Few things can tear a relationship apart like alcoholism. It can be especially bad if your spouse didn’t drink very much before you were married, or in the early years. But lately they tend to get drunk at the worst times, like when you’re supposed to be somewhere important, or they’ve begun to lie to you about how much they drink. You have the evidence right in front of you, but they deny it and you really don’t want to believe it, so you pretend it’s not happening.
The truth is, until your spouse is ready to admit they have a problem, there’s not much you can do about it. Taking their alcohol away or dumping it out just makes them angrier, and sneakier. Yelling, pleading, threatening and begging seems to make the situation worse-you may have even threatened to leave them, and they straighten up for a period of time, but eventually, if they have a problem with alcohol, they will drink again, and every time it just seems to get worse.
What you can do is take care of yourself. Ala-non is one way to do this. The program will teach you what you do have control over and what you don’t, and teach you how to live with a drinker whom you love.
Most people who are married to problem drinkers become codependent, that is, we tend to make excuses for our family member thus enabling them to continue their behavior. Ala-non family programs will help you get a handle on your own addiction-saving the alcoholic-and show you how to live a fulfilled life while your problem drinker slowly begins to realize that you won’t lie, manipulate, or make excuses for them anymore. It’s extremely tough to do alone, so please get a support group. You can find a schedule for your local Ala-non by keying it into your search engine with your city, or by calling the number in your telephone book. Ala-non was first started by Lois Wilson, co founder of Alcoholics Anonymous Bill Wilson’s wife, in her living room. The wives would meet there to discuss the struggles they were having keeping their husbands sober, and began to realize that their need to control the situation wasn’t helping. Today there are as many men in Ala-non as there are women in AA.
There are some excellent books on the subject, “Co-Dependant No More” by
Melody Beatty is one of the best books on the subject I know of, as well as ”Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood and there are literally hundreds of other books on the subject of living with a problem drinker. Both of those books are available online or in your local library.
Again, if your marriage is suffering because of problem drinking, the bad news is the problem drinker has to want to quit, the good news is that there is help available for you. Time takes time, but these programs and books provide something you may not have had up until this point-hope.