How to Have a Happier Life With an Alcoholic or Not

The tips in the video below will work for every person who wants to have a happier life. Many people that I know are living with an alcoholic and are actually happy. You can achieve the same level of inner contentment by applying the ten tips in this great video I found on Youtube.

Focusing on Positives- Think about all of the positives in your life and try not to get all caught up in the negatives. The negative things will only get you down. Avoid thinking of all the things upsetting you. Try to get your brain focused on more upbeat things. You will start to feel happier by doing this step. I guarantee it! Making a list of things you are grateful for today is a good place to start.

Take Time Out- Have a pit stop in life every now and then. Take a short break and do something that you really enjoy. Try to think about what makes you happy. Reflect on what you are doing in your life. Spend a little time in the park or in a rose garden. Perhaps a sunset or early morning sunrise would do you some good. Go shopping or to the movies. Just do something for only “you” to enjoy for a little while.

Having Goals- It’s very important to have goals in life. It’s a must for us to have some sense of purpose. Making a list with short-term goals for the day can help you, if you stick to the list. Add to it longer term desired accomplishments that you would like to see fulfilled.

Friends and Family- Make time for friends and family. I cannot express the importance of this enough. I worked in a hospital once caring for elderly people. One of the things I noticed was the pictures on the walls of their rooms were of friends and family, not cars or images of their houses. They did not have diplomas, trophies, plaques or certificates of their achievements hung up either. Just photos of the people in their lives that were dear to their hearts.

Having right relationships and connecting with others is the most significant part of being happy. Make sure you spend time with the people you Cherish in life, even if they are alcoholics. If you are being abused by an alcoholic you probably don’t cherish them very much.  Use wisdom with this suggestion.

Music-When you are feeling down, put some music on that will lift your spirits up. Music colors the world with brighter, better colors. It’s also great to exercise to.

Nature and Animals-Spend time away from home and just enjoy the sound of the birds and the natural beauty of the world we live in. Take time out to just relax and enjoy what God has provided for us on this earth. We live in such a fast-paced world. It always does us some good to just chill out and enjoy the moment for a change.

Exercise-It’s not one of my favorites, but a necessary evil. Exercise creates endorphins that make your body feel better. It’s a great way to relieve stress and make you feel lighter, more energized and happier.

Love Yourself- If you like yourself it will be reflected in your body language. When you are around people and they recognize that you like yourself, other people will like you as well. It’s like your internal mirror becomes your external mirror. People will treat you in relation to how you love yourself. Be your own best friend. You’ve got to like yourself. Live with what you’ve got and make the best of what you’ve have.

You can love yourself even if an alcoholic is constantly putting you down. The way to do this is by realizing that what they are saying about you is not true, PERIOD! Try to quit “reacting” in defense of your character and just enjoy the peace of knowing who you really are even if they say you are something different.

Think about all the positives about yourself and harbor your strengths. Don’t think about the negatives because that’s just counter productive. It’s not going to get you anywhere. When you have confidence in you, others will have confidence in you, trust me on this one.

Give to Others-Take time out to do something that is focused away from yourself. This can get you to view your own life in the proper perspective. It makes you feel good about your life when you are kind to others. You will also have more appreciation for what you have when you see how others are in much more difficult situations than you. Life could always be worse.

Strong Values and Ethics-Know what you hate and what you love. What is it that you believe in. Stick to your principles and don’t be flexible on some things. You have to be flexible when interacting with others, but know who you are and what you stand for. Act with integrity, maintain your dignity and be a good person. You will feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror knowing that you lived your life by doing the next right thing in relation to what your values and ethics are.

Living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. It’s difficult, but I promise, you can start enjoying a much better life. You can do this even if they are still drinking or not.

If you have some things that you do in order to have a happier life, please share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.

63 comments to How to Have a Happier Life With an Alcoholic or Not

  • Ronald

    I would be careful about the shopping part in the advice, because some people who do that(and in some cases, eat) may over indulge in such activity for stress relief.

  • Karen

    I am well self trained in all of these for survival skills because I really love my husband. But the drinking is worse and the little money we have is literally going into the septic tank, Every month I am completely stressed out trying to pay the bills when he takes the money we need to buy bee, and now he has decided to get more expensive beer….right when we are about to lose our home. Now he says he can’t handle his job. He is an ex marine, full of patriotism, but full blown 12 pack a day alcoholic. What can a wife do to survive concerning the money? I have a teenage son I am trying to uphold. He is going strong in Boy Scouts.

