When an Alcoholic Doesn’t Come Home

An alcoholic, when they are drinking, doesn’t care about going home. What should you do when your spouse or teenager who has a drinking problem decides to stay out on the town all night? I can answer this question with great confidence because I had to deal with this issue on many occasions. It wasn’t until a dear friend in the Ala-non program shared a solution to this challenge that I was able to get a full nights rest when this would happen.

Just Go To Sleep

It sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

Let me share a little of the logic behind the suggestion. What good is it going to do you emotionally or physically to pace the floor all night? If you continue to call them repeatedly on the phone, do you really think they will tell you the truth if they answer the phone? If you have ever driven around trying to find and rescue them was the attempt ever a peaceful solution to an ongoing problem?

Driving around looking for them is a waste of time. Detaching from an alcoholic can be tough, but with some help from alcoholism support groups you can learn how.

No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to control the actions of an alcoholic. That means if they choose to not come home when they were supposed to, you are going to have to learn how to just get in bed and go to sleep. Especially if you must get up and be the responsible one the next day and go to work. If you get involved with support groups, this is the best place the get alcoholism family help.

Refuse to Call Them More Than Once

If they do not answer when you call them on their cell phone, then make a decision to find something else to focus on. This is a good time to call someone that you can talk to. If it is late in the evening, consider taking a Tylenol PM and reading a book until you fall sound asleep.

You must learn that there is nothing that you can do about their decision to not come home when they are actively drinking and having a party on the town. Why should you be pacing the floor all night when there’s absolutely nothing beneficial that will become of it? Remember also, that confronting an alcoholic really never accomplishes anything.

Avoid a Confrontation

If by chance you are awake when they do arrive, leave them alone. Just pretend that you are sound-asleep. Remember that you will be able to discuss the matter after they have sobered up in a few days.

So, if you ask me what you should do when an alcoholic father, mother, wife, or husband doesn’t come home. I say relax and enjoy the peace and quiet while they are gone. Because you know that when tomorrow comes, there is going to be an angry person to deal with who is filled with shame and remorse for what they did the night before. The best thing that we can learn is that we have no way to control their actions or drinking binges. We must let go and let God. Alcoholics behavior patterns will drive us crazy if we let them, we must not let them.

3 comments to When an Alcoholic Doesn’t Come Home

  • Kelly

    But what should I do if the alcoholic DOES come home? My biggest issue is that my alcoholic husband drinks at home. I think he should leave so that me and the dog do not have to be around him when he is drinking. I don’t like him up all night while I am sleeping—I feel vulnerable (even though he has never hurt me). But how do I get this to happen as a practical matter? He can’t drive himself somewhere!

  • Fed up

    I’ve been dealing with a husband who drinks, would not bother to come home nor say anything when he does, pretends everything should be normal. I’ve been married for 10 years. This behaviour started 5 years ago. I never knew I lived with an alcoholic till now. I’m so hurt .

  • Thepinch


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