There, you can get the outlet you need to talk about what is going on at home and make connections with people who have experiences similar to yours. It can be a haven of acceptance and understanding for you, and give you the encouragement you need to work through your marriage. That stress, inevitably, bleeds into relationships, which can cause cracks and fissures that will rupture if not addressed in a healthy way. Fights over the alcohol abuse may ensue; if the alcoholic loses control when they are drunk, there is an increased risk of domestic violence. Without treatment, high-functioning alcoholics will not recover. Regrettably, in many cases, other people in their lives affirm their denial by agreeing with their excuses and encouraging them to drink more. Spouses and family members of high-functioning alcoholics sometimes makes excuses for them as well and continue to keep alcohol at home.

functional alcoholic husband

The person may offer excuses or attempt to explain away their addiction, but stay firm and offer to help the person start treatment. If possible, get other family member and friends involved and stage an intervention. Alcoholics may look like average people who are not dealing with substance abuse. They may hold good jobs, Transitional living dress well, and have seemingly happy relationships. But under the surface, they may have problems with alcohol abuse that may create severe psychological and emotional damage for themselves and their loved ones. When living with a functioning alcoholic, you’ll notice that if they have a problem, they won’t talk it out.

Alcoholism Essential Reads

If you live with a functioning alcoholic husband, you know that alcoholism comes with a dark side. Mood swings, inability to control alcohol consumption and failure to make good choices while drinking could eventually take a toll on your marriage—even if it’s functional. The term high-functioning alcoholic refers to a pattern of alcohol abuse that has little interference with social, professional, or personal obligations.

  • When a person struggles with alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, they often try to hide the problem from those close to them.
  • This powerful sense of denial also prevents the loved ones of HFAs from intervening.
  • The stress of compartmentalization alone is enough to weaken a person’s resolve and damage their decision-making skills.
  • Alcohol becomes a daily necessity, almost a part of who they are.
  • Are you worried about your spouse or partner’s drinking habits?
  • Know that it isaddiction affects your family members daily because your kids notice it, your loved one is hurting themselves, and you know what’s happening.

He went from drinking a few nights a week 4-6 beers to know drinking 7 days a week 8-12 beers. Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action. Our reviewers are credentialed medical providers specializing in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the medically reviewed badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Things To Note While Living With A Recovering Alcoholic

Have a rehabilitation facility selected, and a method of payment worked out. Insurance companies may pay for some or all rehabilitation costs.

functional alcoholic husband

But if the above describes you, you may be dealing with functional alcoholism. Although alcohol may not seem like it has created any problems for you or your loved one yet, it is important to beat addiction at the source.

What Is A Functioning Alcoholic? Signs Of High

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. functional alcoholic husband Drinking rarely causes them to miss work and other obligations . They are usually able to manage areas of life including jobs, homes, and families. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine.

functional alcoholic husband

He has had several spouses and a few more children since our divorce. I know that breaks his heart, and yes, there is still a heart in him.

Divorcing A Functional Alcoholic

It is hard to see the signs of functional alcoholism in those closest to you. Learning more about high-functioning alcoholism is the first step in understanding how to help you or your loved one.

The classifications results are mild, moderate, and severe. The American Society of Addiction Medicine has 6 dimensions to help identify severity ratings. It may be difficult to self diagnose your loved one because of bias and an emotional attachment. Although an appropriate assessment would require the alcohol user to answer the questions, a family can read through them and see all that apply.

functional alcoholic husband

Dating a functional alcoholic can be fun at first because people who are high-functioning alcoholics tend to be the life of the party. Once you get to really know them, you likely recognize how serious their alcohol dependency is. Alcoholics often become agitated because their thinking processes grow blunted from the functional alcoholic husband cumulative effects of too much alcohol, too often. Alcohol was a factor in 55% of all domestic abuse cases and the heavier the drinking in the home, the greater those odds increased right along at the same rate of alcohol consumption. Support groups for family impacted by addiction have become more commonplace.

Guide On How To Live With An Alcoholic Auc Sufferer

This powerful sense of denial also prevents the loved ones of HFAs from intervening. HFAs may provide the main source of income for a family and therefore the spouse or partner may not feel that they have the leverage to persuade the HFA to get help. High-functioning alcoholics can cause a variety of issues.

The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again.

Maybe you notice your husband has a few cocktails every night. Are you worried about your spouse or partner’s drinking habits? How can you tell if it’s “just partying” or if they need help?

In simple terms, precontemplation is not being aware there is a problem and contemplation stage is being aware there is a problem. To protect yourself from the alcoholic it is suggested that setting boundaries and holding them accountable for his or her actions is often helpful for both you and them. Although it is difficult to separate intellect from emotion when doing this, the alternative is allowing the alcoholic to take you down with them. This approach can help the alcoholic take ownership for their behaviors and can increase their ability to see the need for change. Alcohol intervention for a roommate that hopefully includes their family would be the next step in helping your friend address their alcohol problems. Contacting a professional interventionist or other addiction professionals could provide you with some insight and feedback to these questions.

Even just a few drinks a night to take the edge off could be the start of a serious alcohol dependency, so be vigilant. High functioning alcoholics may seem to have it all going on the outside, but this does not mean they aren’t experiencing significant personal or business related problems underneath. Being in a relationship with or being under the care of a high functioning alcoholic can exert serious psychological and emotional damage. Approaching a functional alcoholic can be nerve-wracking for both parties.

Not fitting a predetermined image of an alcoholic, such as being able to maintain a well-groomed appearance. Denial of a drinking problem because of a lack of severe consequences, such as missing days or showing up late for school or work. People who are close to high-functioning alcoholics need to avoid becoming codependent. That means they need to avoid enabling and make sure they don’t become emotionally dependent on helping their loved one. Every person who loves someone with an addiction has to choose whether to help the person or to distance themselves from the person. The term “functioning alcoholic” is generally used to avoid labeling someone as a stereotypical alcoholic. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances and often has specific stereotypes linked to abuse of it.

Making excuses for your functional alcoholic partner like why they can’t attend an engagement or mean tendencies come from being under too much stress. If you’re living with an alcoholic that is meeting their responsibilities, they will likely have asked you to cover for them in some way. This might include calling in sick for them because they have a hangover.

The content on is brought to you by American Addiction Centers , a nationwide network of leading substance abuse and behavioral treatment facilities. Call a treatment center today to begin the journey towards recovery. If you aren’t sure where to call, browse our directory for treatment centers near you. Regular and frequent use of alcohol can lead to poor choices, such as drunk driving. Your husband’s illness could also be destroying his health.

Author: Alissa Palladino

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