Blog > Mental Health > Husband Drinks Too Much

Husband Drinks Too Much

3 Ways to Get Him to Pick You Over Alcohol

Like anyone who drinks too much, your husband gets annoying and stupid when he’s intoxicated.

It might be nice if he never did that, but the bigger question is whether your man’s drinking is over the line.

Maybe he drinks every night, or drinks to oblivion on a regular basis, or gets mean when he drinks.

Maybe he’s missed work, family events, or had run-ins with the law from drinking. Maybe when he gets started he just keeps going on a bender for weeks.

Aren’t those indications that he’s got a problem?

And if he’s got a serious problem, then doesn’t that mean you have one too, since you’re married to a problem drinker, or maybe even an alcoholic?

It’s scary to think about, because we’ve all heard about the financial, emotional, and health problems drunks cause themselves and their families.

But does it have to be that way?

In my experience, wives have tremendous influence over their husband’s drinking. Knowing how to use that influence wisely can make a huge difference.

Here are 3 ways you can influence your husband’s drinking for the better.

(Actually, this works for any behavior you want to influence.)

1. Take Your Foot Off of the Accelerator

Of course, your husband is the only one who can decide how much he will drink, and how often.

You’re not responsible for his choices—not at all. But here’s what I’ve observed about human nature and wifely influence.

When a wife tells her husband not to drink, or asks if he thinks he should be drinking so much, or complains about his drinking, I have never seen that result in him drinking less.

Quite the opposite: he drinks even more.

Author John Gray says it’s like this: “When a man does not feel loved just the way he is, he will either consciously or unconsciously repeat the behavior that is not being accepted. He feels an inner compulsion to repeat the behavior until he feels loved and accepted.”

That explains a lot, don’t you think?

So if he doesn’t feel that you accept his drinking, he will repeat it until you do accept him—drinking and all.

It’s incredibly contrary, right? But here’s what’s interesting.

That doesn’t mean you can’t influence his drinking—in my experience, you definitely can.

The way to influence his drinking is to first accept it.

That does not mean you’re signing up for a lifetime of smelling his whiskey breath while he snores contentedly after he broke the lamp and knocked the picture off the wall. You are not agreeing to be the designated driver forever and ever, amen.

You are not agreeing to suffer endlessly if you accept his drinking. I’m not saying things will never improve.

Quite the opposite: accepting his drinking is a prerequisite to changing everything for the better, and it just means that you don’t tell him to change. It means you stop punishing, resenting, and criticizing him for his drinking.

If you want a husband who’s sober, and you’ve been telling him to drink less or to stop drinking, you were unwittingly pressing the button that makes him feel compelled to drink more.

Pressing the accelerator when you were looking for the brake can have really negative consequences. So it’s good to know which button you’re pressing.

Trying to control his drinking—even subtly, even mildly—is pushing the accelerator, not the brake.

This is true of trying to control any unwanted behavior in your husband.

2. Let Him Solve Your Problem Instead of Trying to Solve His

So you’ve accepted his drinking. Now what? How is that going to improve your situation, you might wonder.

Does this mean you should applaud him for closing down the bar on a school night again?

I wouldn’t suggest celebrating it, but you might just treat it like any other part of his life where he’s away. For example, you might say, “How was the pub last night?” in a light tone—the same one you’d use to say, “How was work?”

Then, ask yourself what it is about your husband’s drinking that’s impacting you, and speak to that directly, but not as a complaint.

For instance, let’s say he wakes you up at 2 a.m. when he gets home, and you can’t get back to sleep right away. You might say, “Can I borrow your brain? I’m trying to get more sleep lately, and I notice I have trouble getting back to sleep after you come home. I’m trying to figure out how to solve that one.”

See how that’s all about you and not about his drinking?

You would want to say this in a normal, neutral voice, not a dripping-with-resentment one. And when he makes a suggestion, you want to be open to whatever that is and try it on.

If he says, “How about sleeping with earplugs in?” and you want to be able to hear the kids if they wake up, you can say exactly that.

You don’t have to do what he suggests if it doesn’t fit for you.

The goal is not to be compliant, but to honor your own desires. If what he suggests doesn’t match what you want, then keep going—say more about what you want.

This may seem like a subtle shift, but addressing your desires around how his drinking impacts you as challenges for him to help you solve instead of complaining or criticizing him is powerful.

3. Expect the Best

If you’re expecting negative consequences because he drinks too much, you’re expecting the worst.

You may have lots of evidence that bad things happen when he drinks, so this seems normal and natural.

But since what you focus on increases, why not focus on how he hasn’t been drinking as much, or he doesn’t drink anymore?

Better yet, how about taking all of your focus off his drinking and instead focus on what a good listener he is, or how reliable he is, or how he seems like the opposite of what you’re worried about?

When you expect the best out of someone, and show them you believe in them with words and actions, they tend to live up to your expectations.

As you’re reading this you might be wondering if I have even a basic understanding about the nature of addiction or alcoholism. You might be thinking, but what if he has a disease?

You might think none of this will have any effect. You might think I’m incredibly naïve for suggesting something so dangerous.

You’re the expert on your own life, so you get to decide what is best for you.

If you think you can control his drinking, if what you’ve been doing has been working along those lines, then you’re all good.

But if what you’ve been doing feels exhausting and ineffective, then what could it hurt to experiment with another approach?

One woman did just that with her husband, whom she described as an alcoholic because he drank so much every night.

She decided to start affirming her husband for drinking so much less, and to tell him how much she was enjoying that. Two weeks later when we spoke she said she was shocked that her husband hadn’t had a drop to drink in two weeks. She couldn’t believe just how much influence she had.

You might just be shocked at how much influence you have to bring out the best in your husband when you use your powers wisely.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

120 replies on “Husband Drinks Too Much”

You hsve always marvellous counsels and encouraging words to us…to the wives that we try time after time ….and maybe one day our efforts will have a reward.
Thanks a lot.

All of your responses are very helpful to me I’m currently dating a man who was drinking problems been dating him for 4 years …. we have issues regarding his drinking habits he has accomplished to drink less but he still does… he’s totaled his car in the past for drunk driving and I’m afraid that once this relationship moves to the next step if it does he will not improve he will drink more once we reside in the comfort of our own home . I have let him know and made it clear to him the type of husband I would like and that does not include a drunkard.

I hear what you’re saying and I really appreciate this post. The question for me becomes what does acceptance look like and can there be boundaries to acceptance. If I accept that he drinks and comes home to our family and our children drunk and being what I judge as an awful role model and a complete turn off, What does that acceptance look like. Does it mean I don’t acknowledge the bad and just highlight the good? Ok I’ve done that. It hasn’t led to any change though. What if he wants to have sex after? Is that part of the acceptance deal? I don’t like having sex with him when I’m turned off from him. If that makes him feel unaccepted do I need a different approach or am I not working this properly because I can’t love and accept every aspect of him fully enough. I get that a man will respond and behave best when he’s loved and not emasculated but what if it really isn’t me responsible for the emasculation and is in fact his own bad choices and failure to learn from them? What if in fact at every turn there is more and more to accept lovingly despite the difficulty of acceptance. How does one not lose herself? How does one avoid feeling sorry that there is no real joy in her marriage, that it is either a chore or a farce and that the truly enjoyable relationships in life are the ones outside the marriage.

Sheri, Those are some great questions. It sounds very challenging right now–especially wanting to protect your children from your drunk husband. That would bring out the mama bear in any woman! Sounds like your marriage feels very heavy and exhausting. For me, acceptance is different than compliance. It’s been powerful to ask myself how I feel and what I want and to honor that pleasantly, rather than becoming unpleasant myself. I would love to see you get some support with implementing the 6 Intimacy Skills. You have a lot more power than you probably realize to make your marriage the way you want it to be. Have you read or listened to The Empowered Wife? You would find it so valuable. You can read a free chapter here:

What I can’t wrap my head around is accepting sounds like being “fake nice” to him so he doesn’t feel bad. I don’t think my pride can handle that. I have massively high expectations for myself and therefore others in my life as well. My husband does a lot but he also drinks a lot and I just can’t get past the feeling that this approach is allowing him to not take responsibility for his actions or that I have to be the one to do all the work, AS USUAL when it comes to our relationship.

