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Husband's Addiction

Question:

My husband is drinking alchol for about 30 yrs. But now he becomes out of control. What will be the solution? He is about 60 now.

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Answer:

Well, you certainly have a fine dilemma on your hands. After thirty years of drinking I guess it will be difficult to get him to stop drinking. Your husband is one among the many people who drink but never seek any help. Somehow, they manage to maintain their jobs and families without needing or asking for help. However, now that has all changed.

What is different now?

The fact that you and your husband is older complicates the picture because all too many of our senior citizens turn to alcohol and become problem drinkers as a really unfortunate way to cope with problems such as retirement, health issues, the empty nest, too much liesure time and not enough to do and facing the issues of mortaltiy and death during the later years.

Yet, it is important that you not give up hope. One place to begin is to sit your husband down and tell him, when he is completely sober, that his drinking is scaring you because of his getting out of control. Appeal to him and to the many years of your marriage and that alcohol should not be allowed to interfere with the “golden years” facing both of you.

In my opinion it is important to let him know that you are so frightened by his behavior when he drinks that you may have to call the police the next time he gets out of control. Let him know that you are frightened not only for yourself but for him and his health, as well. It is common for people who drink to get very injured and especially older people and you do not want that to happen.

Now, there are medications that can help block the craving for alcohol and you could ask him if he will go to the MD to discuss his problem and the use of medications. I would encourage you to ask him to see a therapist as a way to have someone to talk to about his problems and that you could both go.

Lastly, you could ask him to start attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. If he will not, you could and should begin attending Alanon meetings so you can learn how to cope with him, especially if he refuses to listen  to your concerns about his drinking.

And, one last idea: If you have children then ask them to talk to dad about this problem and getting help.

Best of Luck

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Comments
  • Claire

    Allan,

    I thought you said that you are retired that therefore you are seldom or never in a position to refer someone to AA. You also have said that you are not a fan of AA. But here you are, making a referral to both AA and Al-Anon without any mention of the problems that exist within these 12 step groups, and without mentioning any of the other peer support groups available such as SMART Recovery, SOS and LifeRing.

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