To The Spouse Of A Functional Alcoholic

We’ll help your spouse find their path to recovery and a better life for both of you. If your spouse is showing signs of substance abuse, reach out to our caring admissions — Matt, Brian, or Ashlee — team today. Addiction is a family disease, whether it’s Alcohol Use Disorder or Substance Use Disorder.

What those steps are that should be taken requires diligent communication with your professionals. If you asked 10 different spouses who have gone through this experience, you may get 10 different answers. In a recent study by The Recovery Village, 44% of respondents reported abusing alcohol in an attempt to ease uncomfortable feelings that stem from underlying anxiety.

Why Functional Alcoholics and Codependent Wives are Common

Even if you are aware that your drinking has become a problem, it’s common to worry about what others might think. In a 2015 study, almost 29% of participants didn’t seek treatment due to stigma or shame. In short, “there’s not a single image of AUD,” points out Sabrina Spotorno, a clinical social worker and alcoholism and substance abuse counselor at Monument.

If you’re the loved one of someone in either group, it’s important to know how to deal with an alcoholic effectively if you want to help them get well. Functional tends to refer to someone’s ability to survive in our culture but perhaps not thrive. The functional alcoholic may drive; run the occasional load of laundry; and hold a job.

Financial Issues

Environments that are stressful or permissive to drinking increase risk of AUD. You don’t need yet another person advising you to pack up his shit; you’re tired of hearing it, which is why you rarely mention it to anyone unless you feel like you’ll break if you don’t. You don’t need someone to tell you you’re stupid for staying with him, because you wonder on a near-daily basis why you’re such a glutton for punishment. You don’t need anyone to say you’re enabling his behavior, because you know that too.

functional alcoholic husband

If you continue to hide the truth and enable addiction, your kids grow up in an unhealthy environment that can cause trauma and confusion. There is a possibility of losing your children if things get out of control. The ramifications are serious and you have the chance to help your loved one in a positive way. You can heal together as a family through therapy and counseling together as a family. Most functional alcoholics are smart, work hard and are well educated. They often hold a high professional status and it can be highly challenging to approach them about their addiction.

Capo by the Sea Provides Treatment for Alcoholism

Even if someone might approach them asking if there is a problem, they will likely deny it. Denial protects themselves from the stigma of alcoholism, or from appearing weak and not in control. Family First Intervention recognizes how powerful the dynamic of a family system is and how important the role family members play in a substance user’s decision to accept treatment for addiction. We hope a family sees the need to seek professional guidance as much as the substance user requires professional guidance. We are privileged to be an integral part of your loved one’s decision to recover from functional alcoholism. It may be necessary to consider residential treatment, where qualified professionals can stabilize and treat your spouse.

  • If you or your spouse is struggling with alcohol abuse and want addiction recovery help, please call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab.
  • After all, they have managed to maintain the appearance of success despite their addiction.
  • So we recognize that the drinking spouse in this scenario is almost as likely to be a woman, but for the sake of editorial clarity, please forgive the gender-specific pronouns.
  • Typically the functional alcoholic is cognizant enough not to get caught driving under the influence or compromising his livelihood.
  • When coping with your spouse’s AUD seems impossible, remember that you’re far from the only one, that there are millions of other men and women in the same position.

If you’re living with a functioning alcoholic, it’s important to note that you need as much support and help as they do. Make no mistake; alcoholism is affecting everyone in your family. When someone abuses alcohol, there is a greater risk of emotional and physical abuse. It may be helpful to seek out information about what to do if your family member is an addict so you can understand the nature of the situation more. From the outside, your relationship and your partner seem just fine.

How to Approach Your Spouse About Their Drinking

Functional alcoholics are often in deep denial about their problem. After all, they have managed to maintain the appearance of success despite their addiction. But most high-functioning alcoholics have friends or loved ones who help them cover up the consequences of their drinking. These individuals may unconsciously encourage or enable the alcoholic’s behavior by allowing the alcoholic to avoid the negative consequences of destructive drinking. Sometimes husbands and wives of high-functioning alcoholics are the only ones who know their spouse has alcohol problems.

But consider your wellbeing when making that decision, in spite of any internal or external pressures you may feel. Attending hospital follow-up sessions and self-help meetings have been shown to increase the outcome of a spouse’s recovery significantly, so your support makes a big difference in helping them succeed. There are usually financial problems as drinking increases, either from spending excessive amounts on alcohol or on Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House making reckless purchases while under the influence. Studies have shown that almost half of people who began drinking before age 14 went on to develop an AUD by 21. When coping with your spouse’s AUD seems impossible, remember that you’re far from the only one, that there are millions of other men and women in the same position. Some may be struggling, but others have found ways to cope and live happily together — and so can you.

Choose Recovery Over Addiction

Sometimes he makes a grand romantic gesture or commits to helping around the house. There are many signs and symptoms of an alcoholic as well as self-evaluation tests that can help you understand the disease. An official diagnosis requires the input of a trained mental health addiction specialist. Alcohol use disorders, binge drinking, problematic drinking, and alcoholism can be devastating to families and relationships if allowed to continue.

Is it hard to be in a relationship with an alcoholic?

From intimacy issues, mistrust, a lack of communication to abuse, lack of emotional availability to financial burden and the adverse effects on young children; alcohol abuse in a romantic relationship can have severe effects on both partners, their children, and other family members.