This patient support community is for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit for discussions relating to abuse, behavioral issues, caring for yourself, counseling, divorce and separation, enabling, guilt, and when to get medical help.
My husband is in denial about his use of alcohol. We've had this discussion hundreds of times,and i just can't seem to get him to understand that u don't have to drink all day everyday to be an alcoholic. I watch him almost every time he's off of work binge drink sometimes until he passes out, other times he tries to get in the car and take off and go have a good time with his friend. So i guess my question is how can i explain to a person who thinks that what he is doing is not a problem, that it is a problem and that yes just drinking beer will make a person impaired?
Your post is confusing, you say "your husband is in denial about his use of alcohol" then you say "I watch him almost every time he's off of work binge drink sometimes until he passes out". Then I need to ask myself is this gentleman a mild drinker or an alcoholic? I will comment in general because it is improper to wild guess your words.
First of all you need to understand that a drinker in denial will never admit he has a problem, they say they can control their drinking though they know better. Being this the case you can not explain "that it is a problem and that yes just drinking beer will make a person impaired" unless of course he admits he has a drinking problem. If you wish to know how many beers impair a drinker, call your police station and ask them, they know. For your information there are several FDA approved drugs to help those who have decided to stop drinking.
Is your husband aggressive when contradicted? Can he become violent? Does he get into a rage when he gets caught in something different than what he usually says?
If any of these questions have a "YES" for an answer then please disregard the information on what my friend did.
She did the following:
- Filmed him when he was sober and going about his things at home.
- Filmed him when he was binge drinking.
- Filmed him when he was drunk and about to pass out.
- Filmed him when he had a hangover + embarrassing situations such as her carrying him to the bedroom, undressing him to put him to bed, him vomiting and with stomach problems and many other sad issues.
She did this several times, edited the films by subject and kept them. After a few weeks and when he was sober she showed him each of the mentioned films by subject. He got the scare of his life and could not believe his eyes that he looked that miserable, ridiculous and shameful he even cried and asked her to help him. She then told him about detox/rehab and the conditions for admission. He was so deadly ashamed and miserable that he accepted it all. That same day he went with his own to feet to the medical facility she had booked for him in case he accepted. He has been sober for 12 years to this march 2010. This happened in England under direct medical supervision and advice.
Could he deny what was on film? Could he say "no problem"?. How do you think he felt when he saw his wife carrying and undressing a drunk? Did she need to explain any further?
If you decide to give it a try remember the "YES" answers mentioned above and if there is any danger for you or your husband don't do it.
Note: There is a user in this site who knows very much about the subject he will be around please wait for his very thoughtful posts.
Hi there. The video thing is a good idea. But depending on the alcoholics mental status, it may or may not have an impact. Its hard to determine what will be an adequate "wake up call" for each individual. For some its not until they end up clinging to life in an ICU, wasting away in prison, or as a permanent resident in a cemetary. One of the most powerful things that drives those with a chemical dependency, is denial. This appears as minimizing, "well I'm not as bad as so and so" bargaining, "if I ever get in trouble, drink in the morning, or lose a job, ill quit" and being defensive, "oh I don't have a problem, I can quit anytime, I just don't want to." as the condition progresses, the person will not be able to distinguish the true from the false, as they will convince themselves they have things under control. This is, by definition, a form of psychosis. Usually, when one questions if there is a problem, there already is. Has the person been in legal trouble, damaged their health, destroyed relationships, or lost a job yet? These are, like the video idea, concrete and irrefutable consequences that can't be denied, if the person is truly honest about the situation. Are they drinking and driving? This is both illegal and life threatening to the drinker and everyone else on the road. "only" drinking beer? It doesn't matter if its beer, whiskey, or mouthwash, it all does the same thing. Arguing this point is as ridiculous as someone who shoots themself with a pistol as opposed to a rifle or shotgun. They all have the same effect. Unfortunately, little can be done for the alcoholic until they desire to be helped, whether it be from the threat of jail, divorce, failing health, or hopefully because they come to the realization that a problem exists. Something you can do, is to check out alanon in your area, as it is the single most effective resource for those who are affected by another's drinking. Additionally, educate yourself as to what you're dealing with, another good resource online is the alcoholics anonymous website, where you can read the basic text or "big book" that will provide much insight into the thinking and mechanisms at work. Of course you can pose any questions or concerns here as well. We are more than happy to offer you support! Take care, you are not alone! GM
I don't know if you still check this. Your last post was in 2010. But you seem to know a lot about this topic. I am married to a severe alcoholic. He drinks about 18-20 drinks a day. He isn't really in denial about his problem. He has had 2 DWI's and served 4 mos in jail for violating probation (drinking) on the second one. He still buys bourbon/beer and drinks it on the way home from work everyday (1hr commute)...He knows he has a drinking problem...BUT he doesn't accept responsibility....he says it's all my fault...he tries to blame me for why he drinks..but I know it isn't my fault...this is typical of someone who has an addiction. I have no problem with a divorce. I want a divorce. But we have 2 children that don't deserve any of this. He is destroying his relationship with them too. I want him to get help for them...not me...our marriage has been over for years. I have tried to get through to him...no success. Should I just divorce him and put it behind me? I don't know what is best since my main concern is how all of this affects my children. I know they are not happy. I also know that I can't change or control him. How do I make them understand, so they don't have problems later as a result of all of this. I can go to alanon...but what about the kids. Do they have a similar program for them?
I realize that now matter what I do my husband wont stop drinking. It is about me an my children and what is best for us. Forget about your husband and think aout you and your kids I know that sounds harsh but it seems like you tried and the reality is if staying is far worse then leaving, then you must leave.. alanon and alateen is great place to start. They kids will be happy with a happy mom.Think about one happy mom or two unhappy parents. Good luck.
This was sometime ago now but I completely understand what your saying. Many who have not been in this situation find it hard to understand. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to make someone see their alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a 3 fold disease. It affects the mind, body and spirit of a person. It is not a choice to drink. It may have started with a choice , but it ceased being a choice when the person could no longer control their intake. The disease of alcoholism or addiction tells the alcoholic or addict that they don't have a problem, it's everyone else that has the problem.
Have you noticed also that they are never to blame for anything, it is always someone else's fault. (This is usually the person closest to them.)
This is called deflection they don't like being cornered about their problem or anything else so they pass the blame to the other person. Taking the focus off them.
Have you noticed everything ends up in an argument?
Usually alcoholics love arguments which they then use as an excuse to drink. They use our weaknesses against use and use our reactions as an excuse to drink, which is then again blamed on us!
Maybe you feel rejected?
This is because the alcoholic is incapable of showing affection. It is a fact that their 1st love is with the alcohol. That is the other woman or man if you like.
What I found helped me was seeking a family support group via Al-Anon and also a online group which is closed via facebook. I wish you well on your journey
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