I have displayed some of the most shameful, irrational behaviors while being involved in alcoholic relationships. Thank God I have learned how to not act so crazy anymore. There was a time when I was a babbling fool asking for forgiveness all of the time for the way I was acting.
You know what I am talking about… those times when you tried to have control over the alcoholic in your life through raising your voice or begging them to quit drinking…and then some!
Here are a few of the things I’m sure you can identify with:
- Riding around looking for their car parked in front of the bar or at a part
- Listening in on their phone conversation
- Checking their email
- Opening letters that were addressed to the alcoholic
- Calling them repeatedly on the phone when they won’t answer
- Looking frantically for their stash of alcohol
- Trying to get close enough to them to see if I could smell alcohol on them
- Interrogating them in an attempt to get them to tell the truth, when I know for certain they are lying
If I told you that it is possible to stop acting in these irrational ways, would you believe me? Well, it is possible to stop these insane behaviors that accompany being in relationships with alcoholics.
Our 37 audio lessons on coping with alcoholics can teach you how to live a life free from acting in irrational ways.
The foundation of learning how to act “normal” again all begins with learning how to let go of an alcoholic. Changing our outlook and attitudes to reflect a more sane person takes time. After all, we didn’t get into this mess overnight and it’s going to take a little time to make some serious attitude adjustments.
I think I sound like a broken record at times because I am always teaching people how to rediscover who they are. This is the only way to truly get free from the insanity.
The problems we have with alcoholics have so much to do with us being obsessed with what they are doing all of the time and having no control over how they are choosing to live their lives. We think that we know what is best for them and so we get all caught up in trying to fix them.
To think we can cure them is most definitely irrational thinking at its best.
We cannot cure their alcoholism. Only they can make the decision to get help. The more irrational we act, the more often we have to deal with feelings of guilt and shame for the things we did or said out of anger and frustration. There is a way to be free from feelings of guilt while living with alcoholism.
There’s a funny saying I’ve heard in 12-step meetings. It goes something like this: “while the alcoholic is out having a great time boozing it up, we are left hanging from the chandeliers.”
When we learn how to break the cycle of worrying and fretting over everything they are doing, we begin to throw off the irrational behavior that accompanies alcoholic relationships. Learning how to live with an active alcoholic is possible. You can actually do it and be happy too!
I am forever suggesting that people make a list of the things in life that they really enjoy doing and then making a decision to do some of them. This is how we change the irrational behavior patterns. When we can replace being obsessed with an alcoholic, with doing things we love-we will find that we are on the road of recovery and change.
It might be a good idea right now for you to make a list of all of the irrational things that you do that are related to your relationship with the alcoholic in your life. Once we have a clear awareness of these block-aids, we can start making healthy choices to counteract them.
You cannot begin the process of change without the correct guidance though. It’s wise to learn from people who have learned how to exchange their irrational behaviors for more sane ones. There are tricks of the trade as my finish carpenter friend would say.
You need a mentor or two to help teach you how to get untangled from the alcoholic you are intertwined with. It would be good for you to learn how to stop focusing on the alcoholic all of the time. You can try our audio lessons on coping with alcoholics or attend a few Al-anon meetings. 12-step groups are a great source for learning about how to overcome irrational behavior patterns associated with relationships with alcoholics.
Anyway, today you can begin by making a list of stuff that you like to do and use those things to replace the negative behaviors associated with your relationship with the alcoholic.
This change is not going to be easy, but I promise you that you can do it. You just have to take it one step at a time.
All your info on living and loving an alcoholic is priceless. Thanks so much for setting this up so that the info is available to anyone with access to a PC. Love you for it. Between working things out for myself on how to succeed relationship wise and what your tips are, there is great hope for the alcoholic and those around them. Thankyou.
Thanks Kathryn, I found hope when I started participating in Al-non meetings. Prior to attending, I had reached the point of hopelessness.
It is possible to live with and love an alcoholic. The beginning of being able to do that starts with making changes in my life. When I started loving myself and stopped looking to the alcoholic for love, something magical happened. That process of loving myself started by doing things that I thoroughly enjoyed-while learning how to let go of the irrational behaviors associated with alcoholic relationships.
Now why would you stay with someone you want to let go?
Just get a divorse and stop living in limbo.
Being married means not letting go. Letting go means you checked out of the relationship.
[…] I can so identify with the references to guilt, mixed-messages, co-dependence, hope for an alcoholic relationship to change and enjoying healthy times. I encourage you to continue attending support group meetings; […]