Logic Won't Convince an Alcoholic to Stop
anonymous Asks ...
I know my husband drinks too much but he always has a good reason for every drink he has. He is very smart and a lawyer and whenever I raise the subject I always end up losing the debate. This approach isn’t working. I cannot win this argument with him and so I cannot convince him to drink less or maybe even seek some help. If I cannot convince him through reason, what other approach should I try?
Anna Deeds Says ...
Thank you for you question. The problem is that you're trying to use logic with someone who is skilled at using logic to defend their drinking. An alcoholic defends their drinking in their own mind constantly so I'm sure he's gotten pretty good at it. For every reason you have for him to stop, he'll have ten for why he needs to drink. In fact, the reason I think your husband is probably an alcoholic is because you said he always has a good reason for every drink. Social drinkers don't feel the need to defend their drinking because they know it's not more than normal. One way to tell whether someone is an alcoholic is whether his drinking is causing problems in work, school or home. It's clearly causing problems at home or you wouldn't be asking him to quit. However, he's not going to quit until HE sees it as a problem. You can point out the problems his drinking is causing and how it is affecting you, but he will have to be willing to see it himself. He has to open his eyes to the truth of what his drinking is doing to his life and everyone around him. Since you've tried to use reason without success, try using emotion. Let him know how you feel about his drinking. If you're scared because of his behavior when he's drinking (driving or other risky behaviors), let him know. If you're angry because of his attitude and personality changes when drinking, let him know. Choose a time when he's not drinking to talk to him and always let him know you are telling him because you care about him and your marriage. You have to realize though that no matter what you say or do, he may continue drinking. It's really up to him to realize he needs help and ask for it. I hope this helps answer your question.