Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump


anyone ever been able to "change"/help their high functioning alcoholic spouse who is in denial? i'm about ready to call it quits. he's not willing to ever go to AA either and only occasionally admits to health concerns... but mostly is full of excuses.... like the fact that he's british, and his british mother is the same (even though he was born preemie and without lungs because she drank and was drunk when she gave birth.) but they're high class and high functioning making any "hitting bottom" obsolete (to them)

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:02 PM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Health

Answers (15)
  • AA is not for everyone. Private counselling might work better. If he's unwilling to admit he has a problem, then maybe you should approach this from the perspective that you are having trouble with the marriage and go to marriage counselling, which might help get at his alcoholism being one of the big underlying issues. You could also look into AlAnon support groups for family members of alcoholics and see what support/advice they can offer you.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:05 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • he refuses all counseling too "it's a crock of sh*t" he says

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:05 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Truth is, you can't change him or force him to do something he doesn't want to do. All you can do is control your own actions and you need to decide whether to stay or go. If he seeks help and you choose to support him in that endeavor, make absolutely sure you do not enable him. There's a lot of co-dependency involved where addiction is concerned.

    Answer by FootballMom85 at 12:06 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • One of the things that I learned in a previous relationship, is that you cannot change them, you can only change yourself. Whether that's how you react to them, or excuses you might make for them, or staying with someone who is toxic for you (I'm not saying these apply to you, they applied to me). Alanon is a wonderful program that teaches you about alcoholism, about yourself as someone who might be inadvertently enabling an alcoholic, and how to cope with it all. Just because he refuses to go to meetings, doesn't mean you have to! It might also put you in touch with people who would know exactly what to say to him if the chance for an introduction ever came up.

    Answer by hrh.sassypants at 12:06 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I was raised by an alcoholic. It was a horribly lonely life with NO childhood. If he's unwilling to see reason then leave him. The only way he's going to change is if he realizes there's a problem, and he won't.

    Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:07 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • HE can only want help. You can not force someone to quit if they don't want to. If I were you I would tell him it's either you or the booze. My mother as an alcoholic and even the doctor telling her if she continues to drink it will kill her won't make her stop.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 12:08 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • A dear friend's DH was similar. He refused to see a problem until she made him hit rock bottom - she kicked him out and wouldn't let him see his kids. It worked for them. He's over 5 years sober now.

    For my mom nothing has worked. She won't admit to having a problem even though it is affecting her health. I've called her on it, so has her bff who does go to AA and NA.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:09 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Most people have to want to help there selfs or they will just start over again

    Answer by mistydcross at 12:09 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • oh yeah. he once tried to "lovingly" call me his marge simpson. that's when i woke up and realized i was enabling him when i thought i was being a good wife. i'm mostly bored of dealing with his different drunken personalities, his utter laziness and annoyed that he spends about $5,000 a year on recreational substances while i'm not allowed to buy our sons clothes, or myself clothes or anything to fix up our house with...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:09 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Ive been there. My ex (father of my 2 girls) was an alcoholic and would never admit it. He's 23 now and still can not handle his alcohol. I would ask him to go to AA, counseling, slow down, quit it completely. Nothing worked. Then one night, a week after our youngest was born... he went to a bar, met a girl and broke up with me 3 days later.
    I wish I had left him years before this. I spent 4 years in complete hell with him. And always made excuses like - "When he's not drunk, he's a great guy..... He was drunk when he said that..... etc." not only was he in denial, but I was too. Thinking things would change.
    The best thing that happened was him doing what he did. Even tho it killed me at the time.

    Trust me, if he's not willing to now. and will not admit that he has a problem, he wont until he hits absolute rock bottom.
    Question is... Do you want to live you're life like this? Do you want your child/children to see this?

    Answer by BelloItaliano at 12:10 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.