  • Karen

    Nothing? No advice at all? Am I the only one struggling to keep the electricity from being turned off for the sake of my son? Should I just let them foreclose the house? Should I let them turn off the water? So that he can hit rock bottom? This is so so difficult. On one side I am trying to keep some kind of normal life for my son, but in doing so, I am working myself to death trying to make up the difference in money being spent on alcohol. Should I just keep doing what I am doing with a quiet and gentle spirit until my son is on his own and then let him hit rock bottom? Please…

  • JM

    Hi Karen,
    Sorry to hear about the difficult situation that you are in.

    Is it possible for you to gradually put some money aside (say a secret account) without letting your partner know? I read someone mentioned in one of the post from this site, she did it.

    Or, can you explain the situation to your partner when he is NOT drinking with clear mind?

  • JC

    Karen, go to a local church or two and ask for help. I know for certain that the Salvation Army in our area helps people with utility bills. The entire family shouldn’t suffer because of the alcoholic’s actions. We have to have electricity and water to live decent lives. Do what you must in order to keep things on.

  • Rc

    Karen, I’m sooo sorry that you have gotten attached to this insanity. My wife is a victim of this horrible disease/spirit. It will finally collapse into ashes if he doesn’t change and we all know that this enemy is undefeatable by us. We just can’t make them change. It’s either desperate measures now or later. I personally believe that the “survival mode” choice is what you have to do. Leave, take your son, and let the rest fall apart. If he wants to try to save the house, etc. then maybe he’ll do something different. But you will be effected by the disease if you stay within reach of it. Talk to everyone you can, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Someone will help. And pray pray and pray some more.

  • Debbi

    You will soon lose your place to live if he goes that far. Make a plan to put as much money away for yourself as possible and a plan for somewhere to stay, just temporary situation.. .maybe with a family member, friend, church, safe house and get away and watch what he does. Give yourself that time away to think clearly out of the immediate danger and pressures of bills for awhile. Make use of the time to decide where you want to go from there: continue with your own life away or reconcile with your A (and if you choose this set the limits and boundaries to make sure he gets into recovery & you see this).

    Please keep posting. . .everyone here to help with many suggestions you can try. Our prayers are with you as you face this but you are strong and will do the right thing for you and your son.

  • Bruce

    Karen: Looks like Debbi has given you some sound advice. Do what she said if at all possible. Those of us on this sight will keep each other sane. Chin up now! Bruce

  • Karen

    Thank you to everyone who commented. All of you have great advice and I will weigh it all out. I am going to hang on to this place as hard as I can. It is my home. It is my son’s home. And he has a horse he plans to show at the youth fair in 4H. To sell his horse for the sake of leaving would be too much loss for him. I have to keep my home. So, I plan to keep folpowing the suggestions given here on this sight and depend on God to get us through as He has so many times. I feel much better and hopeful today, but the finances are still desperate. Thankfully, God hs given me the talent to paint, so I hope to keep developing my talent and be able to sell the paintings and prints to support us through until my husband hits his rock bottom. But that may not happen for a long time. Thank you again!

  • Bruce

    Karen: You and your son should come first. Do what it takes to keep a clear head through this situation. You mention painting. That’s good! It is one more thing in your arsenal to keep your head clear of your pain and struggles. In my area we have what is called starving artist’s sales for local artists. See if you have one to sell your paintings! WE are here for each other. Have a good day!

  • Mary Stevens

    Karen, I’ve been living with a alcoholic for 27 years. I am a recovering alcoholic. We always had enough money. I am now retired and if I had it to do over, I would leave right away. I don’t know if you love your husband, put paying his bills while you will get sicker and sicker won’t work. Most of thge time, things don’t change. Take a deep breath, take the beer money, take your son, and you may have a chance for a better life. I would like to
    be optimistic, but the chances of improvement are small. If you need to see your husband, you can continue seeing him. Stop paying the bills and take care of yourself. I wish I had when I still had time. God will watch over. If you can take care of the alcoholic, you can take care of yourself.

  • Bill

    Mary, I give you a standing ovation for being a recovering alcoholic and for staying in one relationship for so many years. I love what you have shared: “if you can take care of the alcoholic, you can take care of yourself. That’s excellent sharing. It’s been my experience that it’s a good idea to really draw near to God and seek His direction. That’s what I did when I was married to an alcoholic who was progressively getting worse. Eventually, God started rearranging my life. Let’s just say, He started cleaning things up. Now, a decade later, my life is amazing compared to what it was like when I was married her. I can’t explain it, but I know that I know that God was delivering me from a horrible situation that He knew was holding me back for His will for my life.

    Karen, seek God with all of your heart for the direction that you need.

