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Published by at July 13th, 2023 , Revised On July 13, 2023

Experiences of men living in with women partners who are addicted to drugs and alcohol


The main aim of the study is to understand the experience of men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women partners. In the last eight years, the number of female alcohol consumption has increased over male consumers. The number of house violence had also increased in the UK in the past few years, and even though the majority of the blame of reported cases is due to the male partner’s addiction to alcohol and drugs, there are also evidential cases where female partners also suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. Furthermore, there are multiple pieces of evidence of support programmes for male addicts set up by the UK government, but there is rarely any mention of programmes for female addicts or addictive mothers. In simpler terms, there is a lack of understanding of the challenges experienced by male partners when their female partners or the mother is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, like how the husband copes with the society, the family, children and peers. Therefore, by exploring these aspects, different challenges and experiences can be explored and will help to find possible programmes available in the UK and a need for support systems for male partners. Therefore, a qualitative research method has been chosen for the current study, and the data collection methods will be based on interview methods. Data will be collected using open-ended questionnaires, and the data will be assessed using thematic methods. In the following research proposal, the recruitment and population sampling methods have also been presented, along with the limitations of the research methods chosen and the future scope of the current study.



In the UK, the number of women addicted to drugs and alcohol has been raising in huge numbers over the last decade. A report published by BBC has revealed that the use of cocaine among women has been raised by more than 26.5% in the last eight years (BBC, 2020). Not only drugs but addiction to alcohol has also been increasing in the country, as more than 78% of women have been found to be addicted to alcohol. It is evident from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that women aged between 25 and 44 are more addicted to alcohol consumption in comparison to men (ONS GOV UK, 2020). The report of ONS also claimed that self-reported teetotalism had been decreased by a large percentage in the UK. Teetotalism means the promotion or practice of total personal abstinence from the consumption of alcoholic beverages (Dodge, 2018). Consumption or addiction to alcohol and drugs among women aged above 25 reflects on the fact that most women are married or living in with their partners. Considering this factor, this study aims at discussing the experiences of men living with women partners who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. The research will focus on the topic by considering the impact of women’s drugs and alcohol consumption on children as well as families. The coping mechanisms used for the rehabilitation of the women and the efficiency of the approaches will also be considered in the research study.    

The basic issues related to the men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women are a psychological burden, impact on the career of children, incidents of abuse and expenses. It is a fact that the women lead men to face psychological burden as other factors like increase of expense, stability in family and career of children created the issues. Addicted women can be earning or non-earning persons (Abasi & Mohammadkhani, 2016). In case the women are non-earning, then they pressurise their men partners for money to spend on their abusive purpose. In such a case, men tend to ignore and pay their women partners, and that leads to the issues of abuse. If the men and women live with their children, then the incidents also impact the mental health of the children. It becomes difficult for the men partners to explain to the children about the incidents or what is going on with their mother.

Evidence has shown that the number of men victims of women domestic abuse is increasing in the UK. The number of men victims of domestic abuse has been doubled in the UK in the past two years. More than 695,000 men have been found as a victim of abuse by women (BBC, 2020). The number could be varied as social stigma and stereotypes are restricted men to complain against women. Researchers have found that the case of domestic abuse against men is increasing due to the increase in alcohol and drug consumption among women. Along with this, the experiences of men living with women also involve the pressure to nurture their children (Feinstein et al., 2017). Commonly women or mothers are responsible for nurturing the children, but it makes it quite difficult for the men as addicted women spend most of the day with nausea. Question about their mothers also raised among the children, which make it worse for the men to manage.


This research will be done to understand the experiences faced by the men to live with the women partners addicted to drugs and alcohol. The research is important in contemporary times as the number of women addicted to drugs and alcohol has been increasing in the UK. A vast number of researches have been done to understand the reasons for and impact of consuming drugs and alcohol among women. However, most of the research has been done in regards to anyone issue of drugs or alcohol. Thus, the research is important in understanding the impact of consuming drugs and alcohol on both women. Further, the research will provide a collaborative analysis of the consumption of drugs and alcohol among women. Previous research have been done mostly associated with the open topic of the impact of drug and alcohol-addicted women on families or psychology. Concerning the factor, it can be said that the research is important in understanding the impact of drug and alcohol-addicted women on the men’s partners. Different types of challenges faced by the men partners as well as their effort for the rehabilitation of women partners, will also be understood from the research. It is also a fact that living with drug and alcohol-addicted women enforced men to be responsible for the nurturing of children (Hoggatt et al., 2015). This area will also be explored in the research, which is important for young men to understand and tackle the issues related to managing women’s partners.


