Alcoholics Blaming Others for Their Problems

One of the behavior patterns of an addict is blaming others. Alcoholics are not exempt from this character defect. It’s not until people get into recovery that they begin to grasp what it means to take responsibility for their own behaviors.

Why do people with addictions do things such as judge and criticize others?

Basically, someone who is struggling with an addiction has a very difficult time looking at the real person on the inside. It’s easier to point the fingers at everything and anybody who can take the blame rather than them having to.

What accompanies the blame game that the alcoholic doesn’t really realize they are playing with family and friends?

Alcoholic Pointing FingerWell, generally there is anger that goes along with the alcoholic who is blaming others for their problems. They will get mad at the power company for turning off their power and say that they are unjust, even though the electric company gave them a one month grace period. They will blame their spouse for the pool being filled with green algae because they did not have any money to purchase chlorine. Yet, every day they were able to purchase two packs of smokes and a twelve pack of beer.

It’s not an uncommon thing for them to imply that they told someone a particular thing when they never did, just to get themselves off of the hook.

Deep down inside they really don’t want to be the way that they are, but the power that the alcohol has over their lives greatly affects their behavior. They will even blame the outcome of things to be related to the alcohol that they consume. This may be very true, but using alcohol as an excuse is not ever acceptable behavior.

How to deal with an alcoholic who is constantly blaming others for their problems

I would highly suggest that the phrase “I’m sorry you feel that way” become a part of your daily lifestyle when you are conversing with an addict who is constantly blaming everything on others. If the blame is directed toward you, this phrase is a mighty tool to deflect things right off of you when they do this. You will find several other phrases here: Communicating With An Alcoholic.

By saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” it keeps us from reacting to the lies that they throw at us. If they are blaming us for the pool being green with algae, instead of us defending ourselves and pointing the finger at them, by saying: “well, if you didn’t spend all of your money on beer…”, we put an end to the thing immediately by communicating more strategically.

When we react to the blame game, then there is just too much room for an argument. Trust me, things will be a lot quieter around the house if we do not confront the lies that accompany the blame they hurl upon us. This is all apart of learning how to handle an alcoholic.

It’s a rare thing for addicts or alcoholics to take responsibility for the things that they are personally doing wrong. They feel so bad about themselves already because they drink all the time that somehow blaming others for all of their problems helps them to feel OK about themselves. The best thing that can be done, if you are coping with someone who is constantly blaming others for things, is to adapt my favorite saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”


363 comments to Alcoholics Blaming Others for Their Problems

  • Sandy

    Well today I’m feeling the need to post further on this topic; today I feel like the Titanic and I’m going down for the last time; I have recently posted that I was feeling cautiously optimistic because my husband had been 2 months sober – I went to say that I was not blind to the fact that he could relapse and we’d be back to square one – we are back to square one TODAY; he drank yesterday, turned into a raging lunatic . . pulling my hair out in the street in front of our house last night, throwing me around and against the car, bruised my ribs by slamming the car door on me . . I picked up the phone to call 911, he called his AA sponser and he told him to remove himself from the home; low and behold he listened to someone and left for 3 hours . . came back sober and went to bed. I’m ok, my elderly mother is ok, my pets are ok – he had a long talk with his sponser this morning; of course is crawling back – this is his first relapse . . here is my dilemma . . I need to make sure I’m true to myself . . I had set a boundary 2 months ago and told him “you drink once or touch me or my mother again we are done and I will move out” . . a tough lesson to learn, don’t set a boundary you really aren’t prepared to keep; I’m not in a position to move out . . immediately . . I’ve started my Plan B but not there yet financially nor mentally prepared probably either . . if I stay, am I weak and being untrue to myself, or . . am I just dealing with the reality of the situation as it stands today?

  • Sandy

    P.S. Forgot the important part of my post . . he was BLAMING me for his taking that drink yesterday – guess why? Because I haven’t been able to lose any weight on my diet . . I’m chubby so that give him cart blanche to drink . . or so his disease rationalizes . . and here’s the other hitch . . I weigh the same as I did when he met me . .

  • Bart

    Sandy, when I find myself in situations like yours, I make a conscious effort to go easy on myself.

    I am specifically referring to the ultimatum you originally placed in the situation. Learning how to cope with an alcoholic takes time. We don’t always do things right and we are continually learning through our experiences. Thank God we are not the same way we used to be.

    I always remember that I can start over at any time…even if I have to start over 100 times in a day.

    Take care of yourself today!

    Live and let live!

    Don’t own the blame or take ownership of any guilt he may be heaping on you!

  • Sandy

    Wow Bart . . thank you . . your post made me actually let out a physical sigh of relief . . literally . . I read it .. and I feel better . . today is a new day hands down . . starting over doesn’t make me a bad or weak person . . it just makes me human . . again . . thank you . .

