Alcoholism is a disease that can be devastating for those living with an alcoholic. People with an alcoholic parent or spouse know how stressful it is to constantly worrying that their loved one will drink and drive, sell family valuables and use the money to finance their habit or go on a binge and not come home for days.
For many living with an alcoholic means constantly worrying about paying the bills, having to clean up after their alcoholic loved one, looking out for various signs of alcoholism, dealing with abuse, and even being unable to sleep from fear of what will happen next.
Instead of enabling or becoming resigned to the situation you have to fight back! Follow these top 5 tips to change your situation.
1. Take an honest look at the alcoholic: Identifying the line between social drinking and alcohol abuse is not an easy thing to do. Although an individual who only drinks a few glasses during the weekend might not be considered an alcoholic, anyone who drinks to the point that it affects their regular life can be considered to be abusing alcohol.
Talk to the alcoholic parent or spouse. Sit down and ask them why they drink. Discus worrying symptoms that indicate alcoholism such as drinking to the point of blacking out, needing to drink to feel better about their life and feeling ashamed over their drinking habits.
2. Let the alcoholic accept the consequences: To get out of resignation, let the alcoholic experience the negative consequences of drinking and do not let yourself take on responsibility for their actions. When living with an alcoholic avoid calling in for them if they miss work, do not buy alcohol for them, steer clear of helping them to bed or cleaning up the empty bottles after they binge. To keep them out of debt and get them to realize how bad the situation has become do not purchase alcohol for them or give them money to buy more.
3. Accept the reality: To change your life with an alcoholic parent or spouse, you need to accept the reality. Do not live in denial or make excuses for the signs of alcoholism being displayed. You should also not feel guilty or try to threaten or bribe them into giving up alcohol. Instead, focus on dealing with your own emotions, because these are the only emotions you have the power to control.
4. Do not engage: When living with an alcoholic, you are likely to notice that when heavily drinking they may start arguments, throw items around, or become verbally abusive. Do not be sucked into playing mind games or getting into a fight! Make sure your spouse experiences being loved by you but detach yourself from the situation. If necessary, leave the house for a few hours or go out with some friends. By not accepting the outburst and bad behaviors they will see even faster that they need help.
5. Get Support: The road to recovery will not happen in just a few weeks or months. For some the process can take years! To get the emotional support needed to recognize and treat the signs of alcoholism therapists, support groups, online forums and even eBook systems can be accessed.
These treatment methods are enormously helpful for both the alcoholic and the individuals living with an alcoholic.
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