Thursday, August 21, 2008

Living With An Alcoholic: A Healthy Detachment

The best thing you can do when dealing with an alcoholic spouse is to detach from the abuse of the alcoholic. You can do this if you truly love your spouse and want to help them to possible sobriety. The more you focus all your energies on the alcoholic, the less likely he is to get sober. This article focuses on how you can detach and remain healthy mentally.

Don’t Make Alcoholism Your Problem

If you have never read any of the Al-anon material then you probably don’t know that you are making the disease of alcoholism YOUR problem. One of the sad facts of living with an alcoholic is we become just as mentally and emotionally sick as the alcoholic. This happens because every step of life we take, and every breath of air we breathe has some involvement with the alcoholic. Our emotions overtake our own mental health as we try and cope with the deterioration of the alcoholic in our life. What are we doing wrong? We are concentrating too much on the disease, instead of concentrating on our mental and emotional health. We may as well be tipping the bottle for them. Better yet, we may as well be drinking with them!

Don’t Enable

Most spouses of alcoholics don’t realize they are helping their spouse drink just by a few simple behaviors and actions. Several ways in which you may be enabling your spouse to drink is by buying them alcohol, drinking with them, calling the boss and or family members for him because he is too hung over or too drunk to do it himself. Lying to friends, boss, family and co-workers about him and his drinking problem. Taking them to the store, arguing with them, and behaving like a victim. You are not the victim of alcoholism until you make yourself BEcome the victim.

Get Off The Pity Pot

Get off of the pity pot and begin living for yourself, instead of living for the alcoholic. “Oh poor me, everyday I am suffering and I can’t take it anymore” attitude won’t get you anywhere. You need to take care of yourself and that cannot be done if you are focusing all of your attention on the alcoholic and what he is doing or what he isn’t doing. Start focusing on what you can do for yourself. Get out of the house, don’t hang around the alcoholic, and don’t let them abuse you with their words. If you care about the alcoholic in your life, this is what helps them more than anything else.

Detach With Love

You are powerless to getting your loved one to stop drinking. The first step in being able to detach is by realizing that the shenanigans of the alcoholic is not your problem. Don’t try and fix their messes for them. Not only does this enable them to continue drinking, but also it justifies their drinking. Don’t have any interaction with the alcoholic while they are drinking; that includes, talking and arguing with them. Why fuss and fight with someone who has lost the ability to make any sense? Don’t become ensnared in the alcoholic trap with them. Stay out of the trap, so you can help them. Ninety-five percent of what an alcoholic says is manipulative in nature anyway, just so you will keep enabling their behavior; so don’t start believing in the lies of the disease. Separate yourself from the antics of the alcoholic.

Pray For The Alcoholic

I can’t tell you how important the process of daily prayer can be. Not only does it bring you closer to God but it will also get you into the habit of going to God with your life challenges. God does hear your cries of pain and He will give you the answers you need to get through your trials and tribulations, even if your spouse continues to drink. Be patient and remain faithful in the Lord and He will deliver you from your suffering.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)


If you liked this article, you will love my book THE ALCOHOLISM TRAP
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Review of The Alcoholism Trap -- Results within a couple of weeks!, May 13, 2008

"The Alcoholism Trap" has helped me so much in my relationship with my alcoholic husband. I've placed healthy boundaries for me and my two daughters that I had never put in place before.

As a devoted Christian, I had always just tried to be the peacemaker and my daughters and I have suffered as verbal punching bags as a result of that. Now I know that I can love my husband even better and take better care of my family's welfare by putting up healthy boundaries.

This book has enabled me to be more loving to my husband when he's sober because I'm not holding in resentment from allowing him to injure my spirit while he's drinking. And I no longer feel guilty about saying things or acting in a way I regret later because I have taken control of the only part I DO have control over - me.

When I see he's drinking, I just remind him that I love him, but I don't want him around me and the girls when he's drinking. Then, the girls and I go to a separate part of the house, as the book recommends, and enjoy our evenings. No more walking on eggshells! We're laughing again!

The first couple of weeks, it was hard because he's also a workaholic, so we were getting virtually no time with him. When he was sober, he was at work even on Saturdays and Sundays. But this past week, he's actually spent two days completely sober in order to spend time with us. This is unheard of! Unbelievable!

He's even admitted to me while sober that he has an alcohol addiction and he's "working on it". I encouraged him to quit altogether rather than trying to "cut back" and told him when he decides to make that commitment I have a book that might help :-)

I have been able to take better care of myself and my girls and I'm getting better at it with practice. My husband is treating me more respectfully and his eyes are being opened to the fact that HE is the one with the problem, not me and the girls.

If you're looking for a loving way to take care of your family in the middle of this crisis, buy "The Alcoholism Trap". I believe it is helping me save my sanity, my girls' self esteem, and my marriage. It's up to my husband whether he will be saved from alcoholism, but I've made my choice! Make yours today!