  • stacy

    Sandy, o my. My mom was married to a guy like this and I will never forget the physical abuse I had to endure because of his alcoholism. I had to share MY room with his snoring son who one night I evidently irritated enough trying to get him to quit snoring, went and told his dad who came in my room yelling and telling me we were going to be a happy family, proceeded to punch me in the head causing me to see stars. I was about 14 at the time. One other time my parakeet was out, he caught him and was squeezing him yelling at me because he was not supposed to be out and hit me upside the head causing my head to bounce off the corner of a wall. I am 47 now and can still feel the dent it left in my head. Every time I feel that dent, I relive that whole incident and see it plain as day. My suggestion to you is MAKE A PLAN AND GET OUT AS SOON AS YOU CAN! The final straw for my mom was one new years they went out. Of course he got drunk, left my mom at a convenience store, she got a ride home from a friend while he went on to another bar. She came home, and he was shortly behind her. She told me to shut the garage door as he was pulling into the drive. I did. She locked the front door and I remembered the basement door was not
    barred. I ran down, saw him walking down the hill as I just got the bar dropped he tried to open the door. I ran upstairs and she locked herself, my sister and I in her bathroom until the cops got there. He was knocking on the front door and trying to sweet talk her to

  • stacy

    Open the door and let him in. He then punched through two paines of glass just as the cops pulled up. He probably would have done some serious damage to us if he would have got to us. He spent two days in jail and all of his stuff was removed from our house in that time. I live every day thinking of that horrid time in my life. Your kids will have the same memories. You have some real hard decisions to make. Good luck and we are all here for you 🙂

  • Sandy

    Well I have definitely started Plan B that’s for sure; I have a packed bag for me and my elderly mother in the trunk of my car along with all my important documents – luckily, I have no children to worry about . . but I do have pets that I adore . . 2 dogs, cat and a bird . . and I assume if he’s capable of hurting me he’s capable of hurting them . . he is going back to court in 2 weeks from the arrest for domestic abuse 2 months ago; after last night, I’m hoping they throw the book at him; I would have not regrets if he went to jail, I’m starting to feel that is the only place he is going to possibly get well . .

  • C

    No matter how I try, any altercation with anyone remains with me. There are peaceful times, but I can be somewhere and a flood of alcoholic memories haunt me. I do not drink.

    Your situation will only progressively get worse. The alcoholic cannot help but yell, blame, etc.

    Get protection or another place to go if he really goes bonkers.

    Take good care.

  • Sandy

    I do have a safe house with my best friend, she can take me, my mom, and pets all in . . and my AH does not know where she lives . . so I can disappear for awhile if I can get away from him if need be; my boss has told me I’m more than welcome to store things I need at the office too . . last night my AH threatened to take my car away from me; which he can’t really do . . but while he left last night, I found the spare key he had and hid it . . the one smart thing I am soooo glad I have done . . I kept our bank accounts seperate . . he has his and I have mine; this has been a bone of contention with him but big WHOOP . . I did what I had to do to protect me and my family; he has ZERO access to my money . .

  • stacy

    Sandy, sounds like you have made your plan. The hardest part if following through with it! Your husband sounds like a VERY angry and dangerous person. You definately deserve serenity for yourself and your mom. Go for it girl!!

  • NM

    Every day I come here to remind myself that I am not alone. No one can even begin to understand what it is like to be in our situations. Not even the people that live in the same home with us. My children will never understand why I am so patient with their father even when he’s being so mean. They will never understand why I have chosen to stay around for so long because there are different stages of this disease. No two people feel exactly the same about anything that we live thru no matter how similiar the situations may be. Last night, I question my son about where he had been all afternoon with his dad. His dad likes to dissapear with his friend who also has two small children and they drink. I dont allow him to take our sons. Yesterday he begged for me to let him stay home with him so I did. Well, while I was questioning my son. He flipped out. saying he’s tired of being interrogated. He hates me and cant wait until I get out of my life. Im so negative. blah blah, he left to drink for about 3 hours maybe 4 and come back to pick up where he left off…- I will never find anyone like him. I will end up with some loser. No one will ever provide the “lifestyle” that he’s provided. he played out the conversation he will have with the new loser I meet and how he will approach the situation. He called me every name in the book. told me he hates me so much. told me get out of his life. He cant wait til i’m gone. says im ungrateful for everything he’s ever done for me. He’s gonna see me fail in life not because those are his wishes for me but because im so stupid i will fail just like all the other women in my family. (My mom’s a widow(my dad died of liver disease 12 years ago) and she has a bf who relapsed recently after 10 years of sobriety. My sister is trying to get out of an abusive relationship. My brother is dealing with an addiction to cocaine and recently divorced his wife of 12 years. so he says i will end up like all the other people in my family.. a failure. all this at 3 in the morning. Oh, and he gets even more upset because I wont be intimate with him. who wants to be intimate with someone who is saying all this. I tried saying sorry you feel that way, dont talk to me like that. but he pushed so much. I had to say something back especially when he talks about my mom. Finally while im trying to sleep and we are both laying down he starts pushing me and kicking to try to push me off the bed. I’m sore. But more than anything, i feel so low. all this going on while my kids are in their own rooms and i’m trying to keep it down so they dont hear. Yet, HE hates ME. HE hates ME! i know its the disease but that doesnt make it any easier.

