The Alcoholic Relationship


At times in my life I’ve thought…

How did I get here.

These are times of introspection where I’ve examined my choices.

Some lead in positive ways while others not so well.

I’m sure when you took on the relationship with your alcoholic you didn’t plan for the journey you’ve taken.

Let’s examine some of the things you may have been looking for and what happened.


It shouldn’t seem like much to ask for. Just a little consistency in your world.

A regular job, income, place to live, family and friends.

What so hard about that?

In turn your alcoholic HAS provided consistency, only in a much more negative vein.

The consistent intoxication, missed family functions, broken promises and cover up for alcohol use just to mention a few.

The truth is your alcoholic can’t offer more because the lure of the next buzz is so strong it overpowers any other reasonable request.


I know security is a big issue, especially financial.

A place to live, food on the table; these are necessities.

Not unreasonable, right?

Your alcoholic is certainly predictable but not in the way you want or need.

The illness results in your alcoholic compromising almost every basic need you might have.

There’s no wonder you find yourself hurt and angry at times.

Your basic security is threatened, and for what, booze?


I’m sure one of the things you would appreciate in the relationship with your alcoholic is a little openness.

It seems that the more alcoholism progresses the more closed off an alcoholic becomes.

The consequence is you make every effort to be open with your alcoholic and get nothing in return.

Now THAT hurts.

On occasion, when your alcoholic is sober, you may see a glimmer of hope and a little openness.


A relationship based on lies is very painful.

There’s no way to know what’s going on or where the relationship is going if there isn’t at least truth.

When you understand the lies are there only to protect opportunities to use alcohol, it becomes a little easier to tolerate.

No one likes to be lied to and you need truth to base your decisions on.

This is one of the reasons I suggest at least you strive to know the truth and speak it.


Maybe the simplest idea but one of the most difficult for your alcoholic is understanding.

Most alcoholics I’ve met have a very difficult time empathizing with others.

Another way to put it is they are often self-centered.

When caught up in their use patterns and all the antics that go along with it, there’s little time to be concerned about what’s going on with you

One of the things that helps when you try to have your alcoholic understand you is this.

Catch him when he’s sober, put your idea in the form of the task you’d like to see and the time frame you’d like to see it in.

Your alcoholic may not do it right then or ever, but I’m confident he understands what you said.

When these simple things you want from your alcoholic aren’t present my suggestion is for you to establish a support system of family, friends, Al-Anon, Community Connect or a Coach.

You deserve to get these basic needs met.

What are your thoughts about the relationship with your alcoholic? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 24 Other People Thought...

  1. I don’t a have an official relationship with an alcoholic/addict but I’ve been involved with a couple at this point and had many opportunities to learn powerful lessons that I won’t soon forget. All I look for in a relationship, friendship or more, is that the other person inspires me to be the best of myself. Progress. Things don’t always have to be “positive” as long as it’s teaching me something about myself that makes me a more positive person. But I guess it’s easier for me as I’ve never been someone’s wife, dependent on the other person to provide half of the expenses for the household. This is something I’ve always prided myself on: providing for myself, making sure I cover all my own bills and don’t rely on anyone else to do it for me. BUT, that’s gotten in my way in the past. I’ve been so intent on independence that it has come off as lack of interest or being controlling. All I was trying to do was create security for myself. There has to be a happy balance. As far as depending on “my” alcoholic… what ever his problems I’m not afraid to love him anyway, but he has to own them, be willing to allow those things that I can give to him to help him become a better person as well. That to me is a healthy relationship; one in which you both, no matter what you go through together, are inspiring the other to be the best of yourselves. I don’t believe in “bad” times, I believe some times are more difficult then others for the reason that life is a series of lessons to help us learn as much as we can while we’re here. Even if he gets and stays sober… he’ll always be an alcoholic. That doesn’t scare me or even worry me. It inspires me, as long as I see him being brave and leading the way in confronting his struggle. That’s pretty heroic. Running away however really turns me off. The denial, the lies… that’s cowardice… and I realize it’s an extension of the disease, but hey, lots of diseases have restrictions. Diabetics can’t suck down sugar every second either- ya know? You’ve got to be courageous enough to see your struggles as lessons not limitations and realize God put them there not to block you in or limit you, but direct toward the paths that will make you the BEST and MOST SUCCESSFUL self you can possibly be. In other words what you are misinterpreting ass walls are really guides- you just have to have faith, close your eyes, stop seeing things through your limited, human filter and see with your spirit. It will understand those “walls” as guides. It’s not a restriction- “I can’t drink, or smoke pot, or…” It’s a guide saying “You don’t need to, this is wasting your energy and your energy was given to you to do so much more>>…” That’s how I see it. And I wish he’d see it that way to.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You have a lot of insight into relationships. Thanks for your comments.

