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I'm new here. My wifes an alcoholic

Community Member

I'm heartbroken. My beautiful wife who i love very much is an alcoholic.

I'm angry at myself because i never saw it coming. We used to socially drink together but she was always more keen than me.

This has come like a freight train. Thinking back, there was a change in her behaviour towards me. She appeared emotionally disconnected.

We've always been so close but lately she's been distant.

I noticed 3 evenings running she would come back from work drunk. I thought she was drinking at home but there were no bottles. I secretly took her office keys and and my world fell apart when i found a 4 tier filing cabinet full of empty wine bottles, cans, beer bottle and a stash of new bottles. I just sat in her office and cried.

I worked out she was finishing work at about 3.30 and drinking until about 430

The next day i deliberately paid her an impromptu visit at work during these times. She acted pleased to see me but was clearly rattled. She tried to hide the pint of wine on her desk by leaning to one side hoping i wouldn't see it. I don't know why i needed anymore validation.

Tonight she came back from the pub with a friend and she could barely walk. She tried to pick something off the floor and went headfirst into the wall.

She was angry with me when i tried to help. She went to bed but when i checked on her she had a bottle of wine next to her bed.

Anyway enough waffling from me, I'm just venting.

I don't know how to handle it. I have been in touch with alanon and have been advised to simply love and support.

I'm utterly broken. She's beautiful inside and out and a great mum to our 4 kids.

10 Replies 10

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Shep, thanks for coming to the forums and certainly appreciate what you have told us as I used alcohol as a way to self medicate when suffering from depression, now I haven't had a drink for well over 2 years.

Being a cupboard drinker or hiding what she needs to drink in certain spots she has decided on, could be anywhere or she could fill up jars, bottles whatever she likes and may hide them in the pantry, behind a book or some obscene hiding spot, somewhere you would never believe she could.

Not all alcoholics are to blame, they need it for many different reasons and it may not have anything to do with you, because any mental illness of any type may just suddenly take over a person for no specific reason, although I'm not a doctor to say, but know from what happened to me.

To just love and support them may benefit some people, otherwise, it can certainly encourage them to keep drinking and not address the problem and the situation to become worse, this all depends on your situation and the response you may receive.

People can be told to stop, cut down or slow down their drinking, but it's only up to them to decide whether or not that's what they want to do, it's their decision, no matter how much you love them.

If a therapist is able to find out why she needs to drink, then the possibility of her stopping is possible, but she needs to accept that she does have a problem and only until then, she has to realise the consequences of what it's doing to the family.

You may have questions you want to ask so please do so.


Community Member

Thank you Geoff for your wonderful words of wisdom.

This morning she's up as usual and we've both been busy sorting the kids and the house. She's happy and said she was not going to drink. She took her meds and so far she's ok.

However, she's just nipped to work to sort some invoices which is pretty standard for her but it's where her secret stash is. I'm not stupid, i know what comes next.

I'm about to pay her a visit to empty her filing cabinet. She's not going to be happy but then again neither are we.

It's the lies that get me.

Am i doing the right thing or do i play possum?

Thanks again,


Hi there,

I can see you love your wife and care for her deeply, and that you're heartbroken from what she's going through. She is extremely lucky to have you. I feel like most would be afraid of the situation and would be afraid to take the initiative to get to the bottom of things like you have. In my perspective, I think you're doing an amazing job and that she has a great support system with her, which is invaluable.

As Geoff mentioned.. Ultimately it is her decision to take the steps to stop drinking. I can see that you've confronted her about her drinking.. How did she respond?

The anger that you have for yourself is understandable. But I hope someday you can reach a place where you're content with the fact that you're giving your all to help her, and that's all that you can do. It's really easy to slip into the mindset of taking responsibility for her actions..

I really hope you're taking care of yourself right now while trying to help her.. Your health and wellbeing is very important also. This situation is very complicated. Finding out about her drinking has left you heartbroken, and you've been lied to.

It's great to hear that she's taken her meds and she seemed happy today.

We're here if you need to chat ❤️


Thank you for your kind words.

We've had a great day today.

