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The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage Reissue Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0910034180
ISBN-10: 0910034184
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters; Reissue edition (December 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910034184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910034180
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Merce Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2006
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****

This book is excellent for marriages when one of the partners is an alcoholic; it is also good for codependent marriages in general. Much of the book would apply to marriages where a partner is abusive, even if not alcoholic. The advice and illustrations are hands-on and useful. The book is about a hundred pages and very dated; however, the information is still valuable and well worth the price.

I have my copy highlighted throughout. Here is a sample quote:

"To see this situation realistically, she would have to understand how desperately the guilt-tormented alcoholic needs such weapons to bolster his own ego. When he uses these weapons to attack, it is not because he hates his wife but because he hates himself and needs to reassure himself that he is not all bad. He finds fault with the person nearest to him because it makes it a little easier for him to tolerate himself."

This book is a useful support to the spouse of an alcoholic, reflecting the Al-Anon philosophy and general good common sense, which is sometimes overlooked by the partner in the throes of chaos generated by living with an alcoholic/abusive partner. Highly recommended.

****
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This is one of my favorite books....I think it really helps keep the focus on me. I blamed the alcoholic for my problems for so many years...I find with this book it helps me to see and accept my part in the disease and I am finally able to work on it. I like some of the candid stories and I find that no matter where I am in recovery...relationships are hard, especially when I never knew what a healthy one was until now. This is great reading......and another important piece of conference approved literature for Al Anon recovery.
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As all literature from Al-anon, this book is sympathetic to the dilemma of the codependent spouse dealing with an alcoholic/addict, but it gives much more than sympathy. It is also very firm in telling us what we need to do to put the focus on taking care of ourselves no matter what the spouse is doing. The book is a quick read that should be referred to again and again, especially by a beginner. It is also a must read for those of us who grew up in alcoholic family systems and who have married other addictive and compulsive types, such as workaholics, food addicts, ragers, compulsive spenders, gamblers, sex addicts, etc. This book can be an eye-opener for those that feel they would be perfectly happy if their spouses were not using or drinking, because the book constantly reinforces that recovery has to start with us first, no matter what our spouses might be doing.
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This book is a mess. It goes beyond explaining co-dependency by victim-blaming and focusing on all the "faults" of the non-alcoholic spouse/family member, and--bonus!--even includes all of the misogynistic language of yesteryear that one would expect from a book published in 1971. In sum, it focuses less on providing a positive explanation of how one can help oneself and more on how that person is broken and at fault, leaving the reader feeling even worse after reading it than before she started. Not helpful at all.
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This book is a good start. I highly recommend reading this. It's very small but hits what seem like the most critical topics. It won't solve all your problems, but it will transition your way of thinking so that you can begin a healthy transformation.
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A good, solid, "basics" book, but for me it definitely could use a bit of updating to reflect the significant social changes that have occurred since it was published. For example, the book primarily assumes that the wife is the sober one, and the husband the alcoholic. This may still be the case for many (unfortunately) but as we all know this is an equal-opportunity disease, and often *both* partners have a problem. The language also assumes that the woman in the relationship is in a (long past) "traditional" role of stay-at-home wife and mother (with one exception that mentions a "career woman" who worked the program). So you still have examples like the woman hosting dinner parties for the husband's co-workers (!) and the like.

If you can keep in mind that the social roles were different when the book was written--but that overwhelming message of not being co-dependent and/or creating an atmosphere where the alcoholism can continue still rings true--then it's an excellent book.
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This book helped me tremendously with understanding alcoholic behavior and my own in reaction to it. It's plainly written so you don't have to go through pages and pages to find the point.
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Very useful stuff in here. Glad to know the information is still viable in 2015. Written in the early 70's so it assumes different male/female roles. Doesn't make patterns of alcoholic behavior and the role of the non-alcoholic any different. Good book!
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