The main aim of the study is to understand the experience of men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women partners.


Objectives of the study are as follows;

  • To determine the reason behind drug and alcohol addiction in women
  • To analyse the impact of drug and alcohol-addicted women on children and families and the challenges faced by men partners
  • To evaluate the efficiency of coping mechanisms used for the rehabilitation of drug and alcohol-addicted women

Research question

The primary research question for the study is;

What are the experiences of men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women partners?

The secondary research questions of the study are; 

  • What are the reasons influencing women to become drug and alcohol addicted?
  • How do drug and alcohol-addicted women impact children and families and create challenges for their men partners?
  • To what extent coping mechanisms used for rehabilitation are effective among drug and alcohol-addicted women?


Research design

The research design of the current study will be based on qualitative research methods whereby interviews will be conducted to explore the experiences of men living with woman partners that are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Interview-based research design comprises exploring the experiences of participants on particular social aspects and allows the researcher to conduct an in-depth assessment and find new information (Galletta, 2013). It is already known from the rationale that there is a lack of research on the experiences of men with addictive women. Even though some studies have indicated that the majority of household-related conflicts come from either of the partners, mainly the male partner being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some studies have also indicated that women partners being addicted to drugs and alcohol also affects the same, and since similar studies have not been conducted in the UK region, the researcher will target the same for gathering in-depth assessments on the experiences. Since the research is based on qualitative interview methods, the research approach will be inductive, whereby new information will be gathered, and a new theory will be formed using the inductive approach (Galletta, 2013). Furthermore, inductive research approaches are also synonymous with qualitative interview methods.


Sampling methods in research studies are used when the researcher aims to use primary data for targeting a group of people to collect data to address a research aim (Sahu, 2013). Sampling comprises of systemic process of targeting and including a sample population from a large sub-set for the need of a research study, and in this study, the sample target population are men visiting psychiatric clinical institutions in the London region for recovery of their female partners suffering from addiction with alcohol and/or drugs. There are two types of sampling methods, probability and non-probability sampling (Sahu, 2013). In the case of probability sampling methods, the researcher will randomly include a sample population from the target group and in non-probability, the sample population is not included randomly. For the conduction of the study, the researcher will aim to target men visiting psychiatric clinical institutions along with their female partners, and so the researcher will target only specific people and non-randomised inclusion. So the researcher will adopt a purposive sampling process whereby the target participants will be included with the help of a clinical institution’s assistance and support. Targeting men visiting the clinical institutions will help to explore and assess the experiences and challenges faced as well as their actions and responsibilities while their partners were suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction.

Data collection tools

Since the current research study will be based on interview methods, both primary and secondary data sources will be used for data collection, whereby primary data collection will be based on interview methods, and the data collection tool will be open-ended questionnaires (Agarwal, 2011). On the other hand, secondary data will be collected using e-libraries as tools for data collection. The interview method will use questionnaires that will have explanatory and descriptive questions and will ask about different experiences faced and the action involved when their female partners were suffering from alcohol and/or drug addiction. The questionnaire will not have scales or measures and will comprise of open questions whereby in-depth information from the target participants can be extracted. On the other hand, e-libraries will also be used to collect past research papers so that the findings from the interviews can be supported and also construct the literature review section of the study.


Initially, the researcher will seek permission from 3 to 4 psychiatric hospitals and clinical centres to interview patients that have been visiting the centre for recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction, especially where the patients are female.  For this, an ethical and confidentiality report and form provided by the researcher’s university will be submitted, and the researcher will then visit the centre’s management for permission to inducting an interview among the willful participants. Once the permission is received, the researcher will gather patient records from the same and will personally e-mail the male partner with a detail about the aim of the study and its importance, as well as the ethically informed consent letter for participation. The names of the partners and the clinical institutions will be kept confidential at all times. It is expected that the researcher will target at least 20 to 25 male participants visiting these clinical institutions for recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction for their female partners. Once permission for the interview is received by the researcher, a time and place or mode of interview, like face-to-face or telephonic interviews, will be arranged. However, before participation, the interviewees must sign the informed consent, and only then will they be regarded for the interview participation. During the current social distancing norms and pandemic situation, telephonic interviews will be the best and safest method; however, there are challenges to telecommunication connectivity and other connectivity-related issues. There will be a total of 10 to 12 interconnect open questions, which may take a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes for each of the interview sessions. Interview transcripts will be maintained from the interview sessions for further assessments and addressing the research study aims and objectives.

