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They rarely miss work and other obligations because of their drinking, although it does happen occasionally, and they usually excel at their jobs and careers. Typically, they are clever and witty individuals who are successful in many areas of their lives. But they drink at levels that would incapacitate most people. Read more...

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Comments
April 12, 2011 at 1:54 am
(1) Tina says:

yes, my husband. he was a very functional alcoholic. he always went into work everyday, never missed work or called out, was always on time, BUT the minute he came home he would drink and drink until he passed out. Everyday, he would go into work, and every night he would drink. My stepfather was another one too…a functional alcoholic, he would go into work, my mom would drive to pick him up from work with a 30 pack in the car and the minute he gets in the car he would open up a beer and begin drinking until he passed out.

May 9, 2013 at 4:07 am
(2) Sarina L Proctor says:

My boyfriend and father of my child is a functional alcoholic. He is never late to work, a major leader at his job, the go to guy. He provides everything me and my daughter need. The second he comes in the door after work, even if he had gone to the hole in the wall bar first he makes a cranberry and vodka. It can be 3am and he will still make a tall glass. Usually he drinks about 2-3 if it is late. On his days off its cranberry and vodka all day, carries it with him whereever we go. He won’t drink before work, but the moment he is out he must have a drink. He calls it “soothing the soul” and I say its him being weak. He insists its not a problem because he doesn’t spend much money on it. At the bar he is the best friendliest guy and never has to pay his tabs. He insists its not a problem because “we have everything we need”. He drinks like a freshman in college. He will say he is only going to have a beer and a shot. Then 3 hrs later he comes home. “Sorry, they dragged me back in.” He thinks it isn’t a problem and its me just complaining. I don’t want to be that woman whos husband is 40yrs old and at the bar at 12am. I don’t want my child to see that her father cannot put a cap on it. He doesn’t care what I think. He thinks that I am just going to have to deal with it, because I’m making this out to be a bigger deal than it is. I hate it. It makes me angry, like I’m the one with a problem. I love Dr. Jekyll, but I hate Mr. Hyde. What do I do?

May 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm
(3) Michelle says:

I know ex actly what u r saying! My husband is an awesome guy, hard worker and spoils me rotten,but he is so different when he drinks… Only at night and on weekends.. Not physically abusive but some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth when he drinks… He is a completely different person who i dont care to be around… I love him with all my heart but his drinking causes me anxiety.. I hate to say it but i am a little emotionally un attached from him because of it…. U are different because u have a child.. I am sorry for that.. Do u know why he drinks????

June 6, 2013 at 7:00 am
(4) Dave Hudak says:

I was functional alcoholic. Never missed a day of work Never called in sick. Was the go to guy when help was needed.My doc told me I had to stop drinking. I picked up my 8 year chip this week. That is 2,920 days
of misery. I am now just a shadow of my former self.Fun. happiness,joy
friends family neighbors have been replaced with anger, resentment bitterness. I am aware of the dry drunk syndrome.However you put it
sobriety sucks. Replace alcohol with family time? Go to a restaurant?
Watching everyone else order drinks is like rubbing salt into a wound.
Start a garden? Seeing all my neighbors bbq and drink is another zinger.
How about a sporting event? Get your beer here ice cold beer. Another waste. A vacation? It is real relaxing as all else on board can order drinks galore. No place on ship to hide.Standing in line behind several shoppers explaining what fun they will have the rest of the day
drinking the alcohol in there cart. This is where I am supposed to be joking along???? Here is where they invite me to come along. It is embarrassing to have to admit drinking is forbidden and please do not feed the animals. Being less than normal is a heavy weight to bear. HOLIDAYS.
mankind could not of come up with a better curse. Listen over and over happy , joy, gootimes.
These words have no meaning any more. Being happy is no longer my problem.Keep your comments to yourself.I wonder why the word sober and happy do not appear in the same sentence
any where in the Bible. God must know something I don’t. Friends are the best. When every one else in the free world is out and about usually with an adult beverage one friend always brings you a glass of water just so you don’t feel left out.!!!!! What a guy.. I have not learned the art of being glad of the number of sober days accumulated. It is a number I’m not proud of or want the entire world to know.

August 13, 2013 at 12:47 am
(5) Joan says:

Dave, your synacism is so real and tangible. I can’t help but wonder that what you are so angry about is not the latent affects of sobriety itself, but the pain of the alcoholism. There is SOMETHING that drives you to remain sober. Something greater than the “pain” of feeling socially awkward. I pray that it continues to drive your sobriety. And thank you for your honest expression of emotion. You never know who you might help in what ways. I myself am married to a functioning alcoholic, we have young children, and I life with a constant nagging fear of what our future holds. It’s already taking its toll. But your openness reminds me to be patient and understanding that sobriety will not be a walk in the park. This will never ever completely go away…

August 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm
(6) Lonely says:

My partner of four years is a very intelligent, clever & successful businessman but unfortunately he is also a functional alcoholic – a term I was not familiar with until earlier this evening when I started researching his heavy drinking & my belief that he was probably an alcoholic.
When we began dating, I noticed he drank quite a bit but not until we started living together two years ago did I realise just how much. It is astounding that he manages to have about 4 beers, a bottle of red & then finishes up with about three scotches EVERY single afternoon from about 4 pm onwards & is usually snoring his head off on the lounge in front of the telly by about 7.30 EVERY single night. I used to wake him to go to bed but no longer bother & just leave him to make his own way there usually around 1am.
Reading this back, it sounds unbelievable that he can drink all this in such a short amount of time, but that’s how it is and Incredibly he still gets up at 5 am every morning & off to work by 6 without ever seeming to suffer with hangovers.
But i have just about reached the end of the road. He doesnt think he has a drinking problem, & doesnt realise (or care?) that i am sad & lonely spending every night on my own & wondering what has happened to our relationship. I’m usually not home from work until about 6pm so we don’t have much time together before he’s asleep & as for sex, well that’s a thing of the past.
And yes, I know I sound resentful but he always manages to stay awake till the wee hours when he is with his mates and comes home very drunk & not a man I particularly care for.
I love my man and would dearly like our relationship to work out but I need to start getting on with life. If only he would join me. :(

