Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!
Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!

Living With an Alcoholic

Living with an alcoholic can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally draining experience. The person living with an alcoholic likely feels a mix of sadness, frustration, guilt, and confusion.

It is important to remember that living with an alcoholic cannot be solved alone- the affected person must reach out for help from qualified professionals such as substance abuse counselors or therapists. With the right support, living with an alcoholic can become more manageable. Those living in these situations should prioritize taking care of themselves by seeking assistance and finding appropriate outlets to express their feelings in healthy ways.

living with an alcoholic

How to Live With Someone That is
Addicted to Alcohol

Alcoholics tend to create chaos, while the others around them suffer under these conditions. Living with an alcoholic can lead to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and desperation. Figuring out how to cope with a loved one and their drinking can be a day-to-day struggle.

Not only are those living with an alcohol use disorder affected, but the mental and physical health of the individual living with addiction can be at risk as well. For family members and friends living with someone who is an active alcoholic, it’s important to take extra precautions in caring for their own emotional and mental well-being.

It can be difficult to watch a loved one struggling, but finding coping strategies such as talking to friends or joining support groups can help you get through and avoid exacerbating the stressful situation even further. Joining emotional support networks can also be beneficial and allow you to see that you’re not alone in your experiences living with an alcoholic.

Coping with An Alcoholic

The truth is that you don’t have to feel this way and shouldn’t let anyone affect your own well-being. This can be easier said than done, especially when the one suffering from alcoholism is a loved one. However, making adjustments to your attitude and approach toward the problem can make a big difference for everyone. Here are some things to remember when living with an alcoholic.

Someone Else’s Addiction Is Not Your Fault​

Knowing that their addiction is not your fault will free you from an immense amount of guilt.

Alcoholics are notorious for placing the blame on everyone and everything around them. If you’re living with an alcoholic, you’ve probably heard that their drinking is your fault. Remember that it is simply untrue. No matter what you did (or do), nothing is going to stop them from drinking until they’re ready.

You Can’t Control Someone Else’s Addiction

Remember that addiction is not something you can control from the outside, so stop trying to control it.

It’s instinctual as family members, to try and stop our loved one’s destructive behavior. Alcoholics can’t control their own drinking, so thinking that you will somehow be able to, will prove to be frustrating.

When it comes to a living with an alcoholic family member’s drinking, the truth is that it’s absolutely impossible for you to control it. In recovery, even and especially as family members, we must accept the things we cannot change.

This does not mean you must accept the unhealthy behaviors that accompany alcoholism. Instead, accept the fact that you are not able to change your loved one’s alcoholism— only they have the power to do that.

Do Not Enable Someone Else’s Addiction

If someone is struggling with addiction, the best way another person can help is by not enabling their addictive behaviors. Although loved ones may mean well, they often inadvertently cause more harm than good when trying to “help”. Covering things up, giving money, or bailing a family member out of a situation as a result of their drinking, reinforces negative behavior. Setting boundaries and upholding negative consequences can be one of the most powerful ways to get an alcoholic to finally realizes they need help. As a result, this “tough love” can be the key to escaping the vicious cycles of living with an alcoholic.

Take Care of Yourself

Living with an alcoholic can be a difficult and frustrating experience. The person living with the alcoholic can often feel helpless and overwhelmed, with no control over their situation or how their loved one is behaving. Although it’s impossible to “fix” someone struggling with alcoholism, there are ways to cope and find support for yourself. 

 Organizations like Al-Anon provide educational meetings and community support so that you don’t have to face this issue alone, while therapists can also help provide strategies for rising above your circumstances. It might feel like a never-ending battle, but by doing what is best for yourself first, living with an alcoholic doesn’t have to be as difficult as it feels.

Living With an Alcoholic? Reach Out For Help

At Royal Life Centers we know the difficulties of living with an alcoholic. Recovery goes beyond the alcoholic—families need recovery too. If you or a loved one is ready to face their addiction head on, call us today. Our addiction experts are available around the clock at (877)-RECOVERY.

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You can do it, We can help.