I’ll never forget when I was gripped with fear because the alcoholic continued to threaten to divorce me. I was on vacation in Kentucky by myself and was having a conversation with the addict over the phone. For whatever reason, she started telling me that she was going to divorce me. I had been attending Al-anon for a couple of years at this point and called a wise friend in the program as soon as I hung up from talking with the addict. I was sobbing as I explained the threats the alcoholic had been making for a couple of weeks. My friend pulled me out of the fear of losing the marriage by laughing and saying; “oh, don’t worry about that honey, they say those sorts of things all of the time. Worry about it if it happens. Right now you are in KY. So, enjoy your time away from the chaos. It won’t be the end of the world if she does file for divorce. No matter what happens you’ll be fine, I promise you.”
Here are three ways to overcome the fear of losing an alcoholic:
1. Live life one day at a time
2. Establish a relationship with God. Faith overcomes fear every time.
3. Learn how to love yourself
One Day At A Time: If you are afraid of losing the alcoholic, try to live your life one day at a time and enjoy the moment. We have an article that reveals the two weapons alcoholics use, anger and anxiety. They say all sorts of things to keep us under their feet. One of the characteristics they have is that the alcoholic places blame on those around them. When we can separate ourselves from taking the heat and see that the truth of the situation is that we are doing all we can to keep the relationship together, then their constant belittling has less of an effect on us.
Establish A Relationship With God: Some of the fear we experience is due to thinking we cannot survive without the other person. We feel as though we aren’t a whole person. Much of the problem also has to do with the burden of finances. We are afraid if we lose the alcoholic that we won’t be able to survive financially. This is sad, but true, many men and women stay in dysfunctional relationships because of financial fears. I think in order to overcome these fears one needs to establish a real relationship with God. Once God becomes real to someone, there’s nothing that they cannot get through on their own. As long as faith is placed in the alcoholic’s ability to provide the financial security, then there’s always going to be a tremendous amount of control the alcoholic has over a person’s emotions.
A very good article on this site is called Pain Greater Than Fear. It simply explains that as the pain of living with an alcoholic increases the fear of living without them decreases.
The only thing that drives out fear is perfect love. The only source of perfect love is God. Wanting the alcoholic to show me love is just not something that they are really good at. They spend most of their energy on romancing the bottle.
Learn To Love Yourself: We have to learn how to love ourselves. Alcoholics make us feel worthless. We must learn how to not let their opinions bring us down. This article, “Facing Alcoholics With Courage” is filled with tips that can help you feel better about yourself. It’s hard to have a good attitude about who you are if you are constantly putting yourself down. Work on changing how you think about yourself. Instead of saying you are ugly, confess that you are beautiful. Rather than thinking you are a failure, make a list of the things you are good at. When we start replacing the negatives with positives, out attitudes will change for the better. One good way to start liking who you are is by getting around people who are non-judgmental; I discovered friends like that in the Al-anon program. Their encouragement and support really has made a tremendous difference in my outlook of who I am. Support group friends will replace the lies that alcoholics say about us with uplifting truths about our personalities.
Dress nice today. Hold your shoulders back and your chin up. Decide to smile often today. You are a beautiful person. There’s no one on earth exactly like you. You have special qualities that make up who you are.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. If you want to overcome being afraid of losing an alcoholic get involved in Al-anon today. The program is filled with people just like you who are dealing with the disease of alcoholism. Many of them have lost all fear of losing the alcoholic. You can learn how to love yourself. You can establish a relationship with a loving God in order to find the faith needed to drive out fear. You can learn how to live life one day at a time. Make a decision today to do things differently.
I don’t feel a fear of losing the alcoholic in my life.
Most of the time, I am afraid the I WON”T lose the alcoholic.
I regret associating my life with an alcoholic.
I never knew how bad it could be.
I never experienced life with an alcoholic, and thought it was just a bad habit that could be controlled.
My first experience with an alcoholic is when I married one.
It sure was a rude welcoming.
I lost the fear of loosing my XAB when he cheated the second time. Something in me died for him that day and continues to die off. Yea! Crossing my boudries and the disrespect gradually, over time started to destroy it, the lies and manipulation destroyed the foundation of trust. I would have done it sooner rather than later if I knew what I knew now. You WILL loose the alcoholic in the future anyway by death, car accident, deterioration of the brain, infidelity, or failed health etc…..So why not let go NOW!!!!
