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Should I stop Supporting An Alcoholic Partner?

By Keven Law [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Keven Law [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

It's time!

Further Reading

  • Tough Love Will Bring Sober Love in The End
    Everyone knows what an addiction to alcohol can do to a relationship, so you have to use tough love in order to get sober love in the end.
  • Married to, Living with an Alcoholic or Addict
    This is one of the best articles I've found on living with an alcoholic.
  • Addiction Solution
    Lets see if we can find a solution to your drug or alcohol addiction. I want to try to spell out a few ways I think would help you with an addiction solution. First off, you must ask yourself, do you really...
  • Addiction And Relationships
    In this day and age, many people find it hard just adjusting to a new relationship, never less living with someone that has an addiction. Addiction and relationships are running high in our society these...


Shar22 on February 25, 2016:

Frustrated and going to al-non because of my kids. But I am living knowing that he will never change...I will be hated for leaving and hated for staying. Church and support had lead me to believe that I have to change and accept what I cannot change. This is difficult. I feel like an enabler. There is nothing I can do! Leave and uproot 3 kids when the person causing the pain sits in his warm bed and house. Tired of it all and all the good is getting farther.

Snakesmum on February 11, 2016:

Although I have absolutely no experience with alcoholism, I felt for you reading this. Hopefully, things are better for you now.

Des on November 06, 2014:

I'm so glad I found this page, it has helped me greatly. It has been a real struggle for me these last few days, my fiancé (we were due to be married in 2 weeks), went on yet another bender, about the 8th in the 20 or so months we have been together, and as far as I'm concerned, the last one that I will let him put me thru. I knew he had a problem more or less as soon as we met, he went on his first bender, just leaving, not saying anything or answering his phone and me frantic not knowing if he was alive or dead, only about 6 weeks into the relationship. Stupidly I let him back in, and did it about 6 or 7 more times. He could go so well for sometimes months, just having a couple of drinks after work which I never objected to, but then some stressful event would happen (this time I think it was the worry of finances for the wedding) and off he would go, no explanation, no phone call, nothing. If I hadn't wised up to what he was doing, I would have been a nervous wreck worrying if something had happened to him, but he didn't care. He always put me down for not trusting him, which I will admit I didn't, but how can you trust someone like that, not knowing when the next blow out would be, where he was, what he was doing, who he was with. But of course, it was all my fault.? When times were good, I couldn't ask for better, he was kind, caring, generous and we got on so well. Well, I've cancelled the wedding, which I am really relieved about as he had started to drink more and more over the past couple of weeks, culminating in the disappearing act on Monday. I do still love him and miss him to a certain thing. He hasn't tried to contact me, only a few nasty messages early in the week. I sat down yesterday and sent him a rather long text saying that although I still lovedd him I couldn't be with him, begging him to get help, saying if he ever wanted to talk that I'm here etc etc, but he didn't even acknowledge it, so I can do no more, I have to think of myself, try to find a job etc as he was the breadwinner because of my ill health, but I'm determined to do it myself now, I have suffered long enough and I just wish he would get some help.

psychicdog.net (author) on October 29, 2014:

S, when I read your comment, realized we all go through this stuff and on a more serious note, I thought, well at least you don't have kids - that's when the strain and stress really starts - how it affects family (read comments above). I don't presume to know what will happen in your case, how strong your attachment and love for him is. What I can tell you is that often, it is not the alcohol that is the issue but something underlying it that the addiction is covering up. Also, your attachment to the drama is something you may want to look into about yourself - what that reveals. As for feeling lonely, just know many of us go through this and there is also Alannon - which can help you see you are not alone. I wish you all the best in your struggles...

psychicdog.net (author) on October 29, 2014:

Kay - your contribution will give many hope I'm sure. It is only when some people lose everything I suppose that they see the error of their ways. Unfortunately, so much in our blessed lives is taken for granted. Your boys are quite old so probably will be OK. However, forgiveness is also a great thing so if he turns up a changed man your son's can benefit from what only a dad can give them....Good Luck and thankyou for your contribution.

