My husband is depressed and drinks too much

The Question


We have been married for 28 years. My husband has always had low grade depression, as have I.

A year ago I noticed that his drinking had escalated to the "abusive" range. I became very upset about this, and started to go to AlAnon.

Yesterday he told me that he didn't like anything in his life right now and that he was thinking of finding an apartment. Oh, and that I had become my mother. He wouldn't be specific about how, but he's never liked my mother, so the message seemed pretty clear to me.

As for me, I am confused, angry, and very sad. I do not know how much I want this marriage either. I've been walking on eggshells with his depression, and aside from taking multiple medications (prozac, clonopin, ambien and a couple of others), he seems unable to move in any direction to help himself.

I don't want to go back to a marriage that provokes such anxiety for me, but I also don't want the marriage to end. I guess time will make things clearer. I don't know how to be a more supportive spouse. I try to be appreciative of his positive traits but it doesn't seem to help.

Any suggestions? Would it just fan the flames if I sent him a link to this website? I'm really worried about him. I've suggested ways for him to get help in the past, to no avail.

Noel's response

It probably wouldn't hurt anything to send him the link to this site, but it might not help either.

As you are already in AlAnon, keep going to meetings. That is likely the best source of support for you.

His excessive drinking suggests to me that he is an alcoholic (as am I), and the only way I know of to help him is to 'bring the bottom up' by not being codependent, and perhaps by arranging for an 'intervention', for which you would need the help of a professional from an alcohol and drug abuse agency.

Comments for My husband is depressed and drinks too much

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Aug 22, 2011
My Husband drinks too much
by: Anonymous

My husband needs help!! We have been married 40 years and now he is drinking as soon as he gets home from work until its time to sleep. Every weekend he starts drinking at 10 AM! He does hold a good job and never misses a day. I'm really concerned, because his sister thinks he an alcoholic and she isn't speaking to us now, HELP!!

Noel's response

Being alcoholic myself, I can only suggest that you go to an alanon meeting. This does not mean there is something 'wrong' with you, when your husband is doing the drinking, but it will give you a much greater understanding of how alcohol works in families.

You might also contact an alcohol and drug program, if your government has one, and see about doing an intervention.

If your husband truly is an alcoholic, you cannot make him quit drinking. Alcoholism has nothing to do with will power. It is a sickness.

Apr 26, 2010
Husband secretly drinks
by: Anonymous

My husband has been secretly drinking hard liquor and hiding it. I found a bottle of rum in the basement. I noticed this the past week. He would have two glasses of wine and then say I have to feed the cats. I just had a strange feeling something else was going on. And sure enough he confessed after I found the bottle of rum. And only by accident I found it.
He used to be a bad drinker in his younger days.And violent, too! And then he didn't drink alcohol for 26 years. He would go to work and come home. All was good. He changed his way of thinking. He was peaceful. In the past four years he went from drinking rum and coke every night to drinking wine every night. Now he is sneaking the rum or hard liquor. Not sure what I should do.
I confronted him, but he claims I am over reacting.
Help with some advice please.

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