Living with an Alcoholic
Living and dealing with an alcoholic spouse can be one of the most difficult experiences you go through in your marriage. The roller coaster ride of emotions seems to ebb and flow along with your spouse’s drinking binges and periods of sobriety. More than likely, you’ve done your best to help your spouse stop drinking. You may have even spent a period of time in denial, hoping that the problem would just go away by itself, allowing you to have the spouse you love back in your life.
These feelings and experiences are normal for those who are married to alcoholics. The stress and difficulty of being married to an alcoholic can take its toll on you, too. In addition to your efforts to try to help your spouse get better, it’s likely you’re also attempting to maintain the family and household by yourself. It’s common for your struggles and the issues caused by an alcoholic spouse to manifest themselves in some of the following situations:
- Financial Difficulties– A spouse that goes on drinking binges often calls in sick and this can lead to the loss of work. Many families of alcoholics experience financial stress as a result of the addiction.
- Emotional Stress– As alcohol takes control over your spouse, it can be heartbreaking to watch him or her disappear before your eyes. The stress of this experience is felt by spouses and children of alcoholics.
- Public Embarrassment– If your spouse drinks publicly then you’ve likely experienced the public humiliation of having him or her act out around other people. Know that you are not alone in this situation.
- Fear- Alcoholics who become angry or abusive while drinking leave spouses and children fearful for their lives. If abuse or rage is part of your spouse’s drinking, it’s critical that you reach out for help today.
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How to Help an Alcoholic Spouse
Dealing with an alcoholic spouse isn’t something you should have to do alone. Support for the alcoholic, for you and other family members, is vital to the recovery process. A substance abuse treatment facility that treats patients who abuse alcohol can provide you and your family with the hope you’ve been searching for. Comprehensive treatment centers provide a variety of program components to help the user and his or her family through the recovery process. These program aspects can assist you as your spouse works toward sobriety:
- Family Counseling- Your spouse will receive individual counseling to help him or her with alcohol addiction. Family counseling will help you two work together to build a relationship that supports sobriety.
- Support Groups for Family Members- During family member support group meetings you’ll receive the vital support and understanding of other men and women who understand what it’s like to live with and love an alcoholic spouse.
- Educational Opportunities– Take advantage of opportunities to learn more about alcohol addiction and how to build a relationship with your spouse that doesn’t promote enabling.
A substance abuse treatment center can provide you with the lifeline you’ve been seeking for your alcoholic spouse and yourself. As your spouse gets the care she or he needs, you’ll be given the opportunity to gain the support of other family members with alcoholic spouses and learn how to have a relationship with your partner in sobriety. Months and years of hurt, disappointment, embarrassment, and fear don’t have to continue to be the foundation for your marriage. The services and hope provided by a treatment center can help you both learn how to build a healthier relationship and future together.