Alcoholism is a dangerous disease that affects millions of adults. Unfortunately, if your spouse or loved one is an addict, the effects of the disease are likely to trickle down into your life causing great pain and sorry. Women and men who are married to alcoholics are likely to suffer a great deal as a result of the infidelity, distrust, abuse and other consequences that often arise with an alcoholic spouse. But there is help.
A Family Disease
Living with an alcoholic can be a traumatic situation. The individual who drinks regularly is damaging his or her life both physically and mentally, and in the process, dysfunction of the family is damaging your life. Alcoholism is most often referred to as a family disease because it destroys the lives of more than just the individual suffering directly from the condition; it also causes disruption and destruction for those within the family unit.
How to Cope with an Alcoholic Spouse
There are things you can do to cope with a spouse who is addicted to alcohol. First and foremost, you must not become co-dependent. This means that you may not allow yourself to become addicted to the chaotic events that occur as a result of the alcoholism. You must not allow the spouse to deny the alcoholism or to place the blame on you.
If you’re dealing with an alcoholic spouse, chances are that those on the outside are wondering why you don’t just leave the situation behind you. We understand that you may have children, you love your spouse, and abandoning the individual is simply not the first option, nor may it be an option to you at all. It’s important that you don’t allow outsiders to make your choices or to place blame on you. Likewise, you must not expect that things will change without any effort.
An alcoholic will require treatment in order to get well. If your spouse is an alcoholic, the only way that things will truly change in the future is if you find him or her proper treatment to help with the underlying problems that have led to the alcohol abuse and subsequent addiction. Fortunately, many types of treatment are available for those who suffer from alcoholism.
Treatment options include:
- Residential or inpatient rehab
- Outpatient rehab
- Medical detox
- Recovery support groups such as AA
- Relapse prevention programs
If your spouse is an alcoholic, talk to him or her about the impact that the drinking has on you and other members of the family. If this isn’t enough for the individual to get help, don’t allow this to make you feel as if he or she doesn’t love you. The alcoholism creates denial that makes it difficult for the addict to see past. Enabling will not help, so it’s important that you restrict access to alcohol, do not help the individual purchase alcohol and do your part to ensure that drinking is not occurring.
Seek a qualified treatment center that can help by calling our helpline at 800-654-0987. You can call our caring representatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for additional answers.