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My wifes drinking makes me angry. How do I cope?

I need help with two things... How do I know if my wife has a drinking problem? How do I cope with my own anger over her drinking?
I have been married to my wonderful wife for over 13 years. She is beautiful and kind. Everyone who knows her loves her. My wife left her career when the kids were born and our two daughters are now ages 11 and 13. I love my wife and kids dearly.  My wife is a stay at home mother and does so many things for the family that it makes me wonder if I should shut up and just be grateful for her consenting to marry me. I have no basis to decide if I am overreacting to her drinking and I have no way to determine if I am actually the root of the issue. However, one thing is perfectly clear; I have a problem with my wife’s drinking. When she drinks, I get angry.
She drinks a bottle of wine 4-5 nights a week. Once or twice a month she will open a second bottle, although, she doesn't do this as often as she has in the past. She buys bottles of wine several times a week and seems to plan trips to the supermarket to get herself a two or three day supply. If we run out of red wine, she drinks white wine. If we run out of white wine she drinks beer or a mixed drink. She packs beer and wine when we go on trips so she has it for the hotel room. When we go to dinner she has wine. I’ve noticed that she won’t go to a restaurant where she can’t get a drink.
During social events like weddings, family gatherings, and dinner parties she always drinks enough to slur her words, talk louder than most folks and be a bit unsteady on her feet. It usually takes 1 bottle of wine to get to this point. (This also happens to be the same state she is in during some weekday dinners in our own house.) This is the point where I begin to notice that other people have begun to notice that she is drinking quite a bit. I begin getting uncomfortable while I wait to see if she stops drinking.  If she drinks more than 1 bottle then the situation gets worse quickly.
Somewhere towards the end of the second bottle I become really embarrassed and want to escape. At this point she is talking louder than anyone at the gathering, broken out in a visible sweats and has become the center of attention.  If the host is serving coffee and desert, my wife will still be drinking wine.  Her behavior is clearly driven by the alcohol. Most folks at the event are aware and I begin to get looks from every direction. This is the point where I know that she will not slow the drinking and we are in for a long night. Beyond this point she will drink steadily until it is time to leave. I can’t remember her ever switching to water. It’s hard to generalize her behavior at this point other than to say that she will be the drunkest person at the wedding, dinner party or gathering. Throughout this entire period I have been looking for a chance to exit. There is a 50/50 chance that I can get her into the car without her calling me an anti-social party pooper loudly enough for folks to hear. It is like a switch goes off in her head and I become a target.
That is my angry button. When she has consumed enough alcohol for me to become an anti-social party pooper, I get angry. I do not like going to an event, babysitting my wife as she drinks, shrugging off the looks as people notice her situation, being called names, feeling humiliated and embarrassed, waiting for her to finish her party and then having to drive her home. The next morning she offers no apology. Either she actually believes that I was an antisocial party-pooper the night before or she doesn’t remember the evening.
The Company Christmas Party, family weddings, 4th of July celebration, vacations and our children’s dance competitions have all been occasions for her to drink the most. I am not against alcohol and having a good time. It has been my job over the years to driver her and the kids home safely. 80% of the time I will have no alcohol to drink at any gathering, 20% of the time I will nurse 1 drink all night knowing that it is my responsibility to drive. That is just how it ended up after all 13 years.
Perhaps, she is right and I am an antisocial party pooper.  I now routinely, turn down invitations to events where alcohol will be served and shy away from social events that have the potential to allow my wife to drink. In truth, I am writing this letter after fighting with my wife over a rejecting an invitation to a wine tasting event.
I went to 2 or 3 Al-anon meetings several years ago. It seems that the folks at the meeting had much worse situations. Is she an alcoholic? Is my anger appropriate? How can I get out of this situation? What should I do?

Regards, confusedangry
116 Responses
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Antabuse is old...cheap.... and w/a bad track record......and if she wants to drink and not get sick she doesn't take it!A pill is not hers...or your answer.....she needs to become willing to kick her disease in its ***.....and it doesn't sound like she's willing to do this!You need to put your sanity first.......and make some decisions that are in your best interest!
Helpful - 1
10335154 tn?1409383999
I think it is common you get angry with someone who you love. Since she is your wife, you always want the best for her. However, don't be rude towards her because she needs your support throughout her lifetime. I had a friend whose wife had the same kind of problem, but that friend of mine took the challenge of helping his wife with that. I hope you can too. Just consider taking her to a rehab.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
My heart goes out to all those who have expressed themselves by posting. It has been a while since my last post. Nothing has changed with my wife's drinking.