  • Betty

    To answer your question Jerry, I stayed in the relationship because I paid the bills, knew our financial picture, knew it would be hard to support 2 households with 2 small kids. Also, it bothered me to wonder what my friends and Dad would think of me for throwing in the towel. I loved my home, had put a lot of myself in it, hated to start all over and I really did love my husband in spite of how he treated me and the kids. I knew things would not get better unless he quit drinking and he refused. He told me he didn’t have a problem, his problem was “me”. I told him I could fix that. He quit drinking when he could no longer drive to the store to purchase it because he was too ill and died sober at age 75. I chose to stay, do my own thing (going to senior clubs, day trips with friends, playing keyboard for seniors) and he did his (meeting friends from work for lunch, developed a mini golf course on the property and played every day). He drank lots of beer every day and there were some with a lot of yelling going on. I’d just let it go in one ear and out the other. You have to or you would go nuts.

  • C

    NM: You can stay with your husband, but for me, I would move the children to a loving home pronto. They hear what is going on day after day – they are affected for a lifetime. Cannot imagine any relative would let your children remain in the house.

    The doctors have preached what affects alcoholics have on families –

    Hope your children have a happy and peaceful life – they will carry the screaming, etc., into their marriages if they don’t move.

  • Sandy

    Betty I support what you did 100% as I’m in a similar situation; my husband is in recovery, had that relapse the other night, pulled my hair etc. . . but it back on the wagon . . point being, I know the risk, but I love my home, I’ve worked hard for it, I make more $ than my husband, I’ve kept our finances seperate just so I had control of my $, and I’m biding my time – my girlfriends don’t really understand why I don’t just get out; unfortunately it’s not that black & white . . there are so many things to consider, as long as he doesn’t drink he’s not violent – none of them feel he’ll succeed at sobriety; only God knows, time will tell – he hurts me he goes back to jail . . end of story . . I’m just doing what I have to do for now to cope and get by; 1 day at a time . . right?

  • NM

    C~ Earlier in my relationship I lost my independence. As part of an attempt to get me to stay he asked to take care of everything financially.I stoped contributing to the home and just used my income for myself and my daughter. She played on multiple sports team and traveled a lot which was quite expensive. Also, I helped my mom and sister out. My way of dealing with all this was just to overspend and go out and get in debt. If i had a bad day..i would go shopping. Buy everyone something. Meanwhile, the problems got bigger and bigger. I wasnt financial able to leave until now. I am definetly not proud of having stayed so long or allowin my children to be part of this. I don’t want to stay. I had to stay. I couldn’t go to a shelter and risk losing my job. that wouldnt help. 9/1 is my move date. Meanwhile, all i can do is sit and wait it out.

  • C

    All of the posts are so helpful. I cannot understand how someone can finish a can (12 ounces) of beer and immediately start drinking another one, then a glass of wine and a mixed drink in between!

    I don’t get the alcoholic wanting to blame and fight all the time. Mine would find me in the house and comment on whatever I was doing – he could do it better. WTF.

    When he met me, I was peaceful and happy with great friends, etc. Being with him made me gradually stand up to his constant picking fights about nothing. I finally started screaming about his drinking all the time, sleeping and then drinking once again – his family never did anything about it and it seems none of our mutual friends know he is an alcoholic. I don’t dare mention it to anyone for fear they will tell him and God knows what he would do!

    What is their need to try and destroy our peace and happiness?

    Hope everyone is doing well. Take good care.

  • kaz

    All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.

    Wayne Dyer

  • JayJay

    I can so relate to these posts. When one person is ‘sick’ in the family it affects everyone. It’s like the crazy outbursts and actions of the alcholic makes the other people feel like maybe they themselves are the crazy ones. I think that the great thing about this site is that as I read others experiences I learn that I am not alone or ‘crazy’. That it’s the alcohol that is the enemy. I am trying more to live and let live, and to be kinder, to not react, to answere with a soft voice. But somedays it really IS NOT easy. My AH can be so sweet at times, and then BAMM! he’s in one of those blaming converstions where my stomach is just sick. I am a 2 years breast cancer survivor and I sometimes wonder if all the stress of all his alcholic years, and the way I responded or internalized it contributed to that. The one thing I do know is I have to take better care of myself, respect myself. These posts and site help give me the tools to do that bit by bit.