  • maryann

    Hi I am so glad I found this website. I lived with an alcoholic I fell in love with 8 years ago. We had many fights and I left and went back so many times. I went to an open AA meeting, got information, he wouldn’t even look at it. I still see him, but I did not move back in, he finally admitted the last 4 months he’s an alcoholic still drinking. When I lived with him I even went to AL-anon.

    I am not married to him but we were engaged. I couldn’t set a date because of the alcohol. We love each other very much. He’s been after me for the last couple of years to move back. I know if I do it will drag me down again. I want to be happy with him but don’t know if its possible.

    Living with an alcoholic is like living alone. Hell, I can do that where I am. I was clueless about alcoholics, none in my family. When he acted up… I didn’t know what was happening other than I was confused by the Jekyll/Hyde personalities. I have read all of the comments posted here and my heart goes out to all of you. I just don’t know what to do. Can someone help me?

    I said to him why should I come back? How many times have you locked me out and I had to get a hotel? I lived at my office on a blow up mattress for 8 months anything was better than putting up with that crap. How do you let go of someone like this when you love them?

  • Lisa L

    If your’e out, stay out. Stay away from him and move on. If I ever get out I will never come back…too much anger, confusion, lonliness, self doubt, sadness, and on and on and on. Read what you wrote…you answered yourself.

  • Shawn

    Maryann, continue to go to Al Anon meetings and read all the literature you can on this. It will help you to detach from your alcoholic loved one and be able to move on with your life.

  • Ben

    Lisa, STAY GONE!!! I didn’t, she is a “Christian” so I “trusted God” I got married, had a daughter with her, gave her a wonderful husband, beautiful house, nice things, etc. In return I got depression, gained 60 pounds, sworn at constantly, put down constantly, had my kids run off, my family run off, she made the last year of my dad’s life hell, refused to go to the hospital ONCE during the last 22 days he was there, breastfed my daughter for 31/2 years while drinking 12-15 beers a day, I get no love, no respect, no sex, no companionship, no communication, no peace, no sanity, the list goes on and on….. If this sounds like fun to you, then go back, marry him, and pop out a couple kids.

  • Ben

    woops…I meant *Maryann*, I am with Lisa on this.

  • H.R.Bhasin

    I am really sorry to hear the state of affairs you are in. Take it as the will of GOD. Better fix your mind once for all and do not flicker and deviate. Surely, his rock bottom has not yet come and is unlikely to come with the kind of situation and support. You have two options,one- emotionally continue to listen to your heart and cling on and forever remain miserable in turmoil, two- be rational and quit and never look back. if I were you I would firmly quit. May God help you!

  • maryann

    thank you everyone. It pisses me off, it’s like wtf they cause all the bull and we have to go to an Alnon to fix what they broke in us. I have 2 kids, 22 & 27, so thank God we don’t have children involved. Ben your story is heartbreaking,”TAKE YOUR KIDS AND GET OUT”, let her hit bottom your always there to pick up the mess she makes, DO IT for your children. My A is a weekend warrior, he may have a couple of beers on some days, tanked on weekends, he is a functioning A.

  • Bruce

    Maryann; Like you I was clueless about alcoholism/drug abuse. I wish I had found this site sooner myself! If you can live a life of constant lying and other problems then stay. But I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m still grieving over the death of my alcoholic girlfriend last week. I was 2 days short of knowing her 4 years. The alcoholic in your life WILL drag you down with them. No matter what happens keep a clear head and read everything you can about alcoholism. JC offers great stuff. I was able to find some good books at Barnes & Noble too! (sorry about that JC). I’m starting to recover. But she is still in my head. I have so many what if’s and should haves bouncing around inside me. If he has insurance and or the money get him in rehab. I just wish I had the money to have put my A in one. I’m lucky enough to have God in my life. You need to find someone to talk to about your problems. Ben is right get out while you can. I was one who always saw a glimmer of hope. So I stuck it out. In the long run alcohol won. I lost my girlfriend and I got hurt. If he decides to get help to dry out. It will take a couple of years to see results. If you stay with him. Remember he is going relapse. They all do. Must go ready for church. I will be back later today. Remember to THINK before you speak to your A. We are here for you. Bruce

