Alcohol Addiction

Telling Your Partner About the Consequences of Their Alcohol Addiction

In this short segment from Video Chat 284, Greg explains to a woman how to tell her husband about the effect his alcohol addiction is having on the family. 


“He falls asleep in his chair so after a certain time he's completely unavailable to me and the kids.” Well, while he's asleep in his chair, do you think he registers that he's doing anything wrong? No. So see, he's oblivious to all of this.

“There's no connection or intimacy between the two of us for the rest of the evening, while he’s drinking, while he's in the chair, when he's asleep, or when he wakes up, and that happens most evenings. And see, if he has Kim, he says he drinks one or two evenings a week. She said, ‘Oh if only that were true!’” She said, “Our daughter hates it when he drinks, even if it's not much. She doesn't even like going near him or cuddling him good night. Or him going to her room to say good night so he loses all connection with our daughter. And she finds the jokes that he tells when he's drunk not one bit funny.”

So, see these are things that he doesn't realize are going on. “After many conflicts, we have arranged with our son that he now checks with me when he wants to talk to his dad about something in the evening. Even he doesn't want to talk to his dad if he's had something to drink. I'm the drink meter. Same for the daughter when she needs to ask him for something. We basically all organize ourselves around his availability to be fully with us which he can't do the minute he's had anything to drink and in alcohol addiction takes over.”

So, I said to her, you've got to tell him all of this. You can't tell him what he has to do, or he'll fight you. That's just being realistic. But you need to tell him these things because he doesn't realize it. And if you can tell him these things with the kids there so that they can nod their heads when you describe what happens with them, it’s going to get pretty hard for him to deny his alcohol addiction.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.