S on September 21, 2014:

My boyfriend of 3 years and I recently moved cross country together. I never thought i could be so miserable. He drank frequently before we moved, but now it's overwhelming. He will go thru an entire 1.75 of vodka in just one day. He has a number of excuses: he couldn't sleep, he isn't happy at work, he was bored that day. I come home from work or wake up in the morning to find, every time after his drinking episodes, our home completely destroyed. Food, dirty dishes everywhere, vomit in the kitchen sink, he's even left the oven burners on before. No matter what I say or do, he keeps drinking. I'm exhausted. We fight all the time. He doesn't listen to how I feel or how his alcoholism affects me. He just locks himself away and sleeps til 3pm every day and usually picks up the bottle again when he's up. I'm trying to save enough money so I can move out of our house early. But even though I am so frustrated and fed up, I feel guilty thinking about leaving and him not being able make it to the end of the lease by himself. I'm just so sad of this constant lonely feeling. :(

Kay on September 21, 2014:

Beautifully written! Married for 26 years and divorced for the last 3 to an alcoholic, although since the divorce my ex husband has made many promises to change but it didn't happen. The true victims are the children, and for that I regret not leaving him sooner. Our youngest son , 13, is the one who told both of us that enough is enough. He told me, "mom, don't let him back" and he told his father that he didn't want to see him until he's been sober for 1 year. Life is so much more peaceful without the daily drama.

I asked my ex why he kept doing the same thing over and over again, even though he knew that his behavior when he is drunk hurts his family. When he is drunk his words - actions try to destroy our self-worth. His answer was, I don't know. I don't think he will ever change. Sadly his boys think the same thing.

chelle on August 01, 2014:

Ok so I have a question. This is going to sound very selfish and I don't intend for it to. My partner has a drinking problem and is seeking professional help and I am so proud of her. However I like to drink myself socially or from time to time have a beer or two after work. Do I not drink in front of her now? We've always gone out with friends to listen to music or boating etc.? How do I handle this? It's what we do.

just-tired on July 17, 2014:

Thank you for the post, I have no real comments/opinions but I needed to read this, it gives me encouragement for my latest decisions. I'm sitting here in my motel room after a few days of leaving my wife for the eighth time in twelve years, it's always the same promises and I always came back. I drank only a few beers a week, so I am not against alcohol etc... I'm not a chump, I have a good life, career, good looks for forty etc.. as a real man I wanted to provide, I was happy with one partner, we did a lot of great things in life, etc.... ###point is even for anyone reading this who is like me... with a great marriage full of love, etc... it was just this one thing that killed my happy life= my partner being an alcoholic and everything that's related...just that one tricking thing. I am very sad and I didn't want to leave but I'm just tired...not mad ... just tired... thanks for helping me justify my actions, I wish her the best of luck... but I will never go back now.. even the most dedicated can make this choice...if I help only one person justify their same decision after reading this post...especially if it's been a long time...then I wish you the best of luck and strength to stick with your decision..

psychicdog.net (author) on July 14, 2014:

Thanks for your comment Chevyval - yes, it is traumatizing. You describe the conflict so well partners of alcoholics can go through. You should give yourself at least a pat on the back for sticking in there for so long and doing what you thought could help. At least you tried and at some level when we love others they love more -which is never wasted effort. All the best.

chevyval on July 13, 2014:

Nightmare. 7 years living with a Sober Alcoholic who went to 12 meetings in 7 years. We broke up and stayed friends. Then he went out. Nightmare. Psychosis, Periodic - round the clock drinker. 6 years later - he is incontinent - sores on his body, 2 suicide attempts, brain damaged. Can't work. Brilliant artist. TRAUMATIZING. Drunk driving hit and run two days ago. I can't ever see him again. Too much work to help him get sober over and over and over again. Compliance - never surrender. I will never get over it. Raised to help the sick. Can't do it anymore.

psychicdog.net (author) on July 12, 2014:

Charliegh Marie ... Thankyou. As the author of this hub, yours is one of the best comments to have been made here because it shows another perspective. We must all try and walk in the shoes of others. Yes, an alcoholic partner is not bad just sick - very very sick and marriage vows are sacred and as a Christian we pray for each other and ask for forgiveness and offer that in return...sometimes it is hard to do this though when one is so exhausted going through it with children involved. Tough love HAS worked and DOES work for some especially when your own health and that of children is at stake. Unconditional love HAS worked and DOES work for others. Thankyou again for your feedback.

