Why is my husband in denial?

by Elisa

What if your husband is completely aware that he has a problem with alcohol, and uses this as an excuse for drinking? He says, I know I have vices, but I can’t change, no one changes….. what do I say to that?


Firstly, of course people can change. The only reason he is saying that people can’t change is because he doesn’t want to make the effort to change. He is perfectly comfortable drinking away, while you worry.

It’s true that he can’t be forced to change – he has to want to change himself, which at the moment he doesn’t seem to want to do. It’s true that we all have vices, but if these vices are hurting somebody else (which they seem to be) then they become unacceptable.

You need to sit him down (when he hasn’t been drinking) and tell him how you feel and how his drinking is affecting you and your relationship with him. If this doesn’t motivate him to stop drinking, then it seems his drinking problem has got to the stage where alcohol has become more important than those who love him. If this is the case, perhaps you should take a look at what you want from your future…..

All the best.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Dec 08, 2011
    Angry husband
    by: Anonymous


    My husband and I have been married 2 years. When I met him I had no idea he was a functioning alcoholic. We fell in love and moved quickly and after 30 days we moved in together. The first year was great, I worked 4 am to noon and had my time alone after work and had a few hours in the evening with him. After like a year or even sooner things got bad. My husband drinks 3 to 4 liters of rum a week. He would come to bed and just pass out not kissing me good night etc. In the mornings I would get ready for work and after leaving the room would have to come back in the room and it smelled like the rum had been dumped out on the floor.

    We split up at the end of August. Things got very difficult in our house, he would go into rages that made no sense, just sit and stare at the walls, I started to just go to bed early and that made him mad to. I did not know how to be myself or had to be on edge for fear I would say something wrong. I started to feel isolated and could not tell anyone about his drinking. He started to hate my teen son and called him very bad names. It was like he was almost jealous of my son. My son stayed in his room and did not like to come out. He would come for diner then leave.

    Once my son turned 18, my husband and I split up. It’s been on and off, it’s clearly not working. I am so worried for my husband it makes me ill. He sometimes smells as if he is rotting from the inside out. I smell it when he breathes. He bleeds out of his bowels for months on end. He is stressed over everything and always says he just needs a minute. A break with no stress. He hates his job and says that he deals with people all day and does not want to deal with any problems when he gets home. He has now started being verbally abusive now that we are not in the same house. He ignores me for days. He still drinks and calls his apartment a prison cell. He hates everything in his life. He has two sons 14 and 12, they live with their mom full-time, he has no control over the kids, she kicked him out a few hrs ago. He compares his kids to my 18 son, saying his kids will turn out perfect and he does not have to worry about them and their future.

    There is just so much more to this, I am severely depressed and have a counselor appointment next week. He is so mean to me. I tried to end it last night. After a few days I always start to feel better then he contacts me and I break. I don’t even know if I love him, maybe I am holding onto what went wrong and we were so in love and had such a great time. I am so confused. I am not a drinker and even socially it’s hard for me to drink after living with a drunk. He is a functioning alcoholic. He goes to work. He is clean, pays bills etc…so confused. I want to move on. I know I deserve better. My son will find his way and feels as if he is to blame for our break up. But that’s the excuse my ex uses….so lost……please help, anyone have a similar story?

  • Nov 16, 2011
    Make him choose.
    by: Calvin

    When I was at my worst point in my drinking career, my wife told me she would leave if I didn’t stop. She had said this before but she always stayed. I learned how to keep the amounts I was drinking away from her. When she said this to me, I became resentful. I also knew at the same time that she was going to follow through on the promise. I was also seriously ill at the time due to the alcohol consumption and this is what made me stop drinking. I had hit rock-bottom with my poor health. I stopped drinking alcohol but told my wife to stop with the ultimatums. It only made me resentful. I stopped drinking because it made me so ill and not because my wife issued an ultimatum.

    Threatening your husband with abandonment will only kick the can down the road. Either learn to live with him intoxicated or go your own way. Chances are that the relationship you have with your husband is only in your imagination. Ultimatums will only put up another wall between you.

    These are hard facts to swallow but that is exactly why it takes a special kind of person to treat an alcoholic and significant others. An advanced alcoholic is only in love with the alcohol and anything that will put him/her closer to a bottle. They are not capable of meaningful relationship and will only use people to get the next drink. They are emotional cripples and users until they have refrained from alcohol for a significant period of time and treatment. IMHO


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