Do you love someone suffering from addiction? You're not powerless over this disease. You don’t need to wait for them to get sober to start feeling joy, happiness, and love. Join us for encouragement, hope, and some fun (because recovery doesn’t need to be depressing). If you feel exhausted from trying to help, depressed when they've been drinking or using drugs, and worried this roller coaster ride will never end – we can help.
My ex-husband lied to me constantly. I was always on guard. I had a strong intuition, but it was continually being tested.
I felt like I was going crazy. I was exhausted. Can you relate?
I just wanted to trust again, but I didn't know when (or how) that was going to happen. Have you ever wondered when (and how) to learn to trust again?
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/learning-to-trust-again/
Today we hear from a woman in our community who’s been married for over 35 years and her husband has been in and out of recovery for years.
She’s learned to trust her intuition, come out of denial, and discover herself, whether he’s sober or not. It’s a daily challenge for him, but she has boundaries in place to protect herself, stay in her lane, and be happy, no matter what he’s choosing that day.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/their-long-road-to-recovery-and-yours-too/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, it can be hard to see the light of day. Our once very accurate judgment is now being manipulated into something else. As I started my own recovery, I discovered that there are tools that I could use in those moments to find clarity.
And today I share two simple lessons with you that I was reminded of when my ceiling caved in.
Find here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/lessons-when-your-partner-suffers-from-addiction/
Here’s the deal: you reserve the right to change your mind at any time, for any reason. If you’re anything like me, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to make the “right” choice. You may even get frozen in indecision, because you’re too afraid of getting it ‘wrong’.
Find out why that's okay in this episode:
When I was healing from loving a man suffering from addiction there was one thing that was part of all of my days: self-care. And I know, I get it, self-care is all the rage right now.
But self-care should meet your needs, and not necessarily be ‘trendy’. My self-care right now is a bowl of ice cream and an episode on Netflix. My self-care has been physical movement, walking with my dog and kids, among other things.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/take-care-of-yourself/
Today’s episode is about a whisper. A whisper within us that we may hear, or we may not be able to yet.
The voice of addiction in our own heads is loud, ugly, demanding, and full of lies. It covers up our own voice.
Our whisper within is clouded by the loud ugliness of our partner’s addiction.
Learn how to uncover your whisper, and more importantly, listen to it.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/listen-to-your-whisper/
When I was married to a good man that suffered from addiction, that was one of the hardest seasons of my life. I learned all kinds of tips and tools to handle the disease, and some of these, I still use to this day.
Today I have one simple tool for you.
I used this tool when I was married to my ex-husband, and I started using it again recently when we moved into our new (99-year-old) house, and it started falling apart.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/simple-tool/
Here’s the loving truth: when you have children living in this situation, with their parent (or step-parent) suffering from addiction, you’ve got work to do. You must be the strong and sober parent, willing to educate them and keep them safe and protected.
They know something is going on, no matter how young they are.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/talk-to-your-children-about-addiction/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
I believe in dream boards (or vision boards). They sound incredibly hokey and woo-woo... But I stand by them.
Today is all about your future. Why it’s important to dream, envision, imagine, and how to actually do that. It’s actually really hard for a lot of people, and it was at first for me too.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/create-a-vision/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, our lives become chaotic and out of control. That’s just the way addiction works. Today we'll talk self-care, even in a crisis. Because addiction gets crazy, and our lives can get completely out of control.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/self-care-during-a-crisis/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, we will eventually become completely isolated if we’re not already. That’s what addiction needs to thrive.
Today I share tips on what kind of friends to look for (and what kind of people you want to avoid), so that you can create friendships and share your story, with that special person, or two (three at most).
More here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-choose-friends/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
Sometimes when we love someone suffering from addiction we can get into the mindset that it’s all on us. Everything falls on our shoulders, and we’re responsible for it all.
And let’s be honest: many, many times, that is the case. We’re not in a ‘normal’ relationship. Our partners are suffering from addiction, which means that our lives are different.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/create-your-team-of-experts/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, we do our very best to help them. We try everything we can think of, read, or find on Google. We try it all. With the most pure and best intentions. We want our loved ones to get sober, and stay sober for good, right?
The reality is that all that energy we’re putting into our loved ones, we need to be putting into ourselves.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/stop-enabling-behaviors/
We’re expected to balance life, work, children, self-care, all of it. Every day. With balance, grace, and ease.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s BS. It’s not easy, especially when we love someone suffering from addiction. It’s real, raw, and unscripted. It’s giving ourselves permission to be hot-messes and take the path of least resistance, just to get by.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/finding-balance/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, we can start to become isolated. We may feel so wrapped up in our loved one’s issues, that we start to lose our joy, our friendships, and the things that really matter to us.
And this is all too common. Addiction wants us to feel lonely and powerless.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/when-addiction-steals-your-friendships/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
We’ve talked about how to handle your anger before, but what about theirs? Do you know how to respond when they’re getting nasty and mean after they've been drinking or using?
Are you sure they’re actually angry, or are they using this as a tactic to manipulate you?
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/what-to-do-when-your-partner-is-mad-at-you/
Connect personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
Let's get right to it: Leaving out critical details is a form of lying. And lying comes in many different forms. When we love someone suffering from any kind of addiction, we must learn how to handle being lied to.
Learn how to stop tolerating these lies and what to do instead.
Find more details here:https://loveoveraddiction.com/stop-tolerating-lies/
Find something fun and personal here: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
We must remember that although we love good people, they do suffer from a disease. And the disease of addiction is not nice. It’s mean.
Here’s the loving truth: if they don’t seek recovery, it gets worse over time.
Today we dive deep into manipulation and a different tactic they may use, and of course, tips and tools for you to deal with it all.
More details: https://loveoveraddiction.com/are-you-being-manipulated-by-addiction/
Connect here: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, the truth is that only we know how bad things really are. And when we start to seek a team of professionals, be it therapists, mediators, lawyers, or whomever, we must find the right fit.
I fired my first lawyer. She didn’t get it. She wasn’t respectful, and she didn’t listen.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/when-experts-dont-have-personal-experience/
Connect with me personally: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
Let me ask you this: Does your partner ever play dumb? Forget things that have happened? Dispute fine details? Act oblivious? All of the above?
Sing it sister. Because I hear you. I totally understand. My ex-husband used to do the same crap. And many women in our community experience it as well.
It makes us feel crazy.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-react-when-theyre-playing-innocent/
Find some fun here: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction/
Because we love a good person suffering from addiction, we just don’t have the luxury of a “normal” relationship. Addiction is sneaky, and will do whatever it has to do to thrive.
Today you’ll find the knowledge and tools that you need to know when you can trust, and when you shouldn’t.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/when-passive-aggression-is-really-covert-aggression/
Go behind the scenes of LOA + Michelle’s personal life: https://www.instagram.com/love_over_addiction
This week we’re re-releasing the very first ever episode. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. And here’s the truth: when you love someone suffering from addiction, these tips are always helpful, no matter how ‘new’ or ‘old’ they are.
In this episode Michelle shares helpful tips about loving them, why you're staying, advice from other people, and more.
Find more details here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/why-you-love-an-alcoholic-or-substance-abuser/
When we love someone suffering from addiction, arguments and fights are part of our normal life, much more so than a relationship without addiction.
But here’s the truth: most all of us want to avoid that argument or fight. There are ways to avoid arguments, and one true ‘secret’ you can apply to every conversation with your loved one.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/avoid-an-argument/
In this community, we believe in being honest. So let’s say it: loving someone suffering from addiction is hard.
Your life may feel completely chaotic and out of control at times, but other times, you get a glimpse of your dreams when your partner is sober. It may feel like a crazy roller coaster ride.
Addiction came into your life for a reason. You chose your partner for a reason. You can read more details here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/addiction-can-be-your-greatest-opportunity/
As mothers, we all try to do the very best for our children. But our ‘job’ as mothers changes significantly when we love someone suffering from addiction, especially if that someone is the child’s parent.
Knowing how to protect your children in this situation is imperative to raising healthy children who are mentally and emotionally stable.
Learn these tools and more from today’s episode: https://loveoveraddiction.com/child-psychologist-expert-interview
When we love someone suffering from addiction of any kind (alcohol, drugs, pills, gambling, porn, or sex among other things), life can feel completely out of control.
So, if we can find simple little reminders of calm, peace, organization, and quiet, they can be just what we need to make it through. Those little things can be just enough for us to take a deep breath and move forward.
Find more details and free resources here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/reminder-of-calm/
Addiction is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse over time. The rate of progression really depends on each individual person and their specific circumstances.
Today we hear from a sister whose husband's disease changed fast, but because she had the tools, knowledge, and power that she did, she knew what to do. She handles this disease which such grace and she’s so strong and steady.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/when-addiction-progresses-quickly/
When you love someone suffering from addiction, it can be hard to see clearly in that situation. Especially if they develop their addiction habits after you meet them.
Today we have a story from our sister. Find more resources and info here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-deal-with-denial/
And, if you’re up for it, it’d mean so much to us if you rate and review our podcast on iTunes. The more ratings and reviews we have, the easier it is for other women in need to find us. Thank you.
Every woman that loves someone suffering from addiction is looking for hope.
Is it possible to live a life with your partner, staying in your own lane, and living in your own happiness whether they get sober or not?
Let me lovingly remind you, staying is not for everyone. And we never do judgment.
Today I talk to my friend Dana. She’s married to a good man that suffers from addiction.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/staying-suffering-from-alcoholism/
When you love someone that’s suffering from addiction, your life can feel completely out of control and chaotic. That’s part of the disease, and it’s completely normal.
So how does cleaning relate to all this? Well, it’s more than meets the eye. Learn how cleaning can bring back some control, peace, and even joy into your life today.
Find more helpful tips here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-cleaning-and-addiction-are-related/
St. Patty's Day is coming up, and no matter the type of addiction your loved one struggles with, small holidays like this can be their perfect excuse for "extra". Extra alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, or whatever it may be.
Today we have 5 tips you can implement right now + a question from the community + advise from our sisters.
If you’re ready to make changes, find new ways to cope, and be encouraged, this is for you: https://loveoveraddiction.com/practical-tips-for-stpatricks-day/
Every woman in this community knows what it’s like to love a good person that drinks too much or suffers from addiction.
The voice of addiction is ugly. It’s full of lies and deceit. It’s not fair. You did nothing to deserve this.
If you're struggling today, please listen to these words on the podcast and let these words be the louder voice in your head.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/celebration-of-women/
Here's the honest truth: it's never too late to make changes. Finding confidence and discovering your true self can happen at any age.
Today I get to connect with one of our Love Over Addiction Sisters who decided to make changes at the age of 70. She found her confidence and discovered her true self. Her life is different now. It's better. She's happy.
Find more here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-gain-self-confidence-at-any-age/
When we love someone that drinks too much or suffers from addiction, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of researching their issues and offering them a label or diagnosis.
And frankly, why wouldn’t we? We know they have a problem, and we love them. We’re trying to help. Right?
Well, I have a different idea - There's something else you can be doing, that will truly impact your situation...
Listen to the episode here:https://loveoveraddiction.com/do-labels-make-a-difference/
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. When you have a partner that suffers from addiction, you may be left feeling alone and neglected on this day that’s supposed to be all about love.
We have a loving suggestion for you: Be your own Valentine. Prepare for the day, dress up, exercise, plant flowers, whatever is “your thing”, girl do your thang.