  • Kim Lewis


    Please listen- I know how hard it is to not believe things will change and get better.
    I reunited with my High School sweetheart about 3 years ago- he lived in a different state so,
    we would see each other once a month all was great in the beginning (first 6 months) then When we would see each other we would start fighting and I would go and stay at a hotel- of course he would come and beg for me to come back and tell me he has abandonment issues??? I would go back and usually have a good time for the next couple of days. We decided that we would get married back home in California, on the beach with family- (that never happened) We eloped instead (his idea) That was last June and he moved to my state and into my home- My children hate him- he can’t hold down a job he lost his drivers license because he owes back child support- everything is my fault that has happened to him- he just wants to go back to his old life which consists of sipping Whiskey on his front porch with his dog and waving to people driving and walking by his house. Alcoholics are miserable with themselves but want us to think we are the reason they are this way- not true! I haven’t even been married a year and it seems like i’m in a hard long 20 years of marriage. I have gained weight, I’m depressed, my kids said they have noticed a change in me, I’m lonely because they try and separate you from friends and family, I’m broke because I have tried to fix all his problems ( hasn’t filed taxes in 5 years, owe’s over $17,000 in back child support) and the list goes on and on! I have finely decided I can’t live like this and I’m not going to lose my children to someone who puts drinking as his FIRST and ONLY priority! I moved out of our bedroom and into the guest room, make it a point to visit with my friends and do things with my kids. I am feeling stronger by the minute- just working on getting him out of my house! Alcoholics are immature miserable people and we can’t FIX them! Stay strong in God and you will be fine.

  • L.

    Agreed, a close relationship with an alcoholic/addict is not a walk in the park … I want to address something Maryann just said, “fix what they broke in us.” As I journeyed deeper into my own Al-Anon Recovery I was surprised to discover, uncover a fair amount of “brokenness” that had/has been present/hiding well before interacting with my A’s … and there have been a handful. I am beginning to view my interactions with my qualifiers as an OPPORTUNITY to get a look, (a mirror image?), of what is deeper inside of me. I have raised two children and I have never met a child who said, “When I grow up, I want to be an alcoholic/addict!” This dis-ease affects the alcoholic/addict as well as those who get close and love them. Just trying to have compassion for the whole … Al-Anon offers the tools and allows the space and fellowship to explore this approach …

  • L.

    Perhaps, someday, we may all have nothing less than gratitude for our A,s? 🙂

  • Deb

    Don’t move back in with him, you’ll regret it. You need a safe place to live and I have to tell you living with an alcoholic is very hard. I suggest continue to date him. You’ll see him on his best behavior and make sure you go out together, that way he has to be mostly sober. And, I suggest you see other men as well. For the most part, if they drink..they aren’t going to stop. Please don’t have some idea he will change because he won’t. From what I’ve witnessed this is a disease that only that Person can choose to end. I don’t know anything about hitting bottom but…for the most part they are alcoholics for life.

    Continue to see him, continue to get what you can from him as far as love and companionship and..continue to date.

  • T

    I would like to comment on Debs post.
    That I have been doing just as she posted. Live your life and let them live theirs except them for who they are or move on.

  • JC

    Maryann, welcome to our community of loving, caring individuals who are doing the best that we can in the midst of some very difficult situations. I appreciate your boldness in sharing with us about your love for your boyfriend and the frustrations you are experiencing.

    I’d just like to say, it took me a long time to actually see the reality of what I had been living in for such a long time. My hopes were so high that the alcoholic would change that I had a very distorted view (like looking through rose colored glasses) of the utter hell I was constantly living in.

    Some how, over a long period of time, the love I had for the alcoholic actually changed to a very unhealthy obsession with the substance abuser.

    Maryann, do your best to see the reality of what is happening in this relationship. Avoid living in a dream world of what your relationship once was with your boyfriend and what you hope it may be someday.

    Here are a few articles that may help you find some happiness today:

    Living Life Apart From What An Alcoholic Thinks
    Can An Alcoholic Change
    Abused By An Alcoholic

  • Sarah A


    I really feel for you. I still miss and love my boyfriend but its mostly from my side! When someone is addicted or alcoholic it is virtually impossible to have an honest relationship with them. If you moved back in with him, it would always be on his terms whilst alcohol is in control.
    Even when my boyfriend was trying to see me and said he had changed he was still wasn’t talking to me as an equal he was trying to “smooze” me. I could tell because he was giving me a list of his availability! he was still trying to work me into his drug schedule without even realizing he was doing it. However much he wanted to have a relationship with me Drugs had to be the first priority same as Alcohol. Imagine this you move in to a house everything seems ok. It looks good all the furniture is in the right place but the whole house is set at a 45% angle! It would be tiring living in a house like that. hanging on to the walls! sliding across the carpet! Also how could you invite people around? I think of it like this its a lot of emotional and mental energy just to avoid giving up on the fantasy of love.
    Carry on loving him but for who he is not what he says he is.
    All the best
    Sarah A

