Loving an alcoholic can turn into codependency, and you might just find yourself finding excuses, telling lies, and covering for your partner.
It may look like you’re doing this until they get better, but you are just enabling them. Don’t do it.
Remember that by finding excuses for them, you’re allowing them to succumb to their addiction.
3. You don’t hold the cure
Being in love with an alcoholic might give you a false belief that you hold the key to influencing their change. Unfortunately, you don’t hold the cure for this.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is viewed as a chronic and progressive illness that requires professional treatment. Choosing to quit alcohol abruptly can also have consequences, so the best course of action is to seek professional help.
What you can do is to offer support and care for the patient.
4. Don’t expect too much
Alcoholic behavior in relationships can take a toll on you, and you might find yourself giving your partner an ultimatum.
However, asking them to stop abruptly isn’t that easy. Quitting alcohol addiction is not as easy as telling yourself that you won’t drink anymore.
If they promise and relapse, then you’d be disappointed. Better set realistic expectations and know that treating AUD is a long process.
5. Don’t settle for the toxic effects of alcohol
Loving an alcoholic can result in a range of negative behaviors, including blame-shifting, cheating, anger, accusations, stealing, lying, and even abuse.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is understandable to question why an alcoholic cannot love you in the same way you love them.
Don’t just feel bad about your situation. It’s important to recognize that you do not have to tolerate this unacceptable behavior from your partner, regardless of how much you love them.
How to cope while loving an alcoholic: 5 ways
Coping with loving an alcoholic can be challenging.
However, there are several strategies that could help, and here are five of them:
1. Educate yourself
Be knowledgeable about alcohol addiction and understand the nature of the disease and how you can help your partner overcome it.
2. Know how to set boundaries
Learn to set healthy boundaries. These boundaries can help protect your well-being and prevent enabling or codependent behaviors. Be firm with them.
3. Seek professional help
Seek help from your family, friends, and support groups, and take relationship counseling sessions. Professional counseling can greatly help you navigate the challenges and emotions that you are experiencing.
4. Prioritize self-care
Remember not to lose yourself in the process of helping your partner. While loving an alcoholic, it is crucial to prioritize self-care. Go and exercise, have hobbies, and spend time with your supportive friends.
Let a professional guide you. Steph Anya, LMFT, talks about how you can recover from such traumatic events.
In a nutshell
Loving an alcoholic is possible. Like many love stories, you wish to have a good and healthy relationship, but what if your love isn’t enough?
When alcoholism takes over, then your relationship and individual lives suffer.
If you are in this situation, you can educate yourself, support and allow your partner to seek treatment. It’s not too late to salvage the love and the person suffering from alcohol addiction. But it’s also important to know when to give up.
Noah loves to write on matters of the heart and mind. His experiences have taught him that being an honest friend who communicates well and giving importance to self-love can go a long way in maintaining loving relationships.
When Read more he’s not writing or advising people on how to thrive in their relationships, he loves exploring new places with his partner, working out, and pretending that he’s good at cooking exotic stuff.
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