The recent decision by the government to move the country down to level 3 and to re-open alcohol sales has seen a flair-up of gender-based violence incidents. Far too many times, we hear that alcohol abuse plays a role in violence against women and children, with as many as 65% of victims reporting that their partner used alcohol before an assault. But what are the effects of living with an alcoholic? And how does a woman get help in dealing with or escaping an intoxicated, abusive, and often dangerous partner?
Living with an alcoholic presents partners with numerous challenges. Apart from emotional and physical harm, partners often develop health problems and, in some cases, addictions of their own.
Many women in relationships with an alcoholic suffer from anxiety and usually take their frustration out on their children. Several families buckle under the financial pressure a drinking partner adds to already struggling households. These consequences of living with a person with a drinking problem are long-lasting and can lead to mental illness, permanent injuries, chronic health problems, and in some cases, death at the hand of the alcoholic.
An alcoholic partner tends to embarrass themselves or their families in public, and women start feeling ashamed around others. Women will decline social invitations to save themselves and their children from humiliation. As a result, their social circle shrinks, and they find themselves isolated and alone.
An alcoholic is a person who consistently drinks more than they intended even though they want to drink less. Alcoholics spend a significant amount of time and money on alcohol and drinking and often crave alcohol. associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
A person with a drinking problem regularly dodge their responsibilities and continue to drink even when it causes problems in their relationship.
Alcoholics will drink regardless of the consequences, such as getting caught for drinking and driving. They will also blatantly ignore the health problems
Helping anyone with an alcohol abuse problem is tricky, especially if you are emotionally involved or financially dependent on the person. Avoiding the situation is not an option and will only make things worse in the long run. An excellent place to start is with brutal honesty. Research alcoholism to help recognise the signs and symptoms and to understand the dynamics associated with alcohol abuse. Choose the right time to discuss drinking habits with your partner. It is never a good idea to attempt to reason with a drunk person. Wait until they are sober, and you have more than enough time to calmly and privately discuss your concerns. It can be tough but do your best not to take an accusing tone. Be honest at all times, and emphasise your concern for your partner’s well-being.
Present a list of solutions to the problem. Be supportive and discuss options on how to stop drinking or how to change drinking habits. If you suspect that your partner suffers from mental issues, suggest that they seek the help of a professional qualified in dealing with the causes and effects of excessive drinking. Depending on the severity of your partner’s problem, you may want to suggest admission to a facility for substance abuse.
It is important to remember that you are not to blame for what’s happening. Matters are unlikely to change unless you take action. Research indicates that there is a link between the number of drinks consumed per occasion and partner violence. This suggests that it is intoxication and not merely alcohol use that responsible for violent situations. Start by controlling your drinking and setting a limit on how much you drink even if you can not control how much alcohol your partner consumes. Avoid enabling your spouse’s drinking problem by making it easier for them to drink or covering up for them and making excuses.
The most important thing to remember when living with an alcoholic is to take care of your own and your children’s needs. Build a social support system by engaging people you trust. Sharing your burden can be a significant relief and also help you realise that you are not alone. Above all, your safety is and should be your top priority. If your spouses behaviour threatens your safety, the time has come to remove yourself from the situation.
* Please note that the views expressed in this blog is that of an independent copywriter and not a medical professional. We choose to shed a bit of light on the topic as this trend is current and a big concern to all of us in our communities.
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