Charleigh Marie on July 11, 2014:

This is absolute disgust to me. Turn your back on a family member....? The only reason I got sober and stayed sober was because of a loving and supporting Christian husband. Someone who did not throw me on the street with no money and no place to live. Never do this. and to that girl with the drunk brother this is why Al-anon and all of these websites are a bunch of crap. Family is the only thing an addict has. they do not love the drug more then you. they hate the drug. I know I did. If you turn your back on him he will have nothing.. He will die. All of these groups would say my husband was an enabler or something as I downed half a bottle of vodka for a night while my little children were sleeping. I had everything a beautiful home a part time nanny, I stayed a home and also had a housekeeper to do the house work. What was my husband going to do put me on the street? He said I took my vows to you and I said til death do us part. if you continue to drink until You die At least I know that I would never turn my back from you. I will offer you help. I will send you to rehab. And I love you. You are choosing to drink but I will not abandon you. I will offer you help and pray to God for you everyday, but I won't force you into something or make you homeless because that WILL NOT WORK. And quite frankly I could have gone to the top rehab in the world but I wasn't ready. What my husband did show me was unconditional love not this enabling bull crap that you people call it. True love to the woman he married. With that said.....after a few more months of isolating and depression and crying and drinking...one morning on my hands and knees screaming to myself "why I can't stop" I turned to the man who never kicked me out on the street, and said I am ready......I need help. Thank you for never turning me away because now I am ready to stop I cannot physically live one more day in this pain. I hate this alcohol and what it has done. 3 years later I have not touched a drink. No rehabs, no AA, just love and someone (my family ) and God never giving up on me. So please don't give up on that person. You may get that person you love back and never stop trying. They are still there just hidden beneath the depths of despair.

psychicdog.net (author) on July 04, 2014:

Unfortunately, Danna people with an addiction do look for the easy out - blaming others rather than taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. This is a form of self-denial because really it is too painful to look at what we might be doing to another and therefore much easier to blame - there is of course the control aspect here to - if you make a partner feel so low than he or she is less likely to leave. With children involved it is even more difficult as one has to constantly try to deal with the fact children need to know parents love and forgive each other despite their faults.

compassionateheart6@gmail.com on June 28, 2014:

For 14 years I was married to an alcoholic and through this, with his physical and verbal abuse my physical and mental health has taken a bad knock that has destroyed most of what I believe in. Being divorced from him for 13 years now, every pain he has caused me constantly reminds me of what he did to me while he was in a drunken state.

My ex-husband used to beat me up and verbally abuse me on a regular basis after heavy drinking. He used to point a loaded gun at me and always threatened to kill me while triggering shots off in the air. The year 2001 he carried out his threat almost killing me when he shot at me with his hunting rifle in front of my youngest child. The bullet hit the railing of the stairway in the house and the shrapnell of the bullet penetrated deep into my lower back, hips and face.

He was arrested for attempted murder while I lay in hospital having lost a lot of blood. Suffering from shock and PTSD I was informed by a Psychiatrist that I will not survive the court case against my husband and that I must withdraw the case against him. This I did against my will and today I realize that withdrawing the case was the wrong thing to do.

Today I use crutches having continuous lower back and hip pain as the shrapnell in my muscles cannot be removed. While my ex-husband still lives his comfortable life getting drunk, he now uses my 4 children to indirectly destroy my life. He gains their support with gifts such as motorbikes and cars, and while he has them under his control he threatens to take the gifts back if they visit or contact me.

I now live on a small Government disability grant having to be satisfied with Government Hospital treatment. Now married to a wonderful caring man who is also on a disability grant, we battle to make ends meet, but at least we are both alcohol free happy. My ex-husband used to phone me and swear at me over the phone until my husband warned him to stop or else action will be taken. This is the reason why my ex-husband is now using my four grown up children to get to me and make my life hell.

So yes, an alcoholic will always stay an alcoholic, where the most of them are physical and verbal abusers. My husband's father was exactly the same, where family violence was on top of the list in his childhood days. That is why we are totally anti-alcohol, knowing the damage it causes in peoples lives.

