My Husband is an Alcoholic: A Support Guide

My Husband is an Alcoholic

As a wife to an alcoholic you can be a significant part of the solution to sobriety. Learning more about the effects of alcohol can help you successfully cope with the many obstacles you and your husband now face. Continue reading to learn more about alcohol abuse and how you can help hold your marriage together while your husband is in recovery.

The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is a safe place to work through the 12 Step Program. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.

Recognizing Alcoholism

Because alcohol consumption is so prevalent in our culture, diagnosing alcoholism can be challenging. Before or after the diagnosis, it is helpful to try and understand the effects alcohol consumption has on your husband, you, and your relationship.

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Your Husband

It is important to recognize the far-reaching impact alcohol has on your husband. Like other drugs, excessive use of alcohol has physical, mental, emotional, and financial consequences. Some of the common ones include: 

Physical effects

  • The brain suffers damage that results in confusion, difficulty thinking, and impaired memory.
  • High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and a weakened heart muscle.
  • Several liver problems such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver.

Mental effects

  • The short-lived relaxation effects of alcohol typically dissipate and yield to moderate or severe anxiety.
  • People with slight depression often drink alcohol for relief. As consumption increases and changes occur in the brain, depression worsens and can become severe.
  • Alcohol causes cognitive impairment symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and mood changes.

Emotional effects

  • Loss of self-control.
  • Feelings of hatred toward others.
  • Social isolation.

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Your Relationship

According to one study, consuming one more liter of alcohol per capita can lead to an alarming 20% increase in the divorce rate. This statistic reveals the magnitude of stress that alcohol consumption places on relationships, especially marriage. To successfully navigate the journey to a sober, happy, and fulfilling marriage, it helps to understand the effects of alcoholism on your marriage, such as:

  • Financial stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cost of alcohol abuse was $249 billion in 2010. Some of these expenses directly affect marriages through lost income due to inability to work, increased healthcare expenses, legal issues, and automobile accidents (5% of the CDC’s total). Additionally, alcohol abuse is linked to having more debt.
  • Commitment issues. Marriage and managing a household depend on teamwork. Unfortunately, alcohol often leads to a person being unreliable and irresponsible. If your husband is an alcoholic and is not dependable and committed, you have the extra burden of managing your household alone. While you may find this tolerable initially, it can lead to severe and adverse effects on your marriage.
  • Emotional unavailability. Emotional health is critical to a successful marriage. This includes the need for shared empathy, support, companionship, affection, and intimate conversation. Alcohol usually deprives its victim of the emotional abilities necessary for a fulfilling life together.
  • Domestic violence. The World Health Organization labels alcohol consumption as a major contributor to domestic violence. One study found that more than half of domestic violence and sexual assaults were caused by alcohol consumption.

Caring for Yourself and Your Family

Just as your husband has a journey to sobriety, you have a specific journey as his spouse. Some things you might consider to help during this dynamic and challenging process include:

  • Support groups.
  • Counseling.
  • Hobbies.
  • Acquiring new job skills.
  • Continuing your education.

Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We value the safety and cleanliness that promotes your success as you work through the 12 Step Program on your journey to sobriety. Contact us for more information on the Sanctuary Recovery Foundation located in Charleston, SC.