This is exactly what I got out of this! Like lets continue to let them control and manipulate us with their booze… but with a smile so they feel special while they do it…. terrible approach, they need to take responsibility we are not their mothers! Frig my MIL is the major reason he’s as messed up as he is.

I am so tired of my husbands drinking im nearly 70 and cant deal withh it anymore he drinks every night half bottle vodka he is not aggressive or abusive in drink just falls all over sometimes hurting himself so it keeps me awake all night he will wonder outside in the garden fall asleep there or on the bathroom floor i have sat and spoke to him calmly as being a x psychiatric nurse but i cant do it anymore

Elaine, that is rough. You should not have to be kept awake all night because of your husband’s drinking. This sounds so hard and scary! I can see why you’ve reached the end of your rope. Kudos to you for reaching out for support.

I would love to get you some resources to turn this around. Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women fix their relationships: We can help you too!

I love my husband and I love myself too, he work but not single dollar that he spends on us but only bottles shop. He turns to be aggressive to me fighting for useless reasons. We have 6 kids together under 10 years. I have cried enough over his immature behaviour. Now what can I do?

June, this sounds so heartbreaking. I know you just want to be a happy wife, but first, you have to fix your relationship and it feels like it’s falling apart. You shouldn’t have to be stuck crying.

I still remember how bad it felt when I thought my marriage was hopeless. That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too.

I love your question what can you do. I invite you to get a coach so you can stop the fighting and get the peace and support you deserve.

I know it has been YEARS since this post but I relate to your comments so much that it breaks my heart I can’t just text you directly and ask what happened after? What approach did you take and do you advise trying this method? I hope you get this “message in a bottle” (puns intended).


I have been there Sheri and know exactly how you feel. No, you don’t have to accept his behavior. However, since you can’t control his drinking and arguing with someone who is intoxicated doesn’t make any sense; you have to detach from him and focus on the well-being of you and your children.

You, of course, can set boundaries as long they are about you. The sleep example is actually a good one. If you attach your boundary to a consequence you have to follow through with that. Otherwise you will lose all credibility and it will be meaningless.

Loving him means when he gets loaded and falls asleep in front of the house door … just leave him there and don’t try to get him to the bed. Don’t clean up after him. I know that is harsh but the only way.

Explain your children honestly what is going on. They know anyway. By taking care of yourself (appearance, meditation, doing something fun you love to do etc.) you get stronger and are better able to cope.

You will lose yourself if you get absorbed in taking care of him … I totally agree. I got lost in my husbands alcoholism … sucked in night after night and day after day. Once I disconnected and let him be I found joy again regardless of his behavior.

He hit rock bottom a decade ago and has been sober ever since. It was a hard road and I extended his suffering by trying to help him and trying to control his drinking. And to be clear: Your nagging doesn’t make him drink more. Once someone is physically addicted he “has” to drink because otherwise they get the shakes. So, it is NEVER you who makes him drink more.

It is the hardest road to walk. Learning to cope and taking care of yourself is the only way if you decide to stay with him.

I hope that helps a little bit.


Thank you for this reply! I think this is just what I needed to hear today!!

Wow everything you say is so true. And yes this is so difficult. I have been struggling with my husbands alcoholism for 17 years and the same level except now he doesn’t work and has not for almost a year. He has no desire to work. He wakes up late he drinks about 2 to 3 days a week heavily. I think mentally and physically hes burnt out from so much alcohol abuse and sleeping so late. It takes a toll. I need him to get on the ball and make an income and stop drinking. We have nothing planned out for the future no savings. This is very hard on me. I’ve asked him to leave but he won’t. I thought the only way to put an end to this is if he leaves the house. I have tried everything you can imagine. Maybe he will hit rock bottom once he realizes he is losing his family over alcohol. I do love him but I need to care and love myself and kids first. This is not fair.

Man, this sounds all too familiar. My husband is very similar. Has yours been evaluated for mental health issues? I’m sure my husband whose behavior is very similar to yours suffers from some kind of mental illness and the alcohol is his self prescribed medication.

Thank you- this gives me hope! Ive been in this dark downward spiral with my husband. I need to start taking care of myself and my children.
Anyone have Any suggestions for husband being drunk every night at the dinner table? Would it cause more harm to say you are not allowed at the table while drunk? The harm is already happening to us ( myself and my daughters) enduring his drunk talk – Im tired and exhausted from trying to smooth everything over.

Heather, that sounds so hard and exhausting for sure. You shouldn’t have to be responsible for smoothing things over night after night. I remember how scary it was being in a downward spiral with my husband and not knowing what to do. That’s why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women fix their relationships, including when there’s drinking. Here’s a free Roadmap so you too can fix your relationship:

That’s great advice. I have a drink or two every now and again and am paying for his liquor most of the time he wants to use my card to get drinks and it’s becoming expensive because he drinks it up in a day or two. Do i just buy for myself and let him start getting his own.?

Sabrina, good question! Paying for all his drinks must be hard and would make me feel resentful. Kudos to you for reaching out for support. I’d love to give this question the fuller conversation it deserves. Your timing is perfect! The FREE 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge starts Monday. You can already get a sneak peek now when you join us at


I understand. I feel every emotion in every word you wrote. I don’t want to cry anymore and I do feel disempowered. I am trying to use a growth mindset to find my own joy and happiness. I’m not sure if it will work. But as Laura says: after 15 years everything I’ve tried to get him to stop hasn’t worked. I don’t want the pain anymore.

I agree 100%. I feel the same as you. I love my husband but I don’t like to be around him when he is drunk.

I read this and thought I WRITE IT! our names are spelled the same and it felt like your words came out of my heart

Hi I know how you feel ,it’s so hard not to say the things you want to say especially after my husband drinks and behaves badly it not what his behavior does to me ,it’s how it affects my little kids ,I hate to see the expression of confusion on their face of how their living ,dedicated father just turns into someone else when he drinks ,I know the feeling of having to do all the hard work ,like keeping carm and try not to explode,just waiting for him to finish his drink and sleep ,it’s sad that I have to wait for him to drink so much that I wait for him just to collapse and go to sleep,and whilst acting all nice I hide his car keys ,make shore everything seems normal to the children explaining that’s not daddy and it’s the alcohol that makes him this way trying to keep his character intact ,I also hide all the alcohol so he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night and drink and I am so afraid that his responsibility of going to work is not affected because I know it’s our bread and butter ,I try to remember how good he is when he is not drunk ,how loving he is to his kids and how he provides effortlessly,and in the morning I just keep quiet because I dnt want to start a fight about all the hurtful things he said whilst drunk ,just so he has a good start to his work day ,all of that takes all of me to do ,I pray alot trying to centre my emotions and although I have no habits and dnt wish to have these I take a cigarette to my lips just to carm myself and then feel really guilty about it.its truelly a challenge but I look for the light in all my darkness because I need to be strong because when you complain to others their response is ,you knew what he was when you married him,it becomes like one more job and in all this you still love him so much and you just want a better future for your kids and him ,it’s not easy to be a wife to a drunk man that behaves badly and knowing that his behavior can not only destroy himself but our entire lively hood ,it take alot of strength ,courage and will power and the truth is when kids are involved you think even if I walk out I might have peace but my children will be without a shelter and food because I can’t provide for them like my husband can. That’s really sad I think.

Hi Cheryl, when i read your comment. I saw immediately myself. This is exactly what I am going through, same thing that I am doing from just keeping calm acting normal for the kids, waiting for him to just sleep from drinking too much, not saying anything the next morning even after how much his words hurted me last night just not to ruin his day at work, smoking a cigarette thinking over, and cannot leave because i wont be able to provide for my kids. Im jobless given this pandemic, i couldnt find any job because everyone is losing their own jobs too.
Im tired and exhausted and I dont know what else to do. Last night he was too much drunk, the whole damn night he was cleaning the kitchen counter, continously banging the pans and everything, while saying that I dont do anything at home and i cant even clean the house while kids are in school that im useless not working not helping financially and that i dont care of everything☹️ this morning i was just quiet, he left for work with probably just few minutes of sleep, before leaving he told me im the laziest person he knows. (This is all happening everytime he is drinking) because when he is sober, he is the perfect husband/father you could ever ask for.

hello, I read your story, it felt similar to mine. This is my first time here. Giving you a big hug…you are not alone. Hoping for positive change that will bring joy and peace into our lives.

