Living with an Alcoholic: How to Support and Not Enable

There can also be declines in their mental and overall health, especially if they’re not eating healthy diets or engaging in physical activity. They may also withdraw from social situations and find excuses to miss events or optional commitments where drinking is not available or possible. There may also be new legal issues arising for them, like driving under the influence or making other poor decisions. A partner’s AUD doesn’t just affect their health and your relationship. Keep in mind, too, that therapists typically don’t recommend couples counseling for relationships that involve any kind of abuse.

Press Play for Advice On Finding Help for Alcohol Addiction

They might be friendly one moment, only to become angry and violent the next. According to the Foundations Recovery Network, up to two-thirds of cases of alcohol-related violence occur in close interpersonal relationships. Not only does alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), affect those who have it, but it can also have significant effects on their interpersonal relationships and households. Share your concerns with a professionalSharing your concerns with a professional counsellor and getting their support and advice can certainly speed up your recovery. You can (re)create your identity – free from what’s happening with your alcoholic partner.

Alcohol Support Groups and Resources

Here’s how to remain safe, sane, and healthy in the process of helping an alcoholic. Be rationally compassionate and understandingBeing compassionate within reasons can help you connect with the alcoholic better. This doesn’t mean you should cover up for them or help them fuel their addiction. Ask them about the stressors that are forcing him or her to seek refuge in frequent drinking. Compassion will open up new doors for you but remember not to take a higher moral ground or make the person feel like a loser. Educating yourself on the ways in which addiction or substance abuse worksPeople often say knowledge is power and they’re not wrong.

If Your Partner’s Alcohol Use Affects Your Relationship, These 8 Tips May Help

In this article, we’ll provide useful tips to live with an alcoholic. You’ll learn what you should do for yourself, how you can help your loved one, and the warning signs of relapse. After reading this article, you’ll have a firm understanding of what it’s going to take to help your loved one achieve the best transition possible as they work towards a sober lifestyle. Figure out what you’re comfortable with and state these clearly to your loved one.

  1. You may even want to tell them you want a divorce if indeed you do.
  2. That idea came from imperfect studies comparing groups of people by how much they drink.
  3. When someone reaches a crisis point, sometimes that’s when they finally admit they have a problem and begin to reach out for help.
  4. The longer a person continues with their addiction, the higher their risk of severe side effects.
  5. Whether it’s an intervention or a one-to-one talk, your knowledge about the nature of the addiction will come into play.
  6. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

You’re no doubt acutely aware your partner is at risk of making bad decisions in general. Every person who loves someone with an addiction has to choose whether to help the person or to distance themselves from the person. Distancing yourself can seem selfish, but you have to look out for your own well-being before you can help someone else. Marixie Ann Manarang-Obsioma is a licensed Medical Technologist (Medical Laboratory Science) and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD). In the DSM-5, alcohol use disorder is further classified into categories of mild, moderate, and severe.

If the person is incapable of even being honest with themselves, it may not be reasonable to expect them to be honest with you. If you have children, it’s important to protect them from unacceptable behavior as well. Do not tolerate hurtful or negative comments addressed towards them. These comments can result in lasting damage to a child’s psyche. You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life. Keep in mind that someone with alcohol dependence usually goes through a few stages before they are ready to make a change.

They stay out of everyone’s way and try to avoid interaction and potential conflict with the rest of the family. Establishing a safe space can build trust, so showing them you won’t use harsh language or say unkind things can encourage them to open up more candidly about their drinking. You might, for example, go bowling or to the museum on date night and center get-togethers with friends around board games or preparing a meal together. Of course, not everyone who drinks alcohol frequently or regularly will meet criteria for AUD.

This dysfunctional dynamic happens when one partner begins to sacrifice their needs to better prioritize what they think their partner needs. Brent Metcalf, a licensed clinical social worker at Tri-Star Counseling, adds that calling someone with AUD an “alcoholic” can further stigma by equating the person with the condition. Frequent or heavy alcohol use can pose a range of challenges, when it comes to maintaining a strong, healthy relationship.

Never loan them money unless for treatmentAlcoholism, like any other substance addiction, is an expensive habit to fund. Unfortunately, an alcoholic who is out of pocket will always find ways to obtain money, even if they have to lie to get hold of it. If you’re sure your loved one is an alcoholic, don’t lend them money under any circumstances. The only exception being if they land in a hospital and need money for treatment. Promoting a clean lifestyle in your home, especially during your loved one’s first year of recovery, will increase the likelihood of success. Remove any alcohol from your home and get your loved one to participate in events or activities that avoid consumption.

Finding the right way to approach someone you think may have an alcohol use disorder can be tough. Before you speak with them, try putting yourself in their shoes. The most important thing is to let them know that you care and that you’ll be there when they need your support.

Hotels are taking note of this promising trend as well—many offer a mocktail menu with fun and fizzy alcohol-free drinks, so you don’t have to sit at the table with just a water with lemon. There’s only one thing you can do when you have an alcoholic spouse that’s likely to bring about any change. I hope, therefore, that after reading these articles you feel better able to trust your own judgement and what you can do to help your alcoholic spouse. Family members may need to hold an intervention for their loved one with alcoholism. Professional interventions allow family members to communicate constructively in a safe environment.

You watch as your family member or friend slowly changes with each tip of the bottle. ” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The evaluation consists alcoholism: causes risk factors and symptoms of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an AUD. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

For instance, if you drive them everywhere so they don’t get a DUI, bail them out of jail, or pay for their alcohol-related damages, you are, in effect, supporting their addiction. Instead, you need to set boundaries for yourself and your relationship. If the consequences of high-functioning alcoholism have become overwhelming, and your loved one refuses to seek help for alcohol abuse, it could be time to plan an intervention.

You also shouldn’t be satisfied with a status quo — some would argue that this is a form of enablement as well. Ultimately, you want to be working toward getting your partner to accept professional help for their alcoholism. Typically, the most successful approach is to show the person you’re concerned for their safety and future. You can also mention the impact their addiction is having on those around them.

Unfortunately, this usually results in leaving those family members feeling lonely and frustrated. Talk all of this over with someone you really trust to get some feedback. Once you’re comfortable with your decisions, it’s time to practice your alcoholic eyes assertiveness. You’re now going to have to be strong with your spouse or partner. If you want to help your alcoholic spouse, the best you can do now is to put yourself first and deal with all of the above – preferably with some expert help.

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