When we are involved in a codependant relationship with an alcoholic it can be devastating when we discover that there are signs that they may be being unfaithful. Signs of infidelity come in many different forms. Irregardless of what indicators are present, most alcoholics are already being unfaithful because they are more in love with the bottle than their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend.
There are a few things that you can do to help you cope with an alcoholic husband or wife that may be cheating on you.
Giving Them Ultimatums:
You can tell them that you are not going to tolerate their behavior if they do not terminate their involvement with the other person. Here’s the thing though, you had better be prepared to stick to your threat. There’s nothing more defeating than not following through with the things you have threatened to do. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use the word divorce either unless you are certain that that is what you are going to do. Threatening to divorce is just a tactic to try and control the addicts behaviors.
I would be certain that I had a plan of action in place before confronting an alcoholic in this way. I would need to have plenty of money to last and also be certain of where I would be living. If you are married to an alcoholic it would be a good idea to seek legal council from an attorney. If you have young children that are living at home be aware that the mother seems to have the most favor in these cases. Courts always consider what is in the best interest of the children.
There is no reason that you should tolerate unacceptable behavior; infidelity certainly falls into this catagory. You can let them know that what they are not doing is not acceptable. You can do this by writing them a letter or by telling them to their face. I’d suggest that you try to inform them in a nice way though. In other words: “say what you mean-but don’t say it mean.” Some ideas are discussed in this video: Communicating With An Alcoholic. You will also find helpful tips here: Unacceptable Behavior Of Alcoholics.
The one thing that is not going to accomplish much is fighting and arguing with the problem drinker. This will only upset you. The chance of anything productive resulting from an argument is not very likely.
It seems that there are only two choices you have: one is to stay with them, the other is to separate. This is totally your decision. What I have to share is my opinion and should NOT be taken as advice.
If I were to stay with an alcoholic husband/wife who was being unfaithful, it would be strictly based upon their demonstration to repent and change. The word repent means to turn away from. They would have to end the affair, quit drinking and agree to go to marriage counseling. I personally wouldn’t open the door to my heart and let them back into my life until they demonstrated these changes over an extended period of time.
One of the things you should be aware of is that addicts of all sorts say things they think we want to hear. These are empty promises we hear from an alcoholic that will crush our world if we allow them to. Keeping a watchful eye for this type of communication can help protect you from buying into the deceitful lies of the problem drinker. Although you may have little control over this situation, you do have control over the choices that you make. There is no reason for you to accept unacceptable behavior from an alcoholic.
Only you can decide what is best for your life. Coping with an unfaithful alcoholic can be best handled when we are surrounded by people who understand. The only place to find friends like this is by getting involved in alcoholism support group meetings. There you will find others who have the wisdom you need in order to deal with someone who is cheating on you. Believe it or not, you are not the only one faced with infidelity by an alcoholic.
The Al-anon Family Group has helped millions of people through the years learn how to cope with dysfunctional relationships. This is a worldwide organization specifically designed to help friends and family members who are dealing with alcoholism. In the fellowship there is healing that takes place in people who have been effected by being involved in relationships with alcoholics.
One of the things that I have heard a thousands times over in Al-anon is the meeting closing. Here is a small excerpt:
“A few special words to those of you who haven’t been with us long:
Whatever your problems, there are those among us who have had them
too. If you try to keep an open mind, you will find help. You will come to
realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no
unhappiness too great to be lessened.”
I can testify that this statement is true. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with an unfaithful lover or a child who is suffering from the disease of alcoholism, if you stick with Al-anon, you will discover that there is no unhappiness so intense that it cannot be reduced.
There is a better way of living life rather than always being focused on an alcoholic who is being unfaithful to the vows of marriage or commitment to any relationship. I know it seems like your world is falling apart right now, trust me I know the pain all too well. There is hope for your situation. Although your friend, husband, wife or relative may not stop the dysfunctional behaviors, you can start the process of change today.