Living With An Alcoholic Spouse: A Healthy Detachment
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The best thing you can do when dealing with an alcoholic spouse is to detach the abuse of the alcoholic. You can do this if you truly love your spouse and want to help them to possible sobriety. The more you focus all your energies on the alcoholic, the less likely he is to get sober. This article focuses on how you can detach and remain healthy mentally.
Do not Make Alcoholism Your Problem
If you have never read any of the al-anon material then you probably do not know that you are making the disease of alcoholism YOUR problem. One of the sad facts of living with an alcoholic is we become just as mentally and emotionally sick as the alcoholic. This happens because every step of life we take, and every breath of air we breathe has some involvement with the alcoholic. Our emotions overtake our own mental health as we try and cope with the deterioration of the alcoholic in our life. What are we doing wrong? We are concentrating too much on the disease, instead of concentrating on our mental and emotional health. We may as well be tipping the bottle for them. Better yet, we may as well be drinking with them!
Do not Enable
Most spouses of alcoholics do not realize that they are helping their spouse drink just by a few simple behaviors and actions. Several ways in which you may be enabling your spouse to drink is by buying them alcohol, drinking with them, calling the boss and or family members for him because he is too hungry over or too drunk to do it himself. Lying to friends, boss, family and co-workers about him and his drinking problem. Taking them to the store, arguing with them, and behaving like a victim. You are not the victim of alcoholism until you make yourself BECKE the victim.
Get Off The Pity Pot
Get off of the pot pot and begin living for yourself, instead of living for the alcoholic. "Oh poor me, everyday I am suffering and I can not take it anymore" attitude will not get you anywhere. You need to take care of yourself and that can not be done if you are focusing all of your attention on the alcoholic and what he is doing or what he is not doing. Start focusing on what you can do for yourself. Get out of the house, do not hang around the alcoholic, and do not let them abuse you with their words. If you care about the alcoholic in your life, this is what helps them more than anything else.
Detach With Love
You are powerless to getting your loved one to stop drinking. The first step in being able to detach is by realizing that the shenanigans of the alcoholic is not your problem. Do not try and fix their messes for them. Not only does this enable them to continue drinking, but also it justifies their drinking. Do not have any interaction with the alcoholic while they are drinking; that includes, talking and arguing with them. Why fuss and fight with someone who has lost the ability to make any sense? Do not become ensnared in the alcoholic trap with them. Stay out of the trap, so you can help them. Ninety-five percent of what an alcoholic says is manipulative and hogwash anyway. Do not start believing in the lies of the disease. Separate yourself from the antics of the alcoholic.
Pray For The Alcoholic
I can not tell you how important the process of daily prayer can be. Not only does it bring you closer to God but it will also get you into the habit of going to God with your life challenges. God does hear your cries of pain and He will give you the answers you need to get through your trials and tribulations, even if your spouse continues to drink. Be patient and remain faithful in the Lord and He will deliver you from your suffering.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4: 6)
By Angie Lewis