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Why do I keep attracting alcoholics into my life?

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Showing 1-25 of 89 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 13, 2015 5:06:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2015 7:38:01 PM PDT
I agree with the comments that there is a needy person in the relationship that the other finds fulfillment, satisfaction, and completion in trying to save. I also agree with the comments that mention we may gravitate toward certain types of relationships unconsciously. An example of this is that I had a friend that didn't consume alcohol but her parents were borderline alcoholics. She grew up in this household which may have affected her emotional development. When she dated she almost always had relationships with borderline alcoholic guys.

Someone brought up an interesting point a few years ago in a conversation that desire is a healthy emotion that most everyone has and that when that desire goes unfulfilled it turns to desperation to fill its void which was explained as an unhealthy emotion. Often when a person is unhappy and unfulfilled in some way they may attract a desperate person that bears an uncanny resemblance to themselves at that moment, ie you are what you attract.

If you find yourself attracting the wrong person then it is best to try and become your best self. Because I think that nature and nurture have such a profound effect on development I don't think it is possible to change how you are rather you may better learn who you are, manage behaviors, and better embrace those that are not like you. I think often we learn who we really are after being married and having a family only to realize that the person you married is not who you thought they were if only we knew our own selves in time. Good luck original poster.

Posted on May 13, 2015 11:50:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2015 11:19:16 AM PDT
Magicbird says:
In response to the question "Why do I keep attracting alcoholics into my life?"

First of all, can you tell us WHERE you met these particular alcoholics to begin with? Was it at parties? At school? Through a friend? Where? It would help us understand if we knew the circumstances under which you met.

Secondly, there are a lot of alcoholics in this world. Maybe it's not so much that you "attract" alcoholics into your life as it is that you "let them in" to your life in the first place and then "let them stay" in your life. I'm wondering if you might have a 'caretaker' personality (a lot of us do).

Third--are you trying to break this pattern? Are you seeking relationships with non-alcoholics? Then try expanding the number of people you meet--join clubs, church, go to events, parties, take some courses--to increase your odds. Learn to strike up conversations with people you are attracted to--even in a book store, even just standing in line somewhere. Make it a habit. Cultivate new relationships. As soon as you become aware that one of these new acquaintances has an alcohol problem, then move on.

Read a book on how to cultivate charisma--I've got a couple of great books. Learn how to be a 'magnet' when you cross paths with someone you like.

Best wishes to you in your search for a healthier relationship.

Posted on Apr 15, 2015 5:21:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2015 5:11:40 PM PDT
Most of us tend to be lopsided with respect to whether we are right or left brain dominant. The few who are centered perfectly usually get martyred or at least stand out far too high above us for us to know them well or have the power to have them want to attach to us.

It is my observation and opinion that we are ultimately seeking our own other half, as in, looking for the mirror image of ourselves or at least one complimentary to our needs, whilst simultaneously wanting to fill up some of the gaps in our own development. Hence we partner up with those whose station supplies us with the opportunity to balance up ourselves. But once we have found our completeness, as in utilizing both our left and right brain perspectives, we will be our own best friend and then in the best position to befriend almost anybody and everybody, as we are complete ourselves and attaching to others is something we are in control of, rather than as previously having been controlled by them or the need of them. It is our self we are searching for. And by just being ourselves, we are well on the way to our fulfillment.

Our left and right brain perspectives are mostly patterned after our father and mother (biological primarily). Hence, depending on which parent we are sympathetic with we tend to partner up with either that parent or look for our opposite, depending on our soul development, as we do have a natural instinct not to bite off more challenge than we are capable of undertaking.

When I was a boy, if we bit off too big a chunk of the cake, we HAD TO EAT IT. I pretty much practice that now when it comes to relations with others. Some cakes take a lot of chewing!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2015 5:49:10 PM PDT
So true, Philip - you make complete sense. We all emit energy and need to work on ourselves, instead of trying to control and change others. It does take a lot of inner digging - not for the faint-hearted... :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2015 5:47:24 PM PDT
I've found this to be true too, Mike. Though my parents didn't drink, they were narcissists, and that's pretty much the same behaviour as the alcoholic. My sister and I both drank in our younger years - and I only realised lately (in my fifties) that I was a weekend alcoholic, and carried a lot of narcissistic traits. So... I, too, had become the thing I'd feared becoming. And I've attracted narcissists and alcoholics all my adult life.

