The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse reports that 17 million adults in the USA suffer from alcohol addiction. These people sometimes deny their condition, or they don’t recognize that their dependency is detrimental not only to themselves but to the whole family. However, too much alcohol alters the mind and changes one’s behavior, which leads to emotional, physical, financial, and legal problems. These serious difficulties affect all the people connected to the alcoholic, such as their parents, spouses, children, siblings, and even close friends.
Perhaps you have repeatedly begged your loved one to receive treatment from an alcohol rehab center in Pocatello, but he refused help. And you feel desperate and helpless watching him destroy your relationship and neglect his responsibilities. You endure domestic violence, nurture your fear, and solve financial problems all by yourself. You watch the kids suffer because they are so vulnerable, and they are not mature enough to understand the problem.
Living with an alcoholic partner is scary, stressful, painful, and frustrating. But don’t lose hope. While it’s true that you can not save an alcoholic, you can do things that will make him want to save himself. Here’s how you can deal with a spouse suffering from alcohol abuse:
1. Do not be an enabler
Enabling is different from helping. Lots of women play the role of a martyr and hide the situation from relatives and friends for fear of being embarrassed. They cover up the problem and make excuses to help their husbands save their reputation. They serve as a cushion that prevents the alcoholic from suffering the grave consequences of their actions. However, keeping the issue will not help anyone. You need to accept that there is a problem and he needs help. When you lie about his alcohol problem, you are not helping him. Instead, you are enabling his addiction to continue.
2. Understand and believe that alcoholism is not a choice, but a disease
Some people choose to drink a bottle or two on Friday nights to relieve stress. But persons with alcohol use disorder have very little control over their drinking behavior. So stop asking him why he loves alcohol more than he loves you. It won’t help. Educate yourself about alcohol addiction and how it affects the brain. By doing so, you can understand what your spouse is going through and can have a better sense of empathy. Talk to him in an honest but non-judgemental way and offer advice without sounding like a preacher.
3. Have self-compassion
When you have self-compassion, it’s easier to accept that all individuals have flaws and imperfections. You acknowledge that your husband is suffering from an illness right now, and you must face hardships while helping him find the path to recovery. The good news is, you don’t have to carry the burden alone because help is always available. You need to reach out to people who can offer moral and professional support.
Alcoholism negatively impacts the person’s health, hurts his relationships, and paralyzes his overall social functioning. While you can not cure your spouse’s alcohol addiction, you can do these things to help him navigate the road to his healing.