9 Struggles for Adult Children of Alcoholics

It is a universally understood truth that each person on the planet does not live in a vacuum. Every decision that you make has a ripple effect that impacts a plethora of people over a long stretch of time. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic as many of our decisions probably do not affect anyone other than the individual. However, you get the point. We must be careful about the decisions that we make because we cannot be sure what long term effects they will have on those around us.

When I was a child, I lived in the same house as an alcoholic. For the most part, I feel like I am a pretty well-adjusted individual, as an adult. Or at least, I did until I read this article. Sharon Martin, an LCSW who has a column called Happily Imperfect, provides us with nine areas of struggle that is common amongst the children of alcoholics as they become adults.


As I was reading over this list, it occurred to me that I was reading about my adulthood. This is me. Or at least, most of them. I definitely relate to most of them. It’s almost creepy how accurate this is. So, I began thinking, how does this list help? What can it provide?

And it occurred to me that the greatest value that this list provides us is probably not even in how to understand ourselves. Its best use is probably in how to understand others. Maybe you are married to someone who came out of an alcoholic family and you have never quite been able to relate with them on things. Maybe you have had trouble understanding some of their behaviors.

If that is the case, this list can help. I provided a link to give you a more descriptive listing of the struggles. I encourage you to head on over to Psych Central and digest the entire article, if for no other reason than to just understand.

9 Common struggles for adult children of alcoholics

Being rigid and inflexible

Difficulty trusting and being closed off

Shame and loneliness




Being highly sensitive

Being overly responsible


Again, I hope this is useful. It helped me see myself a little more clearly. Maybe it will help you as well.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.

8 thoughts on “9 Struggles for Adult Children of Alcoholics

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      1. I thought I was really normal coz I went to university, had a good job and am amazing fiance etc. Then a friend who new my parents were alcoholics suggested I read “Adult Children of Alcoholics” which literally described every quirk I have.


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