On the Rocks: Marriage Trouble and Alcohol Addiction

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: February 14, 2013

Do you have marriage trouble and think that alcohol addiction may be to blame? When one spouse is an alcoholic, every family member is affected with emotions of all kinds. Fear, resentment, anxiety and depression are just a few symptoms from the emotional strain of alcoholism in the family.  Children are living in an unpredictable environment that makes them grow up too fast and worry about the well-being of their parents. Sober spouses may put ultimatums on the alcoholic partner to enter alcohol rehab for the sake of the children and to save the marriage.

Alcoholism Hurts the Family

Many times the nonalcoholic partner believes that he or she is keeping the family together by monitoring the alcohol use in the home. This control can produces a power shift in the relationship, from which some marriages never recover. The alcoholic depends on the control and responsibility of the sober spouse to keep the home afloat. This pressure produces resentment in the nonalcoholic and sometimes is translated into passive-aggressive or aggressive behavior toward the alcoholic. Children in the home pick up on the tension between their parents and sometimes blame themselves for parental displays of anger and sadness.

Alcohol Rehab Helps Everyone

The alcoholic may go through alcohol rehab and recovery and no longer need the nonalcoholic to be so involved in their life. The codependent spouse automatically feels rejection that is not based on reality. This can cause just as many problems as alcoholism did. An efficient alcohol rehab helps both partners in the relationship recover. The entire family must heal to make it a safe environment for the alcoholic to return. Do you have any suggestions for other hurting couples? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page. Your insights may help a fellow addict in recovery.