  • Pat

    If you value your health don’t go back. Been with my husband 15 years. In a few years you will not even recognized yourself. I am so depressed and angry. So hard to look at the years of his telling me all that is wrong with me. It is easy to say not to let it affect you but it does. After all this is someone that is supposed to be your closest friend. I, like you, have been locked out of the house. If I happened to have money I stayed in a hotel if not I slept in my truck in the hotel parking lot. It was the safest place I could fine. It is hard to let go of the anger and it is not fun being an angry person. Also depressed due to having to walk on eggshells. You never know what words you speak will be used against you. I look at some of my friends that go and do stuff with their husbands and it is so hurtful. I am afraid to go anywhere with him because I never know if he deceides to drink if I will get thrown out. Spent a night in Walmant because he had truck keys and I had no where to go from the hotel we stayed at. Walmart was within walking distance. When he sobers up he is sorry but it does not help the fact that I had to spend the night walking around a strange town all night. Been to al anon and it has helped me but he is still an alcoholic. The worst is never having love or a safe place to lay your head when he is in active drinking phase. The stress WILL take its toll on you after a long time of living with an alcoholic.

  • Deb

    I haven’t shared but I will of my own life. I tried for nearly three years to not be confrontational. I’ve had to leave my home and find a place to stay when he binges for 5 days at a time. Last time I had to run out in middle of a snow storm which was terribly dangerous. It was that or call the police and the last time I did that, they promised he would spend time in jail. I didn’t want him in jail. Because we are genuine friends and I know or have learned that he is a truly sick SOB. Its not a joke. My personality also has changed. I’ve been so angry at times I didn’t know what to do with myself. Finally I took the advise and have set a few boundaries ‘how they tell you to do that ‘and so far he’s taking it seriously but I’m not holding my breath. Mentally its easy to say ‘have other interests’ and ‘keep your distance’ and ‘live your life’ while you live with them but in truth when they are breaking doors by slamming hands into the doors or falling down due to being so drunk and then with hate trying to attack you for making them fall down even though they were on the other side of the sucks. There is nothing fun about it. I live with it because of the rent I need. And, besides being a DRUNK in every sense of the word, he’s trustworthy, pays rent on time, fixes stuff he breaks and pays rent. Many sober folks don’t do this. It is HARD..VERY with him. To be romantically involved with someone who is DEEP into this ILLNESS, well you will end up in a MENTAL HOME. I am not kidding. ALWAYS take care of yourself and if you love one keep your distance, play with them when they are fun and LIVE. You will NOT be LIVING for long after you move in with one!

  • Nellie

    Hi Maryann,
    I feel women are kind of pressured by society to be married.
    That somehow this is the ultimate goal of each relationship, no matter who it is with.
    It’s a dumb expectation.
    You can have a happier life and relationship with your partner without living together
    and enmeshing your lives.
    You are financially independent, have your own life, family, friends, responsibilities.
    That is the ultimate goal!!! You are “there” already!!!

  • Lori

    I am married to an alcoholic. His alcoholic problem as been getting ery bad. We have been married for 4 years–married him with a promise to get help with drinking. Once he got that ring on, it ownly got worst. It is an emotional train reck. He can keep a job, doesn’t help withthe bills, household things. He is very verbally abusive.

    Dont go back because it will get better–it will get worst.

  • maryann

    Bruce, I am so sorry for your loss, even though they are A’s we still love them. Stop feeling you could have done more, you can only do your part in this, they have a responsibility to there own behavior as well. If they aren’t willing to get help there is nothing you can do. Hang in there time will heal.

  • maryann

    I feel so blessed to have found you guys and your support and encouragement is awesome, thank you. What is wrong with us that we tolerate this in our lives. Do we lack love within ourself and this is what we attract. I have read many books, there one in particular that I like it’s called The Laws of attraction. There is a chapter about the 5 mirror’s of relationsip,what why and how we attract the people in our life, it’s a great book. I don’t have any books on alcoholics, don’t even know where to start.I do all of my research online. My A’s brother and sister-inlaw are recovered A’s. She has been sober for 13 years and her husband for 7. I am very close with his sister-in-law, I have learned alot from her, she sends me inspirational e-mail from the book by hazelton its an AA book and its beautiful, spiritual,they talk about lettting go and let God. I told my A’s maybe he should find an alcoholic girlfriend, funny thing is he doesn’t like women who drink, maybe because he see himself, and they need caretakers like us that clean up there mess.

  • You can’t save them. They have to save themselves. You can only save you. If you are out, stay out, unless you just can’t live without the hateful, degrading treatment that you will receive with the active alcholic. I understand going back and trying to work things out. I have been now for 21 years. We do not live together but have alot of contact with two teenage children. I have learned this is the best of both worlds for me. When he gets ugly, I go home and let him be in misery alone. When he is on his best behavior, we spend time together. Do to my religious beliefs, I did not want to divorce, I wanted him to get help. I was willing, God was willing, but he was not, and still is not. I just keep praying for healing for him. I have seen it all…..I can’t imagine what his bottom will be since I’ve already seen him scrapping the bottom. The sadest words I thing there is: It was too late. Do what is in your best interest. Pray about it.

