Should I stop Supporting An Alcoholic Partner?
The best support sometimes is no support at all.
You may have difficulty hearing this but the alcoholic's first love when drinking is not you - it's the aclohol and you are facilitating their addiction lifestyle because you can put up with it.
We all love our partners but if someone in your family has a drinking problem, you can see what it's doing to them, but can you see what it's doing to YOU? (Al-anon flyer)
When you have lived with someone you love who is an alcoholic, when you have done so for years and your feathers are somewhat ruffled, what do you tell yourself? If you think he or she will change or that you are there to help stop their addiction, it's time to reconsider - only the person who has the addiction can do this.
If you can identify why your partner is drinking - try to deal with that. What is the real issue - it usually is not the alcohol - your partner will respond better to loving kindness but there comes a time when you must let your partner prove that YOU and the family - what really matters - come before alcohol. There comes a time to do things differently, otherwise you will keep getting the same results and become exhausted with the trial you are putting yourself through.
Above all, you must not let your partner's drinking define you and at the same time you must show your children a model of humanity for the parent who has this affliction.
Drastic actions like walk outs, I believe can be damaging for kids because they see you being ruthless with someone they love and is a part of their very being. Always try to be humane but at the same time to yourself also which means not letting your partners drinking define your lifestyle or minimizing it's impact as best you can.
Your children see you as a role-model so above all always keep hope and humanity alive for them.
As the old saying goes, madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You must tell your partner what their drinking does to you and restrain yourself from letting it define you or treating your partner with anything less than humanity.
That can be hard when you love someone who is doing harm to themselves but staying with them and talking it through can help them work their way out of the situation a lot more than ultimatums and admonishing him or her.
Unfortunately, someone with an addiction only loves the substance they are addicted to when they are on a binge and until they realize and treat this illness or the issue that is underlying it, nothing will change.
Sometimes, you need to withdraw support and live yourself in order for your loved one to get it. Do this in a positive way if you can, however, because anger does not help you or your partner or your children.
No-one wants to accept this but at some point in time you have to face reality and the best support sometimes is to withdraw and get back the old you before all the strife started so go and get a haircut or play music with old friends or go out or what ever. JUST DO SOMETHING FOR YOU.
An alcoholic can get into the habit of relying on a caring partner. It's convenient. You will pick up the pieces, stand by them, put up with their crap when others would have walked away long ago. You continue to tolerate the crazy ride in their wagon - a wagon whose only destination is to find the next drink.
If you don't have children with this person, ask yourself why? You need to really look at why you are doing this to yourself.
Al-anon, explained this to me once. Partners of alcoholics are often enablers - givers who have been targeted because they tolerate so much more than others. The giving, however, is preventing your partner from seeing reality. The giving is not reciprocated - but ask yourself what if it was?
My advice here is to stop trying to solve the alcoholic's problems, stop trying to help and start opening your eyes to what you've always known is true and real before your partners addiction distorted your life and your thinking to keep you on the treadmill of their addiction.
If you have children it's even more important to change your habit of supporting someone who depends on alcohol to deal with life's stresses. It's time to stop picking up the pieces and cleaning up the mess made by an alcoholic partner. If you want to help - help yourself first and avoid the hell they've created by their single-minded and overriding need to for another drink.
If you love your alcoholic partner, help them see what life's priorities should look like. READ this testimonial by The Clean Life - Tough-Love-Will-Bring-Sober-Love-in-The-End . It is a moving account from an alcoholic's point of view of what turned him around. Not many of us loving partners are comfortable with giving ultimatums to someone we care for but it was just that Tough Love that brought home Sobriety in this case.
Real support and learning comes from allowing your partner the gift of seeing the consequences of their addiction rather than letting it continue consequence free as they continue to make drink their priority in life over everything else.
So if you continue to do the same crap you will keep getting the same crap! You know it's really insane but you're hanging in. For what? Out of fear? You must deal with this by focussing on what you love. Forget fear.
The point is the alcoholic will never understand how their drinking affects the people around them especially if you continue to keep it all together against the odds. You must stop trying to be the superhero who saves the alcoholics life and despite all the alcoholic has told you about how you are to blame and how bad you are - its just an excuse. Don't give it to them. Have faith, because stories abound of alcoholics wanting their partners back after they've left.
Mine did. Probably, most do. Take your power back.
You might see yourself as undeserving so you go out of your way to be kind to this person, you love the alcoholic but to tell you the truth you are only delaying their development and YOURS. If you love the alcoholic you must allow them to see the consequences of what their addiction is doing to your life and that of your children. You must, in other words, stop doing so much and being dependent on the alcoholic's need for someone to be always there for them while they continue to wreak havoc without taking responsibility.
And when you do realize you must stop this co-dependent living situation you are in - don't look back, forge ahead, stay on track and you and the alcoholic will develop further - don't rob the alcoholic of this development.
You will actually be doing everyone a favour - your alcoholic partner and yourself.
Instead of the tired old habits of you trying to change your partner - the arguments, the pleading, the excuses the unbelievable stress of it, new realizations will come into your life and it will feel like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
This is the time to flee from hate, recriminations, bitterness, resentment and anger and to stay in a loving feeling - be in love with your life and your partner not by constantly putting yourself last but by LIVING FULLY YOUR LIFE.
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