  • SC

    Something I read to get centered again.

    Out Of Our Hands

    • Personality characteristics. Personality characteristics common among alcoholics can affect communication. Alcoholics tend to be less conscientious, less agreeable, and more anxious and hypersensitive than are nondrinkers. These personality characteristics make effective communication and problem solving more difficult.
    • Effects on the brain. Researchers believe that alcohol’s effect on the brain may contribute to the increase in the negative communication. Alcohol appears to impair a person’s ability to understand and properly interpret what a spouse is saying. Alcoholics tend to interpret things their partners say in a very negative way and this leads them to respond with greater anger and negative emotions.

  • nm

    I hear all of it. I understand its not our fault. I understand why they do what they do. I know how we should learn to live with them or learn to leave them. Today I just feel so frustrated. Why should we have to do it all? Why did we cross paths with these people? I know there are worse things that are happening in the world but I’m soo heartbroken. How can someone I loved soo much not care about anything except drinking. Drinking, drinking, drinking. I’m so sick of his disease being the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing before I fall asleep. WHY?! Why cant I just walk away without the guilt, the fear, the damage. I know a lot of people love me and support me and want me to be happy. Why don’t I want that for myself? How can someone take soo much from me. I’m having a really hard time today.

  • Bart

    NM, being with an alcoholic can be so frustrating. I understand where you are coming from.

    It’s OK for us to have off days. We didn’t get deeply rooted in our behavior patterns overnight and it’s going take a little time to change. As I preciously said to Sandy, thank God we are not the same way we used to be.

    Have you ever heard of slogan that says; “live and let live?”

    We have to keep pressing toward the goal of obtaining peace and happiness weather we are with the alcoholic or not. It’s an inside job!

    When I have bad moments in my day, I have to remind myself that I’ve been through a lot. It’s just OK to have an off moment or even an entire day…I can start over as many times as I need to.

    A friend of mine recently said; “If you are going through hell, don’t stop!”

    I learned in Al-anon that I cannot blame the alcoholic for my unhappiness. They taught me there that I was responsible for dealing with my own pain and for my own happiness.

    I made a conscious decision to love the alcoholic/addict in my life without expecting love in return…sounds a bit crazy. That’s what makes me feel good, knowing that at the end of the day, I did my best to love.

    As far as the obsession goes, this site has a good article found here:

    All the best to you!

  • Frustrated

    For nm, I feel the same way today….you’re not alone.

  • stacy

    Well, tonight was a completely scary night. Not only is my bf an alcoholic, he is insanely insecure, has no conscience, NEVER feels any responsibility for the hell he raises and my guess is bi-polar on top of all of that. When do we stop saying that we chose this person, this is a sickness, be happy with yourself, do your own thing, la la la la, when the kill us? Is that when? Mine went completely INSANE tonight, accusing me of “wanting” his Co worker who he has grown up with, he started re-enacting a situation a few weeks ago when his Co worker walked by me and touched me on the leg with the back of his hand and asked me how I was doing, exaggerating it by shoving his hand down toward my crotch and repeatedly saying “how ya doing Stacy”, he took my glass out of my hand, I am sure cause he thought I would knock him out with it, then proceeded to grab my wrist and pull on me. I stood up to leave and he butted me.with his chest and told me I was not going anywhere. I went into his sons room and sat in a chair and he came in, getting right in my face, accusing me of liking being touched on the leg, he head butted me then apologized for it. I told him to go ahead and hit me, hell I’ve been punched, had my head slapped hitting the corner of the wall, I’m no stranger to this crap, he then picked me up, squeezed me and carried me out of the room telling me he was going to take Thomas’s house cause that is where I wanted to be. He grabbed my phone and proceeded to charge at me. I picked up his house phone and called 911. He asked me.if I did and I said yep, walked out the door, listening to him blab about how he was going to be arrested and got in my car and left. As I was pulling in, he was coming road and I was terrified. I shut my gate and ran to my car, listening to him saying “what are you doing”. I had his mom on the phone so she knows what is going on. He tried to call me several times and I answered once. He said he didn’t head butt me, ours heads just came together. I hung up because that is just like him to make light of the hell he causes. I don’t think I am dealing with a human here. I think he is a drinking machine with no capacity for compassion of any sort. When do you throw in the towel. OJ, and earlier, while I was fixing our plates for dinner, I was told to not fix his, where was his salad, I am selfish, only thinking of me then when I said something back, I was told to get the fuck out. So I did, and he called time after time, I would hang up on him, and he told me that he didn’t even know that I left! Then I was told that I should face my fears and not run off. I’m sorry but he is not supposed to put fear in me, he is supposed to love me.