    • kat

      until you live with it you will never know the full concept of it

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks for your support of Michelle

      • Very true Kat … you do have to live it to understand. I am in the same boat!

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks for your comment

  2. Dee

    The consistency is mostly positive, especially for family matters, elders, kids and grandkids. He’s mostly there when I need him. But I have learned not to ask his help for lots of other situations. He is consistently unreliable financially, tho, which has put the financial burden on me. I definitely resent it. And, yes, the self-centeredness hurts big time. I feel like he doesn’t care about me at all sometimes. But in following the other writers on this blog, I know my situation is not a bad as most of theirs. It could be a lot worse.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Alcoholism is progressive. I hope he finds recovery before it gets worse.

      • kat

        I for one know its progressive , no problem for years until lay off and then his change time, yes he will get worse, the thing is bring to mind movies and stay clear of parties , it will get worse i guarantee you

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Indeed. Until recovery

  3. kat

    I would have to say right now i don’t expect any companionship from him, for one he is not someone i would not want to have a relationship with and for another he has to find himself and i have to find my self, its like dating would you go out with him right now NO! so both of us need to work on each other first healing then feeling, neither should be expecting anything of each other till we find each other

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Good point!

  4. Stephanie

    Reading this was the first time I felt my life was put into words(if that is even possible). I have married the person that you have described exactly. When I first met him, he was such a beautiful person and I want to believe that is still true but with each passing day it is becoming harder to do. Our relationship changed into one most resembling that of parent and child; I set the rules and boundaries and he just keeps breaking them. I don’t even know if I love him anymore or if I am just trying to save or protect him. When I want to give up, I think: “Where will he go? What will he do? Will he be safe?”. He refuses to discuss this with me and contends that there “isn’t a problem” but our everyday lives are dictated by the bottle. We can’t leave the house before he drinks at least 4-5 drinks and often he even sneaks a few into the car with us. Instead of finishing chores or projects, he always ends up drinking to much and just laying down for what he says will just be a few minutes but is always hours. If he doesn’t have access to alcohol, he demeans himself by walking the neighborhood making offers to perform chores around their homes for money or a 12-pack. I am at the end of my rope. His family will no longer talk to him and their only advice is to “let him do what he wants.” That is easier said than done!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      The irony is alcohol masks the person you fell in love with, and I am sure you still love, to the extent you may not connect with him at all. The results is distance and isolation resulting in emotional pain. Alcohol addiction is strong and intense. It brings a person to compromise most if not all their values. There’s good news though… When the cost of their alcoholism is greater than the benefit, recovery becomes a viable option. The goal is to not enable, allow the responsibility and consequences to be on your alcoholic. That way the costs go up and if your alcoholic is honest about it, the benefits aren’t the same as they used to be years ago. It changes for them, generally for the worst.

      • Robin

        @Stephanie …I hear you others give easy advice because it is not them living it.You are gonna notice no appreciation from anyone for sticking with it and pushing on no matter what. what we do for our alcoholic’s falls between us and God. no one else knows what we go through.Or hope for wish and wait for.One day rolls into the next and it resembles the one before it walk on egg shells mind your P’s and Q’s do and say in such a way that the day goes smooth no rocking the boat. I believe supporting an alcoholic should be able to go on a resume its not easy to care for one and if you hold a job on top of this you have two jobs and only one pays. “letting him do what he wants” is funny we can not stop them or slow them down we trouble shoot and hope for the best. brain storming for an answer one day at a time. Some where in the day we think of ourselves many times too late never on time. My treasured hours are when mine goes to work . praise god he holds a full time job. with no kids and just me, I pay bills and what is left he drinks and smokes. I can not image us trying it with heart goes out to those of you with kids that is a whole new nightmare. God bless you all .R

