My husband admits he’s an alcoholic and tried AA before but quit going when he approached 2 people about being his sponsor and they said they had too many already. I think this made him feel rejected and now he’s turned off on the program.
He continues to hide alcohol and drinks continuously on his days off. He works shift work-7 on 7 off. He drinks a Mickey a day of straight vodka as I find them hidden in his dresser drawer. I have tried everything I know to help what should I do now? Should I just live life and tell him when he’s ready to get help to let me know and until he’s ready I will continue to live with him but I am physically and mentally disconnected. We have been married 32 years. He is 54 and I am 52 and we have 4 grown children who have also opened there feelings to him about there wish to get him clean. He wasn’t always this way but has gradually accelerated to a dangerous level of alcohol assumption. Please give me some advice on what I should do as a wife!!!!!
How sad that he sought help and ended up feeling rejected. That is terribly unfortunate! The good news is that he recognizes his problem and is willing to admit it. That is a great first step! The next step is being willing, again, to get help. In an ideal world, you could discuss with him the possibility of trying AA again and not giving up until he finds the help he needs. If that isn’t a possibility, or even if it is, I highly recommend getting counseling from a certified chemical dependency counselor. A counselor can help him determine the reasons for his drinking, give him the tools he needs to abstain, help him achieve full recovery, and hold him accountable along the way (like a sponsor does). A counselor can also help you understand how to interact with and support your husband.
Ultimately, the decision to quit has to be his. It’s great that everyone is being open with him about how his drinking negatively impacts them. This is important in encouraging an alcoholic to desire a better life for themself.
It’s true that addiction divides the addict from the people closest to them. It’s no surprise that your marriage is suffering as a result. Without enabling, empathetically talk with him about his struggle with alcohol. You may not be able to completely understand but try to put yourself in his shoes. This addiction has a hold on him, and he isn’t sure how to break free or if he ever can. Be his cheerleader and his support. Continue to encourage him and let him know that you believe in his ability to be a better husband, father, and even grandfather. Your support can make a big difference!
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.