Partner of an alcoholic in denial, my struggle

Posted , 13 users are following.

This is hard to write as I love the man but not the disease that is alcoholism.

Brief history is I have known him 10 yrs but only been officially together 3 yrs ie living together, he has been a drinker for 18 yrs + that I know of so well before I met him and have found out that his mother died of alcoholism when he was 5 yrs old.

I obviously knew he drank and made the decision to be with him anyway as for all intense and purposes he is ok ( high functioning ) works, pays bills etc the reality on the other hand is so bitter and soul destroying, I have come to the realisation, due to my own severe depression that the situation is now intolerable. I can't leave, I can't stay, is there anything I can do to help him ? Or do I have to just accept that he will never admit he has a problem ? That being the first step that he he will never take, is there anyone who has an answer because this is breaking me ? Thank you in advance x 

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  • Posted

    I have been with my alcoholic husband for 44 years, the first 24 were great, he wasnt reallly a drinker, but the last 20 - has been a nightmare. My advice to you is dont let it go on and on like I did, get out and make a new life. It's too late for me now, I have bad health, and he says he will not stop drinking, he likes it! But he also falls down, wets himself when really bad, argues and calls me awful names, is generally horrible. And from a man who WAS a lovely husband, father and grandad. He hides vodka everywhere in the house, so it is pretty bad. The absolute worse part is the fact that he now has  the start of alcoholic dementia - so he has in effect caused himself to be senile. The booze has pickled his brain, and it will only get worse, the docs have told us that- this is what you have to look forward to if you stay with your alcoholic. 
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  • Posted

    Hello CrazyCat.

    You are facing the problem that most people who are close to excessive drinkers have. That of getting him to see that there is a problem. Because he functions well, that is more difficult, because he can justify his drinking by the fact that it hasn't affected his life too negatively (in HIS opinion) yet.

    Can you tell me how much he is drinking and what he drinks, also how often? Does he drink all day or only in the evening? Does he ever go one day without a drink? Does he only drink in the pub or does he drink at home too? Does he drink alone or socially?

    It WILL affect him. It already is, if you are feeling this way. He will also begin to get health problems as a result of his heavy drinking and those are very likely to become serious and lift-threatening. He will find that he cannot stop drinking without having physical withdrawal symptoms (if he hasn't realised that already).

    On the other hand, he may be completely aware that he has a problem and is attempting to hide that from you. In that case, he is likely to react very negatively to any suggestion that he needs to deal with it.

    My experience, as an alcohol tretament practitioner, is that everybody eventually recognises they have a problem. Without knowing more, it is difficult for me to guess how far he is away from that point.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying 

      He drinks every day, self employed so does do full days work, comes home cracks open either strong cider 8.5% or port 16% drinks all night even through early hours, wakes up pours more until 5am sometimes then gets up for work about 7 am but weekends or any given day he chooses to not work he drinks/ sleeps round the clock, gin, vodka whatever quantities are 1 bottle of gin/ vodka 1 ltr per day .

      He has physical symptoms, sick, struggles eating diahrea all daily, drink, sleep work his routine, don't get me wrong he works hard 

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    • Posted

      CrazyCat. You might need to take action to get him to see that you won't accept it anymore. Perhaps telling him that you care, you want him, but you won't live with the drinking any longer. He has to start seeing the serious consequences of his behaviour and fast. If you can just get an agreement from him that he needs to sort out his problem, you will have overcome a massive hurdle.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying Paul and I agree with you completely, unfortunately I have done this and he just goes quiet firstly then spends 2/3 days not drinking and making a ton of promises that he is going to " get back on track " " fix the house up " whatever then none of that is achieved, I must add I do not ask or expect for him to do these things or to stop drinking as I am aware that in fact it would be detrimental to his health and needs medically protected detox, then back to the drink and the cycle. 

      Think I need to accept he will never give up the drink ........ Sadly 

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    • Posted

      Don't give up CrazyCat. There is a positive sign there that he does want to try, even if it doesn't last long. I would suggest that it is just too difficult without the appropriate help. If he was to have a proper alcohol detox, he would get medication which would make the first very comfortable and, most importantly, safe.

      See if you can persuade him to do things properly. With his method of going cold turkey for three days, he is going to suffer throught those days. He is unlikely to get to a point where he feels any improvement in how he feels, quite the opposite. With a proper detox, by day 3 or 4, he is likely to have a completely different attitude as he will start to feel better, the alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be completely eliminated and he may start thinking positively about moving forward without alcohol. A detox will not 'cure' him, it will simply give him a taste of how he used to feel and can feel again. It can be a real motivator. I know that I find it very rewarding when I support a person through an alcohol detox and see a dramatic improvement in their appearance and motivation to get sorted.

