How Does Fixing Your Problem Affect Your Spouse/Partner and Others Close to You?
It’s always interesting to see the various ways in which clients manage their “significant others” when it comes time to address the alcohol problems. Usually this coping with others in your life takes one of several paths.
First, there are the supportive spouses who do want you to fix the problem and are willing to help in any way they can. These individuals are usually easy to deal with, needing only to be deprogrammed from the AA/12 Step nonsense and taught to ask you what is supportive. They also recognize that ending your problem will affect them as much as it does you. That’s all quite a lot to ask and should be acknowledged and appreciated.
Second come the ones who say they want to help, but don’t. This is often the case with controlling spouses who may want you to quit drinking, but they want you to do it in the way they choose. They also want everything else to stay the same in their lives, except you won’t be drinking. In their world view, they will have finally succeeded in gaining control of the last aspect of your life they haven’t been able to subdue.
Next comes those who actively oppose you getting help and ending the problem. These are usually the ones who have problems, drinking or otherwise, that are bigger than yours and are using your drinking as a cover for not addressing their own issues. They will do almost anything to keep the spotlight on you and off of them. To that end, you fixing your problems is a major threat.
Finally, there are those who want you to stop abusing alcohol, but they also want you punished for whatever hell your drinking has inflicted on them. They’d also like to know that you are safely locked away for awhile and they can sleep easily for the duration. They, like almost everyone, are also under the delusion that “rehab works” and when you come home you will be “fixed.” What do you think the odds are?
We have, of course, seen and worked with clients in all of these circumstances and have also seen some novel solutions:
- We’ve worked with clients whose spouses never knew they’d been to see us;
- We worked with one client whose wife took stenographic notes of every word in every session;
- We’ve worked with clients at every degree of involvement in between;
- We’ve worked with clients whose spouses/families were openly hostile because we weren’t punitive;
- We’ve worked with spouses who were astonished to learn how much they had benefited from the client’s drinking and how much adjusting they had to do, too.
But mostly, we have worked with clients and their spouses who ended up thrilled by the vastly improved intimacy, communication, fun, appreciation, health, good humor, and good will which are the result of working together and overcoming a difficult problem.
And, regardless of the eventual resolution, we have never seen a client who wasn’t happier when the real problems were examined and corrected and the need to medicate eliminated.
Isn’t that what you want too?
December is Almost Half Over, and the Holidays are Looming Again!
It’s not quite two weeks until Christmas, three until New Year’s, and eight weeks until the Super Bowl. With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, and maybe they were pretty good indications of what lies ahead, are you going to continue to pretend that “things are going to be different this year?” Or next year?
As noted in early October, everyone says “I’ll fix it after Halloween.” That morphs into after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, The Super Bowl, right on to Valentine’s Day, Ground Hog Day, birthdays, anniversaries, the first day of baseball season, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day and… Guess what? We’re back to Halloween again and another increasingly impaired year has slipped by – a year you are never ever going to get back.
As usual, the best guide to predicting the future is to look at the past. If you’ve developed a problem that’s persisted over the years, do you really suppose it’s just going to vanish on its own? Don’t you know that if that was going to happen, it would have by now?
You’ve visited out website and found enough of interest to sign up for this Newsletter which you read fairly regularly. You’ve gathered the information. Done the research. And now you are sitting in “contemplation purgatory” wondering which direction you’re actually going to go in.
But you don’t need to wonder. As Yogi Berra noted, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”
We’re the fork – why not take it? The worst that can happen is that you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not you do prefer drinking to living a sober life.
Don’t scare yourself with the horrors of a diminished life “in recovery,” or being an “alcoholic,” or never having another drink ever. Don’t drink the AA Kool Aide. You have many more choices than you think, options you have never considered, and possibilities that time, age, and experience confer. Let’s explore all of that together.
There is still a bit of time in December and most of January available. Why not call and discuss? You have nothing to lose and you might just decide it is time to “take that fork.”