Husband is a secret drinker

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I have recently discovered that my husband has been drinking secretly. Over the last few months, I have come across him drinking behind my back. He has been seeing a counsellor, but it would appear that it's not working. He says he wants to stop, but doesn't talk much to me about it. I feel quite alone.

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  • Posted

    Love him, he is alone as well...

    have you asked him what has brought on his drinking?

    its a disease, it seams like he is trying to stop if he is reaching out for help, but trust me, for someone who is trying to get help to stop, it is not as easy as it sounds.  

    There red are support groups you can go to, for people with loved ones that are addicts.  That might ease your pain.

    good luck to you

     

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thank you so much for your reply. That's the difficult bit-I am finding it very hard to love him after all the lies and deceit. We had such a good marriage. He says he started because he retired before I did and during that time he was bored. But I don't know... Who knows if it was even before that.

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    • Posted

      Try not to blame him Cottagegirl. It's a medical disorder, not a lifestyle choice. Something has obviously triggered it later in life for him than usually happens but it is a physiological issue that needs treating medically, not by talking to untrained 'counsellors.'

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    • Posted

      I can understand your pain and frustration, it is a day to day building process, maybe try sitting with him and helping him remember how you fell in love and the good times, help him find a new hobby that could bring him away from drinking and something else to look forward to rather then being bored.  

      Perhaps you you could join him at AA so he won't feel alone and you could also see what this disease really is.

      I cannot imagine the stress you are going thru, so don't forget to take care of yourself as well.

      but just like with any illness, this is a sickness and he needs you if you can be by his side.

      it won't be easy and I wish you luck and happiness ...

      I hope it works out for the both of you.

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    • Posted

      Hi - well that is my fave line of all........."Love him, he is alone as well..."

      that is how we feel.  Silly stupid and alone.

      Glad u put that.

      p.s. that means me btw.

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    • Posted

      But why would he feel alone? We have been there for each other for over 35 years, we have had a strong marriage. We were very close. He still cannot tell me why he took that decision that first day to have a drink without me knowing about it.
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    • Posted

      There is no particular reason why an alcoholic drinks with the exception of the need or the feeling of "escape".  He is escaping something....maybe if he gets it off his chest...he will be better able to refrain from drinking.

       

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    • Posted

      "But why would he feel alone?"

      Are you happy about his drinking? Do you have a go at him over it? I would say, no and yes.

      Therefore talking about it brings confrontation and the way to avoid confrontation is to avoid talking and to drink out of sight. Do you think if you never chastised him over it, he would still feel the need to hide it?

      He's no happier about the situation than you are, but he doesn't need confrontation on top, what he needs is a solution, not someone pointing out that he has no moral fibre.

      If you want to sort this out, the first thing that has to stop is the blame. Once he feels more comfortable and less defencive he is more likely to open up. It is up to you to make the first (no blame) move.

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    • Posted

      Misssy that is spot on- it is pure escape - I agree he is escaping something and my guess would be retiring.  It really can knock you for six.  I took early retirement and should not have - I don't like being retired one bit.  My hubs is 67 and still running his company - but god help me when he retires.  He is not an alcoholic but used to go out 3 times a week with his mates years ago and neck 18 pints!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He now is happy having one pint in the evening and maybe a single whiskey before bed.  BUT when he retires, who knows, a sad mind does things to you and retiring can make you very sad.

      wr40 - he won't be happy about it himself.

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  • Posted

    He won't like talking about it as it brings his secret out into the open. He can no longer push it away or bury his head in the sand.

    He knows he's got a problem, otherwise why drink in secret. People who suffer from AUD (used to be called alcoholics) are devious and from personal experience, are very good at hiding they've been drinking. He will probably feel ashamed, guilty, frightened and worried.

    I had the same problem with my husband, although I was the secret drinker. I was in a constant panic in case he found my empty bottles. My husband always wanted to talk about why, as an adult in my own home, I had to hide bottles. He always used to say, if you're going to drink at least do it openly, leave the bottle out. By hiding drink and drinking secretly you don't have to face the problem.

    is it an alcohol counsellor he is seeing? If so I'm not really surprised it's not working. Half of them are support workers in alcohol recovery services, with limited knowledge about AUD. If he's serious about stopping, he needs to see his GP, I found it easier if my husband came with me for all my appointments. Do you know how much he is drinking? If he says 6 bottles of wine, chances are it's more like 10.

    i am not going to suggest he goes to AA meetings. Some people find them a lifeline and there's groups for family members to meet and discuss how they cope with a loved one who drinks.

    There is a lovely lady on this forum whose in a similar situation to you. She joined so that she could get an understanding about AUD and how best to deal with her husband. I'm sure she will reply to you. I can understand you feeling alone, my oh was just the same.

    There are medications available if he is serious about stopping. Make sure he doesn't stop immediately as that can be dangerous, and in some cases even fatal. Does he say why he drinks secretly. I used to drink as I thought it would help with my anxiety and insomnia. Unfortunately it does help a bit, but the problems will still be there the following day.

    You should get some good replies and advice from other people in this group. Never ever blame yourself, it's his choice to drink, and until he takes some positive action himself and admits everything to you, there is very little you can do. It has to come from him. 

    I hope you can make him see sense, and he may well need medication of some sort .

    I wish you both well and hope that with some support he can make it and stay sober, but you both need to talk and get some understanding of each other's needs

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply-it's great to get information and have a shoulder to cry on. Yes, he was counselled by a support worker (no disrespect), so I think he has to move on. He also says he drinks secretly because of my reaction if I knew. Thank you for your time out to reply to me. Don't know if you're it's possible, but are you able to say the name of the lady you mean on here?

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    • Posted

      It's never a choice to drink or a moral failing. It's a illness. Mental and physical. The brain is trained to crave alcohol it's AUD. HE has no power on his own to stop the cravings without medical help.??

       

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  • Posted

    I think you have to be careful about how you approach this, but you are obviously a supportive wife. My partner hid my empty bottles and one day showed me the stash, which was considerable! The result was that I became angry and that made things worse. The good news is that I eventually stopped completely about 10 years ago and have no desire to have even a small drink, even when my wife is drinking. She is able to control her intake, I wasn't. Maybe get some professional advice to help you manage this? Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, john01315. It's useful to see it from the 'other side of the fence'. Well done with staying sober-good to know it's possible.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Cottagegirl. I may have misled you a little in my last post. I still think about alcohol and having maybe just one drink on special occasions, but I don't trust myself!  The craving isn't there now or the anticipation though. Just one small drink. Best not to. Kind regards. 

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