  • Julie

    Oh my gosh, Stacy. How scary of a situation. I have been through similar ones. Sometimes you do have to just get out. This is not your fault. You were doing the right thing by trying to get away from him. I would definitely start forming a plan of action to live apart from him. As I recall the many years I put up with countless actions such as the one you described above, I wonder how I endured. But go with God and find a way out. Perhaps there is a domestic violence shelter or help group near you that can give you some better advice or help you to form a plan to get away. If your bf is becoming that violent you may have to get out now. Take care. You’re in my prayers.

  • stacy

    Well, fortunately Julie, we don’t live together. I just really have a hard time pulling myself away from abusive relationships. And it seems that is all that I can manage to get into. I think I just need to be alone. Just me and my daughter. I have horses that I can put my time into, luckily. I went to his house last night to check on him, because his mom said she was worried he might do something to himself. All of his vehicles were there bit he and his dog were no where to be found. I am really concerned because he truly acted out of his mind last night, like a real insane person. I thought may be his dad came and picked him up but his mom verified no. I am worried.

  • Bart

    Stacy, clearly you are being abused.

    If you were my daughter, I’d tell you to leave him in an instant!

    Nothing is going to change here…his jealousy, ABUSIVE behavior, drinking and rage will only get worse.

    We do not have to accept unacceptable behavior.

    Take care of yourself.

  • JC

    I just found a good article about emotional abuse. I’ve pasted an excerpt from the article below.

    To read the entire article go here: Emotional Abuse

    Basic Rights in a Relationship

    If you have been involved in emotionally abusive relationships, you may not have a clear idea of what a healthy relationship is like. Evans (1992) suggests the following as basic rights in a relationship for you and your partner:

    The right to good will from the other.
    The right to emotional support.
    The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
    The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
    The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
    The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
    The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
    The right to live free from accusation and blame.
    The right to live free from criticism and judgment.
    The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
    The right to encouragement.
    The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
    The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
    The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
    The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.”

  • Tabitha

    Bart is right. You are being abused. My AH did things like to me for several months. I stayed. Looking back, that was the dumbest thing ever. He doesn’t get physical with me anymore, but that is more because of changes in ME than in him. The anger/rage is still there. I just tiptoe around it. As for blaming others, that is classic, textbook behavior of a drunk. They will ALWAYS do that until they get into a program and really get sober. When my AH was being abusive, it was because I was “pushing his buttons.” I remember getting dragged across our yard by my hair after I turned and walked away from a conversation. Yep, I sure pushed his buttons on that one, didn’t I? There is always an excuse and its never their fault — EVER. Stacy, you’re not married to him. As he said — Get the **** out! Don’t look back. Please.

  • Darlene

    Stacy ,so sorry for what you went through and go through .I lived like that for many years with someone.Always forgiving when he was sober again ,that was my biggest mistake because although its been many years since him ,my now husband is an alcoholic although he doesnt hit me he is totally emotionally unavailable because I am so dysfunctional myself as well as an enabler I was always thinking I was well .. the most recent thing I did for myself was start going to AL-ANON thank GOD because its opening up my eyes finally ..i am 53 now and have wasted so much life on Men who didnt deserve me ..I wish i knew better long ago .. but its never too late to get well ..God bless you I hope you get strong enough to not believe the lies in the aftermath because when your in the high its easy to run away but when they are sober and you have relaxed I feel that is the most vulnerable time ,it was for me anyway .

  • NM

    I’m sorry for all that you have been through. I understand because I too have been there. I’m there now. We know we dont want to be in the situation. but don’t know how to be out of these situations because its happened so often and we have stuck around so long that we feel this is “normal”. I dont know about you but I’ve begged God to let me get out of “tonights” situation and I’ll leave “tomorrow” and yet we can’t leave. Everyone says the same thing. You will know when you are ready to leave. Only you can do it.

  • Sandy

    I’m struggling today also, my sober AH is dry, but I just don’t see him trying to recover if that makes sense and today I’m wondering what the hell am I waiting for; after the abuse I’ve been through over the last year I’m not even sure why I’m giving him another chance; so many women on here say they stay because they love their husbands; I don’t know if I love mine . . so staying, what does that say about me? Am I really that lazy or am I just too tired to care? I don’t know . . we had an ok weekend together; yesterday he even cooked me dinner etc. which was nice, but it all seems so meaningless at this point compared to what needs to be done; and is that the truth or is that my codependancy talking? Am I expecting too much too fast? I don’t know . . feeling like I’m drowning in the swamp today . .

