the quantity of blood he loses. It has happened twice in the past few months. My father lives in a large house all by himself. I am a college student who travels back and forth from the States and home. It is during this visit that I have realized my father is starting to reach the point of no return. He barely eats, sleeps, and vomits constantly. He drinks about 3 bottles of red wine a day, along with vodka and whisky. I have quite a close relationship with him. We can speak very openly and he has finally confessed to and admitted to the full-blown alcoholism. However, he is such a proud man. He keeps to himself and will never ask for help from someone he doesnt know or someone that is in a position to actually help him. I have tried so many different ways of getting through to him. I am usually very good with my words but everytime we have a really positive discussion I feel like it was pointless because he doesnt put forth the effort. I dont know if to smash all the wine bottles and yell “NO MORE” or if to keep being supportive and caring. However I am starting to get angry. The selfishness that comes along with his illness is infuriating. He has managed to push away everyone who has cared about him and now wallows in his pool of self-pity and wine. I am really at a loss with what to do. I am scared, hurt, and angry. I leave home in a month to return to school and I just want to know that he is safe. Im pretty much alone in helping him and as I mentioned he is the most proud and stubborn man I have ever known so this task is harder than anyone can imagine. He asks for the help and then says “Im fine” while bleeding from the head. If anyone has gone through a similar ordeal and has some insightful advice for me then that would be amazing.

    Please and thank you so much,


  • Zoe


    My sister is an alcoholic and I’ve ran out of ideas on how to help. Her problem is not that she drinks everyday, she can go weeks on end, it’s when she does she goes on a 4 day binge and only sleeps when she passes out and only stops when she finally calls someone to help her get away from alcohol.
    I don’t want to sound too negative towards her because she has tried, she’s been to AA meetings but every time she goes she feels no connection with anyone there because they drink all the time so she feels it doesn’t help her. She’s tried hypnotherapy which helped but only short term as she can’t afford to go all the time and when she went to her doctor to talk about her problem he said she needs to give up drinking which is obvious but no help! She’s now at the point where she feels worthless and wants to end things because she can’t see how she’s going to live her life without this happening once every 1-2 months and she hates herself even more for hurting people around her and letting them down. I don’t know what to suggest to her I know she needs to try harder if she wants to really beat this but how can I say that without flattening her confidence and making her want to pack it all in? I would be grateful of any advice you can give or anywhere in England I could get it from.


  • Patrick

    @ Robert – As far as taking the cell phone and the car back, you should probably do what you think is right. What I’m saying is that if he did not pay for it, or earn it, or if he does not own it, then take it back. If you can legally do so, then withdrawal your support. You do not have to be mean or malicious, but in order to NOT enable him, then withdrawal this form of support. Even if you are just, say, buying him groceries and food, that is putting more money into his drinking and drugging. So you sort of have to detach all the way around in order to let him experience the full consequences of his actions.

    @ Tess – sounds bad. Not sure how you can help him. Encourage treatment. If he will not change then he will not change. No magic wand on this one. Seek help yourself, go to al-anon or ala-teen.

    @ Zoe – I laughed out loud when I read what you said about how at AA meetings “they drink all the time.” Some of them probably do relapse from time to time but there is a TON of sobriety at every AA meeting and you can get help and support there IF you are looking for it. I am not a huge fan of the 12 step program but that is a really poor excuse. There is quality sobriety to be found at just about every AA meeting in the world. I know this because I have been to a huge variety of meetings and I know it is usually a mixed bag of people. You will find what you are looking for at any meeting. If you want to find examples of why AA sucks, you will find it. If you want to find help and support and a good message, you will find that too.

  • Alicia

    Dear Patrick,

    I found your article to be really helpful and I appreciate your insight. I am in a difficult situation that I’m not sure how to navigate. My dad has been an alcoholic for most of my life, over 20 years he’s been drinking. I live at home with him, my mom, and my younger brother. My dad is a high-functioning alcoholic with a good job. He is very deceiving to an outsider and for years no one in our extended family believed he had a problem. However, people are starting to notice more and more.

    Unfortunately, because of the drinking, he is frequently behind on paying bills and consistently borrows money from me. I found the section about enabling vs. helping very interesting. I typically will lend my money to pay bills because I do not want my mom or little brother to suffer the consequences of his mistake. I am not sure what advice you would have for me. I’m afraid to detach and cut out enabling behavior because it really affects the people I love who also live in the house with him. I don’t want my brother not to have the things he needs just because my dad can’t provide for him in his current state. I don’t mind sharing any expenses, but I don’t have that extra income currently.

    My dad shows no sign of wanting help. We’ve had numerous incidents we thought would be the “breaking point” but no such luck. My mom is completely in denial with the situation and discourages my brother and I from talking about my dad’s drinking. She creates an illusion of us having the perfect family and so it is really difficult to convince her to cut out behaviors that enable my dad. She constantly makes excuses for him and when things are bad, idle threats that my dad calls her bluff on. I know that I can take your advice and try to cut out any enabling behavior, but I don’t know how I can convince my mom to stop as well. So I feel trapped in a vicious circle.

    Any thoughts? Thank you for your article.

    Sad and confused,

  • Patrick

    Hi Alicia

    It is tough because I do not know your age.

    One thought is that you could play hardball and say you want to talk about it (your dad’s drinking) and if your mom refuses, just say “fine, I will call each of our relatives, one at a time, and discuss it with them and ask their advice instead.”

    Or you could simply talk with your counselors at school about it and ask for their direct advice.

    Hiding it and not talking about it is very typical, sick, codependent behavior. Very common stuff though. Find a way to break through that crap. What do you have to lose by exposing the problem? Keep asking for help until someone will help you. Good luck.

  • Sue

    I really need some advice – my boyfriend’s son ia an alcoholic. He is 22 and just recently spent 8 days in jail x 2 about 3 weeks apart. He now has to wear the “ankle” monitor to detect usage for one year. My boyfriend thinks that since he can’t use, because of this ankle bracelet, that we should let him move back home. He has stolen from not only us, but from my children, friends, strangers, you name it. He doesn’t have a job, loves to sleep all day and play playstation or do nothing. His morals as well as his language do not match our home life. I have been put in a really bad place. I love my boyfriend but really feel like he has put the burden of where his child will live on me. I don’t want him back in our home at all. I wish him well in his recovery, but I just am not able to endure any more lies, thefts, etc. Please help!!!!

  • Alicia

    Thank you Patrick. I’m in my early 20s. We’ve had so many incidents where he drank too much, got sick in public, was sent to the hospital, and missed out on important family events. Nothing seems to be a turning point for him. I’m starting to feel hopeless that this will never stop. It seems like the worse things get in his life, the more he drinks.

  • Patrick

    Oh sorry Alicia…I was visualizing a slightly younger person. Not a whole lot you can do other than encourage treatment and remove your support from him. Organizing an intervention does not sound like a good option in this case. If you want more specific advice, get to an Al-Anon meeting and share your situation with the people there. They can give you more direct help than what I can provide (because you can give them much more detail, etc.).


    My ‘X’ is an alcoholic. This is my son’s father. He has not worked in 3 years. His wife just threw him out. He is crashing at my place, but between his depression, and his alcoholism, he just can’t get it together. Now he wants me to pay for his title loan on his truck, and the tags on his truck. What do I do? I really don’t have the money. Well, I have it, but it is for emergencies, and this isn’t really a life or death thing, or a I need that money to buy food, or pay rent thing. I want to help him, but not enable him. What do I do?

  • Sunday

    My boyfriend uses drinking to deal with his emotions, and once he starts drinking he can’t stop. He becomes very angry and depressed, and has pushed me a couple times. I don’t allow him to drink, but he messes up. When he does drink he becomes so irrational he will try to leave the house…call the cops…and make the stiuation 10x worse. Im really at a loss bcause he doesnt think he has a problem. Please help me!

  • Patrick

    @ Camille – sounds like a poor investment to me.

    @ Sunday – You have 3 choices as I see it:
    1) Stay with him and do nothing.
    2) Stay with him but convince him to get help.
    3) Leave the relationship.

    You might try number 2 for a while and if it does not work then resort to #3 as a last resort. But I would avoid #1. If nothing changes then nothing changes.

  • Zoe

    I didn’t say that “AA sucks” I was only looking for advice as I don’t really know how to go about helping my sister. I’ve never been to a meeting so I’m only going of what she tells me and how she feels about not connecting with people, but thanks for making me feel stupid all the same.

  • Patrick

    Sorry Zoe – did not mean to imply you are stupid or anything, but here is what you wrote: “…every time she goes [to AA] she feels no connection with anyone there because they drink all the time so she feels it doesn’t help her.”

    I just…..literally I think I shot liquid out my nose when I read that because it is just not true. I have been to plenty of AA meetings in my day to know that they do not “drink all the time.”

    Sorry to be picky about it but there are others reading this page as well….I am sure if I did not mention someone else surely would have….

    Good luck with your sister at any rate, Zoe. If she is saying “those people drink all the time” then my opinion is that she is feeding you a line….just my 2 cents of course and I do wish you the best…..

  • Beth

    It has been so enlightening, Patrick, to have read all of the comments posted here on your website. My situation has unfolded over 2.5 years with my boyfriend of almost 3 years. I am wondering if I’m dealing with an alcoholic – psychopath boyfriend (bf).
    Based on what I’ve read about enabling people, I don’t think I’ve done this. I don’t drink or encourage drinking around this person, and I cringe when I have to go with him to visit his mother and she offers her son wine to drink, knowing he has a problem. She and I have had a discussion about this in private, and when she asked my opinion about drinking in front of him, I told her that she shouldn’t offer him anything that is alcoholic and I didn’t think we should drink in front of him either. Nevertheless, she continues to do this and offers him wine. I still decline taking a drink when she offers it to me, but he does not.
    Adding to the puzzle, is that his father was also an alcoholic and left home for another woman when my bf was only 8. His father phoned him many years later after he had put himself through college, (they lived cross-country from each other at this point), and called my bf a “wuss” before committing suicide right after speaking to his son on the phone. He has also had a best friend who committed suicide right after speaking to him.
    My BF lost his job 1.5 years ago, but doesn’t do what he needs to do to find another (he’s practically a genius on paper), and he has just gotten another extension, so he will be covered almost to 2 years, and they haven’t checked anything about his job hunt – he has absolutely no records. He has embarrassed himself at a work function of mine and at his family’s holiday functions and didn’t apologize for it. He managed to buy a condo 10 years ago when he moved to our state so that he only has to cross one street, then he has the convenience of a grocery store that sells wine (his former indulgence) and an ABC store that sells the cheap rum he now drinks. He drinks morning, noon and night. When he was laid off, he slept all day and drank all day – he did this for 7 months straight, and saw no reason why I wouldn’t want to sleep all day beside him (what fun for me!). He has come out of that routine very seldom in the last 1.5 years. He also fell down a flight of stairs on one weekend night when I was there after having drank a huge bottle of wine and being on Diazepam (Valium) and wasn’t able to be moved and was bleeding, so I called the paramedics. I don’t know how he did it, but he didn’t break anything. I heard the paramedics ask him if he knew he could die mixing alcohol with Valium. After spending 24 hours awake with him in the ER, I thought that would have been a wake-up call for him, but it wasn’t. He’ll probably never get a DUI since he lives so close to his stores.
    Today, I was going by his house, so I stopped and he was extremely aggitated with me for stopping by although we had arranged this 2 days ago. He was clutching his heart a number of times while I was there, and I have seen huge bruises on his legs as well as cuts on his knee and forehead in the past 2 months. In addition, his mom fills prescriptions that are intended for herself and gives them to him to help his stomach recover from the alcohol-induced problems this has caused him.
    Whenever I have ever so subtly told him that I am concerned for him and I am there to see him because I care about him, he yells at me loudly, “Get out of my FACE!” and raises his voice at me every weekend. This weekend he promised to go to brunch with me, and by the time I had taken a shower and gotten ready – 15 minutes – he was in bed and had been drinking rum and was already incoherent and his speech was unintelligible. His mom called me when I got home and he had missed an appt. he had with her as well.
    The crowning blow came about 3 months ago when he heard that his brother announced he wanted to divorce his wife. That sent my BF into a tailspin. He claims he moved to this coast to be near his brother and his mother and that everything is falling apart because of this. He has no capacity to look at anything that is positive in his life, and I’m afraid that it’s reminiscent of his father leaving his family. The thing is, in the 2.5 years I’ve known him, he and his brother haven’t called each other ONCE, and they live in the same town! His brother barely acknowledges him when we are around – his brother is a millionaire several times over – it’s HIS divorce, and he isn’t as torn up about it as my BF is!
    I am at my wit’s end with all of this. He cancels plans with me at the last minute, and at the same time, he swears he’ll get through this negative period all on his own since “he’s been through worse things in the past and has made it through!” (He likes to remind me how he paid his own way through college and all of the various jobs he worked – 30 years ago – to get through it). He’s tried to back out of driving to my parents for Christmas Day twice now on Christmas morning, and I’ve managed to get him to go. I’ve sought counseling when I could afford it, and I feel that so much more has happened since, and I now can’t afford it. I’ve attended Al-Anon as well, but it didn’t work well for me. Can someone really, really love you like they say they do, yet be so selfish that their and their family’s crises come before you each and every time? I can hardly believe that a human being can be so arrogant and self-centered! I became unemployed 2 months ago, and there was absolutely no sympathy at all from him, and he says that he heard me complain about my job (which, by the way I loved!), and somehow, that is supposed to make me feel like our troubles are of equal burden to both of us.
    The reason I am with his man is that he’s supremely witty when he’s “on”, we both used to love to mountain bike and exercise together, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen that side of him (although he continually claims he’s one of the most active people he knows). He often says “I think I’m a kind, thoughtful boyfriend and treat people and you well”, while I have personally seen him drop off a neighbor in the middle of a parking lot at NIGHT when the neighbor needed to retrieve his car, and couldn’t remember where he had parked. My BF dropped him off at a random spot in the dark parking lot, and this was a HUGE lot – could have taken him a really long time to find his car…and it was one of the cruelest things I’ve ever seen someone do to another person. This neighbor happens to be alcoholic as well, and curiously enough, my BF mentions what an alcoholic he is, but apparently doesn’t think that of himself. He has now ever switched from a big liter bottle of wine (or more) a day to at least a fifth of rum per day.
    After having asked me a number of times to move in with him and after hearing me say “no”, he has finally stopped asking me, but still holds it against me and resents that. He also tried to get me to stop seeing some very close friends during the weekdays, and I kept seeing them anyway – thank God. He, incidentally, has absolutely NO friends here in this state…
    How, Patrick, and anyone else who has read this, do I try to encourage such a grumpy, mean person to go to treatment, or do I? What is your recommendation for breaking up with his mean person safely? I’m a bit afraid of him. Thank you so much for your time and allowing us to read these posts, so we don’t feel like the “oddball out”. I hope to hear from you.

  • Patrick

    OK Beth it sounds like you already know what the real deal is by your last paragraph there, because you ask for advice on how to break up with him.

    I am not saying you should or should not break up with him. But I will say this: if you stay with him, nothing will change. I can almost promise you that. It sounds like you are anchor for him and he will not change with you standing by his side.

    It sounds like he is awfully controlling. Trying to keep you from seeing your other friends is really, really unhealthy.

    I would lay down some boundaries fast. Ultimatum style. Of course they are not really going to be ultimatums, just let him know what your boundaries are. Don’t make idle threats. Say what you mean. But I would say “either this, or else…” Meaning, you lay down the law and put the choice on to him. If he can change his life on a dime (he probably can’t) then you will stay. Otherwise, you are going to vanish like a thief in the night. If you are truly afraid of him then that is exactly what you should do if and when you leave the relationship. Get your ducks in a row and then vanish.

    If he is grumpy, mean, and controlling, I doubt he will quit drinking while you are still in his life. Just my 2 cents of course….

  • Diane

    My sister has slipped back into drinking after a 10 year success. She is totally out of control. Worse then ever. She is like a shell of a person. She is totally lost in her drinking. She desperately needs help and I worry about how much more she can handle physically. I tried to talk to her tonight and asked if she would get help. It started good but ended bad. I can’t say I handled things the best I would want to. I just can’t keep acting like nothing is going on anymore. Everyone dances around it and no one speaks. Was I wrong for mentioning treatment. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Holly


    Thank you so much for posting this blog, and changing my perspective on alcoholism. Maybe you can advise me further :

    I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year. He used alcohol with moderation until about two months ago, when he reunited with and old friend. He started going over at his friend’s place and drink with him. He came home very late, and very drunk, but I didn’t think it was a problem until it became something regular ( 3-4 times a week) His friend is now away from here, but my boyfriend has since kept abusing alcohol when he goes out. Last night, I had to call an ambulance because he was vomiting and not waking up! He might have died if I had not been there to turn him on to his side… It was very scary. We had a discussion today and he is very aware of his problem. He told me he used to go on dangerous alcohol benders for days back in college, and that since he had managed himself to control his problem for a some years. He said he wants to (and can) be moderate again, but I don’t think he believed himself when he said that. He is planning a two weeks trip with ”the” friend very soon, and he said that there would be a lot of drinking involved, but that he thinks he can be in control. After what happened last night, I am so afraid something bad (medical damage or death) will happen to him as a result of his drinking while I am not there to watch over him. We are over sea at the moment and there is no access AA here. I am so afraid to lose him, and not sure what to do. Thanks

  • http://... Ana

    my brother is an alcoholic. My heart is broken because each and every day I see him sinking down. I am devastated because I love him so much and I dont know what to do to help him. I tried by being there for him and making sure that he is never depressed…but I now know that he spends entire weekend being drunk and passing out and sometimes missing work. I am sick worried about him. He is 3o and our father died from liver of cerosis at the age of 52. I know that there is some genetic component but also the fact that he gets depressed about life…so he self medicates himself…what do I do???? I know I will not stop until I get him to be well…the problem is how to I get him to realize that he has the problem and let me help him…I will do whatever I can…he is been drinking for 15 years…HELP!!!! I AM DEVASTATED BECAUSE MY I LOVE HIM SO MUCH…HE IS EVERYTHING TO ME :(

  • shirl

    I so sympathise Ana, my husband is an alcoholic, so I have been around the illness for many years.
    Read as much as you can about the subject, get to Al anon, find a good counsellor. Go to see your brother’s GP.
    The main thing is if he is not ready to recover you cannot force this upon him.
    Contact AA and take their advise. My husband was visited by people from AA and eventually got to meetings, but this has to be when they are ready.
    Stay strong, and dont give up hope. There is a lot of help out there, make the most of it.
    Good luck.

  • Amanda

    My fiance has a sister that is an alcoholic. She refuses to admit she has a problem. I know and he knows that nothing we say or do will get her help until she is ready to get it. However, their mother is 80 years old and she blames herself for her daughter drinking at times. Last week, she was in a rehab facility for about a week. They wanted to move her to a different one because she also has some health issues. Her mom and husband went to pick her up from the facility to take her to the new place. Of course, she refused to go to the new facility once she was out. This is literally destroying her mother. She is so stressed out and cries all the time. I know his sister cannot get help until she wants it, but what can we possibly do to help his mom realize it is not her fault and she has no control over what her daughter does?

  • Leslie

    I recently left my husband after begging with him to quit drinking. We had been married for 3 years, but together for 10. We have a little girl together that is not even 2 yet. As hard as it was, I feel a tremendous relief getting away from his alcoholism. I have relized that he does, in fact, need to make the decision to stop drinking on his own. At this point I have to take care of my little girl and myself. I can only pray that he will be able to face his addiction and get help.

  • Kerie

    I have been in a relationship for a year and a half. I have known my boyfriend since I was 15 and we dated back then. He broke up with me years ago because he did not want to put me through his addiction. So as a result I moved on with my life got married and had 3 children which ended up being an abusive relationship and I am now divorced. So we met up again and when we first got back together he had been sober for 5 months and when he hit 10 months he started drinking again. This drinking went on for 4 months. What happens is he leaves isolates himself and goes out all night drinking and will not answer his phone. Then when he finally sobers up the next morning he will call and start with all of his sorries. We have been living together for a year now. He got sober again in February and stayed sober for 6 months and has recently had another relapse he has drank 4 times in a week in a half and stayed out all night two of the nights and even missed a day of work for his drinking. He has everything going for him a good job a side business and he has myself and the kids which when he is sober everything is awesome. He worries me when he goes out drinking because I don’t know where he is or if he is ok. I am not sure what to do. He has a sponsor but really hasnt been doing what he is supposed to be doing lately. I just need some advice. I love him more than anything I just don’t know how to fix this. Do I leave or do I stay?

  • Nerly

    Thank you for this valuable information.
    I will follow your advice and will give feedback of the result.

  • Leslie

    Kerie – You can’t “fix” this. You have to understand that his alchoholism is not your problem. The only person that can fix the alcoholism is the alcoholic themselves.. You can’t put yourself through this rollercoaster. the only way to help them is to not enable them.

  • Brenna

    I was raised in an alcoholic family. I really thought that it was normal while I was growing up. I still think I have a lot of issues from that; I am just now coming to realize that. My mother tried to kill herself more times than I can count. My stepfather use to beat on her. I was the one responsible in getting her help when she would try and hurt herself. She died of cancer when I was 24. There were other issues with my stepfather, I was afraid of him he died when I was 29. I have 2 children and 2 step children. My husband is probably what you would call a “functioning” alcoholic.
    He drinks 6-12 beers a night. He doesn’t get drunk, is not abusive in anyway. He is very well liked in the family and by his friends.
    Anytime there is a family gathering there will be alcohol involved. My son is an alcoholic, he has pancreatitis. He has been in the hospital for it 4 times in the last year. He will die if he keeps drinking. My son was 3 when my husband and I married. He is the only father my son knows. My husband shut himself out of my son’s life when he was 16. He doesn’t care. I love my son very much and don’t want him to die. I sent him to a residential treatment center. He has been there 3 weeks now, seems to be accepting it very well. My son started drinking about the time my husband shut himself off. At that time my real father whom I met after my mother died, developed Alzheimer’s. I was his primary care giver. It was very draining on me, but we became very close. He died 2 years ago. I did not see this coming with my son.
    I have just discovered the word codependent. I pay all my son’s medical bills. He does not have a driver’s license, so I drive him everywhere. He also does not have a job any longer. When he did he was working part time as a bartender. I have been trying to compensate for him not having the only father he has know not having any interest in him. My son is well liked my peers and siblings. Until the last few months, now his siblings have disassociated with him. His sister is pregnant with twins, I have told her, and she needs to take care of herself.
    I am addicted to video games. It gives me a place where I don’t have to think. I got to the point where I don’t care about anything. I gained 75 pounds this last year. I don’t wear makeup, have my hair or nails done. I don’t care about my appearance any longer. I feel stress and run to the computer.
    My concern is when my son comes home. Will he be capable to be a responsible adult, find a job, and take care of himself? Will I be able to let him? I fear he will die. I fear that something will upset, disappoint him and he will drink. I am concerned when he comes home and there is beer in the house because my husband drinks.
    I joined Al-anon this week. I hope it will help. I am struggling with the Higher Power concept.
    Sorry it was so long – but there is so much more I could add

  • Patrick

    Hi there Brenna – I do not quite understand the relationship between your husband’s drinking and your son. If your husband is dependent on alcohol then why is he so disgusted with your son? That is unfortunate. Maybe he does not like what he sees because it reflects back on him and his life.

    You are already doing what you need to do, getting involved with Al-anon. You need to talk with others and get support for these issues. Good job for seeking help. I think things will get better for you if you stick with the Al-anon concept and keep learning more.

  • tina

    I have read through the letters here and the one thing that resonates through all of these posts is “despair”. Despair at not being strong enough to “cure” these people, despair at not being able to say no and walk away from these people, despair at not knowing what to do with “these people”. I have been around alchoholics my whole life and the one thing I know is you can’t do it for them. The thought that we co-dependent helpers/enablers have is that if we just loved enough, just pushed hard enough, just convinced them enough, then everything would be different and they would change and the world would be happy. TRUTH ALERT!!! you cannot change them if they don’t want to change and they will if there is no one to turn to when they can’t take care of themselves. IF they don’t take care of themselves, then you must remember “THEY are to blame themselves” and no one else. The one theme that all these posts have that is very true is–Help yourself with support groups to get over the bad feelings associated with the person and attack the disease if you can. We aren’t doctors so getting our heads right will in turn help the ones we love with this disease help themselves and if it doesn’t, we have done our part and our side of the street is clean!!! Don’t beat yourself up and SHOW these people how to be by being a good example and role model. Thank you Patrick for this site and I wish more people would ask about how to get jobs, how to keep jobs, how to start over when all you see is despair and hopelessness. Even the homes kick you out if you can’t get a job and that is very hard for a former addict. Where are the resources for that part of the disease? Thank you and god bless everyone dealing with this situation.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Tina – Sounds like you speak from the voice of experience there, good stuff. We all need to live as examples for those who still struggle, I am right with you on that one. I am not sure about the resources that you ask about….I know I had access to some of them here in Michigan but at the time I was lucky enough to just get a job doing something pretty neat even though the pay was uninspiring. After that I took a job later on that was even more in tune with helping addicts and alcoholics. My next career move will no doubt expand on this idea as well: going from helping a few addicts to helping hundreds or even thousands of them instead. That is how I see the progression as working for me. Provide value in the world and the job might even find you……

  • Holly

    My brother in law has been an alcoholic for many years now. My husband and I have over the years given him a place to live when he needed it and various help. Currently he is working for my husband but is cycling between being sober and drinking. I will not allow his brother to live with us; however, my brother in law is over at our house ALL the time. He is never allowed at our house if he has been drinking but wonder if any of this is doing any good. He will not go to treatment and unless my husband is “babysitting” him he drinks. I want to see him better but I don’t see him making any efforts to help himself. He admits to being an alcoholic but won’t seek out treatment, even when my husband has offerred to take him. I feel very resentiful because there has been so many attempts to help him and none have them have worked(nothing seems to change). I guess I’m just asking if we should continue to allow him to constantly come over especially when it doesn’t seem to be helping over all except causing me to feel resentiment.

  • mel

    Hi all,

    My dad is an alcoholic. This is very difficult to say, but it is true. He drinks alot, he lies about it, and money goes missing. He has serious heart conditions and constantly wants to commit suicide.

    He is retired, with very limited finances, due to his poor health.

    We have been trying everything we can over the last 15years, but he gets violent and we can not live with this anymore.

    I was just wondering where to start and what to do, as the costs of rehab is impossible to afford. I am not sure if their medical insurance will cover the costs. (Probably not!)

    He lives in Gauteng, South Africa. I know that the national health is very poor in South Africa.

    Thank you


  • Krystle

    Hi everyone, my boyfriend is an alcoholic. In his previous relationship before we met he was drinking hard liquor everyday and drinking beer like it was water. When we first met he toned it down quite a bit but now that he’s “gotten more comfortable” drinking around me his consumption has increased steadily. He knows that he is drinking more and has even told me that he wants me to help him stop. I know it is next to impossible to get him to stop completely considering that it has been a huge part of his life growing up from what he tells me. I just want him at the stage where he can drink one or two only in a social setting then be fine the rest of the night. I know I can help him (I’m a psych minor with an experienced background in mental disorders) but I know I need guidance as to how I can be successful. He’s not too bad of a drinker that he needs meetings or rehab, he just needs strong guidance in the right direction and I feel that it is my calling from God to help him. Can someone help me help him?

  • Miranda

    I have a friend who is an alcoholic. She was sober for 16 years (I didn’t know her then) but is now escalating again by her own admission. She is a happy drunk, and unfortunately a bartender which puts her in the line of fire every day. She will go on binges for several days, drinking all day and staying up all night partying. She has also alluded to drug use although I am not sure what. Recently she called me and asked me to meet her at work and to stop her from going out. We agreed I would meet her, we would have dinner and then I would take her home. When I arrived, I discovered her happy and drunk, determined to go out with co-workers and ready to blow me off. I stuck to my guns, and persuaded her to have dinner with me first. She hadn’t eaten all day, and hadn’t slept for two. I surmised after eating and slowing down she would run out of steam, which she did, and half way through dinner she admitted she couldn’t go out and asked me to take her home and tuck her into bed – which I did gladly. I realized that night that I couldn’t persuade her to stop drinking, but determined to find out how I could best help her and not enable her. She has said she knows she needs to stop but she isn’t ready, and I know the only real change will come when the light goes on in her head, or she hits the wall. The information on this site was helpful, but do you have any other specific information for my situation? Thanks in advance.

  • SJ

    Dear Patrick,
    After having read through your amazingly helpful website, I am still left with a question. Would giving an alcoholic friend of mine, who has never had someone intervein with his disease before, a list of activities to do that are non-alcohol related, be an insult to him or should I just leave him to get to his own breaking point and let him figure out, on his own, what he is missing in life? I want to help him start getting sober because I believe he has already begun the process of asking for help, which would be the reason for the list. I’m just afraid that if that is the case, he won’t ever see what it is that he’s missing and he’s such a great guy who’s too young to be missing out on all the positives that life has to offer him (including his friends). Thanks for the information you’ve already provided and thank you in advance for a response (hopefully) to my question.

  • Patrick

    That is a great question SJ. Really it is.

    Some would disagree, but I think it is a complete waste of time to do what you are suggesting. Really I do. The reason I say that is because he is still in denial and trying to use that approach will just fall on deaf ears. Your ideas are great and genuinely helpful, but only to someone who is already living a life of recovery.

    Now that does not mean that there is nothing to be done. I still think you can have an impact. I have written other articles about how to help alcoholics, but you are right….it is very tough to break through to a younger person who is still having fun with their drinking. There might not be much you can do at this point. Be the example that you wish them to follow. If you try to tell them something it will probably fall flat at this point. Even if one of their close friends sobers up, it may not have much impact on them. If they are young it is so hard. Sometimes time is the necessary ingredient.

    At any rate good luck to both of you and thanks for the question. I might try to expand on this in a future post as well, though there are no easy answers to this one I am afraid…..

  • SJ

    Thank you Patrick. Your response was greatly appreciated! :-) I’m glad I decided to ask you first before I gave him the list.

  • Anonymous

    What should you do if a loved one who is an alcoholic is threatening to kill themself? How can you help them?

  • Patrick

    @ Anonymous – you should get them help fast. In some states you can commit them. And you probably should, if they are serious. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Get them the help they need.

  • Debi

    I need advice. My alcoholic boyfriend broke into my house and I had to call 911 now I am feeling guilty for having him arrested. He needs help with his problem before it is to late. I am going to court tomorrow to hear what is going to happen to him. I had him calmed down before the police got there and was going to take him home but they arrested him anyway. The bail is $5000 cash or nothing I do not have the money and neither does his family. He realized that he needs help but we cannot help him in jail. He is going to lose his job and this will devastate him and I am afraid he is going to get worse help me….

  • Patrick

    @ Debi – I think you should encourage treatment for him and maybe spend some time apart. It sounds like you played a role in some of the chaos as well (you HAD to call the cops, then you calmed him down so the cops could just take him away?) Maybe if his job is gone he will focus on fixing his alcoholism. Part of hitting bottom in some cases. Good luck to both of you…

  • Anonymous

    my step brother drink’s what do i do

  • Leroy

    My brother has been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and refuses to take his medicine. He self-medicates with alcohol and marijuana (maybe other drugs as well, but I’m not sure). He is 29 years old, has never had a job, and seems to have some sort of personality disorder (very narcissicistic, highly sexed, sense of entitlement, etc). What options are there for my family? No one can afford to pay for him to go into treatment and he has been committed in the past (in state and local hospitals) with only short-term success. Right now, he’s cut off all ties with everyone in my family and we are all worried about him. It’s hard to know that he’s going to suffer, but we also know that he’s suffering as a result of his own choices. What do we do?

  • Angie

    My mother is an alcoholic. I am in a family of enablers. My dad threatens to cut off her money to go to the beer store, he never does, he breaks. If he does not break, she gets alcohol from neighbors, or drinks whatever she can find in the house, from holiday champagne to cooking wine. I now realize that yelling at her and making her feel guilty or leaving notes around to make her feel bad are not working. I have 2 brothers that are so rude and nasty to her over her drinking, but they think it will make her stop. All I know to do now is pray. She is losing her mind, she won’t see a doctor for any health issues, she is skin and bones, except for a beer gut. She is very manipulative, she always turns things around on all of us. Saying things like “don’t gripe about me drinking, I could be doing coke or meth” or she compares her addiction with me being addicted to chocolate. She gets just as nasty as my brothers and brings up old things about all of us. She calls us all names, and some times she breaks down and cries and says she wants to change. It lasts for a day or two and then back to the old habits again. I am going crazy and feel helpless. Any suggestions?

  • Dave

    My wife Diana is an alchoholic. I have been going to al annon and using this site for a few months. When I first started going and using some of the things I picked up there and some of the things I picked up from Patrick, I found that her drinking actually became worse, then I noticed that she seemed to be getting better. I fell into the trap of thinking she was on the mend and stopped going to al annon and thought I could get back to a “normal” life , whatever that is, I suppose I took my eye off the ball. Of course she has gradually gon back to her old drinking ways and the other night in desperation I went back to al annon with my tail between my legs feeling a bit embarresed although everyone there seemed like they had been expecting me! I did speak to Diana about our situation but it never ceases to amaze me the grip that alchahol can have on someone. Diana is kind and caring and a hard worker, she will do anything for us, she works as a comunity nurse and is well liked by her patiants, but when it comes to alchahol she can look me in the eye and lie to me without blinking. When I first found this site I felt utter desperation, frustration,fear,and felt extreemly sorry for myself and the situation I found myself in. My feelings now are more of resignation and an acceptance that there is nothing I can do. It seems easy but it is actualy one of the hardest things to accept that you are powerless over this. I still feel a rage now and then. So I hav ereached a crossroads, to stay and accept the situation however it turns out, or leave and start my life again . If I am honest at the moment I would like to walk away, but I am actualy scared of leaving my current life even with all its problems. The conflict within me now is not how to change Diana, but how to come to the right decision for myself, it is actually a great relief to not have the stress of thinking I can change Diana if I do this or that, so in a way that is progress.

  • Patrick

    @ Leroy – I would see if he can get funding through the state maybe….of course that will depend on where you live, and whether or not he will go willingly to rehab. Sounds like you might do just as well getting him into a mental hospital too….

    @ Angie – I would get the brothers aligned with you to try and encourage healthy action. Convince her to go to rehab. What else would be a better outcome than this? Not much that I can think of. But it sounds like you need to get your family aligned a bit better to make it happen. Good luck. Might try Al-anon as well (for you).

    @ Dave – sounds like you have made huge progress in how you relate to her. Good luck to you and to her….

  • james jacobson

    my dad is an alcoholic and my mum can’t deal with it how can i help to get him to stop every thing i do doesn’t work i’m 14 and have had to put up with it for 5+ years please help patrick

  • james jacobson

    my dad has also talked about suiside it makes me even more depressed

  • Helpless

    My boyfriend is only 21 years old and he has been drinking since he was 13. This past weekend he had an episode, throwing things, screaming at me, calling me names and threating me. I tried my best not to react to it but it was so hard. we ended up getting into a huge fight and I walked out on him.
    I know that was not the right thing to do on my part but it seems like if I dont react like that then he will think what he is doing is ok. I want to help him and support him but it is so hard for me to do that when he drinks, blacks out and has an episode that way he always does. What do I do in a situation like that, how do I handle him when he has an episode without reacting in a bad way?