August 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm
(7) Emily says:

I recently moved in with my bf. I knew that he liked to drink and I was in denial about just how much. He plays off his alcoholism like it’s no big deal. He “has total control and he has his life in order. Does his job and well, pays his bills etc.” He calls it judging him when I point out to him that he is a functional alcoholic and he is only getting worse. That the longer he keeps it up, the worse it is going to get. When I started objecting to his drinking things started turning south. He started being rude when he was drinking where he had been only very loving and sweet. He has started to become verbally abusive without provocation and consistently breaks up with me and then says he didn’t mean it. He says “I just like to drink, it’s who I am,” ” I drink too much I admit, but it’s alright cause I take care of my s*&(t,” and a handful of time “I admit I’m an alcoholic, if you don’t like it you can find someone else cause I don’t want to stop and I don’t see a reason to stop for you.” I have so much anxiety, having no clue what the day will be like, how I will wake up. What will be his mood.

He will not admit that the alcohol has taken control and it’s really not a choice to drink or not anymore. We were very happy despite his drinking for a while. He even talked about getting married one day, but the minute I put myself between him and his drinking, he started questioning how he even felt about me. Going back and forth between the “I love you and don’t ever want to lose you” to the “I can’t stand you, I don’t like you, never loved you and want you to find someone else.” It just seems that losing me would be much less of a loss to him than having to stop drinking. All his friends know he has a problem but they will not say it to his face. Denial is a very strong thing and I do realize that the only person that can stop him from drinking is him. I just hope he stops before it has serious consequence other than destroying his relationship with me.

September 10, 2013 at 8:41 am
(8) Tally says:

IF your not married to him – leave him . Its the best thing you can do for yourself. Once an alcoholic always. You can’t change him. I am married with children and my husband is and has no desire to change even when things are bad- he will drink more to numb it. I am sorry but its the truth.

September 16, 2013 at 3:30 am
(9) jenny says:

I am married to a functional alcoholic for over 20 yrs…I was bought up with a functional alcoholic father so my husbands drinking never really bothered me until I began drinking myself, very seldom. (I never touched alcohol ever before). I began to realize he drank everyday after work and all day on the weekends. I would have a drink with my friends over dinner and never would i want to wake up to have another drink and keep drinking…This is when I realized that my husband has a problem with alcohol. It was a wake up call for me to realize what I and my children have to put up with. Recently he got in trouble with the law for DD and now he has sworn he will not touch a drink and promises to be sober for a whole year…I am willing to support and help him in the hopes that he will completely stop even after a year. I am beginning to research online about alcoholics. I am on a mission to help my husband as much as I can. I will join support groups first then ask him to come with me. If this approach doesn’t work for me then I really don’t now what our future holds because my children are done with him already.

September 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(10) Brandie says:

I have been married to a functional alcoholic for 6 years, but we have been together for 17 years. We have a 5 year old daughter. My husband has been a functional alcoholic since the first day I met him. He has a lot of good qualities, but his drinking always seems to ruin it and overshadow anything good. I have tried the silent treatment, being up in his face, being nice about it and being supportive to go to any meeting, counseling or rehab that he needs. He doesn’t think he has a problem. You know you don’t have to quit, just cut back or just not on the week days. Nothing has worked. The most recent weekend was an all weekend binge of drinking, sleeping all day and more drinking. Leaving the garage door wide open and passing out on the couch. I felt like mine and my daughter’s life was put in danger and that is the breaking point for me. I got scared. I feel like there is nothing I can do and I have nothing else to give. I asked him to leave, but of course he said no. We just bought our house this year and it kills me to think that I might have to lose everything because he can’t figure this out. So sad.

September 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm
(11) Nicky says:

I am pregnant and the smell of alcohol makes me throw up. He still continues to drink heavily every night. Why would he do that to me? It repels me..
To me this is putting his drinking and alcohol before our relationship.

November 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm
(12) Margaret says:

Good for you Dave! I had to finally divorce my husband to get him to understand how serious I was. I am proud of you for your accomplishment. I did not drink much so us not having alcohol in the house was not an issue. Keep sober and you will find someone special in your life to share everything with. Be kind to others they don’t know any better than to be cruel. You sound like you don’t have much support in your efforts but just know that you are not alone!

November 30, 2013 at 3:02 am
(13) RepentantHusband says:

Dear Lonely-

Your words and description really hit home with me. In my case I buried 32 years of a marriage by doing the exact same thing. I’d come home after work and separate myself from my wife and any returning nesters that were living in the house at the time. I’d go into my “man cave” next to the garage refrigerator and drink beer for hours while my wife watched chick shows in the living room.

Now that I’ve lost her I can’t help but think how my disgusting breath and behavior kept her at arms length. The days I didn’t drink so I could just kiss her were met with some other distraction.

When she decided she’d had enough it didn’t take long for her to find a high school “ex boyfriend” to come up and visit her and make her feel like a school girl all over again. I even stumbled across the condoms in the room of her new rental house while I was delivering her possessions from our home. I would have responded to the suggestions at http://hamsnetwork.org/spouses/how.pdf.

I hope your outcome is what I dream mine will be.

D…

December 4, 2013 at 9:57 am
(14) Ryan says:

I am now the alcoholic and I feel for both sides. I live and have lived with a bi polar female, since almost the beginning of our 18 year marriage. Always tried to keep peace in the home cause she would go crazy, always trying to make sure the kids were quite, dinner was cooked, cleaned, kids in bed, EVERYTHING she said was important and would make her happy. I had finally came to grips, she was never going to desire me, I’m the snuggle one, watch tv, sit together, hold hands, come out and snuggle when the kids were finally asleep. The one who cooked, did homework, took the kids to every and I mean every dr, dental, etc appt. she came clean years later she had had an affair with a friend, he was single and had time and money, of COURSE I didn’t have much money or time I was paying and taking care of our family!!! Now were down the road some I know have the issues, I truly regret not leaving back them but I couldn’t so it to my family. Could sleep cause all I had been FORCED to learn. Found sleeping pills and it ran from there. I I have been told that confession without change is abuse, I believe that. Tell what you must but don’t do it at the expense of someone else. I had came to accept ouroveless marriage, always wanting affection, hand holding, just normal stuff to find out I did all the work, someone got the payoff and there was no change , I truly did everything she said was important to be lonely. Yes, I’m venting,….a lot. But some of the stories are probably true and some are true but leaving out the other ones part. Most, not all contribute. Just say it all and not try to make yourself sound like the victim.

December 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm
(15) JT says:

I was a mostly functional alcoholic ( being I had a home repair business, me being the only employee) yet I would drink when I got home to the point of oblivion, and could not remember what I had discussed on the phone with them aroud 8 pm. I was in business for 38 years yet had to take a disability retirement in 2010. That was when I began to realize after many years of therapy, aa, antidepressants and the like that I had always been less than others and was not on the fortunate end of the gene pool. Yet when I retired I realized I had no real life other than getting up every day to pay the bills and support my family. And it has gotten real bad since.
I just don’t see how any rehab is gonna help me overcome this, I have been this way all my life and don’t take care of my self and have come under fire recently from my family, I don’t know deal with it all except the oblivion of the bottle !

December 18, 2013 at 6:32 am
(16) LE says:

My husband was always a drinker, but we were married young, and we both liked to have fun. I thought that, like me, he could take it or leave it, that alcohol wouldn’t be our constant companion. Here we are 15 years into the marriage, with one child, and alcohol. I don’t know how much he drinks because in addition to that which I see him imbibe, there are secret drinks as well. He’ll say he’s stepping out for a cigarette, but when I look out the window I see him walking back from the corner store, guzzling a beer, and tossing away the can before he gets inside. He says my problem with his drinking is exactly that, my problem. He has a job, makes his money, etc. He had an incident at a party last week, where he’d had way too much. People were coming up to me, laughing at how drunk he was. It wasn’t funny at all, and when we came home, he threw up everywhere and I was the one stuck cleaning it up. I hoped that night that he would choke on his own vomit and die. The next day, we talked about it, and he agreed to not drink for a week. Just. One. Week. But even so, he couldn’t do it. After two days, he was back to it. He said that was enough to prove he’s in control of it. I would say I hate him, but for two days I had my husband back. I wish he would come back for good.

December 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm
(17) kir says:

I left my country, a life I loved, my friends, my family and my career to move 5000 miles away to live with my new husband. before we married I was concerned about his drinking, but with my rosetinted artist glasses just figured I could deal with it and believed him when he told me he didn’t have a problem. I figured things would settle down once we were both living in the same house on the same continent. if only I had known….

if I hadn’t ended up in my own personal hell I would never have had any way of understanding what those affected by alcoholics have to endure. the lies, the pain, the anger. it is a living hell. my heart goes out to all of you.

December 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm
(18) Recovering Alcoholic Wife says:

All of you should read this book:
Coependent No More by Melodie Beatie
It will change your life.
All the best!

January 5, 2014 at 7:09 am
(19) Betrayed says:

My husband & have been married for almost 15 years & been together since we were 16, we have 3 beautiful boys. 13 years ago he started smoking pot but 8 years ago he wanted another career change which meant he had to give up so he turnt to alcohol. Almost immediately he became an aggressive drunk verbally, drinking everyday but not always abusive but when he is it is unbearable. I had trigger signs which usually was loud music and I immediately start to panic & get anxious as it almost always ended up with a verbal abuse which could last all night. Recently I started avoiding this by putting the boys to bed and hiding myself in our room pretending to be asleep, now after a few months of this he has decided our marriage is over, but he won’t leave our home as he says we can’t afford it. I am upset and betrayed after all these years of abuse and taking everything that he is still calling the shots! He has often told me that he needs to stop drinking and is depressed but refuses to see a dr.

January 8, 2014 at 3:15 am
(20) Mel says:

My Father was an alcoholic who died at 49 years old, from his 6th. heart attack. He was a very hard working man who provided very well for the family, as he was a self employed business owner, a volunteer fire fighter, plowed for the town during the winter months, and was a dispatcher for the local police station. He worked from 5 am till 12 midnight 6-7 days a week, and often through the night. Though he fought with our Mother often and would drive away mad or rather “peel” out of the driveway, I would blame our Mom.

I married a very hard working man, who is much like my Father was. He can do almost anything. He is a good and very protective Father, though at times he is a raging mad lunatic, he is often very controlling on who I talk to, and where I go (he’ll actually follow me or listen to my telephone conversations), and he is extremely paranoid. I admit, I’ve never seen him drunk, though he has all of that characteristics of an alcoholic.

My husband is in denial at this point. Our Daughters ages 10 & 14 have begged Daddy to stop drinking for them, he did miraculously for 3-4 months, then we would start to find empty’s hidden here and there. The girls don’t want to go to any meetings, I guess they hope it’ll resolve itself, or are to embarrassed.

Now I am at my wits end again, as he is hiding the empty’s and now the newest thing, our entire cash savings he keeps hiding in new spots everyday after I ask/yell at him to show me where he hid again. He makes me sooo crazy sometimes with his foolishness. So I am searching the internet for answers and keep going around in my head if I should give him the ultimatum to get the help he needs or I’ll leave him taking with the girls with me. I hate him for doing this to us. Putting me in the position of being the “bad guy” in our girls eyes. I just don’t know where the road will lead next.

