How to Help an Alcoholic Spouse
Alcohol addiction affects millions of people in the United States. Left untreated, addiction can wreak havoc on people’s lives. It can lead to serious consequences to their physical and emotional wellbeing, their financial health, and their relationships.
If you are married to someone who struggles with alcoholism, you probably understand the emotional and physical toll your spouse’s drinking can take on their loved ones. You may wonder how to help your spouse heal, or you may worry that your relationship may not survive their alcoholism.
If you are married to someone who struggles with alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Reach out to the staff at the Mandala Healing Center for information about the comprehensive, holistic treatment programs that can help your alcoholic spouse.
Signs Your Spouse is an Alcoholic
Alcohol addiction can drastically alter a person’s physical and emotional health, mood, and behavior. Some of these things will be obvious right away, and others may take time to show up. Some of the signs of alcoholism include:
- Drinking more than they planned
- Needing more alcohol to get the desired effect
- Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
- Falling behind at work or school
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Changes in mood, appetite, or sleep
- Hiding, lying, or being secretive about drinking
- Engaging in risky behavior while drinking, such as driving while intoxicated
- Legal trouble
If your spouse has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or you see signs of alcoholism in their behavior, take steps to get help as quickly as possible. Early treatment gives people the best chance at a long-lasting recovery from addiction. Reach out to the staff at the Mandala Healing Center for information about our holistic treatment programs.
What is it Like to Have an Alcoholic Spouse?
No two people are exactly alike, and each person has their own experience with alcoholism. However, there are some common experiences shared by many people with an alcoholic spouse. These include:
- Lack of trust
- Inability to focus on the future
- Living day to day in survival mode
- Lack of affection
- Thoughts of divorce
- Enabling behaviors
- Guilt and questioning–wondering what could have been done differently
Alcoholism can be hard on a marriage because both partners end up using their time and energy to cover up the effects of one partner’s drinking. Their drinking becomes the focus of the relationship instead of being able to enjoy their relationship or plan for the future.
When one spouse is addicted to alcohol, both partners face the consequences. Your support can be an important factor in their recovery.
Taking Steps to Help Your Alcoholic Spouse
First, it is important to remember to take care of yourself while supporting your spouse. Living with someone who struggles with alcoholism can be exhausting, overwhelming, or confusing. Learn as much as you can about alcoholism and recovery, join a support group for the family members of alcoholics, and go to individual counseling.
There are several steps you can take to help your alcoholic spouse get the treatment they need. These include:
- Help them schedule a medical exam. If your spouse isn’t aware of their drinking problem or you aren’t able to talk to them about it, a medical doctor will be able to talk about their alcohol abuse and available treatment options.
- Encourage your spouse to go to treatment. Talk to your spouse about available treatment options. Take over the details, such as insurance and payment plans. Make it easy for them to accept your offer of help.
- Stage an intervention. Hire a trained interventionist to help you plan a calm, focused intervention. This generally includes letting friends and family members express their concern for the addicted person and asking the person to start alcohol abuse treatment immediately.
- Focus on love and concern. Avoid anger, shame, or blame. Remind yourself that your spouse did not choose their addiction and that they can get better if they get the support they need.
When supporting your alcoholic spouse becomes stressful, remind yourself of why you want them to get better. Remind them of their reasons for wanting to recover from addiction: their children, their health, their future.
Find Help for Yourself or an Alcoholic Spouse Today
If you are married to someone who struggles with addiction or alcoholism, it may feel lonely, but you are not alone. Effective, holistic treatment can give your spouse the new start they deserve.
At the Mandala Healing Center, we believe that people can heal from addiction if they have the right support and treatment. We also know that addiction doesn’t just affect the individual’s body.
Addiction is a whole-self condition that impacts people’s bodies, minds, spirits, and communities. Our treatment programs are designed to empower people and their loved ones as they recover from addiction.
For more information about our treatment programs, call now. Don’t wait another day for the care you need and deserve.