  • Patrick

    @ James – ask for help or support at school? You need to talk with someone who can help guide you.

    @ Helpless – If someone is in a blackout then I would get away from them as fast as possible. I would not react, but only escape. That is really the best solution for your own well being. You should encourage him to seek treatment and think about finding a healthier environment to live in yourself possibly. Gotta set some boundaries. Blackouts are not something you should have to deal with.

  • Chloe

    My husband has promised me many times that he would never drink again. Every 4 months or so, he goes totally overboard. I am so angry. I believe he wants to stop. He has asked me to go to an AA meeting with him. Is it better that he goes alone or at least with another alcoholic. I do not feel that I should go to a meeting when I am not an alcolic. What would the group think?

  • Patrick

    @ Chloe – there are open and closed AA meetings.

    Most AA meetings–about 99 percent of them–are closed. That means that only alcoholics are welcome to attend.

    But there are a few meetings that are open meetings. These include speaker meetings, where one person gets up and tells their story.

    You are welcome to attend an open meeting.

    I don’t think that you being there with your husband is going to make much difference in terms of his decision to stop. You cannot stop drinking for him. He has to walk this path without you, so to speak.

    If you really want to go all-out with this, then attend an Al-Anon meeting while he goes to AA. That would be ideal.

    Good luck.

  • Brian

    I have never been exposed to alcoholism before and I am not quite exactly sure what or how to deal with someone who I think drinks too much. Anyway, I stay at my girlfriends one night during the week and on the weekends. It is a rarity that she goes to bed with me. She always stays up to drink even if we have had a couple of drinks together, she wants more. I offer to stay up with her, but she always insists on being alone. When she does come to bed, she is mad at me for not touching her. When I am not there with her, she drinks after she puts her kids to bed and then calls me to yell at me for not being there. She only seems to get mad at me when she is drinking. Her Mother died of alcoholism and she tells me she is not going to turn into her Mother, but I am worried sick that she is slowly but surly. She thinks because her Mom’s drinking patterns are different than hers, she doesn’t have a problem. I brought her drinking up to her once and I got a quick “then leave me” speech. I love her but, I am not sure I can go through this. Do you think she maybe crying for help? Maybe I am in over my head..

  • Jenny

    My husband is a kind, loving and unflinchingly honest man, who has always loved me and been a loyal partner. He became addicted to alcohol when we had some difficulties early in our marriage – not his fault. He did manage to stop drinking for two years in 2005, but I had to go away to work abroad for a few weeks and he relapsed. I see no hope of him stopping again in the near future, and I have suffered the consequences of his drinking for over 20 years. Throughout all this time, I have worked constantly, and dealt with the inevitable financial and psychological implications of having a husband who has never really worked at all, and who spends my hard-earned money on alcohol as if it was his right. When things were at their worst, I wanted to kill him, and came very close. I have of course considered leaving him, but he has nowhere else to go, and I cannot bring myself to just lock him out of the house. His family feel sorry for me but offer no practical support, and I have no close family, having lost them in my twenties. He will never go of his own accord – I have asked him many times. I care for him but cannot go on like this for the rest of his life. I will end up having to look after him if he becomes ill, and my life will have been wasted, as I am already 50 years old. I have tried all the things you mention, but in the end I am only human and cannot help being hurt and angry with my husband. What can I do?

  • Chris S

    I have a friend I love dearly who can go without a drink for about 5 – 6 weeks and then binges on alchohol for 3 – 4 days and feels awful after not surprisingly. She feels guilty and a lot of remorse and the pattern then starts again: another 5 – 6 weeks clean and then another binge. She is ruining her life and alienating all her friends, risking losing her job and also drinking and driving regularly. It is so difficult to sit back and watch all this happen. I take your point about not enabling her drinking and also letting her feel the consequences of her drinking but it is so hard to watch someone you love destroying themself without intervening. I have encouraged her to go to AA but she hasn’t yet – she says she doesn’t need to while she has me to counsel her. Should I now withdraw from the siuation and say I will only carry on helping her if she goes to AA? It is so difficult – she doesn’t have many friends and I feel like I am her only hope.

  • Patrick

    @ Chris S. – I would not necessarily take a hard stance saying that she has to go to AA. There are other paths to recovery. But yes, I would try to move in the direction of withdrawaling support unless she becomes willing to help herself.

    Let her know that you are also protecting yourself by drawing back a bit. Tell her that binge drinking is still a form of alcoholism, and that it will eventually destroy a person if left untreated.

    I would encourage treatment rather than encouraging meetings. These are slightly different outcomes. To me, going to rehab represents a greater level of surrender and willingness to change.

    Good luck…..

  • theresa brogan

    i am also in the same position as many ppl on here and it is an awful situation to be in as there is nothing anyone can do. I love my boyfriend and he has been in jail twice since i have been with him all due to drinking and i have given him ultimatums and he has promised me this and that and never followed through. At the moment i am in the process of finishing with him for my own sanity because i know i deserve better than this,i lived with an alcoholic who was my mother and that was the most hurtful thing i have ever experienced in my life and it still affects me to this day but i have realised that with my boyfriend i have a choice, with my mother i had something to fight for and my mum has managed to fight the disease thankgod. Anyway to all that are going through the hell of alcoholism YOU CANNOT CHANGE OR MAKE SOMEONE STOP DRINKING THEY HAVE TO DO IT FOR THEMSELVES STOP BLAMING YOURSELF AND OUTSIDERS FOR THE DRINKERS PROBLEM. it is a very hard thing to cope with but believe in yourself and happiness will come with it.

  • Patrick

    God bless, Theresa. You nailed it right on the head there. We can’t change anyone.

    A hard truth for all of us at times…..

  • Candy

    Patrick, this was an incredibly informative and brilliantly written article, thank you. My father, an almost lifetime alcoholic now age 65 has been on a bender for two weeks now. He is not caring for himself at all (not eating, not bathing, etc.) and we have been presented with that difficult place where he hasn’t been arrested for anything yet, but he is spiraling out of control. We believe he began drinking at an early age to self medicate for anxiety related issues…so it makes it difficult to separate his drunken (or even dry) alcoholic behaviors and his ‘normal for him’ anxiety-ridden mood behaviors. Regardless, we know he *can* function when he isn’t drinking, so we must detach and let him make his own choices. Thanks again for such a wonderful place for those of us who have an alcoholic in our lives.

  • Rob

    Patrick, thanks for this site. There is plenty of good advice here if someone is ready to listen. I’ve finally decided to make some changes. It’s heartbreaking but I have to draw some lines and stick to them. I plan to go over my list with him this weekend. I also plan to tell him we will have to see each other during the day for awhile. I can’t stay there while he drinks at night any more. Here is my first pass…
    I’m losing my best friend.
    I’m afraid of him when he drinks
    He’s killing himself
    He puts alcohol before our relationship
    Our future is uncertain if he drinks
    His brother needs him to be sober
    His sister needs him to be sober
    His nephews and step-children need him to be sober
    His mother needs him.
    Carman needs him. He’s her one and only.
    He’s my one and only.
    We won’t be able to get married if he drinks.
    We won’t be building a new house if he drinks.
    I wake up at night with nightmares of him dying in a hospital bed, with tubes coming out of him.
    I miss him when he drinks.
    I don’t like him when he drinks.
    It is aging him – he looks older than he should/could
    He doesn’t take care of himself
    He smells bad
    It’s not fair, I wouldn’t do this to him.
    His drinking makes me depressed
    He is a wonderful person when he is sober
    I want to be with him when he is sober.
    I’ve been drinking with him so that I don’t have to deal with the fact that he is killing himself – that is over.
    I’m doing him and us an injustice by letting things go on as they are.
    He is doing himself and us and injustice by letting things go on as they are.

  • Sidney

    So I dearly love my fiance and he’s left drinking for 4 years now but since he joined the military he started back with his old drinking habits.He tells me that the military makes it really hard to avoid the temptation of drinking since a lot of them get drunk. I know he can over come this like he did before but he said he needs help to do it.He said he would get the help necessary but he wants me to be with him to help him. He wants me to marry him already so I can help him with his problem. I love him with all my heart and I would do anything for him…. but I worry about the proper way to help him without bring me down as well… What should I do?

  • Patrick

    Geez, Rob, that was freaking powerful. Prayers for both of you. Sounds like you might have to make a decision, though.

    Tough choices, no easy answers.

    @ Sidney – It is easy for me to say “help first, then marriage.” But I am sure he is seeing it differently and wants to marry sooner. There is no right answer….but wisdom from recovery circles would encourage you to wait a year or so before making major decisions. As in, he would need to be past his first year of sobriety before you commit to marriage. But that is just a general sort of direction from the oldtimers in recovery….not to be taken as gospel.

  • http://helpanalcoholic deb

    I have been dealing with this for 25 years. We have 2 wonderful children. One is now married, one is still in College getting and Education. My husband is a very hard worker, and I have also always worked as a 2nd income before we were even married.
    My husband since day 1 always did what he wanted when he wanted. More or less no respect, just knowing I was always there. Drinking became his priority. Not me, his children, and now not even his Grand daughter. For one month straight now, once he is done work, because we already went through him almost losing his j ob, but he got help., and a lot of support..Now back at it again. It never ends. I have tried everything….. Except Al-anon which I am going to try next. I have to help me, not him any more. God knows, with any Alcoholic… We cannot help them. They have to help themselves, and we have to be the backbone. Until we get to tired, because they have given up. Not us!! God bless all who is going through the pain I am going through.

  • Bagele

    I come from a family of alcoholics and it really pains me that none of them sees it as a problem. The most painful thing is that my mother who is in her late sixties is also an alcoholic and doesn’t want to quit. Unfortunately there isn’t much help here for them. Where we could find help is far from where they live. How can I help them. I feel if I could start with my mother maybe the others can learn from her that its is important not to drink. I really hope you will be able to help me.

  • Anna Dougherty

    Well, I am 14 years old and my 58 year old dad has been a major alcoholic for at least 30 years. From the time I was able to comprehend things, I knew that my dad was an alcoholic. My parents divorced when I was 8. For the first 2 1/2 years I really didn’t see my dad at all. During those years all I remember is the night when my parents had the worst fight they have ever had. That was a bad night. But then, as the years went on, our relationship has gotton much better. But he still had those times when he was so drunk that he would do the worst things. When I was 11, my dad came to my moms house in the middle of Feburary and told me that he has cancer and was going to die. I was little and all I could do was cry. The days, months, years went by and guess what, he is perfectly fine. Then last saturday he told me that he did something but he just couldn’t tell me. I cryed for 4 1/2 hours that night. I was so scared for him. 2 days later my grandma calls and says that she read in the newspapers that he was arrested for DUI. This wasn’t his first, I think it was his 3rd. The night I actually cried myself to sleep was the night that this is a disease and that it is going to kill him. I don’t know what to do. Thankfully his girlfriend is keeping him more and more in line. She is the best thing that has ever happend to him. But I don’t think that he is going to do well from now on. He has also been laid off from his job for a year in a half now. I don’t know how I can help, but alll I know is that I need to help him somehow.

  • Sherri

    Need some advice. I divorced my husband 10 years ago for smoking, drinking and verbal abuse. When I saw my daughters standing up for me I knew it was time to leave. Since then He and I have tried to work things out but he has changed and hangs with some bikers and smokes, drinks, and lies all the time. I would go out with him but have stopped and have tried to place boundaries but so hope that he gets in trouble more then he has. Been caught twice for pot and once dui but he has money and always seems to get out of trouble. He last week got really drunk did somethings and left out of my car walking and I could not find him. He called me a couple of days later and said he did not remember what happen but wanted help and then switched in the conversation stating he wished I would have cared enough to go looking for him. I called him and told him I would help him but the way he lives is his choice. I have not heard from him and I know he has been drinking because he is always around social drinking and just returned from a casino. My girls don’t care and say they love him, I am sad for him so what do you suggest. Say goodbye tell him my concerns and walk away or what… He does not believe he has a problem but he drinks at least 4 nights out of 7 getting drunk, the others a couple of drinks and smokes everyday. Plus he has been bleeding for years but looks healthy, but to me has a red face and pale body. Worried Please respond to this Thank you

  • Muwgli

    Dear Patrick,
    It s been almost 5 years that I m in a relationship with a drug addict.Often I wonder how long I can still take it, but I just love his soul n can see beyond his earthly ways (which r NO good, stealing even from me, not admitting it, even when I say I have to get a medical check up to make sure my brain is allright(i had severe toxoplasmosis of the brain a couple of years ago n almost died in it)(lying, almost about EVERYTHING) (promissing, wit no outcome of course) and so on…
    We decided that we live apart, his drug use was not welcome in my company, though I know when he visits me he s not often sober…
    The strange thing is that he works, n manages to keep his job for almost 5 months now,but spends everything he earns on drugs.
    What is difficult is the fact he s from Nepal, n we live in Belgium. He tried a rehab for one month, but didn t continue for different reasons(his parents suddenly showed up, n he wanted to spend time with them, which i understand).
    Last year we were supposed to go to Nepal, but he never made it, I went anyway, waiting n waiting for him to show up,which he had sworn before.
    Now we re going to Nepal again, n I have to believe him that he ll come this time, he on and off speaks of going into rehab there, which would be a very good idea, being surrounded by his culture, his language etc but this depends on his moods. One day yes, one day no…
    What bothers me most is I could detach myself from his addiction quite ok, but he doesn t stick to our agreements(which r very basic, to send me an sms every day, to say hello n so i know he s alive), n the fact that he can never ever do something with me, but always talks me into waiting for him to do fun things, n when time is there, he can t.I think I m not satisfied with the relationship as it is now, but I don t want to miss him neither in my life. We have so many dreams together, n I know what he wants n desires, is the life I long for too, a life in harmony with Nature.
    Now being sick of his attitude I lost it and gave him an ultimatum, telling him that if he wouldn t buy a ticket for Nepal this weekend, I would seriously start to look for a person I can trust n build on in my life…
    But I just so much want him to be that person.
    Help me what can I do?
    Your article has enlightened me a lot, thanks for that
    N Good luck

  • chana

    My boyfriend drinks very day and it is killing him… and he knows it… he refuses to get help and he tells me he dont care about his life. i love him and i dont want to loose him.. his eyes turn yellow and he has pains in his sides… what do i do i am scared that he is slowly killing himself… help me!!!

  • krissy

    i have a sister who drinks everyday of her life until she is broke . she makes many mistakes crying wolf and says dosnt want to live no more ? she is great person until she drinks and says she drinks cause of what happened in the past . but when she drinks she is a diffrent person and wants to fight … i would love some help too learn how to help her get better !! she has ben asking for help for many years but when we try she an’t ready i think all i can do is nothing and may try but it just dosnt work so what can i do ?

  • clover

    im 16 years old and live alone with my mother who is an alcoholic, shes tryed to get help but her heart wasnt in it and she gave up. i really dont know what to do to help her and im afraid shes going to die from this condition. i have to do the housework and washing, i feel fed up. i dont have many friends to talk to about this as ive slowly slipt away from them because i feel like i need to be at home to look after my mother. does anybody have any advice on how to get her to understand how i feel and also how to get in touch with my friends again?

  • morgan

    I’m 15 years old. I live with my mom and dad. My dad has been there for me my whole life but recently has been taking a turn for the worse. He doesn’t believe he has a drinking problem but yet he feels he cant make it through the day without a drink. My mom and I have tried leaving home, but it didn’t help. they still fight and argue everyday because he seems to put alcohol and his drinking buddies ahead of us. My mom doesn’t know if she should try helping him, after fighting over a year, or just give up. I don’t know what to tell her and I know she’s really depressed. any advice?

  • kirsty

    my best friend is 15 i know that might seem a bit young to be thinking her of an alcoholic but she sometimes comes into school half-cut at the moment im really worried because she’s been ringing us all and she cant even speek properly she’s at her dad’d usual weekend party with her best friend and a lode of older lads and she is so drunk i afraid for both their health 1 is influencing the othe and now there smoking and drinking and refusing to eat there nearly a size 0. her dad is a alcoholic which dosent help and he buys her loads of alcohol and her other friend’s mum dosent evenknow she’d getting drunk or smoking or not eating i really dont know what to do every thing i try doesnt work


    My 26 yr old son is an alcholic. He has a partner and 2 young children. His partner drinks too although not as much. I sit and worry 24 hours a day that he is going to be killed. He gets violent when he drinks and threatens people. He has been beaten up by gangs lots of times. He has also attempted to take his own life.
    He says he will have detox “after xmas”. I encourage it but dont believe he will.
    I feel “frozen” and my life is on hold. Please advise!!


    kirsty you could try telling the school. This needs to be stopped now before she gets older.

  • Kyle

    My brother is 24 and he has a problem. My sister who is 21 also believes he has a problem. He doesn’t drink everyday but he does every weekend and sometimes on weekdays. He doesn’t just have a few drinks socially, he gets hammered almost every time. It started to spiral out of control about a year ago when he was coming home from a bar with his best friend and got in a car accident which resulted in fairly serious injuries to his friend. He went to jail for the night and was charged with DWI or whatever the worst one is, I cant remember. He could have served 45 days in jail but since he had no prior record and had suffered pretty severely with hurting his best friend the judge didnt give him any jail-time. His license was revoked for a year so me and the rest of my family had to drive him to work and to the gym and any other places he wanted to go. He is no longer in contact with his best friend over court issues and he doesnt have very many friends due to his circumstances. Both my mother and my fathers, dads were alcoholics. He can apply to get his license back now but hes worried he will get denied and be without his license for an extra 2 years this time. My sister and I both have asked him (while he was drinking/drunk) whats the matter with him and why does he drink so much. He usually responds with “cuz my life is so great” or something along those lines in a sarcastic type of way. I dont really know what to do. I need to tell my parents and be EXTREMELY serious with them this time. My brother is my hero and it breaks my heart to see him this way… please help me…

  • kristen

    please help; i have got to the point of removing the alcohol from my sister in laws house who has 5 children who are suffering from her drinking i don’t know if this was the right thing to do but it felt right to me. she has crashed her car, gone for days on benders leaving the children. what can we do next to help her, we seem to have exhusted all avenues.

  • Patrick

    @ Kristen – in some states you can have people committed, in other states you cannot. For example, pretty sure in Florida you can and in Michigan you cannot (for substance abuse, I am talking).

    Push for treatment. What other type of intervention could really help? Just a trip to rehab from what I can tell. That should be the goal, in my opinion….

  • Samantha

    My best friend of 16 years Jessica is 22 years old and a full blown alcholic. She is never told I Love You from anyone but me. She had gotten into multial car accidents, 2 DUI’S, Physical control, hospitalized from alchol, and DRIVES almost every night. I have 2 young children myself, a husband, a home to talk care of, work, and I go to college full time. All my friends from the past are dying of herion or oxy’s and I cant take much more. I havent slept in 3 weeks I feel sick to my stomach every night. She says she wants to die (only when she is drunk) and she drinks at least 12 then drive to buy 12 more every night. Im drained and waiting for that phone call. I live in Ohio is there any thing I can to legally?? Im going to lose it!! She is crying out for help, I made her a room in my home and I have been trying to get her here. She agreed to come but keeps making excusse not to come. What do I do?? Her family basically sucks (they are all alcholics) She also will not tell me things, she texts me about thing that happned in the past that are really bad. The hard part about all of this is that she will NOT discuss the previous nights conversation or events. She blacks out and choose’s ti leave them black. PLEASE HELP !!!!

  • Shelby

    My mom has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. At least ten years. I detach from her and I don’t enable her, but my father does. He drinks as well. We’ve tried everything to help her but she refuses to go to meetings and rehab because she believes that “no one can fix her” It is really frustrating and recently my sister told me that she needs help for alcoholism as well. I’m eighteen and I feel powerless. What should I do? How can I save my family?

  • *bruised & worn .

    my mom’s boyfriend is an alcoholic and thinks everything is my fault, i’m 14 years old & did nothing to the man. he calls me every name you can think of, i’m also a punching bag, i don’t mind cause i fight back. he booted in a locked door to try to get my cell phone, he wont go to rehab or get help, i’m willing to do my part if he does his.

  • So Sad…..

    It really upsets me, reading the comments left by young people. I, myself am stugglling with an alcoholic in my life, and feel so sorry for anyone that has to deal with it. I know it’s an addiction, but I’m tired of defending myself and kissing ass! I really do think those of us who love an alcoholic just need to cut our ties and save our sanity. Don’t get involved with an alcoholic…..they will never change!

  • just call me cc

    Alcohol, drugs, they are peoples crutches. It helps them forget, or helps them enjoy a night, or keeps them in a cycle that keeps going in circles. For all of you who have to deal with someone who is an alcohlic and/or drug addict I identify with you.
    For Kyle, speak to your brother when he is sober and try get to his heart. It may just be all it takes.
    For Kristen, my goodness I know that journey and I made that call to the authorities had the children removed and my sis sobered up. It’s enough for the kids being through that life, and it’s for the kids and their safety that has to be the priority, so whatever u do just do it and don’t feel sorry or bad for doing it.
    For bruised and worn, I can see how you are feeling. I think that it is best for you to seek help to friends or relatives. You have to get away for yourself. Not run away from problems but remove yourself from the problems. Once that is done you need to seek an alon-non group to share you thoughts an feelings, because kid you are not alone. I fear that if you stay in that cycle of abuse that terrible things will happen in the future. You must get out. Don’t be afraid to ask or tell people whats going on, stay strong and determined don’t let what you moms boyfriend calls you stop you from anything. I am glad to see that you wrote that down, now take a bigger step to helping youself and tell someone in person.

  • Robin

    To Bruised and worn,if your mother can’t or won’t help you with her boyfreinds behavior then you need to find someone who will!

  • john

    Morgan, I understand what you are going through, I’m also 15 and my dad is an alcoholic. Today is Christmas and he just walked out because of alcohol. He came close to hitting my mom so I pushed him down. I also hid his keys from him so he couldn’t drive off. Not only is it slowly killing him, it’s really effecting my mom. I want anyone who is reading this to pray for me and my family please.

  • stella

    Thank you Patrick for writing this I wish this information were more widely available for relatives of alcoholics. I am very concerned for my mother who is the alcoholic in my life, I am very concerned about her recent behavior including extreme weight loss, RX drug abuse, drunk driving, hording garbage and evidence of her drinking, and alarming ill attentiveness to cleanliness of her apartment. At what point does enabling stop and prevention of loss of life or serious injury to others. Additionally, though you speak a lot about the alcoholic asking for financial assistance to continue their habit – my situation and the situation for other family members in contact with her – is in the opposite mainly that we are financially dependent on her a dependence which she often uses as leverage against us. I’m unsure what to do for her – what do you suggest? Is it really best to leave her on her own when she is self destructive in all these potentially deadly ways?

  • Patrick

    @ Stella – in Al-anon they address such dependencies at a deeper level. If you want to see her change, then I would suggest that you start by removing your dependency on HER. Otherwise, I seriously doubt that she will take your pleas seriously. Not necessarily how it should be, but I am afraid that is how it is. Just my 2 cents, I am sure others may disagree….

  • Chrissy

    I have been trying to help my step father to stop drinking. I am over 25 years old. I know that it is hard to stop but beer has almost ruined my oldest sisters life. Please email me and tell me how some of you all have or else have helped someone quit drink.

  • *bruised & worn .

    To Robin –
    My mom is trying her best , she just got surgery & can’t do much, so my dad called the cops, i start with social services soon, they are making a plan for me to get away if there is anymore alcohol in my house.

  • worried sick

    this article has really made me do alot of thinking . my husband is a bad drinker. he drinks an eighteen pack or more a day. we argue all the time and he always makes me look like the bad person. i want to find some answers and help him, but i am just about to give up on him. i didnt realize how depressed he really has made me feel. he has been in several wrecks over several years due to his drinking, but thank God he hasnt hurt anyone, he has always come out fine. i want to give up, what should i do??!!

  • Raymonsss

    My wife is an alcoholic and a drunk driver how much more scary can that be?
    My kids and I have been asking her to stop drinking or at least stop drinking and driving but nothing has changed. This has been going on for over two years. She buys the big bottle for home and the little 10 oz bottle to drive and many timesshe just refills her little bottles or makes her self a sippy cup.
    We are afraid that one day weare going to get a call saying she had been in an a serious accident which resulted in someone going to the hospital or that she was booked into jail and would have to remain for at least 10 days. We have all but threatned her but I am tempted to take her truck keys away from her.
    Who out their can really help us other than just a support groupthat will probably cost me money that I cant afford? We are not ready to give up and I am going to seek help from my work (EAP)

  • Greg

    My wife of fourteen years has developed a drinking problem that has become almost impossible for me to deal with. Over the last six months my wife has been arrestsed twice and been in two motor vehicle accidents, all due to her alcoholism. The last accident she was involved in left her with broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and a lalcerated spleen and liver. She was hospitalized for about a week, but the first day she got home she started drinking again. I am at wits end as to how and handle this situation. I was told on several occasions that I would have to wait for her to hit rock bottom before she would finally come to the realization that she has to address this issue (in the meantime I have been enduring both verbal and physical abuse). If she hasn’t hit rock bottom by now, what will it take? I am extremely concerned about my wife, but have come to realize that I am absolutely powerless in this situation. I am afraid that our marriage won’t survive much longer, even more importantly I’m concerned about my wife’s well-being. At some point I fear the worst for her. I can honestly say that my wife’s alcohol addiction has been the most difficult experience of my life. I NEED HELP! I don’t know what to do.

  • hans

    well i just visited my mom today, she has a broken foot and a bruised up back/side from falling down the stairs because she was blacked out drunk…shes 50 and looks like shes 65, she had a few dwi’s when i was younger about 9 years ago and has been into a few half way houses and other kinds of rehab type deals…i think she quit for a bit but i’m not really sure if she really quit,,there were a couple years where she seemed sober..she would make sense when she talked and seemed at peace, calm, collected…now i can tell when she drinks because shes just completely out of touch and rambles and its just sad..shes deff back at it and it sucks…shes goin down hill fast and shes such a nice awesome loving person but i dont know what to do…she doesnt make much money and with her broken foot i dont know what shes going to do about her job..i tried to take her to the hospital today but she was drunk i think (she said she wasn’t) ..she was rambling on and crying and just being neurotic…it sounds like im not sad by the way im typing but i bawled my eyes out today..this is horrible and reality just smacked me in the face..theres no way shes going to last another 10 years going at this pace and its a horrible thing…she was such a good looking woman and now she looks pretty rough..hard thing to say about your mom but its true and i feel like shit thinking about it. im going to force her to go to the hospital tomorrow and prob. going to spend the day with moving closer to her in a couple weeks so my plan is to spend much more time with her (i hardly spend any time with her) i’ll see if i can get her into a few AA meetings and give her some positive support. after reading this article i have done a lot of the wrong things,.. i’ll lose my temper and try to threaten or shame..not on purpose but thats what it boils down to…im going to be supportive and the detach strategy sounds like it will help…i’ve read everyones articles and i really feel for everyone..ill pray for everyone and i hope it works out..its a horrible thing we have to go through…its just very sad and no body likes to be sad..watching someone slowly kill them self is the dumps..w/ done venting…good luck everyone. god bless

  • Jude

    Hi, Hans i just read about your mum and i do know how you must feel except the alcholic in my life is my ex daughterinlaw the mother of my three grandchildren. As the children are 9,6 and 3 im really not sure how it must be affecting them but i know they are happy when allowed to see us and stay. she has stopped all contact even with her own family as she drinks more and more even taking the children to the pub with her and drinking there. Im scared for her health and for the lives of my grandchildren and dont know where to go from here. She knows she could lose her kids and i even think she may want that to releive her of the burden but the children are scared of losing her the eldest girl especially. She is 28 will she end up 50 still doing this as the children move from house to house school to school not knowing where they will go next never knowing if they will have a bed or the floor to sleep on and never having a normal life. DHS was notified but failed to do more than ring her and the school continues to monitor but its holiday time now and drinking time for her. It distresses me greatly that i cant help my grandchildren or even see them to chat.No one seems to care until something bad happens, she leaves them with strange men at times and im afraid of what might happen then too. I dont think i have enabled her but maybe by minding the kids sometimes i have, so she can go out to drink. Will this kill her at a young age im not sure, but could her actions kill my grandchildren i’m afraid it could. My hands seem tied. anyone have any answers?

  • Dan

    Jude, you dont mention your son-could he ,or you for that matter, go for custody. Also keep a log of anything that could be significant big or small, that could establish any risk to the children. If you can discuss the issue with the school again and see if they have noticed any troubling behaviour ors igns of distress or anything that indicates neglect, they should be able to get agencies involved even if you cant. When the children get old enough you can offer to accomodate them so the scenario you depicted could be avoided.
    Only a few thoughts, hope they help.

  • Jeff

    This was very insightful. I am an alcoholic. It began in the fall on 2006, got worse in 07 and 08, then things started to turn around for me on 09. It doesn’t matter why I latched on to such an evil friend, alcohol. What matters is, I was using it (and occassionally still do) as a ‘reset’ button to forget past memories I could not or would not resolve. In that sense, it always worked for a couple months. When I began to make a fool of myself in public, in front of my wife, in front of her friends and family (it took 3 times), I realized this wasn’t ‘social drinking’. I was an alcoholic ruining my relationship with my wonderful and far too forgiving wife. I don’t want to lose her, but honestly cannot understand why she stays with me. I’ve brought her nothing but shame and sadness to her goals and dreams for us. I was doing so well last year, compared to the previous 2, that I was actually proud of myself. Turning 40 soon, as the new year rolled around, the 1st Monday afterward, I began thinking about my past ‘issues’ I cannot solve, the fact that I am still fatherless and have wanted so badly to be closer and develop a more intimate bond with my wife as we have been living like brother and sister the past 3 years. All of those things had been rushing through my head since the previous Saturday night at work. On Monday, I tried to end it all. I drank as much as I could that afternoon, wine, and a bottle of 90-ish proof rum. I drank it fast in hopes of blacking out and eventually cardiac arrest. I figured my wife deserved so much better than me and wanted to end this hellish relationship for her so that she could move on. And, I figured she should last find me the only way she really remembered me as anyway…an alcoholic. Unfortunately, my plan failed. I amazingly kept it all down, didn’t feel ill when I awoke, and just made my marriage now 1000 time worse. We haven’t spoken since Sunday (5 days). Not that I blame her. I don’t want a divorce, but, honestly, I don’t see any more options for her. I hate making people sad even though I know it’s 100% my fault. I can’t keep hoping she’ll forgive me. But, I do feel lost, empty, without her intimately in my life in every way.

  • Raven

    Wow – reading all your stories has been enlightening for me, my boyfriend is an alcoholic and sometimes I feel so alone, like no one else knows what I’m going through – but they do. I moved to be with my boyfriend, and I have not found employment where we live, and of course he’s unable to work due to his disease – I know I enable him, I know I’m not using the tools listed above, as we fight constantly. I blame, I put him down, I hate his disease, and I feel like it’s killing me – he’s the one who’s drinking 30+ beers a day, why do I feel so much sadness and loneliness – I hate my life with him. I’m going to try to detach, but it’s so hard – I think I love him, but it’s getting so lost in his disease that I don’t even know anymore. He says he wants to get help, that he wants to “cut back” that he doesn’t like the person he’s become ……. well why doesn’t he get help then? He blames his childhood, he blames previous relationships, he blames his father who died when he was fifteen …… he blames me. I don’t even know how I got here, I wasn’t supposed to be with an alcoholic, I’m college educated, I’m smart and happy ……. what happened?

  • Bob

    My mother is an alcoholic, finally had another talk with her today. She goes about 3 days drunk, 3 days sober, back and forth. Me and my sister had a sort of mock intervention type thing, not a full out one, but finally confronted her again. She’s been an alcoholic since I was a child, and now she’s 50. The problem today is she left to pick up my sister and her daughter at the daycare my sister works at, but wouldn’t let my sister drive them home, when she was obviously drunk. luckily it was only about 1/4 of a mile, but that’s entirely besides the point. I’m going to try some of what I see in here, a lot of it we already do on a regular basis, but we can’t just ignore this anymore. The article says threatening is never a good thing, but the problem is none of us can really stand it, and all feel like we are already on the verge of just leaving her. None of us really wants to do that though. I mean she is my mom and all, but I can’t stand her presence when she’s drunk, which is literally half of her waking hours.

  • KB

    I understand all too well what everyone is saying here. I grew up with a drunk as a father and now my boyfriend is the same way, if not worse. I love him deeply and it hurts when he is drunk and falling down, mumbling words instead of speaking and basically making an ass of himself.

  • Ken

    I/we are at the point of NOWHERE!
    my brother has been drinking for years…..he has done a few 7 day programs but that was to pacify everyone…….his wife of 8 years just left him–for what she says is the last time….he is verbally abusive and completely self con sumed……….when she leaves…he cries saying “i want my wife back”…when we say you will have a better chance of getting her back if you go to an extensive inpatient rehab…he says “no way I would rather die than go to rehab”
    my sister has gone so far as to call the show “intervention”…she has nice chats etc…but we dont have $7,500 for the initial cost…..
    we called 911 the other day when my parents stopped by to see him and he was so drunk and on pills that he was crawling around on the floor talking jibberish…..we called 911…when they showed up he didnt want to go but an old freind was part of the ems team and talked him into it……he blew a 2.9 by the time they did a breathlyzer….which means it was probably 3.2……WITH pills…..that was 5pm at night…….my Dad and Mom went home for the night assured that he was in good hand…..he too a taxi home at 4 AM!!………….any suggestions???????????Help????

  • Anonymous

    think this article is really good has give me the courage to try and detach my self from the situation as i feel i cant take much more. my sister is an alcoholic and is constantly manipulating and is going to greater and greater lengths to get what she wants .I have felt at the point of a break down myself and just reading this article and all the other people who have shared about there struggles has helped.

  • anonymous

    I too have an alcoholic brother. My parents are enabling him and tend to come to the conclusion that I have caused the latest flare ups. It never seems to be about him. Everyone walks on eggshells worried that it will set him off. I am trying to figure out what to do and what road to take, but they all seem to lead nowhere. He threatens suicide frequently and is very violent to us all when he is drunk which is most of the time now. We have been to the local ER which threatened to call the police. And our town shrink charged hundreds and wrote out a script for AA meetings, but we can’t get him to go. We are very lost and have lost any form of normalcy . Please if anyone has suggestions I’m all ears.

  • Arline

    My father was an violent alcoholic for many years, he stopped drinking for over 25 years and for that I’m so happy. Unfortunately, I have three brothers in which two out of the three are alcoholics. My father told me that the bottle becomes your best friend because the bottle doesn’t talk back to you, it is always there when you need it and it becames your whole world. Sad. I commend my mother who stuck by my father all these years-I commend her strength and courage to say that she had enough of my fathers drinking and it was UNACCEPTABLE!!! She detached herself, asked for a divorce (25 years ago) and just when my father had to sign his name on the paperwork at the attorney’s office-he made a promise to my mother that he would never drink again! HE IS CONTINUED HIS PROMISE TO THIS DAY!

  • jackie

    it gives me so much hope to read these storys i have been sober 2 weeks after a relapse i had 13 months under my belt but i am back again and living one day at a time.

  • Is this enabling?

    My sister lost her licence because of drinking and driving. Am I enableing her if I pick her up to come over for supper? Should I be letting her make her way over by bus. How about bringing her to the licence bureau or driving her visitor around?

  • Patrick

    I would say that those things are not enabling, so long as she is not really taking advantage of you and wants to change.

    Some would disagree.

    You can help her to help herself. Try to draw the line there.

  • douglas perkins

    I love him I can see as a result of reading this article what I have been doing wrong i ‘m at work and I can’t hold back the tears.Wow he’s wright I don’t listen.I got it now


  • wisegirl

    My father is an alcoholic, has been almost all of my life. I love him and would do anything in this world to save him from this disease. I have tried to talk to him, detach myself, etc. But nothing helps. it’s hard not to blame him for all of the pain, but I know we are angry simply because we think if he loved us he wouldn’t do this to us, the truth is he can’t help it so where do we go from here?

  • New Beginning

    This is my first time visiting a site for alcoholics. I didn’t want to really believe that this was my situation, but here I am. My husband is an alcoholic. In between all of our other issues, I forgot to deal with the root of it all. Just the other day, he threw in my face how I abandoned him. It hurt so much. And to say the truth, I did. I’ve been wrong for a while now.. My husband asked me for help actually… and I didn’t do anything. I figured he used it as an excuse for his actions. I was so wrong. I haven’t been using any of these tips… Ive been doing the complete opposite. So ignorant of me to blame it all on him… For so long I blamed myself. So when I tried changing and it didn’t work I just isolated myself more. Lately the arguments are caused by me. Reading this information has brought me some insight, I just hope I can actually use it… I really just don’t know where to begin…

  • Anon

    I have just realised that my fiance is an addict. He is still in denial. My most major concern. We’ve been together for 3 years or so now and although I noticed that he drank more than usual people do, I never really thought he had a problem. It was only until recently that I realised that drinking was the root cause of his behaviour – behaviour that caused him to get verbally and emotinally abusive with me and on one occasion, almost physically abusive when he threatened me with his firearm. He uses all sorts of excuses, mostly my family, for his behaviour, going to the point of saying that his drinking only becomes a problem when certain people are around him – that meaning my family because he doesn’t get along with them. I have come to the point where I am afraid of him, afraid to talk to him because it will turn into an argument and he may get abusive. But at the same time, I love him and desperately want to help him. This article changed a few things for me. Perhaps I need to encourage and support him in a different way. I’ll try all that I can right now. He’s a wonderful, good person and I don’t want to see him fall.

  • http://HowtoHelpanAlcoholic Carol

    My son is an alcoholic. He is 42 and been drinking for 20 yrs. He is also on medication for anxiety, depression, & his latest doctor reduced his valium dramatically , thus the last 7 mos. his drinking and bizzare behavior have increased dramaticlly. I have been trying to help him for so long and now finally realize that I was enabling him. Right now he is in jail for his 5th dwi & driving someone elses car w/out their permission. He is in the house of correction about 4wks (I told him I will not bail him out ever again) but now he has been asking me to put money into his account, $40 to $50 per wk. , he claims to be for toiletries & snacks. This is like a holdling tank until they are sentenced , so he claims there are no help programs of any kind and meals are very sparce so he needs to purchase more snacks. This seems to me like alot of money & need advice on this as I no longer want to enable him. Please give me some advice here. Thanks.

  • Patrick

    Carol, I have never been to jail, but I do see the news occasionally, and you know what I have not read about lately or heard about? People starving in jail. Nope, have not heard of that happening much lately. And there are a lot of people in jail.

    So my guess is… are still enabling him.

    Good luck….

  • Anon

    I wish I would have found your site sooner. I grew up with an alcoholic father. He never physically hurt us but it definitely strained our family and was the root of most of the fights my parents had while I was growing up. Fortunately, he is now able to control it. Unfortunately, my boyfriend of 10 years is an alcoholic. He didn’t start out that way. We both drank and drank about the same amount. The stress in his life has been building and he’s been turning to alcohol instead of solving the root of the problem. He’s been seeing a counselor but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I thought the Campral was helping but then he stopped taking it. I find bottles and cans hid all over the house, he sleeps most of the time when he is home, stays up late at night drinking by himself, sneaks out to the local bar alone. Although he still has a job, he was sent home the other day for smelling like alcohol—obviously not a good thing. In the past month he threw up twice and I can only assume it was from drinking because he was never one to get sick. I’m embarrassed to be around him when other people are around because of his behavior when he’s drunk. He lies to me all the time even though I know he’s lying or always catch him in the lie shortly after. He drinks when he drives which really concerns me. Fortunately, he hasn’t hurt himself or, more importantly, anyone else. I’m sure you all know, the list could go on and on.

    His mother and father are aware of the situation and wanted to have an intervention, which we did last night. I had a very bad feeling about it and, after reading your article about it… Again, I wish I found this site yesterday.

    He’s a smart, loving person and he is very aware of his situation and that he needs to stop. The problem is that I haven’t seen any improvement. I see a lot of myself in this article and have already begun to detach myself, even though it’s hard. I started taking a class just so I had something else to focus on. This disease consumes everyone who comes into contact with it. It’s always at the forefront of my mind and I feel like it is ruining my life, as well as my boyfriend’s. I’m going to try your recommendations and cross my fingers but I don’t know how much longer I can last.

    To everyone else who has posted here, you are not alone and this is NEVER your fault. I understand the feeling of loneliness, hopelessness and helplessness. What you have to remember is that the alcoholic has to WANT to change. Essentially, there is nothing you can do but stop enabling and be supportive when they do decide to change. If they won’t, get out. Make sure you take care of yourself instead of always taking care of the alcohol. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your families/loved ones.

  • Kajsa

    My mom was a crack addict and my dad an alcholic. I know about addiction first hand. My older brother took care of me he is two years older then I…..and now he is an alcoholic! He is in complete denial my sister in law is breaking down not sure how much more she will take. Our mom left us when we were little. I was lucky my dad got help and married a wonderful woman and I had him. My brother not only was left by our mom but his dad as well. He was raised with our mom’s parents. I know his pain stems from not dealing with all this pain. I want to help him so bad….I am glad I read this article I am going to try to talk to him tonight wish me luck!

  • leanne

    i dont really know what to say, i havnt got enough time, but my fiance is an alcoholic, when i first met him, unbeknown to me he was drinking a bottle of vodka and 4 to 6 cans of super strength lager a day. this was before, during and after work. after a while i kept smelling alcohol on his breath and asked him about it, to which he replied “i had a pint after work” needless to say over the years i found out the truth…. i was devastated, what do i do etc etc. to cut a long story short he got off the vodka went down to weaker lager and eventually stopped drinking, well he was going a few weeks at a time. but nearly 2 years later he seems to relapse every month or so amd drink that much alcohol in 48 hours he is a mess that just the smell of his breath makes me want to be sick andhis slurring voice just makes my skin crawl. most things that are breakable has been smashed up by him, including doors, windows laptops tellys my car etc, the list is endless. Why are you still with him i hear you cry, i dont know he is amazing when he isnt drunk, but i end up treading on egg shells so we dont argue so he cant blame me for turning to drink. i dont see my friends anymore because i cant go out due to leaving him at home alone just incase he relapses. i just wish i knew he would stay clean forever. he is working away at the moment and each night we speak and my heart sinks because i can tell in his voice he is drinking each day. he accuses me of everything and anything when hes had his vodka. he knows he needs help and he says he wants help, so why wont he get it? i know it may sound selfish but im so unhappy and depressed that i just have no self respect anymore, if it wasnt for my kids from a previous relationship i really dont know where i would be. i want to leave him but i dont want him to hit the bottle in a major way because after all i do love him and dont want to see him hurt………….. any help or people to talk to would be greatly appreciated.

  • Kristy Lee

    I searched out a help site because its Valentines Day and I am on Day 13 of abandoning the alcoholic I love. I was so moved by the comments and stories, but I also hate that I am so desperate for help and understanding that I am reaching out to strangers and a website.
    My fiance and I have been together for 5 1/2 years. He makes me so happy, when alcohol isn’t a factor in our life. We don’t argue and we are perfect for each other. We got engaged a little over a year ago, as things were going so well. He was so kind and attentive, and I knew that I had met the one. Until 9 months ago.
    I knew that he had struggled with alcohol prior to our meeting, but I didn’t think it was an issue. As our relationship progressed his drinking problem seemed to rear its ugly head every time a tough situation came around. He has a lot of unresolved issues, marriage fell apart after 17 years, wife married his best friend and moved 1500 miles away and took his youngest 2 of 4 sons, death of his brother in a car accident where my fiance was the first responder (he is a fireman), as well as, the trauma that comes along with the death that he encounters as a fireman. He has a lot of burdens to bear. My biggest concern was that he never talked about them. He carries the pain around with him everyday and refuses to deal with it. When holidays come around, death dates, etc. The drinking begins again. I know I am rambling and I apologize for that. I have to be a detective, as my fiance is a closet drinker. He hides it at all costs. He doesn’t realize how much his behavior changes when he drinks, even if he is just sipping throughout the day. He is a binger. He will not drink for lengths of time and then down a half gallon of vodka straight in a hours time (he changed to vodka because he can hide it in water bottles and the smell is not as easy to detect).

    I have stood by this man for all these years. Handled the relapses, as they happened and caught him in the constant lies to protect the addiction. I always busted him, he never came to me or anyone else for help. This past summer, after a year or so of wonderful times, he started acting odd. The same old behavior that I know so well. I told him there was something wrong with him and until he wanted to tell me what was wrong, for my own sanity, I couldn’t see him anymore. He went on a binge and got his first DUI. I happened to drive past as it was happening. That was a great day. He was arrested and his 24 year old son bailed him out that night, much to my dismay. He attempted to do better, started seeing a counselor but failed and recieved DUI #2 about 3 months later. It was then that I decided to walk away, he got my attention with a suicide attempt that I stopped by taking away a gun and sitting on him. The cops were called and he was taken to the local ER for an intake with a counselor, who he bullshitted with expertise. They released him and he vowed to do better. He did, or so I thought. In November he started going to AA every week and didn’t miss a meeting. We celebrated every day that he was sober. Over the past month, he has been acting strange again. I would ask and question and he would criticize me for my trust issues. On the First of Feb. I told him I couldn’t handle my suspicions and didn’t know how to trust him again. I guess he finally felt bad and told me that he hadn’t exactly been sober since November. I told him I hated him and told him to stay away from me. I called him the next morning and told him I didn’t want to talk to him but I didn’t want the last words he heard me say was I hate you. I told him I loved him and I always would, but I couldn’t do this anymore. It was starting to affect my life. I haven’t spoken to him since. I worry about him all the time and I know I can’t control him or make his choices for him. I have tried setting boundaries and all the other interventions possible. My final act was to abandon him to his own resources. My problem is that I love this man, or at least the man I know he can be. I can’t save him and that is so frustrating to me. I went to school for 8 years to be a therapist, and I can’t find anything in my bag of tricks to get this man to stop drinking. I can’t even get him to ask for help. I am sad, so very sad and I hate that Ican’t help him. I was told once that he had to hit rock bottom. I thought he had, many times. I have learned that my definition of rock bottom is not neccessarily his. Thanks for listening. Life goes on.

  • Julie Stimpson

    Hi all,
    I dont have much to say except Im heartbroken for all of you. I’ve just got back in touch with my Dad after 19 years & he’s an alcoholic.


  • Emily

    My mother is an acute alcoholic with major depression. But she’s a rich alcoholic – so it seems that everything anyone does just enables her. She loves going to 5 star hotels and restaurants because people will put coddle her behavior. She succeeds in only keeping company with people who are completely dependent on her for money.

    She has destroyed every real relationship she has, except with me. I’m even considering moving and working for her short-term to keep an eye out for her business – something she is unable to do. She has completely delegated all business management to people who only care about getting their paycheck and do the bare minimum. I have great pro experience and want her to succeed and get excited about her company again. But reading all this, I’m worried that by working for her I just be further enabling her.

    Any advice or comments directed to me and our situation would be TRULY appreciated!

  • Kristy Lee

    Emily, ask yourself……. are you doing this for her or for you? Is this something that would produce a long term opportunity within her company for you? If you are doing this to keep an eye on her (not just the business), I can tell you from experience they only get sneakier about protecting their addiction. My fiance’s father wanted me to marry my alcoholic, so I could keep an eye on him and make it harder for him to drink. I was not willing to sacrifice that much of myself and my life for his addiction. Just some thoughts from one loved one to another.

  • Patrick

    @ Emily – yeah I agree with Kristy for the most part, but that is a very tough situation to try and give advice about. If she is dependent on a business and you step in to try and save that business for her, then yeah I think that is pretty much enabling.

    Does she have to lose everything in order to get sober? Maybe. No one knows for sure, not even she does. At some point, when it gets bad enough, she will surrender and ask for help. Your job is not to prevent her from reaching that point of desperation (but without deliberately sabotaging her either).

  • Char

    I have just started dating a man who I quickly figured out has a big problem with drinking. My first inclination is to run. Why put up with this? I have only invested a couple of weeks with this man. Reading your stories is opening my eyes to what will probably lay ahead for me. But I enjoy a friendship with him that makes us both happy, and I know he is an intelligent, decent person. He has asked me for help. I didn’t know where to start. Now I have some ideas. And detachment is definitely something I will do. God bless all of you.

  • m

    My husband is an alcoholic. In December he was in the hospital in ICU for 13 days detoxing. When he got out he was good for about 6 weeks. Now he is starting back. He has his own business and this is his very busy time. He is nearly 6 months behind in all of his work and getting very stressed, which causes him to drink, which causes him to sleep and the circle continues. I have been trying to help him with his business, but I work full time also. What I have read makes complete sense to me and was very helpful, but if my husband loses his business then I, too, lose everything. Our house, everything we have worked for. I don’t want to lose everything, but I feel I must stop trying to call to wake him up for appointments, all I end up doing is worrying and getting completely and utterly disappointed. I don’t know what to do…..? Do I allow us to go into bankruptcy to help save him?? I need some advise.

  • Debbie

    Over the past 2-3 yrs. my sister’s drinking has increased by leaps and bounds. She’s been in the hospital numerous times, the latest being last night after attempting suicide. My husband and I live 300 miles away from her, but she calls in the middle of the night very drunk and not her self. I’m very worried, and don’t know what to do. She’s 50 yrs. old, lost her job about the same time her drinking increased, is a newlywed, but her husband is close to leaving her because of all of this. She has no insurance, or funds to pay for treatment,,and is getting further and further depressed. What can we do for her? PLEASE!

  • Lisa

    I am friends with a 25-year-old alcoholic. He has ended most of his friendships, I feel like I am the only one he can trust. I have walked away many times when he’s put me down or taken his troubles out on me. I have known him over a year and a half. I plan to move out of the area, for my own sake, but it would help to remove myself from him. I don’t want to leave him alone, but I also don’t want to enable him and I also want him to realize how he hurts me and others he knows. I try to repeat time and time again, that it’s the alcohol, not him, that’s the problem and that many of the problems in his life are a result of his drinking. His father and brother also drink, not good role models. I try to say to him he is smart enough not to follow in their footsteps, but he says he can’t do it and I don’t understand. I understand it’ll be hard, but I try to encourage that he can do it.

  • Shannon

    My boy friend is 18 years old and I’ve been dating him for three years. It’s gotten to the point where he drinks every day. He is extremely mentally abusive and won’t even allow me to have a job. I am not allowed to hang out with even my girlfriends and NEVER my guy friends. He gets mad when I am around my mom ever since she expressed her concern with my being with him. I am constantly fearing his death so it makes it hard to walk away. I am always afraid that I will have to live with his dying on my concience so I try to do what ever I can to prevent that from happening. He scares the everliving shit out of me and I need help. What in the world am I supposed to do if I am not ready to walk away?

  • Kristy Lee

    I posted a comment a few weeks ago when I walked away from my fiance of 5 1/2 years. Today is day 25 of not seeing or talking to him. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I miss him terribly, but I don’t miss the worry, the anxiety caused from the worry, and the mistrust that I feel whenever he is around. He has resorted to contacting my friends to ask what he needs to do to get me to talk to him. He did ask how I was…. once, but spends the rest of his time complaining about how lost he is without me. I find myself really enjoying my life without the problems caused from his drinking. I keep asking myself what it would take for me to be with him again? What if he shows up in 6 months and says I’m sober and I want to make it work? How am I ever going to know if he is clean and being honest? At this point, I am yet to come up with anything.

  • Patrick

    Kristy, have you gone to any Al-Anon meetings to get their support or advice? They can probably be more specific than we can.

    You might try to level with this guy when he is in a moment of clarity. Say “look, I need space right now, period. It is over for the next six months, period. No way around that, I am taking six months off, at the minimum, period. I might be gone for good. I would suggest that you take the next six months and get your life together. Good luck, and maybe I will see you again some day.”

    Something to that effect anyway, what do you think? Part of the problem is that, if he is holding out hope for the relationship, and that is his primary motivation for sobriety, then it will likely not work out for him the long run and he will probably end up relapsing.

  • Kristy Lee

    Thanks Patrick. I appreciate your advice and the support of this site. I had already planned on 6 months of “space.” The time I have had so far has been great, my life has settled down significantly with that distance. Thank goodness, for the first time ever, he has left me alone.

    I have not attended any Al-Anon meetings at this point. I live in a rural area and have to travel some distance to get to one. I have gathered their information and am trying to work it into my schedule.

    I know for a fact that his main reason for any efforts of sobriety have been to hold onto me. That is one of the reasons I walked away. I learned the hard way that he drinks whether he has me or not, so its a no win situation. I realized that I love my life without the lies, the secrecy and the addiction. Its amazing how clear it becomes when its not a part of your life. Thanks again Patrick, I love this site and your information is so helpful.

  • anonymous

    I am in early sobriety- after abusing alcohol off & on for 24 years. my husband is as sick as I am. I thought we were both getting sober together, with the same sober date. However, while I have been reading books & gathering info on maintaining sobriety, he has not. Whenever I attempt to engage him in conversing/exploring re: coping strageties, etc…he quickly changes the subject. I’m not stupid & realize he is not as motivated as I am- and possibly in denial. And, I thought I smelled booze on his breath recently. When asked he denied it. I have trouble believing him.

    We are both alcoholics. We have suffered negative consequences from drinking. I have had broken bones, senseless rage, hopelessness, and shame. For the past 2 years I have been in one of three states: drunk, hungover, or in withdrawals.
    I reached a breaking point after a particularly awful, degrading weekend in which I managed to alienate most of my family. I don’t wish to be the author of my own destruction, humiliation, and especially don’t want to hurt anyone else anymore. I am happy to be sober for 6 weeks. It’s been difficult, but rewarding. Today I am facing a painful discovery: I found a bottle of liquor and I know my husband has been using. And lying. Sneaking around being a great bloody fool. I am angry. I feel violated, betrayed & scared. Will this be too much too soon? I love him, but I cannot fathom going back to the drinking and fighting. He has said & done rotten, hurtful things. We both have.

    My question is: Do I confront him & set boundaries (as in no alcohol in the house & intoxication will not be tolerated)? Do I ignore it, detach & maybe be an inspiration to him in an example of the benefits of sobriety? I don’t know what to do. I’m only relieved that he is at work & won’t be home for several hours- because I am livid presently.

    I have not sought outside help apart from the books and sites similar to this one. What do you suggest?

  • Tracie

    I just had my boyfriend of 8 months leave. He is an alcoholic but new. He has been drinking every single day since Nov 30. Started with 4 beers a day to 10 a day now. I am hurt scared for him and miss the sober him so bad. He drinks as soon as he gets off work til bed time. He just bought a truck last week and it is already filled with empties. I love him more than he has ever been loved by anyone, even his own mother. I support him thru the help he needs but he is still in denial. However now he needs to see his actions instead of my reactions. He thinks that he might be trying to make up for time he spent in prison of 7 years. He is 36 never been married and no kids. He has a happy healthy life waiting for him with me but only get he gets clean and finally admits he needs help. I feel like i left a puppy on the side of the road but i know he will be ok. The fact that he has been doing this for 3 months may be in his favor for quitting but he needs to stop now before he ruins his life beyond serious repair.

  • c

    i give kristy a lot of credit here. i believe she is doing the right thing. it is important though for her to get some help as well. as it is important to take care of ourselves, and also understand the alcoholic mind.
    i lived with my ex for thirteen years, and the last 5 years was all consumed with his addictive behaviour and the consequences of it. I tried so hard to get help for this man, i even went to meetings with him, therapy… he was in denial, and though at times he said he was clean and sober, and i believed him…but soon after he was back to the addictions. I finally gave him the news of wanting to leave. and i don’t think he took me seriously. i could not stand the hurt and lies no more. i could only see my life heading down to a life of misery. so, one of the most difficult decisions i had was to leave this man that i had loved for many years, and the hope that he was going to change.
    but i will tell you that once i had made that choice to leave, the weight was off my shoulders. I felt like i was taking charge of my life. i was focusing on me now, instead of being lost in the alcholics turmoil. i felt like my life could be better. i was free from the pain, lies, disappointments, regrets, anxiety…all of it.
    i will always care for this man. he is a good person. but the disease was too strong for him.
    but believe me do not lose yourself to this disease. it will consume your life if you do not get a hold of it. offer the help to the person you love, but you cannot control their recovery. they have to want it. they have to want to go do recovery. set your limits and boundaries. and do get support for yourself . it will shed some light for you on the alcoholic, and make you stronger.

  • Kristy Lee

    Thanks C. Its amazing to me how much better I feel with, as you mentioned, “the weight off my shoulders.” I don’t worry so much anymore, my new anxiety problem that developed because of this has begun to cease and I have finally reached a point where I know that I can do no more for this man. I tried everything. A big reality for me also was that I can’t save him. I thought that my love and devotion to him would move mountains. I am getting stronger everyday.

    I seen him face to face for the first time in a month. He looked good and gave me the same story he has always given me, which is “I am on the right path.” I hope for his sake, he is.

  • Sarah

    I’m 23 and my mum is an alcoholic. I have tried for years to get her to stop, she has drank as long as I can remember and it got to a really serious point when I was 10 and hasn’t really gotten better since apart from the odd phase here and there when she feels ill so can’t drink. I have endured years of violence and verbal abuse from her and I don’t see what I can do to help her anymore. I tried to get her to have a meeting with someone in a rehab centre countless times and she did eventually agree, but then kept putting it off. So I decided to cut ties with her until she did, but then she had an accident in her home. She broke her neck in 3 places and is now paralysed down the left side of her body. However, even though she is in hospital, she still wants to drink. She even got her boyfriend to sneak in alcohol for her, which I of course informed the nurses of when I found out. Her boyfriend is also a drinker and has taken steps for them both to go into rehab (he has friends who have done this so can see the benefit) but so far she has denied any help. I was wondering if anyone knows of a way I can get some sort of intervention for her – it has been years and it doesn’t look like she will ever do anything herself. She is only 40 and I can see the damage it has done already. Thanks for reading this, sorry it has been long-winded, Sarah.

  • Tabitha

    My fiance is an alcoholic and he has also been diagnosed with manic depression. He’s 33 years old and is currently living with his parents (this has nothing to do with his drinking – he’s renting out his house to some friends to help them out). This past weekend, his parents went out of town and he got trashed. I’ve noticed that he drinks a lot more when they leave (his father is also an alcoholic so it’s not like they restrict his drinking). He said he doesn’t like to be alone (we live quite a bit apart and I couldn’t go visit him), so he got drunk. He drank 18 beers and a gallon of hard liquor in two days. When he gets drunk, he gets furious. He’ll call me names, insult me, degrade me, and say everything he can to hurt me. This happens at times when he’s not drunk, but it’s exacerbated when he drinks. He says he wants to quit drinking and to stop treating me badly, but he doesn’t stop. How can I help him?

  • rick


  • Janet

    Hello. I was surfing the web for websites related to alcohol treatments that were not AA, Rehab Hospitals, etc. and came across this one. It seems like we (societly in general) has convinced itself that if you don’t go to a center, and stop drinking cold turkey and for the rest of your life, there is not hope for a person with drinking problems. Maybe I’m naive, but I am not convinced that is true. For some it works well. Everyone is different. I am 45 years old now and have lived with or been close to many people with drinking issues. I wrote a short book (which includes a week by week detailed plan to reduce alcohol consumption over a few weeks) for a friend of mine who is an alcoholic. She has been a beer drinker since she was 14 years old. I’ve known her for 26 years, and was trying to come up with something to help her reduce drinking and get back to being a “social drinker” as a typical person is. I turned it into a short book because I thought, after to going to the effort of coming up with a plan for her, maybe it will help others too. Anyway, I finished it just recently. She has yet to try it, since I just gave her a copy, but I would like to get give the book out to others who are willing to take a chance at it, and don’t want to join AA or sign into a treatment center. If interested, please post. Thanks and good luck to each of you whatever you do. Janet

  • Blue

    To Rick ,
    I hope all is okay with you! I don’t know what is wrong so I don’t know how to help , but I hope all is well .


  • suzi

    hi my name is suzi and my mom is a alcoholic
    i just dont know what to do it hurts me to see her like this she needs help and i have to wacth my little sisters go thought it all the time i cry every night for them WHAT DO I DO :( SOMEONE HELP ME HELP HER PLZ

  • Patrick

    @ Suzi – I think you should ask for help. Get help, for yourself, from a counselor, a therapist, or an Ala-teen meeting. You need to be able to talk with others about this. Good luck.

  • suzi

    thanks patrick im trying to get help but it just not working for me

  • Suzi

    How can I tell her it not ok it’s just not killing her it killin us to ?! Why can’t I help her I not even think right I stop going to schoool sometime I just want to show her how much I’m hurt by drinkin my life way

  • Antonio

    My best friend is a 38 y.o. female. She has been an alcoholic for 15+ years. She has been raped, jailed for DUI, had an abortion 6 months into the pregnancy, burnt down her house, overdosed countless times, looks horrible has rotting teeth is physically unhealthy (gained + 100 lbs) has lower back / kidney problems and drinks every day in large qts. (bottle of vodka minimum). I read the above column and found it very useful however it is killing me watching her self-destruct. I am trying yo understand the concept of detaching but find it weak, giving up and washing my hands of the situation. I do not anticipate her behavior to change but it would forever WOUND me if she dies. Any help, please………… Tony

  • Kelsey

    so my mom is an alocholic, and i dont know how to help her. and its so hard to change my attitude. ive tried but i cant do it. i need to start an intervention, some way, some how. if she gets another DUI she’ll be in jail. :| Lord help me. or someone try to.

  • Suzi

    Hey kelsey my mom is a alocholic to and I don’t know what to do about it eirther i cry every night for her. I want to help her but I don’t know how But I’ll I know is u have to be there for her no matter whAt I hate seeing her that way but I just can’t left her no matter how much pain it is

  • Emily

    @ Kristy and Patrick – Thank you for your responses. And I think you are both right.

    We’re taking the steps to enter my Mom into a ContrAl clinic in Europe. The ContrAl clinic is the home base of the “Sinclair Method” and “extinction.” Uses therapy and Naltrexone.

    I’ve been reading really good things about Sinclair Method and extinction. And Naltrexone. I really hope to report here with positive results!

  • Anne

    My 31 yr old daughter and mother of my 6 year old grandson is an alcoholic. She is my only child and I am slowly dying watching her self destruct. We have tried several times over the last 8 mos. to get her into treatment. She says she wants it but them continues to drink and do drugs. My husband and I have been “enabling” her by paying bills, rent, etc. because we didn’t want her to lose custody of her son, but, yesterday we cut off the money and leave it to her ex-husband, the law and the lord to do what is right. God, it hurts so bad to be so helpless. She lives 200 miles away and we have had to totally detach ourselves from her until , or if, she decides to “surrender” because I cannot handle the emotional turmoil anymore. It is a devastating situation to have to live through as a parent.

  • Fernando

    My wife is an alcoholic and she likes drinking at home. She will buy a bottle or two of wine and drink it at home. When she does it, she likes for me to accompany and talk to her while she drinks (I don’t drink). I would appreciate some helpful advice on whether I should accompany her or not. Also, please give me advice on how helpful would be for me to talk to her friends… the ones that drink with her and, though they don’t get drunk, they provide her with alcohol and allow her to drive drunken back to our home.

  • Stacy

    I have a difficult situation. My boyfriend moved in with me 3 weeks ago (from out of state) and I found out that he has much more of a drinking problem than I knew he had. He hid it pretty well but now I see it plain as day. The problem is, he doesn’t work yet and drinks during the day so he’s constantly asking me to stop at the liquor store on my way home from work to buy him alcohol. I feel like I’m enabling him when I stop to buy it, but at the same time, I don’t want him to drive when he’s been drinking. Should I put my foot down and say I’m not buying it anymore? I’m starting to think I made a mistake letting him move here in the first place but I do want to help. He admitted he has a problem but isn’t ready for treatment. He thinks he can just cut back and he’ll be fine. I don’t think that’s possible after seeing how much he can drink. What do I do??

  • Tinka a 25jr old woman an my mom stays with me.shes realy drinks alot an hide her bottles in her room im realy am trying to help her but it makes me angry to see her like that.its been going on for ever.i need to help her.

  • fonzo

    im 29 yrs old, my mom is 48. she is not only an alocholic but she smokes marijuana, and takes anti depression medication. i cant stand being around. i dont know what to do. my brothers and i have tried everything ( or so we think ). someone please help

  • Carol Foster

    Dear folks, My father is in his 80’s and still tries to not drink. He never will succeed because he started drinking as a teen and never stopped. It has altered his brain permanently. For years he found a way to be high functioning, but clearly he drank daily. Since I was a child, I couldn’t buy alcohol for him. My mother was so naive she didn’t even know what an alcoholic was. That gave me years to understand that he was doing it all to himself. I cried daily until I was 12 1/2 and then realized that what the adults around me were doing was nothing that I was controlling. I couldn’t control it and shouldn’t. I just quit crying and started focusing on growing up, doing the right thing, taking care of myself. For goodness sake, stop buying alcohol for those people. Take care of yourself and the people you love, but not their addiction. Just stop it. You’ll give back a lot of your life to yourself. Then you can do a lot of good things with it. Peace.

  • judy

    Hi, just found this site, it is great, i was with my partner 4 8 yrs his drinking got worse, we have a holiday home 2gether, and 2 weeks ago he was up at 7am and drunk by 10.30am i told him ive had enough, then he says to me, i knew 2 weeks ago i did not want to be with you, i was in total shock, as the crap i have took of him for years means nothing to him, i have lost many friends some family over him, as he would tell me they were talking about me, and they disliked me, he also told me god help the next fella that gets you as you nagg so much, and that i could never get any-one else. i have been in tears nearly every day, as i loved him, but did not like the drink. his family has not even phoned to see what is going on, but sure his mother gives him money when he has none, all his mum says is my steven is very fond of a drink, she wants to live with him. he was very bad at christmas time ruined it. he ended up in hospital, his sister and bro took him, he said i yes i had his head away, truth was pancress, dont think i splet that right, anyway took him back , he lives in his own place, im a widow with girl21 boy 18. they really dislike him. he told his family he would never speak to my daughter again as she is cheeky, no he got that wrong she can see what he has done to me. why do i miss him, he was nice when sober, very kind and funny we did enjoy life, then i noticed, when he wanted a drink during the day that his mood changed, start a fight over something stupid, cos it gave him excuse to drink. why is he like that always told me he loved me, bringing me flowers out for dinner when sober, but always back to drink. i have not heard anything from him, which is strange, but then again he was the one who said he didnt want me. he has plenty of company were are holiday home is, they all drink, he used to get mad at me cos i would not join them, it got to a stage were i would not take a drink myself as i told him i like good company to have a drink and laugh with, not some-one who is drunk even b4 we go out. i am soory i went on a bit there, but i just had to get this off my chest, i just hope some-one on here can help me . many thanks judy.

  • jim

    very interesting site i am british and been in an off and on relationship with a polish girl for 3 yrs its finally over now and my sanity was puhed to the limits i wished i viewed this site earlier to educate me about how serious alcoholic behaviour can be i liked the person very much unfortunately it meant i would be caring for this person 24 /7 i new i could not cope with this so sent her back to poland for last time i wish her all the best as she was in trouble here with the police because of her drinking

  • Liisa

    I would like to respond to Judy’s post before describing my dilemna. Judy dear, it sounds like you have an abuser on your hands with OR without alcohol

  • Kristy Lee

    It has been about 3 months since I found this site and shared with everyone my struggles with my alcoholic boyfriend of 5 + years. It has been over 3 months since I walked away from him and his addiction. I didn’t see or have any contact with him for a month. Since then I have seen him on occasion and we have talked some. He is doing great. He is sober, has a job, goes to AA and doing his community service for the 2 DUI’s he received last year. I am so glad he is getting it together. He is a fireman and has resumed his life of rescue and saving lives.

    Now my struggle begins. He of course wants to make things right and is working his butt off to prove himself worthy of another chance. I feel that he is doing everything right and I can honestly say I have seen no red flags in over 2 months of my minimal association with him and in our small community. As you can probably guess, I just don’t trust him. I miss him, I miss our relationship when the alcohol wasn’t a part of it, but again……I just don’t trust him.

    Over the past month I have found myself going from spending a day with him and having an incredible time to I start thinking about the past and all my defenses flare up and I have a “meltdown.” I back off, increase my boundaries and then we start the cycle over again. I have to give him credit as he doesn’t say much other than he wishes he could help me. He invited me to his AA meeting this Thursday and I am planning to go. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to attend AL-ANON but I just can’t work it in right now. I just started a new job, have a 3 hour daily commute and 2 kids to care for and it just won’t work right now.

    I know that I have a decision to make. Its either I’m in and I am going to go through this process of recovery and learn to trust him again, or I am out. Thanks for listening, this is always a good place to find support or just vent a little.


  • Patrick

    Hi Kristy Lee

    Sounds like you have been very careful and I wish you the best. Maybe Al-anon is not the right place for you but it sounds like you have a TON of stuff on your plate right now.

    What about taking some time for YOU? That might be the missing piece in your world.

    If you cannot even squeeze a single meeting into your week then it might be time to step back and prioritize what is truly important. Just a thought, I could be way off here! Keep us posted….

  • Kristy Lee

    Patrick you are so close to being “way on,” that it is scary. I was just thinking that very thing this morning. It appears I may have found a direction…….for today anyway.

  • Kristy Lee

    I have been invited to attend AA tonight……a little nervous. Wondering what it will do for me………..a little curios.

  • Jennifer

    Kristy Lee- I am in exactly the same situation. I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 5 years. Things were great the first 3years until I noticed he started keeping beer in the fridge and drinking alone. Then, he started getting more and more depressed. We have been having alot of problems the past 9 months and now he has lost 2 jobs in the past 6 months, he’s very depressed, and i am on the verge of breaking it off. But we have both discussed our relationship and we both love each other and don’t want things to end. He just started attending AA meetings this week, but then went out again and drank all weekend. He repeatedly lies to me about everything to do with his drinking and I can’t trust him. I really want our relationship to work but I don’t know what to do. He said he would understand if I wanted to leave (which makes me feel like he’s not trying) and said he doesn’t want to hurt me. I don’t know if leaving would be the right step in helping him? Would I be right to leave or should I stay and try some of the suggestions above? Like not commenting on his drinking and change my behavior. Because I have been more defensive and I feel like more of a “mother” figure than a significant other. I just want the man I used to know the first few years and not this alcohol affected one. I don’t want him to become more depressed. Any advice anyone? This is the first encounter with alcoholism that I have had to deal with. He is not a violent drunk. He is the nicest man so safety for me is not an issue.

