Few things can be as destructive to a family unit as an alcohol addiction. When one of your family members is wasting money and health on alcoholism, it’s an extremely tough burden for the rest of the family.
This is never truer than when it is your spouse who is the alcoholic. If you’re looking for some concrete ways that you can support and help your spouse to come out of this addiction, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explain eight ways you can be helping an alcoholic spouse.
1. Learn About Alcoholism
The first thing that you can do to help your alcoholic spouse is to learn about alcoholism. Like all addictions, alcoholism is rooted in the actual chemistry of the brain. Once those neural pathways are established, it is very difficult from a scientific perspective to actually remove those pathways.
If you understand the science behind the addiction, you’re able to be more empathetic when having discussions with your spouse.
2. Only Discuss When Sober
The next thing to consider is that you should only bring up the addiction when both of you are sober. This is not an issue that can be discussed while under the influence — that is not conducive to a safe environment for the both of you to have a heart to heart.
3. Consider Professional Help
Sometimes, the first step in learning how to help an alcoholic is that you can’t do it by yourself. There’s a reason why professional rehab exists: it often works. If you’re looking to identify some rehabs for addiction treatment, then be sure to do your research and pick one that has a track record of success.
4. Point Them Towards Support Groups
Someone who is going through alcoholic addiction will often need to talk it out with people who can truly relate to their situation. Alcoholic help thus often comes in the form of support groups comprised of folks who also struggle with the addiction. Introduce your spouse to your local AA group.
5. Remove Temptations
The last thing you need as an alcoholic is to see others drinking around you. Whether you’re going out or staying in, don’t drink in your spouse’s presence if you know they are trying to quit.
6. Ask Why
There’s always a deeper psychological issue behind an addiction. Ask your spouse the five layers of why to identify the root cause for their alcoholism.
7. Find Support for Yourself
If you don’t have support for yourself during this tough time, then you’ll get burnt out of supporting your spouse very quickly. Be sure to have other people you can lean on when times get tough.
Last but not least, the most important thing you can ever do to provide help for alcoholics is actually intervening. Just by taking action, you are demonstrating your love and care for your affected spouse.
Practical Steps to Helping an Alcoholic
There you have it. Equipped with this guide to helping an alcoholic spouse, you should be far better informed as to how you can help your spouse come out of their addiction.
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