If a wife is in despair over her husband’s drinking, her first inclinations usually are to grasp at every possible way to manage the chaos. It often comes as a surprise that the first step in learning how to help an alcoholic husband is to let go of control and allow the alcoholic to experience the consequences of his drinking. This concept, a proven practice among those who have completed recovery programs, sounds frightening at first. How can a wife risk allowing her husband to end up in jail after receiving a ticket for driving under the influence? How can she deal with financial debt caused by his drinking? How can she endure the shame caused by his erratic behavior in public? What can she tell his employer about his continued irresponsible job performance? The answer to these questions is to practice new behavior with the support of others who have similar experiences. The best way for a wife to help an alcoholic husband is to focus less on him less and more on herself. She can research options for her own recovery.
Alcoholics Are Responsible For Their Own Actions
Alcoholics and drug addicts often are masters of blame. They accuse others of being the cause of their drinking problem. They blame their bosses, their spouses, even their children. Wives of alcoholic husbands often accept that blame and desperately try to please them. The truth of the matter is that the wife does not cause the problem, and she cannot control or cure the problem. The alcoholic himself is responsible for his own behavior. Once the wife accepts these facts, she can begin to concentrate on her own recovery from feelings of shame and guilt and her need to fix a problem that is not hers. (http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa980225.htm)
Replace Emotional Reactions With Nonjudgmental Facts
Alcoholism and drug addiction breed distrust among family members because of constant lies and disappointments. One way a wife can begin to help an alcoholic husband is to stop pleading, threatening, begging and demanding. Instead she can learn to communicate facts calmly with emotional detachment. She can confront her alcoholic husband with the facts of his behavior and then tell him how that behavior makes her feel. Then she must let it go. She is not responsible for his reaction. She does not need to participate in any drama. As wives educate themselves about alcoholism and reach out for support, they will discover the benefits of helping themselves.
Continue the discussion on alcoholism by posting your thoughts on our Facebook wall.