How to deal with alcoholic boyfriend

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

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No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

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    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

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Alcoholic husband: advice from a psychologist to wives of addicts.

July 13, 2020

Alcoholism is the main problem of modern society. Often women do not know how to help their spouse, they feel pity, anger and other unpleasant feelings towards themselves and a loved one. What to do if your husband suffers from alcohol addiction?

Help or leave?

To decide what to do next, a woman must answer the question - what are the goals and reasons that connect her life with her alcoholic husband.

If this is love, then it is necessary to begin treatment as soon as possible, until alcoholism has destroyed the personality of the spouse. Therapy can take a long time, it will require the participation of psychologists and narcologists. But with the constant support of his wife, the effectiveness of treatment is maximum.

If living together becomes unbearable, the best solution is divorce. It is pointless to delay in this situation, it will only bring additional conflicts and quarrels to the family.

If treatment is decided, professional help should also be provided to the woman and all family members. Moral traumas make it difficult to treat your husband and father normally, cause uncertainty as a result of treatment, so you cannot do without the help of specialists.

What should I do if my husband drinks alcohol regularly?

There is no universal advice on what to do in such a situation. However, the recommendations of psychologists will help to adequately meet the problem and try to find a way out:

  • Clearly define further actions and be morally ready to implement them. Fearing divorce, a woman is often submissive and allows her husband to abuse alcohol. As a result, life is complicated by constant quarrels, addiction and desire to drink become stronger. If the spouse understands that his half is independent and respects his decision, he will gradually replace his addiction with alternative activities (sports, work, etc.).

  • Do not put the problem of alcoholism at the forefront. Be sure to pay attention to yourself, your appearance. The husband will be able to notice the changes, feel in love again and return to normal life.

  • You should not limit your intimate life. The feeling of dissatisfaction is one of the main reasons why men begin to abuse alcohol.

  • A woman should support her husband, spend more time together, save her husband from boredom and monotony - in a word, everything that provokes him to once again take a glass in his hands. An interesting full-fledged life can completely eradicate a bad habit, return a man to a normal pastime. It would be useful to plan a major purchase, which will subsequently require male participation (dacha, car, etc.).

The fact is that the alcoholic enjoys the feeling of intoxication, relaxes, feels confident and full of energy. But all this euphoria is a temporary illusion, and the surge of emotions ends as soon as the effect of ethanol wears off. Gradually, a sober life becomes uninteresting, turns into a routine, and every stress is healed with alcohol. The second name of alcoholism is the disease of irresponsibility, because a person stops taking care of himself and his loved ones.

What categories of alcoholics are there?

Depending on the behavior in a state of intoxication, there are several types of patients with alcoholism:

  • "Violent" (they are also called disturbing). After libations, they can show aggression, be rude and even beat outsiders and relatives, take out evil on children. They seek to suppress family members, wives in such couples are most often in the position of a victim, experience fear and avoid communication.

  • "Emotional". Their dependence is manifested only among like-minded people. They actively demonstrate tenderness and reverent feelings towards the family, due to which they are considered the ideal husband and father.

  • "Miserable." They drink alone, the next morning they do not remember what is happening the day before. They are constantly pursued by failures, which lead to a feeling of pity for themselves, as well as from those around them. The wife in such a marriage is disgusted, scandalous, but at the same time seeks to remove the conflict herself.

The wives of addicts often put up with their husband's illness. This is how dependence on a husband is manifested, the opportunity to benefit for oneself, the desire to feel special and irreplaceable. Some are afraid to be alone, they need to sort things out and subsequent reconciliations.

What should a woman never do?

Often the wives of alcoholics are forced to listen to a lot of advice on what to do and what to refrain from. However, most often they are far from the truth. Psychologists have compiled a list of actions that cannot be performed if there is a desire to save a marriage:

  • Reproach your spouse

  • Make scandals and tantrums

  • Ignore the problems of the spouse, his opinion on important issues,

  • Overprotective and agreeing with absolutely everything

  • Stop caring for yourself and pay attention to yourself.

