How Alcoholism Affects The Family Part 2
This is a continuation of part 1 in which we discussed the affects that alcoholism has on children; now we will discuss how spouses or partners of alcoholics are affected and how each individual can be helped.
Spouses/Partners of Alcoholics
Alcoholism also has serious affects on the spouse or partner of the addict. So much so, that it is not uncommon for the individual to have mental and physical health problems. As the addiction progresses, the non-drinking spouse oftentimes takes on a compulsive care-taking role. This can create feelings of self pity, exhaustion and resentment towards the alcoholic. The relationship often suffers because of a lack of communication, an increase in anger due to stress, reduce intimacy, a depletion in finances, and abuse, either physical, mental, or both. It is very likely that the spouse or partner, as well as the children, will become codependents, or enablers. While they may not realize what they are doing is harmful, enabling will only further the addicts’ alcoholism. Additionally, the non-drinker may become so focused on their spouse that they become less focused on any children involved in the relationship. Because they often take on more roles than they can handle, they become overworked and stressed; this too will have an effect on any child. Furthermore, by taking on these roles, they also become the person who must discipline the children, make up rules, explain that there is not enough money for food or toys, etc. A child may not understand what the non-drinker has to take on and blame them for all the problems that are occurring.