Dealing with a loved one with an alcohol abuse problem can be difficult. When that loved one is your partner, their alcohol use can be damaging to you and your marriage. As the partner of an alcoholic spouse, you may feel it’s your job to make them better. Or you may find yourself becoming frustrated and unable to deal with their abuse. While you may not know exactly what to do, it’s important not to do these things.
Alcoholic Spouse: The Don’ts of Coping
Don’t Blame Yourself
One natural response to dealing with an alcoholic spouse may be to blame yourself. When your partner talks about their drinking habits, they may shift the blame to you. In many cases, someone struggling with an addiction will deny their own responsibility in the matter. Therefore, they may try to blame you and say it’s your fault they drink so much. However, it’s important to remember that you are not to blame for your partner’s choices or illness.
Don’t Try to Cover Up the Problem
When dealing with a loved one in trouble, it may seem easier to deny that there’s a problem. After all, admitting there is one may affect things like your partner’s job and family life. However, it’s important to be sure to avoid covering up the problem. For instance, if your spouse is regularly missing work or functions because of their alcohol abuse. If that’s the case, don’t cover up or lie for them.
Don’t Try to Cure Them
When dealing with an alcoholic spouse, it’s only natural to want them to get better. For this reason, you may try to cure your partner or prevent their drinking use. However, it’s important to realize that you can’t cure them or provide all the help they need. Therefore, doing things like getting rid of all the alcohol in the house will not fix the problem. In fact, these attempts to control alcohol use may only anger your partner.
In short, there’s nothing you can do to prevent or control an alcoholic spouse. While you don’t want to control or cover up the problem, it’s also important to not blame yourself. The most helpful thing you can do is support your partner in getting the professional help they need.