Hurts Too Much To Care…But I do


Hundreds of emotions flood your mind and course through your body. Not one of them suggest a reason to care even the least little bit.

You’ve been hurt, abused and/or neglected by your alcoholic’s behavior. Why should you extend yourself anymore and get nothing in return.

Hope that things will turn around seem so far off. Why do you even care at all?

Love Hate Dilemma

These are very strong emotions. When things are complicated and hurtful you may experience more hate than love for your alcoholic.

I’ve explained it this way. Love and hate are not really opposite emotions. They are two sides of the same coin.

Like a penny with heads and tails. Love and hate take on extreme opposite views but they are still both the same coin.

The real opposite of love/hate is apathy. It’s at this point you know you’ve given up.

It Hurts to Care

When you’ve invested possibly years of your life into someone else it’s very painful to not get what you need in return.

The fact you hurt about the situation means you care.

You actually don’t like it the way it is right now but you still are investing mental and emotional energy into the relationship.

Look at the extent you go to for answers to your situation. Would you do that if you didn’t care?

Strong emotions are evoked when your alcoholic goes off on another bender or flat out lies to you about drinking.

I wonder if you were able to HATE the alcohol if it would come easier to recognize just how much you love your alcoholic.

I understand you might be here just for yourself, but most who come to FreeMyAddict are here for both themselves and their alcoholic.

Avoid Apathy

Steps you take to take care of yourself don’t have to end up in apathy toward your alcoholic.

As you understand what the illness of alcoholism does to a person it may become a little easier to have empathy toward your alcoholic.

It does seem if you could only quit feeling at all about your alcoholic you’d actually do better.

I don’t believe you can invest years of your life with someone and not feel about them.

Even if you decided to move on there would still be emotions attached.

I remember working with someone who left their alcoholic and start over. Even though they didn’t marry again the concerns about what could have been dominated her thoughts for years.

It was obvious to me she hadn’t reached apathy before she quit the relationship. She traded her strong feelings of love/hate in for regret.

Sometimes it may be better to have strong feelings, understand them and find ways to cope.

So, the real question you may ask is how do you turn this love/hate coin over?

My suggestion is for you to accept your alcoholic has an illness.

Attribute the behaviors you despise to the illness as you develop your feelings of empathy.

What are your experiences with strong emotions. Share with us in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 18 Other People Thought...

  1. Ross

    Im wondering how close to apathy i am, and what to
    do about it if I am…

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Ross, since your wondering about how close to apathy you may be, I’d suggest you still care. If you didn’t care you would clearly know it. If you want to continue a loving relationship you keep investing in it, if you stop investing in the relationship apathy will be the natural consequence. This means you will have times of strong feelings like hate on occasion when your alcoholic does hurtful things. Just part of the territory. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Nessa

    Im going through this exact thing with my alcoholic. We’ve been together 12 yrs and have 2 kids. We have a love/hate relationship. I do understand he has a disease and am trying to be as understanding as I can. I feel its getting close to the end of our relationship. I don’t have any more faith it’s going to change and I feel that I have no more to give in order to make us work. Im also going through depression. What makes it harder is the fact he becomes abusive when drunk and he does feel its as bad as I say. I think he’s in denial and feels the only thing that needs to stop is his drinking. Is there anything that can be done for him to understand we are in a domestic violence situation? I’m trying to hold on as much as I can so I’ve finally decided it time for me to leave with the kids. How do I know when enough’s enough and nothing else can be done but to leave? I feel he wants to control his drinking but each and every time he’s ended up drinking too much. I know what I want to do but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Nessa, Let me first remind you to NEVER tolerate or excuse violence. If he hits you, press charges. You might think this is harsh but it’s not. When the court gets involved they can require interventions regarding both the alcohol and the domestic violence. It won’t get better as long as your husband believes he can control his drinking.

      The fact you have a love/hate relationship tells me you still care. I know it’s hard and you may feel like giving up. You’ve no doubt invested a lot in the relationship. Begin holding him accountable for his behavior, no excuses and see what happens.

  3. Nessa

    Thank you for replying. I know I do care but I don’t know if it’s enough to keep me here. I think I care just because he’s my kids father but other than that I feel the flame has gone out. I now know I care more for myself than I ever did before and because of this I think it’s time for me to leave. I think once he quits being in den

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When you’re involved with an alcoholic there are many reasons to leave and generally many reasons to stay. When I consider alcoholism is an illness I just question how leaving would be if it were cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. I would never tell you to stay but I would urge you to understand alcoholism as an illness.

