Husband Wonders If He’s Wrong For Assuming His Wife Is Hiding Her Alcoholism

When faced with difficult times, some people want to keep it a secret from the rest of the world, including their closest loved ones.

Redditor u/HuMcK recently told the ‘Am I Wrong’ community that he thinks his wife might be hiding something—after an unfortunate accident that resulted with her in the hospital, the redditor started seeing signs of a possible alcohol problem. Him finding empty alcohol bottles soon after only added fuel to the flame.

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People with alcohol problems might try to hide it from even their closest loved ones

Image credits: voronaman111 (not the actual photo)

This man suspected his wife was hiding alcoholism from him

Image credits: stokkete (not the actual photo)

Image credits: HuMcK

People with a drinking problem are typically very good at hiding it

There’s a certain image that’s often associated with a person with a drinking problem, which might be far from what your friends and family resemble. That’s why learning that someone in your circle is dealing with such a situation might come as a surprise, especially if it’s a loved one. However, people of all ages and backgrounds can fall prey to this hardship.

Another reason it might come as a shock is the lack of signs of a drinking problem. People with an alcohol addiction can be very good at hiding it, even from those they share their space with every day. Riverside Recovery emphasized that nearly 70% of individuals with an alcohol use disorder report hiding their alcohol consumption from others. It also suggested that such an addiction can take different forms, including hidden or secret drinking, which is what the OP suspected with his wife.

Riverside Recovery pointed out that people with a drinking problem often go to great lengths to cover it up; and quite often, they do it well enough to succeed. There might be telltale signs of secretive excessive drinking, though, one of the most obvious ones being the smell on a person’s breath or their clothing. Another sign is a change in their behavior, as they might become more secretive or start making excuses for their actions, which they didn’t before.

Alcoholism-related stigma is a common reason people refuse to seek help

There can also be quite a few reasons people with a drinking problem hide their level of alcohol consumption; stigma being one of the most common ones. Because of the fear of being judged or rejected—due to the stigma surrounding alcohol-related problems—people with addiction might be discouraged to seek help, whether from certain facilities or their loved ones.

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Addiction psychiatrist and professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I., Dr. Robert Swift, seconded the idea that social stigma might be one of the reasons alcoholics become pretty good at hiding their addiction, pointing out that it’s especially true with women. “It’s more common among women to hide their drinking because of the social stigma of it,” Swift told NBC News, adding that they often opt for vodka—the same drink found in the OP’s wife’s desk—which leaves less of a trace on one’s breath.

However, stigma is not the sole reason people dealing with alcohol-related problems fail to seek treatment. Research suggests that despite being “frequently cited as a barrier to treatment”, it is not equally influential to all individuals facing such a problem. The 2018 research also pointed out that social stigma is not considered a concern when the user does not recognize their level of alcohol consumption as problematic.

Considering the amount of people suffering from alcohol use disorder, it’s arguably safe to assume that quite a few might not consider their level of consumption worrisome or hide it from their loved ones. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 2021 data, nearly 30 million Americans ages 12 and older suffer from such a disorder.

It is unclear whether the OP’s wife actually had a drinking problem, and the redditor himself revealed in the comments he felt too involved in the situation to be able to see it clearly. He was seeking an unbiased opinion, and quite a few people in the comments were willing to share theirs.

Redditors shared their opinions in the comments, the OP replied to some of them

The post Husband Wonders If He’s Wrong For Assuming His Wife Is Hiding Her Alcoholism first appeared on Bored Panda.

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