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If you think that your wife or partner may have an alcohol problem, you’re in the right place. At Help4Addiction, we can guide you through the rehab process, and give you helpful advice on how you can help your wife, and where to find the right rehab treatment.

Alcoholism not only affects the person with the problem but affects their families and friends too. It can have both immediate and long-lasting effects on families that can span across entire generations, which is one of the reasons that alcoholism is known as a family disease.

Alcohol use disorder is not uncommon, with over 14 million people having a chronic and relapsing alcohol disorder. If you think your wife has an alcohol addiction, it’s important that she gets the help she deserves – and you deserve.

However, you may not be able to provide her with the help she needs alone – and alcohol rehabmay be the next step.

Read on to learn some of the key signs of alcoholism to look for in your wine, and for some ways that you can help your wife. We’ll also be exploring rehab options, so you and your partner know what to expect from rehab.

Key Signs of Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that affects thousands of people across England and Wales. It’s important to identify the issue before the problem escalates – every day that your partner is in active addiction is another day wasted.

Likewise, your partner’s alcoholism may be affecting you. Not only can it be difficult to watch your wife struggle with addiction, but alcohol addiction has been linked to domestic violence/ intimate partner violence.

Back in 2019, 39% of all violent incidents across England and Wales were alcohol-related. This figure hasn’t changed much in over ten years.

Alcohol abuse also increases the risk of legal issues and financial difficulties, which can put a strain on the family unit and household. Alcoholism has also been linked to risky sexual behaviours, which can put a strain on any marriage and lead to separation or divorce.

Alcohol addiction isn’t always easy to spot, even with people you live with. Although it may be easy to hide the signs during the early stages of alcohol addiction, it gets much harder as the addiction progresses.

If your wife is unable to function without alcohol or struggles to control how much they drink, then this suggests that they are dependent on alcohol.

Read on for some of the key signs that your partner is an alcoholic, from the lack of control over alcohol abuse to a higher alcohol tolerance.

However, it’s important to note that these signs alone don’t guarantee that your partner is dependent on alcohol. You should speak to an addiction specialist if you wish to move forward with treatment.

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Lack of Control Over Drinking

Alcohol use disorder is characterised by the lack of control over alcohol consumption. This means that your alcoholic spouse may be unable to control when they drink, how often they drink, how much they drink, when they start or stop drinking, or even what they drink.

For example, they may drink alcohol at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places such as first thing in the morning, or at work. They may struggle to stop drinking once they start, which could continue into the next morning.

Alcohol can quickly become the priority of an alcoholic. This means that they may neglect their responsibilities, or stop partaking in hobbies or activities they once enjoyed in order to abuse alcohol.

Ultimately, somebody with alcohol dependence may be aware of the negative consequences of their drinking, but continue to do so anyway.

They may also attempt to stop drinking, but end up relapsing. Alcohol addiction is a relapsing disease that can be very difficult to overcome without the right support.

Withdrawal Symptoms

People with a dependence on alcohol will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can affect a person’s physical and mental health – they may feel unwell for a while after stopping drinking.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on a range of factors such as medical history and addiction history. Some physical withdrawal symptoms include headache, fever, sweating, red face, hand tremors, appetite changes, nausea, and vomiting.

Some psychological withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, mood swings, and low mood. Severe alcohol withdrawal – for example, delirium tremens, can involve hallucinations. If your partner is experiencing severe withdrawal, seek medical attention.

Increased Tolerance

Another sign that your partner has an alcohol problem is that they have an increased tolerance to alcohol.

As they drink more alcohol, over time, their bodies will get used to this level of alcohol intake. This means that they will drink more alcohol in order to feel the same effect.

You may notice that your partner is drinking the same amount as you but still appearing sober, or needs more alcohol in order to feel ‘drunk’.

How Can I Help My Alcoholic Partner/ Alcoholic Spouse Myself?

