How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband

Written by nicole ramage
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How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband
Handling an alcoholic husband can be difficult but isn't impossible. (alcoholic drink image by Horticulture from

Living with an alcoholic husband can be difficult, especially if you love him and don't want to leave him. An alcoholic husband can be violent and abusive if he doesn't get what he wants. Alcoholism is a disease of the alcoholic and is not caused by anything you've done. Once you recognise that truth, you can detach yourself from your husband's alcoholism and start helping him on the road to recovery.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Ask your husband why he drinks. He may tell you you're the reason. The truth, though, is that he has a predisposition to drinking. Learn his history with alcohol to understand why he drinks so that you can help him get help.

    How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband
    Asking your husband about his alcoholism may help you understand it better. (alcoholic beverage image by Horticulture from
  2. 2

    Don't be an enabler. Don't go to the liquor store for your husband because you're afraid he'll drive drunk to get it himself. Say "no" and mean it. Don't show your husband that you approve of his drinking.

    How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband
    Don't offer to drive to the liquor store because he's too drunk. (Liquor store neon sigh image by aideenm from
  3. 3

    Pray for your husband or talk to a friend who isn't going through the same problem. This will help you get through the day. Remember that alcoholism affects everyone in the family, not just the alcoholic.

    How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband
    Prayer can help you stay strong. (Pray image by rasita from
  4. 4

    Attend Al-Non meetings. Al-Non is an organisation for those who don't drink but know people who do. Ask members for advice on how to deal with certain situations. Learn about resources like counselling for couples and for the individual alcoholic.

    How to Handle an Alcoholic Husband
    Al-Non or counselling may help you deal with alcoholism. (health centre sign. access to health centre image by L. Shat from
  5. 5

    Ask your husband to quit. Tell him how much you love him and how much you're worried about his well-being. Tell him how you really feel about his drinking. Most wives of alcoholics don't tell their husbands these things.

Tips and warnings

  • Changing your thinking about alcoholism is difficult when you have a preconceived view of it. It is, however, the best thing you can do for yourself.
  • The first step in dealing with an alcoholic husband is to recoginze that you're not the cause of your husband's drinking.
  • Detach yourself from the situation so that you can better understand why he drinks.
  • Your husband won't quit drinking if he doesn't want to. It's his choice.
  • You may not succeed in getting your husband to stop drinking. Leaving him might be the best thing for all involved.

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