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How To Cope With An Alcoholic Partner

 

Is my partner an alcoholic? 

If you believe you may have an alcoholic partner, there are a number of different ways you can take action to help the both of you. Each case of alcoholism varies from one person to the next, however, the warning signs can often provide a more clear picture of your partner’s situation.

 

Signs to look for include:

  • Drinking on a daily basis 
  • Discreetly drinking
  • Consistent paranoia 
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • A lack of responsibility
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Regular small accidents or mistakes
  • A lack of hygiene and little to no concern with appearance
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Rapid weight loss

Alcoholism doesn’t just affect the individual, it also has a huge impact on their relationships and their ability to maintain them – especially when it comes to their partners. 

For those seeking advice on coping with an alcoholic partner, it’s important to approach the situation carefully and sensitively.

 

Advice for partners of alcoholics 

Initially, it may be hard to spot that you’re living with an alcoholic partner – especially if they’re high functioning. Often, the symptoms can go under the radar, however, it’s essential to act fast if you begin to spot these following signs of alcohol addiction in your partner.  

Coping with an alcoholic partner isn’t something you have to go through alone. As your partner’s support system, taking care of yourself is important in order to have a much better chance of dealing with the situation appropriately. 

Support for partners of alcoholics is available in the form of talking therapies and peer support groups. Interacting with others who can relate to and understand the situation can help to reduce stress and build coping mechanisms.

Similarly, educating yourself thoroughly about helping an alcoholic partner in denial – ranging from what their triggers are to the professional resources available to them – can make the recovery process much easier for the both of you. 

 

How to live with an alcoholic partner

Living with an alcoholic partner in denial is challenging for a number of reasons – you may experience mental health difficulties of your own, and if both situations are ignored, it can cause even more severe problems down the line. 

In order to decrease any tension between the two of you at home, it’s necessary to be constructive in your approach to living with them. 

Self-blame is extremely counter-productive in helping an alcoholic partner. It’s easy to forget that you are not the cause of their addiction and you are also not responsible for their choices when it comes to alcohol. Maintain a level-headed attitude when confronting these issues to avoid emotional strain.

Avoid trying to control their drinking. By passing full responsibility to your alcoholic partner, you’re reducing the likelihood of them becoming defensive or angry – allowing them to place more trust in you when they do decide to enter recovery.

 

What treatment is available for my alcoholic partner?

Once your alcoholic partner has accepted help, it’s essential that you act quickly to get them into treatment before they lose this new-found clarity, which can often happen during a relapse.   

At Claimont Health, we offer a range of treatments to gently guide the individual through the recovery process.

 

Detoxification

Detoxification is a complex yet effective process. The consequences of going straight into sudden withdrawal can be intense and often life-threatening, so it’s essential to offer medical supervision and medication for a period of 7-10 days when first going ‘cold turkey’.

 

Treating underlying mental and physical health problems

Often, alcoholics use drinking as a way to mask other underlying health problems. By treating these issues alongside addiction treatment, the likelihood of a full recovery is increased whilst the chances of relapse are diminished.

 

Medication to encourage abstinence

There are a number of different medications your alcoholic partner can take to aid their recovery. 

Acamprosate and naltrexone are options that reduce alcohol cravings, whereas antabuse causes sickness upon consumption.

 

Psychological therapies

It’s advisable to encourage your alcoholic partner to attend psychological therapy as a means of strengthening their recovery. 

Available therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy – which helps the patient to cope better with triggers to drinking – and motivational interviewing.

Your partner may also opt for one of our 12-step methods, which use the philosophy of alcoholics anonymous (AA) to help individuals maintain abstinence.

 

Can I drink around an alcoholic partner? 

It’s crucial to ensure that your actions are not enabling your alcoholic partner to continue drinking. Even a small relapse can send someone in recovery spiralling, taking them back to square one.

For recovering alcoholics, escaping the constant draw of drinking is difficult as it is. Triggers present themselves in a number of ways – from social functions where alcohol is readily available, to regular exposure through advertisements. 

This is why it’s necessary to avoid drinking or nursing a hangover around your recovering alcoholic partner. Even if you’ve both enjoyed drinking alcohol together in the past, it’s important to support their commitment to sobriety by mirroring their reduced drinking habits. 

 

How to help an alcoholic partner 

Helping an alcoholic partner is much easier when you have external support. At Claimont Health, we offer a range of different forms of support to help you both through this challenging time, including advice for partners of alcoholics.

As an alternative to traditional hospital care or rehabilitation centre, our compassionate team of healthcare professionals are here to help you receive the help you need in the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to have a confidential consultation with one of our experts for private, safe and discreet treatment for alcohol addiction.