I definitely feel your pain. There is no respect when my husband is drunk. I avoid being around him. The ugly things he says to me and has said some pretty ugly things to my daughter I definitely defend her when he is drunk. He has lost a relationship with his 2 older daughters and a relationship with his grandkids. I’m trying for him not to loose a relationship with his 10 year old daughter

Hi Cheryl hope all is well with you and your family. I read your story and I know exactly what you are going through. It makes me so sad that we can not get out of this vicious cycle. I feel like im being a bad mother like im teaching my daughters that this is normal behavior. I dont want them ever to be in an abusive relationship like me. Im scared for the future. I have been married for 18 years and the past 2 years have been hell for me. His drinking spiral out of control last year and I was diagnosed with cancer and went through treatment. I see my husband drunk and I rather avoid him. He says so many mean and rude things to me. His behavior in public is embarrassing. He got arrested with 4th dwi and crashed his car. He lost his job and now im forced to go find a job. I wanted time off from working because of the cancer treatment. I want to divorce him but i always end up feeling sorry for him and give him another chance. Im exhausted of trying. I think i put up with it because i grew up with an alcoholic father that died at a very young age due to drinking. I dont want the same for my girls. I pray to God to help us all with this disease.

My therapist has had me working on boundaries. This results in almost completely ignoring my husband. I tell him I’m happy that he had a good day while wondering why he must be so drunk he can barely walk if his day was good. ( before a job change he blamed his job for his drinking. We gave a split level home and we don’t spend time together at all. I have started going and doing things I enjoy, when I used to stay home because I felt obligated to be here like he is. It’s a lonely life. He stays downstairs and I stay upstairs.. until bedtime and then I’m just sleeping next to a stinky whisky and smoke smell. I count my blessing that at least I know where he is every night.

That’s exactly it…its lonely. I don’t harp on him because well he won’t remember anyways. I often think I might as well just live by myself. But when he’s my sober-ish husband he’s
my best friend and I miss him.

Exactly my point of view. I did direct conversation with my husband when I saw he was having drinking issues and also when he had any tensed situation he use to drink. I told him you are not the man I expected or you portrayed before marriage and I cannot just adjust for whole my life. Rather than that we both took few steps, he reduced his drinking and I accepted his drinking in controlled way. It was necessary for my mental sanity after coming from non drinking family.

Oh my god Sheri, I have never related to something so much. I am in the same situation you were when you typed this response 5 years ago. Our children are not biologically mine, they are my step children but I have been in their lives for eight years now and we are close. I am supposed to be marrying him very very soon and I feel torn apart inside. I love my family more than anything but I feel like an idiot for marrying someone that I know is an alcoholic and not going to change. If you see this will you please give me advice or an update… anything will help.

That’s rough! I can see why you’re feeling torn apart when you want to marry him and keep your family together but it’s scary. I admire your commitment and am sad you’re feeling like an idiot. As a woman, you have enormous power in your relationship, in my experience. Kudos to you for reaching out for support. Here’s a free Roadmap for you:

Best I’ve read from you! Thank you, Laura. My father was a violent alcoholic. And, I do constant battle with staying on the “Social Drinker” side of life. Your suggestions feel not only doable, but quite possibly effective. My mom always looks at life “through rose-colored glasses.” And, your approach to problems, snags, and tangles is very much like hers. Optimism, as long as it acknowledges reality, is always better than a position of doom, gloom, and pessimism… right?

Is there someone in California’s Orange County area you can recommend my husband and I see, for Marriage Counseling? I would truly appreciate the referral.

Thank you, for doing what you do to help so many!

Teresa, Thanks for your kind comments. Growing up with a violent alcoholic father sounds very challenging! We are based in Orange County and I recommend relationship coaching for you rather than couples counseling for the both of you. I invite you to have a complimentary discovery call on your own to see if relationship coaching might be right for you. If your husband is the one who really needs to change, this is a great option for you because he doesn’t even have to show up but he will be responding to you much better. You can apply for a session here:

Kudos for your post Laura! I believe it is absolutely right on target. My first husband began exhibiting drinking problems when he was about 45. This was in 1989. I was frightened and eventually went to an AlAnon meeting. The very first thing I was told was that I could not prevent him from drinking and the second thing was that I needed to learn to practice acceptance and to treat him with respect. AND, take good care of myself and think about my own behaviors. It’s very much like the statements in your blog and often helps to bring about a positive change. In my case, the problems became worse, more serious and finally I had to leave for my own safety and health. But, I learned a great deal which has helped me through many changes in my life. At the time, there was no where else to go for help or advice. You are providing a much needed and wise counsel. One of the interesting things to me as I follow your suggestions is that I am beginning to recognize the difference in reacting and responding, to understand the ways in which I have been being disrespectful and how to change them and all of this make ME feel like a nicer, happier person. Thank you for all you do!

Thanks, Gini! I’m happy to hear you’re finding such freedom in using the Intimacy Skills!

Awesome post as usual. I so look forward to your weekly posts. As I type, husband is helping our 10 year old with homework. Not because I nagged as in the past. Rather I have been applying the principles you promote. He actually offered to help! Big yay.

Great article! I have read your book “The Empowered Wife” and loved every bit. Im trying really hard to implement the skills. My only issue is that you dont talk much about children in the equation and children change the relationship dramatically. Sometimes you cant “wait” for him or have patience you just need the help straight away. You said yourself that you realised you cant take advice from a therapist who doesnt have a good marraige, well i find it hard to take everything on board when you dont have kids and havent experienced what its like. (Unless you do have kids – it just doesnt mention alot about it) thanks.

Shternie, You are right I don’t have kids.

I am the perfect mom still! 😉

It’s true that mom’s often need help right in that moment. I’ve watched many moms (all of my coaches are moms) feel much more supported by their husbands when they applied the Intimacy Skills.
I trust you to do what’s best for you as you are the expert on your life and I have no idea what it’s like to be a mom. You’re welcome to take what works for you and leave the rest.

Yes! I thought this, too, when I read The Surrendered Wife and First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors. I really liked the books, and thought there were many valuable insights. However, so many of the suggestions don’t quite fit our relationship because of our children. The line between my own decisions and his is blurred, because most (if not all) of our decisions have an impact on our children as well. Also, I can’t really do many of the self-care practices I enjoy without his cooperation, since we have two toddlers and my husband doesn’t trust babysitters with them.

I really liked this post, thanks
How can I let him solve my problem instead of me solving his regarding smoking?
I don’t know what to say to him that won’t be disrespectful.
If I say, can i use your brains? I love smelling your natural scent but recently I smell something else, I think that might push him more?
What can I say?

jtz, I hear that you would like your husband to quit smoking, and I can definitely see why you would like that! I bet he knows that you would like him to quit, yes? I agree that saying you prefer his natural scent is probably going to sound like a criticism to him. But you can catch him doing something good by enjoying his scent when he smells good to you. In my experience, husbands are much more motivated to take action that will make their wife happy than they are to stop doing something because they felt criticised.


thanks for this posting you have posted such nice experience for me and friend which is so affects on them , we have read whole blog so nice writing skill you have so thanks for this posting ,


mansi desai

I could not have discovered this post at a more perfect time. You’re 100% right that criticizing and nagging my husband about his drinking has not achieved the result I wanted. In fact, he did more to hide it from me. I read The Empowered Wife, and must admit that when I practice what is in the book, our relationship is a lot more harmonious, and he is much more open with me. I still feel stuck though, particularly around the issue of his drinking. He never acts drunk around me, but I know how much he consumes from how quickly the bottles disappear. If he is hiding his drinking, how can I praise him for drinking less? Do I focus on other things, and say I appreciate how responsible he is? Help!