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks for your comment

  5. Robin

    I’m sure when you took on the relationship with derek you didn’t plan for the journey you’ve taken.<<<
    this much is beyond true. No one I know or even you know would do this for just anyone.In our beginning I fell for him fast and hard and to this day I do not look forward to a day with out him in it. Leaving was the very first thing I ever tried to do and I grieved every day we were apart,I traveled from Texas to Rhode Island to escape and in the end after two months He flew into Rhode Island and drove me back to Texas and we have been together ever since.The beginning was boot camp I had all the wrong ideas about me and my alcoholic and took too much of it personal.Something one must never do …ever…"I did not cause it and I can never fix it". I can choose to love my diseased man unconditionally and bend where I need to.Take the target off me and be a bystander to his self induced demise. I pray for change and wait for it but accept that he my die from it. He won't die alone and unwanted or unloved. I can survived and support myself if it comes to it. and I am fully prepared to be homeless with him if that's where he takes us. I have a short 5 years invested in mine and there is no chance of children so I only risk myself in this relationship. we are not married yet but that is the plan to some day be married no hurry.I see our lives in much of what I see written only the names are gonna be different. That other woman named Alcohol she is cruel and she doesn't let go easy,but then neither do I.It is what it is until it isn't. thank you Robin

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Robin, so many people would simply tell you to run, but you already tried that and it didn’t work. It’s not an easy journey if you choose to stay with your alcoholic. There’s no guarantee of recovery and it’s a progressive illness. You have it right that Alcohol becomes the ‘other woman’ and that’s hard to handle. It sounds like your ready for a good fight for your alcoholic. I hope he finds recovery soon.

  6. Sad

    How did I get here? Well, I met a guy who courted me for 4.5 years, fell in love and got married. He did not drink alcohol during that time and I did not find out till years later from a close friend of his, my now husband would not drink for many years and that friend would be his friend. Then he would drink and his friend was eliminated from his life and the cycle continued… Even found out the inlaws and the priest covered up the family illness(insanity), alcoholism,… So where did it get me? Spousal abuse, physical injury, emotional confusion of how a loved one could injure another loved one, exhaustion/rundown from spouse deliberatly making sure I got no sleep so he can have control over me. Added to my already stressful scenereo I have had two people on our condo board of where I have a condo assault me, damaged property, harass,slander,…. to try to gain monies for their own addictions. No I was not the only person who suffered from the condo people on this, but the rest on the board let it happen…. Add I left my job due to the condo board people traumatizing my dog (who normally calm, ripped a wall) and metal in my lungs from said job. Husband was supposed to help in our move right after I left job, instead I got abused and injured, he cleared out bank account. He has progressed in such a short time frame to point he cannot handle any aspect of life and only wants to drink. Finally others see he is sick. And the condo board has finally removed the two who has hurt so many over a 10 year time frame. Iam still run down but doing my daily yoga/meditation,… and although not healthy, on the road for that. Sadly, the alcoholic is only getting worse. So I guess life does get better on many avenues but the alcoholic does not if they choose to not get help.
    The only thing the alcoholic understands is the alcohol and violence when things dont go as he demands. Divorce takes time so Iam not where I need to be but in time I will.
    So yes things are progressive as mentioned above both positive aspects and negative.
    Thanks for listening to my heart filled reply.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks for sharing. The alcoholic only gets well when they do something different. When they hit bottom it’s no longer ‘worth it’ to continue. I hope you do what’s right for you and your well being.

  7. Dee

    Thank you, all of the dear writers above. “Progressive” is the key to understanding for me. He is gradually drinking more and more. He mostly drinks until late into the night and sleeps a lot during the day on the weekends. Still makes it to his job. All of these personal stories are helping me to see how much in common I have with all of you. If I think it could be worse, you have all helped me to see that if I wait around, it will only get worse. I don’t think I’m going to wait around for that. Now I have to figure out how to end this nightmare.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Alcoholism gets worse with only three alternatives recovery, insanity or death. I think everyone who cares about an alcoholic wants them to find recovery but all too often the progression leads otherwise.

      Most important, Dee, you’ve got to take care of yourself and be okay.

  8. Ross

    My 22 yr old daughter lives with her alcoholic father, who wants to move home and she take over his apartment.Isnt she enabling him if she hangs out with him while he’s drinking and listening to music after work, at their place?she also helps clean and shop.It seems to make his consequences(things that were bothering him about being away from home)not to be all that bad.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I would agree it appears your daughter is enabling her father. There’s something in it for her…independence. Usually there’s a tradeoff when enabling happens. In her case it would be better to find her own apartment and let dad stand on his own.

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