I feel the same way as you the infidelity the 2nd time around did it for me. I don’t know if it was just a telephone affair but it was a affair. We are talking at the moment because I am sick of being angry and full of hate for him so I am okay with him. He probably thinks I’v got her where I want her NO NO NO I’v read all these post and educated myself so he won’t ever manipulate me again, still lying though said not been drinking for 9 days he was drunk yesterday. X
I feel the same way as Mike. It is hard to live with an alcoholic. My husband is one, and I did not know it until living together in marriage. He stumbles, breaks things, walks around at night in the dark, and then the next day when I point out what happened, he denies all of it.
Hey Mike do you want to divorce your wife and move to Colorado? LOL Sorry, I needed some humar : D
Ready to walk away last night and could not follow through this morning! What was I thinking….
Last night I was going to share a video with my husband that explained what I have been going through after his affair so he could better understand where I was coming from and the hurt he had caused during this weekend fling. I don’t know what I was thinking and why I was so shocked when he wanted me to turn it off because his show came back on. Really I didn’t think any one person could be that unbelievable cold hearted. Then I wondered why I am so shocked… Why would he care, it is always about the alcoholic leaving a path of destruction in their wake and not facing what they have done. I walked away so I didn’t start an argument but then wrote a letter for him to put in his lunch asking him to leave and I was truly over him. Loved him but had to let him go with love in my heart but tears in my eyes. But I fell asleep on the couch before I finished and was woke up this morning by with an apology that he just didn’t feel good and he thought I knew that. Well I have been in pain for months and nothing from him, remorse for his actions, support, understanding, nothing. I could kick myself because I said nothing to him before he left for work. Not how he minimized my feelings, or how unimportant I felt I was to him, and didn’t give him the letter either. Our divorce is just waiting his signature which he has been procrastinating signing. Sometimes I think he just needs a mother to take care of him and not a wife or partner. Leaving is so hard because I see little bits of who I fell in love with still, but I am not the same person I was a year ago either. I don’t even recognized who I have become! Marriage builder.com has some good insight of what infidelity can do to a person and I found it helpful to validate the way I was feeling and it was okay. I was expected to feel this way and not how your alcoholic spouse says you should feel.
Where do you find the strength to open the door so they can leave?
Thanks for any insight.
Laurie, You just have to ask yourself DO YOU WANT TO LIVE WITH THIS UNHAPPINESS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? The rate of recovery is slim slim slim! Do you want to keep waiting for him to finally ‘GET IT”? His stars to align just right? Yes, I know it’s hard to see the “good” part in them, what you wanted to be, what you hoped for. Shut your eyes to it and walk away. He wants you to be his mother and take care of him as he declines. Don’t be his safety net. Or go to alanon for awhile and see what others have to put up with and ask yourself the question above again. You can, create your own reality your own life. You don’t have to live that one~!
The hardest thing for me to grasp when I was at the stage you are is when people tell me to walk away. So until you are ready those words won’t resonate with you. The other thing they tell you here is while you’re living with the A–focus on yourself. This one is hard too but this is your first step. Don’t just ACT as if you are moving on–actually you need to start moving on. It is hard but do it in baby steps. First stay away from him as much as possible and spend your time with a network of friends and support groups (non drinkers) who you can share your experiences with. This is vital because you will see first you are not the only one going through this and second their ideas will help you and you need to build your self-esteem back up before you make any life-changing decisions right now. Please get into some support groups and bring your contact with your A down to almost zero. Do not do anything for him right now, he does not appreciate it. Start moving on & it starts with the first step.
