Living with an alcoholic spouse who is heaping relentless emotional, physical and spiritual abuse upon family members is tough to deal with. Can this extreme negative behavior be tolerated? Is it possible to put and end to the turmoil that accompanies a dysfunctional home without a divorce? Is there a way to live with a husband or wife who gets abusive after having a few drinks?
Yes, is the answer to all three of the previous questions.
There seems to come a point in many spouses’ lives, who are dealing with alcoholic behavior, where the frustration level gets to the point of thinking of getting a divorce or incapacitating the person they have married. Usually, they do not want to do either and that’s when they reach out for help. It’s at this stage of the dysfunctional marriage that many find help through therapy groups.
Ala-non is the most recognized authority in this arena. I personally give them five out of five stars.
Because of the love that bonds two people together in this marriage covenant, throwing in the towel is the last option that gets explored. In actual fact, it should not be an option unless the physical, emotional and spiritual abuse is just too much for a husband, wife or perhaps the children to endure. When there’s a possibility of someone getting seriously hurt in all three areas, a separation may be a good temporary band-aid for protection, until a working solution to the abuse problem begins to form.
There’s a way to live with an abusive alcoholic spouse, but it’s going to require getting involved in some sort of recovery program for family members of alcoholics. One of the strongest suggestions that I heard when I first entered into the Ala-non program was, “give the program a six months chance before making any serious life changing decisions.” This came as disappointing news at first because I wanted them to give me a quick fix and tell me how to make an alcoholic stop drinking.
Generally, when a spouse first begins to attend recovery meetings, they are so angry at the alcoholic and frustrated with the situation that their mental state is unstable. This is why it’s suggested to wait six months before making any decisions like getting a divorce or even separation.
Once you begin to attend meetings and establish relationships with others who really understand the pain associated with an abusive alcoholic, the anger level begins to lesson. Another reason our emotional state begins to get better is because we learn how to protect ourselves from being affected by another’s unacceptable behavior. In short, we get equipped with spiritual and emotional tools to help.
By attending meetings regularly and gaining wisdom, and tools that will help you deal with the abusive situation, the negative affects of the alcoholics behavior get lessened. This is because you will be learning from people who have been living in the middle of alcoholism for many years. They have learned how to protect themselves and set boundaries that angry alcoholics must abide by.
Physical, emotional and spiritual abuse can be dealt with by getting involved with a support group of like minded family members of alcoholics. It has been my experiences that only people who have lived or do live with an alcoholic understand the pain and the anxiety that accompany the family situation. We can never lose hope for a spouse who is drinking too much alcohol. Take your first step to getting help today by finding some meetings in your area that you can begin attending for friends or family members of alcoholics. Once you do this, dealing with an abusive alcoholic will get easier.