Boundaries With An Alcoholic Spouse (part 1)

Trying to keep good boundaries with a spouse who has a substance abuse problem can get complicated. Are your boundaries healthy and appropriate? Let's find out...

There are some standard issues when it comes to being in a marriage, especially when someone has a substance abuse problem. Those are:

  • Money-always a big category
  • Household responsibilities and who's responsible for what.
  • Safety issues can include things like driving.

I'm going to give you some examples of boundaries in each category. As we go through this, identify the appropriate boundary, the ones articulated in the right way.

First up, let's talk about driving.

Four Driving Boundaries examples:
#1- I'm not going to allow you to drive our kids if I think you've been drinking.
#2- You're not going to leave this house in our car when you've been drinking.
#3- I won't provide insurance under my name if I think you're likely to drive while intoxicated.
#4- Please do not drive home drinking. It makes me a nervous wreck. I'm so scared you're going to hurt yourself or someone else.

Which of those boundaries (it can be one or more than one) do you think was an appropriate boundary?

Money boundary examples:
I'll give you an example of four different money boundaries, and you will find the one(s) that are appropriate.

#1- You're not going to waste my money buying alcohol anymore
#2-I'll pay your car payment as long as you attend three AA meetings weekly.
#3- I will no longer be paying your car payment.
#4- You have to get a job if you want to keep living in this home.

Which one of those are the appropriate boundaries?

Household responsibilities examples:

#1- From now on, you're washing your laundry. I am sick of smelling your clothes. It just smells like alcohol, and it's nasty.

#2- Smelling alcohol on your clothes triggers me, and I take it out on everyone else when I get triggered.

#3- I will no longer be cleaning the dishes from your late-night drinking and cooking episode.

#4- You need to be responsible for your messes.

Which one of those is appropriate?

If you want to know the answer to these questions, watch this video next. I'll go over each one of those boundaries and tell you why they are or are not appropriate.

Amber Hollingsworth

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