I’m in the same boat! My husband never acts drunk even after drinking a 12 pack of beer…every night! I only know how much he’s consumed by the empty cans. He’s never had any consequences for drinking so much….has a great job, gets up for work every day, never has a hang over, never gets mean, has never had a DUI…but I’m starting to see the toll it’s taking on his body and our bank account. When I recently did our budget for the new year, I was astounded at how much he had spent every month on beer last year. He had asked me to tighten our budget, so when we sat down to go over it and I told him what I thought would be appropriate to spend on his personal “needs”, we got into an argument over his drinking. It’s hard to say much because, when it comes right down to it, the drinking doesn’t affect our relationship in a bad way and we’ve always had a good, strong marriage. He’s a doting husband and father and helps with everything when he’s not working. I’m at a loss for what to do because my biggest fear is losing him to the effects of alcohol on his body. I’m considering seeking counseling for myself at this time. *BTW…I’ve decided not to drink at all in hopes that it would influence him to cut back…or stop altogether. Always hopeful!

My husband is similar to yours. He has recently cut way back because he knows I prefer it but he misses beer. I really don’t know if I just overreact when he’s drinking more than a couple because I’m scared he’ll become an alcoholic like his mother or what? But it causes fights and I am also scared of the fighting, so every time he drinks I get anxious. But otherwise he’s a good dad and husband I just hate him thinking he has to drink every single weekend.

Oh my word. This is my life exactly. Husbands mom died from alcoholism. He cut down his drinking on my request from every day to Fri/Sat/sun (drinking every weekend was not my request) and is like your husband-high functioning. Good dad ,worker etc etc. I just get so anxious when he starts to drink. And every argument we have ever had starts as a result of his drinking or being drunk.
I’ve become addicted to worrying about his addiction.
He point blank denies he has a dependency on it.
I just don’t see how I’ll ever accept it though. There are literally no good points to it. So sick of living focused around a bottle!
And I’m pretty sure he’s sick to death of hearing about it too.

Thank you for posting this. I’m struggling with the same situation. We are both very successful, have a good family and have not had any negative things happen from his drinking. I even like to drink but it makes me not want to when he literally drinks until he falls asleep about 6 nights a week.

The thing is he never gets a hangover, isn’t mean or drives. He just falls asleep. I can’t figure out why it makes me so so mad and it easily can cause us a huge fight or me think about divorce. I don’t want that route as we do have a good marriage but this makes me crazy. I feel so alone and embarrassed it’s helpful reading I’m not alone.

He’d never do AA or a therapist. I’m not going to force him to either but this is just a huge *** on our wonderful life.

I’m struggling with some of the suggestions on how to handle a husband like this. I’m in the same boat as one of the commentators above, and the last thing I feel like doing is making my husband feel better in an attempt to make him treat myself and our son with any sort of respect. It reminds me of when his mother suggested the same to me – that I should be “nicer” to him, and maybe he’d do better in return.

Thing is, I’ve done the nice routine – I’ve never been not nice. I have a very giving nature, and try very hard to see my husband’s side, and to help him do better for both himself and our son – but it doesn’t work.

I’m absolutely at the point of leaving. It is hard seeing him drunk around our son so constantly, and the negative behaviors that go along with it. He is a terrible role model, and there are also the screaming fits of rage, and his tendency to throw things and overreact.

I just wanted to state that I couldn’t imagine trying to help him when he isn’t willing to help himself or his own family. I want a lot better for our son than this, and I hate the idea of my son seeing his mother ignore or even encourage these bad behaviors.

This is the first time ive searched for advice on this and im struggling with your concept of “accepting”. I can tell myself to accept it but the reality is that his drinking which isnt constant but more when he drinks he binge drinks and cant handle his alcohol and gets completely glazed over and talks slow and itsnt himself. its a huge turnoff which makes me so angry cause if it wasnt for this we’d have such a great relationship and him drinking that much is so unnecessary. Everytime this happens i feel like it chips away at our relationship and since we’ve had kids it makes me even more angry cause it feels like a safety issue. When he drinks like that i cant stand him and it takes me weeks to get over it and feel attracted to him again. I guess ill keep researching and see if i can try to implement this. I do know that what ive been doing hasnt changed his behavoir so its at least worth realizing that i should stop expecting it to and i need to do something different.

I hate this to , we have been married for almost 40 years and if my husband drinks to much he gets critical and blames me for little things, such as a dream I had and days it’s always about the same person.!!!weird I think it’s insecurity . Not sure how to build that up in him. 66 and 70 years old

Wow! Reading everyone’s comments I can say I don’t feel alone anymore.
I’ve been married for 20 years and my husband drinks. Drinks more then any other man I know. He says he’s not an alcoholic. He can’t go one day(days off from work) from drinking. I worry that when it’s time to retire it’s going to get worse then better.
I agree with one other writer about the intimacy. I feel disgusted when my husband is near and I can smell the alcohol coming out through his pores. How can anyone get intimate with that.
I did order your book “the empowered wife” im at the end of my rope and am willing to try anything before tossing the towel in. Im doing this more for my two teenage children.
God give me strength and hope!!

I wish my wife would read this article. I don’t drink often, but when I do, I go huge. Every time I drink a lot, my wife just gets really angry, condescending and insulting.

The worst part, is she will often enable me, then get mad when I drink a lot. For example, “Let’s go to a brew-house and have a few drinks”, “Let’s have everyone over for a party”, then when I get sloshed she gets furious.

I understand that it’s probably annoying for her when I’m drunk, but when she starts scolding me, I juts get depressed and stop caring.

There’s been times where I have gone without drinking for weeks, but I never get any kudos from her. And when I don’t get drunk (just have a couple drinks), she will still get mad at me and say that I’m drunk, even when I’m not.

I would rather not drink at all, but when we go out or to a party, and I don’t drink, she gives me attitude and says “Just have one drink”, if I refuse, I get the same treatment.

I feel like no matter what I do regarding drinking, she will never be happy. I feel like it’s more of a control problem rather than a drinking problem.

What do you think?

I feel you. My husband does this to me. We got together at barely 21 and I got pregnant right away. Had our wine two weeks after I turned 22. I willingly took a back seat to my husband’s job, friends and party tor years. Now after 10yrs of both of us playing the tit for tat (after our son was 4ish I finally wound to out to karaoke with my girlfriends and get wasted and come home, never any disrespect or infidelity issues between both of us) and he would manipulate me and say my coworker is coming over or a friend. Then sit and drink all night. The scary thing is I used to try to keep up with him, (I’d have a few glasses of wine on the Friday night and he’d drunk a bottle of whiskey and beers) and he can still seem cold sober. I can’t hide two glasses of wine. Although I can drink and try to keep up, used to don’t now. But he would verbally attack me, point out that I had almost drank a whole bottle of wine. It’s crazy. Idk. I love this man and been with him a decade. He just can’t own his own shit. He gave me shit about drinking (a deflection of course snd I knew it, so I quit for a while and still don’t drink like I used to). I also don’t bring it up to him how mean and drunk he is. I let him make a fool of himself.

My husband’s girlfriend is Coors Light. His first wife divorced him due to his drinking. I did not know he had such a huge problem until after a year into our marriage. He can go through a case in two days and deny he has a problem. I told him that addictions come between relationships, but he will not seek help. I have attended some Al-Anon meetings but feel he needs to take action. Our finances are separate and have been for years. Although I earn less, I pay a higher percentage of my paycheck on bills. The amount he spends on beer a month could be saved for retirement or pay down the mortgage. I know spouses do not own the addiction and in Al-Anon a level of acceptance is suggested. But it is difficult for me to remain in the acceptance mode. He is appalling. I do not respect him, and to me, respect is huge. You have to respect yourself first. It is hard to have a positive self-outlook when it is hard to love the person you are married to. I do not want to be with him physically as well. That leads to him possibly lusting after other women, who do not see his addiction and the ramifications of his excessive drinking. He is not mean at all, just pitiful! His daughter is expecting and his son and wife had a baby last year. One would think he would want to be around to see them grow up? This is a disconnected relationship for sure! Lonely!

