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How to deal with an alcoholic husband

At one point in life, you may have gone through a situation where you had to take care of an addict. The worst case scenario occurs when it is your spouse who is an alcoholic. When this happens, the presence of the addiction affects your positive responses towards him/her. Since communication is a critical factor in this union, you will find it difficult to express your feelings and be angry, most of the times. 

The traumatic experience you will get while living with an alcoholic isn’t something to smile about. You keep worrying whether he/she will get home safe of will end up hurting themselves as they try to get home. Worse still, they can cause harm to you and the rest of the family members. Once you have accepted your fate, then your life can change for the better.

To relieve you the pressure, here are some things you should start doing;

Alcoholism is a disease

Like any other disease, being an alcoholic doesn’t give you a choice to drink or not. In as much as he might look strong, but the decision to avoid it is not within his control. He will always promise to change but will get overwhelmed as soon as he spots that bottle of whiskey. Once you accept that alcoholism is a disease, then you will understand why he still drinking despite warning him. Unless he wants to depart and recover from his disease, then there is nothing much you can do.

Remain composed

The last thing anyone wants is to control their emotions when they are angry; which is human. At this point, you want to vent out feelings since he doesn’t seem to empathize with what you are going through. Coping with stress becomes unbearable since you aren’t sure if they are going to change or become worse. The best thing you can do is to talk it out with a friend or a counselor to relieve you on the burden.

But, how do you remain positive even after all the hurt? Well, it is advisable to maintain a good temper to bring a positive effect on your spouse. He is on a journey to recovery. So, if you are angry most of the times, chances are, he will find solace in the bottle.

Focus away from his state

According to a recent study carried out by the University of Buffalo in New York, 50% of all marriages that dealt with an alcoholic spouse ended up in divorce. What does this reveal? It means the sober spouse lacks coping skills. So, they would rather end the marriage rather than help their spouses to recover.

If you want to cope better, then it is time you focused on yourself. At present, there is nothing you can do to change their current state. Your husband should be the one to decide whether he will change or keep up with the alcohol abuse habit. You can divert the stress by making new friends, going for a vacation, or joining a book club. In so doing, you will have the zeal to deal with what you are going through at the moment.

Approach him, but in a polite manner

At this point, you need to address the matter as it is. How your spouse will react greatly determines your manner of approach. Try to be objective and use polite words. To avoid getting a defensive reaction, portray your feelings. Whatever you say, be gentle but firm in your words.

Allow them to face the consequences of their action

You love your husband so much that you don’t wish anything bad to happen during his drinking. So, you go to the bar to pick him up every other night. How many times will you do this? Eventually, he will become violent or start drinking in queer places where you cannot find him. Obviously, this will be devastating for both of you.

Most recovering alcoholics admit that they started their journey once they experienced something traumatic in their lives. So, picking him up will not solve his addiction. Let him face the consequences of his action but keep your fingers crossed.

Support him if he decides to seek professional assistance

You have been hoping and praying for the day your spouse will come and express his interest in recovery. Now the day has come. This is the right time to encourage him by contacting professionals. Remember, if you do it in fast, then he will get help as soon as possible.


Having an addict as a spouse can be one of the most traumatic things to happen if you are faint-hearted. If you have to stay, then you will need to decide whether you want to help them recover or fuel their addiction. Remember that alcoholism is a disease and remain composed in this difficult moment. Once he decides to seek addiction treatment, then help him do it.

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