What are the signs that an alcoholic husband just might be in complete denial of his problem? It seems like the most obvious one would be that he drinks all week long and then says he doesn’t have a drinking problem.
What can you do with someone who will not admit to having an addiction? One of the core teachings in many support group meetings is that the only person we have any control over is ourselves.
I think that if you and I reflect on the times when we tried to convince our loved ones that they had an addiction, we would see our efforts had no affect on them because they continue getting drunk. This realization is where the foundation of letting go of the alcoholic is built. Almost all alcoholics will stay in denial until they hit a bottom and then ask for help. I wonder if their constant denial has to do with their perception of what an alcoholic really looks like anyway?
I mean, if you thought that in order to be truly labeled like this meant you had to be living on the streets, sleeping on park benches and bumming form people all the time, most husbands wouldn’t think they were an alcoholic. Is it our job to try to convince them they are a problem drinker? The only person I have any control over is me. If they want to drink, there’s really nothing that I can say to “permanently” stop them. No really…there isn’t!
Oftentimes, they will just agree with us because they think that is what we want to hear. For a moment, we may think that we have had some sort of effect on them, but in reality they just continue on the destructive path. It’s disheartening when we grab onto this type of false hope.
Support group meetings on living with alcoholics teach people how to NOT ride the roller coaster of emotions that are associated with these types of relationships. The goal is to get us to just mind our own business because when we focus on others that’s when we lose our peace.
When we just begin to accept that alcoholics live in a world of denial, then we can live in more peace on a daily basis. There is so much frustration that accompanies trying to get someone to do something that they just refuse to do. When an alcoholic is in denial, there’s really nothing we can say that will convince them of their problem. Read this article on What Makes an Alcoholic Stop Drinking to get a better understanding of what they are going through.
I remember when a person was telling me all the time that I was drinking too much. I denied it over and over again. It wasn’t until I got into a fight with a guy that was three times my size that I actually began to think that just maybe I had a drinking problem.
That was the day that the reality of how bad I really was hit me. I attended an AA meeting that very day and have stayed sober for thirteen years ever since that turning point. There were many days prior to that when my wife told me I was drinking too much. I never listened to her. As a husband and a father I was in complete denial until I hit my bottom on my own. It’s true what they say, alcoholics will not reach out for help until they decide to.