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Codependency in a relationship with alcohol
March 6, 2007
12:24 pm
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the guy from down the street
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It was suggested to me that I might be codependent in my relationship with my g/f.

My problem:
I do not drink.
Whenever my g/f drinks, I get incredibly upset about it. Were talking, upset stomach and a bad mood. There have been times when I have just even felt like breaking down and crying because of it.

My g/f knows how if feel about this and she has tried everything possible to explain it to me and try to make me feel better but nothing ever seems to work.

does anyone know what could possibly help my situation. I do not want to get like this anytime my g/f has a drink. Thank you

~the guy from dwon the street

March 6, 2007
12:27 pm
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lettingo
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When you say she drinks is she an alcoholic or does she just drink socially?

March 6, 2007
12:37 pm
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the guy from down the street
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well when we first started going out, it was socially, like once a month if that. It has grown a little more then that recently. Maybe 2-3 times per month and more is "consumed" then what I was used to be for her. But still socially I guess.

March 6, 2007
12:40 pm
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taj64
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Do you have any alcoholics in your family? I am this way when with a person that drinks I notice this and I notice that it bothers me more than a usual person. But for me it stems from being raised in alcholic family. I do not like being around drunks. I cannot deal with it

March 6, 2007
12:46 pm
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the guy from down the street
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Well as far as alcoholism goes, I can't ever recall anyone in my family having THAT bad of a problem with it. It may have been quite possible because I don't remember a lot of my childhood (it wasn't pretty when my parents were together and before their divorce.) If anything, I know my parents have had bad problems with drugs for sure though.

taj64, you sound like you have the same problem I do. Any word of advice on how to deal with it?

March 6, 2007
12:56 pm
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taj64
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Ill get back to you, gotta run to a meeting but I do have things to say. That might help you. Stay tuned.

March 6, 2007
1:07 pm
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the guy from down the street
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ok thank you.
I have to leave for work for the day anyways.

March 6, 2007
1:18 pm
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revelation
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What happens when she drinks? Does she become aggressive? Does she flirt with guys? What happens?

I can't think why you would get upset just because she is drinking...unless alcohol effected you earlier in life (i.e.parents had a drink problem) other than that, I can't think why her drinking would upset you...unless its the way she behaves when she drinks that upsets you? Have a think about that...bring yourself back to the last time she drank...what feelings came up for you.

I'd lke to help you out.

Rev.

March 6, 2007
7:27 pm
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the guy from down the street
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well no, she doesn't become aggressive or flirt with guys or anything. I think more then anything, it is based on a past problem with my family involving drugs and/or alcohol. But last time she did drink i felt, as I said in the original post, upset, stomach ache, and almost like I was about to cry...I feel stupid just saying that on here, but I guess that is why this is anonymous.

So if this is related to childhood incidents, what can I do to "cure" myself because I really don't want to do with this the rest of my life.

March 6, 2007
7:59 pm
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revelation
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OK..so, I might be rubbing people up the wrong way here...people who have been involved with people who have a drink problem (me included!) but, doesn't sound to my like she has a problem with alcohol.

And from what you said, it sounds like maybe its just that it stirs things up for you. You have some fears and anxiety around it. I suppose what I could suggest, if you feel this anxiety is effecting your relationship is to go and talk to someone about it...a therapist perhaps?

I'm putting myself in her shoes...your GF, as someone who drinks once or twice a month myself...and having been in a relationship with someone very controlling before...if I was with someone who got so upset just because I drank occasionally, well it would make me feel really uncomfortable and I'd have a hard time with it...to me it would be like the other person was putting a guilt-trip on me...and that would be a red-flag for me, I'd be outta there.

But, putting myself in your shoes, if you have had bad experiences before related to alcohol, well I can totally understand your concerns and anxiety. I sense your frustration here...knowing rationally that your girlfriend isn't doing anything wrong just indulging in the odd drink, but still having these fears...it must be very frustrating. Take it easy on yourself though...you are only human, and you can't be blamed for what happened in your childhood...however knowing that its becoming a problem and not doing anything about it...well, thats another story. You seem very self-aware....you have made a big step in firstly recognising that there is a problem here and secondly recognising where its coming from. There is some pain from the past which isn't healed properly...and in my opinion, I think that the best way to heal that pain is to go back there safely and look at it again, by safely, I mean not on your own, but with a licenced therapist, a reputable gentle therapist who can hold your hand while you look back. Once we recognise where in the past we have been hurt, we can figure out if we have learned some sort of behaviour or coping mechanism which is no longer relevent in our present life.

I say this because (a) I've been through this process myself and I found it to be oh so beneficial and (b) because I'm training as a therapist now too. I know that psychotherapists have a bad name, some people here have had a horrendous experience in therapy and don't recommend it. I agree its not for everyone, however I think it depends on the type of therpist you go to. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or Gestalt for example can be intrusive and rushed and scary. I would recommend finding a person-centred or client-centred therapist...someone who's nice and gentle who'll go at your pace.

