When your spouse’s drinking begins to affect your family and relationship, it may be time to open a dialogue with them. If you’re wondering how to talk to your spouse about their drinking, Philly Family Life Counseling can help you get started. This process can be uncomfortable and difficult, so here are some ways to approach the conversation:
- Pick a good moment. A good time to approach the conversation about your spouse’s drinking is when they’re sober and you are in private.
- Know what you want to say ahead of time. Talking to your spouse about their drinking can be emotional, so knowing what you want to say ahead of time is a good way to stay on topic and to make sure you’re saying exactly what you mean.
- Remember to use “I-Statements” and avoid making “YOU” statements. Know this can be a challenge because their alcohol abuse is the problem. For example, I am concerned; I am feed-up; I am scared; I am being impacted, financially, emotionally, socially etc; I am worried; I am embarrassed. Share with your partner about what it is like for you, your partner knows what it is like for themselves.
- Avoid placing blame on your spouse. Placing blame is a quick way to put your spouse on the defensive. Instead, try correlating consequences with their drinking. If they’ve been exhibiting anger or dissatisfaction with certain parts of their life, you might say “I’ve noticed this began or has gotten worse when you started drinking more often.”
- Avoid using the word alcoholic. This is another quick way to alienate and put your spouse on the defensive.
- Express your support. Keep the focus of the conversation on how you can support your spouse, whether that be cutting back on drinking, finding a support group, therapy, or rehab. Remind them how much you value your relationship and that you love them and want to see them happy.
Further Steps – Get Help with Philly Family Life Counseling LLC
If your spouse’s course of action is to get additional help, Philly Family Life Counseling LLC has a variety of services of which you and your spouse can take advantage.
For a full list of services, visit our website. For more information or to speak with someone about our programs, for information on how to talk to your spouse about their drinking, or to set up an appointment, call us at 215-677-3810 or fill out our online form. Not ready to talk to someone? That’s okay. Follow us on Facebook for news and updates.