  • stacy

    THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH!! It is so good to be able to turn to you all in bad situations. I do love this guy so much and guess what, today he is good. I ask myself, from here, I want to be with him. Now I know when he is going to blow and I just need to not be around him when that demon is overtaking him. And that what it seems like. He told me today that it was dumb what happened and when he feels that way again, he will just walk away and take a breather. He still denies head butting me, says he spun me around in the chair and our heads just hit, that he will never hurt me because if he really wanted to, he could. I am a strong person but I can slightly feel myself being codependent. I feel I need him in my life because I love that man so much, even for his bad traits.

  • NM

    Through out the years- before my boys were born (ages 3 and 1) we only had our daughter who is now 19. We did our best to get along and keep her out of “harms” way. We didnt argue in front of her. He was only abusive when she wants around. She idolized her dad. He was thee best dad ever in her eyes. I wanted to just wait it out until she was 18. counting down the minutes. I had multiple miscarrigaes over the years and just assumed that I wouldnt have any other children. My daughter was my world and I couldnt take her from her dad. I loved him still. I lived in HIS world. I didnt matter. I was looking for attention outside of my home. I’ve had a friend who lives 200 miles away. Over the years, he’s been my shoulder to cry on. He’s scolded me. helped me up. We’ve been there for each other. I think somewhere in the last 12 years I’ve fallen in love with our friendship. When I’m living my hell moments, I focus on how much happier I could be with my “friend” and how we’ve jokingly talk about healing and moving forward together. When something happens to me.. good, bad, exciting, sad..the first person I want to tell is him. I’m not sure what it all means. I just know that I’m using him as a crutch. He is fulfilling my need while i get to sit around and take care of my alcoholic. I dont want to do that anymore.My alcoholic has never wanted to fully commit. never married me in 21 years. I’ve made it an issue time and time I again. I honored the whole.. thru sickness and in health even though we never has. Finally someone opened my eyes. This is what they said- {the Lord loves all his children and the “better or worse” vow was never meant for one person to trample on another. God loves you as his own child & would never want to see you harmed and if you are being harmed this is not the vow he meant for you.} Love is not allowing someone to mistreat you or harm you.

  • Donna

    Stacy, I am so sorry you have experienced the things you have. I do want to say that they are all too familiar to some of us. It surely is abuse that you are experiencing and the apologies and the excuses are that of an abuser. My concern for you is that things may escalate in your relationship if you do not establish firm boundaries now, your boyfriend will see it as being acceptable to you in a very unhealthy way. Ask yourself is this what I deserve and is this the way I want to live my life? Until YOU decide to do something about it, it isn’t going to change. I spent many years in an abusive marriage and I realized later that I should have had, had I been healthier myself, established boundaries with my husband right from the start. It was only by the grace of God that I was never killed during one of these episodes we’ll call them. When someone is an alcoholic and they have an abusive personality they are capable of losing control without realizing it and sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I encourage you to get some counseling to find out why you feel that his behavior is acceptable to you. I was once told healthy people do not stay in abusive relationships. It is true. It wasn’t until I sought healing for myself that I was able to really identify how wrong the way I was being treated was. I also realized that allowing myself to be treated in an abusive manner was not love for myself or my husband. He and I were both sick and needed help. There were so many promises that were made to me. I promise I’ll never do that again. I promise to tell you when I’m feeling upset. I promise…I promise. It may take your walking it out for you to realize that being treated this way is not ok. Some of us it takes many years to wake up and see things for what they really are, and to me that is a tragedy. God Bless You!

  • Joe Medrano

    I have been married to an alcoholic for 32 years. I love her very much, but this has been a rough road. I have spent most of my life trying to figure out why she is the way she is. Bottom line is it’s a disease that can grasp anyone at anytime. Alcoholics will do or say anything to continue drinking even if that means chasing you away to someone elses arms so they can have a reason to be depressed and drink. You can put up with it, or you can leave it, and only you can make that choice. Good luck to you all. Alcoholics can be helped, but without the desire to be helped, they won’t get better.

  • maria

    clearly stacy, you are still in denial about your situation. your latest post shows that very clearly.

  • NM

    Thats a good point. Alchoholics can be helped but only if they want to be helped.

  • stacy

    As I look at the bruise on my arm from him squeezing it and the sore spot on my forehead from him hitting me with his head, I realize that I have lost all my dignity and self respect, which in turn gives him the pass to continue on with his critical, abusive ways and allows him to loose all if any respect for me. At this point, does one stick around in hopes it will get better or separate from the one you love with hopes he will care enough to come back with a new respect for you? I guess I should live by what I have told my daughter. If you love something set it free, if it comes back its yours if it doesn’t, it was never meant to be…..

