Alcoholics spouse - a short guide on recognizing and helping an alcoholic

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Alcoholic's spouse: How to support and help a loved one suffering from alcoholism

Alcoholism is a serious problem that affects not only the alcoholic himself, but also his loved ones. When a spouse suffers from alcoholism, it is important for a healthy spouse to understand the effects of the situation and find ways to support and help the alcoholic seek treatment. In this article, we'll discuss how alcoholism affects a healthy spouse, how to identify your spouse's alcoholism, how to deal with your spouse's alcoholism, and how to offer support and help to your spouse in seeking treatment. 

Alcoholism affects a healthy spouse in many different ways.

First of all, a healthy spouse often experiences strong emotions such as sadness, disappointment, anger, and fear. An alcoholic's constant drinking can cause a loss of trust and affect the dynamics of the relationship. A healthy spouse may also feel guilty and uncertain about how to properly act as an alcoholic close to them. 

How to recognize the alcoholism of your own spouse? 

Your spouse's alcoholism can manifest itself in many different ways. Here are some signs you can use to identify a spouse with alcoholism: 

1. Drinking dominates the spouse's life: The alcoholic spouse often drinks large amounts of alcohol and drinking appears as a daily activity. 

2. Secrecy and lying: An alcoholic spouse may hide their drinking and lie about the amount or frequency of drinking. 

3. Conflict and violence: The alcoholic spouse may experience increasing conflicts, and violent behavior may also occur under the influence of alcohol. 

4. Loss of interest in other activities: An alcoholic spouse often loses interest in hobbies or social relationships they previously enjoyed. 

Man and woman hands holding each other, man has a wristwatch

How to deal with spousal alcoholism and provide support? 

The alcoholism of the spouse should be taken seriously and at the same time understandingly. It's important to recognize that alcoholism is a disease and not just a choice or weakness. A healthy spouse should set their own boundaries and take care of their own well-being while offering support to the alcoholic. Here are some tips on how to deal with spousal alcoholism: 

1. Communicate openly: Talk to your spouse honestly about your feelings and concerns. However, avoid blaming and offensive language, but focus on expressing your own needs and desires.

2. Find information: Find out about the nature and treatment of alcoholism. Understanding will help you better support your spouse. 

3. Boundaries and self-care: Set clear boundaries for what is acceptable behavior and what is not.  Take care of your own well-being and, if necessary, seek help from a therapist or peer support groups, for example. 

4. Encourage seeking treatment: Offer your support and encouragement to your spouse in seeking treatment. For example, you can help them find suitable treatment options. 

As the spouse of an alcoholic, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are support groups and professionals who can help you in this difficult situation.

Alcoholics' spouses are offered a variety of treatment and support options, such as peer support groups, family therapy and individual therapy.

Through these services, you can get support, understanding and learn how to deal with the situation.  

In summary, when a spouse suffers from alcoholism, a healthy spouse should understand the implications of the situation and find ways to support and help the alcoholic seek treatment. It is important to take the situation seriously and, at the same time, to be understanding. That is, offer your support and encourage your spouse to seek help.  Remember to also take care of your own well-being and, if necessary, seek help from professionals if you find the situation difficult yourself.

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