Alcoholism is deemed to be a huge health and social issue. Usually, family members of alcoholics endure physical, social, and psychological trauma because of the core alcohol problem of the family member. Most significantly affected are the alcoholics’ wives. Living with alcoholic can be challenging.
Because a common behavior of someone addicted to alcohol is that they are focused on their next drink. When drinking is a priority, a person can lose interest in family time and lead to resentments. As a result, the emotional and other needs of their partner and family members are often neglected.
What a spouse of alcoholic experience
People who are married to someone struggling with alcohol use disorder may experience fear for their safety, future, or their family they may have:
- Blame themselves for the problem
- Take drinking personally
- Attempt to control or cure it
- Cover up the problem
These are all destructive behaviors that lead towards some serious future psychological consequences for the spouse of the alcoholic.
Call of the relationship
There are also times when it becomes necessary to leave an alcoholic spouse especially
when relationship becomes abusive. Abuse can take many forms such as physical, verbal, emotional, even, financial abuse. If anyone becomes a victim of physical abuse then they should call off the relationship as soon as they can.
What a spouse of alcoholic should do.
If person believe that they are in love with an alcoholic then there are a number of courses of action one can take (and should not take):
Some find that this is their only option; know that it is a perfectly acceptable choice. If it has all become too much for you then get out. If you have children then walking away might be the safer option. But leave the door open for a return if the situation improves.
Tell the alcoholic what you will and will not accept from them. Tell them what you will do if they continue drinking and do not make healthy changes in their lifestyle. It is of the utmost importance you stick to these boundaries.
Do not enable.
Enabling is when you make it possible for the addict to continue with their alcoholism with your behavior. A simple example might be buying them drinks or making excuses for their drinking.
Offer Support When Earned
If your spouse is making an effort to stop their drinking then offer support, if they ask for help then give it.
Forcing an alcoholic is not the way to solve the problem of an alcoholic spouse. Coercion would not be a quality found in a healthy relationship, so it’s best to avoid adding it to a marriage that is already struggling.
What the Spouse of an Alcoholic Can Do to Help
People who are married to, or in a relationship with, someone struggling with alcohol use disorder may want to start by going to a therapist, social worker, spiritual or religious leader, or friend or family member for emotional support. It can help to have a steady person to talk to as action is taken.
Al anon meeting online.
Just as there are sessions for Alcoholics, so there are meetings for those living with an alcoholic. These meetings can be a place to get support and learn about how to cope and live with an alcoholic. The most popular offline and online meetings for those coping with an alcoholic are run by Al-anon. It is an international “fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope to solve their common problems. Al-anon does offer support among an empathetic group who can relate to their problems.. Al-anon can also be a good place to learn about addictive behaviors and recovery.
It means when a person seek help from third party (mental health professional), and their job is to confront with alcoholic person about their behavior and the impact of having on them and those around him/her. Involving a mental health professional is a logical choice. They would be able to be an unbiased individual who is able to keep the conversation going in the right direction.