  • karen

    Hi Maryanne,

    I totally agree with the others. Stay out of the relationship, move on with your life. It does not change with the A person and the drama that comes with it.
    It is true, we are their caretakers, we love them and try to nuture them, and all our efforts go and will go unrecognized. They do not care, the only thing they care about is where, when and how they will get their next drink.

    Turn your back, run like hell, and do not look back. Move on !!

    The pain of ending this type of relationship will ease in time and you will find yourself reflecting on the relationship and will see and think thru clearer eyes. Like any loss it must be grieved, so cry your tears, get mad, yell and scream, seek out friends and keep yourslef busy and you will find yourself in a much better place.

    We are all on your side,so be strong and carry on.


  • Bruce

    Maryann; I hope you woke up to a better day! I’m slowly but surely healing over my A’s passing away. As I think back about our relationship. I am beginning to realize just how much turmoil and confusion the alcoholism caused. We had our good times. And a good bit of bad times. I tried the best I could for her. The biggest regret is I wasn’t able to get her family together for a intervention. Don’t know if it would have helped. But at least she would have known her family and I were starting to compare her lies to us. So if you have doubts about his being able to stop drinking. I suggest you break off the engagement. Try to do it in a public place if you fear for your safety. Just do what is best for you. No matter what!

  • maryann

    Hi Bruce, the engagement has been broken since I moved out. I struggle with this. He has a very kind and loving side, the other half is the Green man that comes out on weekends if angered he owns a house, pays his bills, has a decent job and is fully funtional during the week he may have a beer here and there but come Friday-Sunday he’s hammered. can’t have a normal conversation until Tuesday-Wed and then it starts all over on Friday He was married 14 years ago for 3 years, his wife cheated on him so he has major trust issues and is very defensive. I walked on egg shells because I never new when he would go off. I couldn’t live like this anymore so I walked out 1/11 for good. We do see each other but not often as I am so glad I don’t live with him its like a roller coaster ride. we had alot of good times and this alcohol issue came out after his dad died and his business went under due due to the economy. He did drink before but there was no violence for anger. I will be back later. Thanks Bruce for your concern.

  • Ro

    Stay away from him for about two years. Read that book “Getting to I Do”. It takes that long for the chemicals (bonding) to settle down. That way your brain won’t have the “high on the guy” syndrome. Do not smell him, hear him, touch him or see him. Go to Alanon. If he is still sober in year 2 — and you and he still want to get together talk with his sponsor and therapist and your therapist and reach an agreement if the two of you are okay together. Go to type in EFT love pain and do treatments to stop thinking about him and get on with your life. Take care. p.s. Sometimes you may have to take it a second at a time. What sugar intake or any type of food or behavior that may pull you to him.

  • maryann

    its going to be hard to move on. I think most of us want that man or women we fell in love to come back emotionally. That’s why we wait and keep hoping and praying in the meantime every year we stay we continue to grow older we get less chances to meet someone to be happy. I don’t know about you guys but life is too short. God Bless all of you for you patience commitment and love in all the hardship you/we endured for years. Please be happy for you. Like Karen said we can only save ourself. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Ellyn

    I have been living with my A for 13 years, and during a fight the other night my A said they ware moving out on Oct. 1st. This is kiling me. I have made changes to please my A and the A said that it wasn’t enough. There are more things that the A has been begging me to do for years (such as get rid of clutter and things that I don’t use) and I haven’t done it. I have hoarding tendencies and hold on to stuff forever. It stems from growing up poor and not getting rid of anything because we couldn’t afford to get it again if we needed it. I tried to talk to my A when the A was sober and the A is just so angry with me saying I’ll never change. The A refuses to go to counseling with me, I make lists of things to change and I get laughed at saying I’ve been making lists for years and I never stick to them. Everyone keeps telling me to let my A go-but I can’t. They tell me to stop begging my A to stay, but I can’t help it. I’m afraid to be alone, I’m afraid I’ll miss my A, and I’m afraid our child will blame me for making my A leave. I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know if my A is just trying to “scare me straight” or if they have just had it and are looking for a way out. If my A loves me, why won’t they work with me? Why won’t they go to counseling? Why won’t they accept me for who I am and work with me to make the changes that I say I will make? I’m a mess. I feel like my insides are falling apart. How can I let go if I have to? What do I do?

