Millions of men and women struggle with alcohol addiction each year, and thousands lose their lives to alcohol-related diseases, illnesses, and accidents. When it comes to alcohol addiction, though, it’s not just the individual with the addiction that suffers. Alcohol abuse disorder is a disease that affects entire families, especially spouses of addicts. Read on to learn how to support your spouse in addiction recovery.
If you or a loved one needs a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.
It’s especially important to take action once you’ve determined your spouse has a drinking problem that’s threatening their health, your relationship, and your family. Many people simply do nothing in the hopes that the problem will improve or go away on its own, but this is almost always not the case. It will only stay the same or get worse.
Stage an Intervention
Support your spouse by confronting them and intervening—call them out on their drinking problem, gently and lovingly, yet firmly. Express your concerns and tell them how their drinking is negatively impacting you and the family. Convey your willingness to help them get professional help, and be sure to mention consequences if they refuse to get help.
In some cases, you may not feel safe with a confrontation like this. Unfortunately, alcoholism is closely linked to domestic violence. If that is a concern, you should have friends, family, or an alcohol counsellor with you for this conversation.
Don’t Be an Enabler
You can best help your spouse in their recovery by refusing to enable them in their addiction. Obviously, don’t buy them alcohol or make alcohol accessible to them in any way. This also involves not making excuses to others for their behavior to cover up the drinking problem, and not helping them feel better during a hangover.
In order to do this, you may need to consider a short-term separation. Separation can be very hard for both parties, but sometimes, something this drastic is necessary. This may be the only way for an alcoholic to realize that their actions have dire consequences that seriously affect their family members.
Though your spouse is the one suffering an addiction, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for you to deal with. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups offer support for family members. Reach out to support groups for solidarity and guidance.
Support During Treatment
Knowing how to support your spouse in addiction recovery is imperative. While your spouse is in treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, you can best support them by first taking care of yourself and your family. If you are balanced and feeling healthy both mentally and physically, you’ll be better able to assist them in recovery. This may require counseling for yourself and your children.
In addition, you should set clear boundaries at home for your spouse in terms of former addictive behaviors, and make sure the consequences for relapses are clear.
Consider A Sober Living Environment
If you or a loved one are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.
Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.