My husband - functional alcoholic

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2007
My husband - functional alcoholic
Wed, 11-21-2007 - 10:19am

My husband is a functional alcoholic.

By functional, I mean that he still goes to work, does chores, visits his family, etc. Every night when he comes home from work, he has either four or five beers in the course of a night or a couple glasses of Diet Pepsi and vodka. Some nights, it seems to take the edge off - other nights, he is pretty drunk, so much so that he stumbles around the apartment bumping into things or passes out on the couch. A few nights, I have just let him stay there because I did not want him sleeping with me. Whenever we visit his parents or friends, he always has to have a drink before leaving the house because he knows he won't be able to drink as much anywhere else. He worried about moving in with his parents, while waiting to move into our new apartment, because he didn't want them to know the extent of his drinking.

I want to say that his drinking does not affect our marriage, but I would be lying. We normally cannot make love at night because he usually too drunk to have sex. He spends a lot of money on alcohol, which negatively affects our budget, usually a large bottle of vodka a week or 24 case of Miller Light. When he is drunk, he is unable to communicate very well, which makes me feel lonely.

The saddest part, I feel, is that we are newlyweds and I do not see us having children in the future, which is something we had both talked about and wanted someday. I do not want my children to have an alcoholic father. Under times of stress and pressure, my husband drinks even more, and I know that being a parent is not a walk in the park. I am afraid that if we had a child, the stress would be too great - he would rely on alcohol and leave me alone to do the parenting. I want us to be role models for our children and I do not think we are in a position to be that right now. On the other hand, my grandfather never took another sip of alcohol after missing the birth of his daughter, but I don't want to take that chance.

I love my husband and I care about him. I want to know why he feels the need to drink, besides, "I just like to." What is the root cause? Genetics? Childhood trauma? What? I wish I could understand. I know only he can want to change and help himself. He does not see any harm in his drinking, besides gaining weight, and any time anyone has mentioned it, he gets defensive. I married him, know he drank (though not to what extent), and plan to stay married to him forever. No relationship is perfect, and I did say for better or worse.

I would appreciate any thoughts or opinions....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2006
Fri, 11-23-2007 - 1:54am

IMO you might actually be thankful that your husband says he drinks "because he wants to" instead of blaming it on his genetics, an unhappy childhood, his friends or any number of other excuses people find.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2008
Sun, 06-01-2008 - 3:10pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Sun, 06-01-2008 - 3:14pm

Am I missing your post? I can't see words in it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Thu, 06-05-2008 - 4:50pm

Welcome to the board!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2008
Wed, 12-10-2008 - 1:41am

I too live with an acoholic husband.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Thu, 12-11-2008 - 10:00pm

Your husband is going to have to do it for himself or you are going to find him dead during one of these naps.

He is totally doing what I was doing at the very end of my drinking....he will either stop or he will die.

The body can only take so much abuse...He knows this is hurting him....he feels it.....

The OP posters husband doesn't sound as "progressed" as your husband....althout OP - Your husband IS in the late stages of progression, this posters husband is in the LAST stages.

The OP posters husband could switch very quickly into the LAST stage....

Neither of you can do anything to CONTROL this or STOP it....only they can....and pray every night that they see what they are doing and have the "willingness" to stop.

Because until they get SICK OF BEING SICK...they won't stop....they will continue making excuses and you will continue being sad.

This is written by a "true" alcoholic....drank 20 years...and only stopped because I was in the last stages and couldn't physically go on like that anymore...None of the begging or pleading from family or children made me stop!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Sun, 12-14-2008 - 10:04pm

Have you considered al-anon?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2011
Mon, 07-25-2011 - 3:09pm

My husband is a functional alcoholic too ..

By functional, I mean that he still goes to work, does chores, . Every night when he comes home from work, he has either four or six beers in the course of a night 30 pack a week at least but if you ask him it's only three a night.