  • Tina

    It’s heart breaking to read all the stories about what to do to help an alcholic. the truth is that we kind of made it okay for people to drink and get sick! greed is at the core. why aren’t we pushing to rid alcohol out of this society like cigarettes!
    why is alcohol adversements everywhere?
    why isn’t their any adversments about how bad alcohol is and how it is just a lie that it makes pople happy!
    I live with someone who is an alcoholic and everyday I see the wolves come out to try and eat him with this stupied drink called alcohol! people! if you really cared about what happens to the people you love who drink and are suffering we would all be in the streets rallying and pass laws to take alcohol adversements off our t.v.’s and sitcoms making this poision drink look glamous is a lie!
    contact oyur congress and protect your loveones now! start organizations!!!! Help them they need us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kristy Lee

    Jennifer, I agree with you that our stories are very similar. The wonderful man, the wonderful relationship turned into lies and discontent whenever alcohol is present. If you have read my posts then you know that my ex is sober and doing great. I have not committed to a starting a new relationship with him because of my trust issues that have developed as a result of all the lying. Fortunately, I only have trust issues with HIM.

    I was talking to him the other day about what we have been through and how great he was doing. I asked him what made this time different for him that he has been able to work the program and start to rebuild his life. He told me it was because I left him. He didn’t think I ever would. He said the month he spent without any contact from me was a huge eye opener. He also said that the longer he goes being sober, the more clear his head becomes. Then he thanked me for leaving him.

    I know that what sobers people up is different for each person, so I wouldn’t feel confident advising you to do the same if your hope is he will get sober and things will be okay.

    Most important thing, I didn’t leave him for his sake, I left him for mine. I have a very structured, functioning world and the alcohol problem began trickling its way in. I have 2 kids and a very important job. I didn’t need the dysfunction that the addiction brought. I had to draw the line in permanent marker.

    I don’t know where I will go from here. I adore this man and know that he is capable of being everything he needs to be to be in a successful relationship and live a full life. I am treading lightly with my eyes wide open and keeping some very strict boundaries in place. So far so good. Good luck Jennifer. I hope you find the strength and direction you need.

  • Renee

    Thank you for a full informative explantion of enabling and detachment. You hear these two words all the time, but very difficult to fully understand the meaing and how to actually incorperate them in your life with an alcoholic. I feel enlightend, finally after over 20 years of living with an alcoholic. When I thought I was helping him by explaining how he looking to everyone or how I felt about his mouth or behavior. All I was doing was hurting him and him withdrawing and drinking more, now I understand why. Thank you for the best thing that I have read ever!

  • Wendi S

    My boyfriend of 3 years has been an alcoholic for a long time..I’ve been an enabler, and have “swept the problem under the rug” many times..But I’ve had it. Now..after a suicide attempt (first one) he wants to quit. He went into the hospital for a whopping 2 days (not long enough) he is now NOT drinking (not the first time he has said this) and going to meetings., but my problem is I detach myself while he is in recovery? I’m having alot of trouble focussing on things in my own life..Im at the point where I feel I should just let him get his stuff together on his own, and call me when he is better..maybe that is my way of getting away from it, but I feel that is what I should that wise? or do I now really need to help.? If I am to distance…how do I go on without getting wrapped up in him again. What self help ideas can I do to keep myself together through his treatment.

  • Betty

    My daughter is 25 and is out of control…my fear is she brings guys home and she can hardly stand up….how do I protect her …this can de dangerous…

  • kev

    my wife is a acholic she has lost her 2 daughters though drinking and its just that everything that goes wrong which is her fault though her drinking she always blames someone else including me,i just dont know what to do anyone.When she has had to much to drink she just starts arguing over something stupid,the next day she says sorry but it happens to many times which makes the word sorry an empty word.She has been in hospital though her drinking which meant she had to stop for a while then she had an arguement with her brother which was the excuse she needed to start again.

  • Emma

    This website was very insightful. I have been in a realtionship with my partner for 17 yrs, and 13 of those years he has drunk heavily. We have 2 boys who have to deal with it everyday of their lives and it breaks my heart.
    The sad thing is he is a good man he holds down a full-time job, he helps around the house, and he is a great dad. But the problem is that every spare dollar we have goes to alcohol. He also hides his drinking and lies about it so he can drive the car etc. When he is coming down from drinking or needs more alcohol he can be verbally abusive, swearing and calling me cruel names etc. He will also throw things around, which reults in things being broken.
    His family talk to me about his problem, but never discuss it with him…sometimes i wish they would, but it is like they are too scared.
    I just dont know what to do…i would love to help him but i do not know how… i know that i am tired of it, and feel depressed all the time.
    I am going to try to use the steps/procedures above and hopefully this may help in the path to his recovery. One can only hope.

  • Nina

    Hi, I have a husband who drinks every three to four months. I know that is not often, but when he drinks he won’t stop until he passes out. He used to drink every weekend so maybe I should be thankfull. I wouldn’t mind that he drank but it is the fact that he can control how much he drinks and the fact that he has heart problems. I am afraid that one day he will cause himself to drink so much he will have a heart attack. The other thing is when he drinks he says things to me that hurt my feelings and he makes a fool of himself. It makes it hard for us to go to any parties where there is alcohal. When he is not drinking he is a great guy, and what makes it so hard to leave him.

  • tina

    help my dad almost died and hes drinkin again what do i do?hes killin hiself nothin can stop him

  • jeepster

    hi, this has been an inspirational website, so I guess, I’m looking for some advice prior to visiting my doctor/ local help group for some further info. Let me know if after reading the following, that this is an advisable step to take? Or if the scenario rings any bells for you?

    I recently broke up with my long term partner who I believe to have an alcohol-related disorder. Rather I should say, she broke up with me as a result of her continual outrageous behaviour in public, open verbal abuse toward me, and the way it all was ruining our relationship. I got a whole tirade of other ‘excuses’ to boot, but I strongly feel there was more to it, as I shall explain:

    In terms of abuse, she would get loaded then abuse me claiming I just thought she was a drunk. Other ‘clues’ included drinking until passing out, and then waking up to start drinking again. Loosing any recollection of where she was after drinking heavily, being abusive toward me and having no recollection when sober, picking fights with strangers, and also having severe stomach cramps when sobering up the following day. She also suffers from depressive episodes.

    She had claimed that because we no longer got on anymore that this was a contributing factor to her drinking, and that I wasn’t letting her be ‘herself’. But she has always been a heavy drinker, and can’t hold her drink. Yes, she has a right mouth on her, and is a huge extravert, but as far as the rest of the outrageous behaviour is concerned, this is much worse when drinking.

    Naturally being concerned that there were deeper underlying problems than simply just not getting on anymore, I spoke to her parents who confided in me that she has always had a problem with drink. She has a volatile relationship with her family, but since moving out has further distanced herself from them, instead getting new drinking buddies, with whom she has a few drinks and then presumably goes to meet other people afterward. I’m guessing she is trying to disguise the problem – is that right?

    I have backed out from her life entirely for one simple reason – to let her stand on her own two feet, and to her allow her to make some mistakes.

    Having not seen one-another for months, we recently caught up last week, and it goes as follows….she had been out with a friend until four in the morning, and was still drunk, having been at work all day. After dinner with friends we went out for a drink to catch up. It all went well, and I got the feeling she really wanted to get back together, but didn’t know how to approach it. After having about three-four pints that I had seen her drink (on top of what had already been consumed the night before), she came back to my place.

    On the way back she started to tell me that I lived near her. In fact on the same street (I still live where we both used to live, she lives on the other side of town). Later into the evening, she started to call me by several different names, was asking if people who don’t live with me were about, and then started to have partial conversations with me about who knows what…talking to me as if I was somebody else with fragments of previous conversations with other people I guess.

    Ok, so I figure her problem has gotten worse without me being in her life. She seems to want back into my life, but naturally, I am unsure. Should I suggest that we both enter into some form of counselling to get an impartial opinion? Any advice on the above would be greatly appreciated.

  • Bianca

    HI,My boyfriend drinks everyday,I have two kids that are not with him. So when he gets drunk he is verbally abusive and sometimes physically. He’s been in and out of jail, and the day he gets out he drinks first.His family and I did the intervention but he never falls through with it.I notice when he gets drunk I do throw fuel to the fire eventually after the yelling and screamming my kids and I go through with him he leaves.Then I say this is the last time I won’t let him come back. Few days later he is back and it starts all over. I don’t think I have the strength to keep him away untill he gets help. I ask God for help to let me let him go. All I want is for him to get help and stop so we can finish our life together. I know I sound very silly but he really is a wonderful person when he is sober. WHAT DO I DO????

  • Jack

    I have a brother that is an alcoholic. He went to rehab for 28 days> he was not drinking for about a week. Him and his wife are getting divorced and he is drinking heavily again everyday. I worry myself sick and I have a fmaily to take care of. I love him dearly. I am thinking of traveling to see him and help him move and hopefully go to a aa meeting with him. He gets in self destructive modes and has alrady had a dwi. I am worried. How can I cope with this.

  • Denise

    My husband of 33 years, has had a problem with beer for the past few years. If he is not working, he can consume up to 15 beers a day, everyday. He works construction so he has periods of lay-offs between jobs. He has to consume much less beer while on a job because he works 6 days a week 12 hours a day. So for this reason he chooses not to work most of the time. When he drinks he gets moody and argumentative. He is very verbally abusive to me, and he never seems to remember the conversations we have during his night of drinking. Again this is everyday. Eventually he falls asleep and I go to bed alone and think about his abusive words. Morning comes and he is back to my very loving husband, but I am still hurt from his words the night before. I have calmly talked to him about this, and he still drinks, but keeps the verbal abuse to a minimum. This might last for a few days and then it is back to full verbal abuse. He does not think he has a problem at all. How do I detatch myself from this? He has never had to pay any consequences for his drinking so he has had no lessons to learn from. If I were to record his bouts of rage while he is drunk, do you think he would see what he is doing to me and himself?

  • Patrick

    Yeah recording him is effective Denise but you cannot predict the reaction. I would bet heavily that most drunks would not even be willing to watch it. Most likely reaction is extreme anger. Just my opinion of course and you might try to do it anyway. But it could certainly make things worse too….

    Sorry I know that is not much of an answer but it is a tough question, to be sure. I would get to Al-Anon first and bounce the idea of some of them….

  • Paul S

    Some of these stories are truely heart wrenching. In my case I have been married to my wife for 30 years and we have 4 children.

    I think my wife is an alcoholic. For the last 10 years she has gradually been drinking more. Presently she drinks at least two bottles of wine every evening and every night usually comes to bed inebreated.

    She is a happy functional alcoholic (I think). She is never abusive and holds down a good job. About two years back I lost it when I found out how much she was spending after she started using our shared Credit Card to buy the booze. I eventually took the card off her, not that it has stopped the drinking.

    She apparently suffers no ill affects from the booze but recently (last 2 years) she has started falling down, tripping and dropping things. Two weeks back she was badly bruised after falling down some stairs at a shopping centre, two days ago broke her wrist at work after a fall. During the day she does not consume alcohol.

    I think one of the problems, for me, is that I get nothing from Alcohol and find it difficult to understand what my wife gets from it.

    Some Questions to the forum
    1. I do not know, is my wife considered to be an alcoholic?
    2. Do people who drink fall over even when not drunk?
    3. I refuse to assist her with any drinking, I will not buy her any wine, I won’t open any of them, I will not lend any money to her to buy booze, I try to get my children (all adults) to do the same with varing degrees of success. I hardly touch alcohol trying to provide an example to her. Is this a right approach?.
    4. I have tried discussing this with her in the past but she denies there is any problem, is there any best way to get a meaningful discussion going on this with her?

    Reading some of the other comments it is so sad. Thanks for the site, it has helped me to get a better understanding of the problem.

  • Patrick

    @ Paul S – I think your wife is probably an alcoholic, but of course the only diagnosis that means a hill of beans is when SHE accepts it (not when she admits it, that is still potential denial. She must really accept her condition on a deep level).

    People who are not drunk do NOT fall over, unless something else is going on (medically). Some people who drink a lot can still be drunk the next day. I for one have woke up drunk in the morning, and gone off to work (a mess).

    I think your example is the right approach. The key is to make sure you are not enabling. Sounds like you are already practicing that principle as best you can.

    One way to get a meaningful discussion going is to set a limit or a boundary that forces the issue. It is difficult to do that though unless you are really willing to walk away from the relationship. You can say “Get professional help or go to rehab, or else….” Or else what? What does the person really care about? Anything short of divorce might be met with indifference. I am no expert at this (never been married) but I do work with LOTS of alcoholics, and so I sort of see how it goes.

    What would happen if you just left for a few months? Said “I’m leaving, I’ll be back sometime next year. At that point I will decide what part I still want in this relationship. I suggest you seek professional help.”

    I realize that most people are not in a position to be able to do that, nor would it be practical. But you can sort of see the issue in those terms now: if 100 people in your situation actually did this and followed through with it, leaving their spouse for a few months, what percentage of the spouses would sober up? Certainly not all of them, and probably less than we would hope for.

    That is not to say there is not hope. I gave that example to show how hard it is for the alcoholic to change. It is only through pain that they will be motivated to get help.

    If things are going pretty decent, they will never change. Keep that in mind.

    Paul, have you been to Al-Anon yet? Have you gone to an Al-Anon meeting and really shared your story, and really confided in someone?

    That is the quickest path to regaining some sanity for you…..

    Prayers for you and your wife. There is hope. God bless…

  • mary

    hi, my fiance is an alcoholic.he is about to serve 20 days in jail and have 18 months probation for a DUI, he knows he has a problem and wants to stop because we have a baby on the way. I’ve told him several times that i will always stand behind him 100% and that i will take him to his meetings but it doesn’t seem to have any effect because he is still drinking everyday and tries to hide it from me, he has a couple of “friends” that are no help in the situation, they see that he has a problem yet they continue to drink with him. i feel like I’m at a loss here, I’m not sure what else to do. please help

  • Patrick

    @ Mary – I strongly urge you (and everyone else in a similar situation) to read this article in its entirety:

    I don’t really think I can say it any better than what I say in that article…..

    Good luck.

  • Jill

    My husband is a 6 mos. sober alcoholic who is heavily involved with AA and has relapse prevention counselling 3 to 5 times per week as well for 2 hours daily. He has a past history of infidelity due to his alcoholism. He recently left his computer open at a private email account and there were many emails there from a variety of women I don’t know, of questionable nature. When I asked him about this he told me it was none of my business, his doesn’t trust me and he doesn’t think of me as his friend. This is how he used to act when he was drunk. Is this the illness talking even though he’s sober? If it’s not, I’m not going to stay with him as this is not the kind of marriage I want. We have been together 16 years.

  • Ivy

    how do I put in my story about my dtr?

  • Chuck

    Hello to everybody:
    I am Alcoholic, i live in Mexico City were i see everyday more and more Alcoholic people, and i have anylized that all my friends have in some way the problem, i am frustrated, i don´t know what to do anymore, i have a problem since i was 24 years, and know im 37 i live alone. because of my problem, im tired being like that! i want to live difrent, i want to change. i have gone to my local AA, but i dont like it i feel stressed, I have tried to stop drinkin and i have lasted at least a month and a half without a drop of Alcohol, but when i cant risist more i feel so bad and fail im trying my best, by myself but i need help but i dont like this local AA place. i dont know what to do anymore, im really trying to do something but the options are getting thinner. help me please.
    take care everyone.

  • rach

    hi, well i dont know where to start, i have 2 fantastic kids n their dad was a drinker every night he would drink, hide bottles of vodka but said he wasnt alcohol dependant just needed it to relax, after 6 yrs i built the courage to leave him. Sometime after i went on a date n told him i dont like liars, 2wk into the relationship he admitted he was a alcoholic n that he has lapsed twice in the past 3yrs. I didnt walk away and now i’m madly in love with this guy. He has had sober times with me n he is fantastic just what i dreamt off amazing body he worked as a gym instructor which is why i felt he had this under control. He has a son n his ex stopped him from seeing his son, this was devasting for him, she’d then say if we split up he can see his son, so we pretended to split, but then the night before she’d cancel it, he started drinking. He went up one night to try n resolve it with her, he’d been on the drink for a week, he got wound up n smashed her window, he knew his son wasnt there. She got him arrested n he was bailed at my address so he couldnt go near her. He come off the beer for 2 wk n then just started drinkin one day. In the end i took him home, the things he said were hurtful when he’d had a drink, he wentto her house n slept with her she rang me n told me that he loves her not me n made him tell me he didnt love me this really hurt because i love him n have done everything in my power to help him, i tried the nice approch, honest approch but nothing worked. He called me back sayin he had to say that its wat she wanted to hear so he could see his son, n he does love me. The first wk i took him home he kept txtin sayin he was gonna hand himself in, but never did, then one night i got a txt beggin for me to go up, i did he was parraletic, wen i got there he downed a full bottle of jack daniels, his eyes were rollin to the back of his head, i was so scared, i rang his brother for help n we thought ringin the police was the safest option, we did they came n arrested him for breachin his bail. He begged me to allow him to be bailed at mine, i said no cos i think he needs to detox in prison with no temptations of alcohol. Is ex plays mind games knowing his weakness to alcohol hower she plays this innocent victim to his family, they have seen this now n dont like her. All his family love me say he’ll never meet a more caring girl than me n he needs to stop. I’ve been seein him in prison n he wrote to me sayin he loves me so so much n wants to be with me. I agreed once he’d done two wks i’ll bail him but if he drinks i’ll send him straight back home. I’m so confused because i dont know if he using me as a get out of jail card tellin me wat i want to hear or if his time inside has made him realise he does love me. I know theres no answer on how i can tell if hels lying to me or if he means it, i have to think of my kids because he broke my heart so many times n its not fair on them, but the times he has done it he was drinkin. I dont know where i stand am i just fooling myself that he does love me because i’m so in love with him. I wish he can stop the drinkin, i made him a solicitor appointment to get access to his son, so this should be sorted shortly n i’m hoping everything will turn good but i’m so scared he’s going to let me down. I just feel lost cos everyone i know family n friends tell me to walk away but i dont want to, i want to be with him, but cant whilst he drinks, thanks x

  • dan

    i just wanted to say that this website really helped me and I really appreciate the free advice

  • Patrick

    @ Jill – if he is sober and is talking to you like that, saying that you are being to inquisitive and he feels like you are not his friend….then it seems like he might be messing around, no? That is just dishonest sounding behavior to me.

    When you get sober, and honest, then you have nothing to hide. Your life becomes an open book. That, in my opinion, is real recovery.

    I could be wrong. But what you describe in your comment sounds….fishy.

  • Jessica

    Dear Patrick,
    I would like to say thank you for all of your time and efforts in helping those affected by alcoholism. I, too, have a cousin who is alcoholic and have found your advice useful. Strength to everyone!

  • sarah

    Hi Patrick,

    My mom has a serious drink problem. Just tonight I caught her drinking vodka straight from the bottle. Its been going on for years and it feels like she is never going to come to her sense’s. I’m 21 and living away from home. My step dad has told her that he is leaving and moving out because he cant live with her drinking and I dont blame him. Thats why she is here with me now. They have two kids together Sharon who is 8 and Glenn who’s 6. Glenn also has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk on his own yet, so he needs constant care and help. They are my main concerns as my mom is unable to take care of herself not to mind Sharon and Glenn. She is almost impossible to be around when she has been drinking and its hard to find a time with her now without drink as she can start as early at 7 or 8 in the morning. She refuse’s to get help saying that she will do it herself but this is obviously an excuse to get us to lay off the subject. I feel like there is no way of getting out of this, Ive contacted rehab centre’s and concellors and everyone keeps telling me that I cant force her to get help, she has to want to help herself, but how bad will it have to get before she realise’s that she is destroying herself and everyone around her? She is 45 but looks 60 and her mental state seems to be going dramatically down hill as well.She fights with everyone and everyone is wrong but her. Ive been considering contacting social services for Sharon and Glenn’s sake but I’m afraid if I do they might be taking into care and thats the last thing I want. The thing that gets to me most is that my own dad had a drink problem and ended up taking his own life and she is so quick to mouth off about him but yet she cant see that she is doing the same thing and is probally even worse than what he was. Its become so hard to see past the drink and the horrible person she becomes when she has been drinking. I really dont know what to do!
    Any advice you have would be greatly appriaciated.

  • Lynn

    There is this place called the Spirit of Sobriety (SOS) Club in Oakdale, MN…I highly recommend SOS as an better alternative to bars/nightclubs, its a great place to enjoy your recovery and socialize in a positive, upbeat environment.

    SOS offers AA and GA support meetings weekly. They also have on-call help for a crisis, and are open when most other places are closed.

    SOS offers a variety of entertainment including karaoke, live music, potlucks, dance classes and dances on the weekend…AND DOES NOT SERVE ALCOHOL!! It is a really fun place to hang out,the hardwood dance floor is beautiful. SOS operates under an open door policy, so everyone is welcome, and most events are family friendly.

    Come check it out:
    SOS Club
    1417 Helmo Ave N
    Oakdale MN 55128
    Check SOS out on Facebook under groups then “SOS Club”

  • arline

    I think you’ve had this question multiple times before…but here it goes. My 38 yr old baby sister is an alcoholic. It runs in the family, our mother was as well. My sister fully admits she is and I believe she is slowly killing herself. In the past year she has been hospitalized for pancreatitis and grand mal seizure due to the alcohol withdrawl. About 4 months ago, I found a county detox center which she said she would go to. I guess she hadn’t completely “surrendered” b/c after only 48 hrs she manipulated her boyfriend into coming to take her out. Her boyfriend doesn’t drink and is currently unemployed as she is. Which means no money and no health insurance. If she doesn’t get professional help soon, I am convinced that she will die. I have called various places and no one will take her without insurance or private payment (we live in CA). She splits her time btw Southern CA where her boyfriend has family and with us in the Bay Area. My sister is now ready to seek the help she so desperately needs, but there doesn’t seem to be anything available to her. Just going to AA meetings isn’t going to do it for her at this point. Any advice would be most appreciated.

  • Jim Bob

    I had a beautiful, sex loving, intelligent, kind, sharing, thoughtfull girlfriend for almost 3 years. We were a perfect match. Then the honeymoon period ended. I realized she was an alcoholic and I enabled her. I thought I could help by reducing the alcohol intake when we were together-we both agreed (then she would sneak a mickey into her purse). When we ran out, or I cut her off, she exploded in rage and I would send her home. Finally last Valentine’s weekend I sent her home for the final time. The next day she phoned, we argued, I hung up. She then left seven extremely angry phone messages.
    Within the next four weeks she found a new boy friend. Now I am extremely jellious. I should be glad. I think of all the good times we shared. Then I think of all the bad times when in public I had to tell her to stop flirting or I’d have to pick her up off the floor. However, I still have a desire to be with her. What is wrong with me?

  • Anonymous

    It has been a couple of months since i found this site. After finding it i started putting into practice what i had read. I made sure that i did not enable my partner and also let him know that i was there to help him if he wanted to get help.
    But in all my effort i could see his drinking was getting worse. Then it happened, he got caught drinking straight out of a bottle of wine at work. He works at a high school, as a grounds keeper, and one of the students saw him drinking and went to the principal.
    The principal confronted him about it and sent him home. He wasnt sacked as the principal had to talk to his supervises. This happened on a friday, so my partner had the whole weekend to think about what he had done. He went into a deep depression (as any one would if it had happened to them).
    He ended up admiting to me that he has a problem, and that he didnt want to drink anymore. We talked a fair bit over the weekend about what his optiions were. We ended up going to the doctors together and then by himself he went and saw a councilor. He also went and spoke to the principal and apologised and begged for mercy. He was lucky the principal let him keep his job (which really shocked me). He now is given random breatherliser tests.
    He gave up drinking completely for 3 weeks, after that he spoke to the councilor about drinking just 1 six pack on fridays, the councilor agreed to having a trail of his plan. Which i could not belive… why would a councilor give an alcoholic permission to drink???

    I can just feel that he is going to slip back into his old ways. I dont know what to do…i thought he had learnt a lesson this time, but now Im not so sure. How do I help him? Am i enabling him by letting him get that 6 pack? How do I stop it from becoming more?
    I told him if he hasnt learnt from what has happened in last couple of months i dont think he ever will, and that if his drinking gets bad again i will leave. Should i leave?? i just dont know what to do. Please Help.

  • Patrick

    Well the six pack on Friday idea is just something that he is gonna have to learn the hard way I think. Maybe it will work for him for a while but if he is a true alcoholic then eventually things will get progressively worse as you fear and predict.

    What you should do while he is experimenting with one six pack every Friday is to go to an Al-Anon meeting, tell your entire story to the group, and ask for feedback and opinions on how you should proceed. I know you are asking for my opinion and of others on this website, but you can get more pinpoint information from a live Al-anon meeting.

    My guess is that you would do well to set a firm boundary for yourself, and what you will accept in your life following this latest episode. That means you need to decide how much more chaos you are willing to put up with.

    Remember that the typical alcoholic will change when the pain in their life becomes great enough. Not losing your job may not be enough for him. Is he open to the idea of inpatient rehab? Probably not. Yet that is what it might take eventually for him to make real progress.

    Many alcoholics have to lose close to everything before they are willing to really change.

    Ask him how much he is gritting his teeth and hoping for Friday to come. Ask him how much he resents not drinking more often. If it is a continuous, miserable struggle for him to just make it through each week in order to get to Friday, then that is no way to live. It is not sustainable. If he is in that state then he will go back to his old ways eventually.

    Tell him that he can feel good again, without any drinking at all, if he is willing to ask for help and give recovery a chance. It sounds to me like he is not ready to hear that just yet though…..

  • sarah

    My good friend is an alcoholic. He went to rehab about 5 years ago, and remained sober for a couple years. His (soon to be ex) wife completely ruined his financial situation by lying and stealing money from him. Once this all started going down, and he realized how much his wife screwed him over, he began drinking again. Last October he was hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal and went to rehab again. He stayed sober for about a month after rehab, but has since began drinking.

    I was the only person who was close to him that realized he needed help at the time. I read that trying to convince an alcoholic to stop drinking is impossible, and I just continued to be his friend while he nearly drank himself to death.

    I really worry about him; he literally seems to have alcohol in him at all times. I even suspect he has a little to drink before work. He seems to think there is no hope, and once his house forecloses, he will be living in a slum. He makes good money now, and can afford to live a good (but non-extravagant) life, renting an apartment or townhouse. I worry that he will lose his job and REALLY end up living in a slum.

    What can I do to help him before he ends up losing his job? I worry that if he goes to rehab, he will lose his job, because what company would keep paying somebody after a 3rd bout of rehab? Is there anyway I can help him before this happens?

    I don’t want him to literally have to lose EVERYTHING, (he’s already lost pretty much everything except for his well paying job), before he realizes that he doesn’t have it THAT bad right now…

  • Kristina

    Hi my boyfriend has a drinking problem. I am 22 years old and a light/social drinker myself. I have no history of alcoholism in my family. I drink on special occasions only. I have not been wanting to drink lately because of the boyfriend. He is not abusive in any way but he is self-destructive. He gets kicked out of bars and picks fights with other men. He drinks every night. I have tried to talk to him about it but he has specifically stated that he does not want to change. I don’t think I am approaching it the right way. Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated.

  • Brenda

    HELP ME…PLEASE!!! My husband is an alcoholic. He was in rehab in February of this year for 30 days. At the time he was employed by a large corporation. He had a great job with benefits and his employer knew about his condition and had programs set aside for employees. Its been over 6 months since he has actually worked…quitting his job after several months of being off for his condition. He has become this bitter person. He isolates and constantly relapses. He cannot seem to get back to the program. He may not drink for a few days, but goes right back to it. He has never been violent, or abusive in the past, but, I just don’t know who he is anymore. He blames everyone for the reason on why things are happening, even himself. He started a new job, but has only been able to go 7 out of the last 21 days. When I mentioned he isolates himself, I mean he leaves. In the last 60 days or so, he has disappeared for 22 of them. I told him I am at “zero” tolerance right now. I’m ready to sell off everything and move on with my life. Any suggestions?

  • Patrick

    @ Kristina and Brenda – hate to sound like a broken record but you both would benefit tremendously from Al-anon groups. Please check out a local meeting! Good luck.

  • Sandi

    In reading all the messages and your answers posted, the message from “anonymous dated march 4th, 2009″ was the best advice on this board. None of your answers actually gave anyone any advice??

  • Denine

    I am living with an alcoholic and I am trying to find ways to keep him busy. This is my story, we met and fell deeply in love and we have such a commitment to each other that is strong and yet when he drinks I want to run in the other direction. When he drinks he is the typical drunk, he yells and screams and starts fights with me that is not necessary. In the morning he has no remembrance of what was said to me or what he said to me let alone the words that cut into my heart from the night before.

    Now, he admits he is an alcoholic and he wants to quit drinking for himself first, then he said he wants to quit drinking for myself and him, third he wants to quit drinking for his family. He refuses to attend AA, he refuses the support of a neighbor friend that been a recovering alcoholic now for some time. I thought if I got those two together he would have the proper assistance and some one to lean on who has been through his own battles and found the light at the end of the tunnel. No he says he can do this on his own, he says he can quit and he wants to do it on his own. After reading your story line and finally admitting he can not do this alone, I see he is not there yet. He is a very prideful man and feels if he goes to AA or seeks the assistance of another it is admitting failure and I know its not. But he is not aware of that.

    He laid in be with me last night and just shook, he cried because he ached so badly, he said he hurts from head to toe. The worst part of this whole transitional behavior, he works at a popular family store in the grocery section, he works the coolers, he is responsible for filling the coolers, the refrigerators for local merchants such as myself and you to purchase food, part of his job is filling the beer and wine cooler every day. He has been a drunk for many years and he wants to come clean, he admitted that and I too feel as if I am in detox myself. This has effected me and I often wonder if leaving him and finding another man who does not drink would be better for me?

    I love this man, I am crazy in love with this man, my daughter loves him, he is so good with her, he is like the father she never had. He is loving and good and loyal to me and her. He does not cheat, he does not fool around.

    How can I help him? How can I get him to admit he has to go to AA without him feeling he is losing a sense of his own self and demeaning himself as a man?

  • Denine

    my boyfriend has surrendered but he still refuses any help outside of the home. He is in detox now and it is ugly and I am confused as to get him to admit that he needs help any ideas?

  • Anne

    Hi. This is great article, it helped me and my family a lot.

    My 22 years old brother is in rehab now (it’s his first week). He started to drink during his early teen years, since then he went through several alcohol poisonings.

    He gets really aggressive when he’s drunk. Last week (just before asking for help) he argued with our father and tried to hurt him. Luckily, there were other people who stopped him from doing that. Then, he turned himself to the police and from there went to rehab.

    Today I talked to him for the first time after that “accident”. On one hand I’m happy because he seems OK now, but on the other I’m terrified that he’ll start again when he gets out.

    How to prevent him from starting again? After reading great number of questions and answers here, I noticed that there are people with far worse problems, but I just can’t forget what happened, I don’t want it to happen ever again.

    PS. I forgot to mention that he doesn’t have any friends outside his “drinking circle”, and he doesn’t seem to be interested in women (or men, for that matter). I have impression that he lives only to drink, like he loves being drunk. That’s why I’m afraid he’d give up easily.

  • kiki

    Hi my best friend has a drinking problem and its connected to his emotions. I’ve told he before that he should find a better way to deal with his emotions like writing or venting to other people. I really want to help him because im really worried that it is going to get out of hand in the next 1-2 years. By the time we’re 16 or 17 he’ll become a drunk and i wanna help him when he’s not so addicted to it. Any advice?

  • Daniel

    I am glad that I read this because it only enforced what I already knew. I stongly believe that the only way to help my friend is to always treat them as a “sober friend” and allow them to suffer the consequences of their own actions whether drunk or sober. So thank you for confirming what I knew in my heart to be the right course of action. And just to let you know my friend, without rehab or councling, has been sober for 3 weeks now and still going strong. For those who are reading this, my suggestion for you is to basically treat an alcholic alot like you would a child. Use positive re-inforcement, and allow them to fall, but be encouraging as they learn their lesson and learn to pick THEMSELVES back up again! Good luck everyone, and may your friends or loved ones be safe embraced with your loving care and support, for without all of US: THEY would be lost. God Bless

  • kim

    your advice is good,but in theory rubbish.You fail to say as in my case and many more when you detach yourself from an alcoholic and dont argue with them,carry on as normal many actually behave worse because they want a reaction & their not getting one.In my case my son goes on & on for hour after hour.As for help,weve knocked on doors for years&no help.Unless you have money.AA is just an excuse to meet fellow drinkers to go for a pint with after.Also why should you be the one to leave your home in the night to sleep elsewhere because they come home drunk &abusive.Thats not good detachment advice.They are selfish people & all you will get is “what are you moaning about you saw your friends&had a bed didnt you”.I feel there is not enough coverage of all the problems alcoholics can cause on this site,which is annoying when people desperstly turn to these sites for help.

  • Patrick

    Actually Kim you probably have it backwards: my theory is right on the money, but in the real world it falls apart at times.


    Because this stuff sucks, and sometimes drunks will just be drunks and there is not a darn thing you can do to control them. Some of them self destruct. Some of them never get sober. Some of them screw up entire families. It is hard and I work with hopeless drunks and drug addicts every single day. Sometimes, something breaks through and we find success, and someone turns their life around.

    There is no magic bullet to make this happen every time.

    There is no such thing as black and white when it comes to “detachment advice.” Sometimes people use tough love and the alcoholic dies. Sometimes people go too easy and the alcoholic dies (when tough love might have been just the right approach). This stuff is hard to deal with, no easy way about it. No black and white answers at times, either. I wish we could wrap it up and make it simple but we can’t.

    I’m sorry that I could not be of more help. I hope you find the help that you are seeking…..

  • Cat

    Hi my boyfriend whom I live with is an alcoholic and recently admitted that he knows he has a probem and that he hates himself for it, I think he does know but I wonder just he just say that to please me, I love him and want to do anything to help him but I dont know if i am still in love with him due to all the hurt he has caused over the past 3 years, I think I have been enabling him due to me collecting him when he is drunk when he cannot get a way home, dragging him home when his ex says if he doesnt take his 6 year old son then he wont see him anymore, ringing work for him, making excuses for his behaviour, forgiving him when at this point he doesnt deserve to be forgiven but if I dont do this I know he will lose everything example me, his child, his job, his family and he is such a nice person when he is sober that I cannot bare the thoughts of that happening to him, after he goes on a binge he is depressed for days after and I worry about his stability he has even cried for how he has behaved and treated me and his family and I know he is genuinely sorry, he has tried AA and counselling once each but he only went to shut me up and I think he has to want to do it himself, he is really insecure and he doesnt speak about his feelings just bottles it all up, I think I have had enough as its really taking its toll on me and I cannot put up with much more but I am afraid that if I do it will make him worse and I want to help him so so so much please any advice would be appreciated

  • Anonymous

    can u help me! my mom me and my brother moved out of our old house to live with my moms new bf we have been here 7years now and he is a major alcoholic. he doesnt listen and he constantly drinks. even if he skips a night and thinks everything is okay he just starts right back at it. my mom doesnt know what to do anymore, some times he downs 4 beers in almost 1 hour. me and my brother hate living here and hate him ( sorry ) after all the 7 years of living here me&&my bro go everyday practicly with out talking to him. its a rareity if we do. its all so wrong! my mom had an alcoholic mother and now she ended up with him. he wont control himself and he doesnt care at all that we sit here and cry sometimes. and my moms a tough person she rarely cries. but he can break through her and make her cry-he tells us to leave, and still they fight. please help i cant talk to him i just dont know how i myself would approach him with the right words. hes made my life feel messed up along with my brother and mom….

