This form of spousal sabotage is common and is the usual reason people return to drinking. While it is not always conscious – after all, they’ve been pressuring you to fix your drinking problem for years – but the reasons are readily apparent upon examination.
Consider the real benefits of your alcohol abuse. Alcohol provides a fast, effective, easy, affordable, and legal “cure” for anxiety, loneliness, boredom, low blood sugar, and numerous other conditions and concerns.
Now also consider the benefits your spouse derives from your alcohol abuse – benefits they rarely recognize until they are pointed out. With you as the designated “problem” they end up with all of the power in the relationship. Yes, you lose your vote in family decision making because you’re a drunk.
Additionally, your alcohol abuse covers up their own problems. After all, as long as you and your drinking are “the problem” they don’t have to look at their own over-eating, or aggression, or anything else.
Finally, they get to be the saint who puts up with you.
Those are a lot of benefits to lose when you fix your drinking problem so it’s not surprising that many spouses begin to actively sabotage your progress.
It’s also why we prefer to work with couples whenever possible in order to head off this sort of “dance” and help both of you to end up happier with alcohol removed from the equation.
Remember – others “treat” alcoholism in isolation in order to enhance relapses. We treat it in conjunction with your spouse and day-to-day life. Is it any wonder that our clients succeed in our alcohol treatment program at over twelve times the rate of traditional programs, residential rehab or outpatient?