July 23, 2007

Married to an Alcoholic: 7 Steps to Helping Them Get Sober

Are you married to an alcoholic? Is your husband/wife a different person when they drink? Are you tired of the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde Behavior? Are you at your wits end and just can’t take it anymore? What can you do?

1. Stop trying to get your husband/wife to stop drinking.

No matter how much you nag and complain at them to stop drinking, it is not going to do a bit of good. What will is taking care of you. I know, it sounds backwards, but when you’re emotionally stressed out, it will be more difficult to help your loved one. You have no verbal power over the alcoholic. What you do have control over is your actions. What you do and say to the alcoholic will have a direct effect on whether or not they will continue drinking or not.

2. Detach with love.

Be loving and supportive of the person you married, not the alcoholic. Don’t take any of the emotional garbage they dish out while drinking. Have you noticed how when your spouse drinks they start to berate you and want to start arguments? Don’t argue or fight back. Let them know you will not argue with them while they are drinking, period.

Above all, never allow the alcoholic to trespass against your spirit when they are playing one of their mind games. Walk away and close the door behind you. Go visit a friend, take a walk around the block, or put some ear plugs in your ears. Your mental health is what helps the alcoholic the most. This is what detaching with love is all about. Detaching yourself from the disease is what helps the alcoholic see that he needs help.

3. Set boundaries

Did you know that the person who takes the verbal abuse of an alcoholic is sometimes just as mentally and emotionally sick as the alcoholic? This is why it is absolutely necessary, especially for spouses of alcoholics, to set boundaries for themselves while the alcoholic is drinking.

Don’t allow their roller coaster emotions to affect you. At least do not let them see that they are affecting you. The alcoholic wants to get a reaction out of you, don’t give them that satisfaction. When they are drinking, treat them like a stranger. Remember, you love the person you married, but you do not love the disease. Don’t be nice to the disease but love the person. Do you understand?

4. Do not enable the alcoholic

Don’t help the alcoholic by enabling their addictive behavior. Don’t help them to bed. Don’t let them drive while drinking. Do not let them argue, fuss or fight with you while they are drinking. Do not talk to them, leave the house or room and shut and lock the door behind you. Do not buy them alcohol, even if they beg you to. Don’t let them drive! Don’t treat them any differently because they have a drinking problem. Don’t give them any special attention while they are drinking.

5. Be supportive when they are sober

When the alcoholic in your life is sober, give them extra special attention. Tell them how much you love them, but not the disease. Talk to them about your new boundaries when they are sober. Write them on the refrigerator so they can’t say they forgot. Basically let them know all the bad and awful things they do to you and the rest of the family while they are drinking. They need to know.

6. Go to Alan-on

This is very important when you are living with an alcoholic. This is how you heal yourself from the abuses of the alcoholic. This is where you will meet friends who are going through the same things as you. You are not alone.

7. Pray everyday

Never relent in your silent appeals to God for your spouse’s sobriety. I cannot say enough how important it is to keep a well balanced mind, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when living with an alcoholic. They can literally tear you apart. I encourage you to seek God for your comfort and encouragement during this difficult time in your life. God answers our incessant appeals for healing. He feels our suffering and pain. Please do not give up hope.

http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/guide/

How to Recognize Alcoholism

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3 Comments »

Pompi said:

I an the wife of an alcoholic and I admit I agree 100% to all the above points. Life is a misery but reading this article and knowing that what I go through is not new – thats a relief.. My husband doesn’t acknowledge his drinking problem ever so rehab is out of the question!
My mom says to keep praying and believing in prayers.. And that’s what I do !

Thanks for this article. This gave me the strength to look after my well being!

Cindy said:

My husband has become a severe alchoholic in the past 3 years. We have been married 32 years, have a 31 yr. old daughter married for 3 yrs. and a brand new baby. She does not talk to me much, and she is daddy’s girl. My husband came from an alchoholic family. And my husband’s mom died 2 years ago, and she was his best friend and lived 2 blocks away, and he is the baby of 5 kids. He is 51 does work a job, but has got to where he comes home on his lunch and will drink 1 to 3, I know cause I started counting them in his fridge in his garage. Reason, he works on lawn mowers when not at work, and was not here at the house long enough to work on anything, so I got suspecious.
I do not allow any beer in our home, our 19 yr. old son whom just graduated from high school hates alchohol and cannot stand to be around it period.
Our son is ADD with other disorders.
Our son and I are very close, since his dad’s drinking has become his best friend, he totally has nothing to do with our son.
I am on medication, for depression, migranes and anxiety. My husband calls me a drug addict, which is not so. I see my dr. on a regular basis, and a phyciatrist, and a therapist.
My husband makes me sick to look at him, these last 3 years.
He fixes nothing broke in the house anymore. Does not take our son anywhere, or show him how to do anything. I do what I can show him. Lots of pressure.
We sleep in separate room have for 2 and 1/2 years.
He drinks aprox. 12 to 18 beers a night, and he does not make enough money to drink like this.
he has spoke of going to AA, but never goes.
I am very lost!
God and our son is my strngth, our son hates when his dad is drunk,my husband says things when he is drunk that he feels, that he would not when he is not drinking!~

Shanece said:

I am married to an alcoholic. We have known each other since we were 16. I know his father is an alcoholic, but he didnt meet him until he was 16. I dont want to leave him, I am getting real tired. He was sober for eight years and started drinking again when he found out his 1st wife was cheating. They eventually divorced and she took his girls. I know this must have been hard along with everything else. The steps you listed above help to give me a.different perspective on how I can deal with it. Thanks and I keep you informed.

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