So Your Spouse Won’t Quit Drinking?

To begin with, I want to let you know that if your partner is attempting to change his or her drinking (whether that involves decreasing his or her drinking or quitting altogether), you need to try to be supportive. If he or she messes up, you need to still be supportive. It may be unreasonable to demand that he or she stop drinking if he or she is trying to decrease their drinking or drink in a safer way for now. However, if they truly are an alcoholic, eventually, they will need to quit drinking altogether. It is also completely unreasonable to try to force your partner to drink in a moderate, safe way when he or she tries to quit. If you find that you are really attached to drinking then perhaps you have issues with alcohol yourself that you will need to reevaluate.

If your partner refuses to change the amount that he or she drinks, it may be that he or she is endangering you or your children. If this is the case, it may be time to leave. While this may seem difficult, it may be only temporary as you leaving may be the incident that gets your spouse to stop drinking once and for all. If your partner is becoming violent when he or she drinks, he or she may have a co-occurring disorder. This means that in addition to substance abuse issues, he or she also has mental health issues that he or she will need to seek treatment for.

If things have progressed to a desperate situation, but you do not feel that you or your children are in immediate danger, you may need to demand that your spouse attends rehab. Doing some research and finding a rehabilitation facility may be a helpful approach. It may also be helpful for you to speak with the addiction specialists at the facility to make sure that your spouse will be able to find the treatment that he or she deserves.

The main thing to keep in mind is that if your spouse needs help for his or her drinking, you must insist that they seek help. I know it may seem like your spouse is choosing to be an alcoholic, but you need to remember that alcoholism is a disease akin to any other chronic illness. Your spouse does not need to be judged, but rather, he or she needs to find treatment that will work so he or she can get better.