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*Update* I think my friend's husband is an alcoholic

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by sammy, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    I am pretty sure that my friend's husband is a functioning alcoholic. He has a high pressure job which he does well at but according to my friend he polishes off a 6 pack every evening and then often goes out to a bar after that leaving her at home to deal with the kids. I have been to there house several times and witnessed him coming home drunk on a few occasions as well.

    Lately, he has started calling her from bars telling her to come pick him up late at night and to leave the kids (all under age 10) home alone!! She refuses and when he does finally make it home he screams and rages at her. These incidents are becoming more frequent. What's the best way to bring up the idea that he might be an alcoholic? I think she is likely to be very defensive so I don't want to say something right off the bat that will make her shut down and not listen. thanks
  2. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Are you close enough to the husband that you'd be able to confront him? It does sound to me like he does have a drinking problem. If you can talk to him, just make sure to emphasize that you noticed the problem and that it wasn't something that your friend suggested. If he's reasonable enough, he'll realize that even outsiders have noticed that his drinking is an issue and maybe he'll start doing something about it. If you're not close to him though, then try to ask your friend if she's having any problems with her husband and she might open up the issue herself. Don't push the topic if she starts becoming defensive though.
  3. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Unfortunately, I am not close the husband at all. Sometimes my friend does complain about his drinking but when I have even hinted in the past that his drinking sounds excessive, she immediately started saying no, it really wasn't a big deal and that he was just having a few drinks to relax. Now that she is complaining more often about the situation and it includes him having these episodes of anger and rage, I am getting more concerned for her and the kids. I have to think that she is also getting more nervous about this as she has mentioned it more frequently then ever before. I am not sure if he is suddenly drinking more or if it was really this bad all along and she is just getting to the point of not being able to deal with it. Can I suggest that she reach out to the a local AA meeting? Would they give her advice on what to do?
  4. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I think asking around is a good start. It seems like her talking more often about it is her way of reaching out. I'm sure her defending her husband is more her way of trying to convince herself than trying to convince you. The local AA in our area has a general knowledge about other programs so they know where to refer people if they think they need more than AA or if they feel that there's another program that would fit them better. The AA in your area probably has the same thing. Good luck on helping your friend and her husband.
  5. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I would definitely suggest an AA meeting to her. Many people do not know that they are for friends and family of alcoholics. Even if she isn't interested, it's good to start the conversation if she is in denial about the situation. Be there to support her.
  6. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    The group for family & friends of alcoholics is called Al-anon. Your first six meetings they want the newbie to talk and get out all of their aggravation/experiences. It helps them to feel connected to the group when they realize they are not alone. They even have an online site where you can find local chapters or information. They even have Al-ateen" for teenagers. Your friend already knows he has a serious problem. But spouses get in denial, just like the addict. And for several reasons: 1.) If his drinking is out of control, it must be her fault 2.) Everyone will think there is something wrong and horrible with the family 3.) Having an alcoholic for a husband makes her a bad wife 4.) Some people believe their relationships are no one else's business.

    Now of course, this is all BS. I would offer her support, tell her you are always there to listen. Offer to go to a meeting with her if she wants. AA has an online site that has lots of info, there are even some places that have online meetings. The important thing is for her to know she is not alone. We are all here for both of you. If she resists, don't bring it up for a while. She knows he is an addict. She just feels ashamed, guilty, overwhelmed, and scared.
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Be gentle and sensitive to her feelings, but if she keeps bringing it up it sounds like she knows there is a serious problem and she feels the need to talk about it. Getting her some information about how to deal with the situation sounds like a really good way to not be pushy, but still be helpful and showing support.
  8. cynamarie

    cynamarie Member

    If you suspect that he is an alcoholic, chances are that she knows it as well. She is just in denial. The next time she complains to you about their problems, I would suggest bringing up the alcohol. She may have to give him an ultimatum. Perhaps even leave with the kids one night to stand her ground and make an impression that she is not going to put up with his behavior. Also, if he is going to go to the bar, perhaps he should plan to call a taxi. But hey at least he calls for a ride and knows better than to get behind the wheel!
  9. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Thanks for all the helpful replies! I really appreciate it.