Hear tips from our Love Over Addiction sisters for Valentine's Day: https://loveoveraddiction.com/valentines-day-with-loa-sisters/
We all love someone that suffers from addiction. It could be alcohol, illegal (or legal) drugs, prescription pills, gambling, pornography, or sex among other things.
Have you ever wondered what it's like in a relationship with addiction involved? Could you trust again? Will you be too damaged? Is there hope?
Today I talk with my husband Brian about our life, our relationship, and our kids. Find show notes and more details here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/ask-me-anything-3
Super Bowl is a huge drinking weekend. Everyone seems to have an excuse to drink or smoke a little extra with the celebratory (or defeatist) vibes in the air on this particular weekend.
We can be prepared together. We’re a sisterhood, and we’re ready to support you every step of the way in this judgement free zone. We do have it harder than most women. That’s not your fault. You’ve found the right place, sister. Welcome.
Find notes here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/super-bowl-game-day/
We’re back with another Ask Me Anything episode - all about my ex-husband.
I was married to a good man that drinks too much and suffers from substance abuse disorder for 10 years. It’s a real conversation filled with tough questions, real answers, and hopefully some new insights for you.
Listen here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/ask-me-anything-2/
We also have a free guide, just for you: https://loveoveraddiction.com/122/
Today on the podcast I review one of my favorite books that has everything and nothing to do with addiction. I was married to a good man that drank too much and suffered from addiction for 10+ years. After reading this book, I walked away with new insights from our relationship, and how it truly was an opportunity for me.
Read the blog or listen to the podcast to learn all about it. And we’re doing a free book giveaway. Listen for details:
When you love someone that drinks too much or suffers from addiction it's easy to be wrapped up in their disease, actions, and situations.
We can develop unrealistic expectations (yes, that means too high of expectations) for yourself and those around. These unrealistic expectations you can steal your joy and make it hard enjoy anything.
Find out how to get rid of the expectations that may be holding you back: https://loveoveraddiction.com/dropping-expectations/
Holidays can be filled with baking, shopping, and sipping hot cocoa while watching your favorite movies. But when you love someone suffering from addiction, the holiday season can be tough.
We reached out to the women in our community to share how they make the holidays enjoyable and less stressful.
Listen to the podcast or read the blog for their insights: https://loveoveraddiction.com/12-holiday-tips-from-your-sisters/
You'll feel inspired and encouraged by their ideas.
Creating a safe space when you love someone suffering from addiction is a must. Truly, it's non-negotiable. When I was married to a good man that drank too much and suffered from addiction, my safe space was my island. It was my sanctuary. I'll tell you what it is, how I created it, and tips for creating your own today.
Read the blog or listen to the podcast and we’ll talk all about it: https://loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-create-a-safe-space/
We did something different this week: My friend Olivia is on the podcast - and she’s asking me personal questions from women in our community. Some questions are related to addiction - but others aren't. We talk motherhood, raising children, social media, and of course, stranded on an island. It's the first episode in our mini Ask Me Anything series.
Listen for something a little more fun, and a bit different: https://loveoveraddiction.com/ask-me-anything-1/
When you love someone that suffers from alcoholism or addiction, the holidays can be unbearable. The season that's supposed to be family oriented and joyous can turn into a nightmare of anxiety and stress because of your loved one's behavior.
You deserve to have a good holiday. Their behavior is not your fault. I have 6 tips for you today:
There are many blessings of loving someone who struggles with addiction. Yes, you read that correctly.
I know it feels dark and hopeless sometimes. But addiction can be a gateway: an opportunity to grow into the women we are meant to be.
Hear from 18 women in our community and how addiction has been a blessing in their lives: https://loveoveraddiction.com/18-reasons-to-be-grateful-for-addiction/
These women know exactly what you're going through. They understand, and we do too.
When you love someone suffering from addiction or substance abuse disorder, it can feel like you're dealing with two different people.
When they're sober, you see the person you fell in love with. When they start drinking or using drugs, it feels like they turn into someone else. Their addiction masks their personality and takes away the person you fell in love with in the first place.
I want to share a special story with you today that I don't share very often. It's my personal story about why I left my marriage with someone that drank too much and suffered from addiction. Every woman's path will be different, but I hope you find comfort and encouragement in mine.
Our community is full of women that love good people who drink too much or suffer from addiction. We truly believe that our loved ones are good people. On today's episode, it's a bit of an unusual story, but listen in to hear the core story about why we believe they're good people.
When we love someone suffering from addiction, sometimes our most trusted confidants can give us the most well-meaning, bad advice.
Some of the wisest people have helpful guidance for “normal” marriages without addiction. But some of the advice I had received during my marriage as “codependent people-pleaser” would have sent me down a spiral that ended in a breakdown.
Read the blog or listen to the podcast to learn the best way to decipher between good advice or wisdom you should ignore.
If you love someone who drinks too much or suffers from addiction - learn three reasons why we can’t just break away when we know we should entertain the idea of leaving because the reality of today outweighs the hope for our future.
Listen to this week's podcast: https://loveoveraddiction.com/112 or visit us for more FREE helpful tips at LoveOverAddiction.com
The drama and stress from loving someone suffering from addiction are enough to make you feel like you’re going insane. The women in this community, your sisters... we understand exactly what you’re feeling.
Listen to the podcast or visit us at LoveOverAddiction.com to find helpful tips. Don’t go through this alone.
We’re smart enough to understand the benefits of self-care, especially when we love someone who suffers from any kind of addiction. Listen to the podcast here or read the blog at LoveOverAddiction.com/110.
Anger: It’s an emotion women don’t like to discuss. But it’s a very REAL and HONEST feeling when addiction's a part of your family - & we always believe in speaking truth - even when it prickles a little.
If you feel angry sometimes - no shame sister. WELCOME TO THE CLUB! Now head over to LoveOverAddiction.com & get 5 helpful tips to deal with your natural feelings of anger.
Read and listen here:
We all fantasize about a life where we feel like the most important person. A life where we are more important than drinking or drugs.
But what happens if they do actually get sober? Does your relationship become what you’ve always wanted? What do you do if they relapse?
Today we walk to a woman who's husband DID get sober and if you’re curious to see if it was everything she dreamed about came true, this episode is for you.
Find more: https://loveoveraddiction.com/he-got-sober/.
If you’re worried that your kids are suffering from the natural trauma that comes from loving someone suffering from addiction my interview with Dr. Gowda (who has the most impressive resume and is a child psychologist) teaches us how we can help our children develop into healthy, well adjusted and successful adults
Listen to the podcast or read the blog here: https://bit.ly/2Nb5oBe
When you love someone suffering from addiction, it's hard to know how to best communicate with them. How do you navigate expectations, disappointment and lying? Is it okay to be angry? How do we navigate anger? There's a lot to work though.
Read our blog here: https://www.loveoveraddiction.com/how-to-express-your-feelings-without-arguing
If you want to learn more, you can find free tips + online programs to take your healing to the next level: https://loveoveraddiction.com/
Every woman walking this earth should know her boundaries and understand how to enforce them because boundaries make us strong, powerful, and respected. Today on the Love Over Addiction Podcast, you’ll learn 3 tips for communicating boundaries.
Read our blog at https://loveoveraddiction.com/2018/08/3-tips-for-communicating-boundaries/
If you're ready for more free tips + advice, visit us at https://loveoveraddiction.com.
Boundaries are imperative, especially when you love someone suffering from any kind of addiction: alcohol, drugs (illegal or prescribed), pornography, or sex among other things. What's the best way to set, communicate, and enforce your boundaries with your partner? Find out how today. Read our blog at https://loveoveraddiction.com/2018/08/uncovering-truth-enforcing-boundaries/
If you're ready to explore our online programs, or find more free helpful tips, visit us here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/
Would you say that you struggle with resentment while loving someone who drinks too much or suffers from addiction? In this episode, Michelle will teach you how to let go of the anger and resentment and tap into compassion.
Read our blog at https://loveoveraddiction.com/2018/06/how-to-find-compassion/
If you want to learn more about the Love Over Addiction program, visit us at https://TheLoveOverWay.com/programs/love-over-addiction
Michelle had the pleasure of interviewing financial expert and President & CEO of Francis Financial, Stacy Francis. She's a financial expert that specializes in working with women that love someone suffering from addiction. You can start making changes today in order to protect yourself, regardless of what stage of the relationship you're in.
Read our blog at https://loveoveraddiction.com/financial-advice/. Find out more about Love Over Addiction here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/
When you love someone suffering from any kind of addiction (alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription pills, gambling, pornography, or sex, among others), it's important to know your options. You deserve to be educated and be able to protect yourself in any situation.
Listen to this expert interview with Kara Bellow to find out more.
Read our blog a https://loveoveraddiction.com/tips-from-a-divorce-lawyer-if-youre-leaving-or-staying-with-your-partner-who-suffers-from-addiction/
Knowing when to stay quiet or speak up when you love someone who drinks too much or suffers from addiction takes practice.
Here are some of the topics we cover in this episode:
-Does nagging work?
-Should I wait until they're sober to speak to them?
-How should I handle an abusive situation?
Read our blog at https://loveoveraddiction.com/stay-quiet-or-speak-up-how-to-make-the-right-choice-when-dealing-with-addiction/
Wife of an Alcoholic is now The Love Over Addiction Podcast. In today’s episode, Michelle explains the reasons behind the change and what it means for the future of the podcast.
Read our blog at: https://loveoveraddiction.com/2018/07/changing-the-name-podcast/
Learn more about the Love Over Addiction program at: http://TheLoveOverWay.com/programs/love-over-addiction
What if you became your biggest fan?
I know a lot of us, including myself, depend on the ones we love to make us feel good. We look for validation from other people or through our accomplishments.
But what if we turned to OURSELVES for the love we need and deserve?
Listen to this episode of The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast to learn why we need to provide that love for ourselves instead of looking to our loved one who suffers from addiction to provide it.
This community attracts women who are very ambitious. A lot of people in the world are not, and they like to sit in their pain, and they like to stay comfortable.
But we don't offer ourselves the forgiveness that we are offering others constantly, and we are holding ourselves up to a standard that is so darn high. We’re exhausted trying to achieve it. And it's never achievable.
So today I want to talk to you about my new favorite word: grace.
Are you scared of leaving the one you love? Have you thought about it, but the idea almost paralyzes you with fear, so you immediately stop thinking about it?
Today I want to share some helpful tips if you're thinking about leaving or you're in the process of doing so.
The whole thing about being married to somebody who constantly places drugs, pornography, gambling, or alcohol above you is that it can make you feel very depressed and unworthy.
The unpredictability of loving somebody when you don’t know if they're going to be high or drunk or go off the wagon can also make you feel anxious.
So on this episode of The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast, I'll be talking about some helpful tools available to you when you find yourself anxious or depressed.
I’ve been thinking about how important humor is when we’re in the midst of living life while loving someone who struggles with addiction.
So today I want to chat with you about some of the funniest women I know and explain why we need humor in our lives while loving someone suffering from addiction or substance use disorder.
On this episode of the Love Over Addiction Podcast, Michelle sits down with producer Greg Horvath to discuss his documentary, "The Business of Recovery," and chat about the controversial and thought-provoking subject of addiction treatment.
We encourage you to listen (without judgment) to what Greg has to say. We understand this might ruffle some feathers but we think Greg's message is an important one to hear.