Data analysis

In this research study, only subjective data will be collected from the interviews, and so the data analysis methods will be explanatory and elaborative, whereby transcripts from the interviews will be collected and then assessed using thematic methods. Initially, the transcripts from the interviews will be read repeatedly, and then different codes will be identified. These codes are important terms or sentences and phrases that provide meaning to the questions asked, and the study’s significance, and then these codes will be clubbed to form emerging themes (Braun and Clarke, 2019). The emerging themes are inferences from the codes or common codes, and then based on the emerging themes, final themes and sub-themes will be developed so that they can be elaborated based on the statements and dialogues of the participants and address the research questions of the study (Braun and Clarke, 2019).

Gantt chart

Proposal2 weeks
Ethical approval2 weeks
Approval for data collection and informed consent1 month
Data collection and analysis3 months
Introduction Chapter1 month
Literature review chapter2 months
Research methodology chapter1 month
Data analysis chapter2 months
Conclusions1 month
Final editing and submissions3 weeks

Ethical considerations

For ethical considerations, the approval will be provided by the university, and the guidelines of the Caldicott Committee will be followed strictly for meeting the confidentiality of patient information and usage of the information. As for ethical considerations, the confidentiality of the male participants, as well as information on their female partners, will also be kept confidential, and no personal information will be mentioned anywhere in the research paper.


The purported findings of the study will be to explore both positive and negative experiences of male partners as a result of their female partner’s addiction towards alcohol/drugs as well as explore the experiences towards their relationships, parental relationships, societal experiences, treatment methods used currently and its outcome or recovery effectiveness and others. Furthermore, male participants with children will also help to explore the experiences of male parents in parenting their children or explain to them the situation of his/her mother (Eaton et al., 2012). Violence at home due to alcoholism is a major challenge and issue globally, and this affects not only the psychological being of children but that also of society and other family members, and parents as well. Studies have already shown the impact of male partners being violent from alcoholism and drug addiction; however, there is very little literature on the coping mechanisms of male partners when their female partners are drug addicts or alcoholics (Fernández-Montalvo, López-Goñi and Arteaga, 2012). Therefore, this is one expectation from the current research and interview methods that the experiences of males as to how they dealt with their partners and society when their female partners were drug or alcohol addicts. Furthermore, from the interviews, it is also expected that the coping abilities and the types of help the male partners received to help their female partners as well as their children and other family members. It is also expected that by the conduction of the study, the challenges dealt with by the men, especially when children are around and helping their partners with their withdrawals and treatment process as well as the level of stress and mental pressure experienced, will also be explored (Lombard, Swabey and Pullen, 2017). Furthermore exploring their experiences with help and support will also allow for assessing the effectiveness of mental health centres and recovery programmes set by the government. Therefore, exploring the treatment methods that the female partners are currently undergoing will also help to explore all the possible interventional programmes available in the UK and the effectiveness of the same.

Another area that will be covered will be that male participants with kids will likewise assist with investigating the encounters of male guardians in nurturing their kids or clarify them about the circumstance of his/her mom. Negligence to kids and home violence at homes because of liquor abuse is a significant test and issue worldwide, and this influences the mental being of kids as well as of the general public and other relatives and guardians also (Lombard et al., 2017). Studies have just indicated the effect of male accomplices being rough from liquor abuse and chronic drug use; notwithstanding, there is next to no writing on the ways of dealing with the stress of male accomplices when their female accomplices are drug addicts or alcoholics. Subsequently, this is one assumption from the flow exploration and meeting strategies that the encounters of males concerning how they managed their accomplices and the general public when their female accomplices were medication or liquor addicts (Shumway et al., 2017). Moreover, from the meetings, it is additionally anticipated that the adapting capacities and the sorts of help the male accomplices got to assist their female accomplices with welling their youngsters and other relatives. It is likewise expected that by the conduction of the investigation, the difficulties managed by the men, particularly when youngsters are near and assisting their accomplices with their withdrawals and treatment measures, just as the degree of stress and mental weight experienced, will likewise be investigated. Besides investigating their encounters with assistance and backing will likewise permit surveying the adequacy of emotional well-being focuses and recuperation programs set by the public authority. In this way, investigating the treatment strategies that the female accomplices are right now going through will likewise assist in investigating all the conceivable interventional programs accessible in the UK and the adequacy of the equivalent (Shumway et al., 2017). These will be the main focus areas for research findings from the current research study and interviews.