  • Joy

    Stacy, in answer to your question, “At this point, does one stick around in hopes it will get better or separate from the one you love with hopes he will care enough to come back with a new respect for you?”

    Only you can make the decision to stay or leave.

    While trying to make the decision, get involved in Al-anon and also abuse counseling.

    It’s time to take care of yourself for a while. You can do both of those things while remaining with your alcoholic boyfriend.

    In the end, the only one who can be blamed for how I lived my life is me.

  • stacy

    Joy, thank you SO much for your advice. I am going to look for a local al-anon group and order the book”Women Who Love Too Much: When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change” everyone on this post had been very empathetic and caring. It is so good to know at least I can turn to this group for support 🙂

  • Sandy

    WOW Joy, you hit a nail on the head for me today regarding I’m the only one I can blame for the life I’m leading – I have been struggling the last couple days feeling “not right” and couldn’t put my finger on it, finally realized this morning that I’m battling my codependancy issues right now; but before this morning I was blaming my AH assuming it was someing he was doing when he reality the last few days things have been pretty calm at home and he’s been doing well; so I was playing the blame game when I shouldn’t have been, but I do know I’m only human – I realize now why I’m having a hard time though; because I’m trying to keep my mouth shut and not nag or get in his face and let him handle his own recovery even though I may not agree . . I’ve been leaving him alone and trying to work on me . . clearly I have some ground to cover; but I feel relieved knowing now where I’m at . .

  • Donna

    Stacy…my heart goes out to you. I spent 8 years waiting for things to get better. They got worse before they ever got better. Nothing changes if nothing changes. I believe in what I once heard, “we teach people how to treat us.” I have never known anyone in an abusive situation that it one day just got better. An abusive person is emotionally sick. They need help, professional help. I reached out to God and He helped me find healing for myself. I put up with a lot of abuse in my life. Not today. As I have become a healthier person I will not allow myself to be treated in a demeaning, harmful way. Only you Stacy, can decide what is right for you. Abusive treatment is not love. You are going to make it. One step at a time. Counseling for myself really helped me. I used to have so many questions about how I was feeling. I didn’t even know how to feel my own feelings. I just wanted to please my husband at any cost. That is not love. For years I didn’t even realize how he was manipulating me. All the lies. Even when I could tell he was lying to me I swept it under the rug to avoid confrontation. There was no true intimacy (closeness). It is impossible to have real intimacy with someone who abuses you and an abusive person is not capable of true intimacy. I had to decide what I wanted. I wanted my husband and I to be together but I finally had to make the decision to separate (6 times total, once for 2 years and once for 2 weeks) and work on myself and let go and let God. My husband went to treatment 3 times in 3 years. That told me he did want to get better. God has done a great work in both of us….and He isn’t finished yet! We are a work in progress but boy have we come a long way! Believe in yourself! You are worthy of love and respect and security! Blessings!

  • Terri

    Stacey, I’m sorry to hear about what happened. I have been married to my husband for 19 years. He has always been the love of my life. He has been drinking since we got married, but it goes in spirts. Lately, within the past 5 years ir hasa gotten worse. He can go for days without a drink, but then when he has one, he cant stop. i have tried to tell him that when he drinks he is a different person. He is nasty, rude and offensive. When he drinks he wont leave me alone, and all he wants to do is fight. I try top leave the room, go outside and sometimes leave. I have a 14 year old daughter who truely resents him for his drinking. She is so use ot it that she says “mom why do you get so upset, if he wants to kill himself let him”. My mouth just dropped open when she told me that. I did at one point tell him that that was how she felt, he blamed it on me. He feels that the only reason people know he drinks is because I tell them, not true! I haver told him that he needs to make a choice, me and my daughter or the drinking. He told me that he was not going to give up the drinking for anyone, this is his house! i dread the weekends because he drinks and gets drunk. I feel bad to say that because I really love him alot. I wish he would see what Im saying, we could be so happy, if he would get some help. i have threatened to leave before also, but I dont have the money or the means at this time. it is not what I want to do, but sometimes I think I may need to. I hope you can be strong and work through this. I wish you luck.

  • Elizabeth

    This is heartbreaking. I too am bound to an alcoholic. We’ve been living together about 3 years, and prior to my moving in with him, I had no idea he was an alcoholic. It wasn’t until recently that I began to look into alcoholic behaviors as a way to understand why this man is so difficult. Thanks to Alanon, and this site, and the advice to never, never, argue with an alcoholic, I’ve had a little bit of peace. BTW, I just passed my finals in school and all he did was try to throw a wrench in it. Now, he’s decided to kick me out. Everyday, its emotional abuse and mistreatment. His son has major emotional problems, and was arrested for aggressive behavior. And all anyone wants to do is deny the source of all this pain: an alcoholic man.

