The above link to an article by Willard F. Harley Jr. may have just saved my day. I’m very confused by the codependent doctrine. I understand that my life needs balance, I can’t spend day after day worrying and seeking resources for my husbands illness when I have my own work to do. That I recognize and I am trying to work on my ability to focus on important things (of course, writing this during my work day is pretty counter productive to that statement).
But I have never understood how separating myself from my husband would benefit him. He has an illness, you wouldn’t leave your husband and focus on just yourself if he had cancer! Such self-centered behavior does not convey love, understanding, and support in my opinion. So I battle with the message of codependency and my own feelings on how to proceed in an alcoholic marriage.
So today I feel beaten down, can’t concentrate, no motivation, overwhelmed, life is just a little too much to handle right now. I need my husband, my friend, to bare the burden, but he is not able to right now. The Harley article was very helpful in helping me to understand codependency in terms of an alcoholic relationship. The first section speaks right into my heart- avoiding codependent behaviors is incredibly selfish. But add alcohol addiction to the mix and it makes a bit more sense to me. My love and caring is being sucked in by my husband’s alcoholism, and the alcoholism prevents him from returning it fully. I can bring all sorts of ideas and resources to him in hopes that he will get better, but the decision to get better is on himself, he must take the steps necessary to his recovery. I cannot help him. I can love and support him in his efforts, and that’s what I intended to do.
I hope you all can find a healthy balance in your life. It’s not all about ourselves, and it’s also not all about our loved ones.
Happy Balancing Act!