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Effective Strategies for What to Do If My Spouse is an Alcoholic

Kristin Miller Profile

Written By:

Kristin Miller LCSW

Medically-Reviewed By:

Braulio Mariano-Mejia MD

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Historically, codependency has been used to refer to a person in a relationship with an addict. Codependency referred to their unhealthy relationship enabling the addiction. However, the current meaning states that it is a condition of sacrificing ones needs to take care of others. In this situation, the hardest part is detaching yourself from the loved ones.


The conditions to create codependency is quite common among parents and spouses of addicts. To some extent, the aforementioned individuals may feel that they are responsible for the actions of their loved ones, redoubling their efforts to support the addict under any circumstances. If you are among this category then these are the tools you can employ to recover.

Working the steps


Codependent people have a hard time trying to establish boundaries and maintaining them. To encourage a healthy recovery for the addict in their life, it’s critical that something change. Clearly, the path they have been on and the measures taken so far have not been successful. The loved one’s must be committed to following the treatment advice provided by a treatment center to support the addict. During a rehabilitation process both the patient and the family should be receiving the tools needed to support long-term recovery.

Establish Boundaries


It is important to point out that codependency is a form of addiction just like alcohol or drug addiction. Therefore, if you are in a codependent relationship with someone you will need to seek addiction treatment. Of course, just like any other addiction, you will face many challenges in the recovery phase. Detaching emotionally from those people you were codependent with will not be a walk in the park. Nonetheless, you need to take small and steady steps towards recovery if you want to achieve a fulfilling life. You should realize self-care is not selfish. Additionally, you should join a support group where you can share with other people and receive guidance and counseling.

Do not take things personally


With an afflicting addiction, there are often elements beyond your control and sometimes, beyond their reasonable control. Therefore, do not always feel responsible for other people’s actions. In fact, many of the addict’s parents feel as if they failed somewhere during the upbringing of the child. Nevertheless, you should understand each person chooses his or her own path and understand how you can support them, in a healthy way, going forward.

Find a Sponsor


Since detaching from someone you were codependent with is very hard, it is vital to find someone to give you strength to carry on. In fact, from time to time you should schedule meetings with your sponsor and discuss your progress. Support groups are available for more than just the addict. Al-anon groups support loved ones of addicts and provide a community to share experiences and learn from each others. The most important factor when dealing with a sponsor is honesty. You should open up to them and do not be embarrassed about anything because acceptance is the first step towards recovery.

Palm Beach Recovery Center; the Caring and Listening Partner


Palm Beach Recovery Center we will help you with the recovery journey and help you live a fulfilling life. At our organization, we offer drug detox programs and support groups to help you start your recovery journey today. For more inquiries, call us on 561-567-8252

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About the Author:

Kristin completed her Master’s in Social Work from Colorado State University and is a qualified supervisor in the state of Florida. Kristin has dedicated her entire career to the study and treatment of substance use and mental health issues affecting people of all ages for over 15 years. Kristin is passionate about impacting the field of addiction and mental health disorders. She provides ethical, evidence-based treatment and is passionate about providing education to the families and loved ones, on the disease of addiction.

Read Our Editorial Policy

To guarantee that all of our information is accurate, we ensure that all our sources are reputable. That means every source is authenticated and verified to be backed only by medical science.

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