Faith-Based Entrepreneurs

Ignite Your Light & Life through the Power of Connection




You’re Married to an Alcoholic: What To Do? What To Do?

alcoholism and marriage by
web site

Send Feedback to Neill Neill
Print
About Author
Report Problem
Tweet This

Share on Facebook Pin it




"My Partner is a Functioning Alcoholic"
Being married to a functioning alcoholic can cause many problems in a family. Tens of thousands of families in North America alone are struggling with this issue.

A drinking problem can begin in many ways. For some people it begins with social drinking. Social drinking can gradually deteriorate into alcohol abuse and eventually into alcohol dependence. The drinking became a habit and the habit became alcohol dependence or alcoholism. It matters not whether the alcohol is in the form of beer, wine or hard liquor. Alcohol is alcohol in any shape or form.

Now your partner has shifted from enjoying a drink to compulsively needing alcohol to feel okay. And you may have shifted from being giving and caring to being addicted to your partner's care. Compulsive caretaking often grows alongside the deteriorating self-care of the compulsive drinker.

If the alcoholic has more or less continued to hold down a job, he is politely called a "functioning alcoholic." But he is an alcoholic nonetheless. He works a great deal below his potential, he neglects or abuses his family and he may not live very long if he continues the self-abuse.

Like all addicts, he lies (bold faced lies, lies of omission, cover-ups, and minimization), he makes excuses, he blames others for his drinking, and he continues to seek out and use alcohol despite the consequences.

If there are children present, they copy the lying, justifying, blaming behavior which they see modeled. They also learn to keep family secrets and to cover for their alcoholic parent. In other words they join in the "dance of alcohol" and participate with their parents, learning how to be alcoholics or how to live with them when they grow up.

If you are an alcoholic and you are in a marriage, you may have to leave your drinking behind completely in order to gain any hope of reversing the progressive damage your alcoholism is inflicting on yourself and your family.

If you are living with a functioning alcoholic, there are steps you can take too. Perhaps more importantly at first, there are things you can learn to avoid so that you don't further your partner's alcoholism. Making excuses for him, for example, only makes things worse. You don't want to be an enabler or a rescuer.

The Alcoholism Test
Over the years in my psychology practice many women have started their first session with "My husband is a functioning alcoholic." In the last few days alone two more women took the Alcoholism Test and left a comment opening with "My husband is a functioning alcoholic." I seldom see or hear the statement without also sensing an undertone of desperation and frustration, as if to say, I didn't bargain for this when we got married.

The Book on Alcoholism
Some time ago I started to write a "survival guide" for women caught in the predicament of a marriage troubled with alcoholism. It is now available as the e-book, Living with a Functioning Alcoholic - A Woman's Survival Guide. Although it is addressed to women who live with alcoholic husbands, it could be addressed to men with alcoholic wives.

Whether you are a man or a woman, your hope begins with the first step of educating yourself about the alcohol abuse. Like all personal change, it starts with you. Are you ready to take that step?

Psychologist Dr. Neill Neill maintains an active practice on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, with a focus on healthy relationships and life after addictions. He is the author of Living with a Functioning Alcoholic - A Woman’s Survival Guide. Get a copy of his free report "Codependency and Alcohol Addiction" at http://neillneill.com.

Please scroll down to leave a comment below...

Contact the Author

Neill Neill
Alcoholism/Practical Psychology
neill@neillneill.com
Neill Neill's web site

awesome comments



This article has been viewed 21917 time(s).

 

 


Upcoming IgnitePoint Events

Ignite your light, life and faith at an upcoming live IgnitePoint city event. Also find out how you can become a speaker at one of these events!

IgnitePoint - Atlanta
Spring 2015


IgnitePoint - Salt Lake City
Summer 2015

Imagine a TEDxR-style event where you can mention God, Jesus Christ and tell your faith-promoting stories! Learn more here.



Featured Collaborator

Janis Pettit


Janis Pettit offers small business coaching, and is known as the Big Results Business Design coach and marketing expert. She’s owned four successful small businesses in the last 22 years and has coached hundreds of small and solo business owners, showing them how to turn their ideas and knowledge into a 6 figure income. Meet Janis...

You can be featured on our site! Ask How!

Books by this Author

Living with a Functioning Alcoholic – A Woman's Survival Guide
Living with a Functioning Alcoholic – A Woman's Survival Guide
Is your husband a functioning alcoholic? Learn to understand and deal with this critical family problem? You can help yourself and even help him at the same time. The "Guide" is your roadmap. There is Hope! Now available in paperback.