Spouse of an Alcoholic

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Alcoholism is sometimes called a family disease. An Alcoholic can cause much turmoil within a family. In fact, alcoholism is the single leading cause for family problems in the United States; seventy six million American adults have been subjected to alcoholism in the family. The spouse of an alcoholic is affected by his or her partner's problem in many ways. He or she may gain more responisbility for any children, become the sole bread-winner, endure physical and mental abuse, and deal with large amounts of stress.

The spouse of an alcoholic may have to become the primary caregiver for any children the married couple may have. The spouse with the drinking problem may lose all interest for the children. Therefore, the other spouse is left to care for the kids in more ways than one. For example, he or she may become responsible for helping with school work, hygiene needs, and other general everyday problems a child may encounter.

By doing so, the sober spouse has to give his or her complete attention to looking after the children. As a result, he or she may become so devoted and neglect other responsibilities.

Next, the sober spouse may have to take over the family's finances. He or she may become the sole bread-winner of the family. The alcoholic's money is spent on alchol to feed his addiction; therefore, money that could be used to supply for the family's needs is taken away. Also, the alcoholic's problem may cause him or her lose his job or result in a reduction in the amount of money that he or she brings in with each pay check. As a result, the sober spouse is left to pay the bill, put food on the table, and provide for the family's other needs. Most of...