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5 Truths for Anyone Living with an Alcoholic Partner
Living with someone who’s struggling with chemical dependency completely changes your life. There’s a great deal of frustration and stress involved. That makes it very important to find the right perspective; otherwise, their problem dominates your life.
Drawing a Line in the Sand
Instead of allowing feelings of powerlessness to overwhelm you try the following tips:
- Truth #1 – You are not to blame.Often, he’s ashamed of his own behavior, so he’ll try to place the blame on you. When this happens, remind yourself that you’re not the cause of this – the alcohol is to blame. He’s trying to find a way to live with his addiction – one that doesn’t make him feel any worse than he already does.
- Truth #2 – Don’t take it personally.“If you really loved me, you’d stop” is a common plea. And sometimes this ultimatum works – for a little while. But more often than not, he goes back to drinking. It’s important to remember he really does want to change, but his altered brain chemistry won’t allow him to go without that next drink.
- Truth #3 – It’s not up to you. No matter how much you beg, he’s not going to stop drinking until he wants to. It’s solely his decision, not yours. So when you try to control the situation by doing things, like hiding his alcohol, it only makes you more frustrated when he finds a way around that control.
- Truth #4 – You’re lost without boundaries. Just because he can’t control his drinking doesn’t mean he should get away with bad behavior. When he says or does things that are unacceptable, draw the line and make it clear that you won’t tolerate his actions. Setting boundaries is empowering and prevents you from feeling taken for granted.
- Truth #5 – You need (and deserve) support. Your partner may not want help, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. There are plenty of self-help groups out there filled with people who understand exactly what you’re going through. When you take that next step and reach out for support, you’re making self-care a priority.
Additional Reading: Secrets to Coping with Someone Else’s Addiction
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