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Dealing With An Alcoholic Husband


Responding to a often helpless, hopeless situation of how to deal with an alcoholic husband can be very difficult. Watching your spouse self-destruct from an addiction to alcohol can be gut-wrenching. Wives of alcoholic husbands can feel trapped, scared, afraid of what their husband may do out drinking or at home. Some may also feel the fear of doing an intervention, if they try and get him to agree to go to rehab. They may be torn between abandoning their spouse or remaining in a broken marriage that seems to have no simple solution.

If you are the wife of an alcoholic and unsure about what to do, be aware that seeking help immediately is essential to supporting your physical and psychological health. It it also mandatory for any hopes of  salvaging the marriage.

  • The hardest thing for wives of alcoholics to do is to step back and completely separate themselves from the problem.

The wife needs to try and put aside feelings of guilt, shame, resentment and responsibility they may harbor towards their alcoholic spouse in order to view the situation objectively. It may help if they try and realize they are not the problem. I

  • t would seem essential for them to tap into their innate strength to covertly reach out for professional assistance.


You may consider staging an intervention by contacting an addiction recovery center. They can connect you wit  their intervention specialist. An interventionist is experienced with persuading alcoholics to get help for their alcoholism or addiction, or else.

With the support of family and friends closest to the alcohol abuser, intervention specialists directly confront the alcoholic about their problem and end interventions by offering help through a recovery program. Interventionists may also ask the alcoholic to listen to what their wife and loved ones have to say about how his addiction has affected them.

Join a Support Group

Wives of alcoholic husbands can join a support group for spouses of addicts by contacting Al-anon, a free support group specifically for the family members of an alcoholic. Al-anon programs are comprised of people who are spouses of an alcoholic.


Mental health counselors can provide support and insight in the form of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and life skills enhancement to help wives of alcoholic husbands cope with the depression, anxiety and guilt of being the spouse of an alcoholic. Co-dependency counseling may be necessary if the spouse suffers from control and self-esteem issues that make them to feel responsible for “keeping the peace”. In fact, co-dependent wives of alcoholic husbands often contribute to their spouse’s alcoholism by purchasing alcohol, driving their husbands everywhere and making excuses for their drinking.


Depending on state’s laws, a spouse may be able to commit another spouse who is an alcoholic, drug addict to a hospital or rehabilitation center if it can be proven that the addict is a danger to himself or others. Usually, an involuntary commitment is based on mental health evaluations that find the person in question is suicidal or suffering from a severe psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Although it is frequently difficult to have someone committed to a medical facility against their will, it is possible and may be a last resort in cases where interventions or ultimatums failed to influence the addict into seeking help.


Everyone handles long-term, overwhelming stress differently according to their personality, past experiences and even genetic influences. Some people find that taking refreshing walks in the evening, reading self-help books or engaging in quiet meditation helps them regroup, refocus and rediscover that strong sense of self conducive to feeling stable, structured and whole.

Others prefer a more extroverted approach to managing stress, such as talking to trusted friends or family members or calling a support group associate when something triggers intense feelings of anxiety and depression. While their husband is in alcohol addiction treatment, it is also important that wives prepare themselves psychologically for the uncertainty and pressure of living with a recovering alcoholic by familiarizing themselves with stress techniques that are effective for them.

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