Dating children of alcoholics

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Fear of abandonment, however, cuts a lot deeper because of childhood experiences.The child who experiences living with alcoholism grows into an individual with a weak and very inconsistent sense of self, as we have already discussed.For ACOAs, this state of confidence in your ability to make decisions and act upon them is not reached so easily.Someone (anyone) else's opinion often influences yours.This is a very, very critical self which has not had the nurturance it needed. No matter what you did to try to prevent it, it would happen anyway.It is a hungry self and, in many ways, a very insecure self. Your needs would not be met until the drinking episode and any accompanying crises were over. Some children living in this situation continue trying to get their needs met, and others give up entirely.You try to behave as though you have your entire life in order and are totally problem-free.

You will feel much more confident about the decisions that you make, and less threatened by other people's opinions. Fear of Being Found Out Many ACOAs constantly worry that the person they love would want nothing more to do with them if he or she really knew them.

This is caused by the fact that you never knew when, or if, your parents would be emotionally available to you. Those children who give up entirely are not as anxious to enter into adult relationships as are those who still hold onto the fantasy that maybe, just maybe, this time things will be different.

The constant fear, however, is that the person you love will not be there for you tomorrow.

A typical example of this is illustrated by the argument that Mary A., aged twenty-six (one of six children whose father is still actively drinking), had with her boyfriend.

It erupted because he was paying attention to other women, and Mary got angry.

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