I did this myself. I made many facinating discoveries about myself. How all my life I was trying to over-compensate for being the family pet (the youngest with a big age gap between me and my older siblings). My father once very innocently told my I was "hard to please" I was about 5..from that day on I became determined to be "easy to please" subsequently becoming an abused brainwashed doormat in my last relationship...I'd never figured out that It may not be ok to be "hard to please" as a 5 year old...but its most certainly ok to be "hard to please" as an adult!! hats just a tiny example of some of the stuff I figured out.

I do hope this helps,
Rev.

March 8, 2007
1:02 am
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the guy from down the street
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That basically what I have been considering. I want to get over this so bad and at times my g/f and I argue about it and it seems like it gets in the way of our relationship sometimes. I would really go so a therapist, but my issue is money. I am already working two jobs just to pay the bills I have. I could never afford one at this point in my life.

March 8, 2007
1:03 am
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the guy from down the street
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Another question....

Would it be right or wrong of me to ask her to try to stop drinking since it makes me feel this way?

March 8, 2007
8:27 am
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revelation
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I think it would be quite wrong of you to ask. I think if she wanted to not drink it should be her decision based on her own opinions of it. She is already aware of how it affects you, I think for you to ask this of her would only be an attempt to control her. Don't give in to this need to control, it will do no good for your relationship.

March 8, 2007
8:31 am
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revelation
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Re the money issue. I'm not from the U.S. I'm from Ireland. I find it difficult to believe that in the U.S. where psychotherapy all began, there are no affordable ways to get therapy???

Here we have voluntary organisations where you can get therapy and you just have to pay a donation. Are there no such organisations in the U.S. like this?

Rev.

March 8, 2007
11:35 am
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the guy from down the street
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ok. thats what I figured that I would be wrong to ask her that. I was just making sure.

Well believe it or not, therapy is very expensive here in the US. But right now I am trying to figure out if I can get therapy using my works health coverage.

March 8, 2007
1:06 pm
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lalangel
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I am codependent. My ex husband has an addiction. I have left him, divorced him, and now I am back. He knows how I feel about his addiction but he is not willing to give it up. I am going to codependency groups. He was suppose to go to a 12 step program but decided he does not need help. I am so confused. i am relaizing i am dependent on him. I will not leave because of my children. This is my second marriage. What do I do?

March 8, 2007
1:25 pm
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lettingo
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Alanon and CoDA is free and it is excellent therapy. Although I am in pain it helped me to finally file for divorce and stop the maddness. My ex was also an alcoholic and addict.

Lalangel, just curious after divorcing and leaving did you return to an active alcoholic. I know it is hard because even though divorced I do still ove my ex but I know I could not live with his disease anymore. It was too much on me emotionally, phyiscally and financially. I have to believe I have a chance of happinesss. You say you don't want to leave because of your children but how can this be good for them? Please get help and support. If he decides he does not need help there isn't anything you can do. His disease is progressive and will take down everyone in it's path. I've done it for years and trust me it is devasating. Read everything you an on addictive relationships and codependenancy. This will make sick.

March 8, 2007
7:08 pm
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revelation
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Eureka! CoDa! Excellent lettingo, I forgot about CoDa! There are no CoDa groups in Ireland. Guy from down the street, you should look into finding out if there are any CoDa meetings near you!

In the meantime...I would suggest some books on codependency. Melodie Beatty's book "Codependent No More" was the very first "self-help" type book I read and it was really really helpful!

March 8, 2007
7:52 pm
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luvhurts
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Same situation for me, however it's my b/f & drugs. 9 yr relationship. I am codependent. I grew over time & realized I can't make it better, I'm now starting to focus on myself, It's hard for me but I know I deserve happiness. Take care of yourself....

March 12, 2007
8:07 pm
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the guy from down the street
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ok CoDA I will look into that.

and I'll check out that book as well.

thank you for all the help everyone.

March 13, 2007
9:30 pm
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the guy from down the street
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I look into CoDA and there are several places around that I could go to. I was wondering, would it be a smart idea to have my g/f come along with me at all? or would that be bad?

March 13, 2007
11:12 pm
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spritualgirl
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Go by yourself and do it for you. When you get there you will see it is a place for you to really work on yourself no matter what the "addict" in your life is doing. Even if you don't have an addict in your life and felt you had Coda issues, it is just a great program to learn to focus on yourself and your needs. I was in Coda when I was first sober and it helped me SO much. Hope it works for you too.

March 14, 2007
10:55 am
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revelation
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Guy...go by yourself...this is your issue...not hers.

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