Tips for Dealing with an Alcoholic Spouse

Dealing with an alcoholic spouse is a hard road to travel.  If you or someone you know is in this situation the following is a link to help.  www.ola-is.org/

Or talk on the phone with people who understand.  Looking in your phone book for ALANON or even AADAC will lead to telephone support in your area.  People from your meetings or local church can be very helpful.

Also visit websites on this or get books and read them to educate yourself on this disease.  Alcoholism is a disease.  The following link has a lot of helpful information.

www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_abuse_and_alcoholism/article.htm#12whyis

An alcoholic affects the whole family.  When confronted the alcoholic will reply with a comment like “I can quit drinking anytime” or “I am not an alcoholic”.  Some will even yell at you, at which time you must leave the room and let this go in one ear and out the other.  You must keep your head clear of the negative influence the alcoholic has on you and remember this is a symptom of the disease.  They would actually like you to argue with them.  This encourages them. 

Crying makes them believe you are the weak one. 

It is best to leave.

You can tell the alcoholic you love them and inform them it is to their advantage for you to leave the room.  Expect resistance ridicule and even retaliation.

If the alcoholic is abusive you must muster up the courage to live elsewhere until it is safe to return.   Leaving shows the alcoholic you need respect.  Leaving exposes the alcoholic who then must make a choice between you and the alcohol.

An alcoholic will feel s/he needs to drink the way one needs food or water.  They will continue to drink even if problems exist for their health.  Alcoholism can not be cured at this time.  The safest thing an alcoholic can do is to abstain.

Do not go back until the alcoholic has been sober for at least a year or until a professional says it is safe to go back.  Relapses can happen even many years later.  Remember there is no cure.  Treatments exist through counseling and medication and help many alcoholics to rebuild their lives.

Exposing the alcoholic is a scary step for most, but it is necessary. Things like this generally get worse before they get better. One needs to acknowledge that a problem exits before change can happen. This applies to the alcoholic as well as the affected family and friends.

If you know of someone in this situation please offer to help them, I did and I am so glad I did.