I started to do some research, and I found that the fastest growing segment of people who are abusing alcohol is women.
Yep. More than men. And get this: it’s women above the age of 40. Is that not crazy? That’s crazy to me. I would never have thought that.
So in this episode of The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast, I want to warn you about this growing trend and talk about drinking around your alcoholic.
Did you know that abuse thrives in isolation and that 50% of men in recovery admit that they have been physically abusive to their partner or spouse? And my guess is that close to 100% of men in recovery have been verbally abusive.
Today on The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast, I want to make sure you can recognize the signs of abuse in your relationship and provide a wonderful resource for you if you ever find yourself in an abusive relationship or situation.
Today I'm going to talk about your recovery.
And I’m about to say something that you might not want to want to hear.
Are you ready?
You are addicted too.
Listen to this episode of The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast to learn what you're addicted to and the steps you need to take towards your own recovery.
Addiction thrives on the fact that it can mess with our minds.
We get confused and feel guilty when our expectations are not met by our partner, particularly when we love a good man or a good woman who’s suffering from this disease.
The four basic needs of a relationship involve love, attention, affection, and help from your partner. But are you expecting those four basic needs from somebody who can consistently meet them in a healthy way?
Deciding whether to stay or leave is an extremely common topic in our community. We long for the day addiction will let go of the one we love so dearly, but we’re not sure how much more we can take.
Today I want to tell you about a tool that is available to you, but it’s not brought up often. This tool is a wonderful way to help you determine what you want for your future, and it’s called separation.
Detaching is a big buzzword in the recovery community. I hear a lot from the women in our secret Facebook group that detaching with love is almost impossible because it requires you to remove your emotions from the situation and from the outcome.
Listen to this episode of The Wife of an Alcoholic Podcast to learn how to detach without frustration.
We have choices. We are not helpless, and we do not have to sit around and wait for things to get better in order to start feeling better.
So, what do you do when you’ve been bullied? What do you do when addiction is trying to put you in your place with a bunch of lies? Do you retaliate and fight back? Do you walk away and give up?
This episode will teach you what to do when addiction bullies you.
Addiction tries to make us believe that we’re crazy— that it’s us. It’s our fault. It tries to mess with our head.
But that is not true; you are not crazy. There’s nothing about you that’s crazy.
You’re the least crazy person in this situation.
You’re the rational one.
You are the convicted one.
You’re the one in the relationship that actually has and knows what’s healthy and what’s not—what’s acceptable and not.
If you love someone suffering from addiction, you might feel like you're on a roller coaster ride. One minute you feel angry, the next guilty, and then maybe you're worried. It's a constant cycle that's never-ending. And all the chitter chatter in your head never shuts up. Even when you’re standing at the stove stirring the pasta you're making for dinner, in the back of your mind you’re really twirling about how to save the one you love. Being present in the moment feels close to impossible because of the trauma to your soul. How can you shut off the painful idea that the one you love is being taken down by this disease? I often felt like I was on a boat that was sailing in the middle of the biggest storm of my life. How do you find joy in a moment when your family’s boat has sailed through so many storms that it's battered and broken? And it's slowly sinking. I felt like I was the only one who was endlessly bailing out water so our family wouldn't sink. It was exhausting work. And every time I thought our boat was fixed and we were in safe waters, an addiction storm would approach. Pretty soon, I just learned never to put down the bucket. I was always so worried about the next storm that I was always on guard. Never relaxing. Never trusting the moments of calm seas. My normal became a feeling of constant anxiety. And I wasn't a saint either. While I was busy trying to bail us out from sinking, gripping the bucket and throwing the water overboard to save us, I was screaming or crying or swearing. There came a time when I knew I could no longer save our family. So I put life jackets on my kids, one for myself, grabbed their little hands, and jumped off the boat into the shockingly cold, rough water. I made this decision because I knew I was being called to leave the boat and head toward calmer waters. I was no longer under the illusion I could control it. And I wanted a better life for my children. For me, jumping off the boat was the best thing I could have done for myself and my kids. But it’s not for everyone. If you're concerned that things will never get better, the Love Over Addiction program has a special section called "Should I Leave or Should I Stay?" Listen to it and see how you feel. You’ll know if it’s time to get off the boat or hang tight and ride out the storms.
Our community in the Secret Facebook Group are some of the most loving and thoughtful women I know. Every time I read their posts I am blown away by their wisdom. Every now and then I like to share a question one of the women asked the group because I think a lot of us can relate. If you would like to become a member of our private and confidential community, it comes free when you join one of our programs. You can check the programs out here. Today, we’re going to be discussing pornography addiction. And before I get to the question, I want to make it clear that this is an embarrassing topic to discuss, but I can’t tell you how common pornography is in the world of addiction. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that is quietly taking over the lives of millions of people. If the one you love is watching pornography on a regular basis, you’re not alone. Many of us can relate. Pornography is never okay when two people are in a committed relationship and addiction is involved. I teach healthy boundaries around pornography in the Love Over Boundaries program. Now, let’s get to our question from our brave sister in the Secret Facebook Group: (Privacy is our biggest priority. We will never share names in our group.) “I just found out my husband is a porn addict. He attends church and says he’s a Christian. He’s apologized to me, but I feel so weak and angry. I just want to hide.” Can you relate to some of this? First, I think it’s important to note that we have many women of all different faiths (or no faith at all) in our community. We love and accept everyone and we don’t judge. But if we are going to talk about people in the church who drink, use drugs, gamble, or watch porn, I think it’s important to note a few things: Everyone is welcome to church. Especially the broken. Jesus loves sinners. He even selected some of them to be his best friends. Matthew was a thief, Paul was a murderer, and Judas was ultimately responsible for his crucifixion. Christians can be some of the most messed up people (I consider myself one of them), but I don’t think that makes us hypocrites. Christianity isn’t about perfection. It was created for the broken. What makes you a hypocrite when you attend church is when you lie about your struggles and pretend that everything's okay. And can’t we all relate to that? I pretended my marriage was perfect for 10 years - meanwhile, it was hanging on by a thread. And that brings me to my next point. We must stop being afraid to talk about addiction. It’s up to us to speak out against the stigma of this disease. We need to give it a voice. To raise our hands and say, "Me, too. This is going on in my house and I need some support." It’s up to us, my sisters, to say it loud and clear and demand that people listen. We have nothing to be ashamed of. This disease happens to good marriages and good people. You did nothing to deserve the treatment you’re getting. We must stop feeling ashamed of our loved one’s struggles and we must stop thinking that we had something to do with their issues. They could be with you or not and they would still be battling this disease. We are a community, a sisterhood, and we are in this together. Each of us can make a huge difference in this dark world of addiction. One of the ways you can help is to mentor other women who are struggling with loving someone who is addicted. If you’re interested in becoming a Certified Love Over Addiction Mentor, we would love for you to apply. Click here for more information.
The moment I knew I needed to leave. I had been waiting for this moment for years and years. Even through all the verbal abuse, the name calling, the shaming, the lying and the manipulation, I still clung to hope. I still loved him and I loved the idea of our family staying together. But somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I knew there might come a day when I needed to leave. But my heart wasn't ready. My mind still had not arrived at the decision that I felt my spirit pushing me towards. I knew raising my kids in this dysfunction wasn't ok on any level. I knew he wasn't going to get better. And I knew the harder I was trying to help him the worse it was getting. I could see this wonderful man disappear literally day by day. Every month his addiction was worse than the month before. It was a downward spiral. But I hadn't yet arrived at the point where leaving was the only option. My back was not up against the wall. I still wanted to wait and exercise all my choices. And then the moment came. And it was crystal clear. What I wanted to do and what I needed to do finally lined up perfectly. And l had no other choice but to leave. It was my only option. Not one of my friends or family knew how bad it really was. I did a wonderful job hiding the truth because I wanted to protect him. I didn’t want anyone judging the man I loved and I knew if they got a peek into my life they would tell me to take the kids and leave. I was a young mom with three kids and no college degree. Our bank account balance was hundreds not thousands of dollars. Most of his paycheck went towards his bad habits. The odds were against me. On paper, it looked like I was stuck. But a woman’s courage can be mighty. And there was a part of me that awakened in that moment. I was refusing to listen to the lies of addiction. I would save my children and save myself. I would fight every moment of everyday to protect their childhood. I realized I could do something. Addiction was lying to me the entire time trying to make me feel like I was powerless. But I was a powerful woman. And I refused to accept that this disease was going to take all of us down. I was prepared to stay in a shelter if I needed to. I was willing to leave the place my children called home. I would make the sacrifices to start again. It wasn’t too late. I could get a redo. I could find love again. Love for myself and love for others. I could make a warm, safe home—even if it wasn’t my dream home. I was willing to do whatever it took to save my life. And as soon as I started planning and fighting for my future, everything I needed showed up. I would not quit and I would not back down from this disease. It would no longer get away with bullying me. And after some time, addiction learned I was no longer falling for its tricks. I was a new woman. Rebirthed and shining brightly. I was armored and so were my children. So it moved on trying to find a new victim. And left us in peace. And today, over 10 years later that’s what my children and I have. Peace. Honesty. Love and Safety. I don’t regret loving someone suffering from addiction but I also have never regretted leaving—and neither have my children.
I used to paint for fun. I used to be silly and laugh a lot. I was confident in a room full of other people and I was adventurous and had a great group of friends. That’s who I was before I fell in love with a wonderful man suffering from addiction. And slowly, over time, the confident, joyful woman he was attracted to became insecure. I lost my friends because going out meant that I couldn't monitor his drinking or drug use. The laughter was still there, but it was less frequent and layered under sadness. I became a shell of the woman I was before I met him. But… it didn’t stay that way forever. I decided that I was worth fighting for. That addiction might be taking down the one I loved, but I wasn’t going to let it take me down, too. How do we get back in touch with the woman we once were? How do we rekindle the spark within ourselves that makes us feel like we’re a light to our friends and family? How do we get back to a place of fun and joy? Here’s the good news: it’s not difficult or complicated. It’s actually very simple. But we need to stay committed to making choices that foster our best selves. We need to give ourselves permission to make it about us, not them. Today we are not going to talk about their addiction (oh my goodness, don’t we talk about that enough, already?). Instead I am going to be asking you some questions (because you know how much I love questions). And I want you to make me a promise. Please, please don’t move to the next question without answering the one I just asked you. Seriously. Because if you just go from one question to the next without answering and taking self-inventory, then this just becomes something you’ve passively learned instead of done. And in this community of 20,000 strong women we are all about the work. The commitment and rededicating our lives to ourselves. Are you ready for your questions? Did you make the promise? It won’t take long, I swear - there are only seven, and I guarantee if you think about this hard enough you’ll learn something helpful within yourself. Who are you? Think about the woman you were before this disease came into your life (or if you had parents who suffered from addiction - who you were before you realized they had this disease). And think about the woman you want to become. When you think of a perfect you, using all your best skills and traits - who are you in 3 years from now? What do you want? I did a whole episode on this very subject, and you can find it here. It’s one of my best podcasts if I do say so myself. What do you like? Do you like comedy movies? Do you like cooking? Do you like to ski or a good game of chess? Your identity is not wrapped up in the ones you love. Have you gotten comfortable with pain? Are you in a place in your life when you are complacent with very little? Are you settling for crumbs instead of the whole delicious pie? A simple yes or no will do. Are your expectations too high? Let me cheat a little and break this down into two questions: Are your self expectations too high? Are you expecting too much from your kids, partner, parents or co-workers? You can be honest. There’s no judgment here. If I were in the room with you, I would raise my hand or possibly both hands. Are you an expert on your own thoughts, feelings and wants? Or are you wishy-washy? Do you listen to the advice of 2 dozen people and change your mind constantly? Or do you know what you want, how you feel and what you think, and own it without apologies? Are you comfortable with your own weaknesses? I know most of you know this by now, but I am dyslexic. I can’t spell worth a darn (as some of you have lovingly pointed out). But I write for a living! I love writing more than I love talking. And my love affair with books is borderline obsessive. I am proud of my “weakness” of dyslexia. It helps me think outside of the box, and thank you Jesus, there is autocorrect and Grammarly.com. What are your weaknesses, and do you fully accept them? I hope you found these 7 questions a helpful way to make sure we’re not placing all the attention on the ones we love but rather on getting to know ourselves.
