Choice Between Me or Alcohol

Updated on June 22, 2011
H.K. asks from Chiefland, FL
27 answers

My husband was a recovered alcoholic when i met him at age 25. He had never touched a drop in 5 years. Well, we have been married 5 years and about a year ago he totally started changing in a lot of ways. He has picked up drinking wine, huge glassfuls at a time and also his brother comes over and brings a case of beer occasionally. I have drank a few sips of wine in the past and have started being queasy around the smell of red wine, i don't know why, and i have a new NOT pregnant.
Anyhow.....We had a baby sitter at the house and were about to go on a longed for date night when he goes looking for his wine and asks where it is. I said, Please dont drink on our trip, it really makes me nauseated and sick in the car for sure. Well after searching for it....he pours himself a huge glassful. He takes it out with us every time we go on a date and i always complain about it making me sick. So he knows i get sick and just pours it anyway. Long story short.....we didnt go on our datenight. This morning he said something about it, dont remember what....I reply," i guess you wanted your wine more than me!"
Oh let me add that hes not an alcoholic....he def. is not going to let me drag him to a recovery program....cause he laughs when i try to make him drink less or say anything about it. He has only been really drunk once since i married him. ITs just scary how fast he is starting to love the stuff! He says he drinks it to feel secure and relaxed around people. And when he used to go to church, he always had to have some to even go thru the doors. He is uneasy around ppl.
We never fight much and this wasn't a fight....just a choice between a date or a glass of wine. Maybe the sick feeling i get is t he fear we are about to loose everything to alcohol in the future and we are moving to our own home in a few months.
I know all of you are full of the answers for things like this......and i am sure there are those out there to scold me for not trying harder.....

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice. Very helpful and very needed! I never dreamed he could be on the track to alcoholism again. I have 3 small children and i have already started looking into getting some help and advice. I also need to learn how to make money at home, so i can learn to support us when bad turns to worse. Looks like a very uncertain future for our little family. Hopefully if i keep referring to him that he IS indeed an alcoholic that needs help....he will quit brushing it off and just listen and take my advice that he needs help...quick! There is no one else in his family that has this problem, so i H. it isn't passed down the line to my boys as they grow up. Thanks also for the encouragement!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

There's no such thing as a "recovered" alcoholic. He's either in recovery or not. He's not. He's relapsing, which is not uncommon. There are alcoholics who pick up again after 20 years of sobriety.
He needs AA, a sponsor and a recovery program. Bottom line.
You need Alanon to learn how to live with an alcoholic.
This has nothing to do with you "trying harder" or "loving him enough" to put down the alcohol. It's about a disease. He is sick and he needs help. You need to stop living in denial.
As for the upcoming home, etc. everything will work for you IF this issue is addressed. If it's not, it's only a matter of time. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive fatal disease, left untreated.
Best of luck!
ETA Anyone who claims to be able to "stop drinking" on their own is a liar. Alcoholics need to ADMIT and SUBMIT to a group where they can get support and accountability.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Providence on

He. is. an. alcoholic. He needs an intervention, and fast. If he continues down this path, their is no way to get him out of it. You will lose everything if he doesn't get help for his problem. I also would suggest you go to Alanon meetings.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

If he was an alcoholic when you met, he is still an alcoholic. There are recovering alcoholics, but there is no such thing as a recovered alcoholic. Just because he doesn't drink every day or doesn't get toilet-hugging sick drunk every time he drinks doesn't mean he isn't an alcoholic.

He takes a glass of wine into the car with him? Open-container laws apply to passengers as well as drivers.

I am married to a recovering alcoholic. He has been in and out of treatment and he knows that I am done dealing with relapses. If he drinks again, he has to find another place to live.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

You said your husband was a 'recovered' alcholic at age 25.

Addicts are NEVER 'recovered'. They are ALWAYS 'recovering'.

It has only been a decade since then, and alcohol is affecting not only his life, but yours as well. Alcohol took precedence over your date.

You say he's not an alcoholic, but it sounds like he is.

If I were you I would encourage him to enroll in something that will reinforce what he learned a decade ago. There is a wonderful program called 'Celebrating Recovery' that is a fabulous alternative to AA.

And please remember that Alcohol is a disease like a medical condition. He is not 'choosing alcohol over you'. He is powerless to it.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If your husband would rather have a glass of wine than go out on a date with you, he is no longer "recovering". He's an alcoholic again.

I heard this some where about an alcoholic: "One drink is too many and a thousand drinks is not enough."

Your husband is on his way back to where he was at 25 or before.

