Concerned about my husbands drinking

Client: Hi, I am hoping you can help me.

My husband started drinking every evening about two years ago. It wasn’t an issue at first, just a glass or two of wine or a beer, but the amount has slowly increased to a bottle of wine or sometimes two bottles of wine a night. 

This Christmas my husband drank much more than he usually does at Christmas and was walking around in a drunken stupor most of the time. I know Christmas is a time to be merry and enjoy yourself, but he seemed unable to refuse a drink when it was offered to him or when we were hosting guests.

To compensate his consumption of alcohol he said he would do a dry January. So far, to my knowledge, he has remained dry. However, as the month progresses he is getting more and more edgy and seems to struggle when we go out and there is alcohol available.

I really don’t know how to help him as he is adamant that his alcohol consumption is fine and implies instead that I have an issue around his drinking.

John:  I understand your concern for your husband.

Have you been in contact with Al-anon (www.al-anonuk.org.uk)? This is an organisation that supports partners/family who have a member of their family who has a potential issue with alcohol.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything I can do to help your husband unless he chooses to come and see me, of his own free will, regarding the above. Generally therapy only works if the client applies themselves and is committed to resolving the issue.

However, it is important for you to have a strong support network at this time. Please do come and see me for an initial consultation, I would be happy to help you.