Drinking becomes heartbreaking wedge in marriage


Dear Amy: My wife and I have been together for 17 years. While we have, overall, a very positive marriage, her drinking has become a very large concern and has caused quite a rift between us at times.

As a therapist who has worked with addicts over the years, I think I find myself very hesitant to wear the “therapist hat” outside of working hours, but her drinking is very clearly problematic.

Nearly every time she goes out with friends (or even has a day off during the warmer months), she returns home so drunk she can barely function.

We like to attend different kinds of local festivals and such, but even that has become difficult to do because we always end up leaving early after she drinks excessively.

It is embarrassing to pick my wife up off the bathroom floor every weekend.

It is embarrassing to try and have a night out with friends that will inevitably be cut short because she is a drunken mess.

I’ve tried too many times to talk about it. Lately when going out I want to keep to things like going to the movies where no alcohol is involved, but she has no interest anymore if there isn’t drinking involved.

I don’t even know how to approach this anymore, and it has pushed me to begin contemplating divorce.

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.

— Sad and Sober

Dear Sober: As an experienced therapist, you should understand that you are powerless to control your wife’s drinking. And now, you should stop shielding her from the consequences of her drinking.


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