ACOA: How Alcoholism Effects Your Children as Adults

Alcohol abuse in a family deeply effects how the children in the family will respond to alcohol. One path these effects could take is your children also abusing alcohol and other drugs. This is because it would become a learned and acceptable coping strategy for your children when faced with difficult situations. The other path that these effects could take is that your children would avoid use of alcohol all together. This avoidance can go as far as fear of becoming addicted themselves. It is important to be aware of the effects that your drinking has on your family members, especially your children. Children learn mainly through observation. If they see alcoholism, they are more likely to become alcoholics themselves. So what can you do to ensure that your children receive the treatment that they may also need?

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Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) is a branch of Al-Anon (support group for family members of alcholics) that focuses specifically on the adult children of alcoholics. ACoA exists to help educate and heal; educate about alcoholism and heal the scars left by their parent’s substance abuse. ACoA is a peer based support group, aimed at helping recovery within the family.

ACoA gives these children the opportunity to focus on their own recovery, all while their family member works on their own recovery. Often times, individuals will reach out to ACoA before their parent has decided to seek help. This is because they feel the need to know more about alcoholism than their family member has told them. They want to see past the drinking, and the other behaviours, into the causes of the alcoholism. Sometimes they just want support in making decisions regarding their relationship with their alcoholic parent.

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Recovery is something that the entire family must go through. It is impossible for the addicted parent to have a successful recovery, if they are coming home to the same environment that they left. The children are responsible for learning what the triggers and warning signs are, to help their parent work through a relapse or help to prevent one from happening. Part of this recovery process is learning about codependency and what role they may have played in enabling the parent’s behaviours. It is also a time to reflect of manipulative behaviours that have been exhibited in the past. By doing so, they can learn a better way in which to handle these situations.

Alcoholism often has a greater effect than we sometimes realise. It is important that all parties are considered when dealing with the recovery process. Ensuring that all family members, including the adult children, have a place to seek support is very important. Without recovery within the family, true recovery may not be successful within the addict.

Building a Successful Relationship

Human connection and acceptance are something that we all strive for. It is part of our nature to want to have a partner, to have someone that we connect with on a deeper level than just friendship. Relationships are an important part of our socialization as human beings. However, relationships that just don’t work and leave us with a bad taste in our mouth are an almost inevitable part of dating.Basic RGBGetting past the stage of just dating to being in a committed relationship is a large step for most people. After being burnt by others, it can often times be hard to accept and reciprocate the love for someone that you are close to. You may know that you love them but it may be hard for you to show the person that you love that you are in love with them. This can be a relationship killer.

Honesty, trust, and communication are the key pieces to a healthy and successful relationship. Without one, it is like a tricycle is missing a wheel; you won’t be going anywhere any time soon because your tricycle just doesn’t work. Building trust with the person that you are seeing is a great way to open up the lines of communication and having an honest relationship.

Trust is something that is hard to earn but very easily broken. Being completely honest with the person that you care about is a great way to earn trust. This does not mean that you need to tell them every detail of your thoughts, but you do need to be honest about who you are and what you are about.

When entering into a relationship, it is important at some point to make it clear what both parties expect from the relationship. This is so that there is no confusion around things like seeing others and cheating. Unclear boundaries can lead one or both of those involved to pushing the boundaries of the relationship to a point where there is resentment for committed indiscretions.

Cheating is seen as something that is nearly impossible for any couple to recover from. There are some relationships that do fully recover, but it takes a lot of time and hard work for healing and movement forward. Healing and taking the time to talk to your partner about what has happened is essential to pulling through cheating. However, cheating is often times just swept under the rug or pushed deep inside left to fester and grow. This is a breeding ground for resentment within a relationship.shutterstock_87748405Relationships aren’t easy. They take a lot of time, work and dedication. A happy and healthy relationship is something that is possible, but it requires the above mentioned. The important thing to remember is that loving yourself comes first in a relationship. Being happy and comfortable in your own skin will attract people that are like minded. Love yourself and the rest will follow.