Are You Living With An Alcoholic Narcissist?

The Double Whammy: Dealing with an Addicted Narcissist

If you've stumbled upon this blog post, chances are you might have caught wind of my recent YouTube video discussing the tumultuous world of dealing with an addicted narcissist. Yep, you heard it right. It's like the perfect storm of personality traits that can make life feel like a rollercoaster ride through a hurricane.

Now, if you're new, let me introduce myself. I'm Amber Hollingsworth, a seasoned Master Addiction Counselor with over two decades of experience helping people struggling with addiction and their families navigate the treacherous waters of addiction. Buckle up, because today, we're diving deep into the murky waters where narcissism and addiction collide.

So, what's the deal with narcissism, you ask? Well, it's been a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Narcissistic abuse is no joke, and distinguishing whether you're dealing with a garden-variety addict or a full-blown narcissist (or perhaps both)...

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The Dangers of Counseling

The Risks of Counseling for Your Addicted Loved One: Why Timing and Insight Matter

Are you grappling with the daunting task of convincing your addicted loved one to seek counseling? Before you dive headfirst into individual or couples therapy, it's crucial to understand the potential pitfalls that could arise. In this insightful post, we'll explore why rushing into counseling can sometimes backfire and how timing and insight play vital roles in the effectiveness of therapy.

Why Couples Counseling Might Not Be the Solution

You might believe that couples counseling could be the key to addressing your loved one's substance abuse issues. After all, it's an opportunity to address relationship dynamics while tackling addiction. Unfortunately, the reality is often far from ideal.

One significant risk of couples counseling is the potential for each party to seek validation from the counselor. Your loved one may enter the session expecting the therapist to side with their perspective,...

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How Loving An Alcoholic Can Change You And Your Relationship

Losing Yourself: The Descent into Desperation When Living with Addiction

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like a stranger stared back at you? Maybe it wasn't immediate, but over time, living with someone battling addiction can make you feel like you're disappearing, piece by piece. In this blog post, we'll delve into the journey of losing yourself amidst the chaos of addiction, exploring the hidden toll it takes on your emotional and psychological well-being.

Co-Regulation: The Unseen Influence

The journey into the abyss of self-loss often begins subtly. Co-regulation, a term that might sound new to some, describes how our emotional states synchronize with those around us. When living with someone struggling with addiction, whose emotional rollercoaster knows no bounds, your own emotions become entangled in their turmoil. It's a magnetic force, beyond your control, as your limbic brain dances to the chaotic rhythm of theirs.

The Onslaught of Self-Doubt

As the addiction...

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Confronting the Battle Within: Living with an Alcoholic Spouse

Navigating an Alcoholic Marriage: Strategies for Survival and Recovery

Discovering your spouse's alcoholism can be overwhelming. In this blog, we explore practical tips to navigate this challenging situation, focusing on emotional well-being, financial preparedness, and maintaining a sense of normalcy.

  1. Regaining Control of Your Emotions:

    • Emphasize the importance of taking charge of your emotions.
    • Break free from the cycle of fear and obsession by making calm, collected decisions.
    • Stop the constant checking, snooping, and questioning to regain emotional stability.
  2. Financial Protections:

    • Acknowledge the possibility of an uncertain outcome and prepare accordingly.
    • Establish financial independence to ensure you can support yourself if needed.
    • Create a safety net by having a plan, whether a side hustle or support from friends.
  3. Maintaining a Life Outside the Problem:

    • Reconnect with hobbies, interests, and social circles that don't revolve around the issue.
    • Prioritize self-care...
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4 Common Ways Partners and Spouses Accidentally Self-Sabotage in Relationships


In any relationship, setting boundaries and maintaining healthy dynamics can be challenging. Sometimes, partners and spouses unintentionally self-sabotage their relationships without even realizing it. Let's highlight the four common ways individuals may unknowingly undermine their relationships and provides guidance on avoiding these pitfalls. By recognizing and understanding these behaviors, you can make conscious choices to foster healthier connections with your partner.

  1. The Difference Between Requests and Boundaries: One common mistake people make is confusing requests with boundaries. A request is simply asking someone to do or not do something, like asking your partner to pass the salt or not to drive the kids when they've been drinking. It's essential to recognize that these are just requests and not boundaries. When requests are not followed, it can lead to frustration and a sense of violated boundaries. Understanding the distinction between requests and boundaries is...

