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Alcoholism can have terrible effects on a marriage. Spouses who deal with alcohol abuse in the home know how this can harm the marriage. An alcohol problem can impact all aspects of home life. Problems include money problems, feelings of shame, anxiety, stress, neglect of the children, and fear of abuse. In fact, one of the worst effects is the angry alcoholic husband.
A husband who is not able to manage their anger while drinking can do much harm, including angry outbursts or acts of violence. Data from the WHO report that 55% of domestic assaults involved drinking.
Disordered coping skills can emerge as the wife adapts to the husband’s drinking problem. Often the woman feels powerless to the actions of her husband, and relies on less than helpful coping techniques. These can add to the problems that are already present in the home.
Alcoholism and Violence
The link between alcohol abuse and violence is well known. A report by the Department of Justice states that up to 37% of crimes involved alcohol when the offense occurred. Alcohol causes someone to lose control of their emotions when triggered. The alcohol can impair the person’s executive functions. This is the region of the brain that involves impulse control.
When it comes to the spouses, drinking can provoke aggressive or angry behavior toward the spouse. This is true when the person has poor coping skills to begin with. The combo of alcohol abuse and poor emotional control can result in assault against a spouse.
Unhealthy Coping Methods
Living with a spouse who has a drinking problem can have profound effects on the other spouse. These wives tend to neglect their own health, and suffer with anxiety and depression. They become withdrawn and may even acquire a substance use problem in response.
To cope with the husband, many will resort to enabling behaviors. Hoping to cushion the fallout from their husband’s drinking problem, the spouse may begin to cover for her. She may make excuses for him, and go to extremes to clean up the messes left in the wake of his substance issue. When she covers for him, the spouse only helps her husband remain in his addiction. He would have no reason to change his ways.
Effects of Alcoholism on Marriage
It isn’t only increased levels of anger or violence that are the result of an alcoholic spouse. There are many other bad effects caused by a drinking problem that can damage a marriage. Some of these occur when the spouse:
- Becomes detached and withdrawn, unable to be there for the other partner.
- Neglects family obligations.
- Consumes high levels of alcohol, resulting in medical problems or mental health issues. This can impact the quality of life for both spouses.
- Becomes unable to function at their job, possibly losing their job. This can hurt family finances.
- Loses interest in their appearance. They might gain weight or ignore hygiene.
- Becomes depressed, unpleasant to be around.
- Loses interest in the things the couple used to enjoy. This is due to decreased energy and vitality, caused by the drinking.
- Becomes so mired in the drinking problem that the marriage ends in divorce.
Is Anger a Factor in the Husband’s Alcohol Problem?
Certain traits may factor into the alcohol problem when the husband is drunk and angry. The husband might have unprocessed trauma, such as a history of physical or sexual abuse. He may have poorly formed impulse control, or doesn’t know how to manage his anger well. The presence of a mental health disorder may cause him to use alcohol as a means to self-medicate.
If the angry alcoholic husband also has a mental health issue, he will benefit from a dual diagnosis treatment program. These programs provide both treatment as well as mental health care. These therapies work in tandem to address both problems during the course of treatment.
Strategies for Helping the Husband Get Treatment
The excuses alcoholics are used to delay facing the truth about their drinking problem. Spouses of these men walk on eggshells. They try to avoid setting off the next angry outburst, or worse, physical attack.
The husband’s misplaced anger is not easy to navigate. To be able to convince the husband to get treatment without any angry backlash, it helps to have a plan. Consider these tips when wanting to persuade the husband to get help:
- Do not confront him when he is intoxicated.
- Do not attempt to discuss treatment during a heated argument.
- Prepare your thoughts in advance by writing it them down. Prepare to respond to his excuses.
- Avoid harsh language when discussing his need for treatment.
- Admit that you do not understand their problem and be kind.
- Do not judge him; that you know he is doing his best.
- Consider hiring an interventionist.
Integrated Treatment for Alcoholism
When the alcoholic husband decides to get help it is helpful to have some knowledge of the steps he will take. Alcoholism can be treated and managed when the person is all in, ready to do the work.
First he will decide on whether to use an outpatient or a residential rehab program. The outpatient rehab is more flexible, as it allows him to reside at home during treatment. The residential rehab is best for those with a long history of alcohol abuse, as it involves 24-hour support.
Treatment for alcohol use disorders follows this process:
- Detox. The detox process is the first step of the rehab program. During alcohol detox, a team of detox pros will help the husband. They will provide the medical care to help reduce pain and discomfort as must as they can. Detox takes about 5-7 days to complete.
- Treatment. Treatment entails a blended approach. It uses evidence-based therapy, group therapy, 12-step meetings, holistic therapies, and relapse prevention planning.
- Aftercare. After treatment is finished, the husband will still attend therapy sessions and group meetings.
Capo by the Sea Provides Alcohol Recovery Interventions
Capo by the Sea is a premier rehab located in a beach community in Southern California. At Capo by the Sea, our expert staff guides clients through a medical detox program as comfortably as possible. Our addiction treatment program will provide helpful recovery tools that help ensure clients achieve a sustained recovery. For any questions, please reach out to Capo by the Sea today at 888-529-2114.