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When Your Partner is Active

answered 04:36 PM EST, Wed November 04, 2015
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Janelle Gates Janelle Gates Minneapolis
Hi Jim-
So as a partner with an Alcoholic does it make a difference if you are there for them or not ? My partner - I can do nothing right for he is very negative in many ways but yet I understand he is messed up and I try to be the strong person , but am I really helping or should a person walk away or stay and try to help them /us get help ? Do they ever care they threaten your life or that they get mean? I write him letter but he is never sorry for how he treats me and his son?

Jim LaPierre Says...

Hi Janelle, thank you for writing and for making your needs a priority.

My first caution to "affected others" (we who love an active alcoholic or addict) is to ensure that we are not enabling (protecting the alcoholic from the natural consequences of their behavior). To do so is to rob them of motivation to change and while it usually comes naturally to us to be protective, we must allow folks to suffer and to "hit bottom" (the point at which suffering becomes too great not to change).

I'm curious as to what sustains you and what your expectations of you are?

It seems for all that could be said about your partner...they are consistent - consistently ungrateful, unapologetic, and well...mean.

I would urge you not to tolerate this and to seek whatever resolution you feel is best for you and the child (unclear if the boy is your son as well?). I urge you to gather support from friends and family and from th amazing people of Al Anon and Nar Anon and any other community resources that are knowledgeable about addiction and being in your shoes. I find that counseling is also very helpful. If I can answer further questions please contact me. Please take excellent care of yourself!

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Page last updated Nov 04, 2015

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