What To Do When Living With An Alcoholic

What To Do When Living With An Alcoholic Spouse

Statistics from 2012 showed that over 11 million adult men and over 5 million adult women were impacted by alcohol use disorders. These numbers have continued to grow, and it’s reported that 78 million American families have at least one alcoholic member. Many people are wondering what to do when living with an alcoholic. The problem of dealing with an alcoholic in the family affects parents, spouses, children, and extended family members.

What To Do When Living With An Alcoholic

The family living with an alcoholic member experiences a lot of daily turmoil. Angry words, depleted bank account, embarrassment, safety concerns, lost employment, and frightened children are just some of the concerns that are faced. What to do when living with an alcoholic is a question family members need answered as every day becomes more challenging. There are several important points to remember when you live with an alcoholic.

  • You are not responsible for another person’s drinking. Don’t accept the blame.
  • Don’t make excuses for or lie about your family’s member’s alcohol problems.
  • Remember, you can’t cure or control another person’s drinking.
  • Don’t contribute to the problem by being an enabler.
  • Never tolerate abusive behavior towards you or another family member.

It is easy to slip into the role of an enabler, and it’s a role that makes things worse for you. You can tell if you are enabling your family member if you are doing any of the following:

  • Making excuses when he or she misses work
  • Lie to family and friends about medical emergencies, accidents, or arrests
  • Make excuses when he or she doesn’t show up to family events, weddings, and funerals
  • Sell belongings to pay off his or her incurred debt
  • Hide your private life because you are ashamed

If you find yourself slipping into this pattern of enabling, it’s important to get help for yourself. There are groups for families dealing with an alcoholic member. You don’t have to face the problems alone. WhiteSands Addiction Treatment Center can help your loved one and provide you with resources to strengthen your own resolve to remain strong and self-assured.

How To Live With An Alcoholic And Still Enjoy Your Life

It’s too easy to allow negativity to take control when everything goes wrong, but you can learn how to live with an alcoholic and still enjoy your life. If negativity rules your reactions and responses to your loved one’s behavior, he or she won’t change. The whole family will suffer when negativity is present. Trying to guilt your spouse or family member won’t change his or her behavior because alcoholism is a disease, and anger is not a cure.

  • Join a self-help group or find support in a family therapist. Tell your loved one you are getting help to learn how to cope with the drinking and keep the family together.
  • Discuss your loved one’s drinking problem with other family members, and explain what is happening and the consequences.
  • If there are children, speak to them about alcoholism being a disease. Use age-appropriate explanations and explain while alcoholism is really hard to deal with sometimes, it is not something to be ashamed of.

How To Deal With An Alcoholic Husband In Denial

How to deal with an alcoholic husband in denial is especially troubling if he is high-functioning. He will use his ability to work successfully as proof he does not have a drinking problem. A husband who is in denial is deceiving himself. He will say he is not hurting anyone but himself, or that everyone else drinks. An alcoholic husband always has a handful of excuses ready when confronted about his drinking. In some instances, a family intervention can persuade the husband to get the help he needs. WhiteSands Addiction Treatment Centers can assist with an intervention for your husband.

Don’t let your life or the lives of your children be ruined because of an alcoholic spouse. Call WhiteSands today to learn what you can do to protect your family, and encourage your spouse to go into treatment.



If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.