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Can you live non-codependently, with an alcoholic?

Old 01-08-2011, 06:22 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
ooh gosh...why would a normie want to....?
...i say RUN! and run fast! because if you dont...its gonna be a bumpie ride!
lol, I would say the same! But I'm not a 'normie', I'm 8yrs into this trip

Originally Posted by escape artist View Post
perhaps you haven't heard of the frog in the pot explanation yet? put the frog in the pot and he will stay in there and boil to death coz he does not notice the gradual change in the heat. one of the best explanations of how codependence gets you.
i find it very hard to think that a non codependent could live with and alcoholic or actually, vice versa- it would be impossible for an alcoholic to live with a non codependent person because a normal person would not put up with someone who regularly poisons themselves on purpose.
Right. I think that's how I originally got involved with him, I initially didn't realise just how destructive, and how selfish, the addiction can be. And it's really just taken until the past 6 months for me to fully understand the level of selfishness he can achieve.

can be like a setup when we are young and hopeful that we would not live out the behaviors we grew up with, but then without any other better examples to live by we do and end up playing the game.....just like the frog in the pot.
Quite ironically, I come from a non-drinking family, and I drink very very rarely.

Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
I'd say, no it does not make you co-dependent. In fact, there is no universal standard for co-dependency and there is a reason it isn't a clinical diagnosis.

Caring for people isn't co-dependency.
Nor is worrying, hoping or loving.

I think people take it to the extreme and seem to think that helping anyone or admitting any type of 'need' is co-dependency. It isn't.

People need one another.

The problems happen when we subdue our own happiness for the other person, and the other person takes more from us than we have to give. So we keep giving and giving at our own expense. To me that is what co-dependency is.

Don't try to label who you are, just be honest with yourself about what you are doing and what price you really are paying.

There is such a thing as denial. Denying that an alcoholic has a problem or that it doesn't affect you. It does. Even if you aren't thinking about it on a conscious level, it does.

If it makes it easier to put a label on it fine, but that doesn't always get to the core issues within us that allow us to put up with things or why we let things affect us as they do.

Sometimes seeing the truth in a situation is too painful to acknowledge so we put a mental and emotional block on ourselves for self preservation.

We also normalize very stressful things because the alternative (having to face the pain) isn't something we are ready for.

Just be aware of the toll (realized or not) that living/loving an alcoholic takes on you.

Take care of yourself.
Thanks for that

I still can't figure if I'm codependent or not, lol. My husband is an alcoholic, I try and isolate his impact as much as possible, mostly by not doing things.
I don't ...
- lie for him
- buy it for him
- endorse it
- do it with him
- depend on him for emotional security (I draw on that from myself, so I don't know if I'd ever really depend on anyone for fulfilling my own emotional needs)

I do ...
- ask him not to drink on celebratory days (such as birthdays), which he obliges.
- ask him to try and keep it to the nighttime (which he doesn't)

I am financially dependent on him at the moment, and likely the next few years, but when I do return to work, that will remove all 'need' I have from him.

I would describe him as a high-functioning alcoholic (to a degree).

I realise what's being said about normal people not putting up with their behaviour ... I suppose I only put up with his by staying, and still actually, physically, being here. I don't condone what he does, and I don't enjoy watching him hurt himself in the way that he does.
Sure I bargain with myself, mine was always 'as long as the good outweighs the bad ...' obviously I thought that was a bargain I would always win, otherwise I wouldn't be here
For the last few months, I've well and truly seen my husband being driven by the addict, and it was an incredible thing to see (I shouldn't say 'was', I'm not sure we're out of the woods yet). Whilst we've certainly been through a lot in our time together so far, I've never quite seen so much of my dh gone before.
But, I also know it's a cycle, and one he'll come out of, and things will be "pretty good" for the next number of years, until he repeats his life cycle again.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:57 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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not a codie

I dont think I am a codie although I do live with my AH (who currently does not drink) and have for many years. I am sure I may be weak, indecisive and a host of other adjectives AT TIMES. I am also strong, indenpendent, financially okay and loved by my family (as well as his). I am aware that I have made this choice to live with him. Some may consider it to be the wrong choice. It really depends on where you are in life. Al-anon has helped me see alot without assigning labels.
Remember no one can step on you unless you are already lying down. I am standing up currently.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:09 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by KittyP View Post
That's just normal human behaviour. .
that makes me feel even better to know this. relieves me of guilt thinking that i became codependent just as anyone else would have in those circumstances when his bottom kept dropping faster than what i could adjust my expectations to.....all this time i thought it was a character defect. Thank You!
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:25 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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i have found that underneath the addiction usually lies a codependent issue. you may notice that once the alcoholic gets some sobriety under his belt, if he is working a program he will end up over here, because he has finally reached some clarity to really address the issues that caused him to compulsively reach for a self medication in the first place. i think that is how it is such a vicious cycle because of the way each addict/codie feeds off the other. one feeding the other's addiction.

healthy vs functional, lots of ways we can function around our behaviors, but how healthy is it? does that depend on what our needs are at the time? sorry to go into a circular rant, but this is what the question of addiction and codependency have led me to many many times.
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