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Anger Management

If My Alcoholic Husband Died It Would Be A Relief

When my husband was an alcoholic (correction: my husband is an alcoholic still but not an active alcoholic) I went through a stage of thinking of myself as a victim, that these things were happening to me. Then I finally realized that things don’t just happen to me – they are a result of me not taking action or were a result of me repeating actions that didn’t work. This was my comfort zone and it took a hell of a push for me to step out of it and say “No More!”

Not Caring Anymore

The same way your body fights infections, your mind creates coping mechanisms, ‘barriers’ to protect your mental health.

Many times when I felt strong and my husband was drinking, I thought to myself, “If he just got on with it and died now, I could get on with my life.” This was my mind’s defense system kicking in.

When living with an alcoholic, your own mental health hits all-time lows. Repeated disappointments make you numb. Think about it -the human mind is strong enough to make someone crave a substance so much that they are willing to risk everything for it and likewise, it is strong enough to develop an invisible barrier to emotion to stop us from being hurt over and over again – to survive.

You may feel the alcoholic knows what he’s doing to you and that he’s killing what love is left.  You may feel you don’t care if there’s help for him anymore or if he becomes well or not, or if he lives or dies.

This is not a natural way to feel about someone you love; it is your mind protecting you.

Alcoholism is a mental illness which affects those living with the addict also. Illnesses are nobody’s fault, not yours and not theirs. Your negative thoughts and feelings are normal.

It is possible ,however, to hate the problem of alcoholism and love the person who is drinking – both at the same time. This is called detachment.

You can learn more about how to detach with love at free Al-Anon meetings in your area or in my book ‘How To Live With An Alcoholic And Still Enjoy Your Life‘.

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married to an alcoholic

Married To An Alcoholic

You want your alcoholic to take responsibility for their actions and stop their current behaviour that is wasting away their life, don’t you? However for you to be of assistance to them in this endeavour you need to apply the same formula to your own life.

You want them to stop behaving the way they do? Well to achieve this, you need to stop behaving the way you do and blaming them for your resulting unhappy life. If you don’t want to be a doormat then get up off the floor!

Your life path or your quality of life is not their fault or a result in their actions. It is a result of your reactions. This is the same in reverse; their drinking, quality of life or life choices are not a result of your actions. Their drinking is not your fault, their actions are not your fault, their quality of life is not your fault. They are an adult and they are responsible for their day to day life choices. The same as you are responsible for your day to day life choices.

Look at your partner’s life… think about how they are wasting precious days of their life. Now think about your own life, how many days recently have you spent looking after your own dreams and happiness? If the answer is none, then those days that you just existed or existed to deal with the results of their addiction were also wasted.

You don’t have to do anything drastic – just small steps. For instance this week why not  take time out to meet a friend for a few hours or to go to an al anon meeting without letting your mind race about what your partner might be doing while you are out, without worrying if  they will be drunk or sober when you get back. Without feeling you have to get back home to ‘control’ their behavior. Turn off your phone so they can’t harass you with calls and don’t call them to check on them. They are an adult, you are an adult! The first few times you do this, you probably won’t be able to focus on relaxing and being you, but with practice you will learn that they coped without you.

Did you find this useful? If so sign up and get regular updates and support: Click here to join our ‘How To Live’ Group