Alcoholics don't need pity. This only increases the moral pressure and encourages them to drink again. It is also forbidden to openly accuse acquaintances and friends of the spouse of maintaining the use of alcohol, such words only provoke anger.

What are some ways to help?

The problem of alcoholism has long been studied by psychologists who recommend that women adhere to a few simple rules. Compliance with these recommendations will help the least traumatic to survive a difficult period.

  • You need to try to understand the drinking spouse. Quite often alcoholism is caused by human genetics, tragedy in the family, constant tension in the workplace, dismissal and other factors. The wife should support her husband in any situation, talk about what happened, try to involve him in other pastimes in order to distract him from problems.

  • The ban on self-flagellation. A woman should not blame herself for what happened. Most often, the wife is not related to the formation of alcoholism in the spouse. It is worth remembering that with the help of alcohol, an indecisive man liberates himself while communicating with colleagues and friends, cowardly ones drown out their fears, insecure or deprived of attention wash down their failure. In this case, the best solution would be to visit a psychologist.

  • The need to analyze the situation. A woman must decide how much she is ready to help a loved one. Naturally, when it comes to beatings, aggression towards children or inappropriate behavior, divorce is the best option. If an alcoholic behaves calmly, and there is such an opportunity, it is worth showing a life partner to a narcologist. Often, during the diagnosis of the body, serious health problems are detected that are asymptomatic. And this means that a person has a chance to save life and health.

It is very important to remember that the decision to divorce is categorically impossible to change. Dependent people are prone to empty promises and manipulation, but only a few manage to keep the word given earlier. You should not regret the decision you made, you need to act firmly and confidently. This will help moral and psychological preparation.

psychologist's advice and how to behave

Alcoholism has become one of the most important problems of modern society. A person who cannot stop drinking spoils the life of not only himself, but also his loved ones, family members. This article offers advice from a psychologist on how to talk with an alcoholic, whether it be a husband, father or son.

How to deal with an alcoholic: advice for wives

If a woman is faced with the problem of alcoholism with her husband, she will have to learn to live by other rules. It is strongly not recommended to become a nanny for an adult, because it is precisely this behavior that is observed in families where a man often drinks alcohol.

The main mistakes of wives of alcoholics are:

  • withdrawal from conversations concerning the problem of alcoholism;
  • removal from the husband of responsibility for the family, children, work, life;
  • absence of men's household duties.
  • If the head of the family is addicted to alcohol, the woman, sometimes unwittingly, herself begins to fulfill men's duties , carrying all the problems on her fragile shoulders. Feeling embarrassed to admit to others that her husband suffers from alcoholism, the wife hides this fact, which further aggravates the situation. The wives of alcoholics, due to constant stress and problems in the family, often suffer from protracted depression chronic fatigue.

    A drinking husband under such conditions does not change his behavior at all. On the contrary, he demands alcohol more and more, he is not at all interested in family life. Similar mistakes are made by women if a son in the family suffers from alcoholism.

    Psychologists give clear advice on how to deal with an alcoholic. First of all, it is necessary to change your attitude towards the drinker , once and for all realizing that it is strictly forbidden to indulge a drunkard. It is important to act unconditionally, and sometimes harshly. Only in this way is there a chance to correct the situation, help a person to fully understand the problem and get rid of alcohol addiction.

    How to behave properly if there is an alcoholic in the family?

    In order for a person who drinks in the family to understand that his addiction is a big problem, it is recommended to heed the advice of psychologists :

    • Stop solving their problems for alcoholics. Let the husband or son fully understand the consequences of alcoholism. Do not justify or shield a person in front of others, invent reasons for inappropriate behavior.
    • Do not give a hangover. Often a hangover becomes the cause of prolonged repeated binges. Therefore, it is worth to stop attempts to get drunk , let the drinker feel all the symptoms of withdrawal.
    • Do not make empty promises or threats . Many wives, in an attempt to influence their husband's behavior, make promises that they fail to keep, such as divorce or forcibly taking a drinker to the hospital. If threats are regular, but they only remain in words, the man stops responding to them, continuing to get drunk and ruin the lives of others.
    • Do not react aggressively . In no case should you throw tantrums with a drunken husband, beat the dishes, insult, throw with your fists. It is important to remember that a person under the influence of alcohol can at any moment turn into a cruel, uncontrollable person, which sometimes ends in sad consequences.
    • Refuse alcohol yourself . If there is an alcoholic in the family, a woman should forget about alcohol, otherwise drunkards will no longer perceive her as an authority.

