How To Rid The Stress Of Living With An Alcoholic

woman at crossroads

My friend always complained because there weren’t enough hours in the day.

She had a full-time job, took care of the kids, got them to after-school activities, cooked meals and cleaned the house. Her days were pretty hectic.

On top of that she had an alcoholic husband who sat around the house and drank all day. He was no help.

At night she was frustrated, exhausted and didn’t sleep to good. Her mind was on all that needed to be done the next day.

I gave her some ideas on how a daily routine would make her life a little better. It worked out well for her.

Let me share them with you.

Your Priorities…and What Isn’t

Your alcoholic husband shouldn’t be a priority. He needs to learn responsibility. You don’t have to clean up the mess for him.

Your job, the kids and your home are probably the most important things in your daily life. With all of that going on, remember you need to take time out for yourself. You need it!

When my friend realized that her alcoholic husband wasn’t a priority in her life, she was more productive, had more time with the kids and slept better at night.

Small Daily Goals Help You Achieve Long-Term Goals

I’m sure you have long term goals. For example, they may include financial security, your own identity from you alcoholic husband or maybe even continuing your education.

Those are great goals, but today you might be over-whelmed and feel they’re not obtainable because you might think you’ll never have enough time.

Break your day into practicable “do-able” parts. Be realistic of what you can accomplish. If you set small daily goals and make them your priority, the long-term goals can become a reality because you’ll have more time on your hands.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

You may have heard that phrase. My friend decided to apply it and wrote down what she needed to do each day. She broke her priorities into half-hour increments, and that included time alone.

Her daily plan wasn’t fancy and it served as a visual reminder of what needed to be done. It kept her on track.

When she realized that her alcoholic husband wasn’t part of her daily routine, she got a lot more done, the kids were happier and she had time to herself.

She didn’t moan and groan when her alarm clock went off in the morning because she couldn’t wait to get her day started.

Your alcoholic husband’s behaviors probably won’t change unless he gets sober. Until then, you can make changes in your life, just like my friend did, if you focus on what needs to be done today….just today…because tomorrow will take care of itself.

Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have something to be excited about that’ll give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning?

Let us know in the comments what your day would be like if your alcoholic husband wasn’t a priority.



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Here’s What 10 Other People Thought...

  1. Lori

    Very inisghtful!! I felt like this woman when Hugh’s aging uncle moved in with us……he became my baby……..I did the work, but it seemed he received the credit.

    I went on a 2 week trip to see my kids/grandchild in NC alone………was hoping it would change him some…….h4e does have days where he can go all day without a drink..if he has an important work meeting or something…….it appears he thinks it’s just a normal part of life for him……….

    Still torn………….

    • Tom

      Glad you liked the article. Alcoholics think their life is normal…and the reality is…they have nothing but chaos and drama. But to them…it’s okay. Hopefully, you have some plans in mind…or maybe have already implemented so you can focus on yourself and be happy.

  2. LorriT

    I am actually working on that in my life, as I noticed a couple of months ago my husband was the priority and not the other important things in my life (myself/my kids).

    You are so right with alcoholics thinking their life is normal, I have noticed that it is crazy. As I said I am establishing plans that can help me better self-focus (I know that is not a real word : ))

    We have to take better care of ourselves which is what I am working on everyday. I actually woke up this morning happy with myself because I did not allow myself to get mad or engage with my husband. I just looked up and smiled because I let go and let God, even if it was only for a minute which is something I have never done. It felt good! : )

    • Tom

      That’s great you could smile and not let his behavior affect your mood. Self-focus is important when dealing with an alcoholic. Isn’t it amazing how much energy (mental, emotional and physical) we can put into the alcoholic…and don’t realize what it’s doing to us. Once you begin to focus on what you need to do to be happy…well, you’ll wish you would have done it a long time ago. But you can’t change that past…so focus on your own happiness today!

  3. melissa

    Lately, ive been putting myself and my son first. Its been hard on me because i’m currently trying to get custody back of my daughters from my mother but i feel i am stuck sometimes because he shows no emotional support on getting our kids back. All he does is leave all day and come home after 2am drunk and wanting to argue. Instaed of engaging in an argument with him i leave him in his stupor and do things that matter and are productive to me

    • Tom

      It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever get any emotional support from an alcoholic. They deal with their feelings and emotions by drinking. They don’t want to feel that pain. That’s great that you’re putting more focus on yourself…and walking away when he wants to argue.

  4. Faith

    I have just finally decided that I want a life beyond this and told my alcoholic boyfriend that I cant go on the way we are. Now he is suicidal when he is drunk (which is every night) How do I get him help? So that he doesnt actually do this. I feel most of it is his dependance on me and that he needs comforting/attention so it his way of seeking it. But i would be devastated if he actually did it.

    • FreeMyAddict Coach

      If your husband is suicidal you need to call 911 and have him transported to a hospital. I’d rather have him explain to the physician in the ER whether he is suicidal or just manipulative. I suspect the later. It isn’t for you to figure out. If he threatens he goes to the hospital. Most hospitals will keep him for up to 23 hours or until his blood alcohol content lowers. They should make a referral for help with his alcohol problem.

  5. Gayle

    I have lived with a alcoholic for two years now. He has been in rehab for two weeks and it has been great for me. I have attended alanon read a few great books and I am learning not to be codependent. My time now is for me. I have not heard from him but have heard from the counselor who said he is doing great. I have moved back into my own home and plan on staying here.Don’t want to sound mean however he has absorbed all my energy from lies and being self centered. For anyone out there go to meetings stay focused and live for you and your family.

    • FreeMyAddict Coach

      It’s great your alcoholic made it into rehab. A great start! Your decisions are very productive for your wellness. The actions you have taken especially alanon and books to help you along the way are very helpful. What a great point about how you recognize the increased energy when you focus on what you need in your life.

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My problems were overwhelming me and life seemed too hard to bear so I looked for relief from pain in alcohol or drugs but they brought their own problems until I discovered how to get the strength I never had before to break free of drugs forever.
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