Tag Archives: love an alcoholic

Caring for an Alcoholic

It is human nature to shield, protect and nurture the ones we love. Living with an alcoholic loved one challenges this instinct. A lot of things go wrong in the lives of drinkers: taking care of their home, work, family, appointments, etc., all tend to suffer in various degrees. Human nature kicks in and our help often consists in solving the things that go wrong, like running errands for the person, buying them drink to get them through a bad period, cleaning up after them, making excuses to work and friends or cancelling appointments.

When it comes to loving and caring for an alcoholic we tend to help them through their day whatever way we can so we can survive and live with hope. We adopt their responsibilities as our own. In the short term, this is helpful for the drinker, and they appreciate our help because without it life as an alcoholic would be so much more difficult.  Think about how you help your alcoholic partner.  Now start asking yourself what your help and support is actually doing for the drinker. Does your help make it easier or more difficult for the person to keep drinking? Are you enabling his bad behaviour by not letting him see what he is doing?

Think about it, if your partner’s bottles, spillages and mess are all cleaned up and tidied away by the time he sobers up he has no evidence of how bad his drinking is. His mind will tell him, ‘look around everything is fine and lovely, your drinking is in control so it’s okay for you to continue drinking.’

If he does not have to answer to people about his behavior because you have picked up the pieces, made excuses on his behalf and swam oceans to cover up for him – he doesn’t have to face up to awkward questions.

In other words he does not have to face consequences for his behavior or actions because you have already cushioned the blow or stopped it in its tracks for him.

So if he does not have to face up to the fact that his drinking is causing problems in his life, well then why should he stop drinking? He has no motivation to do so. You will continue to make sure life continues as is, solving his problems and so he can continue his life as is, ie. drinking. Why not? It isn’t causing any harm! What you are doing is, is putting off the inevitable. Things are not going to improve but only going to get worse if you continue to enable their bad behavior. So it may be better for him to face things that go wrong, so that he realizes what he is doing.

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Why Do I Love An Alcoholic?

When I met my husband it was love at first sight. Both of us went home and told our nearest and dearest that we had met our soul mate,  but neither of us said anything to each other about this for another six months. I found him a fascinating conversationalist, madly attractive and a gentleman. To top it all, he had the power to make me to laugh until I cried. I wanted his babies!

Neither of us wanted to make the ‘move’ incase we ruined the friendship we had developed. Eventually I asked him out for a drink. We met and after a few drinks, he asked me to marry him, I said yes and we kissed for the first time. I was madly in love then and am madly in love now, but we have had our fair share of ‘moments’. His alcoholism drove our emotions and minds to the limits for years. At one point I hated him so much I couldn’t even imagine how I had ever loved this man.

One of the first gifts he bought  me was the book ‘The Prophet’ by Kahil Gibran and one of the first passages I read  was the answer the prophet gave when asked about love;

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you,

And when he speaks to you believe him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free your from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that

knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

Sixteen years later I found this book in a box again after a house move. It had been  three years  after husband went into rehab and read this passage again. Love had indeed tested me to my limit, shaken my roots, shattered my dreams and wounded my heart  but by getting through it we had discovered a better us and a stronger bond of love than we ever imagined.

Maybe you will too.

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