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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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My husband and I live in a small community of a nice size

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My husband and I live in a small community of a nice size city He owns and we both operate a wine bar in walking distance from our home. We have been married for 7 years. When he purchased the business, he was an avid marathon runner. He injured his back a few years ago and is longer able to run. Since then, he has been drinking most of the day. Instead of coffee in the morning, he has a glass of wine and continues to drink all day. When we first met, he drank wine, but nothing like this. We used to be well off financially. We have a very nice home, country club membership (which we might have to let go, even though his family and he has been members his entire life), used to have a vacation home, used to have stock and bonds. I think you know where I am going with this. Because of his drinking, he has made poor choices with our finances. I use to play a small part in the everyday operation of the wine bar. I am slowly taking over much of his responsibilies because I do not trust his judgement. I've read many blogs and articles on living with an alcoholic but I haven't seen anything about how to WORK and live with one. I feel like a babysitter. Our employees and musicians come to me now and it upsets him and he starts to pick on them because of our new relationship. He owns the bar and the liquor license which scares all of us because we are afraid of our livelyhood. When ever I talk to him about his drinking, he says he wants to get a job and sell the bar. That would be great but, he is 57 years old and has not worked for 12 years. He has sold so many things lately to pay the business's bills. I'm afraid he will sell the business and then sit home and drink all day until we have to sell the house to pay for alcohol. My children think I should leave him. He has maxed out all of his credit cards plus mine. I had to take his name off of mine. Everytime he walks out the door, I cringe and worry about what he is going to do next. He is out of control. I feel so unloved and sad. I know it is not my fault he is drinking and I know the loss of his running is not the cause of his drinking. His sons told me he is bipolar. They also told me that his dad at the same age was committed to a psych floor of a hospital for about a year with the same symptoms. His brother told me he has ADHD and drinks to clear his head. I'm sorry, I could go on and on. I have made his problem my problem. I feel stuck. I have no friends that I can talk to about him. No money to go see a psychologist. I tried to sneek out to a Al-Anon meeting. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am not allowed to go anywhere without him. I get accused of having an affair. I have gained about 30 pounds last year because of stress. Can you recommend any books or real life stories I can read and get some inspiration and guidance?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 6 years ago.
Hi there,

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It is certainly not an easy one.

From what you describe it sounds like you really have to start putting aside some savings so that if things get worse you can separate from him and live independently. Are you currently getting a salary for your work at the bar? If not, I would recommend that you insist on one which you can put aside as your savings. Since it doesn't sound like your husband is open to seeking professional help, I would also recommend that you expect the worse and look for jobs for yourself. It is clear that if the situation does not improve you will need to move out of this relationship as it can become stressful to the point of damaging your self-esteem and impairing your functioning.

You can consider joining a support group (if you are able to step out of the house without him) - for the spouses/partners of alcoholics. Also, often universities that offer counseling degrees will have clinics where doctoral students will offer very affordable counseling so if there's a university that offers a counseling degree in your town you can contact them about free or reduced fee counseling for yourself as I think that will be very helpful to you.

You can also try to talk to your husband about acknowledging that he has a problem and then seeking help for it, and if possible you can lay down some ultimatums that if he doesn't seek help you will consider ending the relationship.

In terms of books/resources - here is a book that I think you will find useful.

I hope you have been able to provide some direction. Please do let me know if you have questions/thoughts.

Warm regards,

Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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