My husband drinks to much and has since we got married at 18. I’ve tried everything (silently and loudly) and he’s a million times better than when we first got together but it’s still not healthy to drink 3-7 nights a week til you pass out in the middle of the floor. Long story short, I’m here because I’ve been noticing the day after he drinks is shot, he’s irritable and hard to be around (opposite of his normal self). I don’t know how to react, I go back and forth between acting upset (I’m so desensitized to it now I have to provoke the upset emotions, I’ve exhausted all the natural ones) and keeping to myself (do what makes me happy without him). I pray constantly for guidance and the ability to raise him up instead of accidentally knocking him down. Anyways, of all the research and conversations and different approaches, I’ve never tried these 3 simple suggestions and I’m so excited to start doing them. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

hi ive been married for 1 year and my husband is an alcoholic i believe, before we were married he got in a DUI and had to pay TT7000, he still continued, then before we were engaged he abused me because i disturbed his lime/hanging out drinking on beach to come pick me up after class. we broke up then we got back together, he was good for a while we got engaged then he abused me again we broke up then he got his family involved to beg me to return, i did and after we got married he hasnt abused me since. the thing is he works mon – fri. and he makes it his business to go drinking on weekends, i would call him and beg him to return home and spend time with me and he would say ok hes coming then 3 hrs later i got to call him again, when he finally returns home he destroys the house, hes throwing the table, knocking down stuff and says hes going to kill everyone, i pick up my Bible and pray and he stops, but still talks like hes given up on life, says hes frustrated etc. he also blames me for everything, his sister stopped speaking to me because i decided to take a course to better myself and didnt tell anyone but him and he tells me ‘its good for you that she isnt speaking to you’ and says i look for it. back to the drinking- i tell him ‘you go drinking and laughing and having fun with your friends but when you return home you stress me out thats unfair’ he doesnt respond to this. he recently got free alcohol from friends for the holidays and i just know its going to be ‘hell’ for me dealing with him on the weekends
before reading this i already decided that i wont bother him about his drinking so im glad that i got some expert info on this topic because i was beside myself stressing and thinking about getting a divorce daily. i really do pray that this works because when he isnt drinking he is the most amazing husband.


Hello. My husband stopped drinking for years, but started back up again. He drinks way to much every single day, you can tell he has had to much and is drunk, but he says he is not. My main problem is his dad owns a night club and I bartend there and he plays in band with his dad. While there his dad does not want him to drink, but can not stop him. So here I am in the middle, if I give him a dri k everytime he wants one I upset his dad, if I say no t ok him, then i am in dog house and world war 3 starts over again. I do not want women buying him drinks and he disrespects me and puts me down at in front of them and calls me names. I keep telling him that he needs to watch the amount he dri ks at club, because we both will lose our jobs. He also asked everyone to buy him shots and his dad does not want him having shots. How to I deal with this to make everyone happy. I am so stressed and unhappy, because of being in the middle.

Why do I have to accept his drinking? I’m not sure why on Earth I have to bend to his will and nurse his ego. If he is choosing the bar stool with his best bud instead of the dinner table, then he can go right to hell.

I agree. Lots of alcoholics also have messed up personality disorders (or at least crappy personality traits). It’s not usually “just drinking” I grew up around that crap. Now my husband is drinking way too much bc he can’t cope with life. You know what happens when you coddle a person with narcissistic traits? They dish out more. The nicer you are, the meaner they get. I don’t think that this is good advice at all. It’s manipulative and dangerous.

What a bunch of bull. My husband is great until he drinks, which is about 4-5 nights a week then he gets mean and says hateful stuff and calls me a whore and all kinds of things. And I’m just supposed to accept it? Yeah right.

I agree!!! My husband has been drinking since we were married 29 years ago. He goes through stages where he’ll drink more or less and right now he’s on a scotch drinking phase. It changes his personality and turns him into an annoying argumentative person who I just want to smack!! This advice is the old reverse psychology trick which I’ve tried and other tactics but I honestly think it genetic in some families.
Glad to hear that others find it revolting sexually. I don’t drink very much and don’t understand the desire to drink to get really drunk after all these years. Really whats the point??? I also don’t understand why it’s always up to the women to treat the husband with kid gloves and to shower them with respect etc etc when they have problems. What about the wives, don’t we deserve respect and special treatment? Tired of men and their special problems that women have to tip toe around. This advice is very annoying and ridiculous!!!

I could not agree more. Why should we accept and praise an abusive drinking? Mine drinks whiskey, too much and too often. Does not recognize he is drunk, annoying, argumentative and disgusting, call me names and softly threatens me by saying he is giving me opportunities and chances, as I take his legs off dinning table with force – he threatens to ask for alimony when he will divorce me. He plays the victim as I yell at him with disgust. I do not know who he is anymore, when he drinks. He plays video game all day, even though he shares expenses via investments of his own. I was raised in a proper environment, was never exposed to heavy drinking or abuse, and I am not willing to accept drinking with patience, compassion, and understanding. All of a sudden wives are the ones to be understanding and the ones to solve the problem when the husbands do not even recognize the drinking problem. He often vomited, luckily in the bathroom floor. Once he was passed out in the living room couch with vomit all over, and the following day I was traveling abroad for work. He does not even remember the things he says when he is drunk when I ask the following day. I feel disrespected and annoyed by the article writer as well, as a woman, a hard-working professional, and wife. Thank GOD we have no children. I guess I should have seen it coming.. proposed after 3 years together, took it back, then it was a yo-yo for another 10 years. When he married he suggested to have children (as it was my life dream) when he had no job, same thing when we were dating… he suggested to move to CA with him if he would have accepted a job there, but with no attachments. I am exhausted, I am 53 and i do not want to start over – I keep trying to accept him as-is but it is becoming harder and harder. I repress my unhappiness, I accept whatever to keep it going, I love him a lot, he is the love of my life but this drinking problem is ruining our marriage. On/off for 21 years, married for almost 8 yrs. I dive in work more and more, just to distance myself from the problem. It is Christmas today, just 1 AM and yesterday, the 24th, he drank too much then blamed me for talking with my brother in England for 3 hours, when I only talk with my brother every 5 months. So the drinking is now my fault because I was in the phone with family??!! We do not celebrate Xmas Eve but the Xmas day is over for me, I cannot even get myself to write a warm, loving card, I would be lying, and I cannot. Sorry for adding this as a reply, I probably bored you with my problems, which are probably less serious than women with violent husbands, or with drunk husbands, and children to protect. I am lost, I am sad, I do not want to give up my marriage, I love my husband but all this does not feel right.

Isa your not alone. My family had an awful Christmas 2020 due to my husband getting so drunk and fighting with me all night. My daughter called her grandmother December 25th in the morning to pick her and her sisters up because we were not attending the Christmas party. How could I? I was exhausted from not sleeping and he was still drunk. What is the point? I feel awful for ruining Christmas and every holiday due to my husband’s drinking problem. I know this is 8 months after your post but i just came across this page and I had to reply to your story. Your not alone.

Well said Pepper. I could’nt agree more! My husband is a perfect man and a loving father until he drinks.we have only been married for 2years but iam already tired and scared for the future. I grew up with an abusive father with drinking problems and i don’t wish my now 5months old daughter to experience that. My husband is not abusive whenever he meets his friend or family, he comes home drunk , puke on himself , can barely walk and speak incoherently and it is really disgusting to see. I have tried everything before my baby comes but now i really can’t handle this anymore because i have to take care of my daughter and feel like i have 2 kids now. Maybe this advice have worked for other women, but it is a NO NO for me. I and my daughter deserve better. I am considering ignoring him or maybe divorce him. I love him so much , he is my best friend but he does not want to change or even hear criticism. It is too much for me

I’ve been searching online for advice for what I should do about my husband who has been drinking when he gets stressed from work. And I’m so glad it led me to this article. I’ve been struggling with how to deal with it, especially since drinking goes against our religious beliefs. Thanks for the insight I needed since I’ve never drank and know nothing about alcohol.

Reading your article has made me stop and take a good look at my own relationship. My husband and I have been together 29 years. I have never been a big drinker but basically stopped drinking 6 years ago after a serious illness. My husband drinks every day. He rarely gets very drunk but does get to the point where he talks nonsense and becomes annoying. The way I’ve dealt with it is exactly how you say not to. He is now constantly angry at me and acts as if he hates me. It’s horrible. My attitude has been that I shouldn’t have to put up with him being so annoying and that he is old enough to stop putting his drink first but now I look at it from your perspective, I have been putting him down and causing a lot of extra problems. I’m going to try and change and hopefully it isn’t too late because he’s a lovely man and before this massive change in our relationship we had a good thing happening. This is the only article/blog I have found that has made any sense to me, so thank you.

