Husband Drinks Too Much Socially: How To Deal With A Husband Who Drinks Too Much

Are you living with an alcoholic husband? Do you feel like you are being taken advantage of? A number of women I treat in this position feel like a doormat and their self-esteem suffers each time they put up with the extreme selfishness of a spouse that is deep in his addiction.

I am a psychiatrist that specializes in addiction and I understand what spouses endure when living with an alcoholic.

Here is one of my recent cases:

H.Z. is 58 years old and has been married for 20 years. Her first husband was an alcoholic. She left him and took their 2 young kids with her. He had been very successful and then lost everything. Her second husband drank often. He also was very successful. He became clean and sober only when she threatened to leave him and he was able to maintain his sobriety for 5 years.

However, he started drinking thinking he could control his consumption. His drinking became progressively worse. He started coming home late. At times, he did not come home at all. He ignored her phone calls and her texts. They fought over his drinking. He would respond, "Is that all you care about?". Over time, H.Z. became quite depressed and her husband chose to be around her less and less. She started feeling worthless as her husband treated her "lower than dirt" (as she put it). However, she put up with this terrible treatment.

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What could H. Z. have done? Here are 7 tips to stand up to your alcoholic husband:

1) Talk to your alcoholic spouse about his drinking only when he is sober. Talk in a calm manner and tell him you will be making changes in your own life because you can not depend on him to quit drinking alcohol.

2) Reach out and start developing a support system. Call friends that you have been afraid to open up to and tell them the truth about your situation. Go to Al- Anon meetings and get support from other women who have gone through similar situations.

3) Find a therapist and start working on your own codependency issues. If you can not afford individual therapy, find a therapist that does group therapy.

4) If you have not worked in a long time, get a part time job to ease back into the work world and put yourself on a track not to be 100% financially dependent on your alcoholic husband.

5) Consider going back to school and retraining in an area that will ultimately land you a good job.

6) Get your kids some help because they are growing up in an alcoholic family which leads to life-long issues. Find a therapist, school counselor, or even send them to teen-anon. Betty Ford has an excellent program for younger children in several different cities.

7) Consider a separation if you have tried these things and your life has not improved.

Bottom line: You are the only one that can change your situation. You deserve a great life. Be proactive and your situation will improve.

Remember: It is up to you, not up to him.

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Having a marriage problem can make your life miserable, especially if you are the only one who is trying to correct it. However, if that's the case, don't lose heart. I've seen many marriages healed because one courageous spouse did what it takes to get the ball rolling.

Of course, the best scenario is for you and your spouse to work on the problem or problems together.

Here is small list of marriage problems that arise and some quick answers to how to approach them so that you can get the love back into your relationship:

Marriage problem #1 - Explosive Behavior

This is a marriage problem that can really hurt, and is usually caused by holding past resentments and then responding too quickly.

The answer: Learn to forgive and forget. It's just not worth it to hold resentment, which will make you feel miserable and ruin your marriage. If you start to get angry, say nothing until you cool down. Remember, you are trying to resolve a marriage problem, not make it worse.

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Marriage problem #2 - Dishonesty.

This usually occurs during a confrontation.

The answer: Many times dishonesty comes from defensiveness. If your spouse seems dishonest, realize that it may be from too much criticism. In an effort to avoid being hurt by criticism, your spouse may try to "cover up" by "twisting the truth." In this case stop criticizing.

If you are the one who is in the habit of being dishonest, stop and just tell the truth. If you continue to be dishonest, your spouse can never trust you.

Marriage Problem #3: A Lack Of Intimacy (The Marriage Bed).

This is a marriage problem that most people don't like to talk about, but needs to be addressed.

The answer: There can be a lot of reasons for a lack of intimacy, the biggest reason being ignorance about your spouse's needs.

Men and women have different needs when it comes to intimacy. For a woman, intimacy starts way before the man thinks it starts. She needs to hear kind words and have tender kisses or flowers that say, "I love you!" This prepares her heart. A woman who is treated right and feels love will be very accommodating.

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You have probably seen a lot of different ways to go about restoring your marriage to its former glory, but one of the best ways is to sit down with your partner and properly communicate to them what you are thinking and feeling. What is meant by "proper communication" exactly? Well, most couples who are in a failing marriage don't tell to really talk things out, they yell, scream, and argue until they can't any more. This is exactly the type of thing that kills marriages and it is what you want to avoid at all costs.

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When you talk to your partner, make sure to articulate your thoughts and feelings in such a way that leaves no doubt in their mind how you really feel about them. It's also good to practice being a good listener, that is really paying attention to what your spouse is saying, not just hearing it. There is a big difference and learning how to properly listen and communicate can mean the difference between a successful marriage and a failing marriage.

You should also discuss all of your expectations with your partner as well. Your expectations are all the things you expect to get out of the relationship and from the person you are with. When the two peoples' views and expectations are in alignment, there is a better chance that those people will get along. Maybe the problem is you just have two conflicting view points on what the relationship is to you, but you'll never know unless you start discussing it now.

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There are several ways to save your marriage, but this article concentrates on four in particular. Although they all take work, none of them are terribly difficult to achieve. All of them are inexpensive. Most of these strategies are common sense. The problem is that many people aren't willing to put in the effort it takes to save their marriage.

The very first step is to STOP the arguing. Your partner may continue to instigate, but you need to be the better person and not encourage them. You'll be doing yourself, and your partner a big favor by doing this. Remember, it takes two to tango, and if you ease off chances are your partner will too.

It's important not to dwell and hold grudges. Instead, let things roll of your back. Unbeknownst to you, your partner may be working towards the same goal. Unfortunately, in most cases of couples who are separated, only one is working to get back together.

For example, if your partner says that your shirt is green, and you think it's blue, don't engage them. Just agree and try to talk about more important matters. It all comes down to what's more important, and that should be saving your marriage, not arguing with your partner.

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The next thing you should do is get into a dating state of mind. This means that you should approach you relationship as if you have just met, and started dating. This isn't always easy, especially if you've been in a long-term relationship, but it's necessary.

We usually have a totally different perspective on our partners when we first start dating. Everything is new, fresh, and more exciting. After a while the newness wears off and we get complacent. Some refer to it as normality, but some refer to it as being boring.

If you want to help save your marriage, then it's up to you to try and keep it new. You can do things like surprise your partner with a special date night or give your partner small gifts often and unannounced.

The third step is to love your partner in the way they want to be loved. It isn't easy to determine what way that is, but in time you'll get to know your partner to appreciate them. Everyone has things that make them happy. Some like to hear the words "I love you" all the time. Still others find small gestures like opening doors and pulling out chairs evidence that you love them. The point is, it's easier to make your partner feel loved if you know what makes them happy.

Finally, you should be physically affectionate. Love and marriage isn't all about sex, but those things are still important. If you really want to help save marriage, you'll make sure your partner knows how much you love them several times every day!

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

Author's Bio: 

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