January 9, 2014 at 3:03 am
(21) Giving up says:

I have been dating my boyfriend since December 2011 and since then I have come to the conclusion that he is a functional alcoholic. After reading several comments, I found myself relating to many as if they were written by me. If so many people can write about someone who sounds just like my boyfriend, then he must be a functional alcoholic.

When I started to realize he drank a lot I attributed it to being in the Military. At those times it was usually socially, if not in large groups, then at least with one other person he was actually with. But the more and more time passed and eventually he served his time in the Military, things somewhat changed. Instead of socially drinking he drinks alone, or in front of the computer with his friends online. We started living together and we got Into so many fights that I thought sprouted from his excessive gaming. I guess I was just trying to find the reason to our arguments and I picked everything but alcohol until the really nasty fights happened.

He drinks about 15 + beers every time he drinks. Somenights that’s followed by a bottle or two of red wine and some scotch, it just depends on what he gets his hands on. Some nights he will drive drunk to the gas station, pressed for time because it’s almost last call. I remember a time I wouldn’t drive him to get more beer when his car was in the shop, he ended up walking and refused a ride back when I worryingly went to look for him.

January 9, 2014 at 3:04 am
(22) Giving up says:

I believe he is functional because he has never really had it affect his daily routine. He doesn’t work, he is in school but all his classes are later in the day so it makes it easier for him to get away with staying up to 5-7 a.m drinking. As another commenter stated, he would pass out on the couch, or on the floor. We have moved into a bigger place now and he usually sleeps in his office. I have a whole king size bed to myself, pretty much every night. Some nights he would stumble into the room, waking me up, and land on the bed. This caused arguments because a lot of the time he would wake me when I had to work the next morning. Our sex life is gone as well. He blames me for that. I read another comment that made me think of my self, because I see I have become somewhat dettatched because he person he is when he drinks is not someone I care for.

January 9, 2014 at 3:06 am
(23) Giving up says:

Most recently he nearly got arrested because the neighbors finally called the police on him for doing what he does best. He was throwing things around in the house, he is keen on breaking my things. Especially things that are heirlooms or gifts. Well this time he really had me shaking. He didn’t get taken away despite the damages he had done, but after that he claimed he wanted to stop drinking because he saw how bad it was getting. That lasted about a week before we visited his parents. He drank more then he should have been if he was trying to stop, but not as much as he normally would. He said he had to drink a lot because he wouldn’t get to at his parents. Unfortunately, his parents have done absolutely nothing to help him. Yes, I know a drunk is a drunk they say, and he can’t be changed,but they give him everything and I’d like to see them at least try. He still drank at his parents and the moment we got back in town, he left to buy a 12 pack and sucked it all down real quick. He complained of the hangover but apparently it wasn’t that bad because he bought a bottle of scotch and sucked it down in about 4 – 5 hours along with some beer tonight.

I guess he doesn’t see how it affects me, he just blames me for it all. He blames me for all his problems, drinking included. When he drinks I get anxiety. He doesn’t understand that. I told him before that when he drinks I would go to sleep early to try and keep away and stay “safe” – the moment he would open the door I would get stiff, I would get so hot and start to sweat and my body felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. I would close my eyes and try to look asleep long enough for him to go away. His dark shadowy figure at the door is like something from a horror film, something to be afraid of. Like someone else posted, i too don’t know what will happen in the night, I don’t know when I will wake up, how I will wake up or what will happen. But it gives me anxiety. Pure fear sometimes.

January 9, 2014 at 3:07 am
(24) Giving up says:

I recall the night the cops came, the sound of them knocking/banging on the door sent me over the top. I had been clenched up into a little ball at the corner of the bed, I was crying into my pillow before I started to hyperventilate, I was gasping for air. It was so hard to catch my breath. I can still feel it now. I was shaking, because I was scared. He came in and put his arms around me, he was doing his “let me treat you like complete ####, break you down, and hurt you – but then come right after and say sorry really quick and hope it makes it go away”, when i felt his hands touch me I let out somewhat of a scream, almost like a scream you’d hear from a child with a temper tantrum, it was like a screech. It was completely involuntary, I’m guessing because I was so afraid. Seconds after I heard the banging from the cops, I screeched then too with every sound. I couldn’t help it, I could barely breathe, I was afraid, crying, shaking, hot, these screams just came out, I’ve never felt such intense fear..

I’m 23 years old and I live in fear, I live with anxiety and I also live with hope. Perhaps too much hope. He asked me tonight why I stay with him, sometimes I don’t know for sure, but my best answer would be that the man I fell in love with is still in there somewhere, this new person, this alcohol has taken control of him though. I always have hope that maybe he will come back, and I am tied down by memories, the good ones. Maybe I don’t deserve this and everyone says I’m too young for this kind of stress, but I’m still here hoping…

January 10, 2014 at 2:09 am
(25) Giving up says:

I don’t know what to do anymore

January 13, 2014 at 2:37 am
(26) misskitty says:

Giving up- your story so closely echoes mine it is scary. It’s crazy seeing someone else say things that seem like an observation of your life. At least it makes me feel like I’m not alone. My husband and I have been married since 2006. When we met, we were both young and partied. I grew up and out of the drinking but he hasn’t. (I’m now 30) His alcoholism has made me not even want to drink. My husband’s father died when he was 15, and he has been drinking ever since. (he’s 36 now) He blamed himself for his father’s death (which was a freak incident- his heart just stopped beating) and after years of being told it wasn’t his fault, he doesn’t think ANYTHING is his fault. His friends and family are all aware of the problem, but no one seems to want to help. After being with him for so long, I can see how his drinking has wreaked a path of destruction in his life. Every painful thing he has been through has involved drinking. During our first few years of marriage, he lost several jobs as a result of drinking, and used to overdraw his account buying alcohol. He had two DUIs before the age of 18, and got his third the year before we met. I stood by him through court, daily BAs, alcohol classes, work release, jail, thousands of dollars, and not having a license for the first 5 yrs we were married. I drove him everywhere. He finally got his license with a breathalyzer in the car for 2 yrs, which he completed without incident by cheating the system and relying on me. He learned NOTHING from the experience. When he finally got his regular license, he bought himself a brand new truck we can’t afford, which I know for sure he has driven drunk at least 5 times since Aug. He has now had a great job for 4 years, which I fear him losing every day, as he provides our health insurance and I have been sick. He’s a hard worker and great at his job.