DannaJ on June 24, 2014:

Is it worth trying to explain to a person that their drinking is damaging, if they constantly come up with more explanations as to why someone/something else is to blame? Especially if the person affected has already checked out? I've heard tough love sometimes helps an addict, but when I've tried the person continued to give me more excuses ( I believe in hopes of getting sympathy) now this person has become accusatory- saying that I was looking for an out and using this one. Is it worth further explanation?

psychicdog.net (author) on June 11, 2014:

Sorry to hear of your dramas Bonzigirl and sharing as you ve done will help others. I'm not a counsellor but I do know everyone learns at there own pace so unfortunately you can't expect a person to come around to your way of thinking, or loving unless or until he or she is ready. Just keep doing your thing I suggest even if it means the pain of moving on. You might be pleasantly surprised and find she wants you back but by then you may be living in a happy patnership with someone else. It's not easy but we all have lessons to learn in this life I believe. Good luck, don't complicate your mind, stay healthy and stay in a loving feeling (it's a choice) while you are going through these hard times.

bonzigirl on June 10, 2014:

What am I supposed to do... my partner (of 5 years) just recently went to treatment for alcohol. Our relationship has been through a lot with a huge custody battle 3 years ago to get her son. I have OCD which can cause relationship issues here and there and have been in theapy off an on for it. I am the financial supporter in the relationship and have always supported her throughout the last 5 years through carrer changes and going back to school. When she got out of rehab she basically wants nothing to do with me, she just pushed me away and is just so agngry with me. I have been so hurt by this and don't know what to do.

psychicdog.net (author) on March 28, 2014:

Thanks for your comment Anon. Yes, our loved ones can be so wonderful but put you through hell when drunk. Take heart. I have discovered that in many cases the REAL ISSUE is not the ALCOHOL. The alcohol is the way to deal with what is really going on - childhood stuff, control, anger, sadness, trauma, abuse, molestation. lack of love, lack of self-love, shame over sexual desire, hormones, sense of failure, denial - when you find out what is really going on - or rather when the person with the addiction does, he or she can move forward. But as partners we have to step out of the way so they can figure it out.

Anon on March 27, 2014:

quote ~He is such a sweet person, but obnoxious when drunk, which is more often than not. We don't know what to do since he will not get help. Frustrating and heart-breaking!~ endquote

I just broke up with my boyfriend of five years, he sounds just like your brother. A really good, decent person when sober, but an argumentative, obnoxious ass when (often) drunk. I just could not take it anymore. His alcoholism really affected all aspects of my life, and we didn't even live together. It is true, you can't help them get sober. They get sober when they are ready, and some may never be ready.

psychicdog.net (author) on November 25, 2013:

Thankyou Samantha for contributing your very worthwhile comment but I have to say Im saddened by it too because 48 years says something. I still love my alcoholic partner but I have learned to not be defined by the drinking or put my own life on hold for their addiction. With kids it is important to respect the parent who is an alcoholic, not to be callous or even unkind but still stick up for one's own rights. I want to show my kids I love Mum but that I refuse to let our life be defined by her need to constantly drink . She isn't bad just sick. As the children get older I hope the mother will see what she is missing out on - one doesn't have to complain or hate. Just refuse to participate and be defined by drinking and addiction.

Samantha on June 16, 2013:

I've been married to an alcoholic for almost 48 years and I've decided enough is enough. He has incurable cancer and this hasn't stopped him drinking he's almost seventy and I'm totally over it, my stress levels are through the roof I've suffered a stroke two years ago and I'm now worried about my health and well being,

I believe living with an alcoholic will put you in the grave well before your time, and you become as crazy as they are.

I came from an alcoholic family which was abusive and violent , as a child I used to hide the knives in our home as I thought my parents would kill one another. I was told by my father I'd never amount to any thing and that I was worthless.

I grew up with low self-esteem, and I suffered depression and panic attacks, and still do. I've been every where for help, only to be told its not me, its the alcoholic in my life.

To those of you who love an alcoholic and think you can change then, think again. I married my husband knowing he had a problem , and I being young and foolish thought I could change him, what a mistake that was.

The whole experience has left me angry and bitter, but it's never to late to move on. At long last I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

psychicdog.net (author) on June 07, 2013:

Krissby.d I read your comment with great sadness as you have little ones - unfortunately, the alcoholics addiction will take precedence over family life - yes, he or she can be a good person but to change...unfortunately, sometimes the only way is for a person to lose everything he or she takes for granted. Partners can be enablers by repeatedly relenting and letting a person back into their life - then the disruption starts again - it is a sad and sorry cycle. I will pray for you. Do what is best for you and your children.

