When we were dating, my husband said he'd stop drinking if I married him, and he did for a while. But now he's drinking more than ever, and he just laughs at me when I remind him of his promise and try to get him to stop. I still love him, but is there anything I can do?


One reason I wanted to reprint your letter is because I hope it will be a warning to someone who may be facing the same decision about marriage that you once faced. Promises are easy to make–and unfortunately, they are often just as easy to break.

Let me first tell you what you should not do: Don’t simply ignore your husband’s problem or assume that it will somehow get better or go away by itself. From what you say elsewhere in your letter, it is clear your husband has become enslaved by alcohol–in other words, that he is an alcoholic. He needs to face his problem honestly, and he needs both your help and the help of others to do this. He cannot escape this trap on his own.

For his sake, therefore–as well as for your own–I urge you to do everything you can to get him the help he needs. Your pastor or doctor should be able to guide you to resources that are available in your community. The Bible says, “Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

In addition, I urge you to put Christ at the center of your life–and of your marriage. You need His wisdom, and you need His strength for the difficult days you may be facing. Jesus’ words are for both you and your husband: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).