January 13, 2014 at 2:41 am
(27) misskitty says:

Every weekend I can pretty much plan what will happen. He gets home from work earlier than me on Fri, and will sit alone and drink until I come home. When I know he’s drunk, I’m automatically in bad mood, and don’t want to be around him. We will usually end up fighting within a half hour of me getting home. He yells and slams things and scares our pets. (we don’t have kids, thank god, he wants them but I don’t even always feel safe around him, why would I bring a child into this mess?) I usually “go to bed” and hide in the bedroom with the animals. I can’t leave, because of the pets, also I’m scared he might destroy my things, or hurt himself. Sometimes he will turn the surround sound system all the way up and play loud movies so I can’t sleep. Then, while I’m at work on Sat he will sleep all day or watch tv, and we usually go out for dinner when I get home from work. (if I’m speaking to him) He doesn’t drink most Saturdays. Then Sun while I’m at work he will drink alone again all day, and be an asshole when I get home. I hate coming home when he’s like that. He’s especially bad when he drinks liquor. We spend Mondays together, and he goes to bed early to get up for work Tuesday. None of our friends want to hang out with him (or us) when he’s drinking.

January 13, 2014 at 2:41 am
(28) misskitty says:

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen many signs of hope for our marriage when he’s sober, mostly relating to other problems. We’ve been laughing together again. But I just know that if he doesn’t admit he has a problem and quit drinking, we won’t make it. Most people can’t believe I’ve stayed this long. I love him but he has put this huge space between us that keeps growing and I have become very cold and distant. It’s hard for me to be intimate with him, thinking of how he treated me that day. He’ll treat me like shit then later ask if I want to have sex- really? No thanks, asshole. We have a lot of problems but I feel like none can even begin to be solved with this shadow of booze over our lives. I’m thinking of staging an intervention, but I think it will make him hate me because he isn’t open with his family like I am and he hates when I involve other people in our problems. We saw a great counselor last year, but we couldn’t go for a couple months due to money, and then the counselor was no longer in the field. It’s overwhelming to think of starting that process again. I used to think I didn’t deserve him treating me this way, but I’ve realized I DO deserve it because I’ve allowed it to happen. I’m terrified to leave him and lose everything I’ve worked 8 years for.

January 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm
(29) fedup says:

miss kitty I can totally identify with you, my husband is a great provider but chooses the perfect time to get his drink on. it’s never when it should interrupt anything ‘important’ but for some reason my life with him can be jeaoprdized without a second thought. I dare not say anything to his face when he’s been drinking because that’s when things will get confrontational or violent. I have to wait the next day when he’s been realizing how stupid he was or how he doesn’t like his actions either….. I think he just doesn’t like that I remember and keep him informed of his actions. he’s only slammed me on the kitchen table once, but he’s always so confrontational I’m afraid to speak up if he’s not ‘sober’ … sounds like it’s clear when I write it but 10 years of marriage and now a new house, things should be enjoyed and not regressed, right

January 22, 2014 at 10:27 pm
(30) Sad girl says:

First of all I would like to say that I am very proud of my husband. He was on cocaine for a few years before we met and stopped about a month into us beginning dating. We have been married for a few years now. I knew that he drink Jaegermeister when we first got together but after about a year, it changed to crown royal. Long story short, he works in the oil field and when he is on a rig he cannot drink. He sure does go to the first liquor store on land as soon as he can though. His drinking has fluctuated a little bit. He used to drink between one and 1-2 pints a day with Coke. Now, it’s more like just one. But it is every single day. When he is home, I have asked him if we can have “clean days” but that never happens. He has never hit me, but when he drinks sometimes he will raise his voice a little. I love him so much and I miss him. He is in his mid 40s and acts like he does not have much time left on this earth. I feel like Crown is his mistress. We used to go visit family or do fun things as a family with our two kids, but now he just wants to stay at home and drink. He also drives even if he’s had even half a pint. I do not ride with him when he has had anything to drink and neither do the kids. I used to cry all the time beg for him to slow down but all that did was made him drink more. I’ve tried not saying anything just trying to deal with it, but I feel like it’s eating me from the inside out. I would do anything in the world for him to stop for at least slow down. He will never understand what I’m going through.

January 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm
(31) At Wits End and Worried Sick says:

I am married to a functional alcoholic. I’ve been with him for going on 9 years now and married for 4 years. We have a 4 month old baby girl. He did tell me when we met that he “liked his beer.” Boy, he wasn’t kidding! Why did I stay? I fell head over heels in love with him! This man is my best friend, even to this day we can talk for hours and never run out of things to stay. I find him incredibly attractive. When we met it was instant and amazing chemistry! He still manages to make my knees weak when he takes the time to be romantic which doesn’t happen much these days and I’ll tell you why…last January he had a heart attack, it was a total blockage of the coronary (widow maker) artery. He now has a stent in his heart. Our entire relationship he always shows up for work, etc. just like everyone else above. He did lose a job once over drinking…he works called in on New Year’s eve weekend on short notice, told them he needed bereavement because MY mother died and he didn’t want to leave me alone. My mother DID die but it was the week before and I was sad but I didn’t need him to stay home and get drunk on liquor…he in no way supported me or helped me that weekend, it was selfish and he lost a good job for it too. Other than that…he’s always held a job and shows up to work every day but the minute he’s home, he cracks a beer. I’ve gotten to where I can’t stand the sound of a can cracking open. He is supposed to quit smoking but the more he drinks the more he smokes…he smokes over a pack of cigs a day! He said he would stop all this once the baby was born, the night of his heart attack he was completely utterly wasted! I found him laying on the bathroom floor, he’s lucky he didn’t die! He says it’s ok now because he drinks half of what he used to drink and he doesn’t drink liquor anymore.

