by Concerned Mom and Dad
Our daughter has started divorce proceedings against her alcoholic husband. We have been told the chances of her re-marrying another alcoholic is VERY high. Is this true and has there been a study done on this topic? What are her chances be of being drawn into another nightmare of a relationship? She deserves better in life and she would try to avoid that if at all possible.
It is hard to say what the future holds for your daughter and whether or not your daughter will choose to marry another alcoholic. It’s possible that she may swing to the opposite type of person in order to avoid having a marriage similar to her previous one. However, yes, it is common for women to marry more than one alcoholic. A pattern has been seen with many women. This is often related to something known as codependency.
Codependency is characterized by the need to take care of and rescue other people to the extent that they end up enabling them. They usually do this because it makes them feel better to help someone who is a type of underdog. The codependent person feels good when helping someone in addiction. Their intentions are good. Their goal is to help the individual. However, they often find that they are contributing to the unhealthy and toxic patterns by always rescuing the person or defending the person or covering up for the person rather than allowing them to fully face their consequences.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to determine if this is a problem for your daughter:
- Does she seem to have a strong feeling of responsibility for the actions of others?
- Does she see pity and rescue as a good way to show love?
- Does she have difficulty making decisions?
- Does she have low self-esteem?
- Does she struggle to feel comfortable in her own skin and know herself well?
- Does she have poor boundaries?
- Does she have a need to control others?
- Does she feel guilty when she asserts herself?
- Does she have a strong need for approval?
- Does she do too much for others?
- Is she conflict avoidant?
- Does she have a strong need to be liked by others?
- Is she humiliated when her husband makes mistakes?
- Does she cover up for or defend other people’s mistakes?
If you answered yes to several of the questions above, your daughter may struggle with codependency which would increase the likelihood that she will marry another alcoholic or addict. I highly recommend that your daughter seek counseling before getting into another relationship, even if she is not codependent. Counseling will help her process and heal from the experiences that she had in her first marriage as well as prepare her to choose a partner that is better suited for her. It will also help her to be the best partner that she can be. It is important to work through prior relationships before getting into another one. Relationships give us many opportunities to learn about ourselves.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.