Can an Alcoholic Couple Help Each Other to Get Sober? Alcoholism and Co-Dependency
So you are an alcoholic in a relationship with another alcoholic, and you've both decided you want to help each other to get sober. How realistic is it that you will achieve success in attaining that sobriety?
Whether you've been in your relationship for a long time or more short-term, you have been drinking together on a regular if not constant basis, so alcohol has become a significant part of past times and your relationship. And the closer you are, the more influence you have over each other.
The Webster's Dictionary definition of co-dependency is:
A psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol); broadly: dependence on the needs of or control by another.
Add love to that equation and the intensity of the relationship is even greater.
Let's assume you have decided to go cold turkey and you are starting out your first day sober. Without help, both of you are shaky and feeling generally sick. You are also in emotional turmoil. Say you make it three days sober. Since there are two of you, it doubles the odds that one of you is going to either go out and drink or bring alcohol back for the two of you to do some "relief" drinking.
Or maybe after an endless discussion (since alcohol is likely the foremost thing on your mind), you both decide that it would be alright for you to go out and have a drink or two, if you maintain that limit of one to two drinks and certainly no more than three.
Well as anyone with a drinking problem knows, this isn't going to work, because once you get started you cannot guarantee the outcome. When your inhibitions go out the window with a few drinks, the plan to have one or two drinks crashes and you both end up drunk again.
Alcoholics just starting out on their first steps to sobriety are extremely vulnerable and just seeing someone with a drink in their hand is enough to set you off yet again into another state of drunkenness.
So rather than in the best case scenario, being one of the two of you is stronger and props the other one up so you both attain sobriety, what really happens is you can both not only continue to drink together, but at the same time you can both reach an even more advanced state of alcoholism.
As good as this plan sounds in the beginning, it is probably fair to say that two sick people don't make a healthy one.
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