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Many of you have shared your personal stories of the pain of living with an alcoholic in your life in the comments below. I encourage you to share what you want, and read through what people have said as well. I am not a counselor, and am not able to provide you with professional help with your situation. I do highly recommend the following resources that will hopefully offer you guidance and hope that you can get through this (yes, you can). I leave this post here, originally written in 7557, because of the thousands of visitors who come to this site every month seeking help as the spouse of an alcoholic. I also hope that it serves as an inspiration to you that you are not alone, and that you really can live the life you want. For those that are curious my husband is indeed still sober and is an amazing example of strength and triumph over addiction. Ever since I wrote the Married to an Alcoholic series, I have watched in heartbreaking sadness at the keywords people have used to find this site:

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To each and every one of you, first of all, my heart goes out to you. I have been where you are now. I did the Google searches too, seeking a way out of the pain and anguish of my everyday life. But the truth of the matter is that you have found this site because you already know you can t continue to live your life the way you are currently living it, with an alcoholic spouse at your side. The answer is probably one you don t want to hear, but it is the only one that will work for you:

Below are some questions you need to ask yourself. These are not easy questions. And don t bother taking them on unless you are willing to give yourself honest answers. Set aside some time away from your home environment in order to give these questions your full attention, because you will likely get a bit emotional as you uncover your own truths: Additionally, I would encourage you to take this decision seriously.

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The problem is with the word threaten. If you say you will leave, yet don t, you are reinforcing the fact that you think it is OK that they continue to drink. So once you make your decision, you must also be willing to stick to it. Remember also, if you decide to stay, then you must also take responsibility for that. You know at this point what staying means.

Making the decision to leave my husband was the ONLY THING that could have happened in his life for him to make the decision to get sober. I had to take a huge risk, knowing full well that I could have ended up single, or he could have been lying to me once again. So by sticking to my guns, in the end, I got what I wanted most of all. But I had to be willing to let that all go to raise my standards. Only you know what is right for you and your heart is where you will find that answer.

I can say from personal experience that following your heart is not always easy, nor does it feel very good at times. But in the end, it will always lead you in the right direction. Always. And it will feel good with time, and with continued listening. I can promise you this.

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