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Forums / Welcome and orientation / My husband has a drinking problem

Topic: My husband has a drinking problem

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sad wife
    Sad wife avatar
    4 posts
    28 June 2019
    My husband recently had a stroke and still has a blood clot blocking a major artery in his neck. He has been told that the clot could move anytime or be there for years. If it moves to his brain it could kill him. One of the things that he has been told is that he shouldn't drink anymore than 2 drinks in a session. He was a very heavy drinker prior to the stroke. Drinking 8-10 full strength beers a night. We spoke about this productively together and we discussed it with our doctor. The doctor suggested he go and see a drug and alcohol counsellor and I also suggested that it is very hard to reduce alcohol use on your own. He insisted however, that he could do it on his own. He didn't drink at all for a month (doctor's advice) and I was feeling confident that he could reduce his consumption. Also our life during this time was so good because he wasn't bad tempered (as alcohol makes him). He said he couldn't keep to 2 drinks a night so we negotiated together, that he have 3 drinks (this wasn't ideal but better than how much he drank before). Now though, he has gradually been increasing his intake. I have tried to talk to him about how this makes me feel (scared that something will happen to him and stressed) and also offer him support to go back to 3. I think he blames me for not being able to drink and thinks his life is ruined by it. We are fighting a lot and I feel unloved and uncared for because he doesn't care about the impact on me or the fact he could be throwing away our future. I am very sad.
  2. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    29 June 2019 in reply to Sad wife

    Hi Sad wife

    I deeply feel for you so very much as you struggle with your fear, your husband's addiction and the potential consequences of that addiction.

    As an ex drinker, I believe we typically drink for 1 of 2 reasons, 1) we simply love the taste and can stop at a couple of drinks or 2) we love what the chemistry of alcohol does when it interacts with our own chemistry. The 1st is a pretty straight forward fix - experiment with other flavours. The 2nd, as you can imagine, is seriously complex.

    I suppose one way to imagine the impact of drinking relates to understanding dopamine, something we humans are able to naturally produce under certain circumstances. Dopamine can feel like 'a party in the brain' and contributes to our sense of happiness and satisfaction. The following is a snippet from 'Understanding Addiction -':

    According to the current theory about addiction, dopamine interacts with another neurotransmitter, glutamate, to take over the brain’s system of reward-related learning. This system has an important role in sustaining life because it links activities needed for human survival (such as eating and sex) with pleasure and reward.
    The reward circuit in the brain includes areas involved with motivation and memory as well as with pleasure. Addictive substances and behaviors stimulate the same circuit—and then overload it.
    Repeated exposure to an addictive substance or behavior causes nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain involved in planning and executing tasks) to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it. That is, this process motivates us to take action to seek out the source of pleasure.

    As I say, just a snippet but it provides some understanding that goes beyond the idea of simply feeling 'good' or 'relaxed' when it comes to drinking. I imagine the drug and alcohol counselor would be able to provide you and your husband with empowering insight into the nature of addiction.

    Whilst your husband may be perceiving you somewhat as she who dictates 'no more parties in the brain', you are dealing with a truth that points toward this type of 'partying' is destructive. In a weird way, it can sort of resemble a parent saying to a teenager 'You're not to experience the excitement you love anymore'. A counselor will be able to provide info on constructive ways to excite the neurons and chemistry.

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Bambiigrrl
    Bambiigrrl avatar
    4 posts
    29 June 2019 in reply to Sad wife
    I am in the same boat and also need advice. My husband got so drunk a few weeks ago that he ended up getting arrested and nearly losing his job, not to mention breaking both our phones and upsetting the kids. He realised after that as did i that his drinking had gotten out of control, it was not something i wanted to believe either but i had ended up drinking like an alcoholic lately too just because it was always in the house i guess. Now we have been sober 2 weeks after previously drinking most days of the week. Im loving it, feel like a weights been lifted because ive wanted to cut back for a long time. My husband on the other hand is refusing to attend counselling and has distanced himself from me so much. Wont kiss me or touch me or talk to me and everytime i ask him if he has organised therapy yet he shuts the conversation down. The first few days he was a wreak and clinging to me like he didnt want to be left alone for a second and held me so tight. He talked and talked and was actually honest about his feelings and he cried he had panic attacks etc. Now nothing. No affection hes like a room mate. Dont know what to do to convince him to see a counsellor.
  4. Sad wife
    Sad wife avatar
    4 posts
    29 June 2019 in reply to Bambiigrrl

    Hi Bambiigrrl

    Thank you for replying to my post. We can't make them do anything. We have to find a way to survive it. I am trying to find out how to do that.

  5. Rabbity
    Rabbity  avatar
    1 posts
    5 July 2019 in reply to Sad wife

    That’s tough, and I don’t have any answers on how to help. I have a similar problem with my husband and his drinking. It has reached crisis point this year being admitted to intensive care with chronic pancreatitis, and on the verge of multiple organ failure. He improved, bug didn’t stop drinking, refuses help. Then ended up back in hospital.

    I’m so anxious knowing he could have another episode and die anytime, of maybe it will just drag on. In the meantime I have to work, look after family n take all responsibilities. It’s taking a toll on me, I’m not able to look after myself and it’s dragging me down, making me depressed.

    compounding this is the problem is that this somehow feels shameful and that I have to manage alone, in the same way that I feel it’s shameful to admit about being abused for half my childhood.

    no matter how much more these issues r discussed I still fel that I can’t say anything to real people.

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