What are the Effects of Living With an Alcoholic Spouse or Partner

If you’re experiencing emotional, financial or health issues because of your spouse’s substance abuse, it’s time to re-evaluate your situation. When you are constantly stressed out because you are worried about your partner or spouse’s behaviors, especially when domestic violence is involved, it can have a huge impact on your mental state. Research has shown that having an alcoholic partner can lead to significantly increased rates of mental illnesses such as depression. If your partner or spouse exhibits these behaviors then it is very likely they are suffering from an alcohol use disorder.

living with an alcoholic

Sometimes people need therapy to build good habits they were not able to learn living with an alcoholic or addicted parent. The participants in an intervention could include the alcoholic’s spouse or partner, children, parents, friends, coworkers, employer, friends and other individuals who have been affected. A substance abuse counselor, family therapist or spiritual advisor may also attend to provide an objective presence and keep the agenda on track. Functional alcoholics are often in deep denial about their problem. After all, they have managed to maintain the appearance of success despite their addiction. But most high-functioning alcoholics have friends or loved ones who help them cover up the consequences of their drinking.

Set Healthy Boundaries

People who have parents with substance use problems are at higher risk of having these problems too. A support group or therapy can help you learn how to avoid this risk. Liver damage is the most talked about physical consequence and that is a concern almost immediately. Alcoholics can go on to develop heart, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.

There may be estrangement between children and the parent, divorce, and separation that causes emotional issues for a long period of time. Studies have found that heavy drinking, by either or both partners, leads to greater dissatisfaction in the relationship, which in turn often leads to separation. In fact, alcohol and substance abuse is the third most often cited reason for divorce according to women. When you come to realize your spouse needs treatment for alcohol abuse, there are options available. In most cases, it is critical to start with a professional detox program, as severe cases of alcohol withdrawal can lead to seizures and a potentially fatal condition called delirium tremens.

  • Social drinking has become far more acceptable in Indian community, but the problem drinking is often viewed as stigmatic.
  • Keep in mind that one of the signs of an alcohol use disorder5is continuing to drink even when it causesproblems in relationships.
  • If you continue to support your loved one’s alcohol addiction by letting things remain status quo, you may be enabling them.
  • Some individuals can become aggressive, abusive, and dangerous when under the influence.
  • Family First Intervention recognizes how powerful the dynamic of a family system is and how important the role family members play in a substance user’s decision to accept treatment for addiction.

Most of the issues these women faced were emotional, but it is clear that living with an alcoholic partner also impacts social health, physical well-being, relationships with children, and finances. Other studies and statistics indicate that violence and being harmed is one of the biggest problems that spouses and partners face. There are many challenges that a person might face when living with a partner, husband, or wife with an alcohol use disorder.

Rehab & Detox Articles

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration categorizes an alcohol use disorder as a mental health condition. When you live with an alcoholic, it can be very easy to fall into judgmental thoughts about why they won’t just stop drinking or why they’re choosing to drink themselves to death. Entering a rehab program can be the best way to address all of these concerns and begin to unravel the damage already done. To learn more about treatment for alcoholism at Greenhouse Treatment Center, visit our page on treatment services or read the FAQ on what to expect if your family member comes to rehab. It is further recommended that such investigation can be taken up in a qualitative manner to subjectively understand and acknowledge the pain of being a wife of an alcoholic.

living with an alcoholic

It may be difficult to self-diagnose your loved one because of bias and an emotional attachment. Although an appropriate assessment would require the alcohol user to answer the questions, a family can read through them and see all that apply. This is a pattern that should be monitored if it persists routinely. Having a beer with lunch or celebrating a holiday during the daytime is far different than routinely having drinks during the day.

Because abuse is often about control, when the abused partner leaves, the abuser is triggered. If you’re leaving an alcoholic partner who is also abusing you, you may want to speak with a professional about the safest way to do so. Alcoholism is considered as a major health as well as a social problem. As per the “alcohol alliance policy,” it is estimated that there are around 62.5 million alcohol users in India.

Emotional connections can be difficult because communication about your spouse’s alcohol is either implicitly or explicitly not allowed. AUDs could lead your partner to lie or fight with you about their use, and your sex life could also suffer. Many people with AUDs will have difficulty admitting they have a problem. Substance use disorders have such stigma in today’s society and people with SUDs want to believe they’re in control of their life.

In some cases, a person can have a problem with alcohol but still manage to keep up with responsibilities at work and fulfill their family obligations. In fact, addiction experts4have identified five subtypes of alcoholism, one being the functional alcoholic. A functional alcoholic4is likely to be well-educated with a stable job and family, and one-third of them have multigenerational alcoholism within their families.