He had to work late and wouldn't be home for dinner. So, my three children and I sat around the table and ate lasagna and salad without him. When my blonde haired, blue eyed six year old son asked where daddy was, I told him that he was still working. The words coming out of my mouth sounded truthful, but my gut knew they were lies. I had been lied to so many times by the man I was madly in love with that I almost came to expect it. The truth was I didn’t know where my loved one was while we sat waiting for him at home. And if I was being honest with myself - I didn’t really want to know. The truth hurt too much. So I settled for the lie and we both pretended he was “working.” When trust is broken between two people, we begin to feel insecure about their love for us. We start questioning their commitment to the relationship. We worry about how many other times they have lied in the past, and figuring out when to trust and when to protect ourselves becomes a full-time job. Some of us can take on the full-time job of Detective. Analyzing all the data and following the scent of deceit. We can even become obsessed with finding the truth, breaking our own personal boundaries, and resorting to all sorts of crazy in order to discover what really happened. Being lied to is an awful feeling. And unfortunately, for most people suffering from addiction, it’s a habit of survival. They HAVE to lie to get away with their addiction. If they told the truth they would have to face the consequences and that’s one word that addiction doesn't believe in. So.. where does that leave us? The ones being lied to? Can we ever trust again? How do we protect ourselves and stop living in a state of anger or anxiety? First, it’s important to set realistic expectations. If your loved one is actively drinking, using drugs, gambling, watching pornography, or whatever their addiction might be - if they don’t have a handle on it - expect lies. Now, there are some exceptions, but for the most part most people with addiction tendencies will fall under the category of liar. As I explained before, this disease has taught them to lie. It’s a survival tactic, part of their toolbox and comes with the addiction package. So, expect lies if you decide to stay with them. Drop the expectation they will always tell you the truth 100% of the time. Secondly, trust your gut. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you think they are lying because you suddenly feel that alarm bell going off inside your stomach, your throat, your heart - wherever - trust it. Just like lying has become part of the addict’s toolbox - lie detection has become one of your tools. You know the truth, and you don’t need them to validate your hunch. Stop trying to beat the truth out of them. It makes no difference - they know they are lying. They know you know they are lying. No more needs to be said or done about it. If you feel the need to say anything, just let them know in one sentence or less, I’m onto you and you’re not fooling me. Then move on. Quickly. Lastly, let’s be super clear - trust is one of the necessary ingredients in any healthy relationship. If it’s compromised, your relationship begins to feel like it’s on shaky ground. If you have been lied to by the one you love who struggles with addiction, it’s natural to armor up. Lies create an unsafe relationship, so no need to feel guilty for doubting or questioning. Ever. Don’t apologize for not trusting. People earn your trust over time and with their actions. And someone can’t expect you to trust them when they have been dishonest. We need consistency. What they say needs to line up with what they do. And until that happens, you need to set realistic expectations, trust your gut, and forgive yourself for being untrusting. I understand exactly how you feel. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. But loving someone suffering from this disease doesn’t mean you need to wait for them to get sober to start feeling better.
There is so much debate these days about leaving or staying with someone who’s addicted. Everybody has an opinion. Your mom, your therapist, the guy who wrote that book, your pastor. But do you know who I think has the most judgmental opinion about the choice to leave or stay with the one you love who is struggling with addiction? You. You shame yourself for wanting to leave. How could you break up the family? How could you even dream of wanting something different? You said forever and you tell yourself that breaking your promise would make you a quitter. You may doubt that anyone else would ever love you. The idea of ever being with another partner makes you sick. Or finding love again with someone else makes you excited and then you really feel ashamed. You don’t know how much longer you can take this. What if they never get better? Or what if things get worse? You see all your friends and family and you think how nice it would be to be loved by a stable and thoughtful person. I remember looking out my window and seeing my neighbors’ husbands coming home from work and thinking how nice it must be for those wives to always know their husbands are coming home when they say they will. My truth was that most nights I was left waiting and waiting to hear my front door open. I craved from the deepest part of my soul to stop feeling so lonely and start feeling good enough to be loved. My other truth was that somewhere buried in my heart, I knew that one day I would need to leave. And that’s ok. But you may not be like me. You may be the kind of woman who wants to stay. Who is deeply devoted to her partner and the idea of leaving feels wrong. You’re searching for a way to stay committed to your relationship and feel happy and confident whether they get sober or not. You have your friends and your home and you don’t want things to change. You are prepared to do your work and see this thing through. And that’s ok, too. The debate of leaving vs. staying is constant when you love someone as unpredictable and unreliable as one who suffers from addiction. The truth is we must not beat ourselves up for wanting to stay or needing to leave. We must stop judging ourselves and each other for the decisions we make about our relationships. Instead, we should embrace our right to choose and our right to change our mind. Are you with them today? If so, forgive yourself for staying and remember you reserve the right to change your mind tomorrow. Have you left or are you planning on leaving? Dream big and keep moving forward. One step at a time, my sister. And let’s be super clear: addiction will try to blame you for whatever choice you make. But you are a smart woman and you will not fall for the lies of this disease. You will remind yourself how courageous you are. That you are worthy of love and care. And that if they can’t give it to you - you will discover it for yourself. You are following God’s path for your life and everyone has a different road to travel. Don’t let another person’s opinion or “rules” keep you in a state of shame. Own your choice and get on with it with the grace that you absolutely can change your mind at any time. You, my sister, are amazingly strong and are under tremendous stress. Be kind to that loving heart of yours. You’re doing the best you can and that’s good enough. I love you with all my heart. And if you’re not a part of our community yet - what are you waiting for? We give you free weekly tips and inspiration for the relationship breakthrough you’re looking for. Also, if you are considering leaving vs. staying we have an entire module devoted to the topic in the Love Over Addiction Program so make sure you check it out - it comes with a beautiful workbook and a free bonus - the Love Over Boundaries program (and what woman doesn’t need to master Boundaries?)
So you love someone who is suffering from addiction? Welcome to our club. We are a group of strong and tenderhearted women from all over the world who are united by our love for someone who keeps hurting us. We are in just as much pain as the one who stays up late to look at porn, or snorts the line, who drinks too much, swallows the pills or gambles our money away. We love good people who make bad choices. It’s as simple and complex as that. And we find strength and comfort when one sister shares that she is struggling with something so “embarrassing” not even her friends know - we raise our hands and say, me too! I feel your pain because that just happened at my house last week. And it sucks and it’s hard and we will get through this together. You’ll find all that goodness and grace inside our programs where you will meet with thousands of women just like you. You’ll get all the strength and love you need to finally stop acting like you have it all together, but then fall apart. You will also be able to leave your depression behind and walk into a new state of hopefulness and belonging. That’s what this community can do for you. It’s a confidential and safe place where you can begin your healing so that your life can finally feel like you’ve always wanted. And the best news is that you can get to this place of self-love and forgiveness if the one you love gets better or not. This feeling of love that you're looking for is not reliant on their sobriety. I used to think if my husband just got sober - everything would be better. And you want to know the truth? He never did get sober and I got waaaay better. I got the life I was dreaming about. But I believe in always being honest with you - even when it’s something you might not want to hear. Are you ready? You have to do the work. You can’t wait for them to start recovery. Otherwise, you might be waiting forever to start to feel better. Today, you can make a choice to start your own healing. Your happiness is entirely in your control. You just need to take the leap of faith and remind yourself that you’re worth it. So… all of this is to say, join us. Become a part of our community and let us cheer you on. Let us become your safe spot, your encouragers, your truth tellers. If you’re in love with someone suffering from addiction, start with the Love Over Addiction Program. It comes with a beautiful workbook and the free bonus (Love Over Boundaries). If you’re the mother of someone suffering from addiction, I would recommend the Love Over Mistakes Program. Share it with your entire family. Make your healing a priority. It could be the relationship breakthrough you’ve been looking for. If you have any questions, email us. We are always here for you. There’s an amazing team of women working behind the scenes to help and support you. You’re not alone.
Let’s be real with each other. It’s hard to keep up with all the different ways your loved one treats you, isn’t it? You might have a tender moment in the car and reach for their hand and you’re reminded of why you feel in love with them in the first place. They might be funny and cracking you up when you both are standing at the kitchen counter talking about your day. Or you might share a thoughtful and romantic moment that gives you the deep sense of connection that has been missing for awhile. These are the moments of light in times of darkness. These are the glimmers of hope when we feel defeated. Moments like the examples above are when their behavior comes from a place of truth. This is who God made them - a good loving person - and this is how your relationship was intended to feel like. But then, as we are holding our heads up to the light and beginning to trust again… that hope fades and we are left in darkness. Our broken hearts have to learn one more time how to handle heartbreak. Because the one we love is replaced with darkness. They have faded into the background and we are left loving an unwelcomed version of them. The addiction masks them like a cloak and our happy, productive, romantic partner is replaced with a hurtful, distant, insulting, worst version of themselves. Let’s just state the obvious: it’s not fair. But addiction never promised to be fair, did it? Addiction doesn’t know about respect or compromising. Addiction doesn't listen - it takes. It’s selfish. If you can untangle the person you love into two separate beings, lots of good things can happen. You will find your power and control. Because the next time they become distant or rude, you can say to yourself, "That’s the addiction. It’s not personal. It’s a disease. I did nothing to justify this behavior." And when you see a true glimpse of the one you love who is kind and responsible, you can enjoy and savor them with the realistic expectation that they will not stay like this forever (unless, of course, they are sober and getting weekly help). If you choose to stay or leave them, making peace that the one you love is struggling with two versions of themselves will help you turn anger into compassion. You will be able to reach a point of empathy because when they lash out or reject you, you’re not taking it personally. You can say to yourself (or out loud), “I am an intelligent, sober woman and this is just the addiction talking. I don’t listen or believe anything that comes from addiction because I know it’s a selfish liar who is out to deceive me. I am too smart and strong to fall for it.” This is how you handle someone who is struggling with staying consistently loving and thoughtful because they are addicted to drug, alcohol, pornography, or sex. You are a strong woman and you have found a sisterhood that believes in you. Together, we are here for one another, sharing the issues that no one talks about. We will not be ashamed and we refuse to just sit and accept that we won’t feel happiness and joy until they choose to get sober. We are not powerless over this disease. And if you want to see real change in your life - now’s the time to join our programs. We will welcome you with open arms. Privacy is our biggest priority and no childcare is necessary. Do them online, at your own pace, and have lifetime access. We hope to meet you inside the program.
