The Effects of Living With an Alcoholic Spouse
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The Effects of Living With an Alcoholic Spouse

Without the influence of, you have the opportunity to enjoy sober relationships while ending toxic relationships. You can form authentic relationships built on mutual respect, interests, and understanding rather than just who is willing or available to drink or use drugs with you. Life after addiction might also mean you have more professional success and new creative outlets that you discover when drugs and alcohol aren’t occupying all of your time. If you live with alcohol use disorder, your family may play a crucial role in your recovery. Rebuilding relationships while recovering from substance use disorders can be challenging, but you can rebuild trust and repair bonds. Narrating the journey of sustained recovery from substance use disorder. If the person with SUD suddenly isn’t dependent upon their partner to take care of them, this can cause a disruption in the relationship as well.

It may require an intentional and lengthy process for both partners to learn how to rebuild trust within the relationship. Some couples can thrive immediately after the addicted partner becomes sober. These codependent people take care of their partners that live with a condition.

Try to stop enabling behaviors

If the partner living with SUD hasn’t found healthy ways to cope with the trauma or PTSD, then it could begin to affect them in negative ways. But for most couples experiencing substance use, life after sobriety isn’t so smooth. This is because of the way long-term substance use has affected both partners as well as the relationship itself.

  • But as time goes on in sobriety, the chances for relapse drops.
  • It is difficult to consider the future when you are told to take each day at a time.
  • Living a drug-free life or an alcohol-free life means not only that you can be present, but that you’ll remember everything in your life in a clear-headed way.
  • ” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder .
  • They asked me if I had a problem with alcohol, which I flat out denied.
  • If they do, you’ll want to know what options are out there for the treatment of AUDs and what to look for in a treatment provider.

Be careful not to enable unhealthy behaviors only because you don’t want to trigger them. A life with a partner in active addiction or recovery will often lead to many traumatic situations and emotional volatility.

Living with a Recovering Alcoholic

Off to college I went, at a major university in Washington, DC, with plans to study chemistry with a minor in psychology in a pre-med curriculum. None of my roommates, five in a dorm suite, drank or partied like I did.

  • You can find a local or virtual support group, and access additional resources, on their website.
  • If someone you love is working on sobriety, here are several ways to make recovery easier on both of you.
  • My wife, who I believe was also unhappy, frequently left the young children with me for me to supervise while she went shopping or got together with her neighborhood friends.
  • The point of these stories is that recovery is at risk without a fundamental change in attitude to life.
  • Have the conversation in a place where you know you’ll have quiet and privacy.

You can remember everything and not feel that sense of terror of waking up and not remembering what you said or did the previous night. You don’t have to try and wrack your brain to remember who you were with or what happened. You’re no longer waking up with that sinking feeling that something terrible might have happened the night before, but you can’t quite remember what.

Living Sober Versus Not Drinking

By this I had been sober for three weeks and I had made plans to go for a five-day inpatient evaluation approved by the PHS director. I went to an addiction treatment facility with a program designed specifically for health care professionals. At the end of the extensive five-day evaluation, it was suggested that I stay for an extended period of time. I was told that if I did not follow the suggestions, it was likely that I would not be able to retain my license to practice medicine. Here I was in an expensive treatment center insurance wouldn’t cover, and I was not earning an income, but rather accumulating expenses as a partner in our corporation. I couldn’t see how important it was for me to separate myself from outside stresses so I could focus on me. I needed to concentrate not so much on what needed to be changed in the world as on what needed to be changed in me.


Dating a recovering alcoholic or someone in recovery will require more tangible reassurances and support techniques. The level of need obviously will vary depending on the individuals and relationship. If you have noticed, many of these symptoms may be similar to that of being dry drunk.

Clearbrook Manor – Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

Treating alcoholism isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always work the first time around. Often a person has been contemplating abstinence for some time, yet couldn’t get sober on their own. Don’t blame yourself if the first intervention isn’t successful. The most successful treatment happens when a person wants to change.

How do you stay married to a recovering alcoholic?

  1. Participate in family therapy.
  2. Participate in individual therapy.
  3. Educate yourself.
  4. Maintain a substance-free living environment.
  5. Be prepared to handle relapse.
  6. Prioritize self-care.
  7. Find support in the recovery community.
  8. Be patient.

For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health . Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. If your loved one has a sponsor from a 12-Step program, suggest he or she meet with the sponsor or call them. Encourage regular doctor visits for your family member. Just because he or she has completed rehabilitation doesn’t mean health problems aren’t lingering.

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