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Alcohol Awareness Month: Ways to support a partner during recovery from alcohol addiction

“Alcoholism and marriage are almost always a toxic mixture. Why? Because with time alcoholism gets worse, never better.”- Anonymous

Living with a better half who has a drinking problem is not only traumatic but also tragic. It is quite painful to see a partner succumbing to the toxins of alcohol. Alcohol not only deteriorates health but also destroys relationships. By inflicting other problems, such as financial issues, domestic violence, emotional hardship, etc., alcohol affects one’s work, personal life, etc.

Besides affecting one’s marriage, children who grow up in such a distressful condition undergo many problems due to their parents’ addiction to alcohol. By living in such a miserable environment, both partner and children are likely to become underconfident, lonely, frustrated and depressed. Moreover, living with a spouse addicted to alcohol requires a great deal of patience and endurance. As the spouse may consistently fall sick, behave irrationally and switch on to different moods, or may even cheat, steal or lie, one has to remain constantly on toes. While some end up divorcing their partners, some decide to suffer in silence and some tend to seek medical assistance for a better future.

However, it is important to support a loved one in trying to become sober. Building awareness on alcohol addiction can immensely help during the recovery process. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) started Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987, which is observed in April every year to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol-related issues.

Some of the measures by which one can support his or her spouse in recovering from an alcohol addiction are mentioned below:

  • Become aware: The first and foremost thing is to acquaint oneself with the pros and cons of alcohol addiction, such as repercussions, withdrawal symptoms, etc. As knowledge is the key to any problem, one should try getting a good understanding of his or her spouse’s habits, what fuels their cravings for alcohol and mood swings that are triggered for not consuming a drink. This understanding will help in charting out a good treatment plan while seeking medical intervention.
  • Develop patience: As addiction is a lengthy phase, the withdrawal symptoms and treatment too are quite long and demanding. Being a life partner or a better half, one should encourage his or her spouse to take every step toward recovery patiently. One should not force his or her spouse to rush or quit during the phase of recovery. By forcing or compelling the spouse to take certain unnecessary measures, one pushes him or her toward negative consequences.
  • Rebuild trust: Although it may seem difficult to build that lost trust again, losing hope can only worsen things. It may take time for both the life partners to re-establish the bond. One should always remember that his or her spouse needs adequate support in recovering from alcoholism. One should not leave his or her hand in the midst of the recovery.
  • Keep communication flowing: Healthy communication helps a person in understanding his or her spouse grappling with the problem of drinking better. Moreover, both the partners should find a way to convey their feelings, expectations and fears, which is a great way to acquaint each other about their value in their life.
  • Stay fit and fine: One is recommended to not let his or her spouse’s addiction pull him or her down. Rather than getting depressed about the problems, one should start practicing healthy eating habits, regular exercise and healthy sleeping habits. A person has to keep himself or herself fit and fine to assist his or her partner in recovering from alcohol addiction.

Recovery road map

Patience is a great virtue. The bumpy road to recovery can take one through several tunnels of difficulties, challenges and complicacies. One need to pass through such a challenging phase with patience. Although it can be frustrating at times, one needs to remember that the fruit of patience is always sweet.

If your spouse is addicted to alcohol and needs treatment, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to know more about the various alcohol abuse treatment centers. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online to get more information about the best alcoholism treatment centers.

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