Should you do anything if your partner gets caught drinking and driving by the police? When my alcoholic/addict spouse was pulled over for driving funny, she got arrested. It wasn’t for drinking though. She got nailed for having six controlled substances (pills) without any prescriptions for them.
Here’s my story of what I did when my wife was thrown in jail. For the longest time the person that I stayed in close contact within my support group for family members and friends of alcoholics had been preparing me for the day when my spouse would get arrested.
In Al-anon (a program for friends and family members of people who drink) you are encouraged to get a sponsor. Well, my sponsor would say to me: “don’t you dare get her out of jail if she gets arrested.” I can’t remember how many times she must have said this to me over the course of about a year. Finally, the call came from the police station and I was informed that my wife had been arrested.
I called my sponsor right away and told her, she laughed and said that it was about time. “You didn’t get her out did you?” she asked. “No” I replied.
As I talked with her for a while, she suggested that I tell my wife’s drinking buddies and suggest that they bail her out. She had a lot of them because it was her lifestyle to spend a lot of time away from our family and party with them throughout the week. So, I did just that.
I called one of my spouses close friends and told him that she had been arrested. When he asked if I had gotten her out of jail, I replied: “NO!”
I then told him that I was not going to get her out of jail that all of the people who she spends time parting with could collectively pool money and get her out, but I was not going to do anything for her. This came as a shock to him and when she found out what I had done she was shocked as well. Being the loyal friend that he was, he took the initiative to have the fund raiser and get her out. It took a couple of days, but they all pooled in some money and she was released.
Why should we rescue our spouses when they get arrested in relation to their alcohol or drug addiction?
If you think about it this is just a part of them suffering the consequence of their actions? When we refuse to bail them out of the mess that they created, oftentimes this will cause them to hit a bottom.
It’s called tough love! This is the sort of thing that makes an alcoholic stop drinking. While they are hitting bottom, it hurts everyone involved. It’s our responsibility as spouses who love our husbands and wifes to not cousin their fall. The bottom that they hit must be hard enough for them to feel the pain of their choices.
So, if your spouse has been arrested for drinking alcohol or for driving under the influence what should you do? I cannot answer this for you, but just remember that the more we fish them out of their problems, the more we enable them to continue to drink like a fish. In my case she was mad a hornet, but she would have been angry about something else anyway if she had never been arrested. So, life goes on as usually in the dysfunctional relationship and family.