I wonder if I drive my partners to alcohol….

by Rod Smith

ONE QUESTION / THREE THERAPISTS ANSWER INDEPENDENTLY:

“I am divorced and engaged. Our relationship was idyllic and we plan to be married in September. I have serious misgivings. He is fine when not drinking though as soon as alcohol is involved he thinks nothing of disappearing for days on end, doesn’t take my calls and skips work. He always has a reason for this hurtful behavior – it’s normally my fault. He has been in a rehabilitation centre early last year at risk of losing his job and was fine for a few months and then reverted to this pattern again. As I type he is continuing with last night’s party, called in sick and is refusing to talk to me. When this binge is over he is very apologetic. My previous marriage was very similar, which brings me to wonder if I drive my partners to alcohol. I’m terrified of failing at another relationship.”

You don't DRIVE him anywhere....

You don't DRIVE him anywhere....

ROD: No. You do not “drive” your partners to alcohol. If you were that powerful you could similarly “drive” them away from it. I’d encourage you to discover why you find drunks attractive. If being engaged is stressful, full of games of hide, seek, and blame – your marriage will be all this and much, much more. Cut ties, move on, don’t date, and get healthy!

Jean, Canberra, Australia

Jean, Canberra, Australia

JEAN: I applaud you for listening to your heart and mentioning that you have serious misgivings. Everything that you communicate about this person who, by the way, is who he is because he chooses to be and not because you “drive” him to it, indicates that he is not a good candidate for marriage. Take steps to find out why you are so vulnerable to loving this kind of a man.

Alcohol is HIS problem...

Alcohol is HIS problem...

KATHRYN: His alcohol problem is his. It will not improve until he is willing to take necessary steps. Marrying him will solve nothing. Learning from your previous marriage is essential. His blaming and cutting you off are unloving behaviors, regardless of how well he apologizes. Over-functioning for him will help no one. Take steps to get yourself healthier and all your relationships, even with your daughters, will benefit.

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