There is no relationship that can breed more frustration and unhappiness than a relationship where one of the partners is an alcoholic. Such a relationship will be marked by constant arguments, financial turmoil, emotional blackmail and even physical abuse. It is a relationship where one partner is always at the receiving end, and lives on the hope that the addict will kick the habit one day.
What to expect in such relationships
These relationships can only bring unhappiness. There is bound to be loneliness, despair, and at times rage at what the addict is doing. There will also be constant confrontations. But these confrontations instead of driving the couple apart, often unite them.
This happens because of the helplessness displayed by addicts. The addicts break down at such confrontations pleading helplessness and beg support. They also make promises of moving away from the addiction, and never to hit the bottle again. It is this helplessness that pushes the other partner to provide the necessary emotional support. Unfortunately, this cycle of support-confrontation-support keeps getting vicious and vicious only.
Why can’t individuals break out of such cycles
Most would think that there is enough reason for a suffering mate to walk out of such a relationship. But this does not always happen. The partners invariably find a reason to stay on. This may be on account of fear of a future without financial security, an obsessive love for the mate, a fear of public disapproval or the need to keep the family together.
Sometimes the partners convince themselves that without them the addict will die. They therefore avoid doing anything that may hurt the addict. Some even convince themselves, that they alone can help the addict give up the bottle.
Whatever the reason, the partners convince themselves that they need to stay on, and that everything will be fine one day. The addicts make full use of such prevarication, and indulge in more emotional blackmail, and subtle arm-twisting.
How to identify if you are such a person
You are in danger of entering into such a relationship if you show the following characteristics:
1. You refuse to end the relationship even though you know that the relationship is bad for you, your career and your personal life.
2. You find reasons for sustaining the relationship even though you know that your logic is convoluted.
3. The thought of breaking the relationship throws you in a state of confusion, even panic, and you cling on, even more strongly, to it.
4. You suffer physical discomfort when you try to move to a place where your mate can’t reach you, and you yearn to get back to him.
What should you do to save the relationship
You first need to strengthen yourself. In this quest, you should not allow your morals or principles to weaken your resolve. Be ruthless in dealing with the addict. Treat addiction as a disease that needs to be cured. Don’t give in to emotional blackmail because then you will only end up feeding the disease.
Look upon yourself as an equal partner in the relationship. Don’t be manipulated into believing that you are the rescuer or a victim of an unfortunate relationship. Let the addict know that you have no desire to become a martyr for his cause. You must make sure that you do not accept the lies offered by the addict. As any psychologist will tell you, addicts are very adept at coming up with explanations that sound very convincing. This is how they delude themselves into continuing with their addiction, and forcing their loved ones into becoming unwitting partners in their addiction game.
You need to find a support group that understands your pains and sorrows, and can also help you overcome them. You will realize that you were blundering in a maze in your effort to salvage the relationship. The support group will show you the path to come out of the emotional maze that your subconscious mind has built, and also give you the strength to take that path.
You should even consider getting professional help. This may sound shocking to you initially because it is not you but your addict mate who needs professional help. But counseling can come in very useful in such a situation. It will give you the necessary emotional and mental strength to tackle the relationship blues.
Don’t stumble from crisis to crisis
You must give yourself sufficient time to either salvage the relationship or get out of it. Don’t become a slave of the addict because it will only suck you deeper and deeper into a world of unhappiness.
If you realize that you can’t change your mate then you must walk out of the relationship, however painful your action may be. You should feel no guilt or remorse because you gave the relationship the best shot possible.
Now it is time for you to rebuild your life.