Many people choose to stay in relationships with alcoholics. It is like living in a love triangle. There is you, the alcoholic and the addiction. You will feel that you really are part of a love triangle. His/her addiction takes money, time and attention away from you and from any family you may have.
You may think of an alcoholic as a person who stumbles around the street, drunk, with a bottle in one hand and money for the next bottle in the other hand.
This is not often not the case. Many alcoholics lead fairly normal lives, at least for awhile. They are usually able to hold a job for a time and may just begin by drinking a little too much, too often.
When the addiction truly takes hold the person will absolutely deny there is a problem. Emotional closeness is no longer possible and there are many other problems as well.
There are several things that may happen in your relationship and none of them are good.
You will notice inconsistent behavior and fits of violence and fury are possible. The alcoholic is often irresponsible and can not be depended upon.
Sexual activity is usually diminished and the alcoholic may experience constant irritability. You will probably have to deal with depression and your relationship will never be stable.
If you decide to try to ignore the fact that your partner is an alcoholic you will be enabling all of these behaviors to continue. The person you love is very ill and needs help. All the understanding, love and patience in the world will not cure someone who is addicted to alcohol.
When you indulge an alcoholic the person will have no reason to change. Why would a person who is addicted to alcohol make any changes when they have someone who continues to be loving and understanding.
The alcoholic who has someone to make excuses for him/her, forgive and solve his/her problems has absolutely no motivation to stop drinking and seek help.
An alcoholic who has someone taking care of all the problems caused by the addition may tell himself/herself that he/she will wait until an appropriate moment comes along. He/she will be able to ignore the illness if a partner is covering all the bases for the addictive behaviors.
If children are part of the family the situation is even more difficult and complicated.
The children often take the back seat in the family and they do not always receive the love and attention they needed. They may grow up feeling guilty, angry, and afraid.
There are many things you can do if you are living with an alcoholic. The first part of this series gave you some ideas of things not to do and Part Two will focus on steps you can take to improve the situation.