Krissy.b on May 26, 2013:

We have a newborn a one year old a two year old and a six year old,..my partners alcoholism us driving me to crazy,it really does feel like he does not care about us at all he is the financial provider,I feel so alone, i'm sick of his drunken mates taking priority over us,I don't trust him anymore, though I love him I really do my heartstrings are pulling apart, i'm tired and I just want to be happy,I want to feel important to someone who wants to love me,I don't feel loved at all he only ever seems to care when i'm about redy to leave or when I withdraw my care and attention for a period of time but after i'm won over it's back to not being on his list of concerns i'm over it I want to leave I just don't know how....

sharp7 on May 02, 2013:

I have an alcoholic brother who is driving the whole family crazy. He knows he is an alcoholic and has been to rehab several times. He has gotten his life and self into absolutely pitiful condition. We cannot bring ourselves to leave him hungry or homeless. He is such a sweet person, but obnoxious when drunk, which is more often than not. We don't know what to do since he will not get help. Frustrating and heart-breaking!~

psychicdog.net (author) on March 11, 2013:

Hello my friend TKI - thanks for the tip - I will ckeck it out! All with me is OK but I'm still a hostage - only for the kids!

psychicdog.net (author) on March 11, 2013:

Joe L - thanks mate - don't make excuses for yourself - being hated for what you think is better than being loved for pretending - I think this applies to telling it as you see it. Bravo mate - best wishes to you in your meetings.

toknowinfo on March 09, 2013:

Hi Pdog, I thought you might want to read Billybuc's hub on being an alcoholic. I would recommend going to his profile, you might benefit from reading it. Let me know what you think, he is a great writer and tells his story in such a down to earth, readable way. Hope all is well with you.

Joe l on March 09, 2013:

This is Joe L, I am a recovering alcoholic and I go to meetings, work the program and although I know what picking up will do, I get disturbed when newcomers come to a meeting, court ordered and tell everyone this is the answer. Some of the members of my group get upset because I will not tell these people how hard it is, and I don't pamper them. I tell them upfront that thinking and doing is not strong enough. I have sang their tune too many times, I am sober 10 years. Am I wrong, I feel by not being up front I am enabling.

psychicdog.net (author) on October 22, 2012:

Great comment TKI - changing our own reactions - great advice, thank-you! I try to keep that uppermost in my head if things get awkward - one thing I've learned one is a role-model and to respond appropriately is so important even if sometimes you can't get through. One has constantly to be thinking what kind of partner is my daughter going to choose from looking at my reactions - one that acts like me so I'd better act my best!

toknowinfo on October 21, 2012:

Hi Pdog, The reality that someone you love or loved is an alcoholic, is a hard thing to deal with and accept. Your article explained perfectly about being the enabler. And being a caring, giving person, it is just as hard to walk away when it really is against your nature. Even if your partner gave up alcohol, you still have to learn not be the enabler. So under the best of circumstances, learning to change your reactions is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and your children. Life can be so hard, but you have a wonderful future ahead of yourself. Focus on who you are, and what you can do, not what could have been through. As you move forward and learn more about yourself you can make a good life for yourself, surrounded by the love of your children and healthier and supportive relationships where someone is not just taking from you but giving to you too. Take care of yourself, that is most important right now. Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

psychicdog.net (author) on October 11, 2012:

thanks Loveaches -those two words - staying and hoping jumped out at me - we do this but it is kind of crazy but why do we attach ourselves to hoping? In my experience alcholics only change when they are ready not when you want them to so you got to let em go and reach rock bottom as one person put it! Again, thanks for the great insight you offered here Loveaches.

Traci L Golden aka Dillard from Texas on October 10, 2012:

It is important to remember you are dealing with a disease and you are absolutely right, the spouse of an alcoholic has to do what is best for them. Staying and hoping for change will never make an alcoholic stop! I suggest reading the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and getting involved in Al-Anon. The Big Book has chapters for the family and facts about the disease that can be helpful.

psychicdog.net (author) on September 13, 2012:

Thanks SommerDalton!

Sommer Dalton on September 13, 2012:

Great article!

