Emotional Wellbeing



Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Loving an Alcoholic: How to Live With an Alcoholic

You may be one of those persons currently living with an alcoholic but do you really know how to live with an alcoholic?

It is difficult to try and adjust yourself to accommodate someone you love who has an alcohol addiction. In the back of your mind, you may be thinking that you’re not the one to be blamed and you shouldn’t have to deal with this.

You may also be at your wits end when it comes to dealing with your loved ones addiction. There are several methods that you may have tried to help them get rid of their addiction such as throwing out the alcohol or enticing them with a reward if they give up drinking.

To help you navigate these rough waters, here are a few things to keep in mind when living with an alcoholic.

It’s Not Your Fault

Since there is nothing you can do to stop their addition, you need to remember that it is no fault of yours why they are this way. Alcoholics sometimes tend to blame persons for their habits especially the ones close to them.

However, do not believe this because it is simply the addiction talking. The experience for them can be extremely stressful at times and in some instances, your behavior might trigger a certain unpleasant response even though you didn’t mean to.

If this happens, you could try and change your method or style to facilitate them, which doesn’t mean you are condoning their behavior, but that you are understanding. If that doesn’t help, then the most you can do is provide the necessary support for them.

Some Obvious Signs That Your Loved Ones Are Alcoholics

Persons who are suffering from alcoholism will experience an insistent need for alcohol whenever they are not drinking. They will find it difficult to stop themselves once they start drinking and they may drink non stop all day.

Eventually, a tolerance level for alcohol will develop causing them to intake a greater amount that they hope will give them the same effects.

Some other symptoms that alcoholics may display includes:

  • Drink in the absence of everyone to hide the craving for alcohol
  • Hide alcohol in uncommon places so no one will find it
  • Have trouble with work and personal relationships
  • No interest in usual activities
  • Drink in an effort to get drunk
  • Experience occasional blackouts

In addition, other factors causing alcoholism can include

  • Psychological problems
  • Heaving drinking regularly
  • Using alcohol from a young age
  • A family background of Alcoholism
  • Social influence
  • Alcohol intake while on medication

Once you notice these signs, be sure to call the addiction hotline and get them help immediately.

Attempting to Cure Alcoholism

A lot of individuals automatically try several methods to try and stop their loved ones from drinking alcohol. Often times this only leaves them feeling frustrated and hopeless because all their attempts fail.

The reality is, there is nothing you can actually do other than get them help and even then, they have to accept that they need the help to rid themselves of their addiction.

Until your loved one understands that alcoholism is a prolonged disease that can be lethal, then your attempts to cure it will be minimal. Sometimes even when they know this they will still not walk away from the bottle. Bear in mind that alcoholics often go through some phases before deciding that they are really ready to change their habits.

Although you love and care for the alcoholic, remember that you are not a healthcare specialist and it is not your responsibility to treat them. What you are advised to do is get professional help whenever possible.

You may want to consider family intervention to get them the help they need. Always be mindful that in these situations, you need to take care of yourself and others involved.

Be careful how you confront your loved ones during a family intervention or things may get worse. If they feel backed into a corner the intervention will not work. Start off by letting them know how much you love and appreciate them.

Begin your intervention with an honest talk by each family member and friend about how much they love and appreciate the addict. Talk about your fears with them and your desire to see them free of the addiction.

In cases like these it is always best to employ the service of a professional as a mediator, since things can get emotionally charged fast.

Teach Children How to Live With an Alcoholic

There are many children living with a parent, parents or a family member who are struggling with alcohol abuse. They may grow up facing emotional, psychological, and possibly physical abuse.

They may experience:

  • Difficulties in maintaining close family relationships
  • Impulsive behavior without consideration of consequences
  • Self-judgement and Self-inflicted pain

To prevent this from happening and protect them show them the consequences of alcohol abuse. Inform them that the scars that they may develop can affect their future choices and adult life so it is imperative that you find help.

However, sometimes showing them the effect that their addiction is having on their children may prompt them to seek help for their problem. You can use this in your intervention strategy to see if this will connect with them.

Alcoholics sometimes experience a numbing of the conscience but often the pain that their children are in will jolt them back to reality and prompt them to seek professional help, so its worth a try.

Final Tips

You may not always know how to live with an alcoholic or how to provide them with the necessary help they need but you can prevent stress and frustration by not having any unreasonable expectations.

Do not believe and expect them to change when they promise that they will without any proof that they are actually making an effort. However, always remain positive that they are capable of change.

If you would like the help of a professional counselor, please contact us.