Has your loved one been drinking excessively? Maybe you’ve found hidden bottles in the house or car, or noticed your loved one drinks before leaving for work. If you’ve tried bringing up your concern, you may have even got a hostile response from your loved one, who seems to be in denial of alcoholism. Each day you could feel as if you are walking on eggshells when trying to speak to your loved one, in hopes that you won’t start an argument. With Valentine’s Day on its way, you may feel even more overwhelmed because you love your significant other – but are scared for their life.
How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an Active Alcoholic
Holidays can be extra tricky with loved ones who are active in their alcoholism. If your loved one has refused to seek help, then you may have distanced yourself from your loved one or inadvertently grown tolerant of their behaviors. Either way, it can make Valentine’s Day a difficult holiday. You may want to consider boundaries for the holiday, such as explaining to your loved one that the evening will be cut short if their behavior gets out of hand. Of course, consequences mean nothing to an alcoholic because they are suffering from an addiction to alcohol and once they drink, they find themselves unable to stop and incapable of controlling themselves once they have started.
If you decide to get together with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, it is important to set boundaries and to do so in advance of the day. You may find that your alcoholic loved one is unable and/or unwilling to comply, which may mean it could be better for you to see them for a short period of time on the day, if at all. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. It can be very difficult to live and do life with a partner who does not want help for their alcoholism and refuses to stop. Family interventions and sharing how your loved one’s addiction impacts you can help when you bring up why you feel treatment for alcoholism is the best decision for your loved one and why you encourage it.
How You Can Respond to a Loved One’s Active Alcoholism
Valentine’s Day or not, you may be left clueless as to how to respond to your loved one’s active alcoholism. Getting an accurate understanding of the problem, making sure you don’t enable their alcoholism, and addressing the issue can be critical.
Understand Alcoholism Is A Disease
Alcoholism can be a scary sight, especially when you are watching the one you love hurt not only you but themselves too. You may not even recognize the person your loved one has become, yet you still want to support them but don’t know any other way to do so without enabling them. Your initial response to your loved one may involve you confronting them and trying to make them stop – but alcoholism is a disease and you are not in control of changing your loved one’s behaviors. It’s a painful reality to take, but you cannot “fix” your loved one’s addiction to alcohol.
Don’t Enable Your Loved One’s Alcoholism
You could even think that you are helping your loved one when you are actually unintentionally perpetuating their addictive behaviors by lending or giving them money, bailing them out of jail time and time again, or trying to manage your loved one’s drinking by making rules which they can’t help but break anyway. So what is the best way to handle a loved one who is active in their alcoholism? Stop enabling alcoholic behaviors. Do not provide them with a financial source for alcohol and don’t continue to make their consequences go away by bailing them out of jail. You need to set these boundaries with your loved one so that you don’t add to the problem.
Be Strategic & Compassionate When Talking to the Alcoholic
Talking with your loved one about their alcoholism without making accusations and instead coming out of a place of love and concern can be effective. If your loved one’s alcoholism continues to get worse, you should provide them with options for treatment of alcoholism, speak to their family and close friends about your concerns, and even consider speaking to addiction professionals for assistance.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Is your loved one willing to go into treatment for their alcoholism this Valentine’s Day? Whether your loved one wants to admit it or not, alcoholism is a disease – and a dysfunctional one at that. Treatment for alcoholism is greatly encouraged because it provides a safe environment where your loved one can detox off the substance, stop abusing alcohol, gain clarity, and work on themselves. Provide the help your loved one really needs.
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs is a leading drug and alcohol rehab facility. You can feel confident that your loved one is getting the necessary care for their alcoholism at The Watershed. Call The Watershed today for help at 1-877-417-8611.