Living With an Alcoholic?

Living With an Alcoholic

Alcoholism | Tools of the Trade

One of the most frequent questions posed to addiction professionals is “How can i get so-and-so to stop drinking so much?” Unfortunately, the answer to that is you cannot. The practitioner must decide they have “had enough”. Then, and only then, can they stop. Whether because the results from drinking are so painful or because personal/physical/financial circumstances change. This is never welcome news but, living with an alcoholic brings with it an extremely unfortunate reality.

There is some good news, however, and that is if you can`t actually stop them drinking then there are things that you can do, or stop doing, that will make it more likely that they will take action and/or seek help for their drinking. Below are a number of things that you should avoid doing as they often have the opposite effect to intended, making the situation even worse. I will discuss the things that you should do in another article.

Don`t protect the drinker from the naturally occurring consequences of drinking. If they embarrass themselves don`t make excuses, or if they fall don`t pick them up. Only intervene if there is a danger of the drinker being injured.

For most folks this type of passion may be a troublesome to carry-out, just ignore a loved one when they are drunk goes very much against the grain. However, protecting the drinker means that they never suffer the consequences and so are never aware of the severity of their drinking. Since many believe that problem drinkers only seek help when they are hurting, so protecting the drinker only delays that time coming and that it could be argued is crueler.

Living with an Alcoholic | Suggestions for the significant-other:

  • Don`t protect the drinker from other consequences. If they take time off work through being too drunk or too hungover, don`t phone the boss and give an excuse.
    The problem drinker is all too happy for somebody else to just accept the responsibility whereas they have to just accept responsibility for his or her own behavior if they are to turn the corner.
  • Don`t collude with the drinker. If they spend all their money on drink don`t lend them money or pay their debts. Again, this is protecting and delays recognition of the extent of the problem.
  • Don`t party together with the drinker in an attempt to monitor the situation. It may appear to be the right thing to do. Besides if you are attempting and carry on like the perpetrator, you may find yourself needing help, and one drunk in a relationship is more than enough.
  • Don`t scream and shout and nag regarding the drinking behavior. This just provides an excuse to drink even more. That is, the logic used here is “I drink because you ride me” rather than “You ride me because I drink”. Yes, i know that’s not logical however, throw logic aside, its ALL about drinking now.
  • Don`t make threats and give ultimatums. Unless you are actually prepared to carry out these threats and ultimatums, they will lose any effectiveness to influence the drinker.
    In fact, they will even offer-up repeated excuses for drinking, especially if there is a pattern of drinking, followed by a pattern of excuses to avoid stress and painful circumstances. Therefore, you’ll be left feeling even greater annoyance than before.
  • Don`t cry and sulk and withdraw to punish the drinker. The drinker can again view his as behavior best avoided by getting drunk.
  • Don`t attempt to begin, what may become a never-ending series of heart-felt talks regarding the drinker’s behavior or your lives with the practitioner once the drinker is intoxicated.

It is easy to get lured into a conversation so, don`t. If you are living with an alcoholic, just wait until the morning or after they clear-headed.

Lastly, if you are living with an alcoholic consider contacting a rehab facility that has an intervention program. Oftentimes, an alcohol intervention or drug intervention may solve many of your problems and concerns.

For more information – Call Toll-Free: (855) 99-PARTNER (855-997-2786)

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