Is It Wrong to Love an Alcoholic?
You’re not wrong for loving someone. Please stop judging yourself so harshly. Love is a wonderful, beautiful thing that, by nature, we are capable of. Being a loving, caring, compassionate person is a good thing to be. Know that you are okay being a loving person.
It’s also okay to love others—even those who are sick and suffering. Sometimes, however, we have to recognize that our love has limits. In reality, it may not “conquer and cure all.” Actually, whatever form of love we are practicing may even hurt ourselves and others.
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Healthy Love Evolves
To be healthy, love has to mature from its basic forms into a more conscious choice. As we evolve, the way we love ourselves and others evolves, too. Love, besides being a feeling, is a verb. We have to look at our loving actions and make sure they aren’t enabling someone to be sick, lie to us, or threaten our sanity, security, stability, or safety.
This is where the “Self-love Solution” comes in. As we learn and grow, we realize that loving others may not be our #1 goal, afterall. For the sake of self-preservation, our #1 goal has to be to love ourselves, and then we can love others accordingly. (READ: The Self-Love Solution Blog)
You May Not Be The Problem!
It’s an awful feeling when you feel wrong, stupid, or confused. If you feel ashamed of loving an alcoholic, compassionately and gently address those feelings. When you feel ashamed, you tend to love in secret and participate in dysfunction. Darkness breeds hatred and is full of self-inflicted injuries. Bring yourself into the light of truth. Make sure that while you are loving an alcoholic, you are still loving yourself. Don’t sink into self-hatred for being a loving person. It may be that who you are loving is a bottomless pit and you don’t feel like your love is doing any good at all.
Know that the problem may not be you in the relationship dynamic. It’s important that you come to know who you are. Know that you have choices with what to do with your love. Know that your love is valuable. You have the choice to love yourself through a difficult relationship, a painful relationship, or a broken relationship. You even have the option of loving yourself and others by ending a toxic relationship. It’s okay to love someone that you don’t want to be with.
When Loving an Alcoholic Makes Us Sick
It’s okay to love an alcoholic, but it’s not okay to be unloving towards ourselves. Self-love can be broken down into two parts: 1.) self-respect, and 2.) self-regard. When you have these key self-focused principles solidly in place, you will be loving from a healthy, whole, secure foundation. It’s okay to love an alcoholic, but you will have to examine your motives, the way you are loving the person, and if you are loving yourself or not.
When love is in balance and being used in the right way, there’s no better feeling of harmony and happiness. Too much giving in a relationship puts us out of balance. Over-giving and being overly responsible can drain us and make us sick. Sometimes, we have to give love to ourselves because the other person doesn’t have any to give. Remember: Your happiness is not someone else’s responsibility. Your happiness is your own responsibility. (Same applies to the alcoholic: His happiness is his responsibility.) You also have to be responsible for who you love, how, and why. This self-work takes introspection and is worth it to get the love you want in return. You can learn to love in ways that work.
To get 25 more valuable lessons about loving an alcoholic, pick up my book today. CLICK HERE for a free chapter from my book, So, You Love an Alcoholic?: Lessons for a Codependent (available on Amazon!)
—Grace W. Wroldson, mother, author, survivor, and thriver of 5 self-help books available on Amazon!
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To learn 25 more powerful lessons, pick up my first book! So, You Love an Alcoholic?: Lessons for a Codependent
For follow-up lessons to learn, buy my second book! I Loved an Alcoholic But Hated the Drinking: 11 Essential Strategies to Survive Codependency and Live in Recovery with Self-Love
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