"It is terrifying to feel helpless in front of the person that we love," says Maria, who has been in a relationship with Steve for 45 years.
"We had been in our relationship for over 10 years when the alcohol monster insidiously settled in our lives.
Not being dependent myself on any behaviour-changing products, I unfortunately was not able to understand what had happened in my spouse's life.
Our couple, our lives, had become hell, we went through all the stages, lies, betrayal, medical intervention, detoxification cures.
Until the day that Steve joined a discussion group that, at that time, was part of in one of the cures he was trying."
As Maria explains, loving someone who is addicted to alcohol is one of the most difficult things that can happen to people. Whether you are in a relationship with an alcohol addict, or the addict is your child, your parent or someone close to you, it is extremely difficult to continue to love someone who has a relationship with you. Alcohol addiction ... and more!
Anyone who has had a relationship with an alcoholic can talk to you about collateral damage.
To love an alcoholic can be one of the most difficult relationship situations.
Living with an addict can be hell. Unpredictable and dangerous, but sometimes exciting and romantic. You ever know when you will be blamed or accused. It is difficult, sometimes impossible, to reliably plan social events. As the addict becomes more and more irresponsible, we take over and this is where behavior such as the spiralling of co-dependency may be adopted by the people close to the addict.
All intimate relationships need a foundation of trust. If one person does not trust the other, they will face jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, and other feelings that may cause serious issues in a relationship.
The breach of trust does not necessarily lead to more distance between two people in a relationship. On the contrary. In many cases, alcoholics and non-alcoholics become dependent on each other. The alcoholic uses the support of their partner to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, while the non-alcoholic becomes stronger in their role of rescuer.
How to encourage sobriety?
Many people who decide to seek help to accompany an addict who is suffering may think that detoxification and hospitalization are the only steps in the recovery process, but ending addiction is just the beginning. To recover from an addiction is a process that lasts a lifetime, because staying sober requires commitment and determination. It is essential that recovering addicts have the support of their loved ones. It is therefore essential to encourage people in recovery by motivating them to continue to lead a life without substance.