Ask Dad: I Think My Husband Drinks Too Much

alcoholismHappy Monday, campers. Ready for another Ask Dad? I hope so, because here we go.

When and how do I tell my husband -- again -- that I think he drinks too much?

If you aren't sure he has a problem -- you say you "think" he drinks too much -- I encourage you to poke around the web and read up on alcoholism and its symptoms. The fact that you're even asking suggests that he does, but it's important to learn the facts.


If he does have a problem, you can tell him how you feel until you're blue in the face, but it won't do much good. Most people with a drinking problem already know they have one, but are either unwilling or unable to do anything about it. If you're constantly reminding him of something he already knows, you'll just come off as a nag and give him a target for the pent-up frustration he's feeling about himself. As we all know, it's much easier for a person to project his anger onto someone else than to admit to himself that he has a problem.

That leaves you with a choice: Wait for him to get help, or leave him. Great choice, huh?

One thing to keep in mind is that alcoholism is a disease, and an alcoholic is powerless over his addiction. It's easy to think that he could just stop if he really wanted to, but it's not that simple. He has to hit rock bottom, realize he needs help, and seek that help before he has any chance of recovery.

The good news is that people can recover and do, often. But you cannot make that happen; only he can. Let me repeat that: You cannot make your husband get sober. Only he can. You are essentially powerless, and that's what makes living with a drunk so agonizing.

What you can do is go to an Al-Anon meeting or ten. I know it seems ridiculous for you to have to go to meetings when he's the one with the problem, but trust me, it will help you tremendously. You'll learn from other people in your shoes how to live with a drunk.

You can't change your husband, but you can equip yourself to understand him better and learn how to be happy in spite of your situation. Al-Anon won't tell you what to do, but it will give you plenty of wisdom to make your own decisions.

You can learn more about Al-Anon here, and you can find a local meeting here.

Good luck.

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Image via Tiger Tom/Flickr

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