January 31, 2014 at 2:38 pm
(32) At Wits End and Worried Sick says:

He drinks at least eight 16 oz beers EVERY SINGLE day, sometimes he will go buy 4 more as they come in 4 packs. Add this, plus the smokes and it costs us more than $300 per month. We are struggling financially and I am becoming resentful of his selfishness and if I say anything its an all out war. It makes me cry because I almost lost him a year ago, and I feel like he doesn’t care if he leaves me and his daughter behind. When he gets to the point of drunkenness, he wants to pick fights and he is mean and says crap to try to make me angry so I’ll fight with him.

He says stuff about my 22 year old son, he accuses me of things I don’t do or say and then the next day he denies he would even say such things and treats me like I made it up. He has been a good husband when not drinking like this but something has the drinking increasing by the week and I don’t want it to get back to the way it was. I’m scared he’s going to drink and smoke himself to death. I want the man I love to stop drinking and come back to me.

February 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm
(33) sherry says:

I too live with a husband who the moment he is not working drinks… my weekends are hell.. I cant wait till he goes back to work on Monday… he gets up at 5am on the weekend and starts drinking…then its a nap.. get up drink some more ..once again another nap… he yells and screams you cant talk to him… I have had honest open conversations with him but they don’t help.. don’t know what to do.. I have no life..it isn’t getting better.. So unhappy

February 4, 2014 at 7:44 pm
(34) Chas says:

Wow. These stories are what my family goes through. I am almost drunk writing this. I took my partner out for a beer and he almost passed out at the restaurant. He used to pass out on the street all the time. We both have an issue but I don’t think there is much hope. We are pretty decent during the week but the drinks during the weekend are way too much. I am verbally abusive especially tonight when he is passing out on me. I hate being alone. I always have to take the first step. This life is so difficult. I hope we’ll survive. He is in the bed and I am writing this. My prayers go out to you all who are suffering through alcoholism. It is truly a plaque and probably won’t stop until it consumes your whole life. I pray that you beat it. I sure hope I do one day

February 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm
(35) Starts today says:

I am 37 years old. I am married to a beautiful woman and have been for 11 years. We have two beautiful children (10 and 8 years old). I have put her through hell for the years that we have been married. I have blamed her for everything and have been in denial over my problem. Today, as I write this, I am finally coming to grips with the fact that I am an alcoholic just like my father. I have tried numerous times to quit and have done so successfully for a month or two at a time. But that was enough to convince me and tell myself that I am in control and do not have a problem. I would start again and be worse than I before.
Today, I am taking a stand and seeking help. I do not want to lose my wife, my kids and my life. I do not know how I will do this, but I will fight until I beat it.

February 17, 2014 at 10:22 am
(36) Level Headed says:

Married almost 8 1/2 years, have an amazing son who is 6 yrs old. My husband who I love so dearly can be such a stranger at times. And over the years I have detached as a result, physically and emotionally. He is what I believe to be an extremely highly functional alcoholic, even if it is “just beer”. His tolerance does not seem to have increased over the years, and his drinking has decreased to a point compared to when he was young. He is not a very large man, stays fit with a very physical job – still gets quickly buzzed off of two beers. It never stops at ONE, he is unable to ever have just ONE. He cracks open that beer as soon as he gets home from work. He does not miss work ever, is a wonderful provider, and father when he is sober which is during the day Mon-Fri and usually on the weekend days. He believes that because he works so hard at a stressful job, is an over-achiever in many areas, pays most of the bills and keeps us in comfort, it’s his REWARD or DUE to be able to drink beer every night until he passes out “tired” around 9pm. Our weeknights are precious to me as we both work FT and have a child in school, this should be our time as a family – but it is often overshadowed by my annoyance and anxiety over my husband’s silly/slurred speech, his quick defensive nature, or verbally abusive manner if I say anything about his beer intake. Because if I say anything I am nagging.

February 17, 2014 at 10:27 am
(37) Level Headed says:

Lately he is growing increasingly paranoid and his short term memory is suffering. He is consistently forgetting things like leaving our gas stovetop turned on. I came home last night from a quick visit to my parents wondering what his state was – our son was sleeping over at my in-laws. I thought we’d have a nice movie night in and we were making dinner together. That quickly went downhill when he mis-placed his beer and then accused me of moving it, “cause you’ve done that to me before”. I never touched his can of beer, even pointed out to him where he mis-placed it. Because my son was not home it was my opportunity to say what I felt – this happens every 3 mos or so. I was so mad about his being worried where his beer can was that I brought up the concern of this past Christmas Eve. This past holiday I was sick with a very bad cold, left my husband and my son at my in-laws in order to get home and into bed early – to be able to function Christmas morning for family breakfast at our house. My husband was enjoying his beer and family time and assured me he would take care of playing “Santa” and getting the gits out. He came home close to 11pm, I reminded him I left the gifts right at the bottom of the basement stairs for him to bring up. He said he’ll take care of it, proceeded to open a beer, then passed out in the living room. He came to bed around 2am. I woke up at this point and asked him if he took care of the gifts. He mumbled incoherently. Immediately I realized I better get up to see if it had been done. He hadn’t taken care of it as he told me he would. If I hadn’t woken up and taken care of it myself, my son would have woken up with a bunch of questions, and I would be scurrying around to come up with a story or some creative way to make Christmas happen. Christmas morning was tense between my husband and I once I quietly pointed out to him what he forgot.

