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Don’t Kill Your Alcoholic Spouse

Posted May 31 2010 2:02pm

Do you have an alcoholic husband? How are YOU handling their alcohol problem?  And… why am I asking?

As a psychiatrist specializing in addiction, I work a lot with spouses of alcoholics. Many times, the wives of alcoholic spouses tell me how frustrated they feel. They tell me that they have been so supportive of their alcoholic husband that they don’t understand how their alcoholic spouse can keep breaking his promise to quit drinking alcohol. Of course over time, their understanding almost always turns to resentment.

If you are married to an alcoholic, do you do any of the following?

  • Run your household by yourself because your alcoholic husband is too drunk to participate?
  • Make excuses for your alcoholic spouse’s behavior to your parents and your friends (such as skipping family functions, canceling dinner plans with friends at the last minute) because he is out drinking or suffering the consequences of drinking the night before?
  • Call your the boss of your alcoholic husband to say that he is sick?  Have you put up  with his getting fired from several jobs?
  • Making excuses for your alcoholic spouse to your kids that their Dad is too sick to show up for school functions or sports activities?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you are suffering from codependency. This means that you are actually “supporting” your alcoholic spouse drinking alcohol. Another saying for this among mental health professionals is that you are “killing him with kindness”.

Here is life’s irony. The nicest women who are giving and generous marry the alcoholic who is charming and selfish and happy to “take” from the giver. It is a match made in heaven. However, if you continue to be “supportive”, he may die from his disease and bring your whole family down with him. Al-Anon is a great place for you to get help and learn the right way to “be supportive” to encourage your husband to actually quit drinking alcohol. It will help you give up the role of “being a partner in crime”.

(If you want additional help turning your marriage around click here to register for my free report on, “ 5 Proven Methods For a  Healthier Marriage With Your Alcoholic Spouse”. It may save your family’s life. The information in this report gives you very simple strategies that could very well save your marriage).

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