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Alcoholic Spouse: How Their Charm Turns to Harm

Posted Jan 07 2010 5:05pm

Has your alcoholic spouse lied or disappeared on you lately? Do you wonder if he is cheating on you?  Is she are using drugs and alcohol again and hiding it from you?

As a psychiatrist, it is very striking to me how common certain behavioral traits are common to people with an alcohol problem. These traits dominate their relationships (the “alcoholic personality”). Most patients I treat that are have an alcoholic spouse tend to have a history of unhealthy relationships.

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Here are the characteristics I see in those patients with a drinking problem that have not been in therapy or active in 12 step programs:

  • Alcoholics often hide their excessive drinking from their spouse (hide bottles of alcohol or beer cans, will not be accountable for their whereabouts so they can drink).
  • Alcoholics are often pathologic liars- they will look you in the eye and insist they are telling the truth.
  • Alcoholics are selfish. They will take advantage of their nurturing spouse.
  • Alcoholics are easily frustrated and quick to anger.
  • Alcoholics are very manipulative and will twist anything you say around to avoid their role in a situation (For example, “I disappeared because you wouldn’t leave me alone about…”).
  • Alcoholics are arrogant and act very confident (ironically, their self esteem is very low).
  • Alcoholics are very angry and resentful and are not good at managing their anger.
  • Alcoholics tend to be very impulsive.
  • Alcoholics handle themselves in an immature way.
  • Alcoholics hang out with their “drinking pals”, but lack real friends.
  • Alcoholics can be very moody.

Does this describe your alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife ? Please add any characteristics of your spouse that I have left out (write it in the comment section).

Is your relationship with your alcoholic spouse hurting your self esteem?  Are you in an unhappy marriage? If so, do something to change it. Click here to learn what to do next to be in a position to get your needs met.

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