- Gender and Relationships
How Can You Live with an Alcoholic Spouse?
Do You Sometimes Feel That The Person You Love, Loves Alcohol More Than You? If So, You Are Not Alone.
12 Step Programs Saved Our Marriage
From the time that my husband and I began dating, he would occasionally have too much to drink. However, like a lot of young women right out of college, I never thought his behavior was unusual. After all, he mostly over-indulged on the weekends, he had a great job, and he was reliable and considerate. There didn't seem to be any reason why I should be concerned. Most of the guys I dated in college had been regular drinkers, too.
As the years went by, however, my husband's drinking became more frequent. When he wasn't drinking, he had hangovers ... although he always insisted that it was "the flu." Often, he couldn't control how much he would drink. He would plan to just have one alcoholic beverage with friends, and instead he would not be home until midnight.
In addition, he always insisted that alcohol be available no matter where we were. If we took a long road trip, we even had a portable bar in a briefcase that we would bring along, just in case we couldn't easily obtain alcohol wherever we were going.
What is amazing is the fact that I considered all this normal. It was almost a decade into our marriage before I began to believe that his drinking had gotten out of hand. By that time, there was nothing I could do.
Fortunately for me, my husband also saw what was happening to him. Without warning, he came home from work one day and told me that we were going to attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that night. I knew nothing about it.
Alcoholics Anonymous changed my husband's life. However, by this point in time, I was angry and resentful because of his past behavior. I even resented the amount of time he spent going to AA meetings.
Eventually, I realized that I had to go to Alanon, the program for the family members and friends of people who are active or recovering alcoholics. I also read the book "The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage." (Available from Amazon, below.) This book helped me understand what was happening in my marriage and how alcohol abuse had almost destroyed the love we had once felt for each other.
I realized that I, too, had a program that could change my life, as well.
After 44 years, my husband and I are still married. Even after all these years, we both go to our separate meetings on a regular basis. He attends AA and I attend Alanon. I read Al-anon book, as well as other Alanon literature, and they have helped get me started on my own journey of self-discovery and personal improvement.
However, there is more you can do to save your marriage and bring peace and serenity to your life.
If Your Husband or Wife is an Alcoholic, Divorce is Not Your Only Option. Al-anon Meetings and This Book Can Make a Difference.
This book helped me when I learned that my husband was an alcoholic and it has helped millions of others. Before you file for divorce (which is always an option you have), you should read this book, go to Al-anon meetings, and see if your marriage can be saved. You might be surprised!
More Ways to Find Peace and Serenity
In addition to the books above, you will also want to go to Al-Anon meetings, get to know other members of Al-Anon, and read a wide variety of Alanon literature. The people you meet in Al-Anon are wonderful to turn to when you are upset or worried. You can get brochures at nearly every meeting. In addition, you will want to work the steps and work on improving your behavior and the way you react to your spouse.
Even if your alcoholic spouse continues to slide downhill (and, sadly, they sometimes do), you will at least have the emotional and psychological support you need to survive, even if your marriage does not.
Reading Alanon literature, going to meetings and making friends with other Al-Anon members, when you can, are all good ways to keep your life together.