I intended to visit her at work but she wasn't there. She did go to her friends for one drink and i called her and asked her to come home which she did. We talked and at first she was defensive and angry at me but eventually she came around and agreed to being truthful with me. It's the lies that are hurtful.

She said her friend in the opposite office brings in 2 bottles of wine every lunch and they share them. I was so grateful she told me that.

We shared some zero alcohol beers and it's been nice. She accepts that this will all come crashing down if we don't do something.

Positive steps one at a time.

Forever the optimist,


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Shep, I do understand the lies that are so painful because you're never sure whether to believe what she says or whether she can be trusted, but when she realises that unless something is done it will only get worse, is a positive move and this has been achieved by yourself.

I have full admiration for you, and from this experience, I'm sure you have gained great insight and highly respect you.

For her to open up about what her friend brings into the office is a terrific start to realise that this can not continue if she wants to keep her job because eventually she will be caught out.

If I can mention that her doctor can prescribe medication that stops the urge in wanting to drink, she will have no desire to drink and even if she does have a drink, there will be no effect, no buzz reaction from the alcohol, but when it's her usual time when she used to drink, she needs to replace this with drinking a large glass of fizzy drink and swallow the whole glass, this will fill up her tummy and encourage her to eat something at the same time.

If she is able to change her routine to break the continuity this will help and someone who can't stop at drinking only one glass shouldn't be drinking at all.

It may be a long battle but this can certainly be achieved and would love to hear back from you.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Shep 71,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out. Sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time with your wife. Do you know what could've caused the sudden change in her behaviour? You mentioned that she became recently distant, have you spoken to her about it? I would try to talk to her and gauge what is happening, if there is something she isn't sharing with you that is causing her to drink more than usual. It could maybe be work related as she is spending more time drinking at work. If you approached her directly and had no luck then I would suggest getting a family member that you trust involved like her mother for instance. It sounds like your wife is a beautiful mother and a good person, so it could be something that is stressing her out that is causing her to drink. If she is not keen on talking to you maybe suggest to her if she would like to speak to a professional such as a psychologist or counsellor. If she is interested she can see her GP for a referral. I'm glad you have managed to talk to her about it and it will be a little difficult at the start to trust her, but hopefully things will get better. It's good to also let her know how you feel and that the lies hurt you too. It will be a little difficult for both of you at the start and it will be hard work, but things will eventually get better.

That's amazing to hear.

As Geoff mentioned.. Amazing first steps on her part by recognising that she has a problem, and that she needs to tackle it before it gets worse. Her being defensive and angry initially isn't surprising.. I'm sure that anger is at herself as well. But it's amazing that she came around.

As you said, positive steps one step at a time. I'm sending well wishes to you and your wife, and I hope she makes a successful recovery.

All the best for you both. Feel free to reach out whenever you like, we'd love to hear about your journey 🙂

Community Member


Thanks for the advice.

She went to see the doc last week and got all the meds. She was told that the meds that stop the cravings take a week or so to work.

I think that once she goes back to work she'll have a secret drink. Isn't it horrible that i think like that. My brother was a drug addict and we were suspicious in the same way.

Luckily she has her own business which she started in January. Its been really successful and it has its pressures.

Her younger sister, mum and grandparents died within 18 months of each other. She said this was where it started but in fairness she's always been a drinker.

We fostered twins recently so there's currently 8 in our house. It's chaotic but fun and luckily a distraction for Emma. She did however, take the twins to the local park. She reluctantly told me she'd met her friend there who, of course, bought a bottle of wine!!! She said she'd had one glass but brought it back with her. I asked her for a glass and so drank a pint of the stuff in anger!! Childish i know but she got the point.

One step at a time.

Best wishes Geoff,


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Shep, I really hope that she, herself, is encouraged to continue taking these tablets, these will help her one way, the other way, she needs to consider talking with someone who is experienced in this field because this medication will work but it doesn't solve the reason why she needed to drink.

I have known people who were taking this medication but quietly stopped so they could drink again, a complete surprise to the family but not to their friends who wanted them to share the alcohol, just like old times.

You will be able to recognise whether this is happening by the amount of fizzy drink that's been drunk and whether any alcohol has been hidden away, I hope this doesn't happen for your sake.

Take care.