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I'm struggling

Community Member

I'm not coping at all with my husband drinking and he needs help. He knows he's an alcoholic but won't get help.

2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi naralle,


Thank you for posting here. I can hear how much you care about your husband and how much you want him to seek help. The fact he is not seeking help despite knowing he needs it sounds like it could be very frustrating for you, or difficult to understand.


I wonder if you know (or can guess) why he may not be seeking help, or may not be ready to? If you know why, you may be able to help him to get closer to that point. Often, with addictions like alcoholism, there can be a fear of change, or a fear of actually saying that you have a problem.


Also, I wonder if it might help you to talk to someone or find some resources to help you navigate how you’re feeling and to support yourself so that you can better support him? You have said you are not coping, and I think this is a sign that you need to look after yourself. 

I hope this helps in some way.




Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi naralle


I feel for you so much, given the deeply challenging circumstances you face. When I think of all the things we're prepared for in life when we're younger, how to live with an alcoholic is typically not one of them. 'How to do it?' can become the question.


I think the answers can depend on what type of drinker we're living with. If they're a seriously abusive drinker, we can't live with them and shouldn't be living with them under such circumstances. For a start, living in fear is not a good way to live. If they're a functional or 'high functioning' alcoholic who's not obviously abusive it's not so cut and dry, for a whole number of reasons. My husband falls into the 2nd category.


For a high functioning alcoholic, you don't necessarily realise they have that much of a problem at first because (without you fully being aware) you're taking on a lot of the responsibilities that they can't or won't take on. While developing a 'Can do' attitude, it's not until our responsibilities become too much that we can begin to wake up. Just to name a few: You become the person who always drives during certain times of the day or night and if there's no one else in the household to relieve you of that responsibility, it's one that remains yours alone. You become the one who manages a lot of the challenges alone because they're not in the best state to help manage those challenges or else they just don't want to face any emotional challenges that are going to take them out of their 'happy' or 'zen' state. You have to manage when you have serious discussions, so that they can remember the discussions. The life of the partner of an alcoholic can become frustrating, lonely, stressful, disappointing and even depressing in some cases. Their habit or addiction can impact us in a number of ways.


I've found this way of living provides a drinker with the illusion that their drinking's not that much of a problem. While they can admit to being an alcoholic, it's not a problem. From their perspective stuff still gets done, things don't fall apart, everyone manages to cope and, on top of it all, they get to zone out into their happy place. For those around them though...it can involve a lot of hard work.