Q: my husband drinks… he drinks a six pack sometimes in one day. If he drinks anything stronger he gets very abusive; verbally mostly and sometimes physical..and he blacks out. My kids 10 and 11 are not liking him they don’t want to do anything with him like go fishing or to baseball games because they are afraid he is going to drink. I am at the end of my rope here… how do I tell him how much it’s affecting our family without him getting so mad? Everytime I bring it up he gets mad and he’ll drink more. He can’t just drink, he has to drink the whole thing… and he changes.. I get so worried when he’s home, he tries to hide the beer from me… I am so nervous most of the time that I have been suffering from anxiety attacks.. he is the one who is doing this to me and making me worry, how do I tell him that it’s affecting our family… my kids are very smart and also worry not only for themselves but they worry that he’s going to hurt me. when he is not drinking he is the best guy in the world.. he loves me dearly, he is very very loyal, and he loves our kids more than anything. If he would just stop drinking I guarantee things would be great.. but how do I go about doing that without him getting mad, and how do I make him listen. I know I cannot go on like this and I feel like leaving him because it’s becoming too much for me and it is affecting our kids.

A: Somewhere along the line your husband has slipped from recreational drinking to alcoholism. You are a nervous wreck. Your children are scared. Your husband’s addiction makes him put his drinking above his love for you and the kids. It’s time for you to face that he has a very serious problem – even if he won’t. Al-anon is an organization for partners of alcoholics that provides support and practical help. Please go to this website: http://alcoholism.about.com/od/meetala/a/alanon_nm.htm. You will find a list of places in your state where there are al-anon meetings.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie