Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: alcoholics ( Answered,   9 Comments )
Subject: alcoholics
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: rubymarie-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2005 09:50 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2005 09:50 PDT
Question ID: 571029
How can I get the courage to leave an alcoholic?  I am 52.  I'm smart,
very pretty, and I look young.  I'm a successful artist and adjunct
professor.  I sell real estate.
There is constant conflict over bars, other women, the amount he
drinks, which is about 3/4 of a fifth of whiskey and 4-5 beers each
night.  He is 35, smart, attractive, and charming.
I'm terrified to be alone, but I'm alone anyway when my children are
with me, because he drinks very heavily and I won't let him come
around.  So I'm alone a lot anyway, and I'm starting to become
hopeless, maybe suicidal.  Its very hard to get up in the morning. 
I'm not interested in AA or AlAnon.  Tried those.  This has been going
on for 8 years.
I would pay more, but I don't have it.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
Answered By: aliciadenney-ga on 22 Sep 2005 10:48 PDT
pattern you have found yourself in.  Look at your life right now,
Rubie Marie!!!!  You are a beautiful, 52-year-old successful artist,
professor and real estate agent!  In other words, Jesus, Woman!  You
are a HOT, HOT HOT commodity!  :)

I am speaking to you from VAST personal experience, as the daughter of
a severe alcoholic father and mother who was TOO afraid to leave him
until I went to COLLEGE because she didn't want me to grow up without
a father-figure.  HA!?  She must have been delusional, Rubie Marie,
because a father-figure was the VERY last thing that I felt I had. 
Rather, I was left with the responsibility of attempting to hold my
family together, even though I KNEW with all of my heart that the LAST
thing I wanted was for my alcoholic father to be around.  In fact, I
recall at the age of SIX, begging my mother to leave my dad, because I
was only happy when he was not around.  When he was around, I was a
perpetually anxious child, ever-awaiting the next psychotic, drunken
rant, chock-full of furniture, dishes, dogs, burning cigarettes flying
towards my face and my mother's.

When I became an adult, I found myself in quite a bind--because of
that exposure, I was somehow sub-consciously attracted to the same
type of person, and I ended up in one alcohol-fueled abusive
relationship after another, until one day, at the end of the rope, the
guy that I was dating literally attempted to throw me off of a 11
story fire escape that hung over Lake Michigan.

In a moment of clarity, I broke this cycle, but despite the fact that
I was able to get out, my health has been permanently ruined.  I have
several chronic illnesses, due to adrenal exhaustion.  That's right,
because I was in such a constant state of fear, and fight or flight,
my body has turned on itself...and the scars that are left (in the
form of brain lesions) are ones that will NEVER be healed.  Not
because of something that I did to myself, but something that my
parents did to me as a result of their own selfishness in not seeing
the permanent harm that was being done to me.

What I am trying to tell you is that your fear of being alone (which
is completely irrational, as you are more alone now than you ever
would be if you were no longer with this man) is not only causing
permanent damage to you and your psyche, but that of your children, as

How utterly silly it is to martyr yourself for someone else who could
give a flying fig about your well-being!!!!!!  You are a smart woman! 
Buck up, Rubie Marie!!!!!!!!!

Here is an action plan that you MUST follow in order to rid yourself
of this poisonous state of being.  This is what I forced my own mother
to implement. There ARE no ifs, ands NOR buts in this process. 
Empowered Recovery are professionals in this field.  You are not. They
care not to hear your idiosyncratic situation.  Scientific research is
studied on the basis of patterns that emerge longitudinally and
en-masse for good reason, Rubie matter how exceptional you
think your situation is, you must realize that you are not an
exception.  Your explanation is so patternistic, it really leaves no
room for question.

About Empowered Recovery:
Rather than viewing the alcoholic as the enemy, Empowered Recovery
properly targets alcoholism and its paramour, codependence, as the
enemies to be conquered. Of course, Empowered Recovery focuses on the
recovery of the codependent-nonalcoholic, not the alcoholic. The
alcoholic is solely responsible for his or her own recovery; and the
nonalcoholic is solely responsible for his or her own
recovery?including that of any minor children involved.

