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My wife is an alcoholic

Community Member

Hello everyone. This is my first post.

My wife is an alcoholic. In her eyes she is fully functional.

She works full time and rarely misses work. She drinks every night. Normally half a bottle of vodka and slips in a few wines too. By 8:30 she’s drunk as a skunk. She’s 40 years old with 3 children of her own and two of mine. We have shared care of all the kids. When she becomes drunk I put the kids to bed etc. if I challenge her when she’s drunk I become the bad person. If I challenge her the next day she can’t remember and brushes it off.

She has been to rehab a few years ago and really enjoyed it. And starting drinking as soon as she got out.

Anyone out there been through this and has any advice?

When she is sober she is a great person. When she is drunk she is not ! I love her and our kids.

How do I make her realise what she is doing is wrong without causing an argument?

17 Replies 17

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Justjosh

Welcome to the forums and good on you for having the courage to post too!

I joined the forums 2 years ago after being made redundant with depression/anxiety. I am sorry for what you are going through with what you have posted about your wife. Having children would be a concern when a parent has an issue with alcohol as the kids are effected as well as yourself

The forums are a rock solid safe place for you to post and your privacy is paramount here.

Can I ask if your wife has had any type of major life stress event that she uses alcohol as a coping mechanism for?

Josh....The forums are also non judgemental. No one will judge you or your wife here. We are friendly and can offer support from our own life experiences though

There are many gentle people on the forums that can be here for you too. This is your thread topic and you are more than welcome to post as many times as you wish

My kind thoughts for you and your family


Hi Paul,

Thanks for your response. It was very kind

My wife was in a marriage before ours with a narcissist. It crushed her spirit and she turned to alcohol back then. Since then she has been diagnosed with bi-polar and a few other mental illnesses. She takes a lot of prescription medicine to control her mental illness which works most of the time.

I'm just lost at how to go about helping her with her alcohol problem. I don't want to push her away, but i also cant keep the marriage going too much longer if it doesn't change dramatically.

Good Morning Justjosh

Thankyou for posting back and helping us support you more effectively

I take meds and also have regular counseling for my ongoing depression and left over anxiety

I know this may be a pain but would your wife be agreeable to a joint counseling session? (just my opinion)

You are a really decent guy. For you.....your children and your wife to grow together as a family, a basic counseling session would be a great start to having some peace as a family unit

Your thoughts are always more than welcome Justjosh...

I hope you have a good day JJ

My Kind thoughts and kudos to you for the TLC you have for your wife and children 🙂


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Justjosh, thanks for posting your comment where you have said that your wife is an alcoholic, that's something I know of or that's what I was when I was in depression, I used it to self medicate.

I have 2 sons and divorced from my wife and all three really disliked me drinking, now I only social drink for two reasons, 1. I don't want to get intoxicated and 2. I need to do this for medical reasons.

From what you have said is that she was previously married and started her drinking then, now it's continued on into your marriage, which I'm really sorry for.

Maybe you could suggest to her to see her doctor, who may then refer her a psychologist and even joint counselling could prove to be good.

Please ask any questions you like. Geoff.

Hi Justjosh,

I'm so sorry for your pain, its hard losing your partner every night, and they never remember anything much . Its very hard and frustrating being the sober and responsible partner through that.

If your wife was married to a Narcissist, she is suffering from PTSD and may need a bit more help with it. Drinking is a fairly normal coping mechanism for Post traumatic Stress.

But she probably needs proper support for recovery from Nariccisstic abuse more than anything else at this point. Its a complicated type of abuse, and takes a bit to process. Often that processing includes acknowledging and dealing with Narcissistic parents and family members as well as the relationship she was in.

If I knew her, although I know she needs help with alcohol, I would encourage her to look for support groups online for recovery from narcissistic abuse. That is what will really help her IMO. She is traumatized by what she experienced, and life and people probably scare her a lot . She can definitely be helped though, she just needs that specific kind of support.

I wish you the best X

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi JustJosh, I want to come back to your post because it's a great concern for you and I can understand this, being someone who has overcome this problem.

Someone doesn't stop drinking just because they're going from one marriage to another, it usually is taken with them and then the opposite spouse tries to deal with it then, just as you are now.

The reason I mentioned for her to see the doctor is that they may want to do some blood tests that will give them a liver function result, plus red/white blood results that could give her an indication of her health.

Drinking alcohol will diminish the full effects of her medication and what it will do is change her ability to do things that she once could do later on in life.

Whether it's her mental illness making her drink or whether it's coming from a narcissist marriage has to be determined. Geoff.

Community Member

Good Call Geoff,

I hope I didn't come across as invalidating your advice. I think getting help with alcohol is very important too, and your advice is spot on. Sometimes you have to treat both the addiction and cause, that's all I hoped to communicate. Sorry if that wasn't clear,

Good on you for overcoming such a difficult addiction, I have a lot of respect for your advice and your accomplishment.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


I remember being how your wife is all to well when i was drinking. Like her i worked full time, was a model employee hardly ever taking time and to the outside world had everything together expept for 1 thing..i would drink to blackout.

I heard from so many freinds and family how i was in blackout but refused to listen to them. If anyone confronted me about my drinking it would mean a huge argument and i would point out everything wrong with them and their lives.

In the end everyone stopped taking my calls because they didnt want anymore dramas.

It wasnt till a freind taped me drunk in blackout that i had no choice but to do something.

In rehap she would have been introduced to A.A maybe ask her if she would like to go to a meeting and catch up with freinds from rehap. Unfortunately nobody can force a person to get help. Right now all you can do is let her know you know she's hurting and be there telling her its ok and together you'll make it through anything.


I can hear your frustration at trying to help your wife.

You have given been helpful advice from Paul, bindi, Geoff and Bethie.

My situation was different but before I was diagnosed with bipolar I used to drink a lot and often. When I was 16 I was diagnosed with bipolar but I was in denial for many years and self medicated with alcohol when I was high.

I eventually got help for bipolar when my children were young and was medicated and reduced my drinking.

Would she go and talk to her doctor?