Functioning Alcoholic husband
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Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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Old 05-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Functioning Alcoholic husband

I have been married to a functioning alcoholic for 22years. My husband has a good job. Hes built up to 12 beers per night. No one knows except his family that he is an alcoholic because he drinks alone at home. I asked him to move out because of the fighting over his drinking. We have been separated for 3 months. We are going to marriage counseling. The counselor told me to go to al anon which I already was. He said that's not the issue to be working on. I know alcoholism is a disease but how can a spouse watch the others health deteriorate? How do you decide to stay or leave?
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

you can't "make" an addict see that they need help, in many cases they have to hit rock bottom for them to consider getting help for themselves. The fact that your husband can function and not get 10 DUI's, lose all of his friends, job, etc, means that he is likely to not hit some sort of nadir unless he has a major health issue (like cirrhosis).

So the question is can you honestly stick around while he kills himself slowly with 12 beers a night? I would say not, perhaps you leaving might be the impetus that gets him to seek help- probably not but you can't help him until he helps himself
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

When he first moved out I filed for divorce. He quit drinking for 2weeks. My kids both said its the best dad they ever had. He talked me into putting the divorce on pending so we could go to marriage counseling. Now he appears to be drinking though I don't know because hes not living with me and he hides it well. That's the really confusing part. Hes a great functioning alcoholic. Actor.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

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When he first moved out I filed for divorce. He quit drinking for 2weeks. Hes a great functioning alcoholic. Actor.
He quit drinking to get his enabler to return to him. You've been in Al-Anon, so I am sure you know the role you play. You don't have to buy his booze, hide his booze, or drink his booze. You are THERE. That is generally enough for an A, because they don't want to have a real relationship with their spouse anyway. You are a distant second to the booze.

I left when the pain of staying exceeded the pain of leaving. And as far as the "functioning" alcoholic goes. Well, yeah, they do "function" to a degree, but it's not the way normies do. Try discussing feelings, important issues, getting emotionally initimate. Is it "functional" for someone to turn the tables on you and blame you for their issues? Because that is exactly what A's do. Blame-shifting is a big part of the disease and goes hand-in-hand with denial that there is really a problem.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Your right I got sick last year and didn't get any support. Trying to talk about anything of significance he isn't interested. Life is all about him. He doesn't even spend time with his kids who are young adults. I am old fashion and think if a spouse has a disease you support them. If he doesn't try to quit and change I know I have to walk away. Its hard to give up on a 22 year marriage but I can only change myself and deserve to be happy the rest of my life.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your right I got sick last year and didn't get any support. Trying to talk about anything of significance he isn't interested. Life is all about him.
I understand and sympathize with your situation. Yes, it is difficult to walk away from a marriage in which you have invested your energy and time. But look at hubs: he isn't investing in anything other than getting high on booze.

I was in the E.R. three times in '07, and each time I was there alone. The paramedics took me to the hospital in the ambulance, and I was on my own from there. Hubs didn't want his 9 a.m. "happy hour" disturbed to be bothered with my issues.

And, yes, an alkie can charm you right back into the relationship and keep you stuck ... until you just realize you are as sick as they addict for staying stuck.

To this day, my estranged husband still tries to manipulate me via email. Yeah, like I want a long-distance email relationship. Get a grip! There is something about keeping the enabler hooked. He!!, my husband sent me an email a month ago about a resentment from five years ago that I never even knew he had!

See, that is what gets my attention when I hear anyone call an alcoholic "functional." Yes, they wipe their a$$, they bring home a paycheck, they change the oil in the car, blah, blah, blah. But they are not a healthy "functioning" person by any stretch of the word.

Self-centered, self-serving, and manipulative. Or, as they say in A.A., "a raging egomaniac with a massive inferiority complex."

I hope you can get out of there sooner rather than later. The role model your husband is for your kids stinks. Unfortunately, kids raised in a home with an addict, usually end up becoming one or marrying one.

You deserve a better life. Really.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

You are probably right but he is a great actor. The daytime hes normal. At night he drinks as much as he can and can still get up for work at 6 am. Work a professional job for over 10 hours. Go to family functions not drink at all. No one knows except his wife and two kids. Its very confusing to me because to everyone else hes the perfect person. Generous friendly and like I said "functional" to an outsider.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Hoping that your relationship will not fade for all the vices that he encounter. Leaving in the situation will not solved any problems.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Has anyone tried an intervention? Was wondering if it would be positive or negative when someone is in denial.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Why won 't a husband say he loves you? We are still separated but spend a lot of time together. Its very confusing. I have been going to al anon and its helped with the argumenting and the focusing on his drinking. We are in counseling
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

If he hasn't quit drinking and you know he loves you even though he's not saying it,then he's likely punishing you for being the bad guy.You're rocking the precarious balance in his fragile little world.Sorry for the suffering that you're going through.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Part of the problem is you... you've allow him to be this way for 22 years. And when he came back and started drinking again, you stayed, which reinforces his behavior.

I got sober before I lost it all, but I was pretty close. Unless he sees you leaving for good, he will never change.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

He needs to held accountable for his actions. People sometimes need consequences in order to change. If that means you leaving, then it just does. I'm not saying that if you leave he WILL change for sure. BUT at least you are no longer there to put up with the nonsense. Don't you feel you deserve a happier, healthier life for yourself?
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

Why should he quit drinking? His life is working just fine.

You're still spending time with him and giving him attention.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Functioning Alcoholic husband

We are going to marriage counseling. Counselor said spend a lot of time together. When he first moved out which I insisted we didn't see each other. I filed for divorce and he quit drinking. He asked me to put divorce on hold which I did. We have been getting along better with counseling but hes a highly functioning alcoholic I don't know if hes drinking.
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