      To get him to a proper detox, you only need the same agreement as you have got from him before when he struggles through three days of hell to please you before giving up because it's too difficult. If you can have enough influence to get him to go through that, you can defintitely convince him to do a week with medication which will completely eliminate all physical withdrawal symptoms.

      Don't give up or he will. I have sent you a private message.

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    • Posted

      I'm in the State of Oregon. There are many, many chapters of AlAnon in our communities. Would hope there is an AlAnon group that is a good fit. AlAnon can be a wonderful support as well as serving to educate you on the Disease Concept of Alcoholism. Some AlAnon members feel that they, as spouses or family members of an alcoholic, actually are afflicted with a disease, i.e. a psychological disease that results in being an enabler and/or "locked" into a relationship that results in both partners being relatively disabled.

      AlAnon can be a psychological support, as a minimum. If you don't like the first few groups keep trying, and you'll find one that fits your personality.

      Good luck......which you deserve

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul, I'm new to this group and would like some advice. Been married 23 years, husband has a very successful & lucrative career & we have two adult sons and a vacation home. I have been a stay at home mom for 25 years or so. Husband started showing some signs of odd behavior a few years ago, long story short we found out he had been secretly drinking (we have never seen him drink one drop!) when he went into dt's..long story short he walked out on my a few months later and would bet that he is drinking again. He told me to get separation papers drawn up and he would

      Sign them. My teo adult sons and I know that his behavior (lying, manipulating, blaming me, etc) are all signs and symptoms of alcoholism. He grew up in a very dysfunctional home with two alcoholic parents. He suffers from anxiety & depression as well. We believe he uses alcohol to self medicate and relief symptoms of his mental health problems. He is in denial and blames me dor his problems. I have held my head high, went out and got a job, seeing a counselor, bible study, etc..I have left him alone. I am beyond hurt. I have been rejected and abandoned, not perfect but a good wife and mother..our problems come from him lying and drinking. I wrote him a goodbye email and told him that he is an alcoholic and gave him a number to call for a local facilty when he decides to get some help. I told him that me and our boys know that he left so that he could drink and that it is no longer a secret. He never responded. My question for every one on this forum: how likely is it that he will face reality and get help? What stage of the is he in? We believe he has been drinking (hard liquor) for at least 4-5 years maybe even longer. What should I expect next? Did I do the right thing by saying good bye, etc. thank you all in advance..reading uour previous posts really helped me tonight

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    • Posted

      Tracy, everybody has to do what's best for them in the long term and you couldn't keep accepting being pushed away like that. It is important for you to know that he has a medical disorder which makes his body demand alcohol and that urge is so strong that he will neglect everything and everybody so that he can have the opportunity to drink.

      It's a physiological disorder but traditional methods of treatment have all been about total abstinence, shame and blame, talking therapies and support within a group etc.They have less than 10% success rate.

      The most effective method of treatment is The Sinclair Method which is a medical treatment with a published 78% success rate. It involves medication but should also include some support.

      You can find out more about it by going to:

      and reading about The Sinclair Method. It often makes a big difference to people with Alcohol Use Disorder when they are told 'this is a medical condition, it's not your fault' because most have been made to feel that they have serious character flaws and that they chose this lifestyle. The fact that The Sinclair Method works so well demonstrates that this is a medical problem with a medical solution that doesn't involve a white knuckle ride for the rest of their life desperately trying to avoid alcohol.

      A really good starting point, if you want to understand The Sinclair Method quickly, is the TED Talk by the American actress Claudia Christian which is freely available on YouTube (search Claudia Christian TED Talk).

      Then perhaps you could find a way of getting your husband to read about The Sinclair Method. It might give him some hope because I am fairly sure that he won't be enjoying the situation he is currently in and would welcome the idea of a treatment option which doesn't involve shame and blame.

      It's impossible to know how much alcohol will have affected him in terms of his health but I have known people who have been drinking large amounts for a lot longer than he has and the liver is very good at repairing itself if allowed to do so (by resolving the alcohol issue).

      If the alcohol issue can be resolved, you and he may have a chance to talk through your issues but nobody can blame you for saying 'enough is enough' while you were being continually hurt.

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  • Posted

    Who said u can't leave a alcoholic????? Love is never enough?. Ask all the children and parents of alcoholics. redface

    He was a child of a alcoholic exclaim

    it time to face the reality he's been drinking for 18yrs + and he not going to stop now...

    He never did for anyone else in his life before you. 

    alcohol is a DISEASE..a progressive DISEASE. IT TAKES over the brain and the cravings are so strong it overrides all the mind & body functions....he has to get that drink to feed the cravings, he is a addict . He has alcohol addiction so emotionally and mentally he is very sick. He's been surviving so long he will probably be in denial another 18 years. And no u do not have to accept his addiction..He not your partner he is a partner to alcohol.cry

    u can stay because u love him... U can stay thinking he will change and u can stay when he gets sick looses his job and gets a DUI ..cry. He has had many he hasn't told u a lot . I bet he knows where every pub is ...but cannot tell u where a deceit resturant is. 

