Wives Of Alcoholics
Though alcoholics may feel alone in their struggles, the wives of alcoholics are affected by their husbands' drinking, as well.
Alcoholism puts strains on marriage. Since long-term alcohol abuse can have dangerous physical and emotional effects, you may worry about your husband's physical and emotional health. This worry can be worse if your husband doesn't see a problem with his drinking.
Alcoholism can also put financial strains on a marriage. The money being spent on alcohol may cause problems, and if your husband's drinking causes problems at work, you may worry he'll get fired. The strains alcohol puts on marriage are strains that are also put on alcoholics' wives.
These are the obvious marital problems alcoholism causes, but there are many other issues that are faced, and must be dealt with, by the women who are the wives of alcoholics.
For example, some women may blame themselves for their husbands' drinking. They may worry they haven't done enough to make their husbands happy, or that something they've done (or didn't do) led to their husbands' drinking.
These feelings of guilt may cause wives to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Other not too bright people may also blame a wife for her husband's drinking, which feeds into the feelings of guilt she already has.
Let me tell you here and now that under NO circumstances are you responsible for your husbands drinking problem. Oh yes he may well blame you, but the fact is that he is responsible for his alcoholism, not you – there are no exceptions.
I say this because no matter what you are doing unless you are pouring the stuff down his throat then he is lifting the glass or bottle to his lips himself – not you. He may not like something you are doing but he is choosing to react to it by drinking.
An alcoholic will never recover until they take responsibility for their problem.
There have also been studies that reveal that women who are married to alcoholics may be more likely to drink more alcohol. This means alcoholism isn't just a struggle for their husbands, but for wives of alcoholics, as well.
Another very serious issue faced by some women is the possibility of abuse in the marriage. Some alcoholics become verbally or physically abusive to loved ones when they're drunk. This creates a dangerous situation for spouses and children.
You should never stay in an abusive relationship. No matter how much you love your spouse, you have to protect yourself and your children. You may want to support your spouse in any way you can, but your safety and the safety of your children come first.
Get Him Help
If your husband is an alcoholic, make sure you get him help. There are many suggestions of how to do this on the pages of this website. You should give your husband as much love and support as you can, but you need to make sure he has the proper professional support.
Usually, wives of alcoholics are not trained to treat alcoholism. Don't pretend that everything is okay, or assume you can take care of him on your own. The best way you can help your spouse is to direct him towards help.
There are also support groups in place specifically for spouses of alcoholics. By connecting with other people going through the same thing as you and talking about your experiences, you can get advice, find comfort, and gain tools that will help you be a stronger support to your husband.
You don't have to go through it alone, and just as there are support programs in place for alcoholics, there are support systems in place for their families, as well. See Al-Anon.
I am always cautious about recommending Al-Anon to wives of alcoholics. Had my partner listened to them and left me all those years ago, we would not have had these subsequent special years together.
Although we are not married Janet, my partner, and I have lived together for 17 years. It was Janet who helped me find sobriety and I owe her my life.
Janet has read this page and agrees with the content. I mention this as I had initially wanted her to write this page herself. Sadly after eight years of living a sober life together it is now my turn to look after her as she has recently been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
Staying together in marriage is not always the right thing to do. If there is verbal or physical violence then you are better off out of the relationship. Protect yourself first is a simple but important rule.
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