My Spouse Is an Alcoholic: Now What?

When a spouse sttuggles with an alcohol abuse disorder, it can make life miserable. Learn how to cope with a partners alcoholism, how to get them help, and ways to help them seek help for alcohol addiction.

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When you’re living with an alcoholic, things can be pretty stressful. There’s a good chance that you may begin internalizing your loved one’s alcoholism. You might become depressed or feel hopeless. Maybe your spouse was an alcoholic before you got married or maybe they became that way later in your marriage. Either way, living with an alcoholic is a tough situation.

When you are married to an alcoholic, divorce may be on your mind. Or, you may also want to avoid divorce at all costs. How can you go through each day when this huge issue is hanging over both of your heads? As you know, alcoholism and marriage don’t mix.

Often, alcoholics don’t behave very well. They may do dangerous and reckless things. Alcoholics often behave in irrational ways, experience work troubles, create financial stress, cheat, and lie. While such actions may not be true for all alcoholics, they are common for many.

If you want to know how to deal with an alcoholic, this information may help you. Dealing with an alcoholic takes time, patience, and effort.

What Happens When Your Spouse Drinks Too Much?

There are some things that commonly occur when being married to an alcoholic. These situations might include the following:

  • When you have an alcoholic spouse, you may take their problems on as your own. Co-dependency may start and you may enable them to try to bring happiness into their life or to stop conflicts from happening. You may blame yourself when you are living with an alcoholic.
  • Often, people dealing with an alcoholic spouse take the disease personally. They feel as if the alcoholic treats them in specific ways because of things they have done or things they can control. It is important for the spouse of an alcoholic to know that alcoholism isn’t their fault.
  • Another common situation for those married to a functioning alcoholic is that the spouse tries to make the other person better. You may let them drink at home instead of the bar (although they still do both). You may try shaming them to stop drinking.
  • If you are enabling, you might cover up their problems and make excuses for them.
  • If you want to know how to deal with an alcoholic spouse, knowing how to properly assist your spouse can help you make the necessary changes.

How to Deal with an Alcoholic Spouse

One alcoholism characteristic is denying a problem exists. You or your spouse may be blaming others, such as your spouse’s parents. It is important that you must let your alcoholic spouse take responsibility for their disease. Don’t let them make excuses.

When you are dealing with alcoholic behavior, you must practice self-care. Do things that you love to do, things that help you. Consider joining a support group for those who want to know how to live with an alcoholic. Support groups may give you the chance to share your feelings, teach you how to build a healthy social support system, and provide other assistance.

If you want to know how to talk to an alcoholic spouse, this can be tough. Some alcoholics will never listen until they find help. In this case, you may need to give them a serious ultimatum that they need to find help or you will leave.

You can hold an intervention with loved ones or friends to let your spouse know how their drinking has affected others. You can tell your spouse that you have joined support groups for spouses of alcoholics. You have learned what you need to do and how to handle things.

Let your spouse know that you want them to enter treatment right away. It is okay to give them time to process this information, but emphasize that it is best if they receive treatment as soon as possible.

Another option is to talk to a therapist about your situation. This might allow you to talk more in detail about abusive alcoholic behavior, learn how to deal with a drunk husband, or discuss the effects of living with an alcoholic spouse. You can’t talk someone out of an alcohol addiction. You can’t shame it out of them, either. If you try, they may start hiding alcohol or lying even more.

Our insurance verification team works quickly to verify your insurance benefits to place you into one of our centers as soon as possible. Because of our industry expertise, we will be able to verify this information in a timely manner and can advocate for more coverage or more time in treatment. We strive to do this as quickly as possible while also maximizing your coverage. Our insurance verification process is of no cost to you and there are absolutely no obligations.

What Alcoholics Do to Their Spouses

Unfortunately, when you are trying to figure out how to cope with an alcoholic spouse, things can get rough. Coping with an alcoholic spouse takes a lot of mental effort.

If you are living with a functional alcoholic, this can be worse. They may act as if they have everything together, so they may say there is no way you can get angry with them. You still have every right to your feelings. The effects of alcoholism on the spouse are terrible. If you need to get help for spouses of alcoholics, do so today. Don’t wait.

Living with a functioning alcoholic can be difficult. Hiding alcohol from spouses doesn’t work. If people take alcohol from their spouses, they will just find the substance elsewhere. Confronting an alcoholic spouse can be tough. That is why it is important to seek the help of professionals or to hold an intervention. If you want tips for spouses of alcoholics, make the call today. Find out how you can effectively find them the help they need.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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