When alcohol gets in the way of relationships….

Susan* writes…..

red red wine

“I want to preface this by saying I do love my husband.  He’s a good man.  Helpful, a good provider and a hard worker.  We have been married for 14 years and together for 16.  Our relationship has been tumultuous at best.  But we have stuck together through it all.

My husband likes to drink alcohol.     Sometimes a lot.  At least 3 glasses of wine every day.  But it’s not just wine.  Gin, vodka, beer, etc.  If he is with a mate or family, he will drink to excess – binge drink.  I would say at least once a week.    And he’s out of commission the next day – taking time off work, or family matters.  Sleeping most of the day and complaining he must be getting sick.  Last time the binge drinking happened was Mother’s Day at my parents.  He started drinking wine at 11am and didn’t stop until about 10pm that night, when I pointed out he should probably stop.  He didn’t work the next day.  That morning, very early I got up and woke him.  I told him I think he should slow down on the drinking.  He didn’t understand my concern, so I pointed out the amount of time he drank on Sunday and he realized that didn’t sound too great.  He agreed he would cut back.

He didn’t exactly cut back.  He didn’t drink all day, but he still drank every day this past week.  And tonight he is with his friend, watching footy, drinking beer.  He will be home after midnight, as happens every Friday during football season.  Tomorrow I have plans on my own and won’t be home.  I can guess he will spend Saturday like most Saturdays – on the couch, asleep.  He’ll jump up when I come home in the afternoon and act very cheerful but low on energy.

We have talked about the possibility of him having a drinking problem, but he doesn’t feel it’s a problem.  When he’s obviously drunk, he doesn’t agree if I point it out.  We have talked about taking a break from alcohol, but it’s not appealing to him.

I must point out that he has little regard for his personal health.  He’s overweight, eats whatever he wants and has very high cholesterol that he won’t deal with.  He doesn’t exercise or look after himself, and blames it on his job.  He does work a lot.  More than 12 hours most days – and he drinks while working and thinks it’s ok, he can handle it.  I try to make healthy, well balanced meals, but I can’t make him eat breakfast or lunch.  He will also eat seconds most meals, and if I say something he sulks and puts it back.  But by morning it’s mysteriously missing from the fridge.

I don’t drink.  I used to when we met, but it no longer agrees with me.  I’m just not sure how to deal with any of this anymore.  There is so much more to the story, but I’m really hoping for some advice on the drinking issue and maybe even the health issue….”