In addressing alcoholism and codependence as enemies, the Recovery
Paragon teaches the nonalcoholic to: (1) Recognize Your Enemy
(Recognition); (2) Know Your Enemy (Education); and (3) Conquer Your
Enemy (Resolution).

Self-Acceptance, Self-Responsibility, and Respect for Free Will are
also contained in the Recovery Paragon and constitute Empowered
Recovery?s foundation cornerstones leading to recovery. Other programs
also teach self-responsibility, but Empowered Recovery strongly
emphasizes it. By accepting appropriate personal responsibility for
his or her past, present, and future, the nonalcoholic can learn the
lessons and find the meaning in his or her adversity, then take
corrective actions to empower themselves and heal the wounds of a
codependent-alcoholic relationship and achieve Self-Completeness.

Empowered Recovery believes in the indomitable power of the human
spirit, and encourages the nonalcoholic to tap into his or her inner
power and Higher-Self for the resources to make lasting, positive

The principles of Empowered Recovery can help a nonalcoholic deal with
any stage of a codependent-alcoholic relationship. However, since the
problems associated with alcoholism are not usually identified in the
beginning stages, Empowered Recovery specifically addresses the
issues, problems and behaviors of a codependent-alcoholic relationship
already in the throes of trouble, and where a faster (rather than
slower) resolution is desired.


First, we must understand the THREE IMMUTABLE (definition: "NOT
subject or susceptible to change or variation in form or quality or
nature")laws of surviving an alcoholic relationship:

1.You CANNOT control the alcoholic or his/her drinking.  

Right. Hello.  So, wouldn't it naturally then follow that arguments
(attempts at changing his behavior, right?) are completely MOOT?! 
These are LAWS of alcoholism, not fuzzy theories or suppositions based
on some arbitrary single experience.

2.  If you want COMPLETE relief from an alcoholic relationship, you
only have two possible alternatives:

1.    THE ALCOHOLIC RECOVERS; (Flow Chart-2) OR 

2.    YOU LEAVE (the relationship). (Flow Chart-3)

All right, Rubie Marie.  you stated in your request that this has been
going on for EIGHT YEARS.  I don't mean to come across as facetious,
but, at this stage in the game, do you REALLY expect some form of
change?  After 8 solid years of getting away with this, in effect,
SCOTT-FREE, what would be the motivation for change?  He has had his
cake and eaten it, too, for a good part of an entire DECADE.
Have you ever allowed a dog to sit on a couch or bed for ten years and
then suddenly attempt to change the behavior?  If not, don't bother. 
Unless you literally use shock therapy (and the last I checked, this
is sort of illegal in the spousal realm), there is no possibility for
change.  And we're talking about a dog, who doesn't even have the
ability to rationalize, which I am sure you have noticed, is a Number
One character trait of the alcoholic (being charming, by the way, is
another stereotypical that should be the last
thing luring you back).

Since we have established that his behavior, like the 10+ year-old
dog, will not change, we must thus entertain option two of IMMUTABLE
law, #2:


The last law:
3.  You now only have ONE decision to make: 




How dare you consider dying (in the form of suicide) due to this pain?
 Tell me, Rubie Marie, whose LIFE is worth your own? How dare you
consider letting him live out his life, drinking the days away, whilst
in the mean time, your body is firmly planted six-feet under? 
Moreover, do you plan to leave your children under HIS care?  HA!

Now, please see this flow chart:

Your original objective has clearly failed.  No, YOU have not failed. 
This has nothing to do with you, but the objective has failed.

Therefore, you have a new objective:
New Objective 


The objective has now shifted from helping the alcoholic recover to
leaving the relationship, because you have determined that the
alcoholic is unwilling to recover and that leaving the relationship is
your only viable option in protecting yourself and your family.

Now is the time to stand strong and do the right thing for yourself
and your family. Do not allow your fears, the alcoholic, or anything
else to dissuade you. The time has come that ?enough is enough.?

Discover, Explore & Define Possible Solutions 

Identify and write down as many potential solutions as you can. In the
beginning, outline all possibilities. If no viable solution presents
itself, then you are simply missing vital information that is required
to move forward. You must search for other possible solutions.


Brainstorm with a Confidant to Search and Explore Other Possible
Solutions. This should yield new twists and alternatives that were not
previously apparent. Keep going with this step until you are satisfied
in your "gut" that you have identified all possibilities?and then keep
going for a while longer to see if a solution arises that you hadn't
considered. Sometimes possibilities will occur to you at the strangest
times, such as in a dream for example. The objective here is to
discover the most logical and plausible solution. And remember, a
solution almost always exists; you just have to find it.


Thinking ?Contrarian.?  Many times you may think that a solution
doesn?t exist and say in effect, "I just can't get there from here."
But this is usually just a disabling belief. Your problem may appear
to be unsolvable on the surface, and you may instinctively feel a
certain direction is the wrong way to go. But that may be where the
solution lies. The real barrier to your thinking may be your thinking.
Sometimes the solution lies exactly opposite of where you think.
Therefore, do not quickly dismiss options that don?t look viable on
the surface.


Identify Individuals or Groups Who Can Assist. Different groups are
usually available in your community for assistance, such as abuse
shelters. Find the ones in your area if necessary. Also, determine if
any family or friends can help. Many times, parents, siblings, or
friends are aware of your plight and are willing to help out
financially and otherwise. This is not the time to be proud. Accept
any help you can get. Protect yourself and your family. This is one of
the most difficult times you?ll ever experience in life, so take
advantage of whatever resources you have.


Examine the Benefits and Consequences of Each Alternative Solution. On
a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle of the page, and on one
side write, "Benefits," on the other side write, "Consequences."
Identify and write down the potential benefits and consequences of
each alternative. Weigh and work through each benefit and consequence
out loud with yourself, a mentor, or trusted friend, and on paper so
you have a good comprehension of the matter.


Rule Out Any Alternative Solutions That Have Unacceptable
Consequences. But be careful! This is where we usually "trip up" in
trying to solve our problems. We may "think" the alternative solution
is unacceptable, but it may be the only possible way out of the


By working through and repeating this step as necessary, you will find
viable solutions. Don?t lose heart. Rarely are two alcoholic
relationships alike. Each will have its own peculiarities. Due to
different personalities involved, some are easier to resolve than
others, but almost all can be resolved if you are determined.


So, once you have completely brainstormed for all possibilities...

Choose Best Possible Solution 

Your best option should manifest itself after your discovery step
above. If time is of the essence, then you must choose your best
possible solution with the experience, knowledge, and resources you
have at the moment.

Plan to Implement 

Now, plan to implement your solution by developing your strategy and
carefully choosing the most appropriate time to act. Make all
necessary plans and arrangements to carry out your solution as
smoothly as possible.

Implement Solution Decisively 

When the time comes, act decisively. Do not hesitate or cancel your
plans unless you have a very good reason for doing so. Remember,
advance warning to the alcoholic is not required or recommended in
most cases.


 I could now go on, rattling off an innumerable number of resources
for the spouse looking to leave a alcoholic relationship, but I
already know that you are perfectly aware of how and where to find
such help.  I have posted this answer to you because I KNOW with all
of my heart that the information I have presented to you is THE ONLY
WAY OUT.  There are no other options, for you, at this point, Rubie

So, today, you are still with him, wasting time that you will never,
ever get back.

Only when I came into a functional relationship did I truly understand
JUST how pathetic and miserable my life was--Rubie Marie, I spent
about 90% of my time in college--the alleged best time of your
life--on a dorm room bathroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably, because
of how badly I was being hurt, every day that I suffered through this
misery.  Now, in retrospect, I literally get NAUSEOUS and SHUDDER at
the life I was leading, and I am SO resentful towards myself that I
wasted THAT much precious time....completely gone, flushed right down
the toilet with his drunken vomit.

You are on the brink of a marvelous undertaking.  The weight that will
be lifted off of your shoulders is something this is virtually
inexplicable. ALL I want is for you to experience this.

The thing is, the prospect of leaving someone, after such a long time
is freaking FRIGHTENING.  I agree.  But guess what, the actual act of
leaving is not scary.  Once you are in the midst of your proactivity,
it is amazing how your own strengths and abilities will step up to the
plate and carry you through.  These WILL EFFECTIVELY carry you through
your plan.  And remember, he doesn't need any advanced warning.  What
on earth has he done to deserve THAT, Rubie Marie?

