Best Advice For The Wife Of An Alcoholic or Addict

Best Advice For The Wife Of An Alcoholic or Addict

If you are the wife of an alcoholic or addict there is nothing you want more than your husband to get sober.

I know you would do anything to keep your family together. You want a sober man who gives you his loving attention who is honest and responsible.  

Someone you can depend on and grow old with.

And before we dive in, let’s be clear, that it doesn’t matter if you’re a wife, partner, girlfriend, or whoever.

If you love someone suffering from addiction, the effects are all the same.

It also doesn’t matter if you love a man or a woman. Again, the impacts are the same. This is a safe, judgment-free community.

We accept everyone for exactly who they are, without passing judgment or making assumptions.

Here’s some of the best advice for the wife of an alcoholic

(or any woman who loves a good person suffering from addiction)

Allow them to hit rock bottom.

Increase the chances of your alcoholic or addicted partner getting sober by allowing him to hit rock bottom.

As the wife of an alcoholic or addict your job is to stop breaking his falls.

You’re their partner (wife, girlfriend, whoever) NOT their mother. And for all you moms who read this blog, if your child suffers from addiction or alcoholism and is above the age of 21: this advice is for you too… no more enabling.

Your loved one must learn to be a responsible, contributing, law abiding member of society. Their behavior is not normal.

I had a friend who worked nights. She too was the wife of an alcoholic.

Every morning after work she would return to her very expensive home to find it trashed from the party her cocaine-addicted husband threw while she was working.

Cups, garbage, bottles, (even people passed out) were spread all over her home. For three hours she would do nothing but clean. Wash the floors, pick up trash, do the dishes.

When her husband woke up after his binge, the home smelled and looked brand new.

He had no reminder of the hurtful choices he made the night before. He could always rely on his wife to clean up his messes.

Please stop cleaning up after your partner.

The only way your loved one is ever going to want to get better is when you get out of the way. If you clean up all the time, he will never get the severity of the situation.

The more you try to rescue them, the longer it will take for your alcoholic or addicted husband to get sober.

Stop financially supporting them.

Experts agree, the best advice is not to financially support them. If they loses their job: don’t give them money.

When they’re not helping around the house: don’t pick up after their messes (clearing his dishes, doing his laundry). If they can’t drive because he got a DUI: don’t lend them your car or get in the passenger seat with them at the wheel.

Yes, it’s easier for you to clean up after your alcoholic or addicted partner but you are prolonging his disease.

Doing the dirty work for them is not going to make them love you more.

Saving them is not going to help get them sober.

If you’re the wife of an alcoholic, do you:

  • clean up their mess when they’re passed out?
  • go behind them apologizing for what they’re doing or saying at parties, bbq, or family get togethers?
  • clean up needles or other drug paraphernalia left around?
  • try to make peace with everyone in the family that they’ve hurt?
  • clean up after parties or binges?
  • take over their responsibilities?

If so, you’re not a bad woman. You have been trying to help them get better. I completely understand, because I did the same thing. You have “helped” them out of love.

But now you know better.

Make a list of things you need to stop doing that enable them and start making better choices. Let’s be accountability partners!


How do I get my husband to stop drinking?

The truth is that you have no control over your husband (or partner), and there’s no way to get them to stop drinking. Your safety (and the safety of your children) is always the number one priority.

How can you tell if someone is addicted to alcohol?

Alcoholism is a dependence on alcohol. Alcoholism doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some people may drink every day, while others only drink every three months. When drinking alcohol beings to interfere with their life and relationships, it’s most likely addiction.

What is a narcissistic alcoholic?

Narcissistic personality disorder is marked by an inflated sense of self combined with lack of empathy.

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used this experience to create this powerful community full of women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

Explore the Love Over Addiction program

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