Alcoholism in the Family – Alcoholism And Marriage
Within a family that has an active alcoholic then there is obviously recipe for dysfunction as this member typically disrupts the normal functioning, healthy family dynamics and creates unnecessary drama and problems. Often times the spouse of an alcohol addict begins to doubt him or herself wondering what he or she has done to contribute to this problem, the answer is 9 out of 10 times the same, “absolutely nothing!”, however, the spouse of the addict may enable the habit in attempts to keep the family “stable” or protect the kids, if any, such as to avoid confrontation.
In some other cases, it often gets near impossible for the non alcoholic partner to remain supportive, in this instance, after a while intimacy is lost, communication levels severely drop. conflicts are escalated, resentment is developed eventually leading to the complete failure of the relationship.
It is very common for the spouse of an alcoholic individual to begin to develop codependency, in this case, the spouse begins to show more compassion than is necessary and in turn, gives the wrong support. When the non alcoholic spouse begins to have codependency, he or she begins to justify the fact and rationalize their partner’s behavior and end up enabling his wife or her husband.
If an alcoholic is a parent, then there are a variety of roles that the alcoholic child can begin to take on, none being healthy or positive for that matter. The eldest child of an alcoholic parent may take on the responsibility of protecting his or her younger sibling(s) at a risk of their own, likewise, a younger child may become rebellious, become “lost” or begin to completely withdraw from reality and family always falling into a daze or become the family clown by using entertainment antics to mask the pain he or she is feeling.
Alcoholism in the Family – Decision Making
Decision making is often affected within the home of an alcoholic since decisions are typically made in the heat of the moment under pressure, rather than after a calm discussion and critical thinking. Typically, in an alcoholic home, decisions are made during a “shouting match” and the person who is the loudest, typically makes the rules. In situations like these, the underdog of the family who feels as if they have no say whatsoever, learn to become manipulative and finds other ways to have their needs met.
Alcoholism in the Family – Control Mechanisms
If a family has a family member who they are close to, that is suffering with an alcohol addition problem then there most likely will be frequent issues with controlling behavior. Alcoholics often try to control other members of the family often by using methods of brainwash. Methods of this include:
- An alcoholic parent may ensure that the children shower at a specific time and for a specific duration every single day or only play with a specific group of friends
- An alcoholic spouse may ensure that the significant other has dinner ready at a specific time and if everything isn’t done on time, then the alcoholic may break out into a psychotic rage.
Alcoholism in the Family – Dealing with Emotions
Emotions are usually kept bottled up, family members tend to not talk about their feelings and the issue of addiction is often ignored or justified. The family members of an alcoholic often make excuses for the act of their addicted loved one and go as far as to deny that the problem even exists in the first place.
Family members tend to deal with addiction in a variety of ways, some believe that they can fix the situation and end up becoming obsessed with doing just that, when a person becomes like this, it is said to be that they are codependent with their obsession of “helping” their loved one and end up having a negative impact on their own life.
Other family members find it extremely hard to deal with the idea of why their loved one is being labelled as an alcoholic and cannot begin to understand why they continue to drink regardless of the harm that it causes on both the individual as well as their loved ones. When this occurs, the family becomes resentful and frustrated, thus setting severe consequences set such as not allowing the addict to be around them or included in any family events.
Contact us at Alcoholic Intervention Services for help with alcohol or drug abuse. We have experienced staff on call with over 300 successful interventions all over the USA.
Alcoholism is a disease that affects the entire family and can be overcome, however the damage that it causes to the family unit sometimes may be impossible to be fixed.