Talking with your kids about addiction is extremely important. Your children are a lot wiser and perceptive than you think. They might not know drinking, drugs, pornography, or infidelity are going on under your roof, but they know when things don’t feel right. But you might be wondering... How do we communicate without worrying them? How do we tell them the truth without upsetting our partners? What should we share and what should we leave out? Inside the Love Over Mistakes program, you’ll learn how to communicate with your children. We cover what to say and how to avoid feeling guilty or worried about their future if you decide to leave or to stay. The advice you’ll hear in the Love Over Mistakes program goes for children of all ages, so even if your kids are older or even out of the house, you’ll still learn some helpful tools that will bring you great peace. Loving someone who is suffering from this disease causes trauma on all of us. It’s a family disease. But let’s not lose hope. There are many blessings that our children can experience while loving someone suffering from addiction. Today, I am sharing some helpful tips that we don’t cover in the Love Over Mistakes program. These were sent to me from my sister-in-law who is a doctor of child psychology in New York City. I think you will find them very helpful. These tips were pulled from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network - an organization that has many great resources and I highly recommend. Here are 8 tips to help children of alcoholics or substance abusers: 1. Each child reacts differently. Understand that reactions to trauma vary widely from child to child. Children may regress, demand extra attention, or think about their own needs before those of others. These are natural responses should not be met with anger or punishment. 2. Remember that the presence of a sensitive, nurturing, and predictable adult is one of the most important factors to children’s well-being. 3. Create a safe environment where basic needs (shelter, food, and clothing) are met and where routines exist to provide children with a sense of safety and predictability. 4. Keep children busy. Boredom can intensify negative thoughts and behaviors, but children are less likely to experience distress when they play and interact regularly. 5. Limit children’s exposure to images and descriptions of the trauma (e.g. in media and adult conversation). Talk with children about what they see and hear. 6. Make sure that adults and other caregivers receive the necessary attention, support, and care. Seek professional help if a child’s difficulties do not improve. 7. Find age-appropriate ways for children to help. Even when very young, children benefit from being able to make a positive difference in others’ lives while learning important lessons about empathy, compassion, and gratitude. 8. Emphasize hope and positivity. Children need to feel safe, secure, and positive about their present and future. Seeing and hearing stories of people helping people in difficult times is both healing and reassuring. I hope you found these eight tips helpful. I know it can feel exhausting when you’re worried about the one you love getting sober and how their poor choices affect your children. But have hope - good things will come out of this. I promise. If you’re looking for hope, consider joining the Love Over Mistakes program. We are here for you. Every step of the way.
Do you ever feel angry because the one you love has an issue with drugs, drinking, pornography, gambling, or sex? I bet if you were being honest with yourself you would say, “Yes, I do feel angry sometimes.” Now, let me ask you another question: Do you feel guilty about feeling angry? When you deal with anger, do you turn into an out-of-control crazy lady saying things that you regret later? Or do you continue with the act of being “nice” and just shove, shove, shove it down further and further inside until you can almost pretend you’ve forgotten about it? Anger for women is a tricky subject. I was listening to a podcast the other day and a famous author said she wrote one paragraph in her book about anger and received more criticism and attention about that paragraph than any other part of the book (and this was a New York Times best-seller). The other author on the call (who is also mega-famous) said when she had the courage to talk about her anger, she lost a lot of readers who refused to buy her books. And these women have a predominately female audience. So why are we so angry when women express anger? Why is this an emotion that we’re afraid to talk about? Unless we’re robots, anger is a natural emotion and it especially makes an appearance in our lives on a regular basis if we are being lied to, manipulated, or hurt by the disease of addiction. Anger is a very important emotion for us to pay attention to. Dr. Harriet Lerner discusses this theory in her book about anger called The Dance of Anger. The very first paragraph helps us understand the importance of anger. She writes: “Anger is a signal worth listening to. Our anger may be a message that we are being hurt, that our rights are being violated, that our needs or wants are not being adequately met, or simply that something is not right. Our anger may tell us that we are not addressing an important emotional issue in our lives, or that too much of our self - our beliefs, values, desires, or ambitions - is being compromised in a relationship. Our anger may be a signal that we are doing more and giving more than we can comfortably do or give. Our anger may warn us that others are doing too much for us, at the expenses of our own competence and growth. Just as physical pain, anger preserves the very integrity of our self. Our anger can motivate us to say ‘no’ to the ways in which we are defined by others and ‘yes’ to the dictates of our inner self.” Don’t you just love that? I think it’s so helpful because it shows us that anger isn’t something we need to feel ashamed about. It’s not an emotion we need to ignore. It’s a warning signal. It’s our insides letting us know that something isn’t right. Now that we have an understanding that anger isn’t something to feel guilty about, we need to talk about how to deal with our feelings of anger. In Dr. Lerner’s book, she talks about how women are dismissed or called irrational when we show our anger. Has the one you love dismissed your anger when you’re upset because they have been making hurtful choices? Have they told you that you were being irrational or dramatic? So how do you handle your anger? Do you have a pattern of lashing out or do you suppress? Do you cry and breakdown or shut off and walk out? Do you give the silent treatment or are you passive aggressive? If you are not handling feelings of anger in a healthy way, starting a new pattern can be super helpful. Here are some steps to start practicing next time something comes up that triggers your anger: Start by asking yourself: How do I feel about this? What do I want? What do I believe? How do I want this to change in my future? Check yourself before reacting. Get a clear head and a clear understanding of why you’re feeling angry. Take a break to take inventory. Approach your loved one when they are sober. There is no sense in talking to them about your feelings when they are trying to numb theirs. Wait until they are sober, clear-headed, and able to receive your feelings. When you do choose to share your anger, make sure you're in a calm and controlled state of mind and heart. I am not saying you need to disguise your anger, but you do need to be in control of it. Make it clear how you feel and why you feel that way but don’t hang on to their reaction. You’re expressing your frustrations because you think it’s important to give your feelings a voice. You’re making space and respecting your warning sign that something isn’t sitting right with you. But don’t expect change when you’re dealing with addiction. This exercise is for you and your mental and spiritual health. Walk away if they are not respectful. Be prepared for defensiveness if they can’t receive your feelings. That’s okay. You accomplished your goal of communicating your anger in a respectful and dignified way. You cherished your own feelings by giving them a voice. Congratulate yourself and choose to end the conversation if your loved one isn’t ready to hear you. You can still celebrate your victory. The fact that you read this is the very reason why I can tell you this: no matter what happens to the one you love, you will be okay. You have a desire to get healthy. You are open-minded and ready to change. And I am so proud of you my sister. If you found this helpful, we have three courses that could change your life (and your relationship) PLUS a Secret Facebook Group filled with women just like you (so you will never feel lonely again). Click here to learn more.
When I was married to a good man who struggled with addiction, one of my biggest battles was comparing my marriage to my friends’, family’s, and even strangers’ relationships. There was one evening when I was on a date night with my husband. waiting to be seated at a Italian restaurant. I was nervous that he was going to order a drink because, as you know, one drink leads to two that leads to three and then there’s no stopping and the night is ruined. I watched another couple walk by who were laughing and holding hands. They looked happy and ready to have a good time with each other. I remember thinking, “I bet she doesn’t have to worry if he’s going to get drunk. He looks so responsible. He probably tells the truth and comes home when he says he will. I bet they take lots of vacations together and have a cute house. She probably does crafts with the kids and makes Halloween costumes by hand. I bet she even works out everyday with him. They probably go to the gym together. And he looks like the kind of guy who volunteers to coach Little League. He’s so dependable.” Have you ever done this? I had made up their entire story in my head and it sounded so much better than my own reality. And maybe I was right about some of those characteristics of their relationship and maybe I wasn’t. Have you ever thought that someone has it “all together,’ only to get to know them and realize they struggle with things just like you do? You love someone who has a disease. You could be the most perfect woman in the world, but it wouldn’t change the fact the one you love has to deal with their addiction. It can be really easy to be resentful and insecure about the chaos that’s going on around you thanks to your partner’s drinking, drugs, pornography, or gambling issues. But do you really think there’s a couple out there who doesn’t have problems? Comparing Your Relationship With a Healthy Couple Try to think of one relationship you know that is perfect. Do you have them in mind? Now ask yourself - would you be happy in that relationship? Take a moment to really let yourself think of someone who you compare yourself with and imagine yourself in a relationship with the person you're envious of. My guess would be no - you wouldn’t be as happy as you would want to be. That couple that seems to have it all together might not match your values or lifestyle. They might not be as funny or as adventurous as you would prefer. They might work too much or too little or they raise their children with a different parenting style. Their version of a happy relationship is different from yours. They found what they needed in a partner but that doesn't mean that partner is right for you. The real questions you need to be asking instead of comparing are: Am I with someone who makes me happy? Is this person respecting me? Are they truthful with me? Are they kind to me? Comparison is a trap. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings and don’t worry about other people’s relationships. If you’re not getting what you need from your partner, it might be time to evaluate your future. But don’t leave because you think someone else has it better and you want what they have. If you’re thinking about ending your relationship, make sure it’s because you took the time to answer the questions I just asked you. Comparing Your Relationship With an Unhealthy Couple Another trap we fall into when we love someone suffering from addiction is listening to other women’s stories and telling ourselves we don’t have it that bad. The truth is, someone always has it better and worse than you. There will be women whose loved ones have done far more hurtful things than the one you love. Maybe the one you love didn’t go to jail or never screams at you. Maybe they “just” drink alcohol and don’t do drugs. Maybe they are still making good money and didn’t lose their jobs. All of that can be true. And you can listen to other women’s stories and feel incredibly grateful you’re not experiencing their issues. On the other hand, you can also use it as an excuse to stay stuck and justify settling for neglect, disrespect, or abuse. The questions you need to be asking instead of comparing are: Am I in a healthy relationship? If my loved one never changes, can I live with him or her the rest of my life? Do I feel loved and cherished most days? The goal of these questions is to take personal inventory of your feelings and values and stop judging your relationship based on someone else’s. What is okay for you might not be for them. And what works for them might not work for you. The bottom line is that most of us are in love with good people who are covered up by this disease. It’s okay if you are struggling right now. We will make it through this season, we just need to check in with ourselves and stop comparing. If you found these tips helpful, there are plenty more practical ways we can help ourselves and the ones we love. We don’t need to stay stuck and unhappy. There are better answers. Click here to take a look at one of our programs.