February 17, 2014 at 10:27 am
(38) Level Headed says:

My husband will often take a beer into the shower. When he was in his late twenties I overlooked this, but as he got older, we got married and he became a father, I realized this was just one sign he is alcohol dependent. We went to couples counseling in the past – about 2 yrs ago. Didn’t last long. He has tried to go without drinking beer/alcohol for periods of time, the most he made it is 2 weeks. Then he slips back into his routine. He is in DEEP denial. He is the type of man who acts as if he is never supported by anyone, and he needs constant validation that he is terrific at everything he does. He has a very fragile self-esteem and his mood turns on a dime. He has never physically harmed me, but he has been verbally abusive and punched doors or yells. Very difficult living like this, because I am a relatively happy person who dislikes drama and is very grateful for so many other areas of my life that seem blessed. It seems intervention is mostly saved for those alcoholics that hit the bottom of the barrel, but what do we do to get to the functional alcoholic who is floating in the middle? Thanks for reading….

February 17, 2014 at 10:34 am
(39) Seeker says:

Intervention seems to be for those alcoholics who have hit the “bottome of the barrel”. What do we do for those people who are floating somewhere in the middle of the barrel???

February 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm
(40) Shannon says:

My husband is a functional alcoholic ive left him before for 6 months and on his own he went to rehab he was sober for 2 years then slowly is back to his old ways he works hard but he is like a little boy that never grew up most likely because hes been drinking since 15 and hes 42! He stands in the kitchen but looks like hes on a boat swaying back and forth its pathetic we have a daughter that is young she only remembers the sober daddy now she gets to see the drunk he drinks on the drive home from work by the time he gets here hes had at least 6 beers but I always add ten to whatever he tells me he will be dead soon either drunk driving related or he will bleed out because he only drinks beer and he has to drink a whole lot to get as messed up as he likes to get I dont know if I will cry but my daughter will be devastated I get nothing out of this relationship he makes me want to kill myself.

February 21, 2014 at 3:28 am
(41) N.e says:

After reading so many comments that describe my boyfriends behavior so accurately I’m more confused then ever. He has had a bit of a drinking problem since we have been together, almost 3 years now. He’s very good at his job but as soon as he gets home he wants to drink all night but can get up bright and early for work the next day no problem.

when he drinks he is normally ok, but if you say or do something that rubs him wrong or he assumes something I said meant something I didn’t mean at all he snaps. He just starts bitching and throwing a fit and says some really nasty hurtful things to me that In His sober state he would never say.

He has never hit me but he is verbally abusive when he drinks.
He used to come home every night and drink 2-3 glasses of scotch And some red wine. After a year of me talking to him about how I feel about the scotch he has stopped drinking that at home and now only drinks wine and a few beers so I really appreciate that and I’m proud of him for giving that up but he’s still really nasty when he has a few too many glasses of wine, not to mention when he drinks a few glasses of wine he has no desire or capability for sex. And since he wants to drink wine every night of the week that = 0 sex life no matter what I try.

At this point I don’t know how to tell him I think he’s an alcoholic or rather a functioning alcoholic and I’m worried about him and us

February 21, 2014 at 6:13 am
(42) Jess Normington says:

My husband is drink too much beer every Friday and Saturday and Sunday and sometimes mix and also if it’s school holiday because he’s a school teacher, is this dangerous to he’s health can you pls let me know thanks,

February 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm
(43) Dennis says:

I am exactly what you are all describing. I serve on headquarters Air Force staff. I know that I am an alcoholic but do not have the balls to admit it and am seeking help. I am on top of my game at work but after 6 p.m. I am toasted. I chewed tobacco for 22 years and one day I said screw it, I am not chewing anymore. That was 11 years ago. I had no problems quitting; it was a mind over matter situation. This is different. I don’t know how to stop it and I do not have the courage to find the help. I really am an in need of some help. I have the most awesome wife in the world. She has been soooo supportive of all my deployments and long hours while in the military. I adore her and we maybe have had 3 arguments during our entire marriage. I think that she pretends not to notice how inebriated I get and it is killing me. I could never live without her; she really is my best friend and I want to be 90 years old together with her. The track I am currently on is not going to support this. I donít know what to do. My wife is the most important person in my life, best friend, confidant, the most beautiful woman in the world, and I just want to be around forever for her. I am desperate to quit drinking and need the help.

February 24, 2014 at 5:59 am
(44) Debra Leonowicz says:

I have read all of your letters, WOW!!! they all sound just like my life! I am married to a wonderful man. He is a great provider, goes to work everyday. BUT, when he comes home…. it is a new game day. He walks in the door, takes off his work clothes & begans his “relax” mode. One beer after another. I can cook dinner & he won’t eat until he has at least 8 beers. That is around 11pm. His job is for a national freight lines, so some of his days are long until 8 pm. The weekends are just pure hell for me. We never go any where. He must have he beer at all times in the fridge.When he gets to about beer #6, I began to see changes in his mood. He becomes picky about my cooking, or how I clean. My stove has a spot on it, why can”t I clean it after I cook. He just nick picks me to death. I have begged & begged for him to get help. He says there is nothing wrong with him… it’s me that has the problem!! I am a bitch & he wishes he had never married me. He was married once before & his wife said he was the same with her. He needs help but refuses. About a year ago, he had a medical scare. He had been drinking all day here at home & without eating he took his blood pressure meds. The was full of beer so he had a reaction. He began falling With his eyes all rolled back into his head & foaming around the mouth. I called 911 for help. Everything turned out fine, but he has no memory of that night. I fear it will happen again every night because he must take those pills. Today, he has told me he is leaving me.

