Anyone who has lived with or loved an alcoholic knows how much of an effect it can have on your life. Some things you may experience with your partner include feelings of frustration, anger, stress, resentment, disappointment, and hopelessness. The behavior of an alcoholic partner shouldn't take hold of your thoughts and your life.
Knowing how to have a healthy perspective and also to take care of ourselves in the relationship is absolutely necessary. The following are 10 bad habits you may have in your relationship that need to be broken. These could be behavior, viewpoints, or negative thought patterns that are standing in the way of having more peace of mind.
1. Stop taking the blame.
Alcoholics will rarely take responsibility for their drinking or the behavior that comes as a result of it. Instead, they will often blame the people closest to them or circumstances that are out of their control. It's important to be aware of this and not fall into their blame game. You are not at fault for their drinking. Keep in mind that an alcoholic will continue to drink no matter what you do or say.
2. Don't take it personally.
Chances are your alcoholic partner has made and broken many promises to stop drinking, stop certain behaviors, or make other changes. It's natural to feel hurt by their lies, manipulation, and broken promises, but try to remember that an alcoholic has little to no control over the decisions that they make. Look at their behavior as symptoms of their alcoholism rather than as personal attacks on you.
3. Don't try to control it.
Trying to take charge of situation and controlling the behavior of a loved one is a natural response, but in the end it will end up doing more harm than good. Sadly there is little you can do to control or stop your partner's drinking. The decision to quit is really up to them.
4. Stop trying to hide it.
This is another thing we often do with a loved one's drinking problem. Trying to hide or cover up their alcoholism is only going to encourage or reinforce their denial. The best approach is to be open, honest, and supportive of getting help.
5. Accepting abuse or other harmful behavior.
It's important to have boundaries when it comes to the relationship, and to be aware of any behavior from your partner that may be crossing that line. Check in with yourself often, because abuse or other unacceptable behavior often starts gradually with small things that hurt you. Finding yourself in a full blown abusive relationship is not all that uncommon. Know that you don't have to put up with it and make the choice to walk away or get help.
6. Having unrealistic expectations.
We may think that our partner can stop drinking or change overnight. We may believe their promises to make those changes, only to get hurt when they don't live up to their promises. Change your expectations so that you stop getting hurt and disappointed.
7. Enabling their drinking.
You may not even realize you're doing this until the situation spirals out of control. Enabling often starts with well meaning intentions to help a partner, but can easily turn into behavior that reinforces their denial or supports their destructive habit by keeping them from facing the consequences of their drinking. By stopping your enabling, you force a partner to face the reality of their alcoholism.
8. Not asking for help.
This is the hardest thing to do for many people who have an alcoholic partner, but after years or even decades of living with alcoholism finding an outside source of support will make a huge difference. Look for a support group for people who live with or love an alcoholic.