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Getting Your Alcoholic Spouse To Quit Drinking Alcohol

Posted Jun 26 2010 7:19am

Are you living with an alcoholic? Do you sometimes have the impression that your alcoholic spouse wants to quit drinking alcohol, but can’t? As a psychiatrist that treats addiction, I see this problem on a frequent basis. What are the obstacles that your alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife face?

  • Living sober is a foreign concept to them. The idea is very scary.
  • The only coping skill your alcoholic spouse knows is drinking alcohol to combat stress. Getting through a work day and putting up with his boss’s demands, getting through a day coping with the stress of being a mom with 3 young kids, being alone with a spouse who has been angry with you for many months …this has all been dealt with by relying on a substance; alcohol.
  • The brain of your alcoholic spouse has become alcohol dependent . Cravings for alcohol are strong and are hard to resist.
  • Your alcoholic spouse is afraid of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Your alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife is afraid to give up control and face life without alcohol. They associate alcohol with having fun and coping with all life stresses. Alcohol has become their “best friend”.
  • There is a lot of fear around the decision to go into an alcohol rehab center or get treatment as an outpatient.

Alcohol is a chronic progressive disease. If untreated, it can lead to death. Your alcoholic spouse must face the consequences of their disease to have the motivation to overcome it.

Bottom line: You can’t “get” your alcoholic spouse to quit drinking alcohol. However, you can learn not to “enable” your alcoholic spouse. Go to Al-anon to get support and learn how to set better boundaries with your alcoholic spouse. Consider therapy to help you with your own codependency and self esteem issues that may actually be delaying your alcoholic spouse’s recovery .

(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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