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Loving an Adult Child of an Alcoholic Paperback – April 16, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Most apparent in the reading of this book is that Doug and Deborah Bey believe in the possibility of adult children of alcoholics being able to garner and sustain healthy couple-ship. Addressing the well known issues of lack of trust, hypervigilance, difficulty with conflict, inability to play, assuming the worst, and fear of commitment are just a few of the dynamics in which they offer support and direction for both partners. With a wealth of examples, compassion, and humor this couple offers validation and hope to the possibilities of developing secure and healthy relationships. (Claudia Black, Ph. D., best-selling author of It Will Never Happen To Me: Growing Up with Addiction as Youngsters, Adolescents, Adults)

About the Author

Dr. Douglas Bey is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, served as a board examiner for the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry for many years, was past president of his county medical society, his hospital medical staff, and his county board of health. Deborah Bey is an adult child of an alcoholic. She trained at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and was the head nurse on a hospital chemical dependency unit for a number of years. She later worked in a multidisciplinary private psychiatric group practice with Dr. Bey where she counseled ACOAs on an individual and group basis.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: M. Evans & Company (April 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590771176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590771174
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born Maquoketa,Iowa. Raised in Normal, Illinois (Note it's Normal--ILL). Dad was math professor. University High School.Cornell College Mount Vernon, Iowa. Wrestling team, pre med. University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago. Illinois Masonic Hospital internship. Menninger School of Psychiatry Topeka Kansas for psychiatric residency.Major U.S. Army medical corps Fort Knox Ky and 1st Infantry Division Vietnam. Private practice in Normal, Ill.since 1970. Board certified psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. Board Examiner for psychiatry. Distinguished Life Fellow American Psychiatric Association. Past president McLean County Board of Health, McLean County Medical Society and Hospital Medical Staff. Five chidren Cathy Ward,Garland Texas; Barbara White, Naperville Illinois; Sarah Bey Chicago; Matthew Bey Normal and Alvis Martin (Godson)Bloomington, Ill. Five grandchildren: Audrey,Andy and Rachel White Naperville; Keslie and Kyle Ward Garland Tex. Wonderful loving wife and cheerleader Deborah Bey R.N. is co-author of Loving an Adult Child of an Alcoholic which will be published by Rowman and Littlefield by December 2007. Two Yorkies Bogie and Louie 1 1/2 yrs old. Semi retired, Methodist religion. Plan to practice psychiatry until I am too confused or debilitated to make it to the office. We have the nicest patients in the world. Started writing and publishing books after I got on medicare and really enjoy it.
To see more about the books go to www.dougbey.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone in a relationship, not only with an ACOA but adult children from most disfuctional backgrounds. The pain that these adult children carry, the loneliness, anxiety, and fear that even they don't understand significantly effects intimacy and leads many of these relationships to end for all the wrong reasons. In most cases the adult child either doesn't realize how they are effected or won't share that with their significant other. This leaves the one in a relationship with an adult child unknowing of the troubles down deep inside their loved one. That's where this book comes in.Unfortunately, without the knowledge in this book (and books like it), good relationships end because the adult child wants out, thinking changing their circumstances will change how they feel but the only way to save not only the relationship, but themselves, is to look inside. The knowledge in this book will help both partners if they work hard and have faith that they can get through the stuggle they are going through....
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Format: Paperback
This book offers great insight into the common behaviors that ACOAs share. But its real value lies in the creative how-to tips that can help the spouse/significant other handle those unpredictable bumps that come with loving an ACOA. If you are committed to your ACOA and want to improve your relationship, this book can help.
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Format: Paperback
I have a whole shelf full of literature about alcoholism, addiction and recovery. This book by the Beys is without a doubt one of the best I've read. They combine a deep knowledge of the issues surrounding partners of "ACOA"s (adult children of alcoholic parents) with common sense advice, homey little case histories and even a joke or two in the section explaining the value of humor.
Although the book is aimed at ACOA partners, I think it's full of wise advice for ANYONE who understands that relationships thrive and grow because of WORK.
One charming thing about it is that the Beys freely admit that they don't have all the answers, and have even been wrong in their evaluations and suggestions in the past. Although everyone knows no one is perfect, it's rare to see this sort of candor in a book of this type.
I am hoping to get my partner to read this as well, as I think there's a lot that we can discuss from it.
The only even slightly negative thing I would observe (and this is more a quibble than anything substantial) is that their writing style is a bit odd, with a strange avoidance of contractions and an aim at simplicity. It's almost as if it wasn't written by someone for whom English was their first language.
That said, it's still very clearly written. Overall; extremely highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After 25 years of marriage, I did not understand what I perceived as changes in my husbands behavior. Up until that point he was a very dependable, reliable father and husband. He began acting out with sporadic unexpected behavior. He announced, "I feel like I have been taking care of everyone else's needs in life, but my own ". He and I seemed to be drifting apart. Sometimes we were close, other times he would push me away. He seemed to be moving towards a more selfish life, one that did not include me or our children. The behavior forced me into therapy, by myself--he would not attend--just to figure out how to deal with it. My counselor suggested this book. My husband is an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA), and could be the poster child for this book. We were too busy rearing our own children to ever really effectively discuss his life growing up as the oldest son of an alcoholic father. Reading this book erased my ignorance about ACOAs. I became more empathic to my husbands past and came to understand why he was acting out. His negative behavior accelerated when he turned the same age his alcoholic father died. I learned a lot from reading this book, and was able to approach my husband with patience and empathy. This book points out the negative sides of ACOAs, but offers a positive approach and solutions for those of us who are involved in a relationship with ACOAs. My husband was open to discussing aspects of this book, and could see himself in many of the examples noted. The book really helped our communication. I thanks the Beys for taking the time to write this book, and highly suggest it for those who want to continue a loving relationship with an ACOA.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As both an ACoA myself and being married to an ACoA, I bought this book hoping it would give me insight into both my wife and I. I am an avid reader who can typically finish a book within a day or two. However, I've been reading this book for 4 days now and am not even 1/4 of the way done. I just cannot get into it and finally deleted it from my Kindle as I now lack the desire to finish it.

I feel the idea and intent are great, but it just doesn't accomplish what it's hoping to. It's poorly organized and written. They change topics mid paragraph with no warning whatsoever, leaving you confused and having to backtrack thinking you missed something. Points are also often needlessly repeated. For example, they created a chapter about something they had already thoroughly covered earlier in the book.

I also felt as if some of the stories were made up. Some of the things they claim people said to one another just do not sound realistic at all. I also don't buy into some of the claims they make in the Using Humor section. If an ACoA is in a fit of rage over something stemming from her father leaving her sitting at the bar drinking a Pepsi while he got drunk and her spouses response to her rage is basically to chill out and have a pepsi I'll be there in a minute, it is more than highly unlikely the ACoA is going to find humor in that. It would more realistically further enrage them.

I appreciate the authors time, effort and intent, but I just honestly don't feel as if this is the most helpful book available. Personally, they didn't cover anything that I hadn't already read in Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz, and that was a much better read and well worth the money!
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