When somebody that you love is suffering from an addiction, it can cause a huge strain on your family. Marriage can be difficult enough and it can take a lot of work to keep your marriage healthy and on the straight and narrow. When you throw in an addiction to alcohol, things can go right off track.
Living with an alcoholic is hard, and while life can be difficult for the alcoholic person who is handling all this pain, it’s the spouse that must do all the research into the best alcohol rehab and find out the correct support systems and hospitals and doctors. It’s the spouse that spends their time worrying, because addiction is a disease that makes people inherently selfish and it’s not their fault. All they can focus on, and all they can be consumed by is what they are addicted to. When this happens, they are unable to see what they’re doing to those around them. Here are some of the ways that you can support a spouse with alcoholism.
- Remember that it’s a disease. We talked about this part already, but alcoholism is not a choice. That initial first drink years ago may have been a choice, but that slow addiction into that drink becoming a need and not something to enjoy as part of a balanced lifestyle; that part, that’s not a choice. Remembering this is so important if you want to be able to support a spouse who is dealing with this kind of addiction.
- Get some therapy. When you are married to somebody who has an addiction, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex, you need to make sure that you yourself are being supported. When your partner is leaning on you all the time for stability and help, you will find yourself crumbling because you have nobody to lean on yourself. The instinct is to respond with anger and by fighting but the thing is, that’s just a manifestation of all your own anger and problems that come with being married to somebody who is addicted to something else.
- Let go of the anger. As we said, the instinct is to respond with anger when your spouse is turning to a drink every time they have a problem. This doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help anybody. Maintaining a sense of peace and patience takes some time, so you need to ensure that you have your own supportive village to help you with that. Without them, you will find that you are feeling lonely and alone with it.
- Keep being honest. It’s not easy for you or your spouse to go through this, so you must be honest with each other. Even when it hurts and even when it’s hard, you need to talk as openly as you can so that you can both get through this together and maintain your relationship. It’s not easy to be married to someone with an addiction but it can be helped. Take your time with it – it’s worth the fight.