I did tell her exactly how I felt before Halloween. I told her about my reservations regarding attending the party with neighbors. I was direct with my prediction of how the evening would unfold. She listened and said nothing. I dressed up like a cowboy and went to the party knowing full well what was going to happen. Before we left the party People were telling me that I had my hands full with my drunk wife. I was mortified again. It sucked all the fun out of the evening and I told my wife what was said and by whom. So now she has to deal with knowing what people really think and she seems a little regretful.
I think I will skip the next costume party or wear a full face mask.
Helpful - 0
1067022 tn?1257773762
Alcoholism is a disease that thankfully can be treated to relieve the drinking. I am an alcoholic and will be the rest of my life. I have not had a drink in 13 years thanks to the AA program. AA may feel uneasy and wierd at first but it is the best medicine out there for alcoholics, and it works. She may slip up a few times before she finally gets it right but it can by done. There is no cure for it but it can be treated like any other disease so your whole family can live a happy normal life. Sounds like she may need an intervention. Rather then going into details about an intervention, call your city or state Alcoholism Board or Agency and talk to them about it. She has to want to get well. You can't force it on her. I would highly recommend you and your daughters get to an alnon meeting so you can understand this disease and meet people that have gone through what your famiily is going through.
Wishing your whole family success with this disease.
bbq33
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
there is indeed quite a problem here!how does it affect your children?i would contact your county substance abuse outpatient facility and get advice on how to proceed.You have to be careful with interventions.....they are not a guarantee someone will awake to their problem or seek treatment...some facilities charge a couple thousand $$$$ to do them!A good trained licensed substance abuse counselor can facilitate one...they are done like u see on Intervention show....each person has a script of how the loved ones drinking has affected them.. using I statements and concern that if this goes untreated more disaster will occur...which we know is a given!
Helpful - 0
1060948 tn?1258108464
i would just say this sounds alot like me, thats for sure....she has to b eready to get help, but gosh, i had almost the exact same behaviors and treated my husband so bad. dont blame yourself, but dont enable her either. the longer the disease takes over, trust me the worse it gets, i tell you that from the heart....as i am preparing to go to court as we speak....drinking, if you are an alcoholic, will end you up either dead or in jail...there are no happy endings unless the proper help is given and the person is ready to surrender, and get the help offered.

sorry you are going through this, i know first hand how hard this is on a spouse...maybe check out an al-anon meeting for families of alcoholics, you might get support and some answers there...you will feel so much better when you realize you are not alone....

best wishes to you...
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
I really cant add to much of anything as you have been given excellent advice from all the above people.  I will say it is time for YOU to take care of yourself and your kids.  Check out Alanon again.  Addiction affects the entire family.  You are not to blame for your wifes addiction but there are things you can do to no longer enable her.  I wish you the best.........sara
Helpful - 0
1041722 tn?1255119696
I can relate to your situation as well. My husband and i went through this a few years ago. Things are much better now. I have some information that I wanted to share with you, and it also goes into how I worked out, and am still working out my issues. I sent a  message to your page because some things were personal, but i think it might help your situation. I hope you will check it out before you make any decisions. Good luck to you both =o)

JK
Helpful - 0
1041722 tn?1255119696
Hi again-
I meant to include this link in my last post but I will add it now. Perhaps it can help others too. Just copy and paste it into your browser, there are also some video testimonials. I think you will get some additional insight into your situation. I'm hopeful for you both. Here is the link:

http://www.floridadetox.com/alcohol-rehab.asp?mnu=sub7

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you all for the advice and the sharing. It is helping me understand what is going on and where I need to focus. What a crappy situation. I am most worried for the kids.

I think I am going to go to an alanon meeting. I have to work out some guidelines for my behavior so I don't enable. It's not a joke anymore and I can't pretend that there is no issue. I don't think I will feel so hurt and angry if I remember that this is a disease and a serious medical issue to be dealt with like any other.

She won't discuss her drinking with me so I will have to act alone and do what I can to create a better situation for now.

Thanks again. I am now less confused and not angry but very sad.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
That is a very good first step...to attend an Al-Anon meeting...so many there who have walked and still walk in ur shoes.Please let us know how ur first meeting goes!
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
There is no such thing as regulated drinking to someone who has an alcohol problem.    sara
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
lucas46 from Finland..quite a different  cultural view on the drinking....we know regulated drinking not possible with what has been described......and i laughed at the statement"your wife deserves it??????jeesh!
Helpful - 0
1032715 tn?1315984234
I don't get some people,I've tried regulating my drinking habits many times but it never lasted long 1 day a week led to 2 then to 3 etc.I admit I would love to have a drink 1 night a week but if I'm honest with myself I know it doesn't stay at that.
Helpful - 0
462570 tn?1273632977
We kinda lost your stuff there, didn't we?  So - yeah - your lady is an alcoholic.  How is that Alanon going?  Leave your book laying around where she can look at it.  My family did that with me.  Kinda helped.
Take Care
Tink
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Still digesting the latest round of posts on this thread...