  • NM

    Today I read this:

    There’s a slogan in the mahayana teachings that says, “Drive all blames into oneself.” The essence of this slogan is, “When it hurts so bad, it’s because I am hanging on so tight.” It’s not saying that we should beat ourselves up. It’s not advocating martyrdom. What it implies is that pain comes from holding so tightly to having it our own way and that one of the main exits we take when we find ourselves uncomfortable, when we find ourselves in an unwanted situation or an unwanted place, is to blame.

    This slogan is a helpful and interesting suggestion that we could begin to shift that deep-seated, ancient, habitual tendency to hang on to having everything on our own terms. The way to start would be, first, when we feel the tendency to blame, to try to get in touch with what it feels like to be holding on to ourselves so tightly. – Excerpted from WHEN THINGS FALL APART: Heart advice for difficult times. Author: Pema Chodron.

    At this stage in my codependency I think sometimes I need to feel the drama just to justify my existence. This is all I know. I’ve never been anythign other than an alcoholics partner. I’ve chosen to allow my life to revolve around another persons choices and I have come to subconsiously enjoy being a victim so I can possibly guilt the alcoholic into feeling bad or sorry and maybe he will quit. We are in control of our own lives. I’m not as weak I think I am. It takes a really strong person to deal with all the BS. It takes a stronger person to leave. Just my thoughts this morning.

  • Karen

    Well, my husband has informed me he doesn’t WANT to get better, so there we are. I love him, but I guess I’ve got love myself first. I feel physically sick at the thought of not having him, but the person he is now is NOT him. I contacted an attorney today because we own a business and I don’t want to lose everything. I can find a job, but I feel like a lifetime of working on retirement is wasting away. I feel so sad and lonely right no. I have kept everything to myself for so long that I have no one to confide in. His illness has alienated me from everyone and everything I love. Enough is enough, isn’t it?????

  • Donna

    I am so sorry Karen. I, and I am sure many others understand your pain and it is great. You WILL make it! It can seem very scary and uncertain but put one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Maybe try an abuse hotline where there are trained people to talk to. I did that many times over the years when I wasn’t sure what to do. Think about you right now. If only love was enough to wake up an alcoholic. I can say that the right crisis in their lives can. Maybe many of them but it takes what it takes. I spoke to a young lady once. She has been sober 10 years. She said it took her 9 treatment centers and in the last one she said something just clicked in her and she has been sober ever since. I thought it was interesting when she told me she didn’t lose anything….”she gave up,” her husband, children, home, family, and nursing license. Again it takes what it takes. The best thing I found to help my husband was to help myself to work on becoming a healthy and confident woman. God Bless You!

  • karen

    Why is it that the spouse/partner/family member has to “learn to be…” and the alcoholic goes on their merry way? If you truly love yourself and you are a “strong” person, why subject yourself to being emotionally and at times physically abused? This makes no sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am broken hearted right now realizing that I’ve wasted all this time on someone who doesn’t give a s*** about himself or me.

  • Sandy

    Stacy – I just had time to read your 8/12/12 post about a “scary night” all I can say is I’ve had an identical evening with my alcoholic husband, almost verbatum verbally and abusively, it sounds like your BF and my AH would be 2 peas in a pod; it is just amazing to me how these people can act like this towards the people they are supposed to love and just be oblivious as to what has occurred. Let me give you a sample of what I mean by that . . a little over 2 months ago, my AH went insane on me one night too, he was throwing me around the bedroom, against the wall, hitting me in the chest, belly and head bumping me, I called the cops . . he was arrested . . at the time, he gave the cops his story; then my Mom (87 yrs old mind you) and I were taken in to seperate rooms and we gave our stories . . our stories were identical, of course nothing like his . . anyway, now . . even sober . . his recount of what occurred that night is that me and my Mom were fighting and he tried to break us up and it got out of hand . . ummmm huh??? Was he on parallel universe or something . . both my Mom and my mouthes dropped open and just looked at him, he was like “what?” he didn’t have a fricking clue as to what he did that night to us . . can’t wait to go before the judge on this . . all I can tell you is that you are not in this alone, there are many of us out there in your position – my AH has quit drinking but I refer to him as “dry” as he really isn’t working on himself . . but time will tell . . my heart goes out to you . . all I can say is if you aren’t married to this guy, really think about what’s best for you especially if he refuses to get help . .

  • Joe M.

    As you can see by some of the comments here, you should NEVER, EVER argue with an alcoholic when they are drunk. I have gotten to the point where I have to tell my wife to “shut up! and talk to me when your sober” (which of course never happens). I know that sounds mean, but that is what I have to do to keep things in line. I would NEVER talk to her that way when she is sober…I would rather die, but when she is drunk the alternatives are slim to none. Hope that helps. 🙂


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