This advice is tripe. Let me tell you why I don’t feel compelled to accept his drinking: My drunk husband has had run-ins with the law, fallen down stairs, shown up ridiculously drunk for dinners with friends, been unable to pick me up at the airport when my flights arrived, and has dropped me off places and forgot to come back for me…and I just love it when I have kindly made dinner and he nods off at the table, unable to stay awake. My intolerance of this behavior is because I am not willing to accept the hideous way I am treated. This relationship is a partnership and he is not keeping up his end of the deal. My refusal to accept his drinking is because I don’t want a stupid, drunken “companion” who can’t have a lucid conversation and who is not the person I married. I am now the ridiculously unhappy wife of an alcoholic. I never criticized him, I told him how it affected me and he didn’t care, finally I told him that he needed to get help or get out, and his response was to tell me to file for divorce. I don’t make him drink, he does that all by himself. Alcohol addiction is an intimacy breaker and I think your advice is absolutely worthless to me.

I absolutely agree, as I am going through the same thing in my 4 years of marriage – this is not good advice and feels very irresponsible to me. This is not at all what I had in mind for my life.

At first I thought this seemed crazy Bc no I don’t accept his behavior and it infuriates me. But as I thought about it he is drinking more Bc of stress and feeling down on himself. I agree that the more I have asked to him to cut it back or confronted it it’s only become worse. If he feels attacked it will continue as it has. I dont over drink the way he does but I do drink and I need to cut it back myself If I expect him to. Hoping this helps

This is great. I love that you focus on what a wife can do instead of how to change him! Pinned!

Ive tried all of what you said, being supportive for months and even years on end and not criticizing him. I’ve been on the opposite end as well where I’ve told him it has to stop. Nothing works. He told me he would start going to the Al-anon mewtings and he went to one. One. He said oh I don’t need them in order to stop drinking.
So now I say what’s left? He’s 60 and I just don’t see an end to it. I’ve thought about leaving more times than I can count but I’m afraid that financially I wouldn’t be able to make it with 2 kids on my own, living on one $1,400 paycheck. However I’m just about fed up. He chooses to stay home and drink instead of go places with me & the kids. He chooses the alcohol 99 out of 100 times. He’s very lucky that he has us and that I haven’t left….. yet.

She is perfectly clear that everyone is the expert of their own life and should do what is best and safe for them, in addition any wife who is criticizing and nagging and fighting with someone intoxicated is making it more unsafe for children than following this advice, and lastly THE ONLY ACTUAL OPTIONS for any human in regards to the behaviors and actions of people other than themselves is to accept or leave… No matter how much we may not like it we only can control our own selves! And when truly have so much more power than they understand it’s actually heart breaking in these comments heading the words of the wives you can hear their pain and it’s so glaringly obvious that they are majority contributing the problem and are clueless. Besides none of them are getting success doing what would be considered safe and not reckless so these suggestions certainly can’t make things worse then they already are and just may change the game!!

This ‘advice’ (?!?) is dangerous rubbish, especially for the children of the relationship. Very disappointed to see such stuff and gather that you’re making money out of it, Laura. Irresponsible. Time to retire, Laura. More women are voting with their feet. And they’re voting – Out.

I will try to accept my husbands drinking. How do I not reject his sexual advances when I find his breath and beer belly a turnoff? What do I say to him? Any advice would be appreciated.

My husband drinks all the time. I quit drinking mostly except on a RARE night out w/ a glass of wine. He drinks almost every day and smokes weed. I’m at my wits end. Lonely and just well lonely. It gets old when you are the one doing bath time and bed time and waking up early every morning with a toddler because he’s hungover. He still keeps his job it didn’t use to affect us until we had a child. Now it feels like his life is a party! and my life is just waiting for his party to be over. I’ll try to just accept it because when I nag I know it doesn’t work. I’m out of options… because I don’t have a choice. He’s not abusive or even mean at all. He’s just absent. I can’t help feel like I’m settling. He’s a great dad when he’s around and sober. He’s the love of my life when he’s present. Those days are just further and further apart

My husband has been drinking wine every night since he opened his own business 15 years ago which at first thought nothing off but when I noticed the change in his behaviour towards me I started talking to him about it he would then drink less at home started drinking before he come home and continue with wine at home this has been going on for years. I book an appointment for him to see our family doctor last month because his hands when writing is shaking and was worried about his health I decided to go with him was very shocked when the doctor said from his last blood test she was concerned about his liver and asked if he has cut down on his drinking I was shocked and so upset, knowing what the doctor has told him he is still drinking every evening at times unable to stand I am sure his liver can’t take alcohol but most importantly worried he could have liver failure I really don’t know what to do.

Wow,. I sort of feel like this should be directed at 1920s women. As if its our problem and our fault that we don’t deal with toddler behavior from a grown man. This advice speaks volumes on how little trust women have with their men and how manipulation is more effective than honesty. I get being desperate, but i feel like a woman in 2019 should be able to talk to her husband without fear of backlash. If you can’t have a honest conversation with your spouse, you’re not in a healthy relationship. I have had a problem with my husband drinking and no amount of acceptance got him to drink less, it was my outright honesty about how i felt “i love you so much and the rest of our life together is amazing. i feel if you continue to behave like this, i won’t want to be with you. If you want to continue drinking that’s fine, but you may be doing it without me in your life. I’ve tried for years, but this is not something I can get over.” Seemed to be the only thing that shocked him enough to realize how much it affected me. Notice no apologies about how i feel? That’s how an adult talks to another adult, not manipulating the hell out of them to get your way like this advice column says.
Bottom line: if you aren’t willing to back up your words with action (like leaving him) then there’s nothing you can do but enable poor behavior.

I agree 100% with your analysis of this advice. It is deeply problematic advice for this topic. I would like a more honest and adult relationship with a man than this implies, and I know that I can have that. I’m sorry, but if I don’t drink to excess, because it’s unhealthy and extremely disrespectful to one’s partner, I can ask the same of him. Nicely, but directly. And if he can’t take care of this serious issue in short order, I am planning my exit. Simple as that.

I get accepting the drinking, but it’s the behavior that is unacceptable. I have tried all of these things over the years. It’s crazy.

I understand how acceptance could work but I’ve tried it and it didn’t work for me. I tried turning a blind eye and getting on with running the family (5 children) but it just gave him justification everything was all great and he kept drinking the same amount or even more. It’s not a good environment to live in when your partner is slurring his words at the dinner table in front of your 5 teenage children or when he starts cooking dinner but then drinks so much he can’t finish cooking or eating with us or he’s swaying around the house or says inappropriate things in front of your 16 year old daughter. I’m sick of nites watching tv together and he will just fall asleep or worse start having a go at me about something silly. I get sick of waking up to the smell of alcohol every morning and at times I’ve felt complete disrespect for him and don’t want to be around him. I’ve done the acceptance thing, I’ve lived my life and been busy with kids etc hoping he would step up too and change a bit. I’ve been kind, gentle and compassionate. I’ve lovingly said this is affecting our relationship and I love you but I’m worried your drinking too much and could you maybe cut it back a bit and be mindful that it’s not good for the kids to see this either. He takes it on board and comes up with an excuse and says it’s all good there is no problem. It got to the stage where I said please try and cut back the drinks as it’s really staring to affect me. I’m not happy and I can’t see a future with you if this doesn’t change and he says he’s going to fix it and it will be fine but he doesn’t fix it, he just hides it. He can drink between 80-100 beers a week. After being on the receiving end of some drunk angry outbursts again I said again, calmly if this can’t change then we are doing to have to live apart and have our relationship from a distance but he says it will just make him worse and drink more. I’ve stood my ground and he is getting ready to move out. I can’t be responsible or feel guilty, I’ve literally tried everything and it’s such a shame because he’s a wonderful man and father when he’s sober. He continues to deny there is a problem even though I’ve offered unwavering support and commitment to help for his health, the kids and our relationship but he’s still saying alcohol isn’t the problem………

Like many of the women who posted, my husband is also a heavy drinker. I’ve tried many tactics to alter the behavior, crying yelling, keeping quiet as to not start an argument, telling him how much I enjoyed his sober company, etc.
After 25 years of this behavior, my teenage daughter opened my eyes. She & I were having a conversation, as I frequently do with my children, regarding the dangers of abusing drugs, sex, alcohol. My 15 year old daughter said to me, “Mom, I have zero desire to drink.” I see how much Dad drinks, and I can’t stand to be around him when he’s been drinking.” My response to my daughter, “Honey, I think you need to tell your dad how you feel.” She bravely did.
The behavior has changed, somewhat. I am hopeful that it will continue to improve without the still occasional setbacks.
This was an eye opener for me. I have been an enabler for years to the detriment of my daughters. Shame on me. They saw the behavior all along, when I thought I was protecting them. There is a disrespect for their father that will be in grained, most likely, forever.
Have I also enabled my daughters to repeat the mistakes of their mother or god forbid they turn to alcohol like their father.
I do not understand your advice of basically turning the other cheek. Your advice may work for a misbehaving child, to compliment them when they are behaving well, however, I believe you are doing a grave disservice to the women who follow your advice & their children who’s lives are impacted by the daily destructive behavior of a social drinker, binge drinker, alcoholic, whatever label fits, to everyone around them.
I’m done feeling guilty for the decisions my husband has made. It’s not my problem to fix, accountability & action are up to him. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want or feel they need help, no matter how well you praise good behavior.