However, instead of focusing on what I want in a relationship, and what qualities I would like to attract in others, I've been focusing on becoming the person I would want to be with. I want to make myself over on every level - not to pretend to be a 'nice' person, but to really seek out my demons, and not fear them. The thing we fear most, we certainly DO attract.

Florence Scovel-Shinn said to walk up to the lion on our pathway (the thing most feared, that we usually avoid) and it will become a tame kitten. That, for me, was standing up to my father...

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 3:48:19 PM PDT
Nadine says:
I was in the situation like this and change it by changing myself inside. It's well known that we have situation outside because of what we are inside- because of our thoughts< or beliefs and most of all because of lack of self love. Because when we do not love ourselves we are trying to get love from others by helping them even if this help caused problem for us. How I changed this pattern I described here How I survived few major crises and am planning to survive this one or the help from within Part 1

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 3:02:51 PM PDT
zilverb says:
Excellent! No mind altering substances are allowed under my roof and if I should discover such they are encouraged to leave. If someone was actually close to death and had massive pain from cancer or such then that is a different story. Alcohol, drugs, and entertainment drugs are seldom used for the terminally ill. People who use such have their first relationship with their addiction and therefore will not make a good friend, mate, and so forth. You will always be second.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 1:54:58 PM PDT
I had an ex-girlfriend who kept attracting alcoholics. I was the only man she ever had who wasn't addicted to something.

She was a whack job....I dumped her. Didn't feel like hanging with her at the bar at 2AM with her alcoholic friends.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 2:07:51 AM PDT
DSJ says:
I saw an alcoholic in a church once, he was praying for money for more beer...

Posted on Apr 28, 2012 8:02:42 PM PDT
Alanon - go =)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012 2:49:22 PM PDT
Do you drink are hang around in bars??

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 12:14:57 AM PDT
Matt says:
Was your dad an alcoholic?

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 7:17:24 AM PST
Hot hands says:
You need to go to al-anon. It's for you BTW, for your growth, and awareness...go. do it. Best thing you can do for yourself and it's FREE

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 9:45:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 10:05:05 AM PST
Jewel says:
Speaking to a girlfriend tonight I'm reminded how difficult it is to walk away from someone you care about and love who is an alcoholic but won't seek help for it. I think this thread has been helpful to people with the experiences shared and nuggets of wisdom posted. Like- "Nothing changes if nothing changes".

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 9:32:31 PM PST
Jewel says:
@M.Evans-Sage advice, thank you for sharing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 9:29:52 PM PST
Jewel says:
@FOB- thank you for offering your courage. Great post.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 9:50:45 PM PST
Dana Seilhan says:
That's a rather hateful thing to say. Even if your original mom and dad were the biggest substance abusers imaginable, clearly they loved you or they would have just kept you and neglected or beaten you to death.

I don't understand people who hate their origins that much that they're thankful to be away from them. I do not have a relationship with my mother and I'm *sad* about it. I *lost* something. I don't have to be grateful for that--and where I did grow up was no improvement, either.

As for the original person in this discussion I can't see her original question anymore, but way to go for everyone here who has bought into AA's and the self-help community's jargon. It's very simple. The alcoholic has a drinking problem and you do not. You want to help them because clearly they have a problem and THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY. The problem isn't that YOU want to help THEM but that YOU have NO HELP. Everyone around you looks down on you for wanting to be a human being and just backs away. The trouble with someone dealing with addiction is it takes more than one person to take care of them. And they *do* need care. They're sick. If they had cancer they'd be just as high-maintenance as they are with the alcoholism but because the latter is entirely a mental condition, nobody wants to cut them any slack. (And by the way, people with cancer have mental health issues too. Would you also abandon them?)

