Husband is a binge-drinker...confused.

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Husband is a binge-drinker...confused.
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 3:09pm
Hi everyone :smileyhappy:

My husband of 5 years is a binge drinker. He is from the UK, and the first year we were married, he would binge every few months while trying to moderate.

Over the last two years, he has binged twice, in between one-year periods of sobriety. The first binge was after an attempt at moderating after a year of no drinking. The second binge was when an old friend came to visit and he decided to try to be "normal" again. He is a great dad and loving husband, but alcohol does not agree with him and he becomes emotional, angry, and aggressive when drunk. He always finds himself in trouble when he drinks. He has pushed me and on two occasions slapped me while extremely intoxicated (fortunately our two children weren't there to witness it). On both occasions I left him for a few months.

We are living together again...he hasn't drank since that last bender. He doesn't drink at home, doesn't seem to have any problem whatsoever resisting alcohol generally. I never worry about him coming home drunk from work or drinking when we are at social events or out to dinner because he doesn't even attempt it.

The confusing thing for me is that he seems to not have a physical addiction to alcohol. He also has no problem going a long time without it. He manages to run his own business and maintain everything. He is home every night and is supportive of me and is good to our children. Everyone who meets him seems to really like him. It's hard to reconcile that person with the psychotic person that emerges on the rare occasion that he decides to beat this problem.

He is expressing a desire to try our local SMART meetings and maybe make friends who don't drink.

I guess I'm just confused by this because my situation is normal 99% of the time, until that one night he decides to pick up a drink. Then it's chaos and damage. Has anyone else experienced this?
Community Leader
Registered: 10-08-2002
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 9:38am
The book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about the type of drinker your husband is. He is a binge drinker. While he may go for periods without drinking, he can not have one without setting up that phenomena of craving. Alcohol is a disease of the mind as well as the body. The first drink is picked up because of a faulty thinking process called an obsession. An obsession of the mind does not respond to reason and is stronger than reason. Even though he knows what has happened in the past by drinking, he justifies a drink by saying to himself, I will only have two or it will be different this time. Then, after he picks up that drink, the phenomena of craving sets up. It is like an itch. Once alcohol is put into his body, his body will not be satisfied until it passes out or he gets in a position of not being able to have another running out and the stores being closed...or even being locked up due to drinking. This is repeated over and over and the binges can eventually grow closer and closer until he can never stop.....period. This causes a spiritual malady....scared, unsure of oneself, not knowing where to turn, wanting to stop and not thinking it possible. Once this stage is reached, we place ourselves beyond human help. But there is I found. I found a power greater than me as a direct result of the program of AA and have not had a drink in over 15 years after 33 years of drinking...starting out as a binge drinker. the only thing being required is that HE wants to stop and be willing to take the path of those before him. In the meantime, if he has not crossed that line, he may well be able to stop on his own, once he realizes the danger. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic....even when not drinking. Hope this helps...for more information for you, try the sister program..Alanon. This is for the friends and family of alcoholics....cant hurt and just might help you....let us know how you are doing....
Alcohol, Addictions & Recovery. It's a long way down, but only 12 steps UP
Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 9:29pm

Brenda hit the nail on the head. I can tell you from my personal experience that the binges got more and more frequent. They also lasted longer and longer because I planned for them. 

I think the horrid thing is that my friends and family never knew what would trigger a binge. To be honest, I don't either. But one drink and to the races.

Keep us informed!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 4:16pm

Hi- my DH is an alcoholic, too.  He has been going to AA since January and has not had a drink since then.  I feel that this might not be over though, because he still talks about picking up a drink sometime down the road.  He still seems to not accept that he can never drink again.  For now, for us, it is wait and see.  I urge the two of you to try AA and al-anon, that's all I can say.



Beth "Petrouchka"