Mine drinks then doesn’t come home at night ( he’s cheated before). But now let’s me know where he is. Should I treat this as if it’s not on my paper and just do self care. Nothing else has worked and I’ll probably divorce him one day but today isn’t that day ;so I need help on having the best life while I’m still here.

Renee, I’m in exactly the same situation.
I’ve felt so alone.
I’m reading through the comments from you ladies and now I know I’m not alone, I’m not a freak…

what a load of crap. leave him now, before he kills you. I wish I could leave my husband right now, but I have little income and nowhere to go.

I’ve been married to a severely problematic drinker for three years. I’m talking about getting kicked out of resorts on vacation because of his drinking (those all-inclusive resorts are like DisneyLand for an alcoholic!), bailing him out of Mexican jail. Him waking up in jail in Canada and he “doesn’t know why.” The list could go on and on and on…

Here’s what I don’t understand. How would pretending that his drinking isn’t the problem going to do anything?? He would take my comments about how “bailing him out of jail while on vacation really makes me feel bitchy, can you help me figure out why?” and laugh in my face while downing a shot of tequila.

It’s to the point that I think he won’t stop unless he ends up accidentally killing someone because of his drinking. I’m hoping it’s not me and I thank God I don’t have any kids.

None of what you listed above has or will work on someone like this.

Please, how do I get my husband some real help??? Without forcing him into rehab or secretly dosing him with that medication that makes you sick if you ingest any alcohol.

I’m at my wits end.

Yes I read all of your comments and am desperate and miserable as well :(.5 yrs relationship,1.5 yrs marriage.I thought I can do this because he is a good man with a good heart and because we have so much chemistry but he not only drinks he now stays at his hunting camp so he can drink all he wants then tells me he needs to work from the town near him…it’s all about alcohol.Because he knows I can not tolerate it at home.He is a step Dad to my 2 daughters who were practically abandoned by their biological Dad and is the only Dad they know,I can not leave him because of the kids.They do not see his problem and he’s good to them.I hate when he drinks at the bars,this is where he goes,not at home.He starts at lunch time.He quit alcohol for 7 months.I wrote him a letter explaining how he makes me feel,he quit and told me for 7 months that he’s done and that alcohol is poson. Wanted to be a motivational speaker to others….all gone.Reversed back 3 months ago,no explaination ,told me he’s not alcoholic and is fine.Intimacy is extremely difficult.I get turned off all the time and it holds for days.
I tried with good,and I tried with ultimatums.Nothing works!He has an extremely difficult personality where he’s always the victim and turns things around to point at me.No understanding whatsoever :(.
Good luck to everyone,this is awful!Especially when you love the person and you feel it’s the love of your life!

My goodness I’ve been seeking an answer to this question and bam you’ve just reaffirmed it for me. I ask myself what would Laura Doyle do? Haha. It works. 3 months without a big lapse all from expecting the best from him and speaking good into him. Just like when we first met 🙂 thank you Laura

Wow! Congratulations Yasmin! I know how much courage that takes. I give you all the credit for creating a respectful, peaceful home. Well done!

Dear Laura, I read through this post of yours with eagerness to find out how I could apply the wisdom to my own situation with my now separated husband . He was diagnosed by a clinical physiologist as being a sex addict about 25 yrs ago , we had a 33 yr marriage that was on and off increasingly in the last ten years . After reading your book I made a decision to leave him as a lost cause , because he continues his behaviour of having risky sex with women that make themselves available to him . Putting me at risk .
I have been separated for 7 months now and forging a life with out the person I invested so heavily in living our life together , pulling my marriage apart to put myself back together . It is difficult as I developed co dependency and a trauma bond in the process that now has to be Dismantled, I genuinely I am open and very coachable to any help you may be able to offer me
Much love Kathrine

I’m sorry but even though a beautiful written article and maybe would work for some people but not in my relationship.
I have tried this before and it back fired on me . He began to drink all the time and I stopped hanging out with him as much because it was ruining me as a person . Hey I even started drinking too because I felt maybe that was the answer to my dismay. I became depressed and miserable .
One morning I woke up and realized no I can’t control him and he’s not gonna control me either . So I started taking care of myself, my body, my mental health . And worried about myself . Now he complains he drinks because he’s lonely. It’s all bull shit if you ask me . He has issues and It’s my life he’s ruining and I just won’t have it any more. I didn’t sign up for this and I’m not sticking around either . I have to think about what makes me happy and it’s deffinatley not his drinking

I stumbled upon Laura’s podcast episode about this and thought, what do I have to lose and started to give it a go about a week ago. My husband and I have been married for almost a year and we are expecting a baby boy in a couple months. My husband is a wonderful man, very loving and supportive and family oriented. He loves me so much, we have fun together and he is considerate. These are just a few of his amazing qualities and These are the reasons I married him and love him so much. He has a drinking issue that comes from his family and growing up with alcoholics, and he uses it when he is happy and when he is stressed. He drinks around 5-9 beers a night. I feel like he gets to this point around drink 4 where his personality changes and I do not like spending as much time with him. I am walking on eggshells to try and not set off a fight and he is looking for reassurance that I still love him, I think because he knows I disapprove of his drinking. I’ve tried over and over to tell him how I feel about his drinking and it hasn’t had any long lasting affect. I told him I didn’t want him drinking around our son once he’s here because I don’t want our son to learn the behavior. But it hasn’t helped. Really nothing has helped because he is making the decision every day on how much to drink. Up until now we are still solid and things are tolerable but with the baby coming it makes me afraid because I don’t trust he will drink less.

All that’s to say that I started trying some of these skills out in the last week. Here’s where we are at – I stopped saying anything about his drinking. I have been extremely positive towards him throughout the entire day, being excited when he comes in the door, showing him More affection, not showing any reaction When he opens another drink, etc., and it has had some of the affect that Laura says, but not all…yet (at least the drinking part)

But I’ve been happier for sure, my Positive actions And reactions have made me want to be around him more. He hasn’t had any negative behavior while drinking, which he normally does (happy buzzed, I guess) such as picking little fights or saying slightly rude things. He came home yesterday from a Couple hours of fishing and said, I found this amazing stretch of beach 20 mins away and I want to take you there tomorrow. Let’s pack a picnic and go hang out. I think you would love it. With this whole COVID thing he’s been really getting out and doing things on his own while I’m quarantined trying to protect the pregnancy. This is the first time he has really had an inspired idea in the last couple months for us to do. It was really awesome to see how excited he was to share it with me. He took a bunch of pictures and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it’ll be to go together and we can take the baby once he’s here. Then last night he put some music on While I was making dinner and we just danced around and listened to our favorite songs for hours loving on each other. Yes he was buzzed and had had too much to drink, but instead of focusing on it as a negative, I road it out and just allowed myself to enjoy it, and we had so much fun together. He hardly ever posts on social media but posted a video of us dancing and said the nicest things about me being his person and how much he loves me. He told me that the only thing missing when he was out on the beach was me, and he wants to take me there so badly today. We definitely had a connection we haven’t had in a while, and it’s because my attitude changed this week, of that I’m sure. That said, the drinking hasn’t gotten less this week, maybe actually a little bit more because I’m not nagging. Not a great outcome but I’m hopeful that maybe he will become more happy and confident and he will feel compelled to do it less. Only time will tell. For the first time in a while I am hopeful. I’m not sure if this is the best advice, or this will really help, but I am going to stick with it for a while and see if it does. Again, nothing else I’ve done in the last 2 years has helped. Thanks Laura for at least giving me a lovely week with my husband where I’ve chosen to focus on the good in him instead of the bad. I really hope that it has the desired affect on his drinking behavior over time. Please pray for us.