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Does Your Spouse Refuse To Get Help For Their Alcohol Addiction?

So your spouse finally admits that they have a drinking problem but refuse treatment. This kind of situation is a lot more common than you might think. I'm going to tell you three things you should ask for if you face this dilemma.

But before we go much further, Let's discuss why this is a common dilemma—going into treatment, like 30, 60, or 90 days of treatment, is the last thing someone will agree to address an addiction problem.
As frustrating as it is, if you stop and think about it, it's understandable.

You're away from family and can't work for 30 days or more. Then, you get told when you can eat and what to do; people ask many questions, and it's not something you look forward to doing.

If you're in the dilemma of having a spouse who acknowledges they have a drinking problem but don't want to go to treatment, I want you to recognize why they might be frustrated. It doesn't mean that you agree with them or that you think it is the right decision, but listening to them,...

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Am I An Idiot For Staying With My Addicted/Alcoholic Spouse?

"Am I a complete idiot for staying with my alcoholic or addictive spouse? If I think about leaving, I feel guilty. On top of that, I feel like I get all this judgment from everyone around me. The people who know there's an addiction are judging me for staying, and the people that are in denial about it are judging me for leaving." 

Can you relate?

I know you feel upset with your spouse because this is not what you signed up for, and I can't even tell you whether or not your spouse will for sure fix their problem or not. This is a decision that you should not make from an emotional place because you're likely to take that decision back.

I will give you a framework to make this decision easier for you.

There will be six categories, and we'll group them into "Negative- I should go." and "Positive-I should stay." 

If you're married to your addicted loved one, I know you have mixed feelings. On one hand, you may be thinking, "Isn't addiction an illness? I made a vow to stay...

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Boundaries With An Alcoholic Spouse (part 1)

Trying to keep good boundaries with a spouse who has a substance abuse problem can get complicated. Are your boundaries healthy and appropriate? Let's find out...

There are some standard issues when it comes to being in a marriage, especially when someone has a substance abuse problem. Those are:

  • Money-always a big category
  • Household responsibilities and who's responsible for what.
  • Safety issues can include things like driving.

I'm going to give you some examples of boundaries in each category. As we go through this, identify the appropriate boundary, the ones articulated in the right way.

First up, let's talk about driving.

Four Driving Boundaries examples:
#1- I'm not going to allow you to drive our kids if I think you've been drinking.
#2- You're not going to leave this house in our car when you've been drinking.
#3- I won't provide insurance under my name if I think you're likely to drive while intoxicated.
#4- Please do not drive home drinking. It makes me a nervous wreck. I'm...

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Boundaries With An Alcoholic Spouse (part 2)

This is Boundaries with an Alcoholic Spouse, part two. If you haven't watched part one, I suggest you go back and watch that first.

But if you've already watched it and you're here for the answers, you're in luck because we'll go over those boundary examples.

Under the drunk driving category, we had four boundaries to explore.

#1- I'm not going to allow you to drive our kids if I think you've been drinking.

 
This one is a pretty appropriate boundary. Here's a hint-A healthy boundary usually starts with "I." It's not telling the other person what they will and won't do, you're saying what you will and won't do. *A special note about this boundary...I think that's an appropriate, reasonable, healthy boundary, and it's communicated appropriately, but I want you to ask yourself, how will you hold that boundary? It's not just what boundary you'll set, but how to enforce it. Make sure you've thought about that before you set this type of boundary.

#2-  You're not...

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Help! My son and husband are both struggling with addiction 😥 (True Story)

I'm answering a viewer letter about a situation where more than one person struggles with addiction in one household.

We're going to take a look at the letter, and then I'll give my response and feedback.

She writes...

"My husband is currently in rehab for alcoholism for the second time. He was in law enforcement for 15 years and had a very public DUI several years ago. He went to rehab for the first time and stayed sober for over two years.

He's been a binge closet drinker. In the last two years, he falls into a depression and drinks and leaves for days at a time to the woods with no communication. On December 30th, he left for five days. When he came back, he asked me for help and decided he should go to rehab.

He's now been there for a week. He sounds good, and I'm hoping he is gaining what he needs to help himself get through this for our relationship. We don't have any trust. He's s a good man, a hard worker, loving when he doesn't drink. The person we all want him to be...

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