What do you really believe? Do you compromise your own beliefs as you react to how an alcoholic is living their life? When I learned the importance of not compromising my beliefs, I became emotionally and spiritually stronger.
I had to turn the tables on the grey areas of my life back into being black and white. When I made the decision to stop walking on the edge of the fence and planted myself on one side or the other, I really began to feel good about who I was.
Deep down on the inside, do you love the alcoholic and want the very best for him or her? Is that love compromised due to resentment, inability to forgive or anger? Do you feel as though what you express towards the alcoholic is far from being loving and kind?
Did you vow to stay married “until death do us part”, but find yourself making threats to the alcoholic that you are going to divorce them? What do you really believe about divorce?
Sometimes something as little as being reminded to never give up can be enough to push us off the fence and back to what we really believe in.
With that said, may I encourage you to “NEVER GIVE UP! “
Could you make a decision right now to express love to the alcoholic, no matter what the cost?
Would it be possible to decide right now to never say the divorce word again? When your spouse threatens to divorce you, could you make a decision today to look them in the eyes and say: “I’m sorry you feel that way; I love you and am committed to staying married to you for life”?
When an alcoholic says they can’t stand you, could you respond by saying; “I’m sorry you feel that way, I love you with all of my heart?”
How many times does true love enable forgiving another person for the wrongs they have done you? How many times has God forgiven you?
I know it gets exhausting when we continually forgive the alcoholic and they repeatedly trample on our feelings again and again. It seems like as soon as we forgive them, get rid of the anger and start feeling good about having a relationship with them again, BAM, they do something to upset us again!
As hard as it has been at times, I have chosen to live a life that continually “tries” to forgive the alcoholic for the wrongs they have done. When I recognize that I am harboring lack of forgiveness, bitterness and anger towards them, I work hard to get rid of those things through forgiveness. I am able to do this because I understand how “sick” they really are. I also know what my morals are and what type of person I want to be.
In no way am I suggesting that we should just accept unacceptable behavior or allow an alcoholic to continually mistreat us. NO! We are not doormats. That’s not how this stuff works. We learn how to set boundaries and at the same time stand on the core beliefs that make us who we are.
We can certainly tell an alcoholic NOT to treat us poorly and at the same time let them know how much we love them.
Perhaps when setting a boundary we would say something like; “I want you to understand that I love you very much and would appreciate it if you would not ever call me that degrading name again.”
Finding this delicate balance between reacting negatively to the actions of an alcoholic-and responding positively- based on what we believe in- takes practice.
The people who succeed at being happy while living with an alcoholic generally remain strong by attending support group meetings, having a relationship with God, reading literature on this subject and through the support of like-minded friends.
The president of the United States would be a weakling if he did not take a stand for the things he believed in.
What stands will you take today in relation to what you truly believe in?
When we stand firmly planted on the foundation of our core values, the storms that accompany having a relationship with an alcoholic have little effect on us. It is when we allow ourselves to be tossed about on the sea of compromise that we find ourselves being an emotional wreck.
At the end of the day I like knowing deep down that on the inside I did everything in my power to make relationships work out with the alcoholics in my life.
- Make life matter today!
- Get up one more time than you fall down!
- Never give up!
There are many things to be learned that can help us be emotionally, mentally and spiritually strong while dealing with alcoholism. Knowing what you believe and standing firm on those foundations will make you a stronger person in the midst of a very difficult situation.