The word surrender is used a lot in the world of addiction. One of the things that always bothered me was that I was constantly being told that I needed to let go and surrender, but I never really understood how. The word surrender to me means letting go of my emotional investment in a certain outcome. So what’s the opposite of surrendering? Controlling. Let me ask you a question, and I promise it’s just you and me so you can keep it real and honest. We don’t do judgment in this safe community of ours. Would you consider yourself a controlling person? Do you put forth a lot of effort to get an outcome that you think is beneficial to your situation? When you are told no, are you the type of person who is determined to make it a yes? Do you run a situation over and over in your mind, trying to figure out how you can get someone to do whatever it is you think is best? Let’s make it even more specific. If you love someone suffering from the disease of addiction do you: Track your loved one’s location most of the time? Look for liquor or beer bottles? Mark their bottles to see how much they have been drinking? Text them when you think they are up to no good? Lecture them when they come home late? Nag them about chores or responsibilities? Micromanage their schedule? Feel anxious if you don’t know where they are or how much they have had to drink? Get other people to talk them into getting sober? Research helpful resources about sobriety and send them links or bring up your findings with the intention of convincing them they need help? Try your best to meet their every need so they won’t drink or use drugs? Exhaust yourself with the expectation that everything needs to be perfect? Love them so hard that letting them go seems so unbearable that you hold on even tighter? End up in a rage because everything you’ve tried isn’t working? If you said yes to even one of these questions, my sister, you are not alone. Welcome. We are your people. We get it. I could have answered yes to every single one of those questions during different times in my life. And you want to know why you said yes to one or more of those questions? Fear. You’re afraid. You are scared that this disease is going to break apart your family and take away the one you love. You are holding on with both hands as tightly as you can because the idea of losing your loved one scares you. So you fight for control. You do the opposite of surrender. When chaos happens in your life because of this disease, you dig deeper, looking for solutions. You are an overachiever. So you try harder. You read one more self-help book, you make the house even cleaner, you try harder at work, or insist the kids behave even better. You find an area in your life that you can control and you push harder. And then what happens? All this effort - where has it gotten you? There are certain areas of your life where all this effort pays off. Places where your determination and grit has clearly worked in your favor. For example: If you are controlling with your diet and exercise I bet your body is thanking you. If you have placed control over your child’s screen time and determined what they can watch and for how long, that’s a benefit to your children. Control is not always bad. In fact, it’s necessary for the success in our lives. But, there are some areas where surrendering is the healthiest choice. And I have a feeling you know what I am about to tell you… Surrendering control over our loved one's addiction is a good thing. Not only for us but for them. Remember those questions I asked you? It’s not mentally, spiritually, or physically beneficial for us to say yes to any of them. We must let go of trying to control a grown adult. If the one you love is above the age of 18 - surrendering their future is key to your healing. And the good news is that surrendering is very simple. Just stop making the choices to get in their lane. Stay in yours. Keep yourself busy with your healing and recovery. Let’s make it even more specific. If you love someone suffering from the disease of addiction this is what surrendering looks like: Stop tracking your loved one’s location most of the time. Let them go where they want to when they want to. Stop looking for their hiding spots and keeping track of how much they have had to drink. If you think they are making bad choices, don’t reach out to them. Get busy doing something you enjoy. Go to bed and don’t worry when they come home. You can sleep in a different room if you like. Make a list of chores you would like done and post it on the fridge. Tell them you would love for these to get done and then keep a quiet mouth. If they don’t do them, hire someone. If you can’t afford that, try doing it yourself or letting it go. Manage your own schedule. Eat when you want to eat. Go out when you want to go out. Take a deep breath or two or three. Tell yourself that you are a grown adult in love with another grown adult and that healthy relationships do not require micromanaging. You will eventually find out where they have been and what they have been doing. Please don’t ask people to talk to your loved one about their sobriety. That’s manipulating. Your friends and family will talk to them if they feel that’s appropriate. No need to push. Next time you Google, look up something that you’re interested in. It could be a new hobby, a vacation, or images for your dream board (we talk a lot more about dream boards in our Love Over Addiction program). You don’t need to try to be perfect. The only thing you need to try harder at is loving yourself. Spend some alone time every day with God and ask to be reminded how loved and lovely you are. If you spend too much time trying to fix everything around you so your loved one won’t drink, use drugs, cheat, or look at porn, you are wasting your time. Let things become imperfect - it will have no effect on their bad habits. The next time you think of doing something kind for them, stop and do something kind for yourself. I’m not telling you to be selfish. But they know you love them. Do you love yourself? Be compassionate and ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” And then go do it. Anger is a real emotion when you love someone suffering from this disease. Expect it. Let it happen. Don’t fight it. Acknowledge it. Then let it pass through you. It’s okay to make time to be alone for this process. Their addiction has nothing to do with how well put together your life is. It’s their battle to fight. Love them, support them, and give them consequences and boundaries. If you’re looking for encouragement, answers, and healing - we have just the program for you. Click here to learn more about our programs and to join our Secret Facebook Group filled with loving and supportive women just like you.
New Year's Eve is a night of the year that painfully reminds us of the unique relationship of loving someone who drinks too much or has substance abuse issues. Here are four tips that will help make this holiday a little easier: Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Don’t worry if other people are judging you because of your partner’s disease. You are a beautifully created, loving woman. Your self-worth needs to come from God, not your friends or family members. Don’t compare your normal with other people’s normal. They may not be in love with someone suffering from this disease, but I promise you that their partner is not perfect either. Walk away. It might be a good idea if you need to leave the room or leave the party – with or without them. Or, choose to skip the party have a cozy evening in with a great book or your favorite movie and some popcorn. Bottom line: create some distance between you and this disease if you need to. Do not own their embarrassing behavior. Do not apologize for your partner’s actions and bad behavior. He or she is an adult who needs to make their own apologies. If they are slurring, being inappropriate, or rude, don’t make excuses for them. Let the bottom fall out. It might be the best thing that ever happened to them. Do not lecture them the next morning. You don’t need to remind them of their awful choices. He or she already knows. Yelling or giving the silent treatment the morning after will just make them resent you and make you feel guilty. You are dignified and courageous. You can and will speak with kindness and strength. And if you feel like you just can’t control yourself - leave for an hour or two or make yourself busy with something that brings you joy. It’s okay to let them know if they ask how they behaved the night before. But no amount of shaming or trying to convince them how bad they were will change anything. They know there’s a problem - they are just not willing to do anything about it yet. I know these are difficult steps, but I believe that you can do it! You are not alone and I am here cheering you on! Don’t let this disease bring you down. You deserve a fun New Year's Eve - if they are sober or not. If you haven’t joined us in one of our programs and you want to find answers, hope, and happiness, what are you waiting for? Click here to check out the details. Our programs are offered for just $25 a month. If they are spending money on their bad habits, making an investment in your family's future is a better choice, don’t you think?
Holidays… when you’re married to a man who drinks too much or suffers from addiction they can be difficult, can’t they? You’re hoping for the best. You’re praying they will stay sober so you can have a beautiful, warm, and loving holiday. Maybe you’re planning on visiting with family and they don’t have any idea how bad things have got at home. Or perhaps you have children and you just want their father to be the loving dad they deserve. I know exactly how you feel. When I was married to a wonderful guy who struggled with this disease, I had really high expectations for the holidays. I decorated the house, cooked delicious food, or sometimes, if I was busy, I would purchase some delicious food, and I would invite my family over to celebrate and have fun. But during all my planning, I was feeling nervous. In the back of my mind, I was worried that he wouldn’t stay sober and my big plans to have a lovely and happy holiday would be ruined. And, the truth is, my reality was far different than the dreamy holiday I had fantasized about. There was drinking and drug use, sometimes even days before the actual holiday. I remember during Christmas, I would see my father carving the turkey and my husband just sitting on the couch with a beer, completely in his own world and think, “Why aren’t you enjoying this holiday with us? This could be so wonderful if you just put down the drink and engage with the ones who love you.” It made no sense. And that’s an excellent place for us to begin with this holiday guide: This disease makes no sense. Here are three tips to help make your holiday happier: 1. Stop trying to understand the why. They are sick, and this disease makes no sense, and that’s all you need to understand. The sooner you surrender trying to understand why they act up, the faster your healing begins. Think about it: Who would choose to feel wasted over feeling the love their family has to offer? Who would choose to feel a fake kind of joy that drugs or alcohol make them feel, over the real joy of laughing with your loved ones? Who would choose mind-numbing drugs over receiving the warm love of a spouse? Someone who is sick. Someone who's out of control and who has a disease. And the more you try to understand the reason why they make these unhealthy choices, the more frustrated you will become. 2. Have a plan if they refuse to leave the house. When you’re planning your holiday and you're wondering: “What do I cook, who should I invite over, or where should we go?” Or if you're invited to an event or meeting up with friends, I want you to include a backup plan if they start to drink or use drugs. In other words, what are you going to do if they start acting up? You might be thinking, “I don’t know what to do, Michelle.” And I don’t want you to worry because I’m going to offer you some helpful suggestions if they refuse to leave and you have plans to go out. If they start to drink before a holiday party or event you’re excited about attending, you have a choice. You can leave the house without them and have a good time. Here’s what you’re not going to do: you’re not going to make the unhealthy choice to cancel your plans if they refuse to go. You’re a courageous woman. You can go somewhere without your loved one. You have excellent social skills and people enjoy talking with you. You will be surprised how much fun you can have if you leave them at home. Think about it: you won’t need to constantly look across the room and worry if they've had another drink. You won’t feel embarrassed about their slurred words or awkward behavior. The only person you will be responsible for is you (and maybe your children if they are attending). You can do it! I know you can. I promise you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for. Even if you have just 5 minutes of fun, it will be better than wasting the evening staying at home upset and disappointed he made his bad choices again. 3. Have a plan if they start drinking too much or using drugs when you’re out. So let’s say you’re at the holiday party and they may or may not have promised to not drink or use drugs. You’re grateful they're getting out of the house, and you don’t want to nag or start an argument, so you mention how worried you are they will act up. And then, you see them start to drink. Your throat begins to tighten and you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. You’re devastated. But here’s the great news, you don’t need to lose hope. You’re not powerless over this disease. You can take a deep breath and remember: you’re a strong, capable woman. This is just one evening and you can handle it. You have choices. You can leave the party without them - call a cab or ask a friend to drive you home. Say nothing when you're out in public and make a promise to yourself that next time, you will not agree to attend an event with them if there's drinking or it’s at a bar. One warning: if you chose this option to stay out with them and say nothing, make sure you get the car keys. Do NOT get in the car if they refuse to hand you the keys and are under the influence. You’re not only risking your life, but you could also be putting yourself at risk to be a part of a serious accident. If they refuse to give you the keys, take option one and find another ride home. I am here to tell you, my wonderful sweet friend, that you’re not alone. There are thousands of us out there dealing with the same issue, and you don’t need to stay feeling stuck. By exercising these choices, you’re choosing to do something about this disease. You’re not just letting it happen to you.You’re giving them consequences and you’re growing into the courageous, loving woman you were made to be. It might seem scary or uncomfortable, but real change never happens when we are repeating old behaviors. I promise you can do it. Have faith in yourself and believe that God made you with so much more courage than you even realize. You’ve got this. I am right here for you. You’re not alone. For parents of alcoholics or substance abusers: It’s not your fault. You’re a great mother. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. You care about your child. You love them. And I know you would do anything to get them sober. You must believe you did nothing to cause this. So if you’re worried about their drinking or drug use and the idea of spending time without them this holiday season is too much, here are a few tips just for you: If they have too much to drink or they come over to celebrate, make a deal with yourself - this is the last holiday you will invite them over to. When they have been sober for six months and shown consistent, respectful behavior you will extend an invitation, but until then, this is the last time their toxic lifestyle will be allowed in your presence. I know this seems hard and perhaps even cruel, but your child needs consequences for their choices. I am giving you permission to relieve yourself of guilt for not including them. You are actually making a tough decision for their benefit. By doing this, you’re helping your child. They need to see that this kind of behavior will not be welcome nor tolerated. You don’t need to be mad or upset when you tell them. You need to be secure in your delivery and say something like, “I love you dearly and I miss you. I miss the best part of you. The child I know you were created to be. A sober, responsible, and honest person. And until they are around full time, I am sorry, but you are no longer welcome. I’ll be waiting.” Or you can say “I love you so much and you need help. Until you consistently get help and are responsible, honest, and sober, I can no longer be around you. Your recovery is your responsibility now. It’s up to you” By continually bailing them out, you’re enabling them. You think you’re doing it out of love, but it’s actually causing more of the same destructive patterns. We talk a lot more about this in the Love Over Mistakes program, and you can find out more about that at TheLoveOverWay.com. But for now, my biggest tip is to set the healthy boundary in place that the only people you will be celebrating the holiday with are the ones who are not currently struggling with addiction issues. The Love Over Addiction, Love Over Boundaries, and Love Over Mistakes programs could be the greatest gift this season that will help you find your joy, offer you practical tips, and make you feel like a giant weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Here’s a post that came from our Secret Facebook Group that is full of THE most loving and encouraging friends. There are over 800 women waiting to lift you up and cheer you on. I think you’ll find one of our sister’s personal story a tremendous encouragement. Recently, I had a falling out with both my mother (who abandoned me twice and is a narcissist and a dry drunk) and my sister in law (meddling, critical, and a highly suspicious dry drunk). Clearing my expectations, hopes, and wishes regarding others is a radical experience. It seems that by telling others how I feel with honesty and authenticity and practicing honoring my boundaries has the effect of allowing them to respond in the same incomprehensibly mean, judgemental, defensive way as ever before. My alcoholic husband is not the root of my trouble. But I can weather the storms of my life so much better with him as a partner, not an anchor, in the storm. Today, he is so much more a partner than an anchor. Yes, it's work to set a boundary, to announce it, and to enforce it, but it is so much lighter a load than keeping my feelings bottled up, keeping secrets, and carrying around hurts, hopes, and expectations. Before this course, I did not know what boundaries were. Without them, I had no defenses to keep me safe. I relied on others (most of whom are ill-equipped or hurt me regularly) to keep watch. Now, thanks to Michelle Lisa Anderson, I can say, "I will speak up with kindness and dignity to share how other people's behavior makes me feel." My reason? Keeping silent about anger or hurt is as much of a lie as hiding love or gratitude. "I release what does not serve me," and it doesn’t serve me to be a silent doormat. Love Over Addiction has helped me love myself more than I am afraid of my husband's addiction. It has helped me love myself more than I fear my mother's rejection. It has helped me love my son enough to teach him to stand up for himself. I'm proud of myself for doing the work. I'm proud of so many of my sisters in this group, too. Most of all, I love this program and MLA for making it for us. Isn't this amazing? Can you hear the hope and strength in her writing? She did the work and she started out just like you. It's the holidays, and it's time to give yourself the gift of recovery and hope just like my friend in the Secret Facebook Group. If you're feeling lonely, we are here for you. You don't have to be alone. We will help you and encourage you with real practical answers. I hope you join us in one of the programs.
