Lately I have been receiving more inquiries regarding intervention help for an alcoholic husband or wife. Alcoholism is a disease that strikes at the very backbone of our society, the family. The stories are frequently very similar. “We drank socially in the beginning of our relationship. I don’t remember when the problem got to the point of alcoholism but now he/she is drinking every day.” Alcoholism is a progressive disease that affects the brain. The decision-making process of the alcoholic becomes increasingly compromised. The ability that most “normal” people have to emotionally regulate is impaired in the alcoholic and very elaborate methods of compensation are adapted by everyone in the family system. Many of these adaptations are unhealthy. The levels of codependency in the family can be significant. If you have ever thought about getting help for your alcoholic husband or wife you may have heard yourself use one or more of the following excuses at some point:
- My husband or wife is easier to be around when they have had a few drinks. They don’t get as frustrated at me or the kids.
- My husband or wife is a “functioning alcoholic.” He/she doesn’t need treatment, but I’d like him/her to drink less.
- I’m afraid to get help for my alcoholic husband or wife because they are the primary earner in the family and I don’t want to put my family in financial risk. (You may find yourself even making excuses or calling in sick for them to their employer.)
- My husband or wife just has a drink or two (or three or more) to take the edge off of a hard day. I’m ok with that as long as he/she can control it.
- If I could just make life easier in our home for my husband or wife, maybe he/she wouldn’t need to drink so much.
The list of excuses could be limitless. These are but a few of the common ones I hear. As the stages of alcoholism progress, so does the advancement of codependency. Many become so “addicted” to helping their alcoholic husband or wife that they can’t see hope for a better way of living. This becomes identical to the alcoholics need to consume alcohol. The two addictions become enmeshed. The consequences are always the same. At some point every family comes to the point that they are asking themselves if they can continue living this way. If you or someone you know is in need of finding help for an alcoholic husband or wife, give us a call. We can help provide you with resources for good options for treatment and let you know if an intervention would be advisable in your case to help motivate your loved one to accept help. We can be reached seven days a week at (888) 762-7557.