    This is a serious progressive disease... It runs in his family....just like any other seriously non treated disease his death like his mothers and his life will start to go down hill. He will have many serious illness' eventually.. Kidney.. Liver.. Hepatitis...mind and brain alterations, shrinkage of the brain, dementia, to bipolar.. So there you have the next 10 years of his drinking that he will bring into UR life even worse...much worse.......redface

    Is this the path you want the next ten years of your life????The is real . no sugar coating the life of a alcoholic. This is the alcoholic in all his glory with nothing but the bare facts . So much worse is YET to come. rolleyes

    he needs a alcoholic addiction program to learn how to live life without alcohol....

    he needs to accept that he is a alcoholic....

    he needs to stop the denial...

    he needs to not be in a relationship who supports his behavior passivity. Or co-dependent on a partner who drinks a glass or two of wine - too! ???

    YOU deserve a man who loves you more then a bottle of alcohol..this is not the mansad

    I am sorry to be the one to be so brutally honest and tell u the horrible truth. We have all been in UR shoes and the truth be told maybe our stories will send YOU running to a better life. Read all the people here who also live with alcoholics. eek

    GO TO THE MANY alcoholic treatment centers start with AAA SEE AND HEAR THEIR stories FOR URSELF....

    Until they find sobriety for 1 year it is not safe to be with him. It can and it will get soo much worse. SORRY,,

    Move out leave & tell him why ... See what happens ....see how quickly he throws away all the alcohol in the house! rolleyes

    yeah right! 

    There is hope for him but he must take the steps to help himself. No one can do it for him....the cravings control the mind of a alcoholic & EVERYTHING he does.

    Leave, leave, leave while u can before it gets so bad UR life could be changed in ways u never dreamed of. 

    LOVE is not enough... Say it to urself over and over, "LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH"!  eek

    I will HOPE u find a way to a better life. A alcoholic is a accident waiting to happen... in so many ways there's not a book big enough to list them all.

    Never get into a car with him..... NEVER.... his tolerance for alcohol is so high by now he can probably out drink three men and u would not know how much he drank...... 

    I have left many of my TRUE stories on this site about my experiences with ALCOHOL.....PLEASE take the time to read them. THAN YOU,

    I's so sorry I can't give u a better answer.........



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    • Posted

      How do you leave, when they drain you of everything, ruin your credit, your name. ? I'm injured and married an alcoholic, I didn't know at the time, how they hide it so well. Oh the destruction it has caused. Ive lost everything, including friends due to promises on his word and never followed thru. He's away now working hasn't sent a dime left us in ruins, one way it's a blessing then the mess he left me in, no job, no money, I've been in solitude these last few years,be had no license so I was pretty much the taxi ,a few years ago he got a good job I thought surely he's been thru enough will be fine,so we started building are credit and just like that drinking, driving no license lost a very good job,since we've been homless ,evicted lost multiple vehicles ,and I just shack my head there's no words to what you feel, it's as if you just say what? This isn't happening, this doesn't happen to me. Ice worked hard for 20 yrs, always paid my bills, never was evicted. So this has been so devastating to me it's like nothing ice ever seen, how can something cause so much destruction,, how can one not see the reasons are due to their drinking, I don't understand. I'm scared now I have no family as they've passed on, really no one to talk to, where do you pick up the pieces, how do you rebuild when you've been drained of everything. This has effected my physical and mental health, I used to be so outgoing full of life, had a good job with the government. Got hurt married this man and the rest is history. Any advise as to how to regain my life back . in going to remain strong and not let him back, it's very hard when they've have you in poverty, I think they know that . I really need support to help me get thru this.

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    • Posted

      Can you start be see a family abuse counselor and a attorney to get a restraining order against him...

      i don't know all the details but he needs to be made accountable that is u fortunately what is left fir you. File a complain about his begphaviors with the police and ask for resources available .


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    • Posted

      I know that your reply is true and from the heart. But seriously, you seem so negative. Like there is no hope for any of us. People can change and get better. There are so many people on this forum who have done this or are trying to do it. I have never heard you sound so negative is hard. Its hard for the  alcoholic and for the partner. It sounds like he is not even close to beginning to realise that he has a problem and this is bound to be hard for them both. But i can not accept what youn say. Sorry. if i do then that means there is no hope at all.
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    • Posted

      OUTSTANDING REPLY form Hope4Cure...honesty is the way forward. I will also confirm that is IMPOSSIBLE to guess WHEn and IF he admits his problems and then (perhaps) come back???? Brutally honest, but necessary. You have saved your family and well done Crazycat! You are a brave woman. Regards Robin
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