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What Not to Do if You Live With an Alcoholic

6 Tips From a Codependent

Living with an alcoholic is unbearable most days. The unpredictable moods, harsh words, lies, and risky behavior of the alcoholic can make for a chaotic life. If you are in the middle of the mess and are seeking help through counseling or a 12 step program, good for you! If not, I urge you to check out my post on the Top 5 Tips for Living with an Alcoholic so you can learn how to deal with the tornado of emotions.

What NOT to Do if You Live With an Alcoholic

I'm sure you have tried everything to get your alcoholic loved one to stop drinking. Maybe you have done some of the things I am about to share with you, in hopes you could get some help or even "cure" the alcoholic. I have learned through attending recovery meetings three important things: I didn't cause the alcoholic to drink, I can't cure the alcoholic, and I am not in control. These are true statements, but easier said than to believe sometimes. I get it, but let me tell you, there are 6 things that you should NOT do if you live with an alcoholic.

1. DON'T Seek the opinions of family or friends

This is a grave mistake to make when living in a home with an alcoholic. Family and friends have a natural instinct of protection. Although they may mean well, they are not the best source to seek advice from. They are biased toward you. They want the best for you, so naturally, they are going to say things like, "Just leave the bum" or "You can do so much better than that". These are all natural responses, but in my experience, they only further confuse the already confused mind and heart. Asking for comfort from friends is one thing, but asking for advice is quite another. Instead of asking family and friends for opinions, talk to your pastor, Christian counselor, or 12-step sponsor. If you are not in a 12-step recovery group yet, find one near you. If you are but don't have a sponsor yet, get one. Seeking advice from trusted third-parties is the way to receive unbiased advice.


2. DON'T Ignore there is a problem

If there is a problem, it is not going to go away on its own. Ignoring there is a problem will only lead to further resentment and anger down the road. Suppressing your feelings is not a healthy way to live. Seek God and take His lead to get some help. I've said it before, but it is worth repeating. Find a