Does your spouse have a drinking problem?
Whether it's the husband or the wife?. That's what i'm talking about today.
A Podcast listener asked, "My husband, in this case, it happens to be a husband, it could be a wife. My husband has a drinking problem. When he drinks, he gets angry and abusive. This has gone on for years. Which is often the case.
What do I do?
Here's what you do. You draw a line in the sand and you say enough is enough because if you continue to tolerate it, he'll continue to do it until you're destroyed your kids are destroyed your marriage is destroyed and frankly, he's destroyed.
So you have to draw a line in the sand. Gather a support team, family, friends, neighbors that you're close to, pastor, christian therapist, even your kids if they're middle school aged on up, they know what's going on.
Tell your support team the truth in detail of what you're living with and ask them to support you as you move forward with your plan of action. Which is going to be Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."
And by the way, you'll find those clear steps of action in my book, I Don't Love You Anymore. So, you gather your support team and you go to your spouse. Now if he's angry, nasty, and has been abusive for years,
you're not going to go to him in person at all. Give him a letter, email, text, whatever. If it's in person, it's fine if you feel safe enough. But you tell him clearly I will no longer tolerate your drinking.
From now on there is zero tolerance in our relationship if you want to keep living with me, you're going to stop drinking. And the right number is zero.
If he says, "can I have a drink or two?" tell him no, no more. You're gonna make it clear that he's going to be evaluated by a Christian Psychologist or Masters Level Therapist who knows about drinking and has expertise in the alcohol and drug area. You're going to go to that first appointment to make sure it's done the right way. And get someone that knows what the heck they're doing. A Biblical Counselor who doesn't have expertise, you're gonna waste your time. Someone has to have expertise in this area. Maybe an addict in recovery themselves. Going to that appointment is also going to be ongoing of course, individual therapy. If it's going to be a group process A.A. has changed millions of lives. Your husband is going to be involved in that or a celebrate recovery group. Whatever the therapist who did the evaluation believes is necessary. Some will actually need in-patient or even day treatment.
Whatever the evaluation reveals. You'll tell your husband from this moment on, you will allow NO alcohol in your home. You will pour it out right in front of him, if that's what he wants. If you find it, you pour it out.
You won't get into a car with him. If there's any hint of him drinking, you won't allow the children (if you have kids) to ever get into a car with him when he's drinking. How many times has someone who's been drunk and had gotten a DUI and killed someone or harmed children in their own car because they're drunk!
Enough is enough. You have to get strong enough to do this now, if he resists any of these points and chances are he's going to, you're gonna go to the next level of Matthew 18:15 - 17 which is one or two witnesses.
You're gonna get your church leaders, your pastor and other church leaders if they have the guts! Many don't. Some do. They will also confront him.
If he doesn't respond to that and continues to drink, you will shun him and then you will leave him. That's the way to handle it.
Get my book, I Don't Love You Anymore for the specific steps of confronting a sinner who refuses to repent.