Posted in Alcoholism on February 18, 2017
Last modified on November 23rd, 2018

Living With an Alcoholic: When Is It Time to Leave?

Living as an individual with alcoholism is a struggle on its own, but when you’re a non-alcoholic living with an alcoholic, the problem is magnified. Alcohol dependence now affects two people, not just one. It can be an absolutely exhausting ordeal that consumes your life in addition to the life of the alcoholic. After living with an alcoholic for a few years, the fights become relentless, the walls get holes and the embarrassment can feel overwhelming.

You may find yourself endlessly making excuses for them, cleaning up the messes they make or mending the relationship after a particularly awful spree. An individual’s alcoholism touches the lives of everyone they interact with — parents, siblings, children, friends, coworkers, husbands and wives. When your partner is an alcoholic, though, it may feel hard to leave them to handle their alcoholism on their own.

Living with an alcoholic is never easy, but it might be more difficult to answer an extremely important question: When is it time to leave?

  1. Their drinking is negatively impacting your life.

Oftentimes it is said that when alcohol is negatively impacting a drinker’s life, it’s then that they know they have a problem. The same thing goes for knowing when to leave; when your partner’s drinking is negatively impacting your life, it’s time to leave. While marriage or serious relationships are important bonds to maintain, if you’re living with an alcoholic and their actions show no signs of respect for the bond you share, it is time to leave.

  1. They show no signs of stopping.

If you’ve lived through multiple relapses when living with an alcoholic, this may also be a sign that it’s time to leave. When they’ve tried many times to get and stay sober yet—for example, by attending treatment for their alcoholism—and their efforts aren’t honest enough for them to maintain sobriety, you may need to put your needs ahead of theirs and separate yourself from living with them.

  1. You never know what’s going to happen the next time they drink.

The unpredictability of their drinking is one of the most terrifying things about living with an alcoholic. You should not have to live your life constantly worried about how their next spree will end. You deserve happiness as much as they do, but this happiness may only come if you separate yourself from them. Sometimes they are only able to see the severity of their situation after losing things that are important in their lives and your leaving may awaken them to how serious their problem is.

These are only a few signs that it’s time to stop living with an alcoholic. No situation is identical; there are special circumstances in every relationship. However, if you find yourself experiencing any of these things, it might be time to reconsider the situation you’re living in.

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