How to Deal With an Alcoholic Spouse or Partner

Last Updated: May 22nd 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

How to Deal With an Alcoholic Spouse or Partner

Is alcoholism having unwanted negative effects on your marriage or partnership? Does your spouse continue to abuse alcohol, despite the strain that it places on your relationship and family life? You may feel alone in your struggle, but the unfortunate truth is that there are countless others just like you who need help learning how to deal with an alcoholic spouse.

What Is Alcoholism?

According to almost every health association, alcoholism is a classified disease. People who occasionally binge drink or abuse alcohol can generally control when and how much they drink. Those struggling with alcoholism, on the other hand, are unable to control the amount and frequency in which they drink.

The cycle of alcohol abuse can be so compelling that many alcoholics will drink even in situations that could be dangerous, such as in combination with prescription medication, or while driving an automobile or operating machinery. Putting it simply, alcoholism leads to bad choices. Each year, over a million drunk driving arrests occur in the United States.

How to Tell If You’re Married to an Alcoholic

Most people know how alcohol addiction affects an alcoholic. What about the impact it has on close loved ones, though? The disease touches everyone in the alcoholic’s close circle. Sadly, it can be particularly trying for a loving spouse who wants nothing more than to help.

Signs That Your Spouse Might be an Alcoholic

Do you suspect your spouse is an alcoholic? Have you ever:

  • Lied to family and friends to cover up your spouse’s drinking?
  • Been publicly embarrassed by your spouse’s behavior while they’re intoxicated?
  • Had to pick up your spouse’s slack regarding home matters like taking care of the kids, maintaining the house, or paying bills because of their drinking?
  • Witnessed your spouse pass out after a period of heavy drinking?
  • Feared that your spouse’s drinking will cause harm to them, you, or others?
  • Felt overwhelmed not knowing how to deal with an alcoholic spouse?

How to Deal With an Alcoholic Spouse by Encouraging Professional Rehabilitation

If living and dealing with an alcoholic spouse or partner is taking a toll on your life, it may be time to seek professional, unbiased help. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, we have a team of esteemed medical physicians, psychologists and other healthcare professionals who are expertly trained and eager to help your loved one conquer their disease.

Elements of our comprehensive alcohol rehab program include:

  • A basic, no-frill approach to treatment that addresses the patient as a whole instead of focusing on one area
  • Individualized treatment plan based on a patient’s personal history with alcoholism
  • Dual diagnosis care for those dealing with a co-occurring mental disorder
  • Own assigned primary care physician
  • Individual, group, and extensive family therapy
  • Long-term care lasting up to 1 year
  • Holistic and recreational therapies including yoga, music, and art therapies

Approaching the Subject of Alcohol Rehabilitation

When dealing with an alcoholic spouse or loved one, approaching the subject of alcohol rehabilitation can be uncomfortable. Here are a few tips that will hopefully make the conversation around getting professional help easier and more productive:

  • Practice what you’re going to say ahead of time
  • Focus the conversation on healing and getting healthy — not blame or shame
  • Reach out and involve your support system
  • Work on being supportive, but not codependent

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction

You don’t have to feel helpless in your spouse’s fight against alcoholism any longer. 1st Step Behavioral Health has the tools and resources to help your loved one get clean and back on their feet, and ready to lead a healthy and productive life. Call (866) 319-6126 today to help your spouse make this important change.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.