  • Dave

    Hi, just looked at the posts here and saw some of my old ones, amazes to see that one is a year and a half old.My wife Diana is an alchohlic. After years of this I decided I didnt want to live with an alchoholic any more. I told her this and we put the house up for sale. We still lived together during this time. She immediatly stoped drinking, I do love her, and after a while of her not drinking I panicked and thought the situation wasnt so bad after all (shed stoped drinking)and persuaded her that we could give it another go. That was six months ago. She has now started drinking again, she looks great at the moment, she lost 30 pounds weight and got her figure back, due to exercise and giving up the drink. Her drinking is not as bad as it was, but gradualy it is increasing.I spoke to her about it but she says she will not go back to the levells she was at before and just wants to be able to drink “normaly”.Patrick, do you believe an alchoholic can ever drink “normaly”? I told her I dont believe its possible for her, its all or nothing.Am I correct in saying this? This is our last shot at things.I have just turned 47 and feel this is the time for me to move on if I am going to.As I said I love her but she has a great job at the moment and can more than support herself, so the only hardship involved in a split will be emotional, but people get over that in time.I have been going to alanon for a while and found it usefull, there is an AA group in the same building, I have met some people there and they seem to have a good thing going, I have suggested she go there but she will not entertain that idea.I know I cant make her stop drinking, I thought I could almost blackmail her into stoping( threataning a split) but I know nothing I do or say will work.Anyway Patrick in your experiance, has an alchoholic ever been able to cut down to “normal” levells of drinking?
    Thanks Dave

  • Patrick

    @ Dave – that is always a hot topic. Can an alcoholic ever be cured?

    If you ask a thousand people this question who are all in Alcoholics Anonymous, then you will quickly come to realize that (in that program) they DEFINE alcoholism as never being able to drink normally again. That is part of the definition.

    According to the AA crowd–and in fact anyone in the treatment industry in general pretty much–if you can actually return to normal drinking, then you were never an alcoholic to begin with.

    Anyone who can moderate successfully is not an alcoholic. Period. That is what AA and the entire treatment industry pretty much believes.

    There are actually programs out there that try to teach moderation to people who have problems with their drinking. Are these people alcoholics? Are they problem drinkers? Is there a difference? Can problem drinking be cured? Can alcoholism be cured? And on and on and on.

    I am sure we can find examples out there. I met one man online who has learned to successfully moderate his drinking, and he claims to be alcoholic. But get this: he only drinks one glass of wine per month! I was like “What?! Are you serious?! One glass per month?!?!? What is the point????”

    And there is your fundamental truth of the matter right there: I am a real alcoholic. I have not had a drink for over 9 years now, but if I did take a drink, it would not be no piddly one glass of wine. It would be one of those boxes of wine that I used to keep around to sip on during breakfast after a night of mixing ridiculous drinks with a half gallon of liquor. I am a true alcoholic and I would not even want to attempt to drink one glass of wine per month. I think I would rather pull my fingernails out one at a time. Do you see what I am getting at? I know, for me, it is all or nothing. Either give me the half gallon or forget it!

    So to answer your question Dave (sorry for the rant), no….I do not think a true alcoholic can ever drink normally again. Not for any length of time. They will always (eventually) return to their previous level of consumption. This may be deceptive because they might stick it out for a few weeks or months at a more reasonable level of consumption. But eventually the planets will align in a certain way and they will go way overboard and the chaos will be back in full force.

    I work in a rehab center and I know a LOT of alcoholics and addicts and I have heard their stories after they come back in. Just about every one of them says that they thought they could control it, give it one more try… that they have some stability in their life, things are going good, they think they can just kick back and have a few beers here and there without going overboard. And the tricky thing is that they might get away with it for a short while, which fools them into thinking that it IS possible. For the true alcoholic, it is not possible. Not in my opinion. Not based on what I have seen, or what I have experienced.

    So maybe you should ask the alcoholic in your life: do you think you are a true alcoholic? Or do you just have a slight drinking problem? Which is it? Can they look you in the eye and keep a straight face when they answer? Are they only kidding themselves?

    So many questions, so hard to tell. If this stuff were easy, there probably would not be over 300 comments on this page…..I wish you luck Dave and I hope that your wife finds a path of recovery sometime soon…..

  • tina

    I would appreciate any other information you could send me. I fear for my husbads health and life. He means the world to me. What I. Read here helped. Thank you so much.

  • SAM

    my boyfriend is alcoholic,when is in us he wants to move and work here in taiwan,and now he’s here he get the job but i also work 3hours away from him and i just see him once a week..just yesterday hi found out that he drink again he hide it..and he said he think he need to go back to us..he said im not with him he wants me to be with him everyday but im afraid to quit my job because maybe 1month he will get fired cos he just work 4 days and now he is absent becos he dont feel good because of drinking..

    i have daughter need to support but my boyfriend need me now and i love him,i love my daughter also..if i stop working we can still support my daughter but im afraid i think he will loose his job and me no job i need to quit my job and try to stay with him even though i think he will get fired soon?i want to help him because he need to adjust here..he needs me…

  • Diane

    Hi Patrick,

    I am thrilled to know about you and your advise. My husband is the alcholic. 6 years ago we retired to Croatia from America. My husband has family here. We both love living here and money is not an issue for us. My husband is a very kind and generous man and goes overboard when he drinks and buys drinks for the whole town and gives away his possessions. He is usually sorry in the morning for spending and giving so much, but the cycle continues the next day.

    He has been to rehab here in Croatia and he goes to what tries to pass for AA meetings. I have attended weekly with him and they seem not to be very helpful. This culture thinks differently of drunks than the American people. Here it is tolerated. An example is that recently a family member, 25 years of age, died as a result of binge drinking when he fell on a broken bottle and bled to death. When we attended his funeral family members who know my husband’s drinking problem and that he had tried to help the deceased for a long time insisted that my husband have “just one”. So you see one major problem. He has been sober more this past yeat than ever before which is a blessing and maybe I should not complain, but when he falls off the wagon it is a nightmare. He has to be carried home and dumped on the living room sofa. I have awakened many times to find strangers in my home that he has invited and then passed out while they carry on. Often he urinates on the sofa and vomits on the carpet. If he is late in coming home, I now just put a plastic sheet on the vulnerable areas. He falls and breaks things and loses expensive things.

    When he has a time of sobriety he talks openly about how he doesn’t know why he acts that way and says he doesn’t intend to have a drink when he leaves home. He tells me that he loves his sober life, but then keeps going back to the dark side.

    I am pretty isolated from my children and grandchildren in America because of the great distance and I don’t want to burden them with the bad news, so I just let them think that all is well. I really don’t have anyone to share with and am not certain if that is good or bad.

    It is so true what you said about trying to seperate the person from the drinker. I love the sober man so much and hate the drunk. We have been together for 33 years and I don’t want to leave him, but I don’t see that I am changing his situation, nor is it healthy for me to be in such turmoil all the time. He was taking Antibus, but he found a way to get around that by drinking copious amounts of water for a few hours and then drinking. I am constantly thinking that if he loves me then he will stop. I genuinely know that he does love me deeply so I can’t reason why he would hurt me, our relationship and humilate himself.

    Thank you for being there and I know you will say something profound that will give me some peace and solace.


  • Patrick

    Diane, at some point you might have to make a decision.

    I would seek help and support for yourself, rather than your husband….

    I can’t give you any wisdom that I have not already written on this website.

    Good luck.

  • JBE

    My husband is showing traits of alcoholism again. His brother just got out of jail for a D.U.I. and my husband was nice enough to get him a job w/him but he picks him up, drops him off. The problem is his brother is an alcoholic whom never wants to go home w/his family. So, my husband always ends up “having a few beers after work” and driving home. He comes home legless and I work the overnights so I worry that he’ll set the house on fire or pass out if the three kids need him. He’s Jeckyl and Hyde when he drinks and we are afraid of him. I talk to him when he’s sober and he always just says I F%^$# d up I won’t do it again. Then when he’s setting up a drinking night he starts fights w/me. “The kids room is a fire hazard!” “That’s why I don’t want to come home after work” does not make sense when he was in playing with them an hour before… I feel like I’m in hell!and he has quit for 2 yrs before…but losing hope

  • Anonymous

    my daughter is a chronic alcoholic.Her body has started to swell even her hands.Her eyes are yellow.She has detoxed once and relapsed and waiting for another detox.How can i help her

  • Patrick

    I would get her to rehab.

    If you can encourage treatment, do it. If you cannot, then you have to detach a bit and let them find their own path. If they are not willing to get help, there is not much you can do to try and force them.

    Sometimes people just need to experience more pain before they become willing to try recovery. I had to…..

  • Anonymous

    my current fella likes to drink he says he is not an alcoholic but i know that he really is because he has the same way about him (minus the anger) as my ex who was a very angry alcoholic. he recently said to me he wants to stop drinking thro the week but binge on a weekend. he probably sees this as a way forward, it clearly isn’t. i dont want him to end up like my ex. what should i do? its very early days in our relationship too. i could just not be with him but i want to be cos he’s lovely towards me. any advice would be welcome. thanks.

  • robin

    I don’t know how or if I can detach myself from my 27 year old son. I am from Michigan as is he. He is an alcoholic… only the last 3 years… after his fiance left him. He has two children, 5 and 4. Seven weeks ago, he sent me a suicide text. It nearly put me in the grave. He doesn’t have a drivers license… he has no car…but when he is stone ass drunk, he takes other peoples cars without their consent or knowledge. Last week he totaled his dad’s car. I know he has underlying emotional issues. I’ve talked to him many times about rehab. At times it seems like he’s ready, but then backs out. I’m afraid for him, I’m afraid for the effects it will have on his children, I’m afraid for anyone he may harm when he’s driving drunk. I’m physically sick to my stomach, and paralyzed with fear. I live two hours away from him…and everyday I become more and more anxious and fearful, afraid of every phone call that comes in. I love my son, I don’t want to lose him… I don’t know how I could cope with that. I think rehab would help if he would finally concent… my husband (step-dad) says that he doesn’t need rehab, he just needs to not want to drink and say no to the first drink. I really don’t know what to do. I have contacted area rehab facilities…and they all said that he needs to make the call. Any words of wisdom would be so appreciated. Thanks.

  • Sue

    Hi. I have been involved with a guy for nearly 6 months now and he has recently told me that he is an alcoholic. We both have deep feelings for each other but before thinking about being in a serious relationship with him I want to help him. One day he was texting me saying how he couldn’t control himself and how he was a loser and wanted to be done with this life while driving drunk. I did not react to these comments but I did encourage him to come out with me and do recreational activities the upcoming weekend so he didn’t think about whatever his problem was. I would like to know what other steps I can take to help him before asking him about rehab since he has just opened up to me about it. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    but what

  • alex

    Hi my husband has always enjoyed a drink socially and wine with dinner. But he is now in pain from a neck injury and is on a lot of painkillers including morphine. we are upfront with the doctors that he drinks a bottle or litre of red wine a day and a quarter litre of brandy with water per day. Is this too much the doctors don’t comment, but with the drugs he falls over and I cannot pick him up is he an alchoholic? does he need help? he says he will go to aa when he gets out of pain

  • Anonymous

    i love it

  • Anonymous

    I have been with my partner for eight years .
    When we first got together he took drugs and i made him decide between me or the drugs and he chose me, we moved in together and his daughter came to live with us. We then had a child together, however 3 yrs down the line his drinking has spiraled out of control, he thinks it ok as most weekdays he doesn’t drink but come to the weekend when he is not at work he gets through at least 30 cans of beer. He has no problem with drinking at midday and most weekend nights involve him passing out on the sofa. He can be very malipative when he is drinking and verbally abusive if he doesn’t get his own way. He loves his kids dearly and is a good father to them, but now his daughter is getting older she is starting to understand what is going on and i can’t make him see that he is hurting her. He won’t get help as he doesn’t believe he has a problem and he is worried that child service will get involved if he says he has. I don’t know what to do for the best, if i leave i leave her to as she is not mine so i stick around but its getting to the point that i have to think of my son to as i don’t want him to understand his dads drinking, any advice

  • Anonymous

    My parents have been married for 35 years and my dad has always drank socially. Over the last 5-10 years, it seems like his drinking has become a bigger problem. He now chooses to do it throughout the day and when he’s all alone. I feel terrible for my mom because she is left to deal with this problem on a daily basis now that my siblings and I have all moved out and started our own families. Both of my parents are now retired, which leaves a lot of free time for my dad to sit around and drink. My mom has talked to him about how she feels about his drinking, but he doesn’t want to hear it and continues to tell her that he’s not hurting anyone. He’s never had any consequences because of his drinking except for my mom getting angry with him and the arguments that then ensue. Recently, my siblings and I decided to take this problem into our own hands. After sitting down and thinking deeply about how we wanted to approach this problem, we decided to drive to our parent’s house and surprise our dad. He was definitely caught off guard and surprised by our confrontation. He said that he didn’t know that it had been bothering us and that he would take care of the problem on his own. We off course told him that we loved him and were worried about his health and that we felt his was a completely different person when he was drinking. When he drinks, he doesn’t become mean, but he does become detached. He isolates himself and often takes naps. He also tells us the same stories over and over and forgets that he has even told us. We explained all of these things and brought him a bunch of other beverages to stock his fridge. This confrontation went so smoothly that it almost seemed too good to be true. The first few weeks after our discussion went very well. My mom would call and report that Dad hadn’t been drinking at all and that they had been spending a lot more quality time together and with other couples they enjoy going out with. However, his behavior has gradually changed back to the way it was before. He is now buying large bottles of whiskey and getting back into his old habit. We kids feel like it’s time to take this to the next step but are unsure of what to do. We thought about meeting with him in person again and seeing if he would be willing to accept help this time. However, we aren’t sure what the best step would be. I feel that my dad is embarrassed by his problem and after being a well known person in the community for lots of years, he may not be willing to accept local help. On the other hand, what do we do if he’s not ready for our help? Is it wrong to tell him that we don’t want to be around him when he’s drinking and he won’t be allowed to see his grandchildren if this continues as well? It’s a sensitive issue and we want to be sure to approach this situation in the best way possible. Thanks for your help!

  • jance

    my husband works everyday and not a day goes by without him drinking on weekdays he drinks a 12 pack of beer and weekends he drinks a case or more a day
    he is a angry drunk he cusses me and he dont take care of his hygiene he goes a month without a shower on weekdays he usally dont get drunk but friday saturday and sunday hes mean on weekday hes quite i have detached myself from him i guess you can say we moved to a house 4 years ago i got my dinning room set up with a tv and couch thats where i stay when im home he is either outside in his garage or in the living room i dont talk to him when he is sober and when hes drunk and cussing me i try to ignore him the best i can i have 2 daughters stil at home and a 3 year old grandbaby we dont talk to him and he complains nobody talks to him my 14 year old begs me to leave him she says she dont like him all 4 of my kids had to grow up with him being a drunk and not being a dad i got to take care of the house when something needs fixed or the grass needs cut i cant depend on him and i hold that against him he does help pay bills and he thinks thats enough now my son has turned to drugs and alcholic i have kicked him out of my house several times he has no job no car and no where to live he has stolen from me and busted out serval windows i cant deal with both of them and neither one of them are willing to get help my husband blames me and my son blames his stepdad i guess they got to blame it on someone besides theirself i dont think i love my husband no more i have no respect for him i dont want to leave my home i dont know what to do he is stressing me out im sory for making my kids to have to grow up with a drunk dad i know if affects their life to but now it to late to change that any advice for me

  • Dave

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for this site and the insights you have given, it has helped me a lot. My wife is an alcoholic, recently I decided that it was time for me to move on and leave the relationship. At first Diana had the attitude of “well go then, our relationship is rubbish anyway”. This I accepted because it was in fact true. Because I have been going to alannon for over a year now it has helped me deal with the situation, although I love my wife, I know that there is a life out there for me that can be fullfilling without her. As this situation has progressed her attitude has gradualy changed, it moved on to being over nice, preparing lovelly meals etc, then to depression and sadness, tears etc, this process has taken a couple of months, during this time I have not changed what I am doing which is going to meetings regularily, going to watch my locall team play every home game, taking an active part in my local classic car club and generally getting out and about much more, but on my own. I have started to enjoy my life again. Anyway I have been married for 20 years, so I thought I knew Diana inside out. This weekend I went to a alannon convention in our area, the 1st one I have been to, it was ok and I met some new people and had a good day, when I got home Diana told me that she had thought about things and now did not want to split and that she would go to AA which is in the same building as alannon and on the same night. I did not ask her to go, it was her choice, I must admit I was a bit confused about this, I have come to regard alannon as a sort of escape and haven for myself and almost felt that her comming to the same building (different room) with me was somehow intruding on MY recovery,although I tried not to show this. Anyway I agreed that I would take her along. Last night we went. As I said, I thought I knew my wife and I thought I had learned a lot about the desiese of alcoholism, but last night proved how I have no conception of what goes on in the mind of an alcoholic, even one ive known for 20 years. Diana has a great job, seems confident and strong and often gives presentations to conferences where maybe 100 people are in the audience, so what happend next shocked me. As we aproched the building we could see the people inside, sitting around chatting etc before the meeting started, Diana’s mood suddenly changed, we got as close as the lobby, suddenly she panicked and said she could not go in, I turned to look at her and I swear there was a look of terror on her face,she started to shake and looked really frightend, like someone was going to attack her. She started talking really fast saying she couldent go in because “everyones just sitting there, why arnt they walking around?”. She then turned and fled to the edge of the car park. When I caught up with her she was still panicky but had calmed down a bit, she was crying and said she would have a go next week, but that we should come earlier because “thats when people will be mingling outside having a pre-meeting fag.” She then ran to the car. I have never seen her so scared,and it was genuine fear I saw in her. I went to my meeting and she came and picked me up, she seemed ok on the way home and again said she would go next week.As I said, I thought I knew my wife and I thought I understood alcoholism, but last night taught me how little I relly do understand. I wish I knew what her fear is, I wish I knew what was going on inside her head, I sometimes think I know nothing. You have often talked about alcoholics being fearfull but thats the 1st time I have seen it, what are they scared of? Phsicly afraid of? I dont understand. Anyway thanks for being there for me to unload.

  • scott

    If anyone needs someone to listen to them or answer questions about alcoholism,I am there with an out-stretched hand.I have experiance in AA and I am a gratifully sober alcoholic.If a former Agnostic, self-centered,strong-willed drunk like me can find peace,strength,self-confidence and serenity in sobriety then anyone can!! My e-mail is If it is urgent call me at 805-674-9169.My name is Scott. May your day be great.

  • Alicia

    Hello – I have been married for almost 15 years and we have 3 children. My husband has always drank but has gotten worse. It got so bad about 3 years ago that I left and filed for divorce but went back. He still drinks, but not to the point that he was. He drinks from the time he gets home from work until bed usually. He spends most of his extra time at the neighbors which drinks with him. I am fed up. He sits and makes plans with them for the weekends. Barbecuing, spending time at the river, fishing, etc. but can’t make plans with me. And then he wonders why I am so naggy. I am contimplating leaving him, at least for awhile to get my head straight. I feel like I am going mental. My thoughts are running crazy and I don’t know what to do. He gets mad when I tell him how I feel. He doesn’t take any responsibility for anything. He says I need help! We have went to counseling for our relationship, he told the preacher the same thing. He didn’t need to be there. I know you are supposed to set boundaries, but I do that and he could care less if I am around him or not when he is drinking. Any other option other than Al-Anon or leaving him or am I at the end of the road. I feel like my mental state is in jeapordy right now.

  • candelaria

    Thank you for your help. I will try to live by the detachment, not enabling,not reacting guidelines. Any suggestions on how to get help when there is no AA groups around? We live in Morocco. Thanks again and blessings to all.

  • simon

    Hi My brother is a alcoholic, he is currently on sick from work for many months, hes been receiving nearly full sick pay up to now. with the full pay hes been able to pay his bills in full,and still had enough money to drink vodka all the time hes awake, this month his sick pay has halved and hes not paid any bills and kept his money for alcohol. his company can keep him on half pay for about another 3 months,so my concern is if he does the same with the income hes received for the next few months he may loose his home etc due to not paying bills, should I ask his company to pay him statutory sick pay as I dont want him to have to address this issue with a mountain of debt to cope with as well.the other reason is any money hes receiving for sick is being spent on drink and thus keeping him on sick. hope this makes sense ?

  • Wendy

    My husbad is a bartender and drinks after work. He only works 3 days a week, but always stays after work and has a couple of drinks. Several times he has had tooo many and has come and can’t walk well. I have reacted by taking his keys away and having him catch rides home.This lasts for a little then he gets annoyed with me that he is fine and to trust him, I don’t trust him. This evening he came home drunk again and ran into our flower bed, getting his car stuck on a rock. I had to helo get the car off of the rock. Mostly because I didn’t want to be embarrassed in the morning with the neighbors. We have small children and I am feeling done at this point. He has wrecked my new car, had to get it fixed, and now this!!! I used to enjoy drinking socially but now HATE it! I feel lost and not sure what to do. I worry every nite he works about this happening/or something worse. MOST of the time he is ok and that is hwta he says. However these times outweigh the K times and I feel anger inside, disppointment, and I am scared about our future and the kids future. He is a great dad during the day and I feel like it is controilled most of the time. I am not sure why it happens and need some advice.

  • candelaria

    hello and thanks again for valuable help…I hope you can give good advice on the following: Why, me, like many other women, just cant leave the alcoholic partner I’m with? What is the hook to the situation? Why cant I just get out when I know the situation is bad and it is very hard to change. I know what is his problem, I just want to figure out why I’m stuck, it is not, only because he could hopefully change, I believe there is a sick part in all of us who cant leave. I have figured out I cant change him, so how can I change? thank you, I believe understanding my role in this can make me function better in this sick panorama…… blessings

  • Brenda

    I have a boyfriend is wonderful when sober. Three years and i believe he is the one for me. However like the amanda on here, he drinks 3-4 beers a night, gets drunk 2-3 out of the week. He is mean and nasty after drinking and sometimes even in days when he is “sober” (i know it isnt actually sober just referring to when he isnt drinking) he is an amazing person sober. completely sober. I have known him for years. we were to get married and i tried to make a drinking arrangement of no more than two to three days drinkgina a week which spun him out of control and now he is drinking pretty much every day of the month. Recently over past couple months i made decision to live seperately from him. He now yesterday is in his own apartment. i told him i couldnt see him any more cuz he wont get help. but a lot of advice says it can work if i train myself. i do enable which i learned from researching by reaction only. That is my enablement factor. when he makes me upset i blow up now. i didnt ever used to but stuff is building and i hate that he would say he is going to get help and manipulate me and then just not go. Should i tell him that i want to date him or just let it go is best? give him a few days without me around? i know he loves me. I dont know what to do any more. ive had it. i tried to get help from his family. his mom would bail him out and help him. People at work we know says he doesnt have a drinking problem and so does his family and friends say that. I know better but i feel alone. i reached out to them for help and they insulted me. They treated me like i was crazy. his sister told me im his problem. His mother said Now what is it this time? They didnt help. i drove him further into isolation and more heavier drinking by threatening him and reacting to his behavior. i know this. Screaming i hate you doesnt help anything. i set boundaries like if you drink i wont be around you, have sex with you, etc. and what happened is i just didnt see him for two months and he made plans with other people and drank heavier. did i do that wrong? I dont know if i should leave him. That definitely not seeing him for two months made me think about leaving hard. So i joined these alanon chats.

  • Rikki

    My mum is an alcoholic and i want to help her to stop drinking because even i can see that it is slowing tearing our family apart.


  • AJD

    My boyfriend of 1 is an alcoholic. he’s been drinking a gallon of vodka a day for over 3 years. he just recently was divorced and his drinking is now preventing him from seeing his children. His EX says she will file for supervised visitation. I think he’s finally reached the point of surrender. Two weeks ago he was borderline sucidal. I called his boss, his father, his mother. Everyone. As he took of running down the street in the middle of the night. My problem is that even though he says he wants to change and he can’t live like this anymore he’s still very skeptical of seeking treatment. He was in AA twice before ( he’s had 2 DUI’s in 3 years) and is upset because it didn’t work. He’s trying now and i can see it, he’s picked this weekend to stop drinking. but he wants me to help him detox at home and I’m afraid that since he has been drinking every day for over 5 years that he will go into a serious withdrawl. I want to support him but i don’t want him to get hurt.

    I plan to help him begin his detox at home and call the paramedics if need be.

    I guess i just want to know if this is the right thing to do?

  • Patrick

    @ AJD – detoxing at home is never a good idea if it is alcohol. It can be dangerous, there can be seizures, and in fact, the withdrawal can be fatal. It can kill you.

    So I would urge you to seek medical help, preferably in a rehab center with a full medical detox.

    If someone is shaking badly then you should take them to the ER.

    Good luck. Most drugs are pretty safe to detox from but alcohol is not one of them. Nothing to play around with. Take care.

  • candelaria


  • AV

    Thank you for your site, it is the best I have ever found. I would guess the rewards are hard to come by and I thank God for your commitment. I am no stranger to alcoholism , it is rampant in my family and I myself am a recovering alcoholic. I’m writing because of my adult son, an alcoholic who at this time has lost marriage, job, home and everything material. Everytime I have thought he must be near the bottom, he continues to go on down. He lives with me and I have been trying to better understand enabling and detachment. Aside from giving him a place to live and paying for some Dr visits and meds (he has some serious health issues) I don’t believe I’ve enabled. Even without money for booze he has continued to drink (making the stuff with sugar, yeast, juice etc). It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. My life is consumed by his drinking and my inability to do anything for him and I feel like if I am going to set boundaries – and I have trouble understanding that area – what I can and can’t do – if I need to do for myself since I can’t do anything for him – then I am thinking he needs to leave my house. I gave him an ultimatum on Thurs that he would have to leave on Saturday if he did not stop what he is doing. As of last night, he was still at it. When I gave him that ultimatum I knew I would have to go thru with it but I still don’t know whether it is the right thing and am frightened of taking that step. I told him I would take him to the pawn shop to get rid of the few things he has and then drive him to a place near a homeless shelter. He has told me before that he is convinced he is one of those people just wired for addiction and he would never get over it. He has also told me (when sober) that he has nothing to live for and wants to die. I feel like I am throwing him at the gates of Hell but I don’t know what else I can do. It’s either something desperate like that or reconcile myself to living the rest of my life with things as they are and probably getting worse. I’ve also told him that his father and I want the best for him, want him to be recovered and will do anything we can to help him – and have tried to demonstrate that . . but he seems far from being able to come to the point of seeing that change is possible for him. He has been in rehab 3 times and now no health insurance. We have no money to pay out of pocket and at this point, I’m not sure it would help anyway. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

  • Patrick

    @ AV – that is a hard case but I know there are some alcoholics out there who have been at similar bottoms and still managed to recover.

    I do not have any wisdom or magic solutions for you. I think you are probably right to push him out of your home though, even though that is a risk. For your son to STAY in your home is now a risk, because he is drinking there anyway, right?

    So you laid down the law and you knew it meant he would have to leave. I do not think you are wrong to do that, but I know it is a tough choice.

    He may be totally hopeless, and he may become homeless, and that might be when something clicks for him, and he finally surrenders. It is a risk. We never know what the outcome will be.

    But, at some point, you have to draw a line in the sand, and say “enough is enough. You are ruining my home, get out.” And I think you are at that point, and you have to push him away for his own good, and for your sanity.

    If you let him stay, it sounds like it is hurting both you, and your son. Letting him stay has become a form of enabling.

    Not sure if that is all accurate but I think that is how I see it at this point.

    Anyone else care to jump in and comment?

  • Paula

    My mother has turned to alcohol to help her depression.My mother anfd father have always had huge fights, but this time it seems that my father is causeing a huge fire while hes in Mexico for a “funeral” . But now hes going past a point where his actions are unexceptable. And my mother is solving her anger by drinking at some points a whole bottle ,but I have always had some control over not letting the family be torn appart, when I say that I mean taking care of the house and younger siblings , this is because I DONT want them to go through what I went through. But the point is that when my mother get drunk she looses it . I have tried to take away her drink but then she goes crazy(I mean really bad). And its like ….To tell you the truth I think i am loosing it, I dont know what to do, and I really dont think I need helP.Maybe some advice,but really I just needed to let this pressure out. So thank you for listeaning to me.

  • stephiness

    well im 18 and i have a brother who drinks alot and blacksout all the time he hits himself when he drinks and sometimes even walks around naked he locks himself in his room all day and drinks i had a freinds dad kill himself over alchol and im fear my brother will too i love him so much hes the only famliy i have im afraid of losing him he also has a daugter and hes a great father but he knows he drinks alot thats whay he is never with her beacuase he doesnt want to drag his problems in her life hes so smart and a good man but after hgis divorse i think is when he started drinking more he told me when he was drunk it hit him hard cause he loved that women to much but she cheated on him well i just wanted to vent out cause i have no one to tell tto tell but thank you for listening please tell me how i ccan help him

  • Patrick

    @ Stephiness – encourage treatment for him, while finding support for yourself at either Al-anon or Alateen. Good luck.



  • Stephanie

    Patrick – I live with my 14 year old daughter and boyfriend (used to be fiance). He drinks, but won’t admit it. Instead he sits around in a drunken stupor. It’s so hard to watch because he is a wonderful person who should not drink at all. I believe I have begun the process of detachment. But you say to not react to the drinking and to act like everything is o.k. I find it very difficult to not at least have an attitude. He also lies about everything. I will probably end up leaving him, but am having a trouble finding a place that I can afford. He also tells me he will get help, but then doesn’t follow up. It seems as though I am just miserable all the time. But I also feel like I have to put on a brave face for my daughter. Any advice?

  • Patrick

    @ Stephanie – Don’t react to his drinking episodes and turn them into a fight. But this is very specific, and you can still set boundaries regarding his drinking and then take action on it. Different from reacting.

    If he gets drunk and does something foolish, and it draws you into a fight, and then you yell back and forth, then that is what you are trying to avoid. The reaction. If you can avoid that, it will force him to actually look at his drinking.

    On the other hand, you can still set boundaries and limits and decide on what you will tolerate and what you will not. In that sense, you may have to make a decision at some point, for yourself.

    At some point, holding out hope that the person will change gets a little old. If it is draining your energy emotionally, then how long do you let it continue? Seek help to find out the answer, go to Al-anon. If you promise to stay forever, in spite of continued drinking, then you give away all your power, and any chance for happiness….no?

  • Stephanie

    Thank you, Patrick. He tries to hide that he’s been drinking, but I can tell just by glancing at him. I understand the no reaction part, but is it ok for me to point out that I know he’s been drinking? Otherwise it seems to me that he thinks he’s getting away with it.

    And you are absolutely right about holding out hope. I’ve been doing it way too long. It’s just so sad.

  • Laura

    Hi Patrick,

    I’m 32 weeks pregnant and my boyfriend is an alcoholic. He is such a wonderful, loving person and I can’t bear the thought of us separating and my child not getting to know him but I really don’t know what to do. His drinking has got worse, to the point where he even sometimes wets the bed.
    All of this is too stressful for me, especially as I’m pregnant, and it seems obvious to ask him to leave but I find it so hard to as when he is sober , usually during the daytime, he is so caring and always there for me. If he was always sober there would be no doubt about how brilliant a father he would be.
    Last night I said to him that he could only live with me in the house from now on if he’s sober,as my main priority is the health of me and my baby, which he agreed to , but I saw how upset he looked and broken that I can tell he has just gone out drinking again tonight and will come back here drunk. I don’t have the energy to try and force him to leave or argue so I really don’t know what to do.

    I have tried detaching and it has worked very well as far as not taking things personally and not trying to change him and being co dependent , but now as I get more pregnant there are things I need help with that he just cannot help with. (Missing appointments, paying rent, helping with shopping etc. cleaning up after him)

    Do you think I should think for the moment and ask him to leave for the rest of the pregnancy if he is going to drink through it? I have a feeling it may be what he needs for him to do something to help himself, because I know that the thought of not seeing his son in the future, to him is unbearable..

    Your help is much appreciated,

  • Nikki

    Hi…I’m looking for ways to help my 27 year old brother in law and his drinking problem. He drinks pretty much every day from our understanding. He hides at his house and only hangs out with other drunks. He gets out of control when he drinks. He says mean things and starts arguments. He thinks he is an MMA fighter and gets in your face pretending to punch you and kick at you. He says he’s only playing around but when he’s getting not even an inch from your face there’s a problem. One night we had a bonfire and a small group of friends over and he was there and it got so bad that everyone pretty much blew up at him because of his actions. He’s been told that none of us want to hang out with him due to his actions but he says he doesn’t know what he did.I would say for the past 4 or 5 months he’s become really withdrawn except for the other drunks. I think he has mental issues(ADHD…just never diagnosed) as well as the drinking problem. He was babied as a child and it still continues today. He expects everyone to do everything for him. He rents from his grandfather and his grandfather pays his bills for him so he knows they are getting paid. He does give his grandfather the money for the bills but not on time…it is when he has the money to give him(because he needs to make sure he has his beer money). See…if the water doesn’t get paid then his grandfather is liable for that because he owns the house.. But what he isn’t understanding is that if you don’t let him take care of it on his own he will never grow up, he will never become responsible. His mother,well, you try and tell her whats going on and she doesn’t believe how bad it really is. She just says “well, I can’t do anything all the way down here”. She has talked to him on the phone about it(not sure what was said but I can tell you that he lies and stretches the truth big time) but he comes back to my husband and says “yeah mom says it’s ok if I come home from work and drink 5 or 6 beers”. But he’s drinking more than that. If we would ask him how much he’s drank because we can tell it’s been quite a bit he comes back with “Ooohhh…5 or 6″ We don’t think he wants help BUT he NEEDS it!!! We’ve tried explaining how his actions affect us and others,that he needs help but he doesn’t want to except that he has a problem because he can’t “remember”. Sorry…but you obviously have some sort of clue as to what you did if you call the next day or 2 and the first thing you say is “I didn’t do anything wrong did I?” And then after being told how he acted and that he did do something wrong he won’t call or come around for a while hoping we all forget how he acted. What can we do to help this person? We feel we have done everything possible to try and help him. We’ve talked to him in a calm manner, we have got into arguements over it(not that we wanted to ofcourse),we have distanced ourselves from him just because we don’t want to have to deal with the way he acts…he’s very rude,obnoxious,and is just completely disrespectful to us and our property. We can’t put him in rehab he has to do it himself but how do you make someone realize he has a problem and to seek help?????

  • Patrick

    @ Laura – If i were you I would get to an Al-anon meeting and ask the same question to the group there. They will get more details from you and be able to guide you better. Too tough for me to call it…..

    @ Nikki – sounds to me like he is blacking out. I would check this out:

  • Mary

    Where is there help for” A spouce being rejected after husband get out of rehab”?? After so much support and Love.

  • needs clearity

    What should someone like me, who is stationed overseas do if no Al-anon is available? There is AA here, but no Al-anon.

