I’ll never forget the day when I journeyed out for help. I had reached the point where dealing with an alcoholic was unbearable. You probably know the feelings I am talking about. Feelings of anxiety, frustration, fear and anger seemed to rule my personality all day long. It seemed as though I had DONE everything, even begged them to stop drinking and drugging. Nothing was working, I was an absolute wreck inside.
I had reached the point where I just wanted to shake them and yell as load as I could. I suppose that was my breaking point that nudged me into getting help. I finally found myself right in the middle of support group meetings designed to help me deal with alcoholism relationships. This was a huge step and the turning point that would change my life forever. There’s no doubt in my mind that this was a God orchestrated moment.
While living under the same roof with them, I eventually learned how to get a grip on my emotions and actions. It really took a long time though. There is a way to live happily with an alcoholic. No, really…there is a way. You can get the full course here: Coping With Alcoholics.
So many people live in horribly abusive circumstances until they decide that they cannot take it anymore. That seems to be when they search out help through counseling or getting involved in Al-anon.
There are three things I can help you with now:
- Quit going through their stuff trying to figure out what they are doing. This type of behavior is not acceptable. They have a right to their privacy. What they do is their business. This will help you start getting your “self” control back. You cannot control them…period!
- You should not accept out of line occurrences from them. If they are doing things that are not morally right toward you, you do not have to endure these things without saying something to them. Set boundaries with them and do this in a kind way. You do not need to let them mistreat you.
- If they are living with you, make it clear what is acceptable and what is not. If you don’t want beer in the house, tell them. If they need to pull their weight or move out, then let them know. Just don’t set ultimatums unless you are willing to carry them out without hesitation.
The thing about living with an alcoholic is they are good at keeping us upset. We have a tendency to want to avoid conflict with them because you never know when they may have an outburst of rage. This is just a normal way of living in a dysfunctional climate. No matter the case, you still need to stand up for yourself and not let them treat you with disrespect.
When they get out of line, set your boundaries right on the spot. You should be able to prepare what it is that you will say by reviewing past encounters with them. Some of the things they do are repetitious. This makes it easier for us to confront them on certain matters. A great way to identify repetitive behaviors is by keeping a journal of the events that happen with the alcoholic.
The Al-anon program clearly states that; “living with an alcoholic is just too much for most of us.” That statement applies to people who have not learned how to deal with an alcoholic. Once you get the tools needed, interacting with someone who drinks is much easier. Make sure you check out our lessons on Coping With Alcoholics. There are hundreds of tips in the series that will help you obtain peace and serenity in your life.
“You should not accept out of line occurrences from them. If they are doing things that are not morally right toward you, you do not have to endure these things without saying something to them. Set boundaries with them and do this in a kind way. You do not need to let them mistreat you.”
Does that mean I do not have to accept the fact that my partner is having an emotional affair with another from AA? They go to meetings together which are over at usually 8:30 but they don’t get home until 1:00 am??? Is that the kind of thing I don’t have to take … or because a “coffee” after a meeting for 4 hours is acceptable and I should just back off?
Betty – no that is not acceptable.
you need to kindly put up a healthy boundary cuz emotional relationships like that are truly dangerous and can lead to more. Besides, emotional adultery is a real thing and is wrong. period.
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