Living With An Alcoholic Husband | Effects, Tips, & When To Leave

If you live with an alcoholic spouse, you may find their drinking affects your life as well. To cope, you can help your alcoholic family member into treatment as well as learn when it’s time for you to leave the relationship.

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If you live with an alcoholic partner or spouse who takes part in excessive alcohol consumption, you may notice effects on your relationship and a change in your significant other over time.

As stated by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is characterized by the inability to stop drinking alcohol.

Not only does someone suffering from AUD have the inability to quit this form of substance abuse, they may also have no concern for the consequences associated with their social life, family life, or work life.

Your partner’s drinking can impact you and your children’s lives depending on the severity of alcoholism.

Effects Of Alcohol On Individuals & Families

The effects of alcohol can impact a person as well as their loved ones in various ways.

Persistent Health Problems

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive drinking can lead to short-term and long-term health risks.

For instance, short-term effects of alcohol may include accidents such as falls, drownings, or motor vehicle crashes, engaging in risky behaviors such as promiscuity, or performing violent acts such as sexual assault or homicide.

Additionally, the long-term health conditions associated with heavy drinking include:

If your alcoholic spouse is experiencing any of these health problems, seeking treatment may be necessary to avoid any life-threatening issues. Continually drinking alcohol can create these frequent health issues, leading to your spouse requiring potential around-the-clock care.

Physical & Emotional Disruption

As the drinking problem persists, your spouse may become more violent or engage in risky behavior. For those of you living with an alcoholic husband, their drinking habits may lead to physical dangers such as domestic violence.

You may notice your spouse becoming increasingly irritated or anxious. This can lead to aggression or violence such as domestic abuse.

In addition, an alcoholic husband may take their frustration out on children or other family members. Verbal or emotional abuse may also worsen.

Financial Problems

If your spouse is engaging in risky behavior, you may find your savings account depleted due to your spouse making erratic purchases or using the money to fuel their alcoholism.

Important savings may be needed for children or family needs. When the money is spent, the financial burden can impact the entire household.

Your spouse may also engage in other risky financial behaviors such as making large purchases, participating in gambling, or even losing employment due to disruption in the workplace.

Tips For Finding Help For Your Alcoholic Husband

For those of you considering an alcohol rehab for your husband, reach out to your local health department or utilize the behavioral locator tool provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

This helpful tool lists rehab centers within the area where you can find professional help for your loved one.

In addition to this, consider support groups or sober living options. There are therapy options as well as 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon.

Drinking may be a coping mechanism for your spouse due to a trauma they experienced in their youth. AUDs can run in families, so it’s possible your spouse had an alcoholic parent which may be discussed in therapy.

When To Leave Your Alcoholic Husband

Some husbands may be functioning alcoholics, meaning they are able to maintain their work, family, and social life. This can still be dangerous, as health problems can remain.

Also, functioning alcoholism can be a warning sign that your partner may soon begin to participate in binge drinking or may eventually develop social problems.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the impact of alcoholism ripples through the entire family, causing distress among those of all ages.

While you may want to stay with your spouse to help them with their disorder, there are instances in which you may need to leave your alcoholic husband. If any of the following takes place, consider leaving your husband:

  • intimate partner violence
  • emotional abuse
  • intimate partner violence
  • if you’re only staying out of fear
  • sexual abuse
  • significant financial abuse which puts a strain on your livelihood
  • if you develop mental health problems

Leaving your spouse is a difficult choice, but above all you must keep your children and yourself safe. Ultimately, the goal is for your spouse to receive the treatment they require.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

There are numerous alcohol treatment options for your loved one struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. Your doctors will help you take care of yourself and focus on your well-being and self-care.

Attending a rehab center and receiving alcohol detox may be a first stage of treatment followed by individual and group therapy practices. If you or a family member are struggling with alcohol abuse, contact Bedrock Recovery Center today.

At our treatment center, we provide case management, individual behavioral therapy, and residential treatment for substance use disorders and mental health issues. Learn more about our alcohol treatment programs when you contact us today.

  1. CDC - Alcohol Use and Your Health,liver%20disease%2C%20and%20digestive%20problems.
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder
  3. National Institutes of Health - The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism
  4. National Institutes of Health - Living with an alcoholic partner: Problems faced and coping strategies used by wives of alcoholic clients

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 23, 2023

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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