Living With An Alcoholic - Shame


Living With An Alcoholic - Shame
When you live with an alcoholic it is difficult to avoid the shame that goes with it.

If you live with an alcoholic you will almost certainly feel shame. Some people will experience it to a very high level, others less so, but almost everyone who lives with an alcoholic experiences it to some degree. You will probably feel anxious that people will discover your secret, that they will judge you and, inevitably, will find you unacceptable to be around decent people.

Seeing it written down like that it probably seems stupid. How could anyone feel that. However as I have heard some of my clients say many, many times "Intellectually and logically I know that these thoughts are stupid, but....". And it is a really big but! No amount of reassurance takes away that shame. Sure it works at the time, maybe for a whole day then - but!

More from YourTango: Why Do Alcoholics Refuse To Stop Drinking?

When you live an alcoholic you take on this burden. He is the man you loved, maybe you even married him. He has admirable qualities - normally. It is just at the moment things are a bit difficult. He is not normally like this, so you will just hide his secret for a while. No point in making him anxious, angry, depressed, (whatever his trigger is) it will just make him worse. You know deep down inside that some day soon things will change, he will change and everything will be good again. Till then you will just hide the problem so you will both emerge from this period as if nothing had happened and the world will never know a thing about it.

But! This period was not supposed to last this long. It was just a temporary thing till he got over his disappointment, his depression, the stress at work, the whatever. Now it seems to be the pattern of your life and you have somehow been given the role of the person who keeps the secret. You are the one who has to make the excuses to your friends who invite you to parties, or meals at their house (No point going you know he will just get drunk and start an argument - again). You are the one who has to phone his mother and lie about why he hasn't visited. You are the one who has to keep people from visiting your home unannounced in case he is drunk - again! You are the one who has lost touch with your best friends, given up the social times, become increasingly isolated. Why has this happened? It is because of the shame of living with an alcoholic.

More from YourTango: From Philip Seymour Hoffman To Shawn Pyfrom: Life As An Addict

So is there anything that you can do about it? Yes there are many things that you can do to reduce your feelings of shame and rid yourself of them completely. We will look at some strategies that you can use in the second article on this topic.

To read more on this topic go to Bottled Up.


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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis


Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis

Bottled Up

Location: Exeter, DEV, United Kingdom
Credentials: BS, PhD
Specialties: Addiction, Drug and Alcohol, Family Support
Other Articles/News by Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis:

Why Do Alcoholics Refuse To Stop Drinking?


It seems crazy, booze is making him ill, everyone can see that, her friends don't want to be around her, and she can't see that. Why can't they see what everyone else sees so clearly? Why do they seem incapable of recognizing that that there is a problem at all and that it is destroying them?  With all these signs of a problem, why do ... Read more

From Philip Seymour Hoffman To Shawn Pyfrom: Life As An Addict


Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a Heroin overdose and Shawn Pyfrom publicly admits to being an alcoholic and a drug addict on the same day. What a powerful message that addiction is no respecter of gender, age or social status. It can affect people who seem to have everything just as easily as those with nothing. We have no intention of moralising in this ... Read more

How Can He Love Me, But Not Put Down The Drink?


The infamous relationship question as a partner of a drinker is difficult for you to understand, and rightfully so. If he loves you as much as he says he does, why can't he stop drinking? He says he loves you and even gushes sentiments about how much he loves you, needs you and wants you, yet when you ask him to stop drinking, cut down or not drink for one ... Read more

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