How Do I Love My Alcoholic Spouse?
by Angie Lewis 7/31/2009 / Self Help
The best way to love an alcoholic spouse or loved one is with detachment towards the behaviors of the disease. Let the alcoholic know that you do love them but it is the addiction you hate. And because you hate the addiction so much you are unable to be around them when they drink. Become knowledgeable about alcoholism so you can better understand its cunning and baffling ways.
Separate The Person From The Addiction
Alcoholism is a sickness just like any other sickness. In fact a person with hypoglycemia would physically and emotionally feel much like a dry alcoholic would. Alcoholics almost always have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) because of the adverse affects of alcohol on the body. When someone is sick with diabetes or hypoglycemia it is not the substance of "who they are" it is what has been created in their life because of circumstances and triggers connected to them. It is the same way with addiction of any kind. Addiction is a hurdle that can be conquered.
5 Triggers That Spark Addiction
Alcoholism is created in our lives because of underlying triggers and circumstances being present. These factors are physical, heredity, environmental, emotional and spiritual.
1. The craving for alcohol is the physical aspect of addiction, and has a lot to do with diet.
2. Past baggage is the emotional, mental, and sometimes spiritual aspects that offset addiction.
3. Environmental is people we are close to that are alcoholic or were alcoholic. For instance, if a person grew up with an alcoholic parent, that person is more likely to become an alcoholic or marry an alcoholic.
4. The spiritual is the connection the alcoholic has with God.
5. Heredity is genes from an alcoholic parent or grandparent.
All of the above are major triggers that reinforce addiction in a person. But these triggers can be healed and that is how the addict becomes sober and stays sober. The alcoholic can't just stop drinking and think they are healed; there is more to it than that. If the alcoholic just stops drinking and does not take action to heal and or change his circumstances then he will most likely not stay sober for very long.
Stop Putting Band-Aids on the Alcoholic's Wounds
Every time the enabler kisses the boo-boo and puts a band-aid on the alcoholic's wounds, they will never fully realize they are sick and need healing. For example, if a person continually gets bad headaches and they cover up the pain with aspirin, they will never get to real reason of "why" they keep getting headaches. "Why does the alcoholic drink? What circumstances and triggers are present that can be eliminated from the alcoholics life. All triggers can be healed and done away with for good with the right addiction counseling, intervention and Godly support, expect for the heredity factor.
You have to allow the alcoholic to tend to his own wounds for a change. If the enabler keeps covering up the wounds the addict will never take charge of his own behavior, reactions, and circumstances. Covering up the alcoholic's behaviors with band-aids only reinforces in the alcoholic more denial that he or she even has a problem.
You help the alcoholic best by pulling yourself away emotionally and that takes effort on your part, but you can do it. Love, support, and encourage the alcoholic when they are NOT drinking. Cut the ropes to the disease but love the person. Do not become trapped within the sickness of addiction anymore. You have to start rescuing you for a change and you can only do that by letting it go.
Ask Jesus to help you to detach with love from the alcoholic. Never underestimate the power of prayer in your life. Keep praying for the alcoholic because God does hear your prayers. He knows the suffering and pain you are going through every day. This is precisely why you need to go to Him and ask Him to give you the strength and faith you will need daily to cope with loving an alcoholic.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:25)
Before I end this article I would like to leave you with some encouragement from the book of ALANON.
Why do I waste my precious time and energy trying to figure out what makes an alcoholic drinkwhy he doesn't consider his family, his obligations, his reputation? All I need to know is that he suffers from a diseasealcoholism, the compulsion to drink. Why shouldn't I have compassion for him and his illness when I am so ready to feel sorry for people who have other diseases? Do I blame them? Can I cure him by reproaching him? Can I look into his heart and realize the true nature of his sufferings?
The fact that I am the spouse, child, parent, or friend of an alcoholic does not give me the right to try to control him. I can only make the situation worse by treating him like an irresponsible naughty child.
"On this day I promise God and myself that I will let go of the problem which is destroying my peace of mind. I pray for detachment from the situation, but not from the suffering drinker who may be helped to find the way to sobriety through the change in my attitude and the love and compassion I am able to express."
ALANON One Day At A Time.