Having a partner who may be an alcoholic can be one of the most distressing situations to occur in a person’s life. Feelings of helplessness, fear, anger, and even guilt can overwhelm you to the point you’re not sure what to do or know if there is a way to help your loved one recover.
Be assured there are ways to help get your spouse on the path to healing and restoration. You are not without resources concerning this issue. You can get an assessment of your spouses condition at no cost and there is no need to schedule an appointment. At the end of this article, you will find information on how to contact an alcohol addiction professional who can help guide you through the assessment and treatment options.
We will take a look at some clues that your partner may be an alcoholic and ways that you and a professional trained in addictions can help them recover. This journey begins first with educating yourself on alcoholism and the signs and effects of the disorder.
What is Alcoholism
Alcoholism effects over fifteen million people in the United States. Because alcohol consumption is legal, alcoholics may not feel their excessive use of alcohol is on par with those struggling with addictions to illegal or prescription drugs.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Close to 100,000 deaths each year in the United States are attributed to alcohol consumption. It’s the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the country.
If you’ve ever confronted your spouse about their drinking, you may have been met with vehement denials and assurances that their drinking is normal and not a problem. Their confidence in lacking a problem with alcohol may have you doubting at times that the problem is a reality.
It’s important to know exactly what alcoholism is in order for you to take the first steps towards helping your spouse. Alcoholism is defined as any consumption of alcohol that leads to mental or physical health problems. It happens over a period of time and is accompanied by additional symptoms.
Here are a few indicators that your spouse may be dealing with alcohol use disorder:
• Has trouble limiting consumption of alcohol
• A great deal of time is spent acquiring and consuming alcohol
• Strong cravings for alcohol
We will take a look at additional symptoms that are also problems that can arise from this disorder.
Problems That Can Arise From This Disorder and How it Affects You
The problems that can arise from alcoholism are more than just the well known immediate effects. It can disrupt not only the mental well being but the physical health of those unable to resist excessive consumption.
The immediate effects should not be dismissed, as knowing the signs that your spouse is under the influence can be helpful in identifying whether they have a problem and getting them early intervention.
Here are some of the early signs:
• Increased consumption of alcohol
• Attempting to hide drinking of alcohol
• Memory loss or blackouts
• Mood swings and irritability
• When not drinking, feeling hung over
• Making risky decisions such as having unprotected sex, driving while intoxicated, etc
Some of the long-term effects of alcoholism include:
• High blood pressure
• Damage and scaring to liver
• Risk of stroke increases
• Risk of various cancers increases
• Neurological problems, including but not limited to memory loss
• Risk of heart disease increases
Your partner’s alcohol consumption doesn’t just affect their health. It will begin to branch out and affect all areas of their lives, including their relationship with you. The time they spend nursing hangovers and missing family events can cause more than erosion in relationships.
The financial burden that comes with an alcohol addiction may fall upon the shoulders of the non-alcoholic spouse. Feeding their need to consume alcohol can become expensive. Lost wages from missing work means the partner of an alcoholic is often left paying the bills the alcoholic is unable to.
Additional bills are not the only thing a partner of an alcoholic ends up picking up. If there are children in the marriage, this partner is also left picking up the pieces when the children manifest their own symptoms of dealing with an alcoholic parent. Depression, issues at school, and seeking out alcohol or drugs are just a few of the ways a child may respond to an alcoholic parent.
If your partner is an alcoholic you may be at risk for developing codependency. Codependency is linked to enabling a partner who is an alcoholic. Because someone who is codependent needs their partner’s approval to feel their own self-worth, they are more likely to ignore the signs of alcoholism in their partner or make excuses.
A professional who deals with alcohol addiction will be able to assist both partners in the event codependency is suspected.
How a Spouse Can Help
Prior to seeking professional help, there are a few things a partner can do if they suspect their spouse of being an alcoholic.
• Take the time to learn about alcoholism
• Keep the conversation simple
• Be honest when speaking about your emotions
• Set clear boundaries
• Offer your support and love
• Understand that recovery is an ongoing process and takes time
• Seek advice from a licensed professional
How a Professional Can Help
Only eight percent of the fifteen million people in the United States suffering from alcoholism receive treatment. It’s crucial that someone struggling with alcoholism seek help from those trained and licensed in treating this addiction to ensure they have the best possible chance of recovery.
A trained professional can assess whether your spouse is, in fact, dealing with alcoholism. If it’s determined that they are an alcoholic and need help overcoming this disorder, a professional can provide services to facilitate your needs.
Some of these services include:
• Evaluation to determine if an addiction is present
• Education about alcoholism and its’effects
• Individual or group counseling
• Inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation
• Detox programs
• Counseling for family and friends
• Holistic treatments such as addressing physical and dietary needs
There is no need to feel overwhelmed or helpless. Taking the time to read this article has already placed you and your partner one step closer to recovery. The next step involves reaching out to a professional who can accurately assess your partner and provide treatment if necessary.
Call 888-380-0342 for a free consultation. Consultations are confidential and require no obligations. There is no need to make an appointment. Counselors are standing by twenty-four hours a day waiting to assist you.