Like tens of thousands of people across America, you may be in a relationship with someone affected by alcoholism. In the best of circumstances, relationships are challenging. Dating an alcoholic inevitably adds to that challenge. How should you navigate this situation? In some cases, you may want to encourage your partner to seek an alcohol addiction treatment program. In other cases, you may need to support someone already in alcohol treatment.
At New Start Recovery, we can help you navigate the challenges of dating an alcoholic and offer the support to get your loved one on the road to recovery. Learn more about our treatment options by calling 833.433.0448.
What to Do If You’re Not Sure If You’re Dating an Alcoholic
If you think that someone you’re dating may have alcoholism, there are a few things you can do. Depending on your circumstances, potential actions include:
- Educating yourself on the nature of alcoholism
- Letting your significant other know that you’re concerned
- Setting boundaries and avoiding enabling behaviors
- Giving yourself time to step back and assess the situation
- Remembering to address your own needs and priorities
- Talking your situation over with other friends or loved ones
- Asking your significant other to speak to a doctor
There is no single approach that works for everyone. Try the options that seem most appropriate for you.
Knowing When an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program is Needed
Today, alcoholism is one of two forms of alcohol use disorder or AUD. The other form of AUD is damaging, non-addicted alcohol abuse. Telltale indications of these two diagnosable problems include:
- Having a rising tolerance to alcohol intoxication
- Not being able to limit the amount of alcohol that’s consumed
- Attempting to quit drinking without success two times or more
- Maintaining a daily routine centered around alcohol use
- Keeping up a pattern of drinking that causes personal harm
- Neglecting important responsibilities as a consequence of drinking
- Experiencing strong cravings for alcohol when not using it
- Going into withdrawal when alcohol use falls off or stops
How should you respond to the presence of signs such as these? First, be aware that only a doctor can confirm an AUD diagnosis. If possible, encourage your partner to seek a diagnosis in a non-confrontational manner. During this conversation, try discussing exactly why you’re concerned. This kind of non-aggressive, personal approach often has positive results.
If your significant other won’t seek help voluntarily, you may consider an alcohol intervention. The goal of an intervention is not to attack or blame anyone. Instead, it aims to motivate your partner to get help.
An intervention should be planned well in advance. Before holding one, seek advice from an experienced professional. This is the best way to promote effective results and avoid doing things that worsen the situation.
How to Support Someone Already in an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
If your significant other is in alcohol treatment, your goal may be to provide recovery support. How do you achieve this goal? One step you can take is to learn about what’s involved in effective treatment. You can also participate in treatment more directly by attending couples therapy with your significant other.
In addition, experts often recommend joining a support group for spouses and partners. This kind of group allows you to meet others in the same circumstances. It also gives you a welcoming space to discuss your concerns and experiences.
Get More Information on Dating an Alcoholic at New Start Recovery
At New Start, we understand the many challenges of dating someone affected by alcoholism. Contact us today to learn more about how you can navigate your circumstances effectively. New Start also specializes in alcohol treatment. Together with you and your partner, we can devise a recovery program that provides the greatest possible benefits. Call 833.433.0448 or fill out our brief online form to reach us.