Houston on August 15, 2012:

This is very well put. I have tried for 3.5 yrs of convincing my alocholic wife that it was me and the kids or alochol. She choose alochol!!! She continues to lie about her drinking and tell me she doesn't have a problem and that she can control it on her own, despite going to an outpatient program for 3 months and failing at recovery. I made the difficult decision to leave her today...the woman I love and have for 23 years......but she is angry at me for not allowing her to continue on drinking despite the risk of loss of her family....until I leave and end the support, she will keep on drinking. My hope for her is that she will hit bottom and will realize it's time for a change. I cannot help anymore and I am going crazy dealing with it.....god bless those who like me have to face the incomprehensible decisions that I have faced

psychicdog.net (author) on April 28, 2012:

John, thanks so much for sharing your story. You have been through a lot and your comment so well highlights our struggle with the ones we love or have loved - how it crept up, our lack of awareness of the problem, the compulsive demands for more drink, continually trying to please a sick partner, the dangers and the price paid for doing this. Let me tell you others CAN relate to what you have been through - the nightmare as you call it. I hope you can gain some comfort from knowing this - YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

John on April 28, 2012:

Hello, my wife died in my arms from the effects of alcohol at the age of 43. Alcohol problems creep up on you and if you ignore the symptoms you may well be placing your life in danger. My wife's deterioration over a period of about 6 years was the stuff of nightmares. The effects on my wife’s body were awful and she became virtually unrecognizable. Finger nails and toenails just fell away. Her skin was coming away from her body and falling on to the floor she was covered in sores and I had to cover her in grease every night. Can you imagine being covered in grease and then putting your clothes over this.

Is your wife or husband or partner craving for alcohol and drinking far too much?

What a familiar tale this is. I married Marion in 1979 at that that time I was in business as an office equipment company in the United Kingdom. Marion was from a banking background and was very good with figures and seeing that we got paid on time. How lucky was I, here I have a potential partner in life who has worked for a major British Bank and who is very good at finance. WOW well lucky me and I said to her would you like to be the company secretary and she agreed.

So let’s think about this my wife has great monetary skills and she has joined my company. All sounds great so far, yes.

When my wife joined my company she soon found out that she had much more freedom than she ever dreamed of. I can remember in the first few weeks there we were on the beach soaking up the sunshine and Marion turned to me and said “if they could see me now” here I am on the beach doing nothing but relaxing while they are all in the bank working away.

My wife and I worked very well together and although many people say that working with your spouse is maybe not a good idea let me tell you that working with Marion was absolutely great and I loved every minute spent with her. This was the perfect situation we loved each other intensely and we lived for one another.

At the time that Marion and I got together I lived over the business, Yes it was a flat albeit rather small and we lived there, hmm talk about living on the job but it worked OK. This was 1989 and the business had only started in 1984 so expenses were still being kept to a minimum. It takes a while to start a business and a lot more time to make it successful as you will probably know.

Then came the business lunches at the hotel across the road, now how cool is that. Marion soon found out that she could have whatever she wanted and of course this included alcohol. Not alone were these meals at dinnertime but also after work from 6-00pm for as long as we liked and beyond midnight.

I have always taken alcohol moderately but Marion’s intake of alcohol was increasing and I did not notice this at the time. So the years passed and we purchased our house together which was a small bungalow in Southeast England.

As the Internet developed we found that working from home was a real possibility after all why pay for premises when you do not need them. So OK we instantly saved money and a lot of it because we could now show our products on the Internet. Sounds great so far yes.

Well no because my wife’s drinking was now being done at home and she was now drinking far more than she should. She was out of my site for long periods and was constantly asking me to bring alcoholic drinks home. At first I thought well she seems OK but after a while she was not alright as the drinking increased and the food intake stopped.

Watch for the telltale signs and do not ignore them as I did.

A painful story.

If you want to read more you can always visit my website


psychicdog.net (author) on March 28, 2012:

I feel your pain Cs 46 NO one really knows what the partner of an alcoholic goes through - a relationship is supposed to alleviate our loneliness because we have found someone who understands - but the alcoholic you are with may never comprehend and what hurts I think is this is the person who is supposed to understand YOU best - this is what destroys it - you are lonely anyway because what you've been put through cannot be appreciated by the alcoholic - thank-you for your comments

Cs 46" on March 27, 2012:

I have struggled through ten years of hell with my alcoholic husband. All I can say its been a living nightmare. He has been totally selfish abusive unreliable and dangerous destroying everyone close to him. I have 3 children and have lied for him watched him loose job after job and put our family home at risk. I work full time and take every inch of responsibility for the home and children, even though he earns 4times my salary he still blows all his money by the middle of the month ending up borrowing from me.