  • Debbi

    You have no choice but to let go because you cannot control him. You are not making him leave so no one can blame you for that when in fact it seems you are the one trying to make it work. Rarely will they go to counseling until they realize they are losing something. You first step in letting go is to detach and stop trying to make it work–do a “180” complete change from what you have been doing because that is not working. Make yourself scarce on words and stop trying to control him and start taking care of yourself. Find a support network of friends & support groups and tell them what you are going through and have them help you in completing those lists you are making to work on you. You need support first and turn the focus back on your needs and your child. If you need to also move in October, then you also need to start working on a place to stay. Keep posting, everyone here will have many suggestions to help you. No matter how it ends, it will be difficult but you can do this but not if you don’t start taking care of yourself first! You are in my thoughts–stay in touch!

  • J

    Hi Ellyn,
    I read these post all the time and I never reply. I agree with Debbi, I had to leave my A, 5 months ago because it was causing more harm than good in our marriage. I threatened to leave before and he didn’t change. We went to counseling every week and it became a blame session, that had me thinking I was crazy. Because we our military, I left overseas to come back to the States. I have some feelings of loneliness and times where I miss him a lot; that feeing will never disappear. However, I am working on me and that is more important. The A can drag you to your lowest “if you let them” but you can’t get that low especially if you have kids. I have two, so I have to focus on loving my kids and providing a great life for them. I cannot give you advice on if you should stay or leave. From reading most of the advice here on this website, it is clear that people want you to leave. I believe that there is nothing big enough for God. So why I am focusing on my strength, I am praying for my husband strength as well. Don’t get me wrong, he has done some horrible things in our marriage and I have experienced a lot of what you hear in this advice column too. However I suggest that you go to Al-ANON, find a sponsor and read materials that will uplift you and bring you to a place of happiness. Remember that if God can take care of you, he will certainly take care of your A. Listen to your heart, think what is best for you and if you need to detach…it’s ok because you are human. Sometimes people need a little break to clear their thoughts and figure things out. All the times that I separated from my A, I thought of him as “going to the field or being deployed” I didn’t think of anything else bigger. Take a deep breath and understand that you are not in this alone and you don’t have to figure everything out in one day. Take one day at a time and it will be ok! Do I have everything figured out “No” but I do know that I am smiling, loving my kids, sleeping and restoring my strength and I am focusing on Today and not tomorrow. If my A gets better, it will be a blessing, but I am not focused on him, I am focused on me. Have a great day and keep your head up…everyone should enjoy a smile!

  • C

    Often I have seen the sweet quote that if you hold on tight to what you have, you don’t allow anything to come to you. It really woke me up. There are millions of people and we focus of our A’s. The alcohol hooks a person and then those who are their friends and family. Amazing.

    Even when there is a clean break from someone, there are feelings that keep popping up – in the grocery store, at work or when you are being complimented by someone. For a while, I would wear sunglasses everywhere because I would be teary when someone was nice to me! You get so used to the lying, yelling for no reason and senseless waste of time defending yourself.

    Ellyn: It will come to you one day that this is a blessing – you can be yourself again without endless worry about pleasing someone who could never be pleased. He will go to someone else and be the same way he was with you. Take good care of yourself and celebrate your life – we are so lucky to be alive.

  • Eva


    I truly feel for what you are going through. I have a long history of A’s in my life. Both my parents, exes, boyfriends, friends. You name it. I was in a 3 1/2 yr long relationship with an alcoholic/porn addict that I ended in April. We were married last July and 33 days later he was in jail for domestic violence. It wasn’t the first time he was abusive to me but this was my wake up call. I finally realized how much I was in denial about who he really was and how foolish I was to think if I just loved him enough he would change. I guess you could say I hit my bottom. Needless to say, I annuled the marriage but it took a lot of courage and the support of Al Anon, my counselor, and friends to help me. A good friend told me that we may not always be ready for change but we can ask God to make us willing to change. We can not change the alcoholics in our life. We can change ourselves with God’s help. I have to say for the first time in my life, even though I’m 53 and single, I have an amazing peace I’ve never had before. My path has not been an easy one as it’s not for any of us that deal with this disease. I am hopeful that I will have a better future. Thank God we are not defined by our past mistakes. Ellyn, you can have a life filled with joy and peace. Take C’s advice and learn to take care of yourself. When you do, you will also give your child the best gift of all.

