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What Are the Effects of Living with an Alcoholic Spouse?

The effects of living with an alcoholic spouse can be mild or grave. For one, living with an alcoholic can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder is a chronic health condition affecting not only the person who drinks but those in their lives – their partner, family, and friends. When a family member becomes an alcoholic, it causes disunity and disharmony, and the other partner is the most affected.

According to the World Health Organization report, about 55% of assaults done by one partner against the other happened after the abuser had drunk. Another research proved that heavy and frequent drinking increases the risk of domestic abuse. This shows that many people living with an alcoholic suffer as much as the alcoholic. The impact is so tremendous that the family or relationship could completely break down. This post will discuss the consequences of living with an alcoholic partner and tips on coping with the problem.

Effects of Living with an Alcoholic Spouse

Staying with an alcoholic spouse can result in the following;

Emotional and Behavioral Health Issues

Living with an alcoholic partner can tremendously affect your emotional and mental health. Exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the products of this. Your work and marital relationship, as well as your social life, will also be affected. You may feel guilty believing it’s your fault for your spouse’s addiction.

Living with an alcoholic partner can also lead to codependency. This is where you prioritize your partner’s needs at your expense. Codependency leads to low self-esteem, makes you responsible for your spouse’s actions, and instills negative thinking patterns that can affect your growth and social life.

Financial Issues

Alcoholics run into financial difficulties as a result of their binge drinking. They spend a lot of money drinking, putting an enormous financial burden on their partner. In severe cases, bankruptcy could ensue, and the alcoholic may lose their job, leading to a loss of income and piling up more pressure on the spouse.

Relationship Strains

Alcoholism can create distance in your relationship with your partner. You may feel disconnected from them emotionally, and their drinking may lead to constant fights and quarrels. In some cases, it could lead to domestic abuse. Their attitude may cause you to distrust them, plunging the relationship into further chaos.

Health Complications

Living with an alcoholic spouse can result in several health complications for you. You may experience physical health problems, such as headaches, and stress-related issues, such as high blood pressure and digestive problems.

How to Cope with Living with an Alcoholic Partner

Living with an alcoholic husband or wife has led to the development of unhealthy and healthy coping strategies. For the unhealthy ones, the most common is avoidance. Seeing their spouses’ drinking habits, many people avoid them until they become soberer. They believe this strategy will prevent fights and quarrels. While this will bring temporary relief, it could cause more harm over time. It creates more distance in the relationship.

Other unhealthy strategies include; covering for your partner’s responsibilities, making excuses for their behavior, and fuelling their alcoholism to make them happy. These strategies will only cause you and your family more harm than good.

The good news is there are healthy strategies you can employ to cope with the situation. This includes;

Seeking Support

If you’ve tried dealing with the situation alone but all to no avail, it is time to involve a third party or an external person. It means talking to someone. This person could be a therapist, an online support group, a friend, or a family member. You can’t deal with this singlehandedly, and the good thing is there are resources to help you.

Being Less Tolerant

One of the ways to cope with this situation is to set boundaries. Be less tolerant and limit how far you’re willing to go. Communicate these boundaries with your spouse when they are sober. These boundaries may mean refusing to bail them out of their issues due to drinking.

Prioritizing Your Health

It is essential to take care of yourself when living with an alcoholic spouse. Practice self-care and make time for yourself. Engage in activities you love and seek professional help if you’re experiencing any health issues.

Encouraging Your Partner to Get Help

Motivate your spouse to get help for their addiction. This may include seeing a therapist, joining a support group, or seeking medical treatment.

CFC Recovery Can Help You Manage Living with an Alcoholic Spouse

Living with an alcoholic can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience, but you don’t have to go through it. You don’t have to experience the physical and emotional issues and health complications associated with living with an alcoholic.

At CFC Recovery, we aim to impact people’s lives by creating a sober community. We help partners rebuild their lives and relationships and create pathways for accountability. 

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