Although you may wish to help your alcoholic partner yourself, it can be extremely difficult. However, it’s possible to provide your partner with support and encourage them to seek professional treatment.

The first stages of helping your alcoholic wife involve speaking to them and opening their eyes to the fact that they have a problem, as many people are in denial about their drinking habits. Read on for some ways that you can help your partner.

Speak To Them

One of the first things you should try when helping a loved one with an alcohol problem is simply speaking to them. Open up and discuss your concerns regarding their alcohol intake, and ask how they’d feel if they were to stop drinking.

However, it may be difficult to approach the subject if your wife is in denial about their addiction. Check out this helpful page about how to help an alcoholic in denial.

Avoid expressing anger or extreme emotion when discussing the issue, and try to avoid hurting their feelings. Try to keep in mind that alcoholism is a disease, and it can feel very difficult to quit drinking without help.

This is the time to share how your alcoholic husband or wife is making you feel. How is it affecting you? How is it affecting the rest of the family? Are you worried about your partner’s health?

Stage An Intervention

It may take a few attempts before your partner begins to listen, which is why some people choose to stage an alcohol intervention.

An intervention can include family members, loved ones, or even medical professionals or mental health services. However, it’s best to keep interventions small, with core members of the family involved.

Be sure to conduct research before staging an intervention, and consider carefully the goals of the intervention. The aim of your intervention may be for your wife to recognise their problem, or to get them to consider alcohol rehab.

Take Care of Yourself

Living with an alcoholic can be difficult, so it’s essential that you’re looking after your own well-being too. After all, you can’t be a supportive partner if you’re not supporting yourself too.

Taking care of somebody with an alcohol problem can be draining, so it’s important that you’re making time for yourself.

Make sure that your social life doesn’t decline, and be sure to make time for yourself. It can be too easy to isolate yourself, so be sure that you’re still seeing friends and taking care of your well-being.

Many people with an alcoholic spouse feel guilty – however, you should know that you are not to blame for the addiction.

The problem may also be impacting your mental health. It’s important that you don’t drink alcohol in excess too, even if it may feel like it’s relieving negative symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.

How Do I Find Rehab Help For My Alcoholic Wife?

You don’t have to deal with this problem alone. Although you may have the desire to help your partner alone, this isn’t always the best option. There is help out there for you and your wife.

We can also help people find the right drug addiction treatment too, whether it be illicit drugs or prescription drugs.

Outpatient Or Inpatient Treatment?

Substance abuse treatment can be completed on an inpatient basis or an outpatient basis. However, many people prefer inpatient rehab.

Also known as residential rehab, inpatient rehab treatment involves residing at a residential rehab facility throughout the course of rehab, with both meals and accommodation provided. This is a good option for people with severe addictions, as all temptation is removed.

Outpatient rehab, however, allows people to go about their daily lives. They’ll attend their regularly scheduled treatments, and return home afterwards.

Some people prefer to detox from alcohol as an inpatient and continue the rest of their treatment as an outpatient. It all comes down to personal preferences – we can discuss this during our initial consultation.

What Does Rehab Look Like?

Alcohol treatment can vary from clinic to clinic – however, there are usually three stages of the rehab process. Rehab often begins with detoxification, moves on to therapy, and finishes with secondary treatment.

Detoxification aims at dealing with physical dependence – but doesn’t address the social, behavioural, or psychological aspects of addiction. This is something that is addressed during the next stage of rehab – therapy.

Therapy is not only for people with a mental illness – it is a key part of addiction treatment. Addiction therapy can teach you valuable coping mechanisms, and improve your confidence – and your mental health in general.

Some forms of rehab include CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), counselling, and group therapy.

Family therapy and couples counselling can also be beneficial, as addiction rarely just affects the person with the addiction. Family therapy can help to build bridges, and overcome problems together.

Contact our team if you’re concerned for your wife – and remember, you’re not alone. We can find the right rehab clinic for your wife to beat her alcohol addiction once and for all.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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