When a person is in a marriage or partnered relationship with someone addicted to alcohol, it’s not just the person dependent on alcohol who suffers, the partner is also directly affected, as they have to deal with everything from emotional distress to financial worries. It often falls to the sober partner to “pick up the pieces” and maintain. The stress this puts on them is very real and they are just as deserving of help as the person who struggles with drinking.
Family And Friends Aren’t Always The Solution
Sometimes friends or family don’t grasp what the husband, wife, or partner of the dependent are dealing with. Often when one hasn’t had their own experience with someone struggling with alcohol addiction, they can’t fully empathize with someone who is going through the stress of being in such a relationship. This isn’t always true, but it is in many cases, particularly if the person who is dealing with the issue has a sparse circle of friends or family to go to.
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It can be frustrating to try to seek solace from someone who leaves you feeling: They just don’t understand. Or someone who can’t see past their own anger at the situation. Their advice often boils down to just leave them and the relationship. This can be aggravating when have your own, informed reasons for not believing that that’s the right course of action. They may mean well, they love and care for you and just don’t want to see you hurting; but their dismissive viewpoint can actually add to your distress.
Barriers To Obtaining Help
Organizations and groups exist to help the spouse/partner of a person dependent on alcohol, but sometimes circumstances such as lack of transportation, a physical disability, or psychological condition such as agoraphobia could preclude a person seeking help outside of the home. Maybe one lives in a sparsely populated or isolated area where no such groups exist. They might be afraid of the potential stigma attached to being open about marital problems. They may just be too shy to open up to someone publicly. Perhaps the spouse/partner has ideological disagreements with an available organization’s methods. In any case, sometimes support just isn’t easily at hand in everyone’s community.
Whether you just need someone to talk to or need actual assistance of some sort, the internet can be a great alternative to traditional walk-in-the-door methods of getting help.
Talking It Out With Peers
Sometimes all you’re looking for is a way to vent your feelings, to talk about your situation instead of bottling it up. Talking to others who have been there or are going through the same things can be very supportive. There is a wealth of message boards, forums, chat rooms, and discussion groups you can find with a simple search. Often on these, you’ll meet friendly people who can direct you to other helpful resources, or just lend a virtual shoulder to cry on. You can usually spend some time unregistered just “lurking” and reading what others have said to gauge whether or not a given website would be comfortable for you to actually take part in. If you don’t like the back-and-forth that takes place on one website, there are dozens more to choose from. Spend some time checking out various sites and you’re bound to find one or more that would work for you.
Some people find it easier to be open in an online setting than they would face-to-face. The anonymity of communicating from behind a keyboard can sometimes be freeing to someone who might be too shy to discuss things like alcohol dependency, or seeking treatment for alcohol dependency in person. A sense of privacy can be comforting, and maybe encourage a struggling spouse to seek further help of some sort. Maybe you’re not actually looking for a solution to a problem, either. If you’re not seeking feedback, but only want confirmation that It’s not just me going through this, you can just do some reading and not take part in discussions.
The Role Of Social Media In Support
Social media can be a great outlet, as well. This is best approached carefully, however. One should take into consideration that the privacy of all individuals involved needs to be respected. You might need to be more discreet about what you do and do not share in a social setting online, just as you would at an actual gathering of people such as a party.
Some people do go so far as starting a personal blog to share their experiences and thoughts. Sometimes all we need to do is get it out there, give voice to what’s going on in our lives and minds so that we can take a step back and look at where we are. Input from others who read can maybe shed a new perspective we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And maybe sharing your own experiences might just help someone else. It can be empowering to know that by sharing your own situation, you have helped another going through the same thing. Beware, however. If your website allows commentary, not everyone is understanding or kind. Some people “troll” the internet with the sole intention of pushing people’s buttons, offending or criticizing for their own cruel and selfish entertainment. Website commentary is very often the venue of choice for a commenter’s snark.
Beyond Talk: Assistance From Resources
Sometimes the need is there for actual help of some kind, assistance or support that goes beyond just talking. The internet can be a valuable resource for this as well.
Books, Articles, And Reports
If it’s the research you’re seeking, you can find scholarly articles, scientific reports, and medical journals reprinted online. Often these are readily available to the public and free. Sometimes there may be a fee charged by magazines that offer online versions of print issues.
You can shop for self-help or reference books as well through websites such as Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Ebay, and many others. One benefit of doing your shopping online is that there may be reviews by people who have already read the books you are considering. You can look at the reviews and gauge whether or not said book would offer the sort of knowledge you seek. A few websites also let you read a selection of pages before purchasing.
Library websites can be great ways to find resources, as well. Many list their entire catalog so you can search for a book or other source such as a DVD by title, author, subject, etc. A lot of libraries are now making audio books, digital books, and reports available as downloads for e-readers, tablets, and cell phones. Usually these services are all free.
You can find some books or programs available for sale via downloads or direct sales. These would be on websites from the author or organization that created the book or program. It is helpful prior to committing to a purchase to do some searching to see if others have read these books or tried these programs and what they have to say about the value of them.
Support Groups, Outreach Centers, And Shelters
The internet is a great way to find local support groups. Many post locations and schedules for meetings or gatherings organized by locale. They also make phone numbers available to confirm dates and times, and sometimes can offer other types of support.
If things have reached a point where you might actually need to remove yourself from the situation with your loved one, many outreach centers and shelters forvictims of domestic abuse have websites with information, addresses, and contact information. They usually have 24-hour emergency lines available and posted on their sites.