    I really do try and be as sensitive as possible but it does get very frustrating because she is a very smart woman and it just drives me a little crazy that she can't seem to see the situation for what it is. The next time she brings it up I will gently try and steer the conversation to maybe it's time to consider AA. If she gets defensive, I will back off but maybe just hearing it out loud will help her realize that the problem is more severe than she realizing.
  10. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    At the moment maybe he is just going through a lot of stress and a six pack a day can lead to 12pack a day etc,etc. It isnot fair that he is leaving her at home with th kids every night to go out and drink and then also to come home and be verbally abusive. A good friend will give good advice without interfering in the relationship; Just tell her that she needs to speak to him and find out what is going on with him as she is unhappy about the drinking and abusive tendancies. If she speaks to him in a calm and concerned way she might be able to get down to what is really wrong so that they can work on it together.
  11. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    *Update* - It turns out Halloween night was a very bad night. I didn't find out about the situation until late yesterday. As soon as trick or treating was done, my friend's husband announced he needed to go meet up with friends. She got a call later that night from a neighbor who let her know her husband had just hit their mailbox post with his car and the neighbor was concerned that her husband shouldn't be driving.

    I was sympathetic but I also very nicely suggested that maybe he was drinking more than they both realized and maybe he needed to get some help before the situation gets worse. She actually took the suggestion better than I thought and she said even her husband admitted in the morning that he was out of control that night. She said she knew her husband would never go to anything like AA meetings because he would be too afraid of running into someone he might know. I had read the post on another part of this forum in regards to online meetings and forwarded her the link via email and she thanked me and said she was going to check on them. I feel like this is the most I can do at this point and now it's up to them to take the steps needed. Thanks to those who posted encouragement for me to speak up.
  12. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    That's great! And she is lucky to have a suppotive and concerned friend like you. It sometimes takes a little bad damage for one to see that there is a problem and hopefully he will take it seriously and your friend will stand hr ground and encourage him to get sober.
  13. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    That is awesome.. but you might suggest that they go together to a meeting in another town. Some places have an AA meeting in one room and an Ala-non meeting in another room (for family/friends). This might help. I dont really think the online meetings are good for newbies because the can easily be distracted or simply not reading the screen.
  14. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Sorry to hear about your situation but I think your friends are very lucky to have someone like you who is concerned enough for their well being especially since they already have kids and also drunk driving is not something that should be taken lightly. I agree with your solution of just going to online forums and resources first just to find out more about it. I think that is the best first step in this situation since the husband doesn't sound very willing to go to physical meetings. At least this way he could have a good taste of what it takes and what to expect without having to take a very big leap.
  15. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    That's great! I'm glad you were able to bring it up in a way that didn't make her feel defensive. It was a tough situation for you I'm sure to see your friend having such a difficult time with her husband. Online meetings is just the beginning, but like they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I think this is a great step in the right direction. :)
  16. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I would be careful with how much you intervene in their lives. There may be things going on with the husband or the family as a whole which are really none of your business, regardless of if they are related to the drinking. You need to respect their privacy at the same time you are trying to reach out and help her.

    There are lots of reasons the husband may be so stressed out and drinking more regularly. If it's related to his job, particularly if his company is going through an acquisition for example, they aren't allowed to discuss that stuff publicly, as they all had to sign NDA's. It wouldn't be uncommon for coworkers to get together outside of work for drinks to discuss among themselves what's going on. Maybe their family is up to their neck in bills and it's creating a lot of stress in the household - her or her husband would probably not want the whole neighborhood to know. Just be careful, because if they see you as becoming a busy-body and nosey, they may shut you out.
  17. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    I believe it is best to have an intervention with you, her, and her closest friends. His drinking habits are to the point where he wants his wife to leave their children home alone in order to pick him up, which is outrageous and inappropriate.
    If he is raging at her when he is drunk, this is easily the beginning of an abusive relationship. In order to not make her want to shut you down, you need to approach her in a caring way. Try to avoid any words or phrases that put the blame on her. Express that you are confronting her because you care about her and her family, including her husband, and you want him to get help.
  18. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor certainly does sound like a big problem and something worth being concerned over, I'm glad that she was receptive to your advice at least...has he gotten any help since? That's a sad situation.
  19. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Thats good, everything happens for a reason and luckily no kids were involved. I hope that he sees the problem for what it is and that your friend and her family will get some peace and a restored, healthy husband to return.
  20. fliktor7

    fliktor7 Member

    I believe that if her husband is an alcoholic, your friend probably has already noticed it. Maybe she doesn't want to see the truth, if I were you, I'll try to talk with her, but with a lot of tact, it's a serious problem.

    Offer her your support, tell her that she isn't alone. Good luck.