How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. L Your Own Question
Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
63993671
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. L is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My partner of 6+ years is an alcoholic.OKMH0903217

This answer was rated:

My partner of 6+ years is an alcoholic. She’s not the type to wake up in the morning roll over and grab a bottle of vodka but never the less alcohol has its hold on her. I suppose she’d be described as a functioning alcoholic, but over the year or so the functioning has become somewhat less. This has been going on for maybe 10+ years or so. Back then she was truly an exemplary (Christian) wife and mother of three boys. After 20 years of devotion to her family she found herself facing a divorce from which she has never recovered. It’s not just losing her husband but the loss of her whole family and way of life that has been too much for her. Basically she dove into a bottle and has never been able to find a way out. Now here she stands four DUI’s and tons of other related troubles later. She’s still trying to find a way out. Each DUI sent her to some sort of court ordered rehab. She paid $10,000 for another rehab that was a failure. Now she’s lost all hope of getting real meaningful help. This last weekend her oldest son got married. It was a great wedding in Denver with all the bells and whistles. She done really well for a while but eventually the free drink was too much for her. She ended up drunk and embarrassed herself more than anything. Her sons are distancing themselves from her (for which she doesn’t blame them) so the pain gets worse. My question is how can she learn to move on past the breakup of her family? How can she regain hope for a meaningful future? Please will you try to offer some help to this wonderful lady before it’s too late?


Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I am sorry to hear of all the troubles your partner has had.

Dr. L :

It is very understandable that when her children distance themselves from her that the pain gets worse. That's because she is feeling rejected and shamed and their actions just reinforce that her behavior is a problem.

Dr. L :

Alcoholism is a disease. This fact cannot be overlooked. And her family and children need to understand this critical point.

Dr. L :

It's not that she freely makes poor choices....it's that she has a disease that keeps her from making good decisions about the use of alcohol.

Dr. L :

It's unfortunate that she has been in treatment so many times and it doesn't seem to stop the behavior long-term.

Dr. L :

There are a number of different treatment methods and I'm wondering if the facilities she has been in address the grief and loss she has felt since the breakup of her marriage and family. As you suggest...healing that wound would be very critical to getting her sober...and helping her to see that she can have a good life.

Customer:

but who offers that kind of help...

Dr. L :

What I suggest is that she find a grief therapist...someone who has expertise in this area and can help her focus on the acute pain she feels about the breakup of the family.

Dr. L :

If you tell me the city - or give me a zip code - I can do a search and offer a few names and contact information for her to follow-up on.

Dr. L :

Do you understand the disease aspect of alcoholism?

Customer:

Okay we are in Casper Wyoming 82601

Dr. L :

Do you think her children do?

Dr. L :

Please stay put...it will take me a minute or two to come up with a few possible therapist....

Customer:

Yes I do understand and so do her kids but they are sick of the problem

Customer:

I am a tenacious kind of guy and I can see the wonderful person that's lost in all of this. I will never give up on her, but it's a tough situation.

Dr. L :

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?sid=1378250716.2798_23275&city=Casper&county=Natrona&state=WY&spec=14&lmore=1

Dr. L :

see the above link for a list of therapists in Casper who have expertise in grief and loss.

Dr. L :

Yes...it's a tough situation as she has to realize what she is losing by her behavior. It's not easy to stand by and see someone you care about virtually destroy their today and their tomorrow...

Dr. L :

And the disease is mighty powerful...

Dr. L :

She has had lots of opportunity to "hit bottom"...and likely lots of good treatment.

Dr. L :

But if the grief and loss has not been dealt with fully...well then that is still rattling around inside of her...

Dr. L :

and continues to rear it's ugly head...

Customer:

Sorry I some how lost the chat...

Customer:

I don't see anything above "But if the grief"

Dr. L :

It would go without saying that you ought to consider going to Alanon as a way to keep yourself from becoming an enabler.

Dr. L :

I will reprint that part...

Customer:

Thanks...

Dr. L :

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?sid=1378250716.2798_23275&city=Casper&county=Natrona&state=WY&spec=14&lmore=1





6:27 PM



see the above link for a list of therapists in Casper who have expertise in grief and loss.






6:28 PM



Yes...it's a tough situation as she has to realize what she is losing by her behavior. It's not easy to stand by and see someone you care about virtually destroy their today and their tomorrow...






6:28 PM



And the disease is mighty powerful...






6:29 PM



She has had lots of opportunity to "hit bottom"...and likely lots of good treatment.






6:30 PM



But if the grief and loss has not been dealt with fully...well then that is still rattling around inside of her...






6:30 PM



and continues to rear it's ugly head...



Dr. L :

Do you see that now?

Customer:

Thank you...

Dr. L :

good.

Dr. L :

What is your feeling about Alanon?

Dr. L :

Does she go to AA?

Customer:

I went to a couple of meetings, but no one there actually lived with a practicing alcoholic. It was like a church club... No use to me...

Dr. L :

Sorry about that...that's not what it's supposed to be about...

Dr. L :

But you tried and that's the key.

Dr. L :

You could always join her at AA just to hear some of the speakers and be a support to her...

Customer:

I will seek grief counseling. I think that may be the key...

Customer:

She's spent many hours there and lost faith that they can help...

Dr. L :

I agree....if she has not been able to "recover" from that experience, then it's time that gets addressed.

Customer:

That was before I came along though.

Customer:

Okay I'll look into that...

Dr. L :

People get "stuck" in different places in life and it's important to address those situations so as to grow beyond them.

Customer:

Thank you for your help...

Dr. L :

You are very welcome.

Dr. L :

If I can be of any assistance in the future, please ask for me by name and I will be notified.

Dr. L :

Take care!

Dr. L and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions