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My husband is alcoholic - and doesn't know it

Nina wrote:

I need help desperately!!

I have been married to my husband for 16 years and together for 18. We have 2 children together and 1 from a previous marriage of mine.

When we were first together we used to party a lot, then I got pregnant and grew out of it. I like to drink a little now and then. My husband drinks nothing but beer every day of the week, at night when he goes to bed he will drink water.

On the weekend he starts drinking beer right when he gets out of bed. He is a very hard worker and never misses work, he works in construction and all the guys he works with all drink too. When he gets off work he usually commutes about an hour and starts drinking in his vehicle while he drives home and by the time he gets home is either buzzed or intoxicated.

I have even seen him drive with my kids in the car and a beer resting between his legs as he is trying to be inconspicuous. I have tried everything and threatened him over and over again. My kids are now 12, 16 and 22 and it is effecting them tremendously.

He is not a mean drunk but he acts like the biggest, brattiest kid you will ever meet and demands attention when he is intoxicated. My kids have no respect for him anymore. The problem is that when he is not intoxicated he is an awesome man.

Unfortunately, I only see him like that about 15% of the time. I have asked him many times too cut down and not to drink and he agrees with me then hides the beer and lies to me about how much he has drank. I am at the end and don't know what to do. I feel like I am never happy anymore and have lost myself along the way.

We have so much to loose if we seperate and I don't know how to survive on my own. He is the main money maker. I wouldn't even know how to leave him. If you can help me I would really appreciate it. He has admitted to having a problem in the past, but all of his friends make jokes about drinking beer and they all think it is cool. I don't see him making a change.

Please help!!

Dear Nina

Trouble is, his alcoholism is your problem, so far as he's concerned. He really has no idea that he has a problem. Not uncommon in alcoholics who can hold down a job ... until they get caught out, or crash the car.

If the kids are being hurt - emotionally, if not physically - then something has to give. Try to catch him sober and have a serious conversation, tell him you've has enough, tell him he needs to see a doctor and needs more help.

But expect that it will not work (though it conceivably could). Most likely you'll need to think about leaving him before he wakes up to the problem. And that will not be easy - but if the kids are being hurt, then you cannot just wait until he crashed the car - or turns violent. can you?

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