LOVE – Healthy Boundaries

In this video Lou talks about LOVE and setting boundaries.  In Bottled Up we encourage a positive approach to the drinking situation – this is probably most represented in our tools, especially LOVE.

There is, however, more scope than we realised for misunderstanding, that we are promoting a “grin and bear it” attitude to the drinker.  We are absolutely not!

While we have great compassion for the drinker, have a whole area of the website for them and also help them on 1 to 1 basis.  We are not apologists for drinkers nor do we condone any abuse, physical and/or mental, that they perpetrate while drunk!

We do promote healthy boundaries and self-care for the family.

If you would like to see the other videos in the LOVE series you can find them at the links below.

Here are links to all the videos in the series on LOVE

LOVE an alcoholic – You must be joking

L is for letting the negatives happen

O is for Optimise your time when they are sober

V is for valuing your drinker

E is for Encourage change

7 Replies to “LOVE – Healthy Boundaries”

  1. Thanks Lou and John for last batch of videos. I have not left any comments of late mainly because this series has bought out prehaps the worst in me? KDKA has actually put in to words mainly what I feel and how the drinking merry-go-round keeps on going! So until I get myself in a better mental frame of mind I didnt comment. I think when your drinker is having a particular bad spell – you may then watch a video and your brain/mind-well mine for defiante says NO NO NO! Why should I do or try that AGAIN only to face the disappointment and all the others conflicting emotions that you experience living with a drinker.
    Will be interesting to see what you cover next – and the responses.

    1. Dear Kim
      How our hearts went out to you when we read your post. Thank you for sharing. We are so glad you did. I ( Lou) so identify with the negative and push back emotions you expressed. Of course you feel that way when your drinker is going through a bad patch. Your response is both understandable and totally valid and I was there many many times.
      The reason I often use the analogy of a vicious circle and/or a descending spiral is that the scenery looks ( wearily) the same even if in the end things do improve.
      Or maybe sadly it’s time to find the ” I have really tried but I can’t do this anymore” exit and take care of yourself by moving away from it all. Either way John and I would be clapping and saying well well done. Lou

    2. Kim. I am also at a point where I just realized I am not the same person. My husband’s drinking has changed my personality and here I am, wondering who I am now and where I am heading. I will probably not respond to the blog for awhile..while I appreciate it, my situation doesn’t seem to fit.

  2. I joined Bottled Up around 10 years ago. I have to say it helped me SO much. I didn’t talk to anyone about my husband’s drinking because I didn’t want them to think differently about him. I didn’t want him to be defined by it. Also I knew if I said anything I would probably be advised to leave him which I did NOT want to do (most of the time). From your website I got permission to love him and stay with him. It was a tough journey. He was not abusive, but his unpredictable moodiness was harmful to my mental health.

    In the beginning I joined the forum, but found it the least useful part of the site for me because everyone was understandably sad and angry. What I needed was to hear from people who had already successfully managed to live with someone with a substance use issue–which is where Lou was really helpful to me. I did drop out of the forum after a couple of years because it usually just made me feel worse.

    Over a period of years he has reduced his drinking drastically. It no longer affects his personality and he is the wonderful, kind person I must have always known he was. It’s been a long road and I almost did leave at least 3 times, but now we both are very happy.

    I learned to back off without backing out. He learned to moderate and moderate and moderate.

    I had the advantage of not having to worry about children or security. This is my second marriage. We met after my children were grown. It really helped to know I didn’t NEED him, but stayed based on the connection we had. Somehow, it was enough (with your help) to see us through.

    I still get links to your videos in my email and sometimes watch them, but I’m happy to say I don’t need them.

    1. Thank you Wendy for your comments. That first para absolutely resonates with me. It is so good to hear someone explain exactly how I feel.

      I have only just opened up to a couple of people about how difficult it can be sometimes (siblings), I didn’t before as I didn’t want my husband to be judged and perceived as a bad man or father. He is loving, kind, gentle, but just not so much when he’s been drinking.

      My husband has also reduced his drinking considerably – in 2020 he went a whole year without alcohol. It was the best year for us both. He drinks again now but less than he used to. Things are not great, but they are better than they were, most of the time.

      I want to stay with my husband, and I know he is working hard on our situation. I think we’ll get there …. we need to keep talking and listening to each other, and there needs to be grace, forgiveness, compassion, patience and strength. On both sides.

      1. I so agree with your last paragraph. My husband and I both had to be willing to grow to make this work. There are no guarantees but I’m grabbing the happiness while I can.

  3. Most difficult to remain in a 24yr marriage when alcoholism get all the time and efforts of my husband. If he isn’t working or drinking, he is laying on the lounge watching TV. Alcoholics are very boring! If he has a problem in life, he ignores it until it’s 10 times worse.
    Goodness .. what a ride!

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