  • Mike

    Hi ,ellyn. I know exactly what your going through ibecause I just went through the same ,my relations ship was Also 13 years .my ah moved out a month ago .i let it get really bad .its never easy but I knew I had to let go and I didn’t want to go through this anymore .after a month I look back and already wonder why I could not see straight .The education I received was so helpful .alonon is something that will help alot along with education and a great therapist .I lived with it for 13 years I always thought I could fix it and rode the highs and lows ,I was so wrong .someone told me a while Back my ah wont change ,I thought to myself ,how can this person say this with such confidence and thought my situation was different .I trusted this person and realized ,it was true .Day by day I’m gaining my life back .alonon ,alonon,alonon

  • Mike

    Whoops. I meant my A. Or ag. Don’t know where I got ah from ,not that it matters

  • Ellyn

    Thank you all so much for your wisdom. I need to hear that I am not alone and that I can’t change my A. I have to stop blaming myself – that has been the hardest thing yet.
    I keep thinking, I shouldn’t have said my A doesn’t care about me, I shouldn’t have said that my A was miserable, why can’t I just get rid of the clutter?
    I do have a counselor who is great and super great family and friends who are helping me through this agony.
    My A drank when we met and I didn’t expect change, but I didn’t expect it to get this bad either.
    Why won’t they work with me? Why are they just giving up?
    It’s so hard to be positive right now, but I’m taking it minute by minute.
    Thank you all so much for taking time to respond.
    I truly appreciate it.

  • Lee

    Hi folks,
    I am grateful to have this site where I can associate with, and read the sad and tough plight of many of you out there who are trying to live with an alcoholic. Truth be told, there is no “living happily with an alcoholic”, when they are DRINKING! I have been married to an alcoholic for 21 years, 8 of which were VERY GOOD YEARS whilst she was in recovery. She went to AA , worked the programme and it was bliss. Then one day she told me , after a visit with her sister, that the two of them had decided that she wasn’t actually an alcoholic and that she would like to have the odd glass of wine. Well the rest is history! That was about 5 years ago and the consequences have been devastating. What really concerns me is the overwhelming affect my spouses drinking has on ME. And yes I have done all the research on co dependancy, and I am fully aware that we are both locked into this disease. I am pretty unique I guess, in that my wifes drinking actually makes ME “violent” “abusive” and “dangerous”! When she drinks , which is pretty much every day now, she can get very very provoking. Corners me, blames me, manipulates me. And it works every time! I still haven’t learnt to walk away. The emotional tension builds in me like a raging rabid dog , and then I explode. I have strangled her, kicked her, slapped her and destroyed my self esteem, spirituality and peace of mind. All because of my spouses drinking. Am I allowed to blame the drinking? I sound like her now don’t I. Just goes to show how this disease works. It is the most insidious, hurtful, soul destroying , drug of choice. It annihilates affection, honesty, integrity, and the very soul of all affected by it . I have packed up and left so many times, once for 6 months, when I was having an emotional affair, the result of years of loneliness. Is that an excuse? Probably. Again that’s what this disease has done to me , the non drinker. Amazingly enough , she even admits she has destroyed me, yet that doesn’t stop me finding bottles of Vodka, her best friend, hiding in every closet, waiting to unleash the beast in me. I am a broken and damaged me, And guess what, I am not an alcoholic! But I AM now abusive, hurt, damaged, sad, lonely and at the end of the road……. Crazy as it seems , I cant find the strength to disappear and start a fresh. Why? Because the drinkers best tool , is manipulation and the amazing ability to make you feel guilty! And oh how guilty I always feel. Sucks doesn’t it

  • Mike

    This leaving is the best thing you will fond happened in your life.
    It will take pain at first, but you will be free.
    The fear of being alone is what keeps many in the destructive alcoholic relationships.

  • Ellyn

    I am feeling the EXACT same way. I, the non drinker, am blamed for being abusive, uncaring, psychologically abusive, and my A says that I will never change.
    He says that these problems are 50/50 but he says everything I do is wrong while he won’t say what he does wrong.
    He has made me feel so guilty I cry at the drop of a hat and I can’t let go. Why?
    Because I don’t want it to end. I don’t want to miss him. I don’t want to remember the good times and get sad that they are over. I don’t want to be divorced, a statistic. This is kililng me and eating me up inside.
    He came to bed at 4am this morning, affectionately rubbed my head and said, this is a shame. I love you so much but I can’t take it anymore.
    Everything is my fault and I can’t get my brain to believe that it is NOT all my fault. I even question whether he is an alcoholic or not.
    When will I stop blaming myself?
    I know I need to go to alanon meetings, but right now I don’t have time.
    This site is perfect for me.
    We are not alone and I need to hear that.
    I’m so afraid to be alone that it’s making me want to stay in this relationship.
    I read in one of JC’s books that-Alcoholics are addicted to alcohol and we are addicted to the addict.
    So true.

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