He Drinks Everyday. Is My Husband an Alcoholic?

How can you tell if your spouse is suffering from alcoholism?

Janette isn’t sure what to make of her husband’s behavior. Does he simply like the taste of barley and hops…or is he addicted to alcohol? Here’s her story.

Drinking Patterns

Our fridge is always well-stocked with beer. I guess that’s not uncommon. It’s also pretty common for guys to have a drink with their buddies after work. But, every day? Is that even normal?

He sometimes has a beer with lunch, too. Then, he might have another one after dinner. Some nights, it’s more than one.

Our recycling bin is filled with beer cans every week. Is that a bad sign?

I’ve never been a big drinker, so it’s hard to know if he’s crossing the line.

What’s Your Definition of Alcoholic?

My husband holds down a full-time job. He’s punctual and dependable. He isn’t abusive or angry. He is well-liked; no one else has mentioned any concern over the amount of alcohol he drinks.

Am I wrong to worry that he seems to drink like a fish? Shouldn’t someone be concerned if he can’t seem to go a single day without alcohol?

Is it healthy that beer is a staple in his diet? One thing I do know is that it’s a significant chunk of our grocery budget. He’d be very unhappy if a case of his favorite brew didn’t make its way into my grocery cart this week. Every shopping trip, I know I need to grab the essentials: formula for the baby, milk for our toddler, and beer for my husband.

I did bring it up to him…once. He blew it off. His response was, “What, you think I’m an alcoholic because I like to have a beer now and then? I’m fine. Don’t worry. I’m not going to drink us out of house and home. I just like the stuff, okay?”

Problem being, I don’t know if it is okay. If he is an alcoholic, wouldn’t it be typical for him to deny it?

What are the Warning Signs?

My friends tell me I’m being paranoid. They don’t know him as well as I do, though. They don’t see him day in and day out. They don’t see how much he seems to rely on drinking alcohol every day.

I did some research and discovered a few warning signs of alcohol abuse. I used them as a tool to evaluate his behavior:

  • Does he experience temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss? (Not that I know of.)
  • Does he show signs of drastic mood swings? (No, he’s pretty easy-going.)
  • Does he make excuses for drinking? (I’d say yes. He says it helps him unwind. He seems to drink more after a stressful day.
  • Does he put drinking before other responsibilities? Other than spending a lot of money on alcohol, I’d have to say no. He still works hard and takes good care of me and the kids.)
  • Has he become isolated and distant from friends and family? (He works a lot, so it’s not like he has tons of time for friends and family to begin with. I’m not sure about this one.)
  • Does he drink alone or in secret? (Alone yes. He sometimes has a beer or two while watching TV in the basement. In secret? I guess I wouldn’t know that, since it’s secret.)

I’ll continue to watch for these warning signs and see if things get worse. Meanwhile, I plan to continue researching addiction and I’m seeking a support group for guidance and encouragement.

Additional Reading: Is My Loved One an Alcoholic?

 

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