  4. Nessa

    Thank you for replying. I know I do care but I don’t know if it’s enough to keep me here. I think I care just because he’s my kids father but other than that I feel the flame has gone out. I now know I care more for myself than I ever did before and because of this I think it’s time for me to leave. I think once he quits being in denial things will be so much better. I am better now than ever when it comes to enabling. I’ve now taken a step back and am letting him face his consequences. Am I wrong to think and feel its finally over?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Only you can determine if it’s over. It’s a good thing you now care for yourself. When you set strong boundaries things do tend to change. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Viki

    I was angry for a long time, but I am no longer angry. I just feel used up and defeated. I am tired of being supportive and getting very little in return. If I could simply snap my fingers and he would be gone, I would do it.

    When he recently set off to engage in actions that I knew had a good chance of ending in his arrest, I simply didn’t care. I actually relished the thought of his being gone for six months to a year.

    I understand that he has an illness, but he can’t take the steps to get well, even though he has been through rehab and has gone to innumerable AA meetings. He has never been able to complete the fourth step.

    I have needs, and I feel as though they will never be met again. Yes, I go places with friends without him, and I do things I enjoy. But that can’t replace the intimacy I used to share with my husband. I guess the strong emotions I fight are not so much anger, but depression and resentment.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It’s not your husband CAN’T do the fourth step, it’s that he WON’T. Recovery isn’t easy for anyone. I hope you’re able to work through your resentment to be free from the emotional pain you go through.

  6. Theresa

    I find it very frustrating when I can not have any intimacy with my husband any more because of alcohol. I do try my best to understand that being an alcoholic is an illness and all I want is the closeness we used to have. When someone has cancer,or any other illness they still have the closeness with their partners and the affection for each other. Why is it different with an alcoholic. Even if I try to support my husband and accept and understand his problem, he shuts me out. I encourage him to come to bed with me he refuses and comes to bed when I am working at night. So,how am I expected to live in a situation like this. I do not want to have an affair outside my marriage. I tried to walk away several times but with the faith I have in God I keep on hoping that God one day will set him free because I still have feelings for my him.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      There’s not a simple answer to your question. However, if your husband had any other illness that resulted in a loss of intimacy what would you do? I’m not sure how often he’s sober, but during one of those moments I would suggest you let him know you miss the intimacy and you’d like it to be restored. If nothing else it will give him a true picture of where you’re at.

      I’m sure your faith will sustain you during these difficult times. Sometimes that’s all you may have to hold on to.

  7. Lisa

    My husband finally went through rehab again after having a heart attack.
    I confinded in a neighbor about his addiction (which I understand how
    That threw him in a rage). Anyways I don’t feel the same for him like
    I have before:(. I’m totally beat down and seriously depressed. I’m very
    Proud of him for taking the step for the 2nd time, but I’m waiting for the
    Ball to drop again. I feel like I need to step away for awhile to get myself
    Mentally better. Is this wrong? He had threatened to harm himself before
    I hate the guilt feeling, but how can I take care of him if I can’t take care
    Of myself?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Let’s hope this time rehab takes hold. Here are some essential keys to success for him. One, He needs a Support System, AA, Celebrate Recovery or any other organized group for recovery. Two, He needs to have a home group. This is a place he attends regularly. Three, He needs to find an accountability person. In AA they are called sponsors.

      When these three things are put in place it more than doubles the likelihood of recovery.

      As for you’re wanting to step away. I totally understand the concern he might relapse. It’s ALWAYS a possibility. This is the time he needs to have support. The key here is in what you wrote. You CAN’T take care of him. You need HIM to be responsible for HIS recovery… NOT you! If you do that you won’t be walking on egg shells.

      • Viki

        Not only does putting those three things in place improve the odds for recovery, it takes the monkey off your back, Lisa. It can help you no longer feel like you are responsible for his recovery. Also, many alcoholics threaten suicide as a means to get what they want. Other alcoholics actually carry out the threat. The important thing is for your husband to get a support system in place so he has someplace to turn other than you. Then if he threatens suicide you can honestly say that you can’t help him, but his sponsor can. That’s a really difficult concept for us co-dependents . . . there are others out there who can help our alcoholic in ways that we can’t. Other alcoholics simply understand things that we never could. Take care.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Well stated. Thanks Viki

  8. janet

    i was in an alcoholic love relationship.
    It ended out of him not wanting to buy me dinner while on a date.
    Now he will not talk to me and said I was too much drama.

    He made excuses to go to rehab or AA. He went to counseling and tried diff drugs to stop drinking but didn’t get far to getting sober.
    I still love him and miss him.
    But realize it is much easier to take care of myself because I am no longer focused on wishing he would stop drinking so we would have a better chance of a relationship.
    I miss him so much. But am torn because I truly love him but my life is being put back together but my heart aches because I love him so much.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When you love an alcoholic there’s always drama. It’s ironic he though the drama came from YOU. There is no easy relationship with an alcoholic it costs dearly to love them through their illness and whatever recovery they are able to put together.

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