March 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm
(45) I'm the One says:

I’m the functional alcoholic. I’m in heavy denial about how it’s impacting my life. I used to be able to keep things together, but lately I’ve been in a serious binge mode, and starting to act out around others. I haven’t missed a day of work, but I can only imagine that if I keep it up, it’ll start to show up at work. When I drink now, I go right into black out mode. I’m really lucky to not have harmed someone else during my binges. I know I have to do something, today. I’m hoping my resolve stays strong as I figure out what level of help I need.

March 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm
(46) Michelle says:

My boyfriend is an alcoholic, its getting worse by the month. At first he was drunk a lot and excuses for everytime hes drunk . I have tried many different approach es spent months trying to help. This week he s off and he has been drunk 3 days in a row. He wakes up drink black out keep drinking he barely ate. I cant wake him up i cant talk to him when hes drunk. He is not who i fell in love with. The thoughtful, caring lovijg man is gone. An example of how much he drinks, once he drank a bottle of wine and vodka in one night a whole tall bottle of vodka. This week he drunk 2 Bottles of wine each day so far. When hes drunk he s rude mean and obnoxious amd more…we have a dog together if i leave no one will look after our innocent dog therea no where i can go or take the dog to. Help

March 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm
(47) lost says:

Unfourtantly my husband and I have only been married since january 2014, been together for only two years. he asked me to marry him the same night his granddad committed suicide. his granddad was as close to a father to him as his own dad. he struggled extremely bad with this, he was the one who found him. we have lived together most of our relationship and he didn’t start drinking heavily until maybe a year of being together. he used to drink a few beers a day after work and a pack over the weekend. it became a huge problem going out to a bar because he would turn into such a different person i couldn’t stand being around him. he’s embarassed me and hurt me because of his drinking. one night he had a bad episode and ending up turning over our coffee table on me and throwing his phone an inch above my head. he has broken one of our tv’s, punched tons of holes in the walls and just has been completely crazy. i have a 5 year old with my ex and now my husband and i are expecting. im scared to death that he wont stop this craziness. he yells and cussing in front of my son. one of the problems to do with his drinking is that his dad owns a bar, and his dad is usually the one he drinks with or that instigates. his dad will tell him things like i dont love him as much as he loves me and just horrible things for no reason. my husband then comes home whenever he wants thinking he does nothing wrong and that telling me to have an abortion and telling me that he thinks our whole life together was a mistake. it kills me and breaks my heart that someone that says he loves me and freaking married me would say such horrible things. i know its because hes been drinking but he wants to deny every little thing. i mentioned counesling but he doesn’t care for it. were only 21 and 24 and this is already destroying us… i need so much help its unreal.. i have no idea what to do.

March 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm
(48) same story a million times over says:

Well this page has left me with a very well rounded recap of my marriage. The young drinking fun family, the fights, the next day “did i do thats”, the young wife with no one to have a actual conversation with, unless the bar was on the menu. I felt it then, i felt it my wedding night. Alcohol, stumbling, the roving head and glassed eyes. The forgetfulness and the erratic behavior, the yelling, the dishes that flew and the holes in the wall. and then nothing… Chalk it up to a nite with too much booze and he just pulled “that family trait” on me, which was drinking and arguing or fighting. He’s the son of a drinker and a beaver cleaver mom. The kids all hold and held them on a pedestal, even with the drinking escapades. He worked and too care of everything and was a sociallite in the family. She kept the house neat as a pin, waited on the dad, and lived only for him and his affection. She didnt have her own identity. She knew one thing tho… you dont argue with a drunk.

March 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm
(49) Same story a million times cont says:

So back to us, the kids. One things turns into another, every fun party turns into a fight, or rotten drunk sex.. An argument that leaves you playing possum at nite so he will fall asleep, Being compared, being a pain, being “Mom”. Yes Mom. You can lose your identity quick. First you enjoy playing the Mom, then when you realize one day, that thats all you are, it gets to you. You get depressed. You start drinking alone, or staying at work with friends to have conversations. You tell acquaintances your business like you need then so bad. What it is is that you need feedback. Someone to say hey i understand what happened was my fault and tomorrow I will change this… and it really works! NOT. You are still gonna lay there with heart palpitations cause he fell asleep drunk in front of the kids again, or got drunk around the campfire on their vacation for 5 nights straight, or you just get back from going somewhere with eachother and the kids and he sneaks down to the fridge to pull back that tab on the beer cause its two oclock in the afternoon, and its time to “knock the horn off”, allbeit, you are still doing your job upstairs on your kids psyche, covering up what he is doing, telling them its just that he’s tired.

March 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm
(50) same story a million times part three says:

Making fun nites in their rooms cause you need to do everything and more to make up for the hidden problem in the house. The anxiety riddled panic attacks, going to the hospital and crying to yet another nurse who stares and doesnt give a ####. Getting the prescription, again…..so you wont have another attack. Thinking one of these days, this is gonna go away. Lets try a different doctor and a different script. No lets cry to ourself, and maybe take benedryl cause it knocks you out, theres always that. Theres watching your child be quiet in school, and why? she lives with two fun types? Is she suffering over worry, is she getting anxiety herself? Nope shes got something on top of that, OCD. My kids turned out very well adjusted despite alcohol abuse in the family, but i tell myself that i covered up enough things to ensure that. We still have a shallow relationship. We love eachother, but are disconnected. He still keeps asking why dont you want this or that from me… Im disconnected, Im that used up rag in the closet…..dont ya know?

May 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm
(51) karina says:

Dennis, there is hope for you, you see the problem. go to her and tell her that you are a problem drinker and that sooner or later you are going to need help to quit. Get it out there – that is the first step.

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