    How to talk to an alcoholic: advice from a psychologist

    Don't show emotion when talking to a drinking family member. It is necessary to be based only on logic and arguments. Psychologist's advice on how to talk to an alcoholic is as follows:

    Stop hiding the fact of drunkenness

    Do not justify or cover up the drinker in front of relatives, friends, management. Sometimes it effectively affects the human mind. Because of shame, he stops drinking so often, tries to behave culturally during festive feasts, agrees to treatment and even coding.

    Prevent idleness

    In order for a family member suffering from alcoholism to think about drinking less often, one should deprive him of free time, because idleness often becomes the reason for entering a new binge. Therefore, it is important for a woman to interest her husband or son in something new or to make them remember forgotten interests and hobbies. Do not be shy to ask for help from relatives, neighbors, colleagues. On the contrary, it is important that the alcoholic is often in the circle of non-drinkers who have different interests and hobbies. Being constantly in such an environment, a person sometimes independently decides to get rid of addiction.

    Make them think

    How can I talk to my alcoholic son or drinking husband to make them think about the problem? Psychologists advise explaining to an alcoholic that sooner or later a woman will get tired of his behavior. She no longer wants to live with him under the same roof, preferring another man who does not drink. The spouse must realize that a sober lifestyle will help to achieve great success at work, diversify life with new, pleasant events.

    An alcoholic son must understand that if his mother turns away from him, he will be left completely alone with his problems. And if he refuses to be treated for alcoholism, he will never find a family, happiness, joy in life.

    How to behave properly during sobriety

    Any, even the longest and hardest binges come to an end. When a person is absolutely sober and able to think adequately, you should talk to him about the problem. To make the conversation productive, psychologists advise following these rules:

    • speak calmly, openly;
    • try to listen to the interlocutor without interrupting;
    • do not show violent emotions, speak to the point, arguing your arguments;
    • do not praise or admire the fact that in a particular period a person does not drink.

    During such conversations, a woman should make every effort to explain the magnitude and tragedy of the problem. If the drinker understands and is aware of his illness, there is every chance that he will agree to deal with the problem, including with the help of specialists.

    In order not to lose the drinker's trust and remain an authority for him, it is recommended to adhere to the following rules:

    • Completely give up drinking alcohol, preferring a healthy, sober lifestyle.
    • Try not to attend holidays and celebrations where there is plenty of alcohol. This can provoke another binge.
    • You should not constantly monitor the drinker , ask in detail where he was, with whom he talked. Otherwise, he will begin to hide, tell a lie, or even get angry and move away from the conversation.
    • Do not recall past events that occurred during a binge, even if the behavior of the drinker went beyond all the limits of decency.

    Other useful tips on how to deal with an alcoholic

    It is important to remember that it is very difficult to deal with alcohol addiction in a husband or other family member on your own. Therefore, it is better to acquire the understanding and support of relatives, friends, familiar colleagues.

    An alcoholic must understand that sobriety is not an achievement that requires admiration and praise, but a normal, ordinary state. Otherwise, the drinker during the period of remission will demand special treatment and admiration for himself, which is unacceptable.

    It is necessary to stop all attempts of an alcoholic to attend noisy events, celebrations where alcohol is always present. In some situations, you will have to accompany your husband and control the amount of alcohol consumed, as well as behavior.


    By following all the rules and advice of psychologists on how to talk with an alcoholic, it will be possible for the drinker to understand that his addiction is not entertainment and fun, but a serious illness that requires the help of specialists and the personal participation of the patient.

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