A family of alcoholics

Posted on: 21 January 2008 by

Help! My husband and his family are all drinkers.

Clare Writes:

My husband has a problem with alcohol. His whole family were drinkers. He started drinking when he was very young. His parents would ask him to get them a beer and he would take swigs himself before handing the drinks over.  I blame them for what has happened. 

I met his mother before I met him. I was drinking at that time. I would stop in to see her and have a drink. Some time later I met my husband. We drank together for most of our courtship. I moved in with him and we later married.

The drinking would get out of hand. I knew that I was heading for a problem so I stopped. He hasn’t!   I look at life in a different way now. He still drinks and gets so upset with me when he is drinking. He will pick on me and usually it ends up in an argument. I feel devastated for days. I have joined Al-Anon to get help for myself.   But I need so much more help with this problem than they can offer.  Where can I find a programme to help me?


Andy Advises:

By joining Al-Anon to get help for yourself, you’ve certainly taken a step in the right direction.  However, as I am sure you know only too well from your own experience, you can’t help an alcoholic who doesn’t acknowledge his or her problem and who refuses help themselves.  The first step has to come from them. 

It’s obvious you love your husband so perhaps you need to use the ultimate threat.  Stop drinking or I leave.  But if you say it, you have to mean it.  You will need to find a ‘bolt hole’ - somewhere safe where you can stay in the interim.  You will have to take a huge risk that your man won’t drink himself into oblivion and do something drastic or life-threatening.  But at the end of the day, it might be worth it. 

I would suggest that you ought to go and speak to your husband’s GP to seek his/her advice.  He might be able to suggest putting your husband on a course of medication that would make him physically sick and ill if he takes them and tries to drink.  

Al-Anon is there to help the families of alcoholics as you already know.  If you don’t feel you are getting sufficient support from your local branch, why not call their confidential helpline on 020 7403 0888

Narconon is another organisation dedicated to helping those who are addicted to drink or drugs. Call their helpline on 0800 169 4803 from 6 am to 10 pm or 0207 993 2966 from 10pm to 6am.  There is someone at the end of the phone seven days a week. 

Please let me know what happens.

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