Alcoholism and Divorce
What to do with an Alcoholic Spouse
Alcoholism affects not only a person but also his children, his spouse and the people that surround them. Studies show that alcoholism affects the children of the alcoholics and that there is a connection between alcoholism and divorce as well.
If you are contemplating in divorcing your alcoholic spouse, here are a few things to consider before making that life-changing decision.
The Connection between Alcoholism and Divorce
It is not uncommon to hear about marriages that have gone sour due to alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It brings about the question of whether there is really a connection between alcoholism and divorce. To ask the question seems to answer as well. Experts note that alcoholism and divorce are indeed interconnected in more ways than one. Studies show that those who are divorced consume the most alcohol and those who are happily married consume the lowest levels of alcohol. And on the other side of the coin, studies also show that although alcoholics have the same rate of getting married as the average person, alcoholics have an alarming rate of divorce as they are four times more likely to divorce than the non-alcoholic. Experts also say that married couples who are alcoholics or have an alcohol abuse problem during their twenties are more likely to be divorced when they reach the age of 29. A correlation also has been drawn between alcoholism or alcohol abuse and domestic violence, legal problems, employment and money problems as well as sexual problems.
Factors to Consider in Alcoholism and Divorce
Now, considering that studies show alcoholism and divorce may go hand and hand, that seems everybody is doing it, you ask yourself, should you divorce your alcoholic spouse as well? When one thinks about it off hand, together with the negative effects that an alcoholic parent has over his or her child, it seems that the best possible solution to the problem is to divorce your spouse. But when one thinks about it, divorce may not always be the solution to your problem. A lot of factors have to be considered before you make that decision.
Probably one of the most important factors that you should consider before getting a divorce is the extent of your spouse’s alcohol problem and his concomitant willingness to solve the problem. Your spouse may be just starting into alcoholism and he or she may be willing to change or undergo a program to cure this ‘disease’. The important thing is to talk to him or her about it and see how willing he/she is to address the problem.
Another factor to consider before divorcing your spouse is the extent of the effect of the alcoholism on you and your children. Is he/she physically, emotionally or verbally abusing you or your children? Has he or she caused irreparable damage to your marriage and his or her relationship with your children? Is he willing to admit his or her problem and the mistakes he made and to change them? In the end, the answer lies ultimately on you and your assessment of the problem. Joining a support group of people who are undergoing the same problem may enlighten your decision.