Dealing with an alcoholic is more than difficult. You love your partner but when it comes to the mood swings they experience because of the booze they drink, you simply don’t know how to react. You may’ve reached a point when you think that it’s your fault that they are not able to stop this addiction, you’ve done your best but they don’t seem to consider quitting an option. First of all you should stop blaming yourself, it’s not your fault that they’ve started drinking, and it’s not your fault that they cannot stop. Second, it’s time for you to protect your family and to start looking for ways to cope with your new life. All you can do is to take care of yourself and offer them help when they needed it. Supporting them to search for professional help is the best and only thing you can do.
Alcoholism is a health condition
You may find it hard to believe that your partner is no longer able to make choices. But, alcoholism is a disease that controls people to the extent they don’t have charge over their desire to drink. Alcoholism is an addiction as any other one, it curbs the person’s power of decision. If you want to fully understand what your partner is going through, you should see it as a serious disease like cancer, it takes over their life and the only way to get better is to seek treatment. But, similarly to having cancer, until they decide to treat themselves the condition remains and it disrupts their life.
Even if now they don’t accept they need help, it will definitely be a moment when they will be willing to recover.
Don’t allow their alcohol addiction to take over your life
Their alcoholism should not control your life. Statistics show that around 50% of the couples who involve an alcohol addicted partner end in separation. You cannot stop them from drinking, only they can make this change. But you can take care of yourself, you should improve your relationship with your family and friends.
You should allow yourself to enjoy the things you love, they can help you take a break from your chaotic marriage. Join your friends at a movie, spend time with your family, visit your relatives and do the things you would normally do if your partner would not have this addiction.
Don’t try to prevent them from experiencing the results of their addiction
One of the most common mistakes people do when their partner is an alcoholic is to try to prevent drinking consequences from occurring. The sooner they experience the consequences the better they will understand that they have to stop it. You may think you should protect them from suffering, but the best way to do it is to allow them to see what they are exposing themselves to.
If you find difficult to determine how you can help your spouse to quit drinking you should address a counsellor. They can help you cope with living with an alcoholic and identify the right strategy to deal with your situation.
Have an honest conversation with your partner
You may have had dozens of conversations with your partner to help them realise how their addiction is affecting you, but all of them seemed to have no results. Well, you should have another honest conversation, but this time you should do it the right way. Create your speech carefully, don’t use statements like “your drinking is always’ or “your actions make hard”. You should talk more about your feelings. Tell them how you are affected by their actions in statements like “I cannot focus on my work because of your late nights”. Have a firm but gentle tone, you don’t want to accuse them, you want to help them conclude that they have to treat their disease.
Don’t try to cover their drinking habits
Sometimes the spouses who have an alcoholic partner tend to cover their habits blaming themselves for not being able to help them.
You should remember that it’s not your role to make decisions for them, so you should not lie for them when their drinking habits stop them from completing certain tasks and respecting promises. If they are not able to attend a meeting because of their hangover, you should decline to make excuses for them. They will try to convince you that they need your help to hide the truth but it’s not your role to help them create a positive image. They should take full responsibility for their actions and face the consequences.
No one will try to tell you that it’s easy to live with an alcoholic, it’s one of the greatest challenges you’ll ever face. However, you have to take care of yourself and try to handle the situation as calmly as possible. Seek professional help and you’ll find easier to deal with the situation.