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Family Problems

"Family Problems, blaming your oldest child?"
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books

I recently realized that I have not addressed the fact that many non-addicted spouses of alcoholics go through periods of time when they are glad that their oldest child is so angry at the alcoholic. This is very normal and only human.... after all, it finally feels like someone is "on your side."

However, with family recovery, we learn that that kind of static anger-bonding seems to boomerang, and come back and hurt us. Because it can eat us up. And that kind of frozen-in-time anger .. even if more than justified..... is hardened resentment, and seems to hurt us more than "them".

Another issue that often compounds it, is if we then reconcile with the alcoholic when he or she gets sober..... and we begin to lose much of our previous anger.... we can then find ourselves facing the adult child who still feels that anger, and who feels that we are "compromising" ourselves by having anything to do with the alcoholic. We often then get "punished" by that oldest child for NOT having that intense anger toward the alcoholic anymore!

And even though anger can get us moving out of bad situations, it often doesn't last long enough to help us stick to what is good for us. That's why many of us leave a drinking/violent alcoholic, and then go back, again and again ...... it happens because the anger cools, and the loneliness sets in. Thank God for recovery where we learn to stop the old patterns ....... it doesn't mean that we don't ever get angry..... but we no longer have to be held hostage by that anger.

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