7 Little-Known Factors That Could Effect Your Alcoholic


I learned many years ago you can be so close to a situation you actually miss what’s going on. Conversations with our grown children revealed things we had no idea actually took place.

What a surprise!

What do you miss in the situation with your alcoholic because you’re so involved in the day to day circumstances?

Let’s look at these factors.

Most alcoholics don’t quit with first attempt

Even though it’s the goal of every treatment facility to provide the best opportunity for recovery, it’s often unsuccessful on the first or second attempt.

There are skills your alcoholic would learn in rehab, but the transition of those skills into practice is a difficult step.

This is one of the reasons I recommend a period of outpatient counseling or recovery coaching for several months following residential treatment.

Relapse is so prevalent in the couple years of recovery I recommend a solid program of support for your alcoholic to attend.

This support needs to include accountability and consistent participation.

Even though remission isn’t until five years of abstinence, a two year pattern is significant progress.

Your alcoholic believes what he says

When your alcoholic suggests when he drinks beer he’s better able to handle himself, he actually believes it.

This isn’t so much based on anything true or tangible. It’s based on what he wants to be true.

You see, if it isn’t true, then he has a problem and might need to quit alcohol all together.

This is one of your alcoholics biggest fears. Either there won’t be alcohol available, he might run out or forbid he may actually need to quit.

Recovery from alcohol is no guarantee he’ll treat you better

I’ve known many who were involved with an alcoholic who have said, “I liked him better when he was drinking”.

Unfortunately, recovery from alcohol doesn’t make your alcoholic treat you great.

In fact, many of the social skills he needs to employ are absent from his frame of reference.

If your alcoholic started drinking at a young age the emotional growth seems to be arrested at the point of addiction.

This simply means some of the more mature things you want from your alcoholic may not happen because he might not know how.

This is one of the reasons social skill development in rehab includes basic things like communication, development of empathy and relationship building skills.

Recovery is a process

When your alcoholic goes into treatment it’s just a beginning.

Your expectations must be realistic.

I know it may be hard to accept, even with so much effort to get him into treatment, it’s a process.

This means it’s going to take time for things to work into every day life.

Like most any new thing we learn there are successes and failures along the way.

When you learned to ride a bike was it get on and go or did you have a few spills while you learned?

Most of us took a tumble or two. The persistence to ride the bike made it possible to finally learn it.

It’s a process that when your alcoholic is committed to sobriety every failure makes him one step closer to a successful recovery.

He drinks because…

There are hundreds, even thousands of excuses for why your alcoholic drinks.

I remember when I was in the military another soldier told me there were only two occasions when he drank.

I asked him when. He said, “When I’m alone or with somebody”.

Unfortunately, that’s the truth for alcoholics.

There is one reason and only one reason your alcoholic drinks…

That’s what alcoholics do.

Alcoholism can kill

It’s not often the end of alcoholism is discussed but I believe it’s important for you to know it does actually take life.

Research suggest your alcoholic’s life expectancy will be shortened by about 15 years because of alcohol.

The risk involved is driving, operating machinery, altercations with others or just the decline in overall health.

I’ve actually worked with people who lost their life because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time because of alcohol.

Alcoholism isn’t hopeless

There’s good news.

Recovery is the best hope for your alcoholic.

When your alcoholic decides he’s had enough there are thousands of people who have been successful with recovery.

There’s no one path that works for everyone but the journey is one that takes motivation on the part of your alcoholic.

Even a small glimmer of “I wish I could quit” can be used to build into a stable recovery.

What ways has your alcoholic discussed the possibility of quitting? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 10 Other People Thought...

  1. Okay. Thanks for the post.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You’re welcome!

  2. Viki

    This article is spot on!!! I once asked a therapist (yes, as the co-dependent I needed therapy) how much of my husband’s poor behavior was attributable to his drinking. He replied that there really was no way to know, but if he was a jerk before he started drinking, he’d be the same jerk if he quit. I also asked what there was about drinking that was so damaging. He said that it is human nature to only change when you are uncomfortable or in some type of pain. Alcohol removes the discomfort, so there is no need to change. This definitely supports your statement, “If your alcoholic started drinking at a young age the emotional growth seems to be arrested at the point of addiction.” The alcoholics simply don’t grow up.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      On the hopeful side of things, I’ve seen alcoholics in recovery grow up incredibly fast when they decided to be honest and work on it. Thanks Viki. I really appreciate you participating in FreeMyAddict!

      • Viki

        As have I. The operative words are “when they decided to be honest and work on it”. Thus far, my alcoholic isn’t there yet, but it’s good to be reminded that recovery is a process. This was a very good article. And, thanks for letting me participate.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        It’s my privilege to help.

  3. Ross

    My husband has talked of getting well for months.And talked wth a rep. from a treatment center today. I cant tell you if this will lead anywhere or just to look good so i would let him come home.I dont plan on it.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Hang tough. If he’s serious he’ll do rehab. Then when his support system is in place you might welcome him home. I’m glad he’s talking rehab.

  4. Suzi

    After 12 years I’ve had enough! I finally managed to drag my alcohlic to A.A. about 2 months ago, after telling him that if he didn’t do something about his drinking before we move out, that he would not be coming with me. For a long time he didn’t seem to get it, with his original goal being to become a ‘social drinker’. Mind you, he would tell me that after sitting alone all night on the front veranda with his beer, passing out and only coming to every so often to drink more beer or urinate in the garden IF he could stand! But at last he has got the message that it is not a possibility with this illness. Patience and persistence are the key, and if you give them an ultimatum, you must follow through, or else they may see it as just another empty threat that will go away in the morning when they open their breakfast drink. For me that follow through was to take him to the hospital emergency and leave him there to detox over night.
    So far he has been 18 days without picking up (which is a record for him), and tonight I will be attending my first Al-anon meeting. If he does fall off the wagon, it won’t be the end of the world, as it is common and the other members of his group and his sponser have been there too and will help him get back on.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Well done. It looks like you’re on the right track.It’s awesome your husband has a sponsor and is attending AA. Thank you for sharing your comment so others can benefit.

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