Loving an Alcoholic
All relationships take work, no matter whether they are intimate, friendships or family members. However, there are certain situations that make relationships a lot harder and loving an alcoholic is one of those times. If you love an alcoholic, that can present its own set of challenges. Both partners may end up with mental health issues and a range of feelings that are difficult to handle.
In this type of relationship, you might feel drained, terrified, exhausted or just downright over it. You are not alone in this. If you are in love with an alcoholic, there are things you can do to cope and handle the situation in a way that is best for your well-being. If you need help, our Through the Archway team can help you starting today.
Short-Term Ideas for What to Do When You Are Loving an Alcoholic
It is not sustainable to continue loving an alcoholic and not doing anything to change the situation at hand. While you can’t make the alcoholic get treatment, there are some other ways that you can handle the situation. Some of the short-term ideas that you can do include:
- Stop blaming yourself (you can’t control the alcoholic’s behaviors)
- Keep your hope (this can help to keep your spirits up)
- Join self-help support groups (there are many online and local group options)
- Get all the recovery resources you can (you and the alcoholic will need to recover, but for now just focus on your own recovery)
While these are short-term ideas, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t use them in the long-term. It also doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to do these things overnight. Most people who love an alcoholic need time to change the way they see the situation. They need time to stop questioning whether they are at fault. However, through support groups, therapy and other interventions, you can learn the truth about alcoholism.
Things Not to Do in an Alcoholic Relationship
If you are in an alcoholic relationship, there are some things that we recommend you don’t do. These things are just as important as the tips that you should follow and do when loving an alcoholic. Some of the things that you shouldn’t be doing if you are in an alcoholic relationship include:
- Enabling the alcoholic (there are ways to help them without being an enabler)
- Controlling the person (you may want to make the alcoholic do certain things, but ultimately, the controlling behaviors will probably make things worse)
- Making excuses (the alcoholic is responsible for their own actions and should take responsibility for themselves and those actions – making excuses will only be further enabling their addiction)
- Creating unrealistic expectations (you can’t cure, control, or fix someone who has an alcohol addiction, so creating unrealistic expectations such as if you pay all the bills, the person will quit drinking isn’t the solution)
If you can stop doing these things, even if it takes you some time, that will be the best for your overall well-being and be in the best interest of the alcoholic, too.
Actions to Think About When You Love an Alcoholic
Loving an alcoholic can lead you to do many things. However, in most situations, family members and friends of addicts don’t really know where to turn or what they should be doing. Here at Through the Archway, we highly recommend that friends and family members of addicts think about doing the following things:
- Get professional help (talking with an addiction interventionist, going to therapy, and looking for community resources for recovery are all great options)
- Plan and hold an intervention (holding this type of meeting can show the addict in your life that you care about them and want what is best for them – this intervention can also increase the chances that your loved one will seek out addiction treatment and other recovery assistance)
- Hold your loved one accountable (it is extremely important that your loved one knows you aren’t going to enable them and that you are holding them accountable for their actions – they are responsible for their own changes and the consequences for their actions, whether those be positive or negative)
If you can start thinking about the actions you are taking regarding the alcoholic in your life, you will likely make better choices for your own well-being and the well-being of your loved one. It is vital to remember that you aren’t alone in all this. Even if you don’t have other family members or friends supporting you during this tough time, you can always turn to professionals such as those here at Through the Archway.
Fighting the Disease
It is also important to know and remember that most people with an alcohol addiction don’t purposefully try to hurt their loved ones or themselves. They are facing a disease that can be very difficult to overcome. Most people who struggle with the disease of alcoholism require interventions and various treatments to help them overcome their addictive lifestyle.
Addictions are powerful, dangerous diseases. However, most of those who get into a professional treatment program do tend to improve their lives through recovery. Fortunately, there are many evidence-based treatment programs and recovery resources that are available to those who are struggling with alcohol addiction. When loving an alcoholic, be sure that you talk to them about the treatment options you find here at Through the Archway. If you have questions about these treatments before sharing them with your loved one, don’t hesitate to let us know today.
Creating Individualized Treatment Plans for Alcoholics
Here at Through the Archway, we have handled many substance abuse cases and will continue to do so. We know that addictions aren’t easy to overcome and it can take a long time for some people to even admit they have an addiction or need help. No matter what addictive situation your loved one is in, we want you to know that our team can create them an individualized treatment plan. We always offer evidence-based, science-backed treatments that help to detox and rehabilitate alcoholics and drug addicts. Even if your loved one isn’t quite ready to face the truth of their disease, you can still reach out to our team to get more information on treatment options, so you can hold an intervention soon.
Get Help for the Alcoholic in Your Life
Now that you know more about loving an alcoholic and what you should do about this situation, you can reach out to our Through the Archway team for the help that you and your loved one need.
Contact us today to get help for the alcoholic in your life.