Alcoholic Spouse: What Happens When Only One Spouse Quits Drinking Alcohol?
Posted Feb 20 2010 9:08am
It is very bad luck for a child to be born into an alcoholic family that has one alcoholic parent. However, it is truly the worst luck to have two alcoholic parents.
As a psychiatrist that specializes in addiction, this is not an uncommon scenario. Not only are their children at twice the genetic risk of developing an alcohol problem, the chance of both alcoholic parents remaining clean and sober is not very high.
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I just published an article describing a case in my practice in which the alcoholic husband quit drinking alcohol, but his alcoholic wife continued with her alcoholism addiction and abusing cocaine.
Prior to his alcoholic recovery, the husband tolerated his alcoholic wife having an alcohol problem since he suffered from the same problem. After he quit drinking alcohol, he became very judgmental and hypercritical about his wife’s drug and alcohol abuse. He became aware of the negative effects of alcohol abuse and her alcoholic behavior. His alcoholic recovery broke through his denial of the impact of an alcohol problem on his alcoholic spouse and on raising his children.