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7 Reasons Why You Are Still Married To Your Alcoholic Spouse

Posted Mar 30 2010 3:51pm

Most people I know who are married to an alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife are miserable. Yet, many people stay in this desperate situation even though they are filled with resentment about their spouse’s alcohol problem.

Do you wonder why you stay married to your alcoholic spouse? In my experience as a psychiatrist that specializes in addiction, here are the 7 most common reasons:

  • Financial dependence- this is especially true in marriages where the woman isn’t working. For example, stay at home Moms have been out of the work force for many years and are often not “marketable” when they return to the work force. Many women in this position do not want to give up the lifestyle they have become accustomed to (the house, the cars, the good schools). Conversely, women or men who support their family because their alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife can’t hold a job, often don’t leave because they are afraid their alcoholic spouse can’t take care of him/herself (in some cases the worry may even be that he/she may end up homeless).
  • Don’t want to leave the children- many people are reluctant to break up a family even though it is a very unhealthy environment for a child to be exposed to an alcoholic parent. Also, in a divorce situation, the risk is the alcoholic parent may have responsibility for the children by him/herself which isn’t safe.
  • Fear of being alone and never finding another mate. Many people are afraid if they give up their marriage that they will end up alone. Some people prefer the known and the miserable rather than face the unknown.
  • One or both your parents was an alcoholic. The chaotic situation at home is familiar to you. You are used to putting up with a bad situation.
  • You confuse being loved with being needed. You may have grown up playing the role of a caretaker for an alcoholic parent ( or a physically or mentally ill parent). Your sense of value was based on how you helped or contributed rather than feeling loved for who you are.
  • You feel too guilty breaking your wedding vows. You have only been married once and feel as though you would never leave  your alcoholic spouse no matter what. You may be very religious.
  • You still “love” him or her even though it is hurting you and your children. You know you can’t tolerate the situation much longer, but you are focused on improving it, not giving up.

(For additional help turning your situation around,  click here to register for my free special report on, “The 5 Most Effective Ways To Turn Your Marriage Around To Your Alcoholic Spouse. It may save your family’s life. The information in this report gives you very simple strategies that could very well save your marriage).

What is keeping  you in your marriage?

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