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Living With an Alcoholic

Regular how to live with an alcoholic use does, however, have downsides that sometimes go unrecognized. By Jenni Jacobsen, LSWA licensed behavioral health or medical professional on The Recovery Village Editorial Team has analyzed and confirmed every statistic, study and medical claim on this page. If your child is threatening or violent to others or your property, call the police immediately.

What do you do when a family member won’t stop drinking?

Agree with the person drinking that they won't get drunk in front of the children. Arrange a sleepover with friends or family. Learn active listening techniques – these can help children talk about their feelings. Contact a family or young persons support service.

Engage in careful conversations with them about their drinking. Listen to what they have to say and let them know that you are there for them. Showing your loved one that you care and that you want to help can make a big difference. You have to understand that alcohol use disorder is something they can’t control. In the U.S. alone, 19.5% of adults ages 18 and older suffer from an alcohol use disorder and are categorized as high-functional alcoholics. Though high-functioning alcoholic people are not viewed as the “typical” alcoholic, they are still very much struggling with addiction.

What a Family or Friend Should Expect

The first is bottom for a substance user is when things get worse faster than they can lower their standards. Families are often enabling and providing comfort that is preventing rock bottom or any consequences from being felt. Secondly, the bottom isn’t something you hit; it is something you feel. This feeling is almost always brought on by the intervention process. If you interview them or their family, they will almost always tell you they were as bad if not worse than before they were drinking. In the days, weeks, and months leading up to the first drink of the relapse, they were impossible to be around due to their behaviors, yet no alcohol.

It is important for family members and friends to be able to identify the symptoms of alcoholism so that they can understand why their loved one is acting in an abusive manner. Alcoholism is a disease, and it needs to be treated by professionals who understand both the physical and mental aspects of this disorder. Many children of alcoholics lose themselves in their relationships and find themselves attracted to alcoholics or other compulsive personalities that are emotionally unavailable. As a result of neglecting their needs, they often form relationships with people who need help or rescuing. When they hyper-focus on other people’s needs, they don’t have to process the challenging emotions from living with an alcoholic.

Comparing Yourself to Others’ Mental Health

The alcoholic is then presented with a plan of care, including a proposal of consequences if they decide to refuse. For instance, the alcoholic may be denied visitation rights or may be faced with a marital separation if he decides not to seek help. An alcoholic in denial may become extremely manipulative, tearful, angry or hostile when faced with the need for alcohol treatment. An experienced intervention specialist can help the participants prepare for these reactions so they can respond effectively. Many high-functioning alcoholics are in denial about their problem because they have avoided the negative consequences of drinking.

This under-functioning then puts a further strain on people Living with an alcoholic or their partner to pick up the slack. Most times, your loved one or partner can be a nice, understanding individual when they’re calm and sober; drinking can change them into an entirely different person and different personality. Sadly, domestic abuse in various forms can accompany a persons’ inebriated persona.

Things To Note While Living With A Recovering Alcoholic

Studies have found that heavy drinking, by either or both partners, leads to greater dissatisfaction in the relationship, which in turn often leads to separation. In fact, alcohol and substance abuse is the third most often cited reason for divorce according to women. Most of the issues these women faced were emotional, but it is clear that living with an alcoholic partner also impacts social health, physical well-being, relationships with children, and finances. Other studies and statistics indicate that violence and being harmed is one of the biggest problems that spouses and partners face. There are many challenges that a person might face when living with a partner, husband, or wife with an alcohol use disorder. These may vary depending on the situation and the people involved, but studies have found that there are many commonalities.


When the alcoholic was drinking, you may have behaved as if you were insane, calling bars to track him or her down, crying, pleading, begging or screaming at the alcoholic. Now that he or she is sober, you may still feel anxious or fearful. The fact that they are sober doesn’t change the fact that you have been deeply impacted by what has happened. According to the National Institutes of Health , three mental disorders most commonly comorbid with alcoholism are major depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. Less frequently co-diagnosed with alcoholism is post-traumatic stress disorder , dependent personality disorder and conduct disorder. Staying safe is the top priority for any child with an alcoholic parent.

Alcoholism in Intimate Relationships

https://ecosoberhouse.com/ism can foster challenging patterns in intimate relationships even when no abuse is present. For many, as much as they despise the current situation, it is all they know. Families often feel stuck and struggle with change, even if the change is good. It can be more fearful to venture through the gates of the unknown than it is to stay where they are at. Their angle is selfishness, and their downfall is resentment. This happens because people not behaving or reacting to the good deeds of the alcoholic based on expectations the alcoholic sets for them.

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