Although an intervention can take many forms, many of these meetings open with each participant stating how the alcoholic’s behavior has harmed or disappointed them. The alcoholic is then presented with a plan of care, including a proposal of consequences if they decide to refuse. For instance, the alcoholic may be denied visitation rights or may be faced with a marital separation if he decides https://rehabliving.net/ not to seek help. An alcoholic in denial may become extremely manipulative, tearful, angry or hostile when faced with the need for alcohol treatment. An experienced intervention specialist can help the participants prepare for these reactions so they can respond effectively. Even though they may want to stop, many functioning alcoholics often won’t know where or how to begin the process.

Alcohol addiction treatment can be effective at any stage of readiness. Many people enter addiction treatment programs because of ultimatums, legal problems or issues at work. Your loved one may find the internal motivation to get better once they’re in alcohol or drug rehab. The reality is, this may not happen before you’ve reached your limit. You can’t force your addicted spouse into alcohol treatment, and you can’t do the work for them. All you can do is hold your boundaries and try to help guide them in the right direction.

Spouses of alcoholics face many challenges and emotions while navigating this situation. It’s difficult for partners to be upset and worried about the health and future of their household while picking up more of the day-to-day responsibilities. While you may arrive at treatment eager to focus on your primary concern, whether its substance abuse or emotional trauma, these are frequently connected to mental health issues.

Productivity also decreased as they were more likely to have accidents while on the job. With treatment, these rates significantly drop, saving employers a lot of money and making the workplace safer for everyone. Long-term drinking causes progressively more liver damage, including cirrhosis which prevents the liver from functioning normally. If your partner continues to show signs of these types of violence, protecting yourself is necessary. You are not responsible for the way they act while they drink. According to Robert Anda of The Adverse Childhood Experiences study, addiction emerges over again as a primary form of this childhood stress and abuse.

When Is Drinking a Problem in a Relationship?

There are some signs that can point toward alcoholism and give you a clearer picture of whether your spouse has an alcohol problem. Recent research2shows that within a given year, around 13.9% of the population meets diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder — the clinical term for alcoholism or alcohol addiction. Furthermore, data8from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that 25.8% of American adults engage in binge drinking within a given month.

Alcoholism can cause close relationships to deteriorate because you may lose all trust in your partner. They may hide their alcohol abuse from you or lie about the amount of money they spend on alcohol or legal troubles they are facing. By Jenni Jacobsen, LSWA licensed behavioral health or medical professional on The Recovery Village Editorial Team has analyzed and confirmed every statistic, study and medical claim on this page. Calling it an alcohol use disorder, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA warns that only about 9% of identified alcoholics receive treatment. Your influence can make a big difference in whether your loved one chooses treatment or not.

#4 They’re Physically or Emotionally Abusive

Withdrawal symptoms can be intense for them and can trigger a relapse, so inpatient treatment may be necessary to help them detox safely. Understanding alcohol use disorders or alcoholism and how it affects the brain, body, and behavior can give you a better idea of what your loved one is dealing with and how you can best help them. Observe your loved one’s drinking habits and take note of how much they drink, how often they drink, and what triggers their drinking. This will help you understand their addiction and formulate strategies to deal with it. As a standard set by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , heavy drinking is consuming more than three drinks a day for women and more than four drinks for men. Binge drink is defined as consuming four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks for men.

#6 You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself or Your Family

Other lasting effects include trauma and long-term financial problems. Spouses and partners are threatened and harmed by the behavior of their loved one while under the influence. Children face the greatest risk because the actions, words, and emotional distance of an alcoholic parent or guardian can cause lifelong trauma. This puts children of alcoholics at significant eco sober house boston risk for substance abuse problems as well as other mental health issues later in life. The alcoholism is though identified as a medical problem has large spectrum of psychosocial difficulties for the family members of alcoholics, specially their spouses. The problems faced by the wives of alcoholics range from physical to emotional to social domains.

A family intervention can be difficult to do, it may make you feel like you are attacking or betraying your partner. It can feel uncomfortable to directly involve yourself in another person’s life to that degree and to force an ultimatum upon them. However, it is the first step in allowing your partner to heal, even if they may not see it as such at the time.

Are You Living with an Alcoholic?

They may go far out of their way to hide behaviors or avoid conversations. Over time this can teach those connected to the alcohol user not to ask as they will get no answer. Admitting a problem is the first step to changing it, and positive recognition from a functional alcoholic when they do is a huge first step. Some people struggling with alcoholism are able to still maintain a job, appear normal, take care of their family, and keep up with social obligations. They may not fall into the stereotype of someone who is a non-functioning alcoholic.

The problems were identified using a non standardized 17 item structured questionnaire while coping in wives of alcoholics was assessed using standardized tool. Alcohol detox can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to understand the best ways to take care of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may occur during detox. When you realize that you’re living with an alcoholic spouse, you probably want to do all you can to help them. After all, you likely long for the days before alcohol took hold and when your relationship was more functional.