Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Disentangled

Nechama H. Raphaelson

Last week, we introduced the concept of codependency — a dynamic in which two people are dependent on each other in unhealthy ways. Here, we examine four common codependent relationships, see how they can become established, and explore what one can do to disentangle from the clutches of codependency.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Addict’s Wife I’m 35, and I’ve been married for ten years to an alcoholic. We have six children. For the first three years of marriage, I pleaded with him to change… and I was confident I would succeed. As the eldest of ten, I knew how to keep things together. Even at work, I was always the one responsible for the efforts of all the employees. I often gave suggestions for better productivity to my boss, who quickly promoted me to manager. So I was optimistic about my marriage — I could fix this, just like I fixed everything else. But I soon realized this wasn’t working with my husband. He’s frequently drunk, more preoccupied with bars than with his family. All the housework, finances, cooking, and child rearing falls on me. I barely have time to sleep, get dressed, or even eat. My husband, meanwhile, bounces back and forth between promises of change and excuses that he can’t. I give him second, third, and fourth chances. I stay up late, reheat his dinners, and call his boss to say he’s sick when he’s too hungover to work. (If he loses his job, how will we pay our bills?) I make excuses at family gatherings when he doesn’t show up. I used to be extremely sympathetic. I kept a calm demeanor, invited guests for Shabbos, and swallowed my anger and sadness. But my resentment is becoming overwhelming, as my entire life revolves around taking care of my husband. I’m angry at him for never being there, for making me work so hard, for giving me nothing when I do so much for him. It kills me when my children see my husband’s passed-out body in the kitchen.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you