Powerful questions for reflections.
I have been in a relationship for 20 years with an addict.
It was only when we had children together did my co-dependency rear up. I was not planning on being a mother - and while I was grieving the loss of my identity pre-kids, trying to work out how to be a mum... I lost my direction. My confidence and independence took a turn.
It took me 5 years after our first child before I realised.
Almost 2 years later, I am still working on "me", but I have my confidence in me back.
We never married - my choice, I am self sufficient, I have a fantastic support system that knows our story and I am not fearful of my or my daughters lives. Violence has never been an issue. Verbally there are scenes...but since finding my center once again, it doesn't render me in an anxiety ridden ball any longer.
My girls know their father - he will always be their dad. Sober or drunk... Yeah he says stupid things sometimes... I make sure they know they can talk to me about it, or my friends, or grandparents etc. I hear parent say stupid things to their kids all the time...including me!
As you say - there is no one size fits all answer.
It is can be complex or it can be simple.
The vision of how we want to grow together still there, even though it will take us longer to get there if he choses to still drink. He tries - that is all I ask.
I get all sorts of perceptions launched at me... but as long as I hold my center - my north star - I can listen with an open mind.
If things change, I will adapt as they come.
I am a hell of a lot stronger than I was two years ago.
Him being him, gifted me the power to unlock who I am. Pain with purpose...
Grateful to have found your words.
Hoping to become a voice to help other too.
Thanks for shining a light for others to use as an impetus for their own change.
Thank you for being you.