We get to the heart of relationships

I Tell You I’m Not An Alcoholic!

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No animal ever invented anything so bad as drunkenness —

or so good as drink. ~Lord Chesterton

Dan, (fictional person), came for therapy because he had to. His wife, Jean, (fictional person), moved out while he was at work. He wanted her back. She said, “No.” She refused to come home to more drinking; he had to get help.

Now, did Dan know Jean was unhappy? Well, he should have. Jean told him to stop drinking; she threatened to leave; she threatened to call his dad. She had already talked to her mom. Did he know that she was unhappy enough to leave? Well, apparently not.

Dan reported that he had been drinking since he was 14. His parents had alcohol around the house; he just helped himself. He found that he liked drinking with friends and he liked drinking with Jean. He relaxed after a few beers.

As the years went by, he knew that he was drinking more and that it was bothering Jean. She complained that his personality was changing and that he was often irritable and verbally abusive. He frightened her. Dan agreed that he was more irritable. He said things he shouldn’t have said. Jean did tell him to stop drinking and he did agreed to but it was hard to stop. Besides, he wasn’t an alcoholic and beer helped him to relax. He didn’t think that he was too unreasonable but obviously Jean did.

Dan’s an intelligent guy: well-educated, good job. So, why didn’t he listen to Jean? Well, from my experience, Dan may have been –

  1. In denial about how much his wife was suffering.
  2. Unable to stop drinking by himself.
  3. Too proud to get help.
  4. Afraid of rejection by other drinkers.
  5. Irritated by Jean’s telling him to stop drinking.
  6. Afraid to tackle life without alcohol.
  7. Afraid of facing his feelings.
  8. Medicating himself alcohol.
  9. Rebellious – I’m going to do what I want to do!
  10. Pushing Jean away.

Be wise. Take your partner seriously if he/she is telling you that you’re drinking too much. Talk with an expert in the field. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped thousands of people by providing –

  1. Education on alcohol and other addictive substances.
  2. Support, without judgment, from people who understand addiction.
  3. Confidentiality. Only first names are used.
  4. Free services.

AA’s twelve steps can benefit everyone. An AA sponsor can take you through them.

Our office provides an intensive out-patient substance abuse treatment program that provides information, group therapy, and drug screening. Simply call (757) 595-3900 for information. Take care of the alcohol and then consider marital therapy.

Is alcohol is your friend or your enemy? Be wise. Partners and vocations aren’t easily replaced.

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