    I feel like I am pretty good at this detatchment thing… It is how I protect my sanity. I NEVER confront my husband when he is drunk. I have learned it is easier to “trick” him to come home and safe in bed by being kind and lighthearted about it. And when his temper goes through the roof I meet it with calmness, which seems to help. Not always of course, but like you said, he can’t turn anything back around and focus on me… WHich he is a master at even sober

    It is the enabling that I have a problem with. He had his rock bottom when he got a DUI and now this decorated military pilot of mine is loosing his entire career 2 years shy of retirment. We are right in the thick of it all right now. He looked at me and said this needed to happen to me. He’d been saying he needed help for a couple years but, because he was a pilot, never did, because it would mean no more flying…

    Anyway, how do I not provide that pillow when his whole world is crumbing around him. How do I tell him he’s not allowed to drink? When the Army has aready told him that. (He is going through manditory theropy and AA). The longest he’s ever gone….ever was 7 days, and that was just a couple weeks ago and because he was in the field. Yes, in the past, when they weren’t watching him like they are now, he’d drink even in the field… And especially while deployed because he was special ops and no one said anything… they all did it… But he come home from the field, went to his AA meeting that night and celebrated that 7 days by drinking a bottle of scotch… I don’t know how to be the sweet loving wife I want to be and still create boundries. How do I not rescue him and still support him? How can I with good conscience not set his alarm to get up in the morning when he’s passed out? I have always covered for him, lied for him, especially with his family, who still do not know about any of this. How do I not give in to his wishes especially now, when everything is just vaporizing around us… our whole world, who we are… Our whole identity is the military and now after the trials, it will all be gone. How do I help him emotionally without hurting his recovery… you know what I mean? He is so depressed and sad because it keeps getting worse and worse for him, and I don’t know how to be stern when he needs my shoulder right now. Help please… Thank you

  • Patrick

    @ needs clarity – wow that is a very tough situation indeed. I do not have a magic solution for you, unfortunately.

    I guess part of me wants to urge you to take a stand and do the tough love thing….he already has major consequences due to his drinking, and I guess the Al-anon folks would say that he needs to experience those consequences fully.

    That does not mean that you have to make things worse on purpose, only that you have to act with honesty and integrity, and set healthy boundaries.

    Maybe that would start by talking with him, and telling him the truth. Something like:

    “I think you are in the process of hitting bottom, and I want to help you. In order to do that, I have to set some boundaries. I cannot lie for you or cover up for you any longer. If you are going to drink, then you are going to sink your own ship, and I am not going to be the one to rescue you. I am not going to set your alarm when you stagger home drunk. That is not my responsibility. It is yours. Stop drinking now and you might save your career. Keep it up and we will not have anything worth saving anymore, including our relationship. I love you to death but you are self destructing. I am not going to enable you any further. If you choose to drink now, you are most likely creating your own path of destruction. I cannot keep trying to hold things together.

    The ball is in your court. Man up and try to do the right thing. The honorable thing. Try to save your career and also your marriage. I am not threatening you. I’m just laying out the truth of what is happening. Your world is crumbling and you have a chance to save it. I can’t do it for you. I can’t tell you to go ahead and drink and that I feel sorry for you. You need to man up and quit drinking and turn your life around.”

  • Seth

    Hi,I need help. I’m a freshman in college and recently left my home to live on campus hours away. I left my dad who is an alcoholic, with my mom and 13 year old brother. I come home on weekends, and my dad will be sober and he is the greatest person to be around, but then i get stories that when he drinks when I’m gone (which is the whole time usually) he turns into the total opposite and begins fighting ( verbally) to my mom and brother. And it’s starting to get bad. I usually talk to my dad about his problems and he says that it is because everyone else makes him mad. But he won’t admit he has a drinking problem. My dad is in a hole right now and i really want him to get out of this because it is hurting our family really bad. Please help… Thanks.

  • needs clarity

    Thank you Patrick. I really do believe I need Al-anon, I just wish it were available. The hard part, is I know you are right…. But I cringe at the thought of not being there for him…. I am the worst kind of enabler… When he asks me to go buy it for him, I ask him if he thinks it’s a good idea, but I still do it. He can’t buy his own, because it is rationed here. And when they are enrolled in the ASAP program, they watch it closely. But the worst… And I haven’t even connected this until now and realize now why I feel horrible about it, and why I am bending more now…. I was with him when he got the DUI. I asked for the keys, but he insisted. So I gave in. When I saw the check point, I made him pull over and switched places with him. They saw us. But I can not help but do these things. I think I may be just as sick as he is. And of couse what I did, made things worse for him… alot worse. So, I take so much of the blame. How do I put my foot down, when he knows just as well as I do that I am not able. I give in too easy… And I have this need to protect him from everything… I need to know how to stop. I know you don’t have the answers for me, I just needed to say what I’ve done outloud… Do you know if there is an online al-anon group? Thanks

  • Patrick

    I am not familiar with any online Al-anon groups. I am sure they probably exist though…

  • elaine

    my boyfriend drinks all the time and he imbarisess me constantly what should i do to improve his problem?

  • ashley

    i’m four months pregnant and alone. i feel like i’ve lost my best friend my boyfriend and father of this baby. he is amzing when he’s sober and he is no where to be found when he’s drunk. monday thru thursday he is perfect and then its like he become someone else. i have no idea where he is at or who he is with or what he’s doing. i beg him to just be honest but he has a huge problem. should i just prepare to b a sinlge mom and get over this or keep being the sukcer that i am and think things will change ??

  • needs clarity

    Sorry, one more question… I have been with him for 21 years now. And last night he told me he doesn’t feel any more. That if someone walked into his office and killed every last one of his friends, he would be able to sleep that night. He said he doesn’t even know how he feels about me and the kids either. But he would care if we died…. But he doesn’t really feel anything but obligation to us. I told him he wouldn’t be able to feel until he was sober. He said it has nothing to do with his drinking…. SHould I be calling a hospital or something? This is not normal right? Or is it all connected and a symptom of his Alcoholism? Does he need mental help? Or will he get better when he stops drinking? I am really worried about him. Thanks

  • Patrick

    @ Needs clarity – I am no doc nor am I a psychologist. But I do know that drugs, and alcohol, medicate our emotions and numb us to emotional pain. In fact, they reduce all of our emotions to a point where they become easier to manage.

    I had a therapist once who had a theory of addiction that said that EVERY addict and alcoholic was simply addicted to their chemical as a means to medicate their emotions. That was the primary reason for addiction, in her mind. Maybe she was right.

    When you get sober, it takes some time to learn how to deal with your emotions again, without self medicating.

    I know some addicts who have been using since childhood, they have to sort of learn how to grow up emotionally, right from scratch.

    It is always a process. Everything is a process in recovery. He is not gonna get sober and then wake up 24 hours later and be cured of every little thing. It all takes time. But I would bet that in order to fix his emotional problems, sobriety is going to be a HUGE factor, if not the only factor. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

  • ashley

    hi, my name is ashley.i have a alcoholic girlfriend that i have been with for 7 months.We have had our rough times but she has come out when she was wasted and admitted she wants help.but then she recants the next day when shes sober and doesnt say anything. She has called help numbers when she was drunk and talked to someone and the next day nothing.I dont like who she is when shes drunk and its very hard on me seeing her put herself through this. She gets depressed about her moms death and repeats the same stories over and over each time she drinks.If i try to talk to her about it she gets defensive and tells me irrationally that i shouldnt dare compare my life to hers. and then yells at me when i talk to her nicely about it and console her that i shouldnt dare compare my life to hers.And how dare now i just listen and dont say anything and she gets mad cause i dont say anything to her.It seems i cant win.And this side of her NEVER comes out when shes sober. I have never seen her cry nor does she talk about her mom.And if i bring it up she tells me she doesnt wanna talk about it.and thats how she is sober. i dont know what i am doing wrong or right and what else i should do…i wanna call someone to come get her and make her face her moms death of 16 yrs. sober.I dont see her ever getting help. she ignores it when shes sober,and when shes drunk it all comes out . she has bargained me to get her beer and i said no. i have explained to her sober that i will not get her beer whether she pays for it or if she wants it she will have to do it herself…and i dont support her alcoholism.please help.

  • L

    Hi.I have an alcoholic sister,she has tried to have affairs with my husband and my sisters husband in the past,she has been married for 20 years but cheats on her devoted husband to get attention.She has a perfect body and is highly intelligent.Yet she has destroyed my relationship by her deceit and cruelty.I have had no choice but to leave her alone as forgiving her as only humiliated me over and over again.I am a very devoted and loving person and I never,ever drink and never will as it runs in my family.It is a very traumatic situation when you have an alcoholic that you love,but they have to help themselves,her excuse for trying to sleep with our husbands was that she was tipsy.I will never understand that.Thanking everyone for listening and i really hope those with troubles gain some balance and harmony in their lives.I feel that alcoholics are lost souls and they can usually take no responsibilty for their actions.

  • http://yahoo Kathy

    I have been in such turmoil over my 33yr.old daughter’s alcoholism. She has two children 7&5 with her partner. Reading this site has helped me so much to take steps to stop enabling her & to detach, only to communicate if she is ready for help. I plan to start immediately to join a group that you suggest to help guide me thru this for the extra support that I need desperately. My problem…I want to spend time with the How can I do that & not be around her?

  • http://yahoo Kathy

    This is Kathy again about my above comment.I am a 62yr. old gramma.I am so concerned about my in this environment.I’m detaching & putting distance between my daughter,only to have contact relating to the, or if she is ready to talk help. How do I sit patient with the kids there til she decides on help. What can I do to keep them safe (she drives with them in the car),not drunk, but under the influence, & emotionally unstable at times.She is a good Mom, treats them good, but is not alert, foggy, scattered. Who am I kidding, she’s not the same. So hard to describe…dysfunctional. What can I do for the kids sake. Just pray nothing happens. I need some advice!!!

  • Patrick

    @ Kathy – The best advice for you is to get yourself to an Al-anon meeting and share your story with the people there. Two reasons: one, you need the support. And two, they can give you more pinpoint advice than what we can give on this site.

    Go to Al-anon!

    Good luck…

  • Josephine

    My boyfriend whom I live with, is an alcoholic and addict. He’s 28 years old. The consequences of his addictions so far have been a DUI & car accident, 2 assault charges & probation (got into a fight when drunk), kicked out of his MBA program, separated for 2 years from his wife & currently in divorce process, sickness/hangovers/sleeping too much, depression & anxiety (untreated of course), can’t pay his personal bills or his share of our bills as a couple (rent, electric, food, etc.) as all money goes to alcohol/drugs, he lies constantly to everyone about everything, even the smallest most insignificant things, his family has no idea what’s going on since he lies to them, he contracted a sexually transmitted disease, lost large amounts of money, cell phones & other items when drunk, often passes out drunk or just wanders around drunk & high at all hours of the morning (5am!) in our neighborhood. So many more things…You get the idea.

    I’ve been living with this for a year and 1/2. Last winter I almost lost my job due to showing up late, exhausted, not being able to function as well. Being woken up at 3am, 4am, 5am dealing with an alcoholic’s obnoxious & insane behavior took it’s toll. And, being in a relationship like this is emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually draining…to say the least.

    At first I reacted like everyone else. For example, when he called & said he’s on his way home then didn’t call or text instead showed up wasted at 5am, or we have dinner/movie plans & he blows me off for the bar or his drug buddies, or he can’t pay the rent, sleeps off a hangover all day, doesn’t pull his weight, I got angry. I expressed that it was inconsiderate, disrespectful, it’s not something you do to a person you care about, that he needed to get it together, etc., etc. I threatened to kick him out or to leave him. I cried, felt hurt, asked why. All the typical things. Drew lines that he walked all over & set boundaries that I didn’t keep. There have been times when I enabled him early on & most times I’ve said no.

    Later, as I watched him progress to drinking EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and going on cocaine binges to beat the band, we moved on to discussing treatment options & the 12 steps. I pointed out everything that has happened to him as a result of drinking/using. I discussed how to get treatment, what AA was all about, and what to do to stay sober. I am sober 11 years now, so I know what’s happening, with him, and with my own recovery, and the process.

    So…I get the same story, a broken record, we’ve had the exact same conversations over & over so many times beyond what I can write here. He says he realizes he’s an addict/alcoholic. He knows his life is messed up. He’s guilt ridden, embarrassed, ashamed. He wants help. He’s confused about why he can’t stop. He then tries to “control” it. Which we all know isn’t possible. One night it’s yes, I need help, and he goes to AA meetings on occasion, stays sober a day. The next night he goes back to drinking.

    Recently, he stayed sober for 1 month. It was bliss like at the beginning of our relationship & reminded me of what things could be like. But he went back to drinking & all the hurtful behavior that goes along with it. Now he’s up to 3 months straight of drinking every night.

    Clearly he’s not ready. And, clearly it’s affecting my life in such negative ways that I feel the only thing I can do is leave. As a sober person, I’m amazed that I’ve stuck it out this long. I’ve been in the detachment, non-reactive, non-enabling stage for quite some time. Yet, nothing changes. I’ve become incredibly unhappy. I want what we had…which is possible when he’s sober. But I don’t want what we have, now. I know that when he’s living on his own, he’ll get worse. Anything could happen. This saddens me. I’m in a state of loss about the relationship. Though, maybe he’ll hit bottom faster…but yeah, like he hasn’t had enough happen to him!? Really, what more has to happen?! Me leaving him is just more consequence of his alcoholism. None of the other consequences have mattered. He’s still drinking. I also know it’s possible that me moving out won’t help him either.

    It will help me.

    Leaving is easier said than done. Yet, I feel I’ve run out of options. Nothing changes, if nothing changes. The only thing I can do now, is let go, with love, and hope he finds sobriety.

    Thank you for this amazing website.

  • josephine

    One more thing…I’m not just giving up on him. He’s my best friend first and foremost. I go to AA & Al-Anon. I’ve long ago stopped enabling, trying to control, and being wrapped up in his problems. I’ve stopped rescuing him. I’ve sent boundaries. I practice detachment. I’ve confronted, consoled, offered help. I’ve let him know that people care, that he is loved, that he can turn his life around, that there is a way. I’ve pointed him in the direction of treatment, AA, counseling. Taught him what I know. There truly is nothing more I can do but remove myself from the situation. I just don’t want to live with an alcoholic any more! He’s in the stage where he admits he’s got a problem, wants help, but only on his terms.

  • Patrick

    @ Josephine – I don’t think I can tell you anything that you do not already know. You yourself are in recovery. And you have a very clear understanding of all the implications. Really, I can’t teach you anything new.

    But I can share my experience. And what jumped out at me in your post was his level of denial. I was right where he is at, for a long time. I knew I was an alcoholic. I would even admit to people. But, I was still trapped in my own world. I did not think that AA would work for me. I did not believe that sobriety could work for me.

    And so I admitted to my alcoholism. But I did not accept my alcoholism on a deep level. This is still denial.

    Unfortunately that only clarifies what you already know. You are right, leaving him is just another consequence, and yet another excuse for him to drink.

    I have no wisdom for you that you don’t already have. No easy answers.

    But it sounds to me like maybe you deserve a break at this point? That maybe you need to start taking care of yourself for a while? As painful as that may be to walk away from him….believe me I know. But you will get over that pain, and he will move on as well (like you said, for better or worse…..but that is not your responsibility. If you leave and he gets worse, that is NOT on you. You have to believe that!)

    Well good luck Josephine. I hope you find a way to take care of YOU. You sound like you are worth it.

  • Brenda

    I run an art studio open to the public. There is a very nice lady in the community who has a drinking problem. She borrows 2,5, and 10 dollars from me until her monthly check comes in. I can’t say no! Yet I don’t want to continue to contribute to her drinking problem. I only know her by her first name. Other than that, I know nothing about her. She seems like a kind and nice person. It is sad to see her walking past the studio intoxicated. I would appreciate any suggestions on how I help her. She did inform me that she is currently in treatment.


  • josephine

    Thanks, Patrick. I do need a break. I’ve learned a great deal about myself in this situation & for that I’m grateful but SO looking forward to moving up, on & to be frank out of said meetings. Denial is powerful. He might get worse or might never get sober. And you are right…that’s not on me. Though I know it, I really, really needed to hear that. Here’s to personal growth! And, to waking up every morning to greet yet another amazing day, sober.

  • Nicole

    My husband and I are new parents – our son is three months old. I have always been uncomfortable with how much he drinks, but recently it has really escalated. The stress of having a new baby along with stresses at work have made him want to escape, and he does so by staying up late watching TV and getting drunk. I knew that he was drinking, but he recently told me about getting drunk to escape. He knows that he has a problem. However, he thinks that he can handle this on his own and does not want to speak with a professional. If I take care on more baby care so that my husband never has to deal with our son when he is crying or when my husband is tired from work, he drinks less, because he doesn’t feel so much stress or need to escape. After reading your article, I don’t know if I should do this or not. Am I protecting him from the reality that he needs to learn to deal with his stress in healthier ways? Should I insist that he take on more baby care? I feel such urgency now because I don’t want my son to grow up with a bad example, and I also want him to have the wonderful father I know my husband would be if he stopped drinking.

  • Julie

    My son is just out of recovery and detox for alcohol.
    I don’t know what to do or what to expect from him. He doesn’t say thank you even for dinner, and I feel like I should be able to ask for that. But, I’m afraid to put any stress or demand on him at this time. I am his best friend being his enabler, and his worst enemy, so I am trying to do what’s right, but nobody seems aable to tell me what to do?

  • Patrick

    @ Nicole – Sounds to me like the situation is leaning towards the need for less enabling. Hard to say for sure though. Why not go to an Al-anon meeting and get a more pointed opinion?

    It should not be unreasonable for him to help out with the baby. Alcohol should never be an excuse for anything. Just my initial impressions….

    @ Julie – I would give enough space to see what happens next. Is he focused on recovery or is he drifting toward relapse? Life is eventually going to put stress and demand on your son anyway. Trying to protect him from any little thing is not necessarily going to spare him. That said, I would give him time to adjust, and see what comes next.

  • Julie

    He has started work again which has really seemed to have boosted his affect. Opening up more. I am able to talk to him about life stuff, and he is willingly attending meetings. I think you advice was right on. Just needs time to adjust, but can’t protect him from consequences. Thanks

  • Monica

    Hi I just got a call from my mom this morning saying that my brother is not doing good. He has locked himself in his bedroom for the last three days drinking 5th after 5th. He told someone that it was becuase he has nothing left his girlfriend left him because of his drinking and he is so far in debt plus hes going to jail for a while. We’ve offered to get him some help he dosen’t want it he says that everything will be ok. The thing is two of our family members have been is this sittuation before 1 ended up killing himself and the other one drank himself to death. I dont want to find my brother like either one of them. Please help me..

  • Julie

    I am so sorry for the situation. You will be in my prayers. Remember, God is able to do above and beyond all that we can comprehend. When my son did this, I called the sheriff to come and do a safety check. They got him to open up and talk. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kathy

    I am sitting here waiting for my alcoholic husband to arrive,,,we have been split for over 3 months with no commmunicaion,,he was so angry at me for asking him to leave..He has been verbally abusive, locked me out in the winter, tried to throw me down the stairs and the list goes on Here I sit waiting for him,,because the last 3 months were HELL. I love the man who when sober is amazing, caring, oh so giving, loving and the list goes on,,, I have been to AlAnon meetings and have grown in the aspect of learning to know who I am,,because Ive never lived alone…I know I shouldnt be sitting here but Im 61 years old and would rather be happier with the wonderful guy,,then go thru the torture of the last 3 months,,Im crazy,,,Everysite I have been on never ever says stay and work thru it and put up with it,,they say get out,,,run..let him go for help,,but even if they do go for help..they never seem to get better,,,Im praying he has a plan for our future,,if not,,I will never return living with him. Ive grown in every aspect,,I still love him,,,Anyone else feel this way??

  • Julie

    Detach with love is one of the teachings of Al-anon. But when there is physical abuse involved it is hard for anyone to tell you what to do. I will be praying for you because I know a loving, caring, God that has a perfect plan for your love and your life.

  • Amanda

    I am 4 months pregnant and my boyfriend (the father) has a drinking problem and keeps telling me that he is going to stop but never does. He lies about it and tries to cover it up anyway he can. I feel like he is cheating on me with alcohol and it hurts. I want to help and I want to marry him and start a family but it is just getting worse and I dont know what to do… does anyone have any advice that would be useful?

  • Julie

    You love him, go to Al=Anon meetings. They will teach you to detach with love. Remember, you cannot stop his drinking or change his behavior. It is a disease, that he needs to WANT treatment for. Blessings on you and your baby.

  • Jason

    I read a lot of posts on this site but I think my situation is somewhat unique from the rest of the postings and I really need help with this. I have dated a girl for over 2 years and she has had massive legal issues before she met me that I did not know about. A few months into the relationship her legal issues surfaced when she got a D.U.I in my car after getting into an accident and since she had prior warrants out for her arrest, she was booked and jailed. I paid for her bond because there were 3 counties that had a warrant out for her arrest so I bailed her out of each one and paid her legal fees because she was not working. She promised to get help but after she got out it seemed like she was not serious about the help. Over the next year and a half the drinking continued along with the craziness which occurred almost on a weekly basis. We were living together in an apartment that I rented in my name and what forced me out of the apartment was her violence and breaking the apartment windows along with an embarrasing family vacation so I ended the lease and moved out. She went on to stay with 3 other people as a roommate and one of the rooms I paid for as well as a hotel room for a week but the drinking continued. Over the next month for whatever reason she always had conflict where she was at and left the places she was staying. We still talk and see each other from time to time but now she is almost homeless because she can not stay at her sisters house anymore because it is too crowded.

    My question is how can I help someone who is about to be homeless without enabling them anymore because she says she has no one else to turn to but me to help her out and there is no way that she can live with now. She was actually homeless for a day until her sister let her in but her sister has a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 other people staying there already. I dont want to enable but I also do not want to see her living in the street because I still do care about this person and their well being. Help


  • Julie

    Jason, she can go to her local Mental Health Dept. and they will admit her into a treatment program. You could take her, but if she doesn’t want to go and doesn’t want to change, it won’t do any good. You can provide the info, but she’ll need to make the steps. For your own sanity I recommend Al-Anon. It is for people who love alcoholics and for who life has been changed because of the alcoholic in their life. Good luck.

  • http://google nicole

    my best friend just told me “im alcoholic and my life has hit rock bottom and i think i might die soon”.

    what do i do or say to him???

  • Susan

    My husband is working out of country, while he is working he drinks a lot, he normally phones me while under the influence and starts an argument. When he is at home he is the loving husband that I have known for 40 years. I realy don’t know how to handle the situation, anybody out there that can give me some advise? I don’t want to argue anymore.

  • Desperate Wife

    I am desperate for help.My husband is an alcoholic and went through detox in April. Then rehab for about 70 days. Almost immediately after returning home he began to drink again. He takes xanex, lexepro, and most recently Campral. In August he got a DUI and I told him he had to leave our house till he stopped drinking (we have two young children). He went to his families house and stayed sober about 3 weeks. Said he needed to be closer to children and me so he moves in with a friend and starts to drink again. That’s when doctors added Campral. He went back to Family house Oct. 10th and was sober and doing very well. (btw the family house is about 2 hrs away from our home. Came home a week ago for a short visit and decided to look for an apartment nearby to be closer to kids and look for a job. I found hidden alcohol bottles in house two days after he was here but suspected the day before that. He went to apartment and now is drinking and hanging out at bars and with people he has just met. I am scared he will kill himself because the judgment when alcohol and pills are combined is so terrible. He wont listen to reason when we say he needs to go back to parents house (which is the only place he has been sober)He was irritated with me for not letting him spend time with kids this weekend but I didn’t because I knew he was drinking and I told him this. I feel out of options. Please help.

  • Karen

    I’m glad I found this article altough it is too late for me. My brother was an alcoholic, he passed away. Being his sister, I was able to have some detachment to his behaviour. I wish I had given him more support and had been more persistant in telling him how much I loved him and providing support in doing simple things like going out to the cinema or shopping trips, just having some fun. Everyone else kept going on about his problem but I wish I was the one person he could just be himself with (his non-alcohol self). Having something to look forward to or make him happy might have given him a reason to stay sober.

  • Alyssa

    Hi Patrick,

    My 31 year old brother has been an alcoholic for more than 11 years now. We conducted an “intervention” with him almost 5 years ago, where he willingly enterred a 28 day treatment program. I believe his sobriety lasted 3 months following his treatment.

    We have tried everything with him, supported him, fought with him, confronted him about his drinking….at times you can get him to admit he has a problem, other times he feels there is nothing wrong with his actions.

    We’re at the point now where we cannot emotionally deal with the turmoil anymore. My parents and I have not had contact with him for over a month. Short of him calling to ask if “we’ve cut him out of his life” we have had no contact. This has been almost unbearable for us as we are an incredibly close family. Would you say that this is a path we should stay on. Should we have the conversation with him and tell him that we cannot support his choices anymore and are no longer willing to accept his denial of this disease. Is this what is referred to as detachment? Do we cease contact with him or will that be seen by him as a threat?

  • Patrick

    @ Alyssa – well according to the experts at Al-anon you can still detach from someone and love them at the same time. Doing so is not easy, especially when they are self destructing.

    I would urge you to never give up complete hope. But, at the same time, I would also urge you to protect your own sanity FIRST, before you sacrifice the emotions of your family to the destruction of your brother’s disease.

    There are some in Al-anon who would probably agree that you are on the right path and that you should shield yourself even more from him. At some point, you have to put your own sanity first.

    But, never give up hope. My family never did….

  • Tina

    My husband is an alcoholic . He goes on these drinking sprees where he is drunk for the entire night then he wakes up and leave for the entire day and comes back sloppy drunk. He has been to rehab for a month and he did good for 2 months and now he is back at it. I have three kids, age 11, 8 and 2. He is an angry drunk and I don’t think it is a good environment for the kids with the cursing and getting in my face. He agreed that he has a problem but he is ok with it because that is him. He comes from a family of drunks and marijuana smokers. I am not working so I have to wait until I get on my feet to leave.

  • Jo

    I am giving up drink because I want my husband and kids to be proud of me and I love them so much.

  • Jo

    Well I fell off the wagon last night and I am absolutely disgusted and ashamed of myself. I am more determined than ever now to pull myself put of this.

  • Ron


    I found your website today while trying to figure out how to cope with a bad situation and found it enlightening but I’m still struggling on what I should do for myself or if what my girlfriend is telling is her way of saying she’s reached or is close to her point of surrender.

    My girlfriend has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for 12yrs. Over the course of those years she has had several accidents (one of which she’s lucky to be alive), multiple arrests for dui, and arrests for dealing narcotics. She’s been through diversion programs and home incareration for some of these offenses, still abuses and her friends are all enablers. I am not innocent of that either because I didnt realize how bad she was until recently. I have sense stopped drinking because it’s not important to me and never has been and I just want to do whatever I can to promote a healty environment for her.

    We have been on again and off again several times in the last five years and recently got back together after I had not seen her in a year. I had been blind in previous years to how excessive her use was and behaviors because of it but it has recently come to light how destructive her behavior has become.

    She drinks daily and on most days it is not a large amount (I’m not justifying it), I assume she is just trying to take the edge off, but on occassion something insde her triggers and she loses total control. When it happens she has a complete lack of regard for her well being or if she hurts herself, her actions, or any legal consequence that may result from it. She leaves and doesnt come home until the next morning, (she went to jail a month ago on one of these excursions) It came to a head the other night when she took off in my car in the middle of the night completely wasted and no valid driver’s license and didn’t come home until the following afternoon looking completely strung out. I ignored her for a day and when I finally spoke to her tried my best to be compassionate and maintain composure, telling her what her drinking does to me and our relationship. She wrote me a letter acknowledging she has a bad problem and wanted to get better. She stayed sober for three days but last night said she couldnt take it and had to have a drink. She said she wants to stop and became emotional but doesn’t think she can and I’m to a point where I don’t know what to do for myself and what I should do for her if anything.

    I need someone to tell me what to do for myself and if there’s anything I can or should do for her.

  • Charly

    My mums a severe alcoholic and has been for 4 years. Its become gradually worse. She has cheated lost her job and put me and my dad through so much pain. Shes mentioned taking her own life a couple of times and has injured herself in so many ways. It is making my life awful, and i cant live like this. I really need help.

  • jaz

    PLEASE could i have some advice! i have been with my boyfriend for 9yrs, living together for 5yrs. He has been a ‘functioning’ alcoholic since i moved in with him, maby longer in our relationship but we were both young so it seemed normal to drink a bit. Im only 22 now and he is 28. During our relationship he has had depression, which he still gets every winter, lost his licence drink driving for 2yrs, has been rushed to hospital for an emergency opperation for stomach ulser, partly due to drinking. He is currently working full time, he drives a works van locally so is able to come home alot. He will drink around 6-8 cans of beer before i finsh work at 3.30pm! While going from job to job, (and more at night) he does this EVERY day dispite nearly losing his job a year ago from drinking affecting his work. I am so worried as we have just got a mortgage together. Please can somone direct me on what to do, my mum was an alcoholic for 8years so i have been through this before, iv tried talking, he gets angry or feels sorry for himself, but refuses to admit hes an alcoholic or its even a problem, please im in dispare. Thank you for reading this.

  • Patrick

    @ Jaz – no easy answers for you, he sounds like he could potentially keep drinking for many years, regardless of whether you stay or leave the relationship.

    I would hit an Al-anon meeting yourself and ask for advice. If that does not help, find a different Al-anon meeting and ask for advice again.

    Try to convince him to go to rehab.

  • Monica

    My husband is an alcholic. We have separated, he tells me he goes classes but im sure he is lying. He still drinks and surrounds himself with other drinkers. I have given up on him. He now is begging me to help him and that he cant do it without me and says he wants to change. Blames me for not putting my foot down. My question is, am i suppose to help him? or isnt this something he needs to do on his own? Doesnt he have to help himself? (ps i have supported as much as possible in the past. ) Or is this the alchohol talking? any opinions?

  • jaz

    thanks for the reply i wil definatly go through with that in the new year, and try my hardest to convince him he needs to go too. Although he has had cbt for depression before and it worked but he doesnt think it works for alcohol? Last night felt like small steps in right direction as he opened up 2me but still had a drink :( fab site by the way i will keep in touch if thats ok? Jaz x

  • http://none Alison

    I told myself today, “I don’t really know how to help my boyfriend who is an Alcoholic, I need help.” In reading this I have learned a lot! First detachment and not fueling the fire. I will go to Al-Anon meetings as well, because of past episodes I have issues I need to address and find a way to either put to rest or deal with. Your article and readings of others reaching out has given me hope. Thank you so much!

  • Ruth

    I’ve recently learned that my 67-year old boyfriend is drinking 3-5 drinks a night. Does that classify him as an alcoholic? He’s always kind to me and does his drinking at home alone by himself. He doesn’t think his drinking is a problem as, he says, people in other countries think that this is normal.

  • Lesliel

    I just don’t understand how someone who was so commited to recovering can just quit going to meetings, calling his sponser and not worry about drinking again. I don’t know how much i can take.

  • Laura

    My mother is an alcoholic. I’m twenty years old and ever since my step father committed suicide when I was seven my mother drinks at night. Only at night and not every night, but frequently enough that I believe she is an alcoholic. She has countless times embarrassed herself in front of family and friends and passes out on the counter or in front of the computer all the time. My sisters and I have kept it to ourselves for many years, when we were younger not really knowing what to do. But now that we’re all older and wanting to help, we’re trying to discover just how to help. We’ve numerous times over the years talked to her about how we feel and about her stopping and supporting her, and she constantly promises she’ll try, but it never seems to hold on. She has gone through so much in her life, and lost so much, but this isn’t the way to deal with things and I just need to figure out how to get her help. Apart from already having talked to her repetitively, how do we help? And who do we go to for help, as this isn’t something many people really know about.

  • Miriam

    My husband comes from a family of drug users. Thankfully my husband stop doing drugs, however he drinks everyday at least a six pack. He doesn’t think this is a problem. Between his smoking and beer he spends easily $300 a month when I show him the bank statement he thinks I am over reacting. He doesnt get angry or violent.. He does fall asleep on the sofa and pees on himself still he doesnt think he has a problem I really worry about his future physical health. What cab I do?

  • Ginger

    This is a great website. I’ve learned a lot. My husband is a functioning alcoholic. I’m wondering how to handle situation such as family functions, where I know he will drink (he takes his own cooler). Should I just not go? We rarely go anywhere any more b/c I do not like to drive locations that I do not know well and he cannot go without drinking other than when he is working.I would hate to miss family functions b/c of his drinking and driving. If it is one of his family functions, there are no family members that live close by that could take me and let him drive separately.

  • Ruby

    My ex-boyfriend, but still very close friend, is in the middle of a serious bender right now. He’s had terrible problems with alcohol for some time now- almost dies from it in fact. He refuses to seek help. Tried a very expensive treatment center which didn’t work, and says AA is not going to work for him. I tried to encourage a personal therapist but he puts it off. He should be in the hospital when he gets like this because his DTs are very dangerous. He always refuses.

    When he’s not drinking he’s in deep denial, admitting there is a problem but insisting he can do it himself.
    I love him very much and am worried sick. I’ve gotten better at detaching somewhat and this helps immensely, for me. I am planning on trying to get into an Al-Anon group tomorrow, but I am still worried for his safety.

    All of you out there, please don’t try to shoulder the burden on alcoholism all on your own. It almost crushed me. I saw in an Al-Anon book a line that I find painfully accurate. I can’t remember the exact wording but it said something like “We become addicted to the alcoholic much like he is to alcohol.” Or something to that effect.

  • lucy-mai

    I have recently discovered my father is an alcoholic, he knows this is a problem for himself but does not seem to care. After reading this article i have understood that he is not ready for treatment but in the same sense i cannot see how any of these steps will help him in the long run. He is not any different from when he is sober as to when he is intoxicated; therefore i cannot see how i can detach the disease from his normal self. Secondly, both my family and myself have not enabled him in any way to continue; he has his own business and can afford to purchase alcohol and transport when required. Finally, the only way that we have reacted to his disease is by confronting him once and offered our help and support. How can i help my father?

  • Brittney

    My brother is 27 years old.. He drinks at least two or more liters of Vodka every night.. His health is rapidly getting worse..
    My family has been deeply affected by his drinking, This has been going on for three years now. and we dont know what to do anymore. My brother is the sweetest person you could ever hope to talk to.
    Amazingly smart, funny and kind. He knows he’s hurting his family and it causes him to drink more. He refuses to seek help, feels it makes him less of a man.
    He thinks he can do it himself, he is constantly thinking up ways to “beat the alcohol”. He tries to combat the drinking with vitimins, keeping hydrated, and refusing to eat anything with perservitives.
    Whenever he falls into another round of drinking, he thinks he has this fool-proof way of beating the hangovers and withdrawels. He believes if he weines himself off of the drink the right way,
    takes his vitimins and drinks enough water, he’ll be ok.
    Im so tired of watching my family hurt, and fall apart over alcohol. Please tell me what to do..

  • Mandy

    I have been with my husband for 7 years. We have two children together and he has relapsed about 2 times now. He still have his job but he is so rude to the children and I and I told him when he was sober that I wanted a divorce. No he was totally changed his tune and wants to seek help. I have no intentions on stay I want to leave for myself and my kids. I have no feelings left for him but i want him to work together on a family plan for our kids and respect each other for them. What are the risks for staying and giving him another chance? I don’t want my kids to be damaged anymore than what they are.

  • Dan

    My former professor is an alcoholic. He’s a friend of mine, and he was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Recently, he’s been verbally abusive (e.g. commenting on my sex life, contradicting himself intentionally to break conversations). He has also been engaging in slightly unethical behavior that could have consequences on his job, including living with a student (just a friend) and making fun of several students’ papers with other students (which is against several university policies, if not the law).

    He and his wife are separated. His former best friend, another professor, recently moved away and cut off all communication with him. A very nice young man from one of his previous classes recently died. His father is currently dying, and he will receive the inheritance. I am afraid that if his behavior gets worse or if my alma mater finds any current information, he may lose his job, in which case he will have a lot of money and nothing productive to do. You know what that would lead to. Last semester, he allegedly went to several of his classes hungover, and even mentioned it to his students in one class. Still, I think his teaching is an incredibly important part of his life, and could be a powerful impetus for getting him out of this mess.

    So far, I’ve been very polite and reserved with him, shrugging off the occasional abuses as bad jokes. Several other current and former students are aware of his predicament, and I believe that all of us are willing to help. As a former student, and one still waiting on a letter of recommendation from him, I’m in an awkward position. However, this is a great man, and I am very scared for him. In addition to the excellent advice on this site, how should I approach an older friend and former authority figure?

  • Julie

    You could perform an intervention. I would research this through your local AA and see how it should be done properly. Ultimately, as much as we care for the alcoholics in our lives, he is not your responsibility. Loved ones or close friends make their own choices. You did not cause it, you cannot stop it, you cannot change it. When he hits bottom he might want to change. Go to alanon group for help for you. It helps to restore your sanity and clarity, as you are so emotionally involved. Good luck

  • jaz

    things have got worse in the last two weeks, we have just brought a house and my partner has been suspended from work because he left safety defects on jobs hes been too. As i said before he drinks at work and this is proberly the reason he has messed up! It doesnt look as though he will keep his job, he is just at home drinking even more, not even bothering to look for another job. We will have a mortgage to pay soon and i cant afford this on my own at all. I dont know what to do? Im sick to death of waiting to see what he will mess up in his life next, he got very drunk last night and we had a massive arguement, he started throwing things at me and telling me i was a selfish bitch that im useless, i never support him and im crap at my job and not fit to work with children as im a teaching assistant. He also started calling me Hitlar and a natzi dictator when i asked him to wash up seeing as im at work all week and he hasnt been for two weeks! I dont know what to do anymore or if i even want to be here, but we have brought a house. I feel trapped please can somone give me advice?

  • http://Internetexplorer Sandy

    I was loosing my sanity because my soon to be x-husband of many years would not ask or accept help with his alcoholism even though he had been in and out of rehab. And I could not understan why. I understoond it was a disease. It is only when I filed for divorce that he went to rehad and said he finally “go it”. He said that the reason he could not ask for and accept help was that he would have to admit that he was what society viewed him as. Quote: “The point is, society views the alcoholic as a misfit, a person of low moral character, a weak willed spineless person, scum of the earth, one of God’s mistakes. Books, movies, TV shows and magazines confirm this view. This message is presented to us throughout our lives. Most of society believes it, and, unfortunately, so do most alcoholics trying to find sobriety”.

    He said he finally realized he was not a bad person and learned how to accept help.

    Do you view this as another excuse?

  • Ruth

    My boyfriend is an alcoholic, he acknowledges this and accepts he needs help to stop, when he is with me he can usually last 5-10 without a drink when he returns home he immediately starts drinking again and i don’t see him until he is forced to stop drinking, usually because he runs out of money or is seriously ill (he’s been admitted to hopital several times through drink and has attempted to take his own life. I don’t know how to help him, he is seeing a counsellor but seems to start his binge as soon as his meeting is over. He feels he has no control over his drinking at all despite being able to stop for several days at a time when with me. He wants to move in but i won’t allow that until he stops. What should i be doing, he the most wonderful man sober, drunk he doesn’t move, speak or eat just sits or sleeps. Its tearing our relationship apart.

  • Cassidy

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship with someone I met 6 months ago. He’s in Ireland, I’m in England. He’s an alcoholic and just started recently getting help. I have always been the one to get on a plane and visit him because he has his own business and can’t get away as easily. He wants to visit me but says he can’t afford to….because he spends all his money on booze. Is it fair of me to be resentful of this? It makes me really upset and angry that he’d rather drink than see me but then I wonder if that’s not a good way to think about it. I don’t want to abandon him when he maybe needs me most but I don’t want to enable him either, ie be with him when there is clearly an imbalance of energy and effort being put into the relationship.
    Can someone with a severe alcohol problem possibly have the energy to put into a new/long distance relationship. We really care about each other and he just started getting help but I’m just not sure what to do. ANy advise?

  • DS

    Dear Patrick, I have been in turmoil for many, many months now. Its only recently I have come to truly understand what enabling is and that I have been doing it big style. My ex boyfriend is blaming me entirely for his drinking problems since we split up in May last year. Since then he has gotten into trouble with the police several times, lost his jobs, lost his rented place, ended upon the streets, stolen my mobile phone, smashed my car window, he says if I take him back he can sort himself out but not before. I’ve given him over £5000,00 over the months to buy food and because he will not leave me alone and has made me very frightened many times that it is just easier to give him the money. A couple of months ago I got him into a housing scheme so he was off the streets and they are trying to help him with his drinking but to me its just getting worse and I’ve had to take him to Accident and Emergency 3 times for detoxes and a bleed to the brain from an alcohol related head injury. He is in blackout alot and becomes extremely verbally abusive and threatens to destroy my life if I don’t help him, then the next day he says he really loves me. I am a complete emotional wreck and I feel like I am going insane. When I try to stand up for myself and tell him its not my fault this has happened he says it is my fault and I feel terrible. I have never felt pain like this in my life and it is seriously affecting every part of my life, I am withdrawn, I hardly see any friends and I have lost any self self esteem I had left and am very depressed. In the meantime I am desperately trying to hold things together. In the middle of this I had been caring for my father who suffered a near fatal motorbike accident and my mother diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully both have made full recoveries. A week ago he turned up at my house in a blackout and I was so frightened I called the police. They quietly moved him on and the next day he had no recollection. Something snapped in me and I have broken all contact. He sends texts regularly, sometimes saying please forgive me, I am so sorry and sometimes saying he will take me down with him. What I thought was trying to help him get back on his feet I realise now, through this website, is enabling, and now I feel guilty about that, that I made matters worse! Every noise makes me me jump out of my skin and I am constantly looking over my shoulder. Its no way to live. What I am very worried about at this moment is that he may have to leave this housing scheme in a few days which would leave him homeless again and he has made it clear he will come looking for me to “fix” the problem, whether I like it or not. I would really appreciate some advice on how to handle this should it come to this. To be honest I feel like running away.

  • Jess

    My sister and I have been struggling to get our mom to quit drinking since we we’re little. To sum up our current problem now, we are worried about her dying any day now, it is that severe. About a year ago she had a blood clot so has been on cumadine (sorry about the spelling) ever since, the doctors have finally been notified (by my sister) of her alcoholism, as they are treating her for numerous things…..fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, and now the blood clot to name the majors. As you may know, you cannot drink alcohol on these kind of meds, namely the cumadine. Therefore she has gained an enormous amount of weight now, and the doctor has let her now that her levels are so off she may need to take her off the cumadine…in which case she has said many people get another blood clot and her risk of dying is greater. Our mother still refuses to believe she even has a problem, and we have recently realized her mind has omitted actual events of arguing and replaced them with other thoughts; ie, a fight between her and i where she bit me and i never laid a hand on her was changed into i beat her up…the examples are numerous, her memory is horrendous, and we see she is a huge danger to herself…..we live in CT. What do we do? Intervention made her want us out of her life….she is technically disabled so sits at home and drinks all day…3 forty ounces a day of king cobra which is pretty strong….absolute denial and severe health issues….we can’t sit here and let her kill herself anymore, we just can’t

  • PJ

    New to this website and this is a first time post….I’m coming up on my 3 month anniversary of sobriety but I haven’t been going to AA meetings which some disagree with. I had a job but no longer have it or financial stability which is a huge anxiety/stressor on top of legal (probation responsibilities) that I must also adhere to.

    This all leads me to my current dilemma. I’m living with my father who is (*gratefully) allowing me to eat and live with him at no cost. However, this is becoming more and more of a problem as time goes on. I have tried to listen, bend, adapt or change as much as possible for him because I am in his household but it never seems to be enough.

    Am I alone in this? He isn’t the kind of person that can discuss things rationally. He gets angry and verbally lashes out with name calling, threats, etc (when dealing with me, not others; that I know of). He also flip-flops on things relating to how long I can live with him. At first he says, “why don’t you live here for three years rent free and just pay utilities, needs, etc” then tonight he says, “you’re ‘lease is running out very soon”.

    I have enough stress in my life right now and especially at this stage of my life in recovery when I need to focus on priorities and my future. What is the best way to deal with this type of person or personality, especially when it’s family (in this case a father)?

  • http://reader readder

    I would just like to comment about NOT tolerating an alcoholic’s verbal abuse. You HAVE to tolerate it when they are drunk! I cannot imagine it any other way without 911 being involved.

  • http://Yahoo Jake

    My grandfather is an alcholholic. He tends to be a bad drunk, he gets mean. He wasn’t a very good father to my mother so she stopped talking to him. It’s been four years, and yesterday I left a letter on his front porch telling him I miss him in my life, and that I want to give him a second chance. All I asked in return was for him to quit drinking. I no this is ATON to ask of him, but he’s so lonely, and I want to make a difference in his life. I also left my cell number on the letter. I didn’t think hed call me, but today I had a missed call and a voicemail from him. He told mr to call him tomorrow, what should I say to him. How can I help him?

  • http://google Loritta

    I just let my husband back home from a halfway house.
    A week later I regret it. He asked to come home. He
    had a very good attitude and the housing where he was
    at was not very good. So I allowed hime to come home.
    A week later he back at it again.

    I realize just living with me in the same house enables
    him to relapse. I need him out of the house now. I know
    he will continue. I hate to throw him on the street with no where to live, but I can’t stand him there. He
    doesn’t help me in anyway and It’s like dealing with a very spoiled 3 year old child. He is very strong willed
    and I don’t want to have to get mean, but he needs to go and he will not on his own. I liked the advice you gave. He has a way of putting me in a position that if
    I don’t help him or if he doesn’t get his way, I’m the one who will suffer.

  • Judy

    Hi there,

    This is a great site and I have been reading a lot of the other posts and responses and will continue to do so in my search for help with my situation.

    I have been seeing a man for 8 months now, and have come to realise that he has probably been a functioning alcoholic for the last 25 years, following a couple of traumatic incidents in the 1980s, including the deaths of his parents and his best friend.

    We don’t live together, although he spends most nights at my place with me and my 2 year-old child. We have had alcohol-free periods (a few days at a time here and there), but now, more and more, a glass of wine over dinner turns into two or three glasses for me and several bottles for him and on at least three or four occasions occasions he has started drinking wine first thing in the morning. With a young child, this situation obviously cannot continue.

    Recent retirement and not having anything to do would seem to be something that has precipitated an increase in his drinking, as well as having started a relationship with a social drinker like me (after not having been in one for many years). Before we met he apparently had his own routine (a few beers a few afternoons a week and (allegedly) nothing when he got home).

    He is not a mean or violent drunk. In fact, when drinking, he is more exuberent, imaginative and funny. But when he passes that point where he has had enough, he becomes repetitive and incomprehensible (such as thinking I am one of the characters in a television series we are watching, and turning to me and telling me what I should do – as if I were that character) as well as getting shaky on his feet and falling down. He forgets most of the things we have done or talked about when he has been drinking. He is 65 and has other health issues which the drinking is not going to help, like diabetes.

    He accepts that he has had a problem, and that once he starts he cannot stop. He has of his own valition gotten and filled a prescription for a pill which, if you take it, makes you feel very sick if you subsequently drink. I think he has been using this type of pill on and off for over 20 years – maybe taking it for a week or two and then stopping and drinking again. I suspect he probably had issues with his work over the years related to his drinking, but he managed to function as a lawyer, judge and senior administrator for a long time. But now, with the void of retirement, there is no job forcing him to get out of bed in the morning or provide a reason for not drinking on an almost daily basis. He has no children, close relatives, or friends who live nearby. He has basically been living the life of a hermit and now he has a loving home to come to where his company is enjoyed and he is liked, appreciated and loved. He wants the situation to continue.

    After discussing the situation on an off over the last couple of months, he has agreed to try and stop. At first he said he would try and stop for two weeks, and then in the same conversation this figure increased to 6 months. But basically, TODAY is the beginning of SOME period of sobriety. That period probably should be for all-time – a fact that I also have to come to terms with (ie. the loss of my fun drinking buddy).

    (The day is almost over and he is still asleep following the two-day binge which was triggered by setting a date for stopping). When he wakes up he is going to be feeling pretty low and worthless, and on top of that facing a promise of sobriety….

    WHAT CAN DO TO HELP???????

    – Stop drinking myself??

    – At LEAST stop drinking with him?

    – Should I expect him to fall off the wagon?

    – If he does, how do I deal with it?

    – How do I respond to all the apologies and saying how worthless he is?

    I have on my hands a man I love very much, who may well be on the brink of changing his ways, and I really really really need some guidance so I don’t let my own grievances about past binges (or even future lapses) get in the way of him making a go of it.

    Any advice about what I can do would be appreciated.


  • Judy

    Message to Jake: Good luck with your grand-father. I am looking for advice about how to help a drinker myself, so I’m sorry but don’t really know what you should say to him. But I do think that reaching out to him is a really great thing to do – the sort of thing you might have regretted NOT doing in the future, so good for you! Sometimes grand-children can reach a grand-parent much better than their children can (ie. your parent). There isn’t the same load of baggage or expectations there – which can go both ways. You may or may not be able to help him, but at least you’ll know you have tried. Good luck!

  • Erin

    I don’t know what to do anymore.
    My mom is an alcoholic and my dad has a job where he leaves for 10 weeks at a time. From what i’ve assumed, my dad is almost like my moms savior. he met her at young age when her drinking, and i think drug problems, were at its worst, and with a 1 year old girl, now my 17 yr old big sister. My dad came from a family that just barley made meats end, and my mom came from a family where things were handed to her on a silver spoon. As far as i know, my mom started into drugs at a very young age, like 13 or so. Since I can remember, my mom always had her evening drinks, and was in bed at like 8 or 9. Shes had on and off jobs, and she recently just quit her job working at our local soup kitchen and food bank as “Food Bank Coordinator” For the few years she worked there, I thought she had seen people who had it worse then her, that she had a loving, functional family. We definitely don’t roll in money in my house, but we’re not up tight about saving. She had a few drinking binge episodes while she was still working at the food bank, but she recently admitted to me that she quit her job so she could stay at home while my younger brother, sister, and I go to school. Ever since her first bad episode about 3 years ago, weve kept all alcohol out of the house and for a while she went to meetings. we’ve offered her a long-term rehab program, but its really not plausible because of my dad’s job. Also since then, she doesn’t drink at all when my dad is home, and I obviously know that she does when my dad isn’t home. A few days ago she went on a binge while my dad, brother, sister, and I went skiing for the day. We came home, and she was drunk as any of her other binges. This is the first time my dad has seen this in a long time, or even ever, i don’t really know. He doesn’t really go out of his way to say anything to her, or act on the situation, he just always lets it go. My brother still doesn’t really understand it all, but my sister and I do. We really want help her. Any advice would be great!

  • Leah

    I am dating an alcoholic and she is very caring and there for our family when we need her financially, but she never knows when to stop drinking and makes excuses for her drinking because of her past. I have dealt with people like this in the past and i am ready to bail. I have a hard time dealing with people like this, and i feel that i have to give up a life that i never had of hanging with my friends and drinking socially now because if i do then she will feel it is ok to drink. i am unsure what to do in this case..i know that i should just halp her but im not sure how to because when i bring it up she becomes stubborn adnd hostile,,,

  • Judy

    ps. After all the great promises, he had two days of sobriety and now it’s on again. I have quit social drinking in support, which means that my sense of smell is even more acute and I can smell that sweet sickly alcoholic smell more keenly. I feel like I am at war with an invisible force over which I have no control. I practiced the don’t react strategy today. Also declined the invitation to go to the bar with him, even if I were to just drink coffee. Then I just left him in town, knowing he’d get blotto, and feeling an overwhelming sadness.

  • lib2b2011

    My partner is an alcoholic and this is wreaking havoc upon our relationship. I am trying my best to love her and be there in whatever way that I can, but I have just about reached my limit. I am working full-time, going to grad school full-time, doing an internship… each and every night I am kept awake into the wee hours of the morning (2, sometimes 3am…) because she is up drinking, playing music loud, slamming doors and cabinets…*sigh*. I am at my own wit’s end with this situation. She has a lot of pain from the past that I know she is trying to deal with, but this is so not the way to do it. I know that and she has even said it isn’t the best manner, but this is a disease… I grew up with an alcoholic father (…she did too by the way…). It is hard to practice a “hands off” sort of strategy because that opens up an entire range of events that leaves you feeling like you should have done something to prevent it. For instance, she sometimes goes to the bathroom and falls asleep on the loo… a few times I have been awakened by the sound of her falling off and plowing head first into a cabinet we have in there… perfumes and everything within crashing into the bathtub. Or being awakened by her calls for help and going into the bathroom and seeing blood everywhere from her trying to shave her legs…. or her sitting in freezing cold water after running out all of the hot water. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I feel absolutely powerless and trapped.

  • lib2b2011

    I know this is not a site to actually get advice (…or at least it doesn’t seem to be), but hopefully my experiences shared will at the least let someone else know they are not alone. As I stated in my previous post, I am at my wit’s end with my partner’s drinking. She literally blamed me for her problem… a problem she has had since before we even started dating. I recall when we were just hanging out doing normal “friends stuff”, she would drop me high and dry to make a run to the liquor store. I just thought okay, maybe she is having a party or something. Little did I know until we started living together.. she is going through a 750ml bottle every 1 to 2 days. :o( It scares me to no end to imagine the damage she is doing to her internal organs with that amount of drinking. She made a statement last night, pretty much saying that when you see someone in trouble you reach out and do something. What am I supposed to do in this situation? Force her to go to rehab??? I have read not just on this site, but a slew of others that all say the same exact thing…. you can’t force an alcoholic to go into rehab, or to stop drinking or to do anything they are not ready to do. She still won’t admit that she has a problem! So the feasibility of getting her to go to rehab, is definitely a “cart before the horse” situation. I am trying to be positive and hang in there, but right now and I know this will sound extremely selfish, I have enough of my own worries… how to hold on to my job because I arrive half asleep because she keeps me up all hours of the night with her psychotic behavior…. how to keep up with my graduate studies… try reading this level material with music blaring and someone banging crap non-stop! If things don’t show some sign of improvement, I hate to say it, I may have to leave her. God knows I love her with my whole heart, I do… I need her to seek help. All I can do is keep praying for strength, wisdom and courage… for both of us.

  • http://NA RJ

    Alcoholic blogs are B.S.

    Something quite significant happened to these people, and no one wants to face it.

    All the placating, self-righteous mumbo-jumbo is pathetic.

    Alcoholics are possessed by the futility of human existence.

    Foolish celebrations, elaborate facades, extreme experiences and trivial diversions are worthless to such souls.

    Make life really matter and alcoholics will cure themselves. Otherwise, save your tears for yourselves because reality is coming for you as well.

    No sadistic God, masochistic savior, intellectual clown or distressed relative is going to stop an alcoholic from drinking.

    Alcoholics are fully conscious souls of earthly reality.

    The rest of humankind is blind, deaf or dumb. Dah—apple.

    Unless you can change the universe, do not ever try to modify an alcoholic’s mind.


    P.S. Delusion is the only saving grace of humankind. After all, who would consciously birth a child to death or attempt to change the outcome of eternity, but creatures of masked instinct?

  • gina

    my father is an alcoholic. he recently lost his job this summer and has been getting worse and worse. he has been in and out of treatment twice now but always checks himself out saying he will be fine. He seems fine for about a week or so until he has a time where he gives in and drinks or does some sort of drug. i don’t know what to do anymore and im scared he’s going to kill himself. I try not to get mad at him but all i want to do is cry when he is under the influence. i am at a loss of solutions. so ANY solutions or help would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  • sheri

    I have decided to take steps and wrote a letter to my husband telling him how unhappy i was because of his drinking and that i can’t do it anymore, he needed to make a decision to change things or go our own ways. after reading this i will no longer go pick him up at the club when he needs a ride cause he is too drunk. i have always felt guilty if i didn’t and something happened but i believe now thats the only way to make him wake up

  • Tbjwb

    Truly great advice, I appreciated it. Briefly, my family member doesn’t have times of sobriety, he is too ill with alcoholism. He will/is die(ing) as he continues, but I can’t stop it and he can’t stop it. Being at the point of death isn’t a point of surrender for him, which, I guess makes everything hopeless?!? (especially for those of us concerned with his soul after death.)

  • Ben

    Hi my name is ben and i am 18 years old, i lost my mum to alcholism on the 29th of december 2010. She was a great mum to me and my little sister but she was always a bit of a drinker, it all started to go down hill when my grandad got cancer three years ago she was getting drunk most nights, and then she lost her job becuase it was moving to a new town and she could not drive. a year on and her drinking got worse to the point i was comiing home from school and she would be so drunk she could not stand up this drove my dad mad who would come home from work all day to find me and my sister trying to cook dinner for him, we all tryed to help her by taking her to the docters to AA meetings but she would come back drunk from them she thought she was better then them becuase she was samll and it only took a bottle and half to get her really drunk when she herd other saying they drunk bottles of vodka and whiskey she thought she was not as bad as them. we all tryed to help but in the end my dad gave up he moved out every now and then becuase the police was comin round eveyday to bring her home form where they found her drunk he could not take it my lil sister went to her friends house and i stayed with my mum most of the time. she was in and out of jobs for three years but after a year of my grandad having cancer he past away and we thought mayby this is the big kick up the arse she needs to sort it out but it made her worse.after three years of not doing anything as a family all the holidays ruined by my mum drinking to much in the day and getting out of her head at night and wondering off in to towns and stuff while we was abroad. at the start of december while my dad was in ireland on a trip with work and my sister was at a friends house i came downstair to talk to my mum who had been pretty good over the weekend i noticed that all her skin and eyes had gone yellow and she couldent move because of a pain in the side of her back. i told her to phone an ambulance and it came and it took her to hospital i was alone with her for the whole day luckily my girlfriend could drive to take me home. i spent a month everyday with my dad an sister an all my family going up to see her on the first night her heart had stopped due to the pressure on her lungs due to all the bleeding she had from her spleen which sharrted from where she fell down the stairs when she was drunk, she was moved to the intensive care unit and i never got to hear her voice again. a whole month she was lying there on the bed hooked up to so many machines i could not hug her with out setting alarms off everyday she looked worse she a couple of operations for one week it looked like she was going to make it but becuase her liver had been damged so much by drinking and her kidneys where so bad they could not do much more . so on the 29th of december we had already stayed over that night becuase we was told she wasent going to make the night but she did but after 2 in the afternoon we was told there was no chance so me and my dad and sister and all my family had to round my mum watching all the machines count down to zero i sat there for three hours holding my mums hand knowing when three sets of numbers hit zero she will be gone forver knowing i could do nothing at all to save my mum made me feel useless it was the worst thing i have ever been through in my life and it will stay with me forever i love my mum she was great but those 3 years of police round my house the fights and arguments that december of 2010 where i spent chritmas day round a hopsital bed with my mum who couldnert even look me in the eys to tell me she loved me or to hear me say i love her is the worst thing posssible to go through. i know there will be some people on here who may suffer from alchol or know someone who suffers from alchol i know what it is like and you have to think about your familys your kids, brother, sisters, mum and dads what they will have to go through becuase you cant lay off the bottle i know it is hard for some but to see what i have seen at my age i would not wish this on my enemys or anyone in the world this will stay with me foever.

  • wendy

    my boyfriend is, i guess you would say, a functioning alcoholic. I don’t drink at all myself, i find no need or want to. i see what is does to other people and i don’t want to go through that, not even a buzz. we have been together for over a year, almost two, and off and on for the last 4 months or so mostly due to his drinking. he believes that he can’t have fun without drinking and he recently told me that his family “accepts” his behavior.

    his mom is the biggest problem, she is the main enabler in his life and she has basically made him force me out of his life because i don’t “understand” him and i don’t “really care about him” the way that she does. we lived together for a short period and this is when i really saw how bad his drinking was. he would come home from work already drinking and continue until he went to bed. i can almost never tell how his mood is going to be, he has never been violent with me, but he goes from loving me like crazy to hating me over something as simple as putting something where he doesn’t want it.

    every single one of our fights have taken place while he was drunk or when i tried to talk to him about his drinking. i love this man more than anything in the world, but i don’t know how to reach him. i have tried everything that i can think of, but it’s made much harder now that he isn’t talking to me at all because i was crying and telling him that he was killing himself with the amount that he drinks and i can’t watch it happen to him anymore.

    i’ve read some of the other posts, and it really makes me feel like i’m not alone. i just needed to vent and maybe get some advice. i love him so much, and i’ve slowly watched him change into a person that i don’t even know anymore. thanks for reading.

  • S.

    My boyfriend is an alcoholic.

    I have tried detachment and my life is a lot less complicated now.

    I am, however, a bit confused with the behavioral aspect.

    If he is calling me awful names and saying terrible things about me to my face, am I supposed to just NOT react?

    What would be a healthy thing to say?

    Or should I just ignore him?

    Any action I do (ignoring/leaving the apartment) is immediately followed by a relentless stream of awful text messages from him.

    I sat here tonight listening to him begin to call me horrible names. And after the 3rd name… He seemed to stop and look guilty.

    Then I just walked away.

    I wish he would hit rock-bottom aready. If he never does, then its death, jails, or institutions.

    He’s like Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde. I miss him so much. And I can’t even tell him that I miss him or care about him because he will verbally attack me and tell me I’m full of shit.

  • Chantelle

    Hi my husband has been drinking for some time now and he has made his mind up on giving it up I had an operation two weeks ago today, and when i had it he said he has to stop drinking we have two kids ages 10 and 6 years old and they see what goes on all the, time and they are the ones who feel it the most and they are only kids they should not got through it at their ages, they should have a life where they can talk to their dad when they need to talk to him when they need him, he has been through a detox last year he did seven weeks without drink which i thought was really good and they say he will be able to do it again as he has done it before, so i am hoping that this time it will work he said he wants to go onto Antabuse this time to help him not to drink which i think is a good thing and he needs the support as well to help him through it.

    I have had it where he verbally attacks me and calls me names under the sun which i have got used to it as i have had to protect my kids i think that is why i am like i am a stronger person for it, i don’t take anything for granted i am a kind of person who will try help others if they need the help but when one of you are an alcoholic it is harder because one of you have to keep the peace between everyone, so yes i am a person who has lost all hope and i am only hoping that i can be that strong for him when he goes through it again we always let him know that we all care about him no matter what but if he does not stop drinking he is going to cause himself really damage to his mind and body.

    I miss the man i married 11 years ago he was full of fun i just want that back i love him so much i would do anything for him.

  • Kimberly

    Hi my name is kimberly my boyfriend is drinking everyday he say he has been that way since he was 11 yrs old he has been in and out of jail since a teenager his mom was not there for him when he was growing up but this is my situation when i met him he was drinking but i didn’t know it was this bad he gets violent sometimes he takes his anger out on me and the kids all the time on Mother’s day he broke my finger he tells people he did not mean too so i believed him and stayed he has brused my kids up a few times cause he don’t know his strength when he drinks he has choked me till i bout passed out he has been to jail for DUI a few times i got him out everytime i tell him i will leave with the kids and sometimes he say he will kill me but it’s not as bad as it’s been he has stop hitting me he still takes his anger out on the kids and he fuss at me for any and every little thing i do or don’t do now he says he knows he drinks alot but he wants to stop cause we can barely make the bills around here we have 5 kids small kids at that he says that everyday he tells hisself that he will not drink today but then he get’s off from work and there he go all over again and he always make me feel bad for hiding money from him what should i do cause i have about reached a point of giving up i use to fuss about the drinking but somehow i don’t do it anymore i even find myself going to the store for him at times cause i fear him he knows he has a liver problem and no insurance and he is also bipolared with no meds but i don’t think he will ever stop am i wrong for giving up on him now please help me with this

  • Jane

    I have nothing to say, we all have the same stories. In a blender, this trait here, that trait there…’s all the same. The alcoholic breaks your heart and ruins your life. How long do you hold on? Until you can’t anymore.

  • Don S

    My girlfriend has been an alcoholic since she was 18. She recently turned 36. We have had a backward relationship whereas I began taking care of her from the start and she clang to me as she was ending a 4 year relationship.

    I was her support and would always be there for her. As time passed we grew closer, yet I moved away to another state. We have had daily contact and I would visit with her. Our relationship grew.

    All of a sudden I noticed a personality change in her only to find out she met another guy who was also providing her with pills and drinking. I stayed close, yet was lied to about it for months. I then found out that he was manipulating and enabling her with more drugs and booze.

    When she found out I knew she ended the relationship with him and clung back on to me. We got past the lies and mistrust and I proposed to her.

    Two weeks after I proposed she and I had not seen her as I was back home she entered an extensive rehab program. She called me everyday after I proposed and I did not notice her drinking. She admitted the night before rehab was to start that she had been drinking since I had left.

    I told her I was proud of her and would step aside and wait. I have been on pins and needles since. I know it all takes time. I know she wants sobriety and things we talked about. But, what will they tell her in rehab? Will I be put on the shelf?

  • Anonymous

    @ Don S – I think you would do well to go to an Al-anon meeting and tell them your whole story, see what they would have you do. Lots of details in there and no clear answers. I would think about postponing further developments with a person like that until they had more stable sobriety, but that is just an opinion of course. Good luck to you.

  • Stanley Sellers

    I’ve recently got back in touch with an old childhood friend of mine, only to discover that he’s struggling with bipolar disorder and turning to alcohol and drugs to help himself. He’s 19 and in college, though he’s not sure what he wants to do with his future; he really is a very lost soul. He is gay, and his experiences as a young adolescent were quite traumatic, as he lost all of his friends when he came out to them, and he’s scared of telling his parents. He recently lost his virginity to a guy he met online, on a website advertising one-night stands, and all of his sexual encounters since then have been similar in nature. He’s emotionally needy, but has never had a stable relationship. I’m really worried about him; he’s failing at school, he doesn’t seem to want to do anything except drink when he’s down. On St. Patrick’s day, he blacked out after about 3 PM, but that ended a week-long session of binging. He was planning on restarting it again tonight, but I managed to talk him ’round to taking a nap instead. I think I’m the only one of his friends that is actually worried about him. What can I do to help him? The first thing to address would be his fear of coming out to his family, which I believe is a cause of his disorder, as well as getting over the internalized homophobia that I suspect he harbors. As for the bipolar, he either refuses to take meds or claims how badly he needs them. I’m really stuck with his case, and any help would be appreciated.

  • Judy

    My partner has been alcohol-free for about a month now. I don’t expect smooth sailing all the way but am feeling pretty positive. I think that not drinking anywhere near him is helping and I have a measure of detatchment in my back pocket in case he falls off the wagon. But here’s hoping!

  • Tracy

    I have a brother whom I am most concerned about, he is a very heavy drinker, drinking 4 to sometimes 5 nights a week alone. I’m not sure how to help him,or what to say. can someone give me some advice please

  • Debbie

    My husband is a everyday drinker. we have been together for almost 4 years.When he drinks and gets mad he takes it out on me and things get out of control.I love him but he needs to stop drinking or i am going to leave him. I have told him this before but it never worked he always went back to drinking. I just told him i will leave him if he don’t stop drinking again on Monday. We have kids together.Everything is good till he drinks. I can’t take it anymore !! What can I do?

  • Sarah

    My sister has been an alcoholic for over 10 years (although my mother hid it from the rest of us for many years).

    We know that past events in her life contributed to her drinking, and counselling sessions haven’t worked. She has never seen a professional for help. And we don’t even know now who COULD help.
    Yesterday she took an overdose. She is supposed to take anti depressants but is often too drunk to take them if it’s left to her to remember. She has only recently been asked by the family to move out, and took the overdose after only being in her own home a week.

    When drunk it is difficult to ignore her behaviour. She becomes desperate for attention and talks non stop. To anyone who will listen. If you try to listen and appear interested you eventually become irritated (the conversations are very repetitive and quite often involve blaming people for various things, or simply name calling). If you ignore her she can become angry and often aggressive (throwing things, punching people etc). Neither reaction seems to work.

    As soon as left alone she drinks. And quite often gets arrested for fighting or being drunk in public. She also now appears to hallucinate, and sometimes talks to people who aren’t there (when drunk), and even now in hospital one instance of it happening when sober. We were told this was withdrawal, but as far as we know she’s never had withdrawal symptoms before.

    She says that she doesn’t want to live. This is her FIFTH suicide attempt.

    How do you deal with an alcoholic who is also depressed (as I presume most are?). How can you call the police / ignore them when they start kicking the door down, and you know they’ll be arrested and never have a chance to find work due to having a crminal record ? How can you call the police when they punch you, and you know this time they’ll end up in prison and be much MORE depressed. And when they are almost ALWAYS drunk, how can you enjoy a normal conversation where you can try to discuss the depression ? How can you let them live their own life and be detached when the first thing they do is empty the contents of the medicine cupboard into their stomach the moment they are left alone ? Thanks

  • Sarah

    PS We are in the UK, not the US. The only help here apears to be the AA. She used to just go there drunk if we didnt take her ourselves, and afterwards complained that everyone just talks about their past. She stoppped attending as it seemed pointless.

  • Sarah

    Also, if someone needs money for bills in their first home, as they aren’t used to budgeting and made a mistake (maybe they spent it on drink, maybe they didnt). You just can’t be sure. Either way they are short of money, panic, decide enough is enough and decide to end it all. How to you live with the fact that you didnt help them ??

  • Sarah

    Along the same lines – if they have moved out and turn up at your house (obviously in a state where they could put themselves in danger, and are possibly hallucinating). How are you meant to react to this ?

  • Lindsay

    My father became depressed a few years ago due to money troubles. He started drinking heavily, although he has always been somewhat of a heavy drinker. He now drinks many bottles of vodka a week. He is a very quiet man and we have never been extremely close that we would share our feelings so it is hard to confront him and talk about it to him. He has 5 kids and a grandchild and still seems to act like he hasn’t got anything to live for. I’m angry and upset at him and really want to help him out of this dark place he is in, I just don’t know how to even bring the topic up! Only him and my mother have spoke about it, he just pretends it’s not happening to the rest of us in the house.

  • Lindsay

    P.s, my dad is not violent in any way and does not ask for money, in fact he works 7 days a week! I just really want him to stop being drunk all the time, we never see him sober now.

  • Brenda

    My husband of 24 years is an alcoholic. For almost 2 years, he has been out of total control. He quit a great job, then started a new one, then was fired from that job for not going to work. He has been stopped by the police twice for being passed out in his truck under a bridge – drunk. Then arrested for PI. I told him I was filing for divorce because I just couldn’t handle this anymore, and that wasn’t the first time. This was after I was gone out of town for a few days and he isolated himself and didn’t go to work and was drinking large amounts of alcohol. He didn’t feed our animals – and I had had enough. I actually filed for divorce and had him served at this point. Since then, he passed out while driving and hit a building because his potassium level was too low. They though he had a heart attack, but was not able to determine that for sure. He then isolated himself for several days in hotel room, and I had him taken against his will to a hospital for treatment. His BAC was .384. I told him that if he came back to the house, since he refuses to go to rehab, that he would need to attend AA, and go to the doctor, etc. He was released from the hospital on a Monday, and attended AA on a Tuesday, and came home drunk. So, I told him he had to leave. He has been gone for 3 weeks traveling from Texas up to North Carolina, and is now somewhere between here and there…. I talk to him almost every day – he normally calls me. He wants me to drop the divorce and act like everything is OK. I am very worried about his well being and everyone else on the road that may pass him – because he does drive drunk. I want to help him. I know he is sick. I know if I told him to come back he would if I drop the divorce proceedings. I don’t think he will ever change, especially because he blames everything on me and nothing on his alcoholism. I have tried Alanon meetings in our area before and didn’t get much out of them. I really would like to move on with my life, but don’t know exactly how to handle it because he is so emotionally draining to me and on my mind all the time. Any advice???

