Helping Addicts

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Dealing with an Alcoholic Husband

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If you have an alcoholic husband and you do not know what to do about your situation then here is what you should do.  You should find an Al-Anon meeting in your area and go to it.  If you have to do this in secret you should do it anyway.  If you have to make sacrifices to do this you should do it anyway.  You owe it to yourself to get some help and support and this is the single most important step that you can take in getting some help.

There are basically 3 things that could happen if you are putting up with an alcoholic spouse.  One is that you could leave the situation.  You can pack a bag and hit the road and not look back.  Most people do not see this as an option but it absolutely is.  Maybe it is nowhere near that point yet but if nothing changes then eventually you might be facing that decision.  It might be the only thing that will save your sanity one day.

The other thing that might happen is that the alcoholic will stop drinking and seek help for their alcoholism.  This is what you are wishing for, hoping for, dying for.  This is what you want to happen and you have probably found this page hoping for a secret method to make this happen.  There is no magic wand, unfortunately.

The third possibility is that you continue to live with the alcoholic and they continue to drink.  You can do this rather blindly, or you can do this with help and support and an education so that you are no longer contributing to the alcoholism.  In other words you can learn how to stop enabling and possibly move them closer to surrender and eventual treatment at some point.  Understand though that this can be a very, very slow process and might take years or even decades.  You still might have to make a decision about leaving if you want your sanity back.

So those are the options.  You leave, you stay and he drinks, or you stay and he magically gets sober.

Guess which one you can’t count on?  The one where  he gets sober.  You cannot count on that as part of your plan.  Ever.  You have to start living your life and be happy with yourself in such a way that his sobriety is not the source of your happiness or misery.  You have to separate your life and your happiness from his drinking.  That is the challenge that is before you and you are going to need some help with it so I strongly urge you to go to Al-anon.

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  • Glenda

    I told my friend that she needed to go to aa meetings for herself in dealing with her husband who thinks 6;30 a.m. is the time to begin drinking. I felt she would get support from other spouses. Could you email me info on this and I will share it with her?

  • Patrick

    Glenda, I think she should go to an Al-anon meeting, not an AA meeting.

  • cherise

    I need help bad!! My husband is too far in with this alcohol and we have a 5 yr old son and I’m ready to take my son and i been dealing with this for years he passes out everyday.

  • cherise

    I’m ready to take my son and leave, I love my husband but he pick arguments with me when he drinks…. Please send me some advice

  • Mz Joo

    Just found out..I caught him many times w/ the can of Tilt or the like,he lied and said it’s for someone else he’s not a young man so the sex life has taken a nose dive.He won’t admit it and took the can out side to drink it he argues w/ me and thinks he tells me what I want to hear love you baby but won’t admit a thing.Can’t save a dime and works like a Hebrew slave and still don’t have nothing help me lord.

  • Mz Joo

    He doesn’t hit me but he plays so dumb and silly mind games…….he’s not the sharpest knife in the kitchen….and has a lot of pain in his foot which may be why he has chosen to use alcohol to stop or relieve some pain.The mind games however….are a bit much and common sense is no where in sight so I can’t talk to him he’s got all the answer and then want to talk about God and being in God.He’s a nice guy when sober and he can be messed up and you wouldn’t know because he sits down quietly or goes to sleep I pray my husband will be delivered and I pray more for him to want to be delivered right now he cares much for the bottle.Thanks for this page on the subject I am armed now and all the nonsense he was talking and the decisions he makes now make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Im so glad to be ableto talk about this never realized how silent his drinking has made me . i can not believe how much i have changed .i walk on egg shells all the time because you never know what will set him off thank god im getting stronger it has been a real eye opener to realize that he is mad at himself but takes it out on me the insults are awful but im starting to believe in myself again now it is just a matter of time for me to get out of course it is money but i have a plan now i can not worry about what will happen to him any more i have to save me he is a good man but the drinking has taken over his life

  • shelly

    My husband is an alcoholic and I have left several times always with the promise he would get help. We did start couseling and he said he would go for further help but so far he has not and I have moved back home. I am at my wits end and have decided just to go my way and let him go his. If he wants to drink so be it. I am going my way and do what ever I want to do. I can support myself and if something happens to him its his own fault. Its no way to live but way do I always have to leave my home for some peace?

  • Marry

    My so called husband uses anything to put me down. It took me 6 years of confusion to finally understand his drinking was the reason he arguments arguments day and night. I thought I was insane. The conversations never get anywhere. I am glad that God opened my eyes. I am going to attend Al Anon. Am not sure what God holds for me but I started to also see my 6 year old son started to cover for him saying he is still at work, … and stuff. I felt sad. I do praise God he has a way for this situation.