hey honey, so sorry to hear your story it was like reading my own, my ah cheated also and thinks its no big deal i found out on valentines day. the woman he did it with is just as sick and clearly has issues as i know her. anyway for me i started going to alanon about 6 wks ago and found my support group is just like a family if not better. 3 wks ago i took the big step by returning to collage. i have 4 small children and i cant depend on him to provide every friday when its pay day fear sets in on what will happen to his pay check and the lies to cover up why half of it is missing. The wkd before i was to start he decided to show his support by going drinking all weekend, alanon members called down on the sunday and that gave me a great lift. the first wk of collage was horrible my head was focused on him. he stays with his alcoholic mother when he goes on his binges she turns a blind eye to it. its the usual pattern as i wont let him in if hes drunk. i was tearful anxious depressed restless and so i tried to re establish my relationship with him. i told him he couldnt stay in the house thou anymore . why? i have no idea all i can say is it was my higher power guiding me as i normally let him stay and then hes off again at the wkd. i forgive him to ease my own pain. alanon has helped me react differenty. now as i dont let him stay he didnt come near me and the kids knowing that my daughter had a major comp sat . now that i have the tools and wisdom of alanon he done this to purely suck me back into the ring. i didnt react i was polite and no i dont evan ans his calls when he rings . i am starting to see the woods from the trees and with the distraction of collage and alanon i feel amazing. im getting back to myself and am not looking back. im actually moving on not just pretending or threatning as that doesnt work, you too can be happy leave him be and take a step back you are an amazing human being and theres only one of you in the world. love yourself the rest will follow. you can do it xxxx
This is so hard. My alcoholic has been out of the home for two months. We still talk every night which ends in “let me come home”, I will change. When I say no, then it’s very low, very mean insults that take every vulnerability and insecurity I have and use them as weapons. Then when I cut the conversation off, I will get bombarded with texts and calls with “I love you”, and all the details of his life, like nothing happened. The way he describes me he convinces me that not only he, but no one would want to be with me. So I don’t get it. He left two months ago for treatment, left treatment for a new job, never sent any money from those jobs to help me, didn’t even contact me or our daughter on our birthdays and now wants to to come back. He is drinking and living a college boys life away from us. I say, if you are so happy then keep it up. He always thinks I am with other men, as if that is the only way I could see that he and I are no good together.
I have a lot of trouble ending my part in the anger and bitterness. I always start being enraged at him, especially if he tries to tell me how wonderful his new life is.
So right now I am just ignoring him. But funny thing is I feel guilty. Like I am not giving him the dignity I demand. I HATE being ignored. But, then again, every time I talk to the man my peace of mine is destroyed. I don’t know how else to be. I would like to keep some relationship with him, and feel civil, for out daughter, but yet, hes not going out of his way to be a part of her life. It’s like if he can’t have me back, he doesn’t want his daughter either. Grrrrrr.
I hate the gaslighting. I do fear losing him. Actually, my real fear is that he will move on to another and be the man for her that he never was for me. Sober, committed, working. Seems silly to say it here, but that is the root of my fear. Being nothing.
I KNOW he has cheated on me during binges. But I have no proof. Just internet cheats and personals ads. No proof of contact. But the KNOWING and the not knowing drive me nuts. And his attempts to blame me and say I am a cheat.
To me the last straw after four years of him drinking, and abusing, and cheating and lying and being selfish, and never working, was after he went to treatment and I broke my back driving 5 hours round trip to bring him things and money that he “needed” to be successful or to work and then he gets his paycheck making great money and gives me NOTHING.
Add that to his complete lack of contact with his daughter on her birthday, or really at all during the last months, and I said just forget. Now add all the vicious things he says to me and enough is enough. But I found this website, Al-anon, and a great podcast to help me gain some perspective.
What I would like insight on is how we keep a relationship with a dry drunk or active alcoholic when we have children. Do we? I would change my phone number to stop his constant texts and calls, thinking it would free us both, but I use my phone for my business. It could be done but it would be embarrassing and annoying to do it. Plus, what do I tell my daughter when she’s older and blames me for pushing her daddy away?
Shure, you can go to Alanon. It will do one of 2 things. 1. You will realize you have a life apart from the alcoholic and start living that life with a drunk in the background and stay as you are (If you wish) or 2. You will go to Alanon and realize either at that moment or months or years later that you do not want or need him/her. You don’t want to live life “detached” from the man you love and you don’t want a dysfunctional relationship. You don’t want to live your life going to Alanon meetings! It’s your choice.
I’m in the same situation with the XAH completely withdrawing from me and our Son. It’s been 1 yr and 6 mos since he left our home, he first got into a 30 rehab and then went on to a half way house for a year. He is the one who changed his phone number and then I did too… he now has my phone number so he gets to call whenever he feels like it and leaves us messages that sound like he is still drinking. The hardest part of letting go is having his Son to raise all alone….and at one time they were very close. It’s hard when children are involved. so i’m sitting here trying to move on b/c everytime I feel strong enough, he calls or shows up and then abandons us again and again. He ignores us and makes me feel like we don’t even exist in his world. Somehow I have to find a way to stay strong and not take anymore of his control issues. Moving on is the hardest part. But let’s pray to stay strong and keep reading these posts on here, they really do help. Good luck dear.
