My husband takes too much alcohol

Thursday February 11 2021

My husband has a drinking problem but when I say anything about it, he thinks I am creating an issue out of nothing. However, he drinks almost five days out of seven and even when he is at home, he will still get drunk and our children have to watch all this. Although he says it keeps him sane, I know it is negatively impacting his health and our marriage. What should I do? Anonymous.

Dear anonymous,

Dealing with an alcoholic husband is emotionally draining, especially to the most immediate supporter such as a wife. This is currently one of the commonest stressors in marriage today given that people face different challenges ranging from financial, social, and emotional, among others.

In most cases, people who are struggling with alcohol use disorder may try to hide their condition thinking that their behaviour only affects them. Unfortunately, with time, this gets out of hand and the person struggling with alcohol fails to control it until it becomes like medication to the body.

People who live with an alcoholic partner may experience fear for their safety, future, and most of all the children. It is important to know that alcoholism is a disease and one needs to attend a professional detox programme and get psychological support through counselling. The actions are not easy to take but they are important because at that level, no amount of blame or words will stop him. Only support is needed.

Like you mentioned above, since the whole family is involved, it is important for all of you, including the children to get family therapy together with the alcoholic partner so as to heal the strained relationship and create a safe avenue for the family to talk about their feelings. Try to focus your relationship on love, not dwelling on shaming the alcoholic spouse as this makes it worse.


Sometimes, as mentioned earlier, alcohol might be working as a shield from facing problems which could be job stress and financial issues, among others. This is why you need to play your part as a supportive partner.

Evelyn C Kharono Lufafa

Counselling Psychologist 0750074412

Reader advice

Don’t justify addiction

Dorothy Bonge. It is a choice he has made and he is refusing efforts to help him. There is nothing you can do about it. It will only take his effort to stop the drinking. Pray for him and take care of yourself. He has decided to selfishly look for sanity even when it costs him his own health and marriage. Make it a point to take care of yourself and your sanity too. Walk away when you can and give him space to deal with the monsters he creates.

Talk to a counsellor

Roland Tashobya. Try to convince him to visit a marriage counsellor. The main concern should be on those innocent children. Remember environment shapes. The children will grow up knowing drinking alcohol is the way to go. If the children are older, convince the father to accept and you take them to boarding school. Then, you can attend counselling sessions and with God’s grace he can change.

When did he start?

Fifi Queen. Did he start all this drinking after marriage? If it is his character then there is nothing much you can do to change him. If he is doing it because of other reasons such as stress, fatigue or depression, then sit him down and resolve your issues.

Pray for him

Mary Mari. The best thing you can do is pray for your husband and let God take over. There has to be a reason he is drinking this much and it is only God who can save him from this bondage.

Seek professional help

Paul Zziwa. Find a counsellor and convince your husband to listen to the specialist. Drinking some alcohol is okay but alcoholism is a disease that destroys families and lives. Does he still provide?

Enos Baluku. As long as he can still provide for family, drinking should not be an issue. However, it becomes an issue if he starts being aggressive towards you and the children. Then, you should not hesitate to seek assistance.

He should acknowledge

Solange Jacque Tasha. That is how addiction starts. Unfortunately, if he does not see a problem with it, then there is nothing much you can do about it. Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital has helped very many people but professionals can only help if he acknowledges the problem.

Try rehab services

May Nakyejwe. He needs rehab to help him give up substance abuse. I know that this is a serious problem that my brother also faced and it should not be taken lightly.

Spend time together

Victor King Maniragaba. Take some time off work and spend it with each other. Talk to him about your fears and why you think he should get help. Make sure that you are there every step of the way.