wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

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abcdad
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wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

Postby abcdad » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:54 pm

I am a regular user of this site but am using another name for privacy.

I am coming to terms with the fact that my wife has a problem with alcohol. She is great when sober but embarrassing when drunk. Not seeing friends and family during lockdown has made me realise how much stress she causes me when we are in company. She gets confrontational with me and then friends and i end up having to drag her off.I know that friends who once laughed off her behaviour have had enough.

I thought about booking some couples therapy as a guise for some alcohol therapy just to get her in front of someone but I'm not sure that would be a good start. Reaching out for any ideas on how to help her, me and to be honest our marriage.
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: wife embarrassing in drink

Postby Moonlightdawn » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:30 pm

My heart goes out to you. Dealing with addiction can be a lonely, isolating place, particularly in a marriage.

The excess drinking is a symptom of something. Whatever it is, it needs to be dealt with - whether it is deep-seated insecurities, childhood trauma, depression, an incredibly demanding job, etc.

If you haven't already, I would sit down with your wife somewhere calm (NOT after an incident) and explain a) you love her b) you're worried about her and c) you want to help her and try and discover the demons driving her to alcohol. Tell her how much sadness she is causing and the effect it has on you. Be prepared for a total lack of owning up to the issue.

I would also call the AA hotline and have a chat with a volunteer. They will give advice on how to support her and also tips on how to support yourself.

I would also try marriage counselling. PM me if you would like a recommendation. We turned to someone who made a difference to our marriage (although it's been bloody hard work and taken far more perseverance than I ever thought possible).

At the end of last year, Susannah Constantine wrote and spoke movingly about having been a functioning alcoholic for decades. It's worth a read.

You have my sympathy and best wishes. Just know that you aren't alone.
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crashbang
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Re: wife embarrassing in drink

Postby crashbang » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:58 pm

A friend of mine was a diluted version of this. To be fair she was more loud, even ridiculous in drink than anything else but she has got much better over recent years and the main reason is confidence. I don't think that she ever felt happy with who she was and in company that made her nervous and then over indulge and try too hard. Becoming a mum has helped her no end.  I do think that you should try and get her to speak to someone. The last poster has some very good ideas. 



Best of luck getting through it. I am sure that you will.
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abcdad
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Re: wife embarrassing in drink

Postby abcdad » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:17 am

Thank you both for your replies, much appreciated. I have read the Susannah Constantine piece, it is very enlightening. I think that I will suggest some marriage counselling and maybe from there the alcohol counselling will follow.
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Anon12345
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Re: wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

Postby Anon12345 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:24 am

Really sorry you’re in this situation - I was also married to an alcoholic and I did the same as you - went to see a marriage counsellor just to get him in front of someone. The thing with that is that those counsellors won’t always be upfront with your partner that that’s the issue - they are there to try and work out what problems are going on in your relationship so I found that it helped clarify my own understanding of the problem (and how much of an issue the drinking was) rather than it being clearer to him. So it will probably be a good first step but ultimately she will need to get some professional help herself from a therapist and ideally someone who specialises in addiction. Obviously AA is a good place for her too but she’s h likely to be ready to admit that she’s an alcoholic and go somewhere like that.

For you, definitely make sure you’re looking after yourself - I got my own therapist and it helped SO much. I would be happy to pass on details if you want to message me. You may already know but there is also an organisation called Al-Anon which is like AA but is for more family members of alcoholics. It’s worth looking at some of their reading material and maybe trying a meeting or two if you want to. I found the reading material incredibly helpful as it’s amazing how similar the patterns of behaviour are for alcoholics.

Really hope things get better for you but please do message if you’d like to talk.
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Anon1234
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Re: wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

Postby Anon1234 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:26 am

Really sorry you’re in this situation - I was also married to an alcoholic and I did the same as you - went to see a marriage counsellor just to get him in front of someone. The thing with that is that those counsellors won’t always be upfront with your partner that the drinking is the issue - they are there to try and work out what problems are going on in your relationship so I found that it helped clarify my own understanding of the problem (and how much of an issue the drinking was) rather than it being clearer to him. So it will probably be a good first step but ultimately she will need to get some professional help herself from a therapist and ideally someone who specialises in addiction. Obviously AA is a good place for her too but she’s unlikely to be ready to admit that she’s an alcoholic and go somewhere like that.

For you, definitely make sure you’re looking after yourself - I got my own therapist and it helped SO much. I would be happy to pass on details if you want to message me. You may already know but there is also an organisation called Al-Anon which is like AA but is for more family members of alcoholics. It’s worth looking at some of their reading material and maybe trying a meeting or two if you want to. I found the reading material incredibly helpful as it’s amazing how similar the patterns of behaviour are for alcoholics.

Really hope things get better for you but please do message if you’d like to talk.
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Sheds
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Re: wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

Postby Sheds » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:27 am

Have just been listening to someone on the other side of something similar and it was very interesting to learn that they can now see just how much they were a part in keeping the issue in place.  To explain a little more, and not saying this is true for you but may be worth looking in this direction, there were times when they excused each others' behaviour, covered for it, in other words kind of inadvertently and unintentionally supported each other when under the influence (believe it was drugs and alcohol in their instance).  

It is difficult for me to put into words what I can see clearly on this, and also not knowing you, have no idea how you will take the words that I have already written.  I am writing from a place of love and understanding and very gentle.  Please feel free to make contact with me if you want a chat, am happy to try and share in a way that helps you rather than in a way that I think would help me if that makes any sense!

Kindest regards
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Been there have the t shirt
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Re: wife embarrassing in company when she drinks

Postby Been there have the t shirt » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:31 am

I have much empathy with your correspondent as I was married to a lovely lady for 40 years with the same problems. Although the life and soul of any party with a huge personality and biting wit, all her many friends slowly drifted away , save but the few fiercely loyal ones. Our children and I became hardened to vicious personal attacks in company and other drunken behaviour. We loved her right to end, regardless, as did her grandchildren.
My advice to your correspondent is :keep on loving her; don’t beat yourself up as it’s not your fault; understand that she will not be cured unless she really wants to be. A strong attachment to grandchildren and the threat that she won’t be allowed to look after them unless she stops drinking may well work for a few years but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t go back to the drink when they grow up.
Our great regret is that by drinking herself to death at 69, she missed out on at least ten more years of seeing her grandchildren fully mature and seeing her great grandchildren.
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