All of these posts offer real situations and hope that you will move on to a better, safer life. The A will eventually take your health – you can make sure that never happens. Decide what you want for yourself and go for it. You will be so proud one day and there will be new friends to celebrate all your success along the way.
I went back to college at night, started a fantastic job, joined a ski club, made new friends and went for counseling once a week for several months for support. All that brought back my personality – I am grateful for all that has happened since I started over.
I can’t thank everyone for their personal stories as they have really helped to sort things out in my head. Now I just have to work on my heart. That’s the hard one. My day started off with an email from a job interview I had telling me I didn’t get the job, so I replied asking for feedback. When he called we talked for some time and he said I was over qualified for the position and I would be bored with it. I wanted to say no I just want to be around people, but didn’t want to sound pathetic and I get where he was coming from. The I opened the mail to find out we are being audit by the state of Washington Dept of Revenue on our business. Could it get any worse? Why yes it could… A called and wanted me to come up to the other property for lunch, grab some checks I needed to pay his bills and we had potential renters coming to look at the house tonight. Everything was great I of course cleaned, put his dishes away, cooked dinner and tended to the renters. Yet reading the posts today I wasn’t going to let last night go until we discussed the way he treated me. I started by letting him know how rejected and unworthy I felt by not watching the video and thought if he could understand what I was going through . His reply was “that was a year ago, you need to get over it”. I told him I was trying and for me confronting the issue I could then release it but he wouldn’t let me and swept it under the rug. I then told him I need his help to get through it and he let me know he wasn’t interested plain and simple. I calmly got up and took the dishes into the house and stayed there crying for an hour. I just couldn’t grasp how someone is suppose to love you and don’t care what your going through or help… who wouldn’t help? I figured out as long as I did what he wants me to and don’t make problems we are okay but as soon as I need something from him he shuts down. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks that he doesn’t love me and probably never has and just wants someone to wipe his assssss. I pulled my self together and went back into the trailer to thank him for being hones and going home. I wasn’t worthy of his understanding and compassion then I couldn’t be with him any longer. He didn’t try to stop me, tell me he didn’t mean it or nothing, absolutely nothing. I even put the note I left him last night in his truck asking him not to call or come around that I deserved better and he could hire what he wants done. I was doing us both a favor so we didn’t settle for less that we deserve. I know I did the right thing but now sitting here alone wondering what the heck I’m going to do now. Long ways from family, he ran off our friends and I’m alone. I know I have to get out and meet new people but its not my comfort zone and not sure I can do it right now. Started a journal today yeah! something good was done:) I just keep telling myself over and over and over. I am a good person that deserves to be loved by someone even if its not him. I feel silly saying it but it’s made me aware that “a” had proved by his actions there is no love there and time to move on. Time will tell.. Thanks again so much and you helped me through a tough day and its much appreciated.
I too am in the situation that I separated 9 months ago after 25 years. Alcoholics do not love you when they are drinking they only love alcohol, however if they get sober and into therapy they are the most loving people you can get, that’s what my alcoholic friend said. (she’s been sober for 14 years no relapse). How can a A love you when they don’t love themselves? It is very hard to think you have loved you’re A for x amount of years and you are replaced in the matter of weeks, its heartbreaking, but they are not changing for anyone, no other man/woman there sole purpose in life is to drink. These other men/women are there to boost their self esteem/ego they mean nothing to them. I’v tortured myself for 9 months thinking of my AH with O/W! on a good day I know the lies he will be telling her or in my case he had 6 on the go!!! seriously if they won’t change for their wife/husband/kids what chance has anyone else got. They go for men/women who don’t hassle them about their drinking also no rules A don’t live by rules. I also have kids and my AH was a great dad not now hasn’t seen our son for 7 months, his addictions have taken over his life. X
My heart goes out to all the children involved . Like I was saying in my earlier posts i am ignoring my AH. Today i got a text from some random number from him saying hi can you ring me im worried. What a load of lies. Again hes trying to suck me back into the ring, He is due to bring the children to an activity tomorrow night and he mentioned when he gets back he wants to “Talk”. when i want to talk im ignored yet now he wants it the world is supposed to stop, Im undecided if i should just make an excuse and say the activity is cancelled and that way i dont have to deal with him. Today i had a bad experience and I didnt even bother talking to him about it as he would tur it around and make it my fault so i just called my friend nd spoke to a lady in the collage about my problem. I would love to build a rocket, put him in it and blow him off to jupiter to leave me alone