You’ve probably heard the saying, “love is blind.” If you find yourself married to an active alcoholic, you might feel the weight of this saying ten-fold. “How could I have been so blind,” you might ask yourself. “How could I have overlooked all of the red flags and warning signs?” The truth is, active alcoholics can easily hide their alcoholism – even from those living under the same roof. The disease is cunning, baffling and powerful, and alcoholics who don’t want to get caught (who don’t want their drinking patterns to be disrupted) will go to great lengths to avoid giving anything away.
They will emotionally manipulate, sneak around, and lie as much as they need to in order to continue drinking. If you married someone and later found out that they struggle with alcoholism, you might feel completely blind-sided and hopeless. What will you do? What can you do?
When dealing with an alcoholic spouse, there are several key factors to keep in mind. Above all else, remember that at Garden State Treatment Center we’re available to help in any way that we can. We offer family therapy and support, as well as intervention services geared towards helping get your loved one on the path to recovery. For more information on our program of alcoholism recovery, please give us a call today.
Living with an Alcoholic
If you’re married to an alcoholic, keep the following facts in mind:
- There’s nothing you could have done to make the outcome any different.
It’s important to realize that no matter what you do or say, alcoholism will always prevail. Meaning that you can’t talk someone out of being an alcoholic. This chronic, relapsing brain disease can only be treated by professionals in a safe, medical environment.
- Alcoholism is a disease, and it would have developed whether or not you were in the picture.
It’s easy for those who are married to alcoholics to blame themselves. You might think, “What could I have done differently,” or, “Maybe if I would have been nicer this wouldn’t have happened – maybe this is because we fight sometimes.” While alcoholism is often related to self-medication, you are never the reason that anyone decides to self-medicate. Do what you can to shake off the unproductive feelings of guilt and shame.
- You can’t make someone get sober.
No matter how hard you try, what ultimatums you try to enforce or what threats you make, you can’t force someone to get sober. Ultimately, they will have to seek help on their own accord. The process can be sped up when the help of a professional interventionist is sought – more on this later!
- Continuing to enable your spouse will only do him or her more harm in the long-run.
If you enable toxic behaviors, you’ll only be hurting yourself and your spouse. It’s absolutely crucial that you set and maintain healthy personal boundaries. If you’re curious as to what boundaries you should set, your interventionist will help you to determine this. Boundaries will vary on a case-by-case basis.
- There are resources you can utilize that will make your life so, so much easier.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the countless resources that are available to you. There are support groups, therapists that specialize in the family members of alcoholics and numerous other resources that you can find online, or find by giving us a call.
- We’re available to help.
Garden State’s Intervention Services
At Garden State Treatment Center we offer intervention services to the family members of those struggling with alcoholism or addiction. We are in close contact with licensed and experienced interventionists, who will guide you through the process every step of the way. For more information, reach out to us today. We understand the emotional and mental turmoil involved in loving an alcoholic, and we’re standing by to help in any way that we can.