How to Help an Addict or Alcoholic Wife

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. Addressing the Problem of Addiction
  3. How to Help Your Wife
  4. Behaviors to Avoid
  5. Helping an Addicted Wife During Pregnancy or Child Rearing

Addiction is not an isolated problem. When someone abuses alcohol or drugs, the effects of this behavior influences the person's loved ones as well. Learning how to help an addicted wife is the first step towards helping her recover from the cycle of substance abuse. If you are watching your wife struggle with addiction and need professional advice regarding treatment, call 1-800-928-9139 for options that will take your specific needs into account.

Did You Know?

A 2008 study showed that the gender gap in alcoholism is closing, with more women now developing alcohol abuse problems. This rise in alcoholism is especially prevalent in women born since 1945.

Addressing the Problem of Addiction

"When someone abuses alcohol or drugs, the effects of this behavior influences the person's loved ones as well."-Projectknow.com
Whether the wife's substance abuse problems are new or recurring, it is important for her partner to address the problem openly. Talking about addiction can be difficult, and it may feel safer to avoid the topic completely. However, it is a crucial first step to talk honestly to the abuser about how her behavior affects the family. Stay calm rather than accusatory or angry. Specific examples can help illustrate the substance abuse pattern. The substance abuser needs to acknowledge that the problem is real, but she also needs to understand that there is hope for recovery. It is important for her to know she will have her family's support during the recovery process.

Did You Know?

Some outward signs of alcoholism include drinking when alone, denying any problem and hiding alcohol around the house.

How to Help Your Wife

addict wife Before, during or after your wife's recovery process, you can continue to learn how to help an addicted wife by repairing any underlying issues that may have contributed to her addiction. Support groups help the partners of addicts learn healthier ways to cope with life's stresses. It is essential to create a strictly alcohol-free and drug-free environment at home. Recovery is an ongoing process, and the patient's partner can help her stay on track and avoid potential triggers.

Behaviors to Avoid

The loved ones of addicts often engage in enabling behaviors. These behaviors help the addict or alcoholic by removing conflicts or problems related to the addiction issue. Enabling is usually born out of love. However, when learning how to help an addicted wife, it is important for the whole family to realize that enabling behaviors do more harm than good. The following should be avoided:

  • Helping the substance abuser by lying to other people, lending money and accepting her responsibilities
  • Pretending to oneself and others that there is not a problem
  • Forgiving the addictive partner too easily after negative and harmful behavior
  • Continuing to create an environment where substance abuse can take place, such as serving alcohol at a dinner party

"...it is important for the whole family to realize that enabling behaviors do more harm than good."-Projectknow.com
When dealing with a drug-addicted or alcoholic wife, it is important to let her face the consequences of her own actions. Though it may feel challenging at first, putting an end to enabling behaviors is one of the most loving things an addict's partner can do.

Helping an Addicted Wife During Pregnancy or Child Rearing

intervention during pregnancy
Knowing how to help an addicted wife includes learning the importance of intervention during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, it is especially important to help a wife on drugs overcome her addiction. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other serious issues can be avoided if the wife takes steps to end her substance abuse. Some treatment centers offer targeted care for expectant mothers.

Addiction can affect children in major ways. It is important for the other parent to strengthen the whole family by encouraging the addict or alcoholic to seek help. Some mothers may hesitate to seek treatment because they worry about neglecting their parenting responsibilities. It is important for her partner to reassure her that the children will be taken care of while she is in treatment. Some residential programs may allow children to accompany the mother.

Did You Know?

An estimated 4 percent of pregnant women in the United States will engage in substance abuse during their pregnancies. Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used during pregnancy.

Learning how to help an addicted wife is an ongoing process, but it offers great rewards for the whole family. For more information on how your wife can find treatment options that work for your whole family, call 1-800-928-9139. Our referrals are discreet, personalized and professional.