My heart goes out to you. Good luck to you and yours.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Don't be naive, he is VERY MUCH an alcoholic. Very much. You sound like an intelligent woman, use your head about this. You know he's an alcoholic, don't be in denial. Go to Al-Anon and get some resources. YOU don't have to try harder! Alcohol is not your problem, it's his. HE needs to try.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Glens Falls on

There is no such thing as a recovered alcoholic. That's why it is called "recovering alcoholic" because they are never done recovering. If alcohol caused so much strife in his life that he stopped for 5 years, then he has now fallen off the wagon. I have a friend whose husband periodically fell off the wagon. Sometimes not too much trouble, sometimes lots of trouble. Hospitalized for it 3 times during their marriage. He went long periods without drinking, too, but it was a constant shadow over their lives. Ultimately his last fall from the wagon was severe, lost his job, tried to commit suicide, stole all their money from the bank - she divorced him and he continued his fall into the gutter. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. Tell him it's a deal breaker and he needs to not drink at all to be with you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Well, you already know he's a recovering alcoholic. And now he's fallen off the wagon. You are sick with worry I'm sure. You need to have a heart to heart talk with him and really see where his head is at. Remind him of why he quit drinking and ask him why he wants to revisit that. Let him know how it makes you "feel". If alcohol is a deal breaker for you in your marriage you need to make that clear to him, let him know that you refuse to stick around if it's going to become an out of control thing... such as drinking and driving ... which seems he's already showing you that he thinks that is okay.
He's an addict. Saying "you want your wine more than me" has a lot of truth to it, but it's the disease that causes it and not that he doesnt love you. Treat him like you would if he was ill with something else, if he doesnt want to "get well", you have some hard decisions to make.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Two words: Al-Anon. (Actually, I guess that's one word.)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Hopie - Your husband IS an alcoholic. He is drinking. He picked his glass of wine over you.
Listen, my husband is also a recovering alcoholic. He has not had a drop in 8 years. He CAN'T have a drop or he will do exactly what your husband is doing and go back to drinking. He knows it and has expressed that to me. I know that you don't want to think of him as fallen off the wagon, but he has and until he recognizes that and gets back ON the wagon, you are living with an alcoholic. MY husband knows that if he starts drinking again I am out the door. I don't want to deal with it, I got three children that are more important than an addiction.
I don't know what advice to give you but I want you to understand that your husband IS drinking again and is no longer in recovery. I believe there are al-anon meetings that YOU can attend and I recomment that you do. Good luck to you

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Been there, lived that. If he doesn't respect you enough to listen to you in this regard... it's not worth it. Let him know this is a deal breaker (if it is). He needs to re-evaluate what's important to him, and you need to do the same. Do you really want your kids exposed to irresponsible drinking? Everyone on here knows my struggle with this.. MINE has a happy ending, and I truly wish the same for you. Feel free to PM me if you need to vent :) Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

besides the obvious that he is down the road to alcoholism again it sounds like he is drinking while driving, which in my book, even if he were my husband, I would NOT even hesitate to call the police on him while he is driving & drinking

get help for both of you now, this is nothing to mess around with......DONT wait for *answers* from us, we can't help you

my mother died from alcoholism at the young age of 44

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Once an alcoholic, someone is alcoholic for life whether they are actively drinking or not. And since your husband is actively drinking he's fallen off the wagon and is abusing alcohol. Being drunk or not doesn't matter. He's abusing alcohol.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

When someone NEEDS a glass of wine or beer to loosen up - it's an addiction. He needs help but he will not get any because he doesn't feel it's an issue. You have to decide for yourself and children if you want to live with a ticking bomb - because it WILL get worse. He probably hides a lot more drinking from you than you realize.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

I'm with the others on this, you can't go from being an alcoholic 5 years ago to just having a little wine. Its like cigarettes- you quit for 5 years then only drink during social occasions- the amount you smoke will slowly creep up. I am a recovering bulimic, have been for 15 years if I started bingeing and purging again (even 1 time) it would be a major struggle in miy mind everyday not to keep doing it-
I think you need to find alanon and fast! and sit down with your husband and tell him he needs to stop drinking now! (most likely he knows in the back of his mind, but is having trouble admiting it.)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

he is an alcoholic, he is a high functioning alcoholic ... but an alcoholic none the less. I know of a few people who battled with it very young that got help and YEARS (20 or so) later they learned they could treat it correctly and drink responsibly. This is not something you should toy around with by any means.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It sounds like he isn't reacting to stress very well and he is in denial that he is an alcoholic. I mean maybe he doesn't fit the definition yet but putting the bottle above your spouses wishes sure sounds like he is headed in that direction.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He IS an alcoholic. Once an alcoholic ALWAYS an alcoholic. Even if he never touches another drop in his entire life he will still be an alcoholic. If he won't go to AA meetings then YOU should go without him. It's very easy to make excuses and H. the problem will go away, but if you stand by and do nothing it is just going to get worse. AA will teach you about alcoholism and how to best help your husband. Please please go to AA and try and get him some help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Uh oh, I hate to break it to ya, but it sounds like he's back to using alcohol as a way to cope with life & he's in major denial. Taking wine with you every time you go out to socialize is not normal or healthy.

This is the risk you take with someone who has an addiction, even if they've been in recovery for years. Just one taste can lead to a relapse for some people, and they are right back to their self destructive ways. There are plenty of functioning alcoholics that hold down jobs & pay their bills, but just because they aren't falling down drunk, it doesn't mean they don't need help. Being an alcoholic, he should know this.

