What am I supposed to do now?

by Ashley
(NY)

My husband is an alcoholic. I believe that whole-heartedly. He has shown all the signs; he uses alcohol as a crutch when he is stressed, once he starts drinking he has a hard time stopping, he has lied about drinking, he has hidden alcohol in the house to drink it while away and then lies about drinking, he always seems to "have" to have a drink when he comes home from work, and he has even started drinking as early as 9 in the morning. He's gone to work hung over, repeatedly, and his job performance has suffered for it. When he is caught in his lies, he crumbles and apologizes and swears he will never do it again. Its frustrating, but I have always tried to be supportive. I get angry, but I try to help him when I can.


Now, however, I have my daughter to think about. She is two. There have been several occasions when he has drank while I was at work and he was supposed to watch her. Now, there have been three separate occasions where he has been so drunk he passed out on the couch and left my two year old basically alone in an apartment. It takes a while to rouse him... the phone rings, and it does not wake him. I call his name, he does not flinch.

Add to all of this that he does not have the best health. At the age of 21, he had a stroke. His doctor cautioned moderation when it came to smoking and drinking. He smokes a pack every two days on top of the regular drinking.

I am at my wits end. I can understand that he needs help and I do not want to sit back and watch him kill his own body, and I do not want to put my daughter in danger by leaving her with him when I know he'll drink. Its got to the point that I hate leaving for work because I never know what state I will find him when I am home. I don't know what to do anymore...

What can I do?


Answer

What a terrible situation to be in. It just goes to illustrate how powerful alcohol addiction is, causing sufferers to ignore what is important and beautiful around them in favor of their drug of choice.

It is of paramount importance that you act quickly as it is not just you who is being affected by your husband's thinking but a defencless child.

Have you talked to him about your concerns and wish for him to get help? If not, then you should do this (when he is sober). Ask someone to help you do this, preferably someone who has also been affected by his drinking. He needs to realize that his drinking is impacting on those around him and causing a lot of heartache. I am not saying this will motivate him to get help, it might, but it will show him that you care and are worried about him and your family.

This is all you can really do for him. You cannot force him to go into treatment, he has to want to do that himself. If he does not want help with his problem then you will have to think seriously about your next step. As your child is also in danger (due to your husband's neglect and the emotional damage having an alcoholic in the house amy cause) then you might need to think about asking your husband to leave the family home or leaving yourself. This probably sounds drastic but for the sake of your child it may well be the best course of action. Who knows maybe this would spur him on to seek help.

All the best.

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