Lastly, Rubie Marie, do me a favor:  Post yourself on, with
all of your glorious attributes.  See what happens when available men
get wind of such a treasure, ready for a good, healthy, functional,
loving relationship.

If only I could communicate with you personally...I would give
anything, but it is strictly against Google Answers policy.

I hope that you intuit the amount of emotion and sincerity that has
gone into crafting this answer, and I have never met you!  Imagine
what your peers, family and coworkers will feel when they see that you
have broken free.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: steph53-ga on 22 Sep 2005 10:55 PDT

This older question is very similar to your situation:

 Perhaps you can gain some thoughts and ideas. Please take care and I
wish you well.

Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: steph53-ga on 22 Sep 2005 11:05 PDT

To ask rubymarie to put hersel on a singles site is completley
uncalled for here. The lady is asking for help in getting OUT of a
relationship and you are advising her to JUMP right back in???

Realistically, it takes years to overcome the pain of an emotionally
abusive relationship!!!!!

Never mind that you are "advertising"!!! 

I find your remark extremely insensitive to the questioner's circumstances.

Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: czh-ga on 22 Sep 2005 11:27 PDT
Go to Al-Anon and work the steps. There are meetings everywhere all
the time. You will get your life back.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: aliciadenney-ga on 22 Sep 2005 12:37 PDT
hmmm....advertising for  How infantile.  No, my dear, there
is a mindset that sets in once one has been unloved by a loved one for
so long.  Its called...feeling UNlovable.  My advice to her that she
posts herself on a singles site is merely so that she might see the
possibility of being loved by someone other than a drunkard.
Jesus Christ.  I'm an interpersonal communications counselor as well
as a relationship advice columnist for a major magazine.  We utilize
this exercise frequently for exercises in confidence.  What do you do?
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: aliciadenney-ga on 22 Sep 2005 12:40 PDT
Rubie has exhausted the alanon possibilities. there are some
individuals who are not cut-out for such groupthink....there are those
that find it insensitive, cheesy, soul-less, and too ecclesiastical in

She directly stated that she does not want that listed as an option.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: steph53-ga on 22 Sep 2005 13:10 PDT

You said:

"Jesus Christ.  I'm an interpersonal communications counselor as well
as a relationship advice columnist for a major magazine.  We utilize
this exercise frequently for exercises in confidence.  What do you do?"

Nice way you use the Lord's name in vain. I guess being a Researcher
here allows you to swear at commenters???
I'm not religious myself, but other readers here may be highly offended.

What do I do? I'm a certified Social Worker for social services....

Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: aliciadenney-ga on 22 Sep 2005 15:41 PDT
I do apologize for what you have interpreted as me swearing.  I took
too much of a euphemistic license, and unfortunately am very prone to
using the Lord's name in vain, having grown up around a potty-mouth
family, albeit quite Catholic.

Again, I sincerely apologize for using the Lord's name in
vain...profusely to you, and to my faith, with which I will take and
ask for forgiveness from my Father in private.

Thank you for putting me in check.  We all need it sometimes...and I,
moreso than most.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: che_curious-ga on 25 Sep 2005 04:16 PDT
Have you seen your family physician? An SSRI (serotonin reuptake
inhibitor) antidepressant such as fluoxetine (generic for Prozac),
paroxetine (generic for Paxil) and others in that class are quite
effective in restoring the level of serotonin in your brain. Stress
will lower the serotonin level and impair the way your brain
functions, i.e. without it you have more trouble focusing, making
plans, forming concepts, keeping your emotional balance etc. You may
only have to take it for six months or so. A clear mind will help you
get out of this difficult and destructive relationship. Actually the
most effective treatment for depression is a combination of an
antidepressant and talk therapy. You may want to give cognitive
therapy a try.
Subject: Re: alcoholics
From: cynthia-ga on 14 May 2006 14:40 PDT
You might find this question I answered last year helpful:

Subject: divorce, related to being married to an alcoholic and me being a wuss!

How are you doing?  Come back and tell us!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy