According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2020-21, one in five people aged 18 years and over consumed more than ten standard drinks in the last week, with men twice as likely as women to exceed ten standard drinks.
Do you need support knowing how to cope with an alcoholic family member? Unsure whether you have an alcoholic spouse? Addiction is often complex and confusing. If you’re unsure whether the behaviour you are witnessing is addiction, this guide explains the signs to look for and where you can seek support.
Here we’ll cover some of the common questions partners of alcohol-addicted men may ask themselves. It might feel overwhelming at the moment, but you’ve taken the first step in getting your loved one the help they need. Know that you’re not alone and that recovery is possible with the right help.
If you need support for an alcoholic partner, ask The Hader Clinic to help. We offer intervention support and a complimentary 60-minute consultation with our addiction and mental health specialists to help you get your partner the help they need to recover.
Is my husband an alcoholic?
From weekends at the football to a Friday night wine-down, drinking is an intrinsic part of Australian culture through many different demographics and social groups. So when does enjoying a drink become a drinking problem?
Alcoholism shows up in many different ways, depending on the individual. One indicator of alcohol addiction is if your partner wants to cut back or stop drinking yet continues.
Signs of problem drinking include:
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Lying about how much they drink
- Needing to drink more over time to get the same good feeling
- When work, relationships or health are affected
Alcohol use disorder has far-reaching effects that extend beyond the person with the addiction, impacting family members, partners and children. Identifying the addictive behaviours early and seeking support is key to limiting the negative consequences of alcohol and keeping your family healthy.
Why is my husband alcoholic?
As a spouse of an alcoholic, you may struggle to understand the physiological appeal of alcoholic beverages and how alcohol addiction is possible when it leaves your loved one in poor health.
For the alcoholic, drinking can reduce feelings of physical and emotional pain, lessening the experience of stress. Substance abuse may occur when an alcoholic spouse uses alcohol to alleviate other difficulties they’re facing. It’s easy to see how alcohol abuse and mental health issues are often linked.
Alcohol abuse can affect the brain, slowing brain activity and altering the release of certain neurotransmitters. Alcohol use disorder occurs when alcohol is used in an ongoing way, altering brain chemistry so that the substance abuse becomes necessary for the individual to feel okay. A person often develops a drinking problem to cope with other issues, which can harm their physical health and overall well-being.
Addressing the underlying mental health disorders with a mental health professional is part of a successful intervention and recovery.
How can I help my alcoholic husband?
If you are concerned about your partner’s drinking and how it affects their physical and mental health, the best place to start is by seeking professional medical advice. A professional can help clarify whether substance abuse is occurring and equip you with tools to move forward.
At The Hader Clinic, we are here to help. We offer intervention support and a complimentary 60-minute consultation with our addiction and mental health specialists to help you get your partner the help they need to recover.
How do I deal with my alcoholic husband and stay safe?
If you are experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner violence associated with alcohol use, you must prioritise your own health and safety. Making excuses for your partner’s alcohol problem when their behaviour extends to verbal abuse, physical abuse, or causes financial problems can affect your own needs.
Set healthy boundaries that make it clear that heavy drinking is not acceptable. Seek addiction treatment for your partner if they’re ready and explore peer support groups for yourself to protect your emotional well-being.
How do I stop my husband from drinking alcohol?
Problem drinking can start in many different ways. When your husband’s drinking becomes an alcohol dependency, exploring alcohol treatment programs and addiction treatment may be the best way forwards. Keep expectations realistic and don’t try to control their drinking behaviour.
How to talk to an alcoholic husband
If your alcoholic spouse doesn’t want to stop drinking, it may help to begin by talking about the underlying emotional distress. Alcohol use disorder can go hand-in-hand with mental disorders. Looking at treatment options for any underlying psychological or emotional issues they face could be less confronting than focusing on their drinking habits.
Do some research to understand alcohol addiction before raising your concerns so you can approach them with a greater awareness of what they are experiencing. The Hader Clinic has a huge variety of alcohol addiction resources that can help you support your partner and better understand alcohol addiction.
What to do with an alcoholic husband
When broken promises and substance use persist, alcohol rehab may be the only viable option to help your partner. It may not be possible to treat alcohol abuse at home, and, in some cases, it can be extremely dangerous, depending on the severity of their addiction. However, a reputable treatment provider can provide the structure and support needed to overcome an alcohol use disorder and substance abuse.
How to treat an alcoholic husband
Substance abuse treatment often begins with residential treatment, such as The Hader Clinic’s in-house rehabilitation program, to target long-term addiction. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism treatment include tailored treatment programs and services that provide ongoing support and relapse prevention.
How do I live with an alcoholic spouse?
Living with an alcoholic is a constant labour of love. While concerns about the effects of their alcoholism, binge drinking or use of other drugs may seem all-consuming, looking after and prioritising yourself is essential.
Binge drinking is never acceptable. If your partner’s alcohol consumption is problematic, you stand a far greater chance of helping them and getting your life back on track if they are properly cared for at a dedicated addiction treatment facility.
What to do if your husband is a functioning alcoholic
Living with a high-functioning alcoholic spouse can be challenging, even when they perform well at work and stay connected to their family life at home. When you know something isn’t right, seeking help can prevent the detrimental effects of alcohol addiction from further impacting your family life.
Will my alcoholic husband ever change?
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious illnesses. However, it is possible to overcome alcohol use disorder. The catch is that it requires the individual to recognise their addiction and commit to finding social support, especially when craving alcohol. Unfortunately, people who abuse alcohol may not see the warning signs until the addiction takes hold.
Supporting an alcoholic through recovery
While it is possible to detox at home, residential addiction treatment programs that facilitate holistic recovery can accelerate the treatment process. As with any substance use disorder, supervised treatment options such as addiction medicine can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
The health problems that can come with alcohol use disorders are significant, and seeking early substance abuse treatment is key to a successful recovery.