Alcoholics are often unable to recognize, understand, and respond to their own emotions, as well as those of the people with whom they have relationships. This in turn causes them to have difficulty expressing love and affection.

Their emotional impairment hinders their ability to trust and to have open and honest relationships with others. It can also hinder their inability to form intimacy and demonstrate empathy within their personal relationships. Ultimately, they are left with a disconnection between themselves and others.

How to love an alcoholic

It is difficult to love an alcoholic. It takes patience, understanding, and support.

If you love an alcoholic, learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism. Changes in behavior, such as recklessness, aggression, or blackouts, are examples of this. It is also critical to comprehend the physical consequences of alcohol abuse, which include liver damage, anemia, and heart problems.

Talk to your loved one if you suspect they are an alcoholic. Let them know that you are there to support them and that you are willing to assist them in seeking treatment. For example, encourage them to seek professional help and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

It’s also important to remember that getting sober is a long and difficult process. It’s possible that your loved one will not be able to stop drinking overnight. Be patient and understanding as they go through this process. Offer your help and kindness, and be ready to listen without judgment.

What is the typical personality of an alcoholic?

One characteristic of an alcoholic’s personality is their need to prioritize alcohol above other priorities. As the person’s dependency develops, their need for alcohol grows. This gradually makes them unable to function without alcohol. Eventually, with whatever plans they have, they tend to want alcohol present.

Another is their tendency to place blame on others. Taking accountability requires thoughtfulness and analytical thinking, which can become impaired by alcohol addiction. This makes it difficult for alcoholics to assume responsibility for their actions.

As a result of not wanting to take accountability, the tendency to make excuses is also another characteristic of an alcoholic’s personality. Blaming their drinking on work, family issues, or stress are common examples of enabling their addiction. Virtually any opportunity that allows them to create an excuse to drink will be seized to feed their addiction. 

Financial struggles are also a common characteristic of an alcoholic’s personality. Alcohol often tends to be used as a coping mechanism to handle stress, financial instability, and other challenging aspects of life. In other instances, the dependency itself causes addicts to spend money recklessly on alcohol, which can be expensive. This causes them to lose their grip on responsible financial spending, sending them on a gradual downward spiral. 

When to give up on an alcoholic husband/wife

It’s difficult to struggle with the possibility of leaving a loved one with alcohol addiction. However, the negative impacts can often become too overwhelming to deal with no matter how much you love that person.

Ending a marriage is a very personal decision that no one can make for you. However, some factors you might want to consider when determining if it might be time to leave your husband, wife, or significant other who suffers from alcoholism are:

  • They show no signs of stopping their drinking.
  • Their behavior has become unpredictable to the point of danger.
  • They’ve stopped taking care of themselves.
  • They are neglecting their family.
  • They’ve become physically or emotionally abusive.
  • Intervention efforts have failed.

When you do love an alcoholic 

When you decide to stick it out with a loved one who suffers from alcoholism and none of the above warnings are being triggered, it’s key to remember that there will be ups and downs. To some extent, instability will be a regular part of your life as your partner goes through the process of seeking recovery. 

Take note! Don’t feel guilty for wanting them to seek help; don’t cover for their erratic or irresponsible behavior. Don’t let them make excuses for their drinking, and don’t you make excuses for their addiction!

Be aware that you can’t cure your partner’s addiction, but you can support their entry into an alcohol rehabilitation program that will suit their needs. Keep your expectations realistic, and make sure to find an outlet where you can express your frustrations and hopes without feeling bogged down by the experience. 

There are numerous support groups available that will counsel and provide families and friends with the support they need. They can better teach you how to deal with your loved one’s alcohol addiction and recovery process. With help, you can support your loved one while also helping yourself and protecting your mental well-being.