My dad went into the hospital for almost two weeks with serious heart problems. We thought he was a goner this time. By some miracle he is home and doing fine now. I spent Thanksgiving week driving my mother back and forth to the hospital every day and I crashed at my parents house which is 2 hours from my home. I'm back home now.

My wife was making an attempt to control her drinking before I left to help my dad. I guess it was because of our last fight. Things were pretty cold between us for a while. While I was gone I made sure to call home each night. She was drunk most nights. I worried a bit for the kids but it appears that she only drank at home and didn't drive drunk. She has been really good about not driving after she has been drinking. I figured if there was a fire in the house or some other emergency then one of my daughters, 10 and 13, would be able to get everyone out of the house or call 911. That's how I rationalized the situation.

The alcohol is flowing again. We hardly talk. It's lonely and sad. Not sure the kids notice. Just thinking about tomorrow.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
so sorry about ur dad and wifes continued problem...u have a full plate!Sometimes we have to engage in hoaxster control here.....hopefully it does not re-appear!
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
I hope your dad is still on the road to recovery.

As for your wife, your kids know what is going on.  I always thought i was hiding it from mine and i was wrong.  You do understand that the fire rationalization isnt very healthy dont you?  I hope you will really check into some sort of aftercare for yourself and your kids.  You cant change your wifes behavior.  You can only change yours and how you react to the situation.  I hope your wife will see the light real soon.  Families can be just as sick as the addict.  Keep posting as we are here for you           sara
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am an adult child of an alcoholic mother and also a recovered alcoholic. Your children need to be of the utmost concern right now! You need to understand that alcoholism is a disease of the mind ! If your wife can't drink like a normal drinker now today, she never will again ! I sure hope you don't leave her alone with your children when shes drinking this will definitely affect your childrens emotional and social wellbeing. Do your best to remove you and your children from this enviroment or it will be detrimental in the years to come. Take your children to alanon with you, so they can understand how not to live with the shame and guilt they with no doubt are feeling. If you can, try to take over your wifes responsibilities with the children, maybe get some help from friends or family. However, the sooner she hits her bottom the sooner she'll find recovery. ALL OF YOU STOP ENABLING HER!!!!! You  nor your children can get her sober she has to want it for herself ! And please remember that this is not who she is, I'm more than sure that behind her drinking there is a beautiful and intelligent woman . Don't  give up on her, when her consequences become severe enough she'll have no choice, but to admitt to herself that she is an alcoholic. Until that day I wish you and your family well and will pray for you. PS. You can sincerely ask GOD to allow her to be the woman and mother he intended her to be. Bye for now, T
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Thank u for your post here...I so agree.......we all hope and pray she wakes up but she may not....day job substance abuse counselor for 24 years...i been sober/clean 26 years...I see way 2 many who don't wake up...we all know its a personal choice to take responsibility for ones addiction...no one else can clean/sober u up but urself!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Tell me ? How does one become an addiction counselor w/ 2yrs clean. I noticed you mention alot, how much time you have. In recovery where I come from, it's not about how much time you have. We only have today ! How is, or where is your spirituality ???????

                                                                                                                       t
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
in Ohio it now takes a bachelors degree or masters degree in social sciences.I have the latter.More educational requiements are added for the bachelors level.Then one has to complete 280 hours of continuing education classes that are approved by the state licensing board of addiction counselors.Then u have to pass a written and oral exam.Then you have to have 4000 hours of paid employment xperience!The requirements for this vary from state to state.How and where is my spirituality?Very well grounded indeed.......for on a daily hourly basis i witness ppl destroying themselves in denial,children being affected, I listen to instances of rape,incest,child abuse, animal abuse.divorce,lost jobs damaged health..u name it i see it and hear it!One has to know how to set limits with others and take care of themselves for it is a job that can and will devour one if u let it.I can only help those that are willing to help themselves!Plant seeds hope folks will water them and let them grow!The joy of my week are those working on their recovery and a group i run of folks trying to change their lives...most of them heroin addicts who are trying hard!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
4got to add that once u get certified and have a license u have to attend contineuing education hours to keep the license.I have 2 licenses so i have to attend 40 hours every 2 years for the one...and 30 hours every two years for the other.
Helpful - 0
1032715 tn?1315984234
I loved your reply to tbird601,why do some people have to be so condescending,tbird can't question your qualifications now not that it matters anyway this is a public forum we say what we believe.Congratulations on your masters by the way  Denise
Helpful - 0
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