I get that it's hard. I really do. I have a longtime friend with this sort of problem in fact, and I can't deal with it but not because he's sick. If it were just that he were sick, no problem. But the trouble is I WOULD HAVE TO CARE FOR HIM BY MYSELF. All his friends are in denial that he has any problems (or they ignore that fact) and everyone else turns their backs on him. Thanks to this totally fake concept of codependency I can't do a thing for him. Because if I try to help him I'll burn out, because everyone will think I'm sick too, so they'll back away from me like I have cooties or something and I will get no one to be there for me or to spell me when it gets bad. He's got three kids and I don't think he'll see them all grow up. It's a shame.

We wonder why society's falling apart. There it is right there. Lack of compassion.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 6:33:34 PM PST
Philip Eddy says:
The American Medical Association has classified Alcoholism as a disease. That's why employees are offered EAP, (Employee assistance program).
But I don't care if you don't think it's a disease or not, that's just a fun debate for people who like to debate or argue.:-) I just shared my experience as a sober alcoholic. I stated in my letter that I was referring to me, sharing my experience. I even said that the 12 steps might not work for you, or for anyone, but they did work for me. As I stated before, i'm not a doctor. I'm just an alcoholic who now doesn't drink, and who now has healthy relationships. I told you what worked for me as a way to share another perspective. In AA and Al-anon we are taught in the literature that there are traditional doctors and professionals in the world and that we should avail ourselves of them. The program of AA is far from anti-traditional therapy, Bill Wilson(the founder) himself was an advocate of it. Al-Anon is based off of AA, so Al-Anon is not anti-therapy either. If what I say resonates with you, explore what I've suggested. Again, good luck.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 2:59:42 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 10, 2012 6:29:02 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 2:58:26 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 10, 2012 6:29:02 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 2:51:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012 2:52:14 PM PST
F.O.B. says:
Lord help me. Dearest Violet, you are not an alcoholic. Perhaps you should check out the trusted Mayo Clinic's page on the disease of alcoholism.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 2:42:54 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 10, 2012 6:29:00 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 1:58:48 PM PST
F.O.B. says:
As an alcoholic, I can easily answer this question - it's not about you. We need someone to take care of us and someone we can "take hostage", as we say. Just like animals are attracted by pheromones, we can spot someone no sense of self worth, no boundaries, and an infinite desire to caretake from 10 miles away. We call these people co-dependents, and Al-Anon is for them. THAT'S when it becomes all about you. Your program. Your recovery, from whatever it is that keeps you like that sticky flypaper to alcoholics. Trust me - there's something there. Normal every day folks aren't beating drunks off their doorstep every time they turn around.
Why do I talk the way I do? I'm a woman. I've been sober for 28 years, and got sober when I was 25. Not because I was lucky, or nipped it in the bud, or quit before it got out of hand. (That's what people say immediately after you tell them you quit at 25). I quit because I was going to die. I was a drunk driver, and I could have caused someone else's life to change forever. I quit because I was sick every single day. I quit because I'd nearly lost everything I'd ever cared about, except my co-dependent husband who would have continued to take the abuse I dished out every day. I quit because I couldn't hold a job. I quit because alcohol just wasn't working anymore. I quit because I couldn't manage my drinking. We say "I quit because I couldn't stop". I went into treatment, joined AA, and I've been sober ever since. That was 1983.
I talk this way because many of the other posts I read sickened me. There are even non-alcoholic "counselors" giving some pretty crazy observations/advice. Dear God. When it comes to alcoholism and the people affected by it, we cannot mince words. A lot of people claim to know answers, but unless they live inside of this disease they need to keep their mouths shut. People die because of alcoholism, so please, the rest of you, don't be therapists. To speak directly to you: I will write you a guarantee: You will continue this pattern the rest of your life if you avoid the fearless and thorough look at YOU that is the ticket to freedom. I wish you luck, and only you can decide to change your life. If you don't have the courage, you can borrow mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 12:22:11 PM PST
If half the of these issues can be linked to mental problems then what are the other factors they found in the study? What makes up the other 50 percent? That's all I ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 9:37:44 AM PST
DonaQuijote says:
Very interesting, Marilyn. It is also interesting that Kate appears to have not responded to you.
How much do we pick and choose wha we wan o hear?
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Initial post:  Jan 29, 2012
Latest post:  May 13, 2015

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