Virtually all treatment programs provide services to individuals under the faulty premise that the misuse of alcohol is a “disease” rather than a choice and a symptom. The “cure” is for the drinker to surrender to his or her disease, turn their life over to AA or some other cult, return home, and everyone will live happily ever after.
Because all of the assumptions these programs are based on are false, the end result is simply a lot of wasted time and money. Even when the drinker agrees to “work the program” and the spouse to sign up for Alanon, the likelihood of “success” stay at an abysmal 5% or less and alcohol remains the central focus of both spouses’ lives.
Not exactly a real success story for people suffering from loneliness, isolation, boredom, anxiety, lack of intimacy, and/or depression.
The alternative, of course, is to involve both spouses (or partners, or family members) and correct the underlying problems that are being self-medicated and the inadequate and counter-productive responses of wives or husbands.
The analogy that demonstrates this better than any other is the notion of a “dance” – the dance your relationship has become, the dance that reinforces the drinking, the dance neither of you has been able to figure out how to end. And you won’t figure it out as long as you fall for the myth that alcohol is the problem.
Every week, somebody calls us and says “If only John (or Mary, or Tom, or Sue…) would stop drinking everything would be fine.”
Well, no. Everything will stay the same, the problems will remain, and eventually the drinking will resume because the causes haven’t been addressed and resolved.
Real AA alternative outpatient alcohol treatment for couples is based on the research into what actually works – and what actually works is addressing and fixing the underlying problems that beset the relationship. Doing that restores credibility for both of you; provides the basis for intimacy that eases the loneliness and boredom and resentment; ends the consumption of alcohol with the resultant depression; and eliminates the passive-aggressive battling between you.