Some say that the spouse is the last to know. When looking for signs of alcoholism, this might be true. Hiding an alcohol addiction is easy when you consider that society accepts openly drinking. If you believe your spouse may have a drinking problem, what should you be looking for?
Social, Binge, and Dependent Drinking
Social drinkers can have a drink or two and then walk away. They enjoy social interactions at a party or venue, and the drinking is secondary to the experience. They don’t “smuggle in” alcohol to liven up the party. In contrast, the binge drinker takes advantage of social situations and routinely overdoes it.
They usually wake up the next morning with a hangover and potentially missing memories. They might have acted out inappropriately and feel chastised. This behavior doesn’t repeat until another occasion. If your spouse meets this description, he or she may be in jeopardy of developing an addiction.
The spouse with an alcohol addiction drinks to excess consistently. Whether it’s at home, with friends, during a social event, or at a work function, he or she gets drunk. For this reason, you probably dread accompanying your spouse to these types of gatherings, especially when day-after hangovers are routine.
Signs of Alcoholism and the Myth of the Functioning Alcoholic
The stereotypical alcoholic spouse is unemployed and slowly takes a family into financial ruin. In reality, plenty of alcohol-dependent marriage partners keep up with jobs and responsibilities. At some point, however, the veneer cracks. It’s impossible to hide the problem any longer.
As a spouse, you have to make a choice. Do you want to pretend like there’s nothing wrong and continue with life? Doing so requires you to lie for your spouse, cover up drunken incidents, and explain the problem away. Many co-dependent relationships start out like this.
Alternatively, you can contact experts for assistance. Getting addictions treated via an intervention at the marriage level has propelled plenty of spouses to seek out rehab. This move is risky because it can drive the alcoholic spouse to leave or start a cycle of broken promises. On the other hand, it’s the only way to affect genuine and lasting change.
Seeking out a Spiritual (non-denominational) Approach to Treatment
If you’ve been going down this road for a while, your spouse may have already tried a regular 12-Step program. Although it works for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. For some, it’s a spot fix that doesn’t last for long.
A spiritual, non-denominational, but non-12-Step approach may be a better option. It includes components such as:
- Initiative-driven approach to healing
- One-on-one therapy that tries to uncover what makes your spouse reach for a drink in certain situations
- Dual diagnosis assessment and treatment deals with underlying mental illnesses
- A Spiritual Psychology approach to wellness that focuses on the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental self
- Productive experiential therapy
Located on San Juan Island in Washington, The Clearing offers hope where other rehab facilities failed. If you suspect that your spouse shows signs of alcoholism, call us today at 425-275-8600.