I have some experience with drinkers and, as a non-drinker, I found them difficult to fathom. I'll try and share what I learned.
1. I used to ask, many times, if I was at fault. Well, I'm not perfect, but I wasn't the problem. If you try and tackle a drinker about their
drinking they will get defensive and look for any tiny little mistake that you make and blow it all out of proportion just so that they can point out
that you have flaws too - tit for tat.
2. Drinkers have a very tenuous grasp on reality. That's why they don't like things changing around them. Anything that gets done differently
'throws' them. They have trouble dealing with the new reality, however small the changes you make. This includes changes in your behaviour.
3. You're dealing with two people - the person themselves and the drinker. If the drinker is 'in the driving seat' you're not going to see the
person before they sober up, and it's pointless trying to deal with the drinker and get any sort of agreement to improve things.
4. The person and the drinker are often in collusion. If you want to 'cure' the person you have to alienate them from the drinker. You have to be
sneaky about this and just keep at it until something 'gives'.
5. There is a good chance that people who drink have very deep psychological problems, they may well have been abused as children. Not necessarily
sexually abused, just mis-treated. It helps to identify what, or who, caused them to start drinking.
6. Many people need a 'crutch' in life, but some are unlucky in their choice of 'support' or 'escape'. Anyone who wants to try and help an
alcoholic would be wise to identify their own 'crutch' and ask how they would cope if someone else insisted that they give it up. I couldn't get
through life without tea and would fight tooth and claw if anyone tried to make me
In your situation, I might well consider leaving. You have your own dependency and being around your husband could be detrimental to your health and
I've often found that drinkers are extremely kind, sensitive people when they're sober. It's made me wonder if they're too sensitive and that's
why they 'hide' in a bottle. They may well be devastated to know how they behave when they're drunk but, somehow, it doesn't persuade them to
give up. You know your husband and what sort of man he is. You must have some idea as to whether or not he's a lost cause.
I gave up one friend who was just plain nasty when he was sober. I am currently dealing with the knowledge that another is suffering a form of
dementia because of the damage alcohol did to her brain. Another friend is facing liver cancer.
I don't hang out in bars looking for drinkers
These are just people I've come across in the ordinary course of life, met through other friends
If you stay with your husband you're in it for the long haul and you'll need all your strength. If you haven't the strength to carry his burden as
well as your own, there's no shame in giving up.
Think of it as if you were both drowning - would you swim to shore or try to hold him afloat and risk drowning the two of you?