HOW TO ASSIST AN ALCOHOLIC SPOUSE
- September 18, 2018
If your loved one or spouse suffers from alcoholism, you know it can be an extremely painful and dark affliction. Addiction to alcohol is the compulsion to drink, even if it has negative impacts on your life. This turns into a dependence and a tolerance to the drug. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 17 million adults over the age of 17 have alcoholic tendencies. If your spouse has alcoholism, there are many ways you can assist in their treatment and lead them to the path of recovery. This blog will highlight the ways you can be a positive catalyst in your partner’s life.
The first step in assistance is being able to recognize the signs of an alcoholism disorder. People affected by the disease may try to hide the fact they are struggling, but this only hurts them. They are predisposed to financial or legal problems, not to mention long term health issues such as cognitive memory loss. On the same token, your spouse may be a high functioning alcoholic. This includes coping with many different projects, running a household, and balancing a job, while consuming large quantities of alcohol at the same time. When you start to notice significant weight loss or weight gain, loss of focus, irritability, or extreme fatigue this may be an indicator of an alcohol abuse situation.
Being close to an alcoholic can have side effects on the sober partner as well. For instance, while intoxicated, their partner may blame them for their alcoholism or enabling them. They can also initiate and start fights, either physical or verbal. These issues can, and will, escalate over time if left untreated. You should not attempt to shame, pressure, or scold your loved one. This will only exacerbate the issue and potentially encourage more alcohol abuse. It is not your fault your loved one has developed an alcohol dependency, but it is something you can help stop with the correct approach.
You can initiate the process by having an honest conversation about your experience and your observations. This should be free of judgment and empathetic to the shame and pain your partner is experiencing. Following this, researching professional help is the best thing you can do to help. An intervention can be a useful way of encouraging your loved one to take part in their healing. The last step is commitment. Whether sticking to your boundaries or continuing to support your loved one, commitment is a key feature in any rehabilitation program.
If you are fearing for your loved one’s health and happiness you are not alone. Asana Recovery can help your partner back on to the right track. We offer different therapy programs and rehabilitation techniques to help everyone develop the skills they need to live life without drugs and alcohol. To hear more about what we can offer, call us at (949) 438-4504.