I'd lovingly insist that he get help now, while it's still not out of control. If he's resistant, then he needs to leave your home & get himself together until he's out of denial & wants to face the truth. Really, it's the responsible thing to do, you have to protect your kid(s) & be proactive in case he goes completely under & self destructs.

I have a feeling you already know what you NEED to do, but are trying to garner the strength to do it. So, my advice is... do whatever you need to do to protect yourself & your kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic! He WAS a recovering alcoholic, and if you don't nip this in the bud, he will continue to get worse and worse. Once an alcoholic sobers up, they cannot EVER touch it again, otherwise, they are back to square one. On top of that, driving with open alcohol in your car is ILLEGAL. If a cop would pull you over, you would be arrested. Please tell your husband that he either gives it up for good or you are leaving. It's not going to get any better until he goes back to AA and sobers up.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I have to disagree that he's not an alcoholic. Anyone who chooses alcohol over a person is an alcoholic. He was an alcoholic once -- why do you say he isn't now, when he is showing all the classic signs? You don't have to be drunk to be an alcoholic.

Your husband is quickly going down a slippery slope. I suggest you draw a hard line in the sand, now. Tell him it's you or the booze. And how dare he laugh at you when you try to make him drink less - someone who has already admittedly had a problem with drinking. Shame on him.

Listen to Laura U. (and everyone else).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

He's an alcoholic who is drinking. You are the only one who can decide to stay or go. However, you have a child now. What happens if he is driving drunk with your child? You make it sound like "well, its just wine and beer". Sorry, an alcoholic can't drink PERIOD. He needs treatment now and you need counseling.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He needs to get back to getting support from AA and some counseling. Eventually he'll move back to full fledge alcoholism if hasn't already. Once an addict always one....Please address this sooner rather than later for the sake of your family and your marriage.

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answers from Chicago on

He has a drinking problem. You.

It doesn't matter if he thinks he has a problem. You have a problem with how he's handling it.
Therefore, he can continue it, or lose you.

How far are you prepared to go with this? Divorce? Therapy? You have to decide what YOU want the end result to be, and to understand that you can't change his behavior - only how YOU react to it.

Good luck sweetie.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You are the one with a choice to make,(he's made his-and it's wine not you) do you teach your children that this is normal healthy behavior (driving and drinking!) they should copy or do you make a stand that you sill not raise your children around alcoholism? When he sees you are serious about this and ready to leave him if he doesnt QUIT completely he will have to rethink his choice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You have already gotten a lot of advice about how he is still an alcoholic, which I agree with (both my parents are/were alcoholic and it "runs" in the family). I just wanted to add that you need to tell him that if he is having social anxiety, he needs to find a healthier way of dealing with it (and gulping a huge glass of wine before he sees people is extremely unhealthy). If he is in denial about being alcoholic, maybe you can try to get him to get help for his social anxiety. If this is truly the reason he wants to drink, then tell him seeing a therapist for his anxiety is a much healthier way of dealing with it.

My husband and I are both shy people, but neither of us feel the need to drink alcohol before seeing people, so it might just be the excuse he is using. But it is worth a try (my mom struggled with alcoholism, and getting therapy for her anxiety has helped her a lot). Good luck, I H. you are able to work it out with your husband.

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answers from Dallas on

If you are not too overwhelmed with responses by now, please let me offer a few more words of advice as someone who has recently traveled down the very same road you are on.
First of all, I agree with everyone else; your husband is (most likely) an addict and no matter what the substance is, an addict will always chose their substance over all else. Not for lack of love or desire for their family, friends, home, job, etc. but because they have no control over their addiction. I know this because 18 months ago my husband was escorted home from work because he was “drunk on the job”. You would think that the threat of losing a 28 year career, the home he's lived in for 16 years and a 25 year marriage would have been enough to make my husband stop drinking that very day but unfortunately that was not the case. Addiction is just not that easy. After six very long heartbreaking months and two attempts in rehab, I’m grateful to say he has been sober for the past year; however I still have that same sick to my stomach feeling that at any moment he could lose his daily battle with the desire to drink. Here are a few things I’ve learned during this often very painful journey:
•You cannot fix or change your husband’s condition, he has to first acknowledge that he has a problem and then he has to decide to get the help he needs.
•You have to decide where your breaking point is and you must be very clear to your husband about where that point lies. If he crosses the line you’ve drawn, you must be able to follow through with your plan; which brings me to the next lesson learned,
•You need to create a solid plan for how you will take care of yourself and children should that become necessary.
•You should be supportive in his efforts to get well, should he decide to get help, but more importantly, get support for yourself. Al-Anon was not right for me, it may not work for you – but find some type of group that can give you the support you need. And one last little bit of advise;
•If you are a person of faith, consider the message found in Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads;
trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Good luck my friend, I wish you and your family the best and pray that God will bless you in your efforts.

1 mom found this helpful
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