Do you feel that your partner or spouse is drinking too much? Does your significant other drink to the point that it bothers you because you see negative behavior from them when they’re under the influence of alcohol? If you’re in an intimate relationship with someone who may be abusing alcohol, you’ve likely noticed that your partner’s drinking affects the nature of your relationship and impacts their physical health and professional life.
Asking your loved one to get help for their addiction can be a delicate matter and you may be unsure how to go about it. People don’t always respond favorably to being told that they need help with a problem, but these tips can help you bring up the conversations and hopefully get your partner the help they need for this serious issue.
See If the Timing Is Right
Choose a time when your home is quiet and there aren’t too many other things going on so you and your partner can focus on the conversation. It’s best to ensure that you both are as comfortable as possible or to make a special dinner to ease the tension in the home before you have the discussion.
When it comes to addressing your spouse’s alcohol addiction, you’ll need to plan a time for the conversation. You should also think about what you’re going to say and write down some key points that you want to remember. It’s important to be as gentle as possible when talking about such a serious subject and to continue to reiterate to your partner that you are here to support them.
It may be a good idea to rehearse the conversation with a close friend so you can anticipate some of the responses your partner may have and to prepare yourself for the emotions the discussion may evoke. Your friend may be able to give you pointers on how to word certain phrases so you can communicate effectively with your partner.
Of course, you’ll be able to relate to your spouse more if you are on your on sobriety journey. You can bring up the things that concerned loved ones said to you to help you decide to stop drinking. You should also think about the things people said to you that weren’t helpful and avoid saying these things during your conversation with your partner.
Don’t Force Your Partner to Attend Meetings
Going to Al-Anon is extremely beneficial and has saved many families. The meetings have provided the tips and strategies that individuals have used to improve their lives whether they have struggled with alcohol abuse or have been negatively impacted by a family member’s drinking.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t force anyone to change, including your partner. This is especially if the change will be challenging. People have to want to change on their own, in their own time. Your spouse has to recognize that they need help before they will agree to attend Al-Anon meetings or seek other forms of therapy for help with alcohol addiction.
While telling your partner how you feel about their drinking can help to influence their decision, you have to be careful not to push your partner too hard. This may cause them to resist getting the help they need and could prolong the process of recovery. Don’t pressure your spouse to change. Look for cues that indicate they want to improve their condition and be a source of encouragement for them. It’s also important to maintain your boundaries and look out for your mental health during this time as well.
Be Aware of Family Dynamics
If your partner is struggling with alcohol abuse, you know that this affects the entire family. All too often, alcoholic spouses have co-dependent relationships with their partners. You may find that you’re caring for the alcoholic person in an effort to hide their addiction from other people, including your children. This can take a huge emotional and mental toll on you.
It may be a good idea to suggest Al-Anon to your spouse if you notice that your relationship dynamic has changed drastically or when you see that your spouse’s parenting skills have suffered as a result of alcohol abuse.
We’re ready to help you and your spouse get the help you need to overcome alcohol abuse. Our professional counselors are available 24 hours a day to assist you. Contact us today at 772-266-5320 so that you and your family can start your journey to healing.