woman leaving alcoholic

How to Move On From Being With an Alcoholic


Sober Recovery Expert Author

woman leaving alcoholic

One of the most difficult things anyone can do is leave someone they love. But when living with someone becomes depressing rather than joyful, it is time to move on.

In the beginning your loved one may drink a little too much on occasion and either fall asleep or start a fight. You may be able to put up with this behavior because you feel they care about you and this behavior will change. But then, it doesn't.

Fear and Guilt

After many years of living with alcoholic behaviors and attempts at rehabilitation and relapses, you will eventually come to the gut-wrenching conclusion that you are sacrificing your life and perhaps your children's lives by continuing to live with this person. It is clearly time to part company, so why don't you? You are afraid.

When a relationship with someone becomes depressing rather than joyful, it is time to move on.
  • afraid of being lonely

  • afraid of having to do everything by yourself, especially if it involves raising children

  • afraid you are doing the wrong thing

  • afraid you will never find another partner

  • afraid of what happens to your alcoholic loved one without you

  • afraid they may find someone else and forget all about you

  • afraid of telling friends and family how bad things really are

  • guilty about leaving your loved one because he is unwell and needs you

  • guilty about being disloyal

  • guilty because you are the only one this person can turn to

Managing the Fear and Guilt

You must think about the cause of your fears and know that life actually does go on beyond a failed relationship regardless of who's to blame for the failure. You have been living in a relationship where there are regularly extreme highs and extreme lows, which is the nature of addictive behavior. You have become beaten down and depressed living with these cycles, and yet are afraid to leave them.

Recognize You Have Issues

You are a part of this toxic relationship. Remaining in it will bring you both down further. It is probable that your fears are due to past experiences having nothing to do with your present situation. Think hard about where your fears may really come from and you may realize that your fears have been there a long time and are not due to the current relationship you are struggling with.

If the fear is coming from the belief that your partner will collapse without you, think again. You are not responsible for anyone else, especially if they are abusing you. Take a good look at your role in this relationship and what it means to you, why it keeps you with this person, why it keeps you from leaving. What is it that is holding you back? You may be able to see things more objectively, which always helps alleviate fear.

Even though you know that addiction is a disease and you are reluctant to leave a person you love who is ill, you must be aware that whatever the two of you did together did not help his or her illness. You owe yourself a better life than that. Now is the time for both of you to start a new life apart.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-891-8171 to speak to a treatment specialist.




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