My husband is an alcoholic and it’s getting worse with the holidays. He’s started every day drinking high alcohol-content IPAs as early as 8am. And he drinks them all day and all night like soda. He did AA when he was younger but is now vehemently against it. He is high-functioning. Has a PhD from MIT and works for a venture capitalist firm. I wondered how he gets through the day, but he started to come home early (mid-afternoon) and immediately open a beer while working. What should I do?

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I have been sober for >5 years, but live with an active alcoholic (my wife). He is total denial, and there is nothing you can do but protect yourself, family and friends. He has to crash and be humbled by alcohol and it’s effects on his life before he becomes willing and open to accepting his disease. Only when he accepts that he is an alcoholic, is a “problem drinker”, will he own changing. In my experience the worst thing a spouse can do is enable and make excuses. Wish I had a softer, kinder message.

One other fact, true alcoholic’s are usually very intelligent and creative. So it’s not surprising he has a Phd and is an alcoholic. If your looking for help find another doctor, lawyer or other highly respected alcoholic in his sphere of influence to speak with him. That individual will know how to communicate with your husband and relate to him at a level no one might be able to relate.

likeupliftingsmart

Well it helped me…When my spouse left the house and didn’t come back for 3 weeks and forced me to quit drinking, I did. 16 months ago, heavy binge drinker for 25 years.

PhD and an alcoholic here. I’m really sorry to hear what you are going through. The academic environment definitely promotes and normalises alcoholism so you are fighting someone ideologically there.

As LSS1 said he needs to crash and burn and accept it is a problem and that he is powerless over it.

You’re probably going to need to stop supporting him to try to let him fall. There’s a good chance the relationship won’t last.

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OP you are in over your head. Saying things like "his actions are due to his alcoholism" is a deep misunderstanding and mischaracterization of what's going on. He's choosing to use over your relationship. He loves using more than he loves you. You should consider seeking your own self truths before imploring your husband to seek his.

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He must receive the gift of desperation. Please don’t be willing to ride this until death b/c that approach may enable that very end.

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"Frothy emotional appeal availed us nothing." It's been my experience personally and with several close family members that the alcoholic won't stop drinking until they hit some sort of internal bottom that forces them to want to change. Nothing external was sufficient, the mom, the wife, the kids, none of that can overcome the grip of alcohol on the alcoholic mind, where insane thinking prevails.

smart

I agree with LSS1. Your husband has to find his rock bottom and you can’t save him. Our active alcoholism is brutal on families, employers, and all who care about us. Most likely, he hates AA because he does not want to stop and knows this would stop it. I suggest ALANON for you. Just do a Google search and you’ll find meetings near by. The old adage “If you love something set it free…” is perhaps your way of making him realize something is wrong.

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An Alcoholic’s sickness is alcohol.
An Al-Anon’s sickness is the alcoholic.

I know it feels backwards, and unsupportive, and unfair, but the best thing you can do in this situation is to do what’s needed for you. Al-anon is designed for these types of situations; it may be worth investigating. As others have said, there’s likely nothing you can do to break through the denial. The alcoholic must recognize that their life is “unmanageable”, and anyone who is smart and has lots of money will find ways to keep things feeling “manageable” for longer than the rest of us would like.

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As someone dealing with similar, do you tell the alcoholic you are going to ALANON? Does that ever nudge them into realizing there is a problem?

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In my experience, the alcoholic will only seek help once they themselves have become uncomfortable enough to want to do so. They will seriously strain and even destroy every relationship around them in the process of getting that uncomfortable.

helpful

He thinks he’s too smart for most treatments. And it’s affecting our ability to go anywhere. He has to stay home and drink. And when we go out, he drinks excessively. He gets short with doctors when they tell him he needs help. Every time he has come home and complained about how much of an “idiot” the doctor is. It doesn’t help his PhD is in biology so he usually knows more than doctors anyway. That’s the other challenge- I need to find him a doctor who is sensitive to his addiction so he won’t lash out and refuse to go.

It’s up to the first person to take the first step and acknowledge they are powerless over alcohol and their life has become unmanageable. As said above, no one can make this choice but him.
I know it’s hard, I totally feel ya here 😣
I like the suggestion of going to AlAnon, that will be good for you and maybe you will get some methods to use.
And yes, the only way for him to change is let him hit rock bottom.
Good luck OP, wishing you courage ahead here

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