However, the research will have certain limitations, mainly from the methodological aspects, due to the current covid19 pandemic situation, many male interviewees may not feel it safe to have face-to-face interviews and so may not be participants (Omary et al., 2020). Even if the researcher may adopt telephonic methods of interview methods, due to poor connectivity and other technical errors, there may be multiple disconnections, and as a result, the interviewee may not further continue with the interview. This will affect the research study, and the number of interview participants may be very low than the expected sample size. In addition, the interview process is a very lengthy and time taking process of data collection which may affect the timeline of the current study. Again, there is also a risk of participants leaving the research study during the interview process, and this may also affect the process of data collection due to any unexplained reason (Klein, Walter and Schimank, 2018). Furthermore, another challenge will be that due to travel restrictions, the researcher may not have the opportunity to individually visit the male participants or visit the clinical institutions for permission to collect patient records for interview data collection and induction. Furthermore, the clinical institutions may also be reluctant to provide information on the participants with confidential concerns and others and so may entirely affect the research design of the current study, and so the researcher may have to depend on secondary data. Regardless of whether the analyst may receive telephonic strategies for a talk with techniques, because of helpless network and other specialized blunders, there might be various separations, and thus, the interviewee may not further proceed with the meeting. This will influence the examination study, and the number of meeting members might be lower than the normal test size. Also, the meeting cycle is long and time taking a cycle of information assortment, which may influence the timetable of the current investigation (Klein et al., 2018). Once more, there is additionally a danger of members leaving the examination concentrate during the meeting cycle, and this may likewise influence the cycle of information assortment because of any unexplained explanation. Besides, another test will be that because of voyaging limitations, the specialist might not have the occasion to separately visit the male members or visit the clinical foundations from consent to gather persistent records for an interview with information assortment and acceptance. Moreover, the clinical establishments may likewise be hesitant to furnish data on the members with secret concerns, and others, thus may completely influence the examination plan of flow concentrate; thus, the scientist may need to rely upon optional information. These are the main challenges that are expected from the chosen research method.


The main aim of the current study is to understand the experience of men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women partners. The main reason for conducting the study is that the rate of female alcohol consumption has significantly increased in the past few years, and this may have been one of the research for an increased number of home violence reported in the UK. Even though the majority of the researchers had indicated that the male population is more prone to drug and alcohol addiction, there is hardly any research on the impact of a female partner’s addiction to drugs and alcohol on family, children as well as male partners. The stress and challenges that male partners face when their female partners are drug or alcohol addicts have been rarely focused on, and so the current study aims to understand the experience of men living with drug and alcohol-addicted women partners. The primary reason behind leading the interview study is that the pace of female liquor consumption had altogether expanded in the previous few years, and this may have been one of the explores for an expanded number of home viciousness detailed in the UK. Even though most of the research studies have shown that the male populace is more inclined to drug addiction and alcohol dependence, there is almost no report and examination on the effect of female accomplice’s dependence on drugs and liquor on family, youngsters just as male accomplices. The pressure and difficulties that male accomplices face when their female accomplices are medication or liquor addicts have been infrequently centred around. Thus, the point of the current examination is to comprehend the experience of men living with medication and liquor-dependent ladies accomplices. Since no study explored the experiences of male partners when their female partners were drug or alcohol addicts, it was important to explore the experiences of the male partners, and to explore the experiences. The best method was the interview research method. So, the researcher used a qualitative method whereby data will be collected using interviews and open-ended questionnaires. The main limitations indicated by the research method identified are sample size-related issues, the challenges of covid19 pandemic situation, and the risks of interviewees quitting the research.

The potential of future research is that there is this is first of its kind research study whereby male partners will be targeted to explore their experiences of coping with and supporting their female addictive partners. This study will give a new area for research and assessing the availability of medical and healthcare support to male partners in the UK. Besides, by conducting of the research study, it will also help psychiatric researchers and healthcare policymakers to help male partners struggling to support their female partners from alcohol and drug addiction. Another future scope of the study is that it will help in mental health policy-making as well as help other researchers to find more information in the same area.


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Appendix (Interview)

Q1. Please tell something about yourself about your employment, education and others.

Q2. When was the first time you knew that your wife or female partner was addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Q3. What were the different signs and symptoms of addiction to drugs or alcohol?

Q4. What were the main challenges you faced while living with your partner with addiction to drugs or alcohol?

Q5. How did the society, family members and peers react to the situation?

Q6. Did you receive any support? Who supported it and how?

Q7. Do you have children or children? Was the addiction there before or after the pregnancy?

Q8. What do you think may be the reasons for the addiction?

Q9. What type of recovery or withdrawal-based treatment is your partner undergoing now? Do you think it has been effective?

Q10. Was there a point when you felt like you wanted to leave everything and let your partner deal with it alone? Why did you not leave your partner and decide to help?

Q11. What is your recommendation to similar male partners who may find confidence in your recommendation?

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