Are you married to someone who is clearly an alcoholic who won’t/can’t seek help and you feel like you can’t leave? Do you think that if you stay you will go deeper into depression but if you leave you will carry the guilt of having abandoned someone who cannot responsibly take care of themselves? Do you feel like you are trapped? Do you think, “Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.” You are not alone. Literally millions are in such destructive marriages. Here are some things to ask yourself as you are attempting to solve this problem.
Why do I think I am in such a relationship? If you look back into your childhood you may find that you lived with or were very close to someone who was an alcoholic. You may have taken on a core belief that close relationships are to be like this. You may have taken on the role of trying to save someone in your family. You may have taken up drinking yourself. Whatever you reaction you were programmed to be in close relationship with alcoholism. A core belief can be changed, opening the door for you to find a solution to this problem.
Do I tend to take responsibility for other people’s problems? If as a child your family was in conflict you may have taken on the role of “family saviour.” You may have attempted to help a seemingly helpless parent. For example, you may have had a parent who should have left the marriage but didn’t have the courage, finances, or other resources to do so. Know this: You are no longer stuck in childhood. It’s time for you to recognize and step out of old patterns of thinking and behavior.
Do I believe that someone else’s happiness is more important than my own even though they are not taking responsibility for their own happiness? This kind of thinking is very common. Consider this: Your happiness is your responsibility. Others’ happiness is their responsibility. You cannot change or help another without their willingness to change and help themselves. Staying with someone who is unwilling to take responsibility for their own well being will surely drag you down. Your staying will not save them. It will instead cause you to sacrifice your own happiness. Sometimes the best thing you can do for an alcoholic is to allow them to fall. Maybe they will seek help and maybe they won’t. But one thing is for sure. If you don’t take responsibility for your own happiness and well being, there will be two lost souls sacrificed on the alter of alcoholism. Talk to someone who can help before it is too late.