Role of Co-Dependent

Hi, I am the adult child of an alcoholic. It was a terrible childhood and as the youngest I just ended up being the 'Whipping Boy' for all the frustrations that my mother and brother felt, so they would shout at me or abuse me for his drinking. I am a survivor and I know NOW that it was not my fault. But what I cannot understand is why my mother stayed with him for years when his drinking was like at two bottles of vodka a day to help wash down his Valium. Day in, day out, seizures, wetting himself, nervous system shot through drink and so on. But she stayed and made it clear that as children if we couldn't handle that, then we could just leave. Why do you stay in such a dysfunctional relationship that is clearly having a really bad effect on your children??? It also can't be any fun to be married to someone who is never sober. I am an intelligent adult now and I still just can't understand it...… Can anyone shed any light on this or point me towards literature that may help me to get even a tiny glimmer of understanding? I strive to understand how other people feel, but this one just defeats me.....

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