  • Brenda

    After reading several of the previous posts – many of the same stories – I realize that I’m not alone. Many people suffer from the same things that I am suffering from…we all want the alcoholic in our lives to realize and see their problem with their addiction. I know the person that my husband actually can be and the person who he has become…two very different people.

    I have had and still having a very difficult time with detachment from my husband. Always hopeful that he will see the way to a better way of living with out drinking. He has isolated himself from all of his friends – in fact, I do not think he really has any. All of his family live out of state. I have taken on ALL the responsibility since he is unable to control his drinking and it is definitely taking a tole on my own sanity.

    I truly believe my husband is in the last stage of his disease. It’s very sad. Although I do not believe that he is suicidal, I do believe his disease will kill him or he will end up in prison, because I’m afraid he will have an auto accident and kill someone. I wish there was a way to make him see that he has a real problem…I know have to detach myself…but it’s so hard.

    The fact is that he has to make the decision to change and I have to make the decision to move on with my life without him. After 24 years of marriage, it’s not an easy decision to make. I read the Serenity Prayer everyday and still wondering when I will accept the things that I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    May everyone who reads my post have a stress free day – or even an hour or two of peace. It’s comforting knowing I’m not alone in misery – that there are people out there, just like me!

  • Marji

    Our 30 year old son had an brain injury requiring 2 craniotomies 6 1/2 years ago. Since then, his drinking has increased to the point of insanity. In the past 3 weeks he’s been in an emergency cardiac intervention unit with potassium levels below 2.0 and dehydration the worst they’ve ever seen. They released him after keeping him on adavan for 3 days… he started drinking again the next day. I hauled him off to what I thought was a rehab center (vista bay), but was just a house where they gave him adavan for 3 more days. He left and started drinking the same day. He’s been drinking for 3 days straight now. The hospital told us if he drinks, he’ll die. I’m so sad. He’s such a good person lost in this nightmare. I don’t think he’ll live through this week if we can’t stop him somehow. Help.

  • aparna

    hey this is aparna,
    my dad is 50 and he is an alcoholic n i dont know how to tackle him after he is drunk ,becoz then mom shouts n every thing gets messed up at home. he actually is a very introverd kind of person and when we try to hide his bottle or kind of stuff he threaten us n we then have to give up our tries …………so plz help me

  • Brenda

    Aparna, I’m no expert – that’s for sure – but, when my husband was in rehab, we were told not to hide or pour out the alcohol. The alcoholic will find a way to get it. The only thing you can do if he threatens you is call the police. At that point, if he is intoxicated, he most likely will be arrested and released when he sobers up.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

  • Marybeth

    My son, age 23, lives with us. I think he drinks to cover up the pain of failure and his feelings of not being worthy of our love-never getting the college degree or reaching his true potential-having been in trouble. Binges on the weekends, drinks almost daily during the week-usually a 6 pack. My husband can not detach him from his behavior. I am a firm believer that the best way to handle it is to let our son handle it and keep praying. He is in debt, works a job where he gets $10/hour, has difficulty paying his bills. Goes to work every day he can but his job is weather dependent and when raining he is off without pay. ALWAYS has a girlfriend-pretty, intelligent young ladies with goals for their lives—go figure—they stick around for 6 months to 2 years then there is a new one. Hides in his room or at the gf’s house when off work. My father has been sober for over 40 years. My brother drank himself to death at age 42-5 years ago. Are we enabling him by allowing him to live in our house? My husband wants to give him the option of getting help or leaving our home—but also does not want to finance the help. I am not sure kicking him out is the answer—he will be homeless. I think we need to find a way to lift him up—not kick him when he is down. As you can imagine this is definitely affecting our marriage.

  • Kathy

    My father is an alcholic and everyone in my immediate family pretty much knows it. He is in denial. He works 6 days a week and is old fashion and very stubborn. He’s reaching a point where he came home the other night with his chin cracked open and had to be taken to the emergency room for stiches. First he told my mom that he got into a fight to get her attention because she usually ignores him when he wakes her up drunk at 4am. But once she saw the blood and gave her attention, he said he fell. My parents have a hard time communicating which does not help. They both have had painful lives. I don’t know how to help him or my family. I’m afraid he’s drowning his pain away and that he will end up deteriating his health if not get hurt. Please provide some guidence…

  • Ali

    It is helpful to read all of these comments and find similarities with my situation. My 50 year old husband has only just this week admitted that he has a drinking problem. it has been quietly going on for the 20 years I have known him. I have been concerned but his behaviour was not terrible until recently, where he has been publicly drunk in front of friends and family. he was ashamed enough to admit privately to me me he has a problem, but he is also too ashamed to go to AlAnon, although i am going tonight, with or without him.
    I love him,, but his behaviour is making me hate him, and i cannot, or do not know how to detatch. we have 2 children who know he has a drinking problem, and i worry about its affect on them. I was a smoker and quit after 30 years, which was the hardest thing i have done, so i understand addiction, and I know i cannot make him do something he is not prepared to do himself. However, i am having problems with the detatchment and love issue. I will not leave him for the sake of the children (right now anyway). anyone have any advice?

  • Annette

    My husband of 25 years has a drinking problem. Over the years he has gotten into a pattern of drinking a lot then being sober for a while and you would think everything was okay. Even when he only has a couple of beers he changes personality he becomes very mean goes off on tangents talking about things that are completely silly and over the top. We have four children and as they are becoming adults they are starting to see what their dad is like when he is drunk and it is making them upset. Over the years we have had some hard times through his drinking (I have been able to hide it from the kids as it was never bad enough for them to notice) but also some fabulous times when he is sober. When I compare him to other people that drink I feel like I am being hard on him because he doesn’t seem to drink as much as them. However I can’t stand him anymore when he drinks I don’t like the person he becomes and I’m tired of living with someone that has to be drunk at least once a week and semi drunk 4 out of 7 days. The last straw was on my birthday where my husband and kids took me out for dinner. My husband was drunk before we got there and abused the waiter. I told him the next day that he had to choose between me and the drink. Of course over the past few weeks since he has been drinking and trying to hide it. My daughter wants to talk to him about it as he has had goes at her while he is drunk. Sorry for the long essay? Am I doing the right thing by letting her have a talk to him or is that just going to make it worse. I don’t want to leave my husband, apart from the drinking he has been a wonderful husband and father, but I hate him when he drinks. Please help?

  • Chantelle



  • Patrick

    If you are struggling with a friend or family member who suffers with addiction or alcoholism, then you can find help and support in the forums. It just takes a second to register, or you can browse the comments there without signing in at all. Thanks!

  • Jennie

    Marji I pray that everything worked out for your son and you and your family. I am curious if he has recovered? If so please share as I am dealing an alcoholic boyfriend approaching 30 that is facing the exact same stage in his life. He was recently in a recovery center he was sober for three days following his discharge. He then managed sobriety for 7 days and now is back in the vicious cycle where it can go on for days on end. Thank you & God Bless!

  • Martha

    My daughter is an alcoholic, the worst thing you can do is to completely lose contact with them.
    By threatening divorce or to desert them is absolutely not going to work.
    Tough Love don’t work .
    You have to let them know you love them but you cannot tolerate the drinking binging. You have to make them believe that rehab is their idea and not yours even though its your idea.
    Voice tones are important and persistence.
    when you lose contact with your loved one and wait for them to call you its not going to happen.
    My daughter was found collapsed in her house because her family members did not call her or try to check on her. She felt deserted and alone. If she had been there a few hours later she would have died. My daughter has seizures and has health conditions. This sight does not specify what if our loved one has a heart condition I think this makes a difference in how often you check on them. Alcoholism is a disease. Depression walks hand and hand with this disease
    .Don’t abandon your loved one

  • Martha

    enabling is when you give them money…… If you pay the light bill yourself its not enabling because the money is being paid directly to the light company not to them. so many times people are confused with the term enabling.
    If your loved one is hungry buy the groceries yourself.
    Do not ever give them Money directly! If your loved on is Sick Please do not leave them alone!
    This will cause the to drink more unless you know for sure the are CLEAN!

  • Martha

    Mary Beth Your son needs you right now, I would suggest going wit him to his out patient meetings .
    I always say never kick a person when there down.
    Mary beth Alcoholism is a disease.
    You need to give him the tools to handle his drinking benging and help him discover what the triggers are.
    There are free programs in your state google “free alcohol counseling. ”
    Churches sometimes hold meetings. I agree that you will not live forever but this is he time to act and help him help himself.
    Take control of finances and have him help you pay the bills in your house since hes living with you . charge him rent. Good LUCK!

  • Martha


  • Martha

    Release the Bondage Brenda, Claim your life back. He needs to know you love him unconditionally and that you cannot accept the fact that hes drinking.Tell him to meet you half way and at a local alcoholics date at the support group .Show up and give him your support if he don’t show up than you have your answer.You Must work together to help him and use unconditional Love. Do u remember the vow for better or worst? Sometimes it takes the worst to get better.

  • Martha

    I have a lot to say on this subject because My daughter is an Alcoholic has beat her addiction. This bull marlacky of saying abandon your loved family member or friend does not work. If you divorce them they still have the problem You must work with them unconditionally and encourage them to stay with the program no matter what! Make it think its their idea and not your own.

  • Martha

    Let me ask you this
    Would you leave your Alcoholic friend or family member in the middle of the worst neighborhood in Houston and abandon them?
    Would you Leave your friend or loved one in the worst neighborhood in Houston or Loredo or even Chicago and say now your on your own?
    Would you abandon them in the middle of a busy intersection standing in the middle the street as cars are coming at them?
    I would think not!
    Abandonment and seclusion is not the answer WAKE UP AMERICA!

  • Amber

    Martha – if it were all as easy as you make it sound, no one here would be having the problems they are having. People have freewill and a right to reject this unconditional love. Happens everyday. So your alcoholic rejects it – then what? For better or worse does not only apply to the non- alcoholic and the alcoholic has very often long since given up on their end of the bargain.

  • Lin

    Martha – I strongly advise you to read “Codependent No More” and attend some groups like Al Anon or CoDa. It’s lovely that you want to reach out and give advice to so many, but that isn’t the right advice for everyone and everything. Maybe it’s the right advice for you in your situation, but others have to make their own choices and the loved one of the alcoholic is a person with rights and needs just as the alcoholic is. Who are you to suggest the possibility that the alcoholics needs are greater? It’s noble, the idea of putting yourself aside to help that sick person in your life, but it’s also draining, unfair, and not always wise or even necessary. While alcoholism is a disease…and it gets likened to things like diabetes etc., it is NOT completely the same.

    Maybe you haven’t truly been affected by someone else’s addiction the way some of us have. If you had, you would know how offensive your statements are. Some of us have been cheated on, had our spouse’s steal our vehicle and money in the middle of the night, to leave us raising children with nothing to feed them with and no transportation for them, all in the name of an addiction. You have walked you path and lived your experiences, but those experiences aren’t the same as everyone else here. Each person has to find their own limits, their own truths, their own path.

    As for enabling…enabling is also the things you claim it not to be. Why would you pay a light bill for an addict who spent their money on booze instead of paying their bills. All you are doing is rescuing them from the consequences of their choices…their actions. Buying them groceries has the same effect.

    If the addict applied the same desperation and persistence to finding solutions to their problems (i.e. finding the money for that light bill or for food) as they do to finding their drug of choice, they’d never need any help at all, would they?

  • Amy Biewald

    Thank you for this posting. It is the clearest and most informative instructions that I have ever read and heard about what to do for an alcoholic. Many thanks!

  • ann

    my brother is 31 my dad died three ago suddenly. he has turned into an alcholic he is drinking all the time and getting out of control. he is insulting people we know and making a show of us.
    if we say anything he just goes to the pub. there is no getting through to him what do we do can anyone offer me some advice.

  • Mad R

    my brother aged 62 has become a severe alcoholic in the last 3 years with several near death experiences. He is now epileptic and lives alone. we have tried everything to get him back into rehab. He is living in our family home. it is very distressing to visit him now and it not only affects our family relationships but impacts on my happiness to stay there and visit old friends.I am terrified that he will forget his medication, fit and choke to death.His fits are severe. Yet I am aware that enabling him is counter productive. But I find it impossible not to try and support him in taking his medication as the consequences – death is not going to help him change his behavour
    Please advise

  • http://HowtoHelpanAlcoholic Helen

    My partner is what they call a functioning alcoholic. He holds down a job. He drinks and drives far too well and has never got caught. Recently we went on a 2 week holiday and neither of us touched a drop of alcohol the entire time – so this proves to me he does not physically need it. That almost makes it more hurtful because it means he CHOOSES to drink, in some way. In rare moments of lucidity he has said he understands he is damaging our relationship, putting our future at risk etc. But still he drinks. I know all the detachment theories and the discipline of not enabling and I think I’m quite good at it. But it’s been 2 years now. After the holiday, day 2 he went straight back to the bottle. Next morning he behaved as if yesterday was just a normal day. I am at my wits end. When he is sober, he’s wonderful and he’s the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. But if he carries on like this he is putting everything we have (not just what he has, but me as well) at risk. If he loses his job, we may lose our home. Any advice gratefully received.

  • Lonnie

    My brother started drinking heavily about a year ago. Been married about 3 yrs to a woman he dated a long time. From the outside, their marriage looked perfect. Then I started hearing rumblings of unhappiness, no sex, health issues, no intimacy, loss of attraction, etc. The woman, kinda quiet and loyal type of church lady, seemed ok. My brother, though very dedicated to his wife, seemed unhappy with some elements of the marriage. He was never much of a drinker. He smoked weed but had slowed up on since marriage. However, we noticed he poured a cup every evening after work. He complained a lot about work, seemed to be unhappy with his career path and that he wasn’t making enough money. Also complained that he was getting any intimacy at home. His wife has a pretty stable job, makes good money. Then, we started noticing that his phone calls were negative, he was always complaining and aggressive and cursing more. He used to be a gentle kind of guy. About a year ago, I acknowledged that he was drinking too much and started mentioning that I was concerned about him about his behavior, actions and the emotions he expressed. I suggested counseling, for him and for his marriage. He dismissed my concerns, saying all he needed was a better job, better pay and more intimacy from his young wife and he’d be fine. His wife, who didn’t open up much to us, did say a few times that he was drinking more and that she thinks he may need someone to talk to because she wasn’t sure how to handle it. I suggested she start going to couples therapy for herself, and maybe he’d join her. She went a few times but didn’t continue. He never went himself. This year, more evidence of the drinking appeared. Speeding tickets, more arguments with her and her family, coming home most evenings drinking, fussing and blaming the wife for everything. He spent all of him time at home with her. Then it happend. He came home one day, drunk and fussing. He got aggressive with her, not hit her but enough fussing where she felt uncomfortable. Then she yelled, and told him to get out of her house. He snapped. Hours later, he was arrested for simple battery and simple assault. The cops said they didn’t see any evidence that he hit her, but the fact that the house was torn up was enough to arrest him. He had turned up sofas, thrown dishes around and basically ramshacked the house. He is out on bond, waiting court. He staying in an efficiency and working. He’s miserable -going between anger and missing his wife. When he’s sober he’s crying and missing his wife and his dog. THen he drinks and his tone is different, more aggressive and more angry. He doesn’t have any real buddies other than her male friends who accepted him as their friends. He’s working and staying in a hotel but is crazy expensive. He keeps the room dark and cries a lot, and gets emotional and depressed. It’s hard to get him to come out of the room and go places. I have to go get him, and often times he backs out. He said he needs time alone. Most of the time,he’s drinking. He has an appt in a couple of weeks to see a counselor but I sometimes feel he’s going to miss the appointment. I suggested AA meetings to go to until his court date. He has not initiated that process yet. He ackowledges that the alcohol is a problem but seems to still blame a lot of his situations on the fact that his wife wasn’t intimate enough, and that she didn’t talk to him and make him feel loved. He felt like he did a lot of emotional sacrificing for her, especially since she has diabetes and has to eat a very limited diet and she has a lot of “episodes” related to that. I am single and live with my boyfriend. We are moving into a larger home, to accommodate my elderly mom and his child. I have been feeling pressure to forgo moving again with my boyfriend, and get a place where my brother can stay and live while he’s going through this. He won’t be able to afford the hotel for long. And he learned that his job is going to end at the close of the year. Now he has an open criminal charge so he’s not sure how that’s gonna affect work. I am torn. I want to help him and I wonder if being cooped up in that hotel room is doing more harm than good. I sometimes feel his misses the “homely” feel and living with people could help. However, I don’t know if living with me and my boyfriend would help, especially since he has some negative concerns about our relationship and my boyfriend is concerned about the drinking and his long term job situation. I help him look for affordable apartments but right now he is in such a “standstill” waiting for court, he doesn’t know if he should rent a place or stay in the hotel. His wife has had NO communication with him, which is driving him up the wall. I try to encourage him and tell him she’s following the court order – no communication. But he said he feels lost, and out of sorts. I write all this to relieve stress in myself. I am open to suggestions on what I can do to help and be supportive without enabling. I love my brother (he’s my younger brother) and I want him to survive this. Help

  • maria

    Here is my experience to the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage. I really love Louis so much that i can not even do without. I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because i loved him with all my heart and didn’t want to lose him but everything just didn’t work out… He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded, cried and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful man who eventually helped me out with spell… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used herbs… Within two days he called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should spread my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… NOTE THAT he will ask you to pay a small token amount of money to get the materials to work for you. You can email DR SANJAY via (sanjaylandofsolution606@gmail . com) Don’t give up just yet, the different between “Ordinary” & “Extra-Ordinary” is the “Extra” so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it.

  • Rachel

    Just wundering if anyone can help please.
    My boyfriend is a alcoholic and just been recalled back to prison so will be getting help with detoxing but i am really worried about him does anyone know if and how i can find out if hes ok.

  • julei lucas

    After I and my lover spent about 4 years together, my boyfriend told me that we can not be together. and already We were making ready ourselves to get married this year and I was very happy and absolutely ready to marry him. this breakup started when he went a little far from the city where I live, a year before. He found a good job out there. And he promised me to come back in one or two years. In the mean time, I found a job around his place (we take it as a good opportunity for us to start living together) but the company I worked for resist to leave me since I am a responsible person in the company. They offered me a very nice salary increment with huge responsibility of work. Then I told to my boyfriend I preferred to stay where I live and work, since, he has not a plan to live there forever. He was very upset at the moment… and ignored me totally. I tried to contact him but I can’t. Following so much effort he sends me a message saying “our relationship is over”. I never expected such a thing to happen, so I got sick. Even after so much begging he allow me to see him, but told me the same thing that it is over. I asked him the real reason. He said, you never listened to me, you never gave me credit, and you disrespected me…..and so on. I never noticed such a thing in our relationship before, so I got shocked and couldn’t say a word in front of him. For me our relationship was perfect. And I really love him. I want to be with him. I send so many letters saying I’m sorry, I tried to contact him but there is no reply. I did everything to attract him and live with him forever but nothing was going through. so I needed a help on how to get my lover back. I had the feeling that he still loves me, though he did not say a word. I needed help seriously. I thought it will never possible to get him back and be the happy couple again? so when I read testimonies about {} I contacted him and he told me that my case is a simple one to solve, so after his consultation and casting of his spell my boyfriend emailed me telling me he was sorry for all that he did to me, that he is ready to marry me now, I was shocked, I never believed that Dr Zaza could make such thing to happen with his spell, today I am getting married to my boyfriend, and I will never forget this spell caster I will always talk about him anywhere I go angelina hocombe. Via +2348103508204

  • julei lucas

    After I and my lover spent about 4 years together, my boyfriend told me that we can not be together. and already We were making ready ourselves to get married this year and I was very happy and absolutely ready to marry him. this breakup started when he went a little far from the city where I live, a year before. He found a good job out there. And he promised me to come back in one or two years. In the mean time, I found a job around his place (we take it as a good opportunity for us to start living together) but the company I worked for resist to leave me since I am a responsible person in the company. They offered me a very nice salary increment with huge responsibility of work. Then I told to my boyfriend I preferred to stay where I live and work, since, he has not a plan to live there forever. He was very upset at the moment… and ignored me totally. I tried to contact him but I can’t. Following so much effort he sends me a message saying “our relationship is over”. I never expected such a thing to happen, so I got sick. Even after so much begging he allow me to see him, but told me the same thing that it is over. I asked him the real reason. He said, you never listened to me, you never gave me credit, and you disrespected me…..and so on. I never noticed such a thing in our relationship before, so I got shocked and couldn’t say a word in front of him. For me our relationship was perfect. And I really love him. I want to be with him. I send so many letters saying I’m sorry, I tried to contact him but there is no reply. I did everything to attract him and live with him forever but nothing was going through. so I needed a help on how to get my lover back. I had the feeling that he still loves me, though he did not say a word. I needed help seriously. I thought it will never possible to get him back and be the happy couple again? so when I read testimonies about {} I contacted him and he told me that my case is a simple one to solve, so after his consultation and casting of his spell my boyfriend emailed me telling me he was sorry for all that he did to me, that he is ready to marry me now, I was shocked, I never believed that Dr Zaza could make such thing to happen with his spell, today I am getting married to my boyfriend, and I will never forget this spell caster I will always talk about him anywhere I go angelina hocombe. Via +2348103508204

  • julei lucas

    After I and my lover spent about 4 years together, my boyfriend told me that we can not be together. and already We were making ready ourselves to get married this year and I was very happy and absolutely ready to marry him. this breakup started when he went a little far from the city where I live, a year before. He found a good job out there. And he promised me to come back in one or two years. In the mean time, I found a job around his place (we take it as a good opportunity for us to start living together) but the company I worked for resist to leave me since I am a responsible person in the company. They offered me a very nice salary increment with huge responsibility of work. Then I told to my boyfriend I preferred to stay where I live and work, since, he has not a plan to live there forever. He was very upset at the moment… and ignored me totally. I tried to contact him but I can’t. Following so much effort he sends me a message saying “our relationship is over”. I never expected such a thing to happen, so I got sick. Even after so much begging he allow me to see him, but told me the same thing that it is over. I asked him the real reason. He said, you never listened to me, you never gave me credit, and you disrespected me…..and so on. I never noticed such a thing in our relationship before, so I got shocked and couldn’t say a word in front of him. For me our relationship was perfect. And I really love him. I want to be with him. I send so many letters saying I’m sorry, I tried to contact him but there is no reply. I did everything to attract him and live with him forever but nothing was going through. so I needed a help on how to get my lover back. I had the feeling that he still loves me, though he did not say a word. I needed help seriously. I thought it will never possible to get him back and be the happy couple again? so when I read testimonies about {} I contacted him and he told me that my case is a simple one to solve, so after his consultation and casting of his spell my boyfriend emailed me telling me he was sorry for all that he did to me, that he is ready to marry me now, I was shocked, I never believed that Dr Zaza could make such thing to happen with his spell, today I am getting married to my boyfriend, and I will never forget this spell caster I will always talk about him anywhere I go angelina hocombe. Via +2348103508204

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    How i got back my divorce husband after 3 years of marriage, my lover dumped me for another girl until i contact priest omigodo who helped me to cast a spell to bring back my ex with his powerful spell in just 24 hours contact priest omigodo via email: or call his urgent phone number for help +2348079367204

  • Catherine

    I am from Cyprus, i want to use this medium to testify of how i got back my ex boyfriend after breakup, i and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years, recently his behaviour and character towards me changed and i later found out that he had another girlfriend who he was talking to on facebook, when i confronted him it led to quarelling which eventually led to breakup, i was emotionally down, i did all i could to get him back but all to no avail until i saw a post on a relationship forum about a spell caster who help people get back their lost loves, re-unite broken relationship and marriages at first i doubted it but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this spell caster via email, he helped me cast a re-union spell and my boyfriiend came to me apologising for all his misdeed, we are happily together again. Contact this great spell caster for your marriage or relationship problems via this email Goodluck

  • eriannamoric

    My husband is back!!!

    I had a problem with my husband six months ago,which lead to us apart. When he broke up with me,I was no longer myself,I felt so empty inside .Until a friend of mine told me about one of her spell casters that helped her in same problem too that she found on a television program. i emailed the spell caster and I told him my problem and I did what he asked me to briefly make. to cut the long story short,Before I knew what was happening,not up to 24 hours,my husband gave me a call and he came badck to me and told me he was sorry about what has happened, I’m so grateful to this spell caster and i will not stop publishing his name on the internet just for the good work he has been doing.If you need his help,you can email him at( he will also help you Dr Akim is his name I will be forever grateful to you.or call his mobile number on +2348159645271

  • Greg Williams

    I have been in bondage ever since my ex leaves ME for another man,It was really hell for me and everybody told me to forget about her but i could not because i love her so much. Things get worse until my friend introduced me to this great spell Therapist ONIHA and i contacted him through his email i explain everything to him and he cast a spell for me immediately after four days, everything turn around and my love come to me on her knee begging for forgiveness that i am the one and only man in her life now. I was surprise i have never seen such a miracle in my life. I am so thankful to this man and i will forever publish his name Therapist Oniha of the is the greatest.

  • Murphy Chloe

    Hello friends i want to share my testimony and how grateful i’m since my lover came back to me because of the grate help Lord Masuka whose email address is render to me. my boyfriend broke up with me first week of july this year because he thought i was cheating on him, he told me that his friends has been telling him that i have been seeing someone else when he is not around i tried to make him understand that his friends are lieing to him but he did not give me the chance to explain to him this was how he left me. after a month of our breakup i tried to live a normal life without him but it was very hard for me to cope then i decided to contact Lord masuka via his mobile number +2347053105287 and his email address which i came across this months September 12th during my search looking for help how to get my lover back he cast a love spell for me and make my lover to come back to me within the period of 48hours. with this grate joy in my heart i want to say a big thanks to lord masuka he is the best spell caster and he is the best solution. byeee

  • Rosie Smith

    My name is Rosie Smith. To cut a long story short I tried about 3 different spell casters over a period of 3 months and all they wanted was more & more money and kept coming up with excuses as to why the spell wasn’t working. Just when I was about to give up I came across several good testimonies of Dr. Oyinbo over the internet. I contacted him and he promised to restore my faith back into spell casters, that they are real and love spells do actually work. I was very sceptical after several scam spell casters. Mine wasn’t a simple spell but Dr. Oyinbo went above & beyond his way to look for extra money when extra work was required. Always called & txt on time. Replied to emails on time. Only asked for half the spell money as initial payment. My partner had walked out on me one day with no explanation …. I was devastated. When I was about to give up hope, Dr. Oyinbo words guided and encouraged me, and then he was back 3 days after the spell was cast. I recommend Dr. Oyinbo extremely highly. Dr.oyinbo you are a gifted man and I will not stop recommending him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. You can contact him on ( or or call him +2348074066640. He is the best caster that can help you with your problems. He restored my faith and I AM FINALLY HAPPY.


  • Rosie Smith

    My name is Rosie Smith. To cut a long story short I tried about 3 different spell casters over a period of 3 months and all they wanted was more & more money and kept coming up with excuses as to why the spell wasn’t working. Just when I was about to give up I came across several good testimonies of Dr. Oyinbo over the internet. I contacted him and he promised to restore my faith back into spell casters, that they are real and love spells do actually work. I was very sceptical after several scam spell casters. Mine wasn’t a simple spell but Dr. Oyinbo went above & beyond his way to look for extra money when extra work was required. Always called & txt on time. Replied to emails on time. Only asked for half the spell money as initial payment. My partner had walked out on me one day with no explanation …. I was devastated. When I was about to give up hope, Dr. Oyinbo words guided and encouraged me, and then he was back 3 days after the spell was cast. I recommend Dr. Oyinbo extremely highly. Dr.oyinbo you are a gifted man and I will not stop recommending him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. You can contact him on ( or or call him +2348074066640. He is the best caster that can help you with your problems. He restored my faith and I AM FINALLY HAPPY.


  • annie gustavo

    To you be all the praise DR EZIZA for the wonderful peace you have brought to my home. Words are not qualify enough to describe the kind of work you did for me in your temple, if not for your spell how would Caesar have come back home to handle his responsibilities as the man of the house. If you are wise and you need quick answer to your request email this powerful DR EZIZA on or call his direct mobile number +2348058176289.

  • Mike Olivia

    This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is Olivia Jane Mike, and I base in London.My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end,and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa Justus who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called grace,she testified about how papa Justus brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she drop papa Justus e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give papa a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. papa Justus is really a talented and gifted man and i will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man…If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you. Try the great papa Justus today, he might be the answer to your problem. Here’s his contact: Thank you great Justus. Contact him for the following:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care
    10)Help bringing people out of prison
    (11)Marriage Spells
    (12)Miracle Spells
    (13)Beauty Spells
    (15)Attraction Spells
    (16)Evil Eye Spells
    (17)Kissing Spell
    (18)Remove Sickness Spells
    (21) Charm to get who to love you.
    (22)Business spell.
    Contact him today on:,
    You can also CONTACT HIM ON whats-app on the same phone number.

  • mark

    Hello, my name is Miss faith, I’m from USA. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is genuine and real. I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing Garvin, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found consultant.odia spells and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Several days later, my phone rang. Garvin was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, the spell caster opened him up to how much I loved and needed him. Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but they opened his eyes to how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it. It will bring you a wonderful surprises as well as your lover back to you. The way things were meant to be.” you can contact the spell caster on he’s very nice and great. ,……………..

  • Tucker Stacey

    My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Trust has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Trust email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Trust is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR TRUST NOW VIA EMAIL: or call +2348156885231 or He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship. his web site

  • Tucker Stacey

    My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Trust has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Trust email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Trust is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR TRUST NOW VIA EMAIL: or call +2348156885231 or He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship. his web site .. …


    After being in relationship with him for 3 years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is DRAISEDIONSPELLCASTER@GMAIL.COM you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem.

  • julei lucas

    My name is sarah dixon, am from Dublin. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man Dr. Zaza brought my husband back to me, i had 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that’s why i want to say a big thank you to Email: This great man made me to understand that there no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at:Email: or call him on +2348103508204 he is a professional man you can trust and believe

  • julei lucas

    My name is Ruth i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to Dr Zaza who brought back my lover that has left me for 6 years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get my man back to my life because i love this man with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was doing some research on the internet when i saw a lady giving thanks to Dr Zaza and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my lover back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to be worried that my lover will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my love voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to live for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address: ( or call him on +2348103508204….,

  • Tawanna Fuller

    I am here to testify to the good work of the prophet James 6 months ago, my husband left home, he never returned, no phone calls, no letters, no emails, no sign of him anywhere. my daughter got sick so ill, things were so tough for me. I had lost hope, i lost hope completely, my daughter’s situation got worse each day.Last month, i saw a posting concerning the good works of the prophet, i gave him a try. and i prayed with him and perform all the spiritual acts. In a matter of days, my husband called me and told me he was sorry and that he wants to come back home and that he would explain everything when he comes back, three days later, i got a new job with a company, right now, my daughter’s condition is getting better each day and i trust she would be well in a matter of days.let the almighty one be praise. i will advise you to contact the prophet if you seek permanent solution to your problem you are right one. he will sure help you. you can contact the prophet with his email adress which

  • Jackie Bugdale

    You should be ashamed of yourself for this trickery. Stop trying to take advantage of other people’s problems.

  • mr bennad





    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) Hiv Cure
    (3) if you always have bad dreams.
    (4) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (5) You want women/men to run after you.
    (6) If you want a child.
    (7) You want to be rich.
    (8) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (9) If you need financial assistance.
    (10) Herbal care
    (11) H.i.v Cure

  • Anabella Jude

    I am Anabella Jude by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Oduduwa. His email: And his website on

  • Lydia laures

    I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back. I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when I meet a friend that introduce me to DR Olawole the great messenger to the whole world who God has given him the grace to help people in their relationships, I narrated my problem to DR Olawole about how my ex love left me and also how I needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were I will be getting my heart desire without any side effect. He told me what i need to do, After it was been done, In the next 2 days, My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness, I was called for an interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director.. I am so happy and overwhelmed that I have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR Olawole at the following email address and get all your problem solve.. No problem is too big for him to solve. Contact him direct on: And get your problems solve like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ugbeninspellsolutiontemple@gmail.comII will not stop sharing his name because he done a very great job for me now my mind is full of happiness.

  • Jimmy Wallace!


    Complement of the day, My name is Jimmy Wallace, I am from Texas USA, I have been searching for a genuine loan for the past 5 months now and all I got was bunch of scams who made me to trust them and at the end of the day, they took my money without giving anything in return, all my hope was lost, I got confused and frustrated,then i find it very difficult to feed my family, I never wanted to have anything to do with online loans again, so I went to borrow some money from a friend, I told him all that happened and he said he can help me, that he knows a honest lender that can help me, that he just got a loan from Mrs Julian Smith, he directed me on how to apply, I did as he told me, I applied, I never believed but I tried and to my greatest surprise I got the loan of $87,000 on the 23rd of April 2015 within 48 hours, I could not believe, I am happy and rich again and I’m thanking God, because i don’t believe honest lenders like this still exist upon the high rate scams all over the globe, I would recommend this honest lender to everyone! here is the email that i used in contacting her:

  • Jessica Williams

    What will i do to thank Doctor Atete the great spell caster for the help he rendered to me? how do i appreciate him for helping me get my lover back after 9 years of breakup? this is a testimony i must share because Doctor Atete is a God on earth. My heart is filled with Joy because Meyer the father of my three children is back. He left me 9 years ago for Jessica and said he does not love me any more because we had a fight, though i did all i could to get him back but my effort seems abortive just 4 days ago a friend of mine told me about Doctor Atete who helped her to solve all relationship problems so i decided to contact him also via email. Today i want to let the world know that Doctor Atete’s spell is active, he is a man of his word and can be trusted 100% because as i speak now Meyer the father of my three children came back to me yesterday on his knees begging me to forgive and accept him back. Do you need help of any kind then Contact Doctor Atete today via Email: or website: or Whats-app: +2348068784784 or call him: +2348068784784 or +2347056505954:::::::::::::::

  • Belesima Smith

    Am from United States, I was in a relationship with Ben and we loved and cherished ourselves for 3 good years and every thing was going on smoothly but February 14, 2014 a day i can call a lovers day we both had misunderstanding because i answered a call from a guy that is asking me out for a date but i refused,and he told me that the relationship is over and that he is fed up with me and i begged him because i love him so much but he refused me i was so down cast and i felt the world has come to an end for me but my friend told me about a spell caster that helped her sister out in getting her relationship back,a good job and favor in any of her endeavor but at first i was scared but i have to give this man a trial because i love Ben very much and i am not willing to loose him to any woman,so i ordered returning my love spell from this great spell caster that made me a happy woman again to say it all my ex came back to me with much love and a caring heart…i am testifying to this great spell caster Prophet of Goddess. if you need his help you can contact him on: **spirituallove @ hotmail . com** OR **http://www. spirituallovetemple . com** .Your life will changed for better.