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Are you married to a female alcoholic?


I have counselled many men married to alcoholic women and I say the same thing, you can’t change your wife’s behavior by threatening to leave and taking the children or by screaming and smashing furniture. All you are doing is hurting yourself and crucifying your children’s mental health.

The alcoholic wife lapses into an alcoholic haze and comes back to reality when she’s ready. Threats are useless unless they are acted upon. Make a decision to leave then do it.

The alcoholic can use all the emotional blackmail they can muster up but once you have made up your mind, stick to it. Husbands are great enablers and actually contribute to their wife’s alcohol problem.  I know it’s hard to believe but anyone married to an alcoholic is often the culprit by enabling them to continue the insanity.

Have you ever watched Shattered Spirits by Martin Sheen? In the movie the wife is the enabler and Martin Sheen is the alcoholic but the emotions are the same. The wife takes the blame because she thinks if she was a better wife her husband wouldn’t drink so much. If the kids were better behaved, her husband would not have to turn to drink to calm his nerves. If there is an alcoholic in the family, everyone suffers.

If you are married to an alcoholic woman, you have a heart wrenching challenge. Marriage is supposed to be about two people sharing their lives with each other.  Alcoholism cuts one person off and creates an emotional black hole in the relationship. Take a look at the ways alcoholism can affect you, your children, and your wife.

She has the compulsion to do dangerous things and it’s out of your control.

Alcoholism is more than just drinking a lot of alcohol. It also involves a dangerous compulsion to keep drinking despite knowing the consequences. A compulsion is a strong urge to do something over and over.  Often this activity becomes dangerous and all-consuming when the compulsion takes over. Compulsion causes an alcoholic to drink high levels of alcohol which impairs judgment, releases inhibition, and heightens emotions. When she drinks this much, she does a lot of damage to her body.  She is also at risk for drunk driving, poor performance at work, and sabotaging family relationships.

An alcoholic woman is a poor marriage partner.  She is not likely to consider her husband’s needs, may spend money recklessly, may not communicate very well, and may not be very dependable. Perhaps in an intoxicated state she tells her in-laws some terrible things. She may act erratically at family events, cheat on her husband, steal from the family funds, or completely isolate herself in her home.

These circumstances can weigh heavily on a marriage. Your marriage may not survive unless you intervene and get help.

Instead of having a mature adult partner, a husband has a reckless child to care for.  Even the most patient spouses can have difficulty enduring this for long. Alcohol rehab can help a marriage get back on track, but there are no guarantees.

You need to protect your kids from the effects of alcoholism in the home. Anytime an alcoholic is left directly in charge of children, the danger level goes up.  Young children are at a much higher risk for neglect and injury.  They may be left in dirty diapers for long periods, not feed adequately, and allowed to roam through the house unsupervised. Do you have a pool? Even older children need supervision and guidance through their day.

Having an alcoholic parent in the home means they must learn to fend for themselves.  Kids grow up and leave their carefree childhood mindset behind long before they are ready.  This can lead to discipline problems and reckless behaviors.  If your wife is alcoholic, you need to protect your kids.  Learn how alcoholism is affecting them and do whatever you can to keep them safe.  Encouraging your wife to go to alcohol rehab or counselling by an addiction specialist, is a good start.

DUI arrests, problems staying focused at work, and financial difficulties may not be enough to make an alcoholic woman change her behaviors. Your marriage can erode before your eyes if she continues drinking. She needs support and encouragement to get help with her alcoholism. This isn’t a matter of willpower or being strong enough to handle it. Your alcoholic wife will have the best chance if you help her get started with specialist counselling today.  Alanon can emotionally support you during difficult times.

You can suggest to your wife that she takes a course of supplements but often alcoholics are in denial and this idea will be thrown out the window. I suggest you try for yourself some Tyrosine Mood Food to help you cope. Tyrosine is necessary for the manufacture of dopamine and noradrenaline, which are required for concentration, alertness, memory, focus, motivation and a happy, stable mood.  Magnesium will help you to reduce your stress levels and assist with a deep restful sleep.

You could purchase Dr. Cabot’s book: Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It and leave it lying on the coffee table.  You never know, your wife might just read enough about her diseased liver to get help herself. One of my current patients found me by reading the fatty liver book because she did have a fatty liver and didn’t know how to fix it. You could also leave on the kitchen bench some LivaTone Shots, just in case your wife is suffering a hangover and her liver cells need some help from the toxic substance she has ingested. Her poor liver must need some respite.

If all else fails, contact me, Wendy, at counsellor@scoastnet.com.au or www.couragetochange.com.au and I will counsel you on how to deal with your wife’s unacceptable behavior.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.