Because this post is so good, it only needs a short introduction from me in addition to saying it's written by one of the women in our Love Over Addiction Secret Facebook Group. I know you'll find hope in her story. Enjoy! If someone had told me a year ago that 2017 would be the year I found true happiness, I would've been hopeful, but not very trusting or optimistic. If someone had told me that in 2017 I would be given the opportunity to travel across the country and visit places I had only ever dreamed about, I would've thought they were crazy. If someone had told me a year ago that within the next year I would meet and marry a kind, generous, loving, successful, educated, adventurous, non-alcoholic man, I would've bet $1 million they were dead wrong. And I would've lost. One year ago, I felt hopeless. I felt like a failure. The man I loved so very much didn't love himself, and I couldn't change it. Lord knows I tried. I refused to accept reality because it differed so greatly from what I wanted it to be. But there was a plan bigger than my own. In December 2016, my alcoholic gave me the gift of infidelity. Yes, I said gift. It was truly the best Christmas present I never knew I wanted. It was my final straw. And let me be very clear, I was devastated. I was in shock. Utterly and completely shattered. I wanted to run back to him so very badly. I was scared to death. The hardest part about ending that relationship was my fear of the unknown. I didn't know what would happen next - with me, my two daughters, or with him. It was terrifying. To say that I finally accepted reality or trusted God's plan would be a complete lie. The only thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to live like that anymore. Thanks to the support, reassurance, and lessons from Love Over Addiction and the kind, loving, beautiful women in this group, I stumbled through those first two months of grief. I held my ground and my head began to lift. It was not easy. I can honestly say it was the most difficult thing I have ever been through. But I am here to tell you, it is possible. Doors began opening immediately. Opportunities and situations that I thought only existed in romantic comedies and fairy tales were suddenly present in my own life. I swore off dating for one year. I knew I needed time to heal. That was my plan (because y'all know we're always planning how things should happen in our lives). I never imagined His plan would be so much better than mine. I joined my local gym back in August 2016 after yet another traumatic, short-term "break" from long-term my alcoholic boyfriend. I had zero expectations but knew my goal was to run a local half marathon the following spring. The running class was scheduled to begin January 4, 2017. My relationship ended suddenly and unexpectedly on Dec 27. I really just wanted to lie in bed and cry on January 4th, but something made me get up and go. I had already committed to it and I was tired of my alcoholic boyfriend's antics ruining my plans. I went faithfully twice a week until the race in early March. I finished my very first half marathon and felt a sense of pride for that accomplishment. My running coach was kind and professional. He was also very proud of each one of us in the class. I won't lie, he was also handsome. But a relationship wasn't in plan, and I tried my best to ignore any spark between us. By April it was undeniable. He asked me on a date, and I thought, “Why not?” He was a true gentleman and we had a phenomenal time. He even paid for our date! I certainly wasn't used to that! I always heard that when you meet "the one," you just know. I never understood that until now. It truly is this unconditional love. It's a non-circumstantial, comfortable feeling of love and trust. No matter what I do or say or how I act, this man loves me and I love him. I don't fear him leaving me in the middle of the night if my kids act up. I don't fear him cheating on me if I don't want to have sex at the exact moment he does. I don't fear that he could stop loving me at any moment. I don't feel the need to check his phone or look for his hiding places. To put it simply, it's easy. It's what I always envisioned "normal life" to be. We decided there was no reason to wait to spend forever together. He proposed on June 24th, and we went to a local courthouse on July 14th. Some people probably think we're crazy and that it was "too soon," but I can't explain the feeling of fate. I have never been happier. And not because he makes me happy, but because I am finally happy with myself. I took a girls trip to Zion National Park in June without having to worry about whether or not he would drink too much. We are going to San Francisco next month for our honeymoon. He is surprising my girls with a trip to New York City for Christmas. So many opportunities I never dreamed possible. I credit Michelle Lisa Anderson and all you lovely ladies for helping me reach that point, but, ultimately, my life turned 180 degrees because I made a difficult, terrifying decision. It was up to me to take that leap. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I was wearing the ruby slippers the entire time - I just didn't know what to do with them. I'll end this story with a small piece of unsolicited advice (sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself). If you are waiting for your next move to be painless, seamless, or easy, you will never move. It is very painful. It is terrifying. It is difficult. But most importantly, it is not only possible, but it is beyond rewarding. My journey is just that… my journey. My ex-alcoholic boyfriend's journey is his journey. I truly believe that his journey intertwined with mine for a purpose. I learned so many things about myself that I never would've known without being in a relationship with an alcoholic. When I began to trust my thoughts and feelings, I realized I was valid and important. I began to see that his journey and my journey were different, and that was okay. That was the reality. I have no idea where my ex is or what he is doing. It doesn't matter. I sincerely wish him the best. I am thankful for the five-plus years we spent together. I believe he was placed in my life as an opportunity for me to grow, learn, practice humility, experience and give grace, and become the best possible version of myself. I am not encouraging you to leave your alcoholic. I am not pretending to understand your circumstances, because all of our circumstances are similar yet completely different. Wherever your journey takes you, I want you to know you are worthy of love and respect. Love and respect yourself with every fiber of your being and life begins to look a lot brighter. There's a plan for you that's bigger than your imagination. What an incredible, inspiring story. Does it bring tears to your eyes? Hope to your heart? I hope it impacted you as profoundly as it did me. If you haven’t joined Love Over Addiction, we’d absolutely love to have you. Whether you stay with your alcoholic or not, we are here for you and a rewarding life is waiting for you!
How do you trust your partner again? Can it ever be possible? Or will you always worry and constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop? Trusting again is entirely possible. You can, and you should, trust the one you are planning on spending the rest of your life with. If you can’t trust them, you’ll end up exhausted from the constant anxiety that they will disappoint you again. So how do you get to a place where you can relax in peace and finally trust the one who has hurt you and lied to you about their drinking, drug use, cheating, or pornography? You watch, you don’t listen. You open your eyes and you close your ears. This disease knows how to say exactly what will help it get away with anything. It knows your buttons and just the right one to push to get you to deny your gut or make you believe that you’re crazy and there is nothing to be upset about. Don’t allow someone to make you feel guilty for not trusting right out rehab. I think that’s almost impossible. There hasn’t been enough time loving you in the real world to gain trust. But you’re a smart woman. And you can sense when something is wrong. Don’t be manipulated. I could always tell just from the way he said “hello” when he had been drinking. My stomach would just feel like it was being punched. My throat would sometimes close up or my heart would sink. So from now on, next time he promises that he won’t drink anymore, don’t listen. Wait and watch to see if his actions line up with that. If he says he isn’t going to go to the bar after work, ignore it. And wait to see what he actually does after work. What about the computer screen that he looks at late at night that he swears will never show pictures or videos of naked women again? Nod your head, but let his promises pass right through you. And see if he sneaks into the office again. Now let’s be super clear about something: I’m not giving you permission to wait around the house and monitor his behavior. That wouldn’t be healthy, would it? I am saying stop paying attention to the words from someone who has a history of lying to you. Don’t hang onto his promises and get your heart broken because you believed him. Wait to see what his actions prove. I spoke to a woman whose husband is making it very easy for her to trust him again. He comes home clean and sober when he says he’s going to be home. Her husband makes attending his meetings the biggest priority in his life. He chooses not to miss one no matter what comes up. He is so passionate about his sobriety that he is choosing to mentor young men. That is an example of a man who is working hard to regain his wife's trust. And it’s working. Because he’s consistent. He has not had six relapses in six weeks. Trust only works with consistency and time. If he’s relapsed, give yourself permission to relapse with your trust. If you haven’t joined us in one of our programs and you want to find answers, hope, and happiness, what are you waiting for? Click here to check out the details. Our programs are offered for just $25 a month. If your partner is spending money on their bad habits, making an investment in your family's future is a more valuable choice, don't you think?
Are you worried about your partner drunk driving? When you ask them for the keys, do they refuse? Do they try to convince you that they are fine? They might tell you they have spread out their drinking over the night, or that they only had beer and not liquor. Or perhaps they are abusing drugs and you can tell they are high and shouldn’t get behind the wheel. A few months ago, I wrote a blog post and a podcast episode of the Wife Of An Alcoholic Podcast about DUI’s that I think you might find helpful. But what should you do if you’re concerned about others on the road? Are you stuck always having to drive them home (that is, if they let you)? And if they don’t give you the keys, what would happen if someone got hurt? I’m going to tell you what to do, but I want to warn you first. You’re not going to love my answer. It’s going to be difficult for you. But your uncomfortable decision could save the life of the one you love and the innocent lives of others who are sharing the road with someone who legally should not be behind the wheel. Are you ready for this loving truth? Here's what you do... if you know he's been drinking and he refuses to give you the keys, the second he gets in the car you need to call the police. They don’t have to know you’re the one that called. I know that sounds harsh, but you could be saving his life and the lives of many others on the road. If he gets into an accident, you could lose not just him, but things that are mutually in your name. He will be arrested and maybe serve some jail time, but that could be the best thing that ever happened to him (and you). I know this will be difficult and scary, but please consider setting this boundary. Consequences are necessary for the ones we love to sober. Read more about my program, Love Over Boundaries here.
