Living with an Alcoholic

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My husband has been an alcoholic for years. Just recently he has admitted to it. Unfortunately, many people are in the same situation. We’ve only been married for five years, but the abuse started years earlier when he had an accident as a police officer that ended his career. To cope with the pain and the reality that his dream job had ended, he turned to alcohol.

That was 14 years ago. In the past five years of our marriage, I had noticed he had a problem, but like many, I found reasons and made excuses for him. I was in denial just as he was.

It was not uncommon for us to spend more money on booze than on food. We struggled month to month finding money for bills, for gasoline and any other household things we needed. We would spend hundreds of dollars on booze. The days my husband was off from work, the first thing he would do when he got out of bed was take a shot whiskey, vodka or what ever was available. By noon he would be drunk and by three he would be passed out on the couch. This went on for years, each year getting worse. His health began to deteriorate; he gained weight from the empty calories in booze. It was normal for him to drink a large bottle of whiskey or vodka in one day. He did this about three times a week. There were times when he was so drunk I had to clean his face after he ate because food was all over his face and clothes. It broke my heart seeing the man I love reduced to a babbling infant, all from drinking.

We began fighting over stupid things, usually when he had been drinking. Our life was crumbling fast. I finally opened my eyes and realized he had a problem. I love him and knew that making excuses for him was only harming him and our marriage. I began going to church and really trying to get my life together. One Sunday during the silent prayer time at church I prayed that God would help my husband get sober. Soon after the prayer, the preacher went over the schedule for the next week and one of the activities was a trip in the church van to an Al-Anon meeting. It’s a support group for people who have an alcoholic in their family. I had asked for help, and right at that instant I received it. When I came home that Sunday, my husband happened to be on the phone with his sister, who lives in another city. She had visited us the previous week and had noticed my husbands condition. She asked him to seek help. With his sister and I asking, and the help of God, my husband agreed.

He began attending AA meetings the next day, and I am going to Al-Anon meetings. We can only live day to day. I know he is trying and wants to change. I know God is listening to me and guiding us through each step.

Each night when we go to bed, my husband says, “I promise I won’t drink tomorrow.” One day at a time. This is how we get better.


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