Alcoholism affects not only the drinking person but their loved ones and those around them as well. If you are married to an alcohol abuser, you may suffer from fear for your safety, your family, and the future. Here are some ways to handle an alcoholic partner:
- Do your research
Find out if the symptoms you are seeing are those of an alcoholic, rather than some other form of substance or mental illness. Look up treatment programs to present to your partner. Taking this step for them can alleviate some stress, but make sure you present the information in a loving, non-confrontational way.
- Do not blame or try to guilt them
Especially when your partner is intoxicated, do not try to provoke them or make them feel guilty for their drinking. It is likely they already suffer guilt, and you pointing it out only makes it worse and will prevent them from confiding in you.
- Do not blame yourself
Sometimes you may feel as though you are at fault for your partner’s drinking. As much as it may feel like it at times, this is simply not the case. Your partner is an adult who makes his or her own choices, and what they do is outside your control.
- Get help for your partner
You are not a trained professional and do not know how to help an addict recover. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t offer your support, but alcohol abuse requires treatment from professionals. Even though you may have the best intentions, or your partner may feel shame seeking treatment, it is necessary for full recovery.
- Get help for yourself and your family
Your partner’s alcoholism has almost certainly affected you and your children if you have them. It is important to recognize that not only does your partner need treatment, but the whole family benefits from some form of therapy. This also helps to ensure new habits will be created within the family after treatment to make continued recovery possible.