In support group meetings for people who are living with an alcoholic, it’s common for beginners to want to know how to get their spouse to stop abusing alcohol. Long-time members generally respond to the newcomers by explaining that we cannot tell them how to make their spouse stop drinking.
It’s generally the goal of twelve step groups to teach people how to live with the problem of alcoholism, not how to make someone quit drinking.
Usually the initial foundation is built upon the understanding that we have no control over another person’s choices. The only person we have any control over is ourselves.
Alcoholics have common personality traits that are very damaging to relationships. The goal of most support groups is to educate people about how alcoholics behave and what they can do to protect themselves from the damaging effects of associating with problem drinkers.
There are a few things that we can do that will help an alcoholic in the long run, rather than contribute to the support of their addiction.
What are these things that we can do that can be beneficial?
- Learn what the things are that you are doing which are considered enabling behaviors.
- Learn how to stop enabling.
- Get an education on how to set boundaries with an alcoholic.
- Discover ways to stop fighting with an alcoholic.
- Be prepared for when they finally hit bottom.
- Let them suffer the consequences of their own actions.
- Don’t get them out of jail if they get arrested.
There are some really good tips in this article: What Makes Alcoholics Stop Drinking
The way we help an alcoholic is completely the opposite of how we have been taught to help people. Rather than doing things for them all of the time, we must learn how to draw the line and say; “I love you. I’m sorry you have such a mess on your hands, but I cannot help you.”
Once an alcoholic spouse begins to feel the pain of their poor choices, then there’s a chance that they will get help for their addiction problem.
Now, you may be thinking that leaving your spouse should cause enough pain for them to quit drinking alcohol.
That’s not what I am talking about here. If you are serious about ditching the person you love, then I highly recommend that you find an alcoholism support group meeting to attend.
It’s possible to live with and love an alcoholic spouse for an entire lifetime. Right now you are experiencing anger and disappointment in many different ways. Get rid of the anger before making any major life changing decisions like leaving your spouse.
Leaving your spouse is not how to make them quit drinking alcohol. If anything, they would probably just get worse.
They are going to have to want to quit drinking alcohol. You cannot force them to want to stop. This is something that they must decide to do on their own through experiencing the pain that is associated with their addiction. The more we reduce the pain that they should be experiencing, the longer it could take for them to ask for help.
I know what you are going through. When I first started seeking to get answers, I wanted to know how to get my spouse to quit drinking alcohol too.
I’m sure you have tried everything in your power to convince them to stop. I can teach you how to live with and love your spouse, even if they are drinking or not.
You can begin learning how to make changes through enrolling in our email mini-course, located in the sidebar. In the process of learning, you may even see them decide to get sober because of the changes that you are making in your life.