In this article
If your wife drinks alcohol often and consumes a lot when she drinks, you might be wondering if she’s an alcoholic. This depends on whether or not she is alcohol dependent. But even without physical or mental dependence on a substance, there could still be a disorder.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) isn’t only when someone drinks all of the time and is unable to function in their lives. It occurs when someone’s drinking problem interferes with their life and/or the lives of those around them.
As the spouse of someone who is an alcoholic or has developed an AUD, there are several things you should know. It’s important to find support for your wife, you, and any other members of your family affected by the disorder.
Some of the symptoms that may indicate your wife is an alcoholic include:
Not all of these things mean your wife is an alcoholic and all of these factors don’t need to be present for someone to have an AUD. However, if you suspect there is a problem and one or more of the things on this list are an issue, it’s worth pursuing support from a professional.
Living with an alcoholic, especially when that person is your spouse, is traumatic. The disorder causes a profound negative effect on a relationship. Alcoholism is a family disease because it affects everyone who cares about the affected person.
What are some of the most important things you can do to make living with an alcoholic wife more tolerable?
Dealing with an alcoholic spouse is likely one of the toughest challenges you’ll ever face. People with AUD tend to deny there is a problem, at least for some time. Many are also reluctant to get help until there has been a significant amount of damage.
It’s important to approach conversations with your wife about alcoholism with care.
It’s good to speak up, but to do so effectively, you must have your emotions in check. The conversations you have with your spouse should be from a place of warmth and caring, as opposed to anger.
Anger is a normal emotion when someone you love is an alcoholic, but it doesn’t help anyone to fly off the handle when dealing with the situation.
A few tips for dealing with an alcoholic wife include:
There are a few things you should avoid doing when dealing with an alcoholic wife, including:
Alcohol use disorder is called a family disease because it negatively impacts everyone who cares about the person afflicted. Some of the most common emotions and issues that arise for other members of the family include:
Living with someone with AUD has a significant impact on family members. Even if they were healthy before, their well-being suffers when a loved one develops a problem with alcohol.
There are several things you can do to help an alcoholic partner get the treatment she needs. Speaking to an experienced alcohol addiction counselor is the first step in learning what you can do. It also ensures you get the support you need to deal with the situation, even if you are unable to help your spouse.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your wife to examine the key issues that led to her problem with alcohol. Working on these issues separately and together helps to resolve conflicts and improve communication.
Learning about alcoholism and understanding your role in her recovery is very beneficial.
You can also help your wife with her recovery by getting the support you need.
Taking care of your own mental and physical health is not selfish – it’s necessary and compassionate. You can’t help her unless you are as healthy as possible. If needed, find a counselor familiar with co-dependency and sort through your issues while your wife is working on her recovery.
Treatment options include:
The best option for someone who has been consuming alcohol excessively for some time is to participate in a medically supervised detox. This is a dangerous phase of recovery and having 24/7 medical care ensures the person is monitored and that the risks of detoxifying are reduced as much as possible. It also enhances the chances of a successful long-term recovery.
If you have questions about treatment programs or you are wondering what you can do to help your wife with AUD, reach out to an addiction specialist or helpline for alcoholism, or call AlcoholRehabHelp.
In this article