My husband is a high functioning alcoholic since his teen days; now in 40s, our two boys are seeing his worst side when he’s drunk! Earlier I’d let him sleep through or somehow cover up for him however, now he demands my children to get his bottles or car keys or wallet if I hide it. If I don’t return them, he threatens them that he’d call the cops..!! Lately he broke my phone in many pieces in front of my children when we tried calling for help, abused me by name calling and trying to poison my older son against me; he keeps running from the house to drink, messes the house in his drunken state and our boys are witness to all this nonsense! For theirs and my sanity I filed for divorce only for him begging he’d change (he never did that in our 12 years of marriage). I kept my distance and continued my duties as a Mother and Wife (minus any physical relationship). Then, a day before the court date, he drank and ran away..! Again, he pleaded to me to have him back and is continuing to live as normal..although I’ve made it clear to him that I’ll proceed with the divorce! I’m at wits end not sure how to end this! When he’s normal, he’s a super Dad and husband but I can see through his pattern and it isn’t giving me any solace or hope for the future.

Oh man am I so relieved I found this. Im a wreck been with my husband 15 yrs and his drinking has slowed but in Feb he totalled our car he was drunk ran a red light have no clue how he didn’t get a DUI or his license suspended every time he goes somewhere with out me he gets wasted and drives after all these years i can’t keep my cool I’m so upset and disappointed and done with the disrespect and him blaming me for his drinking problem. Everytime it crushes me and every time fight he promises to stop the abuse and drinking and does ok of course he never stops. I feel stupid and everything you said. I feel not good enough and when he tells me he choose drinking over me what else is there to do but leave him thats not love Im so hurt how do leave someone your madly inlove with well until they get drunk and treat you like a servant do this do that shut up go away Im busy your a stupid b. I need help

So how are you supposed to act the next day after he’s been a gigantic asshole the night before and said horrible things about you, including, “I can’t wait until I no longer have to deal with you!”? Am I supposed to be miss sunshine and rainbows?! I want to punch him in the face when he says crap like that and I sure as Hell don’t feel like like saying, “I’m trying to figure out something, there’s this guy who becomes a raging asshole when he drinks too much…” And there’s no way it doesn’t affect me. I can’t pretend to be happy and fine after he says horrible things to me. I’d rather he leave and not come back! MFer!! And in 30 years of marriage I’ve never ONCE chided him for his drinking. When do the results kick in?!?!

Every time I have asked my spouse to stop drinking, he agrees. However the next day he will pick up beer anyway. He is mean and physically abusive when he has even a few beers. He changes into a completely different person as soon as he starts drinking. How can I get this behavior to stop without asking him?

It is a matter of giving all the knowledge, when it is spent on oneself, then it is known.I went into their world to change my husband. I started drinking with him so that he would change but he started drinking more than before because of my drinking. He just started having more fun. Do anything nothing changes.

In constantly in tears over my husband’s drinking. It’s not every night but when it’s happening it’s a lot and I’m sat with a whole different person at home. When he comes home late i always have to get up to make sure the door is locked or he’s not left the oven on. Even worst i have the fear that if there was a fire i would in no way be able to get him out as he will be completely blacked out.
Although the comments in this article seems like good advice in theory i know I’m not strong enough to pull this off and feel like it’s a lot more stress to put on myself.

Hello everyone,

First let me tell you that you are all amazing and incredible women. I am newly engaged to my fiancé of 7 years but I have a lot of concerns with his drinking. He grew up with alcohol in his family all the time, which is not an excuse. The issue of the amount of drinking has been a concern that we have discussed for many years and even though I have noticed some improvement it is still a concern. He will go a couple days with out drinking anything and then will drink 6 beers and a Mickey of alcohol in a night, and think that is okay and that because he is celebrating something or because he is hanging out with a friend it is okay. He says to me that he is not going to drink with way when we start a family, but I certainly know that things are not going to change they will intact get worse with kids because there is more stress at least that is what I am told.
I find myself very confused; he is not violent at all but when he has that just one extra drink it changes who he is and I don’t like that person. I have had talk to his dad about it because I just don’t know what to do anymore and am worried that he is going to hurt himself by getting into a car accident if he drives or hurting someone else unintentionally. He doesn’t think he has a problem to fix. This morning I tried writing him a letter explaining how his actions make me feel and the fears I have about the future; he has yet to talk to me about it; I’m sure he is upset with it. I find that I have become to resent seeing him with a beer in his hand and this critical person comes out in me toward him because of all the issues through out the years with drinking.
If this whole idea about how we can learn to control their drinking from a different perspective actually works then yes I definitely want to try it but I am a little confused. On the days that he does not drink do I tell him how much I enjoy spending time with him when he isn’t drinking?
How else can i present him with positive affirmations to help him Solve the problem?

Thanks for sharing what’s going on. That sounds hard. I admire your vulnerability and hear your desire around wanting transformation.

My students have fixed their marriages in similar situations (and worse!) and become happy wives.

I know it seems hopeless right now, but when you get the right structure and support, there’s every reason to be hopeful. I invite you to put your name on the waitlist for my Ridiculously Happy Wife program.

It’s the most economical way to have access to a certified relationship coach, a secret FB group, online training, and all the bonuses so you can learn and practice the exact steps that attract husbands, fiancés, and boyfriends back and make the relationship playful and passionate again. We see a lot of miracles in the program!

What about when husband doesn’t turn violent or aggressive but he drinks everyday with his meals and at night he is too exhausted it’s Hera easily mixed with the alcohol it appears he is way too intoxicated. It starts to bother our kids they let him know he is drinking again or too much. I am devastated I love my husband he is a great dad great person but it seems he looks forward to drinking everyday and this is bothering me to a level I can’t handle for long. 🙁

Jesseca, it sounds scary to see him drinking every day, to the point of bothering your kids. I can see why you’re feeling devastated and can’t handle it much longer. You shouldn’t have to deal with your husband being too exhausted to be with you at night! I remember the days when I needed a miracle to fix my marriage. To paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, miracles not only happen around here, they happen all the time! Get a coach so you can start feeling desired, taken care of and special! Join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:

How do I put a brake on the accelerator when the drinking is causing him harm? When I go to work he drinks in his car. He falls. It scares me. I come home to him having cuts and bruises. He doesn’t always shower. I can see he doesn’t feel loved. How do I change this when his behavior his hurting himself?

Heather, that must be so scary to see. You shouldn’t have to go through this. I remember being at a loss at how to change my husband’s behavior. I felt so hurt, alone and afraid. As the wife, you have enormous power to inspire him to be his best self, in my experience.

I’d love to get you some coaching support so you can stop feeling scared and start feeling loved and confident in your relationship and in your man. Join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:

I disagree with this article. It hurts my heart to read about “accepting him”. You can love a person without accepting their unacceptable behavior. And sometimes loving a person and loving yourself involves leaving the situation. Boundaries with consequences and assertiveness helps protect yourself. You will never be able to change their life for them. But you sure as heck can change your own. Which might involve some hard decisions.

Has anyone tried this approach and succeeded? My husband becomes obnoxious and disgustingly annoying, talks in his sleep, pulls the entire duvet. The next day he is a brat who doesn’t remember a thing and will not even ask, I can’t bring myself to see his face cuz I hate him then.
He binge drinks every other week. Right now I just can’t wait for this weekend to be over so he isn’t around. I’m in NY in a one bed apartment so I can’t even go to another room. I don’t understand how you can be so selfish and disgusting and have ZERO shame.

Z, I can see why you’re disgusted, annoyed and hating him right now. I would feel the same way. It sounds incredibly lonely, and you should not have to live that way. I remember feeling stuck too and it was lousy. That’s why my coaches and I have helped so many women fix their relationships. We can help you too. Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can fix your relationship too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *