Stop the chaos and confusion
to restore yourself to sanity and peace! *
Toxic Attachments to the Alcoholic
If you’re a woman who loves an alcoholic man, you may be toxically attached. You may also have an unhealthy attachment to the outcome of the relationship. Sometimes we consider our relationship an investment that needs to pay out and benefit us. Sometimes we claim ownership of the person and relationship and feel it’s our job to fix everything. As a result, we may suffer a complex blend of obsessions and bad habits. Things such as having unreasonable expectations, caving into compulsions to be their caretaker, sinking into toxic codependency, and being caught in problematic love addiction, all of which can be very tough to break and can turn into our new, painfilled “normal.” We may also have trauma bonds to the alcoholic, which can also keep us severely stuck. As we spend all of our energy worrying about the alcoholic in our life, we don’t often see what’s happening to us!
Detachment Is Key
Detachment can be key to recovering your sanity, coping with the chaos and surviving the progression of a partner’s alcoholism. More so, it can stop codependency from creeping into our lives and taking over. Too much victimization can lead to a very detrimental victim mentality. When detaching, you get a chance to break off of the fixation on the alcoholic and come up for oxygen and see yourself. Detachment is a powerful tool and often the first step in healing. Detaching is a choice and skill. First, we start by being willing. By detaching, you can not only recover yourself and your life but also your joy and happiness.
Painful Attachments to the Alcoholic
The fact is, it’s painful to be attached to an alcoholic. It hurts to be hooked on someone that causes continual unhappiness. Being enmeshed with a sick and suffering person is sickening to even the healthiest of us. Being exposed to continual disrespect shatters both self-worth and self-esteem. Watching someone’s downfall and depression is also depressing. Being connected to gaslighting, negativity, constant criticisms and crazy-making can cause feelings of insanity. Using denial to believe their lies and “subscribing” to lies diminishes us; not only losing trust in the alcoholic but also ourselves. This is harmful, unhealthy and needs to be addressed. What can you do? Detach.
When Holding On Doesn’t Help
It is often critical to detach. In the long run, holding on tightly doesn’t always save the alcoholic or the relationship, and investing more time, energy and resources doesn’t always pay out. That’s the reality. Holding on can drain you in more ways than one; crippling you and suffocating the relationship. In hope of remaining attached you might do all kinds of self-sabotaging behavior. Insisting that we get a healthy, happy relationship from an ill man doesn’t make any sense. Sometimes it can even destroy our physical health to keep holding on!
If it’s time to detach and survive, use the following keys, which are based on my 15-year experience with an alcoholic. For over a decade now, I’m happily detached. I saved my life starting with detachment and you can too! (See Disclaimer below.*)
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—Grace Wroldson – mother, survivor, thriver, certified life coach, and author of 5 self-help books, which are available on Amazon.
Grace loved an alcoholic for 15 years and tried everything to get him sober and save their relationship. She spent 20 years in Al-Anon and studied AA herself. When loving him didn’t fix or save him, she had to fight to save herself and give herself a new life of sanity, peace and freedom. With self-love, she enjoyed being single and raised a child safely outside of an alcoholic home.
*Disclaimer: These are helpful tips based solely on the author’s thoughts and opinions. The author is not a qualified mental health professional nor a crisis caseworker. She cannot give legal advice or appropriate counsel and is therefore not liable for any injury or harm. Please follow your doctor’s, therapist’s, counselor’s, and lawyer’s advice, as well as your own good common sense and intuition based on your unique case—to see if these tips could be helpful. Child custody situations may vary where some of these will not be applicable for your circumstance. Furthermore, court orders may dictate otherwise. Please use your own good judgment when reviewing this document. This is for personal self-help only. These were created from the author’s own lived experience and not based on any laws or rules of the courts. This is copyright protected by the author and is not to be sold, distributed, or quoted without the author’s written consent.