New year was the last straw when he humiliated me and abused me in front of friends calling me thick and stupid ( i completed my degree with top grades with a new baby and an alcoholic husband to look after). I ended up crying myself to sleep whilst he was drinking champagne eating my cooked food until he passed out of course no apologies only another excuse to go

on a 3 day bender again. All my fault of course. This incident it not isolated and extremely small in comparison to others.... But finally the lightbulb moment I can't live like this anymore I am worth so much more and I have never been so bitter and angry in my life. How dare someone destroy supposed loved ones including children lives without so much as a sorry !!! Folks I'm on my way to a solicitors to file for a very long awaited divorce and here my life begins. If any of you reading this meets or falls for an alcoholic run as fast as you can and don't stop running otherwise it will ruin yours and everyone they meet lives ! Happy days to come !

psychicdog.net (author) on February 24, 2011:

Assigning blame is a difficult one - do you blame the addict or their parent or childhood - it has been said too that addicts have a habit of finding excuses for their behaviour - if see yourself as a 'victim' you can get away with a lot more behaviour others see as otherwise irresponsible.Thanks for dropping in hinazille.

CONSCIOUSNINJA from Planet Earth on February 23, 2011:

its really heartbreaking to those around the alcoholic so much so that it can wrench families apart... having said that, how much blame can you attribute to the drinker?

psychicdog.net (author) on December 01, 2010:

thanks the Clean Life, I feel very privileged to have such a respected person comment on my hub. You make a valid point about not being forced to quit - that seems to be a common theme for alcoholics - it is important I feel to look at the root cause of this psychological dilemma. As a partner of an alcoholic one can feel very much forced into a life not of one's making - the alcoholic needs to feel like no-one is forcing them but it is extremely tiring - and I mean EXTREMELY - for a partner to patiently wait for this person who cannot be forced to quit while life is passing by or even being ruined in the process of waiting for the "wake up". These psychological dramas - of not being forced - need to be looked at. I suspect they start in childhood where parents can be overstrict and controlling bringing out the rebellious in a person who wants much need self-determination. I wonder if an alcoholic is a person who never got the respect and self-determination they deserved. There is a really important lesson there especially since the cause of the problem is not of the partner's making even though the alcoholic may identify their partner as restrictive of them. I hope that makes sense to you.

Mark Bruno from New Jersey Shore on November 30, 2010:

Well you have hit the nail on the head. I can relate to every word and how I never saw just what was happeing to my life and the misery I was giving my wife and children. When an alcohol drinks they are totally blinded to the outside world and only focus on that next drink. That is such a shame to miss out on life and your family all do to being addicted. I say this because it was me over one year ago. I was fortunate that my wife hung in there all those years because I think she knew I had it in my to quit drinking , it was just a matter of time when.

Thank God she waited and I finally saw the light over a year ago and surrender to my addiction only because I was THEN READY TO QUIT and not forced to quit.

Im glad you could use the link for this, Thank You!

psychicdog.net (author) on November 29, 2010:

Facing their problem is harder when you keep being there for the alcoholic partner - it's only when you take away your support that they can face the consequences of their addiction - otherwise they keep getting away with it. This is the attitude I have, by hard experience, been forced to acknowledge because for years nothing has worked to change things. I'm glad to hear your daughter is better now. Thanks for the comment.

Christine from Michigan on November 28, 2010:

Many people need to read this hub. My daughter is just recently divorced from and alcoholic partner. She faced every issue you mentioned there. There was no hope for their marriage because he does not want to face his problem. In his eyes everything is always her fault.

He left her and she took him back once. The second time he left and wanted to come back was the end. She wasn't putting her children or herself through that again. For sixteen years she tried to keep life on an even keel with no help from him. It has been difficult especially for their youngest child, but their life is much better now.

Thanks for sharing this. I hope the people who need to read/hear it find it. It will give them the support they need.

psychicdog.net (author) on November 28, 2010:

Great comment. Thank-you Lee74 - it took a while for me to understand this.

Lee74 on November 27, 2010:

Couldn't agree more. You can do nothing for an alcoholic, which I know from experience. It is up to him, or her, to kick the habit. Sometimes the best and kindest help you can give someone is absolutely none at all.

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