When To Give Up an Alcoholic Spouse?

When to Give Up on an Alcoholic Spouse

When a man and a woman in a good and loving relationship want to take it to the next level, the only natural step is to get married. They choose a day when they both will profess their undying love to each other and make their vows for each other in front of the friends they cherish and the family that loves and support them.

They get to say, “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part.”  But there are times when married couples just can’t stand each other’s mistakes and lapses. Is there a right time to just give up? 

Some problems that married couples face

In any kind of relationship, there will always be rifts and misunderstandings. Some may be because of petty reasons and can be resolved easily. Some are too big of a mistake to let go so easily. 

Some of the problems that married couples face in the run of their relationship are issues about money, being intimate with each other, undesirable kinds of friends, parenting differences, household roles, and addiction. 

It is no secret that most couples, even before they are married, may sometimes have disputes when it comes to money. Whether it be on who earns more money and who spends more money, there is always an issue that arises.

That’s why it is no surprise that money is the number one issue for married couples. But one of the most difficult issues that a married couple has to face is if one or both of them somehow end up having some sort of addiction. The most common and perhaps the most accessible to anyone is alcohol.

That’s why more and more spouses get into arguments because of this so-called alcohol addiction or alcoholism. 

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction is described as a chronic disorder associated with compulsive and excessive drinking of alcohol and withdrawal symptoms from drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder is a valid disorder that cripples a person’s ability to stop himself or herself from refraining from drinking alcohol. Alcohol works much like any other addictive drug in the brain.

Alcohol, when consumed, induces powerfully pleasurable feelings and negates any negative feelings. If one discovers that he or she is under so much stress and has found that by drinking alcohol, the stress and anxiety go away even for a temporary period, the next reaction would be to go and drink again to make those unwanted emotions go away.

But the pain one feels never truly goes away, which leads to drinking more and more, and this is the start of the addiction. 

What makes a marriage work?

When To Give Up an Alcoholic Spouse

Marriage was first instituted by God himself when God fashioned Eve (a woman) for Adam (a man.) Whether you believe in a religion or not, it cannot be denied that marriage is a fundamental relationship to which humankind aligns itself, and to spend a lifetime together with your chosen spouse is truly a gift not everyone gets to enjoy.

But as human beings are not perfect, problems will more likely arise, and if a man and his wife do not know how to tide things over, it could mean separation or divorce though some countries that are more religious than others do not allow for divorce. But before one thinks of divorce, why not think of making it work first? There are many tips and advice on how one could make a marriage relationship work

  • Always communicate with your marriage spouse everything, from your deepest fears to the things that make you smile. With clear communication between man and wife, little disputes can easily be resolved, and boundaries can be set when it comes to things that can and can’t be done. 
  • Take time off of your busy schedules and enjoy a night out at dinner or a relaxing stroll by the beach. It’s important to make time for you and your loved one as it brings you both even closer and strengthens your relationship.
  • Trust and respect each other and willingly forgive one another’s shortcomings. Marriages aren’t easy and perfect, but as one grows old with his/her marriage partner, trust is slowly built, respect rendered, and forgiveness willingly given. 

Can You Give Up on Your Spouse?

Marriage relationships are never easy to work out, especially when one of the marriage mates is an alcoholic. Nothing good comes out of any kind of addiction, even one that is borne out of alcohol. It not only slowly destroys a person’s health but also can slowly choke a good relationship into ruins.

It puts an incredible strain on the spouse that has to deal with trying to live out a normal relationship despite the abnormalities that the changes in the behavior of an alcoholic spouse exhibit. But can one give up on a marriage partner who is an alcoholic? 

There are different answers and opinions on this matter. On one side some of the people who have had a horrific experience with an alcoholic spouse would argue that on the first opportunity they have, they would leave. Their reasons would vary from not being able to keep up with the mood swings and the abuse and physical pain inflicted on them, apart from the emotional strain and psychological challenge in trying to make things work and staying for the children.

They would say that the pain is not worth it. But on the other side, some would say that it’s just a phase and that if they stick it out and work things over, everything will turn out fine in the end. 

Statistical facts about divorce would say that the number one reason for married couples getting divorced would be one of them being unable to commit fully to the relationship with a whopping 73% of the surveyed data, while only 25% of the data shows that domestic violence and abuse as the reason for a married couple’s divorce. It can be inferred that having an alcoholic spouse is under the latter category then it goes to show that most married spouses would not easily give up on their spouses. 


On the matter of when one should give up on an alcoholic, it can be said that one must not truly give up until they have tried their utmost to help their spouse. It must be understood that when a person under the influence of any addicting substance is also experiencing a hard time wanting to stop as well.

If the people around them give up so easily, even at the beginning, then they would not have the much-needed support to, in fact, change. But it is also a delicate balancing act, and one cannot be forced to stay in a very abusive relationship hence only the person in that relationship can say for sure when to stay and when to leave.  

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