There is a very common issue in the world of addiction called dry drunk. It’s when someone is actively refraining from drinking, but still displaying signs of selfishness, stubbornness, lack of accountability, and blame. And it’s shocking because for so long you’ve thought if they just got sober everything would be better. If they just got sober, they would turn into the loving, kind person they used to be and your relationship would be everything you wanted and more. But when they stop drinking they get cranky. And mean. You end up walking on eggshells even more because you never know what kind of mood they will be in. And the selfish, narcissistic behavior actually gets worse. How could that be? Alcohol and/or drugs were the root of our problems, so why isn't it better? If the one you love is resentful, angry, depressed, anxious, jealous, speaking fondly of his or her drinking days, self-obsessed, or now addicted to something else that’s unhealthy (like sex, video games, or food) they are probably considered a dry drunk. So what do you do about it? First, let’s start with the fact that this is normal behavior for some. Drinking or drug use was their way of coping. Now that that has been taken away, they are left with all these feelings and don’t know how to handle them like a mature, loving adult. And unless they are willing to get outside help like counseling, AA support groups, a sober-living house, yoga, small groups, etc., this behavior will most likely continue. The other sad news is that dry drunk behavior often leads to relapse. I’m not sharing this with you to make you scared, but I believe knowledge is power and removing the scales from your eyes is the BEST way to start your recovery and deal with this disease. Most importantly, I need to you hear this, so lean in closely: Their awful behavior is NOT your fault. Don’t let this disease try to blame you. You’re a loving and wonderful partner. You’ve done the best you can to deal with this relationship. If they get cranky, try not to be around them. You can sleep in another room, schedule things without them on the weekends, eat dinner when you feel like it, and don’t need to wait for them to show up. Get busy getting busy. Create your own space until they get the help they need. Create and enforce your boundaries. And most importantly get the help you need. If you haven’t joined us already, this is the time. There are three programs for every stage of your recovery (including mothers). Check them out by clicking here. It’s time to commit.
Rehab can be the best thing that has ever happened to someone trying to get sober. And for many brave men and women, it is the starting point for their sobriety. Others come home and are back to their old ways within days. But there seems to be a growing trend happening that I want to talk about. Many women in the Love Over Addiction program are telling me that the ones they love are coming home and choosing to get drunk the very day they come home from rehab. Sometimes, they even stop at the airport bar after the flight they took when they checked out of rehab. I know this might be discouraging to read. I work really hard at trying to keep this from being one more place on the internet for venting, complaining, and defeat. Instead, I intend to create a safe and loving community full of women who can celebrate their victories and who are open to learning how to take back their control over this disease. We are not victims. We are smart, loving women who are good wives and mothers. We have many gifts to offer this world, and the purpose of our lives is not to make the ones we love sober. So when your partner comes back from rehab, I want you to check your expectations. Sure, they’ve done a wonderful job in a controlled environment where every day they are surrounded by other people whose intention is not to get drunk, use drugs, or look at pornography. They also have the assistance of some amazing counselors who have most likely found their own long-term sobriety. The reality is that it’s scary for alcoholics and addicts to go back into the real world. There are triggers all around them. They may not trust themselves. They may find temptations all around them. Our world advertises social drinking everywhere. Unless you want nothing more in the world than to get sober, you won’t. And no rehab - no matter how good - can make you have that desire. That’s the truth. And you know it because you’re a smart woman. The very best thing you can do when they get home from rehab is to make sure you’ve done your own program. While they're working hard at trying to figure out their issues, you need to get started on your own. The last thing they need (or deserve) when they get home is for you to nag, yell, worry, or police him. I know that’s hard. Trust me - I don’t say this with judgment. I did every one of those things I just mentioned. I understand that it’s difficult to trust them. And that will take lots and lots of time. It could even take years (and I’ll write about that more in a few weeks). But for now, your only job is to get busy working on yourself by starting one of our programs. You have been through just as much (if not more) as they have. You have bags to unpack and feelings to work through. You have tools you need to learn and confidence you need to gain. You need boundaries and self-care. You need a program. If you’re already a member of Love Over Addiction, Love Over Mistakes, and Love Over Boundaries, that’s wonderful. Listen to them again and again. This is your new part-time job. If you haven’t joined us yet, now’s the time. It’s not just about making your healing a priority. It’s about giving your future the best chance of real change. Finding your happiness again. Discover the real you and how wonderfully made you are.
I was talking to a wonderful and wise woman who has joined the Love Over Addiction program, and she was telling me a story about her husband who lied to her about his drinking. She walked in on him sitting in his office and sensed that he had been drinking again. She confronted him and he denied it. So she picked up the glass and said, “What is this?” He told her it was Coke and swore there wasn’t any alcohol in it. She took a sip and said it tasted funny. But he kept saying it was just soda. This loving and smart woman felt like she was going crazy because it didn’t taste like it was just soda. It didn’t look like just Coke. But he was looking her right in the eye swearing it was just soda. So she took the drink and walked it over to her neighbor's house and made him try it. He said, “Whatever that is, it’s not just soda.” It’s ridiculous how this disease can make us feel like we’re going crazy when we try to call our partner out on a lie and they deny, deny, deny. So what do you do the next time you're convinced they’re lying that won’t make you feel like you're going crazy? It’s very simple and it’s something you can start to do immediately. The next time you’re convinced the one you love is lying to you about anything (because addiction loves to try and get away with a LOT), you let them know this: you know the truth. BUT, here’s the deal: you need to tell them this very calmly and in one or two sentences, and then you hang up, walk out of the room, disengage. So in my friend's situation, this is what she would do: She suspects that he’s drinking. She picks up the drink and tastes it. Alarm bells go off. She trusts her gut. She tells herself, “I’m a smart and intelligent woman and this disease is trying to trick me. But I will no longer be fooled. The scales have been removed from my eyes. My blinders are off. I am trusting myself again.” She will put the drink down and calmly say, “I know there is alcohol in this drink. You are not fooling me.” And then she will walk away. Don’t engage in an argument. Don’t wait for him to deny. He won’t tell you the truth. Stop the battle before it starts. He is NOT going to say, “You’re right honey. That’s a drink and I was trying to trick you. I love you so much. Please forgive me and wait right here while I throw it out.” We both know that won’t happen so don’t expect it. You know it’s a drink. I know it’s a drink. Your partner knows it’s a drink. Accept that you are with someone who drinks or uses drugs. For today, you’re choosing to stay with him or her. Tomorrow might be different, though, and you reserve the right to change your mind. When you try to prove they are drinking or using, you’re attempting to control or admit they have a problem. Stop. Take a deep breath and remember you ARE in control - over yourself and your reaction. And you can go about your day with or without him or her now that you know the truth. If you haven’t joined us in one of our programs and you want to find answers, hope, and happiness, what are you waiting for? Click here to check out the details. Our programs are offered for just $25 a month. If your partner is spending money on their bad habits, making an investment in your family's future is a more valuable choice, don't you think?
Last week I was speaking with a woman who booked a personal coaching call with me. She was feeling stuck, and she wanted to leave but couldn't bring herself to imagine ACTUALLY leaving. She was looking for a breakthrough that would convince her that leaving or staying was the “right thing to do.” I told her, don't worry about getting to the finish line today. Just figure out the next 3 steps. For her, that meant: identifying 3 lawyers she may want to use spending some time driving around neighborhoods to see where she would like to live making a list of things in her home she would like to take when she moves. Breaking down your big goals into smaller steps is the best way to avoid getting overwhelmed. Plus you get a quick sense of accomplishment. Remember: we don’t do judgment in this community. We will never tell you to stay or leave. You reserve the right to stay today and change your mind tomorrow. What are the next 3 steps in your recovery? It could be to focus on your physical recovery - and so you need to find a gym near you. Make an appointment to take a tour and get the class schedule. It could be your mental recovery, and you need to join one of our programs (read the details by clicking here and decide what program looks perfect for you). It could be your spiritual recovery, and you need to head to your local bookstore and read up on all the different types of authors and teachers, select a few books to take home with you and put them on your bedside table for evening reading. Whatever your goals are, and whatever phase of recovery you’re in, take a moment right now to write down the next 3 steps you're committed to taking. You can do this. I am right behind you cheering you on. If you’ve been feeling stuck, I also recommend going through my program, Love Over Addiction. This program sets the foundation for your personal transformation from being lonely and scared to feeling a deep sense of peace and hopefulness about your future. I hope you join us. P.S. We are starting a new podcast called Love Over Addiction. You'll hear real-life stories of the brave women in our community who have overcome, found happiness and are deeply committed to healing. I know you're going listen and nod your head a lot, maybe laugh and cry and be left with hope. Just subscribe to the emails and we'll let you know when new episodes come out.
Let's be real, loving someone who drinks too much or suffers from substance abuse can feel like the opposite of a blessing. But one of the things that make our community different is that we refuse to just talk about the dark sides of this disease. Many, many blessings come out of a complicated relationship. And today, I want to talk about one of them. I am divorced. And I was the one who chose to leave my husband after ten years of trying to “help” him get sober. We have three children together. And one of the greatest fears that kept me suffering in my marriage was the idea that leaving would break our family apart. I was so afraid that I would do serious damage to my children. A few years ago I was a Keynote Speaker for a Celebrate Recovery conference. I brought my oldest son, Lance who was 12 at the time to hear me speak. His response to my talk about his father made me weep. Below is an excerpt from an email to all attendees and the entire church written by the man who ran the conference. He refers to Dr. Jerry Cade who is a wonderful guy that heads up the National Christian Counseling Association (I ended up being a Keynote from them after this talk). I hope you find hope and see this disease really does bring blessings. Not just for you, but for your children as well. It’s not all dark, and there is so much light just waiting for you. Have faith that blessings are just around the corner. ____________________________________ Michelle Anderson's wonderfully titled program, Love Over Addiction, is giving wisdom to women about loving a man who suffers from substance abuse. Michelle's young son, Lance, joined her for the entire day. She mentioned Lance in her address and the fact that this was his first time ever to hear his mom speak in such a formal presentation. Dr. Cade wrote, "I happened to sit by him (Lance). Maybe it was just me, but I think that at the end of Michelle's talk, he jumped to his feet and began to applaud and led all the rest of us to a standing ovation. Love over addiction, indeed!" No, Jerry, it wasn't just you --- I saw it, too --- a boy who, without thought of embarrassment, jumped from the pew applauding; but, it was his face I will remember - a young boy's face lit up with a righteous pride that shouted from the rooftop, "That is MY mom!!! I am HER son!!" If nothing else had happened in the entire conference but that one moment in time for that one boy, then Re-Creation lived up to its name!” _________________________________ I adore you my reader and you’re an amazing mother. I promise you that this disease will not ruin them if you communicate with your kids about what’s going on. Not sure what to tell them? The Love Over Mistakes program discusses exactly what to say (and what NOT to say) to your children. Join us by clicking here and find the answers you’ve been looking for.