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

  • Linda

    Dear particia
    #1 They live in denial its easier. Its easier to blame someone else or get new enabler.This disease destory’s. Families, My son,s don’t speak to me. I left my 35 year marriage because of abuse phyical, emotional, . I am treated like a outsider in my own home.. it became more important to deceive his wife.. Its know way to live. Find yourself. The A ego is most important to them,they are. Running from the truth….

  • Is this love?
    Emotional infidelity – constantly checks young women out and flirts with them (he is turning 48 year’s old), then denies it. Had an emotional affair with a women with questionable behaviors. Allowed a women from his past to message him for about 8 months, saying loving things to him then told me, “at least she says nice things to me”. Told me that there are women out there who are way prettier than I am. Said if he was single, he would date a slutty women. Although I am tall, fit and attractive, told me that he prefers tall women and that if I were to get into a car accident and die, he would look for a nice, tall women.
    He denies that he said most of this stuff to me. He does admit to a couple things like the car accident and preferring tall women.
    Emotional abuse and abandonment – moved my kid’s and I to a remote area, about 100 miles from his job, 9 year’s ago. And then stayed in a room (at his work) or his travel trailer up to 5 nights a week while we struggled to adjust to isolation and lonliness. Was extremely emotionally abusive to my son for a long period of time. Moved out over a week ago and left my daughter and I to clean his stuff out of the garage and shed.
    Alcoholic – has been getting constantly drunk on a regular basis for probably 11 years now. Lately, has been raging and has been having threatening bully-like behavior, getting in my face and screaming at the top of his lungs and breaking things. Is leaving “me” because I won’t be his drinking buddy anymore (hate alcohol! Makes me sick.), won’t continue to live in isolation anymore and refuse to accept his emotional infidelity. My daughter and I planning on moving close to my son.
    Now he is transferring his affections to my daughter. Is texting her pretty regularly and wants to take her “shopping”. Ignored her and expected for her to fend for herself for college and a car although she was struggling, up until recently.
    My daughter is 17 year’s old and is impressionable. I don’t want my daughter to associate love with buying her, especially because he really hasn’T been there for her. That is what my husband did to me, bought my love…is this love?

  • Mary

    ALCOHOLICS DO NOT LOVE (with all due respect I am not saying they are unhuman) but let’s be honest, they have a DISEASE, their love is didfferent than most, and that is what the crux of the disease does. It is built on self doubt, insecurities, selfishness, anger, arrogance, narcissim and so much more. The hardest thing for those surrounded by A’s AH’s are we don’t understand their minds, their needs, their rationalizations and justifications What we do, is we engage (whether right or wrong) it continues to cause the merry go round affect. As I stated, you can stay silent or even respond or try and justify (especially when they are verbally abusive and or blaming you for EVERYTHING they do and their actions) it’s just a constantly roller coaster and yes WE are guilty (to a point) none of us were RAISED on how to deal with an A, none of us are professionals, but the more you learn, go to Alanon and therapy (with people trained specifically on this disease) the more you will realize WE ARE NOT unique, we all follow the same pattern our stories are different and yes some worse than others. But know, it’s NOT ABOUT US, the A will always find a way to justify, manipulate and basically throw you or ANYONE under the bus to preserve their truth, their deciet and their lies. And yes, I agree, whether you stay with your A or AH, they will find another enabler they will continue to live in this horrific life (and yes, I do feel sorry for them) but I can’t rationalize how A’s think they are actually human and can act the way they act. In all my years alive, I have never ever endured this kind of emotional and physical encounters in my life (although I do take my responsibilities and my own actions and how i’ve handled situations, but then again, its call suriving and standing up for oneself) but then it just puts me right back into the merry go round. Remember this isn’t about us, but if you get to the point where you start to question yourself or think that this is about ourselves – STOP and focus on you and only you.

  • Susie

    Here’s my advice to y’all. What other people think of you is now of your business. Stay out of the alcoholic’s business and focus on what works for you. There’s my business, your business, and none of my business. Stop trying to figure out your AH’s behavior, you’ll just wear yourself out. Oh, and remember, every time an alcoholic opens his mouth, it’s a lie.

    I learned all this and much more in Al-Anon. This is a serious disease. STOP trying to fix him. He’ll use your behavior as an excuse to drink and cheat more. LEAVE THE SICK ALONE OR THEY WILL DIE.

  • Susie

    Oops, I meant, “what other people think of me is none of my business” 🙂

  • Susie

    yes, yes Laurie. Every one GO GO to Al-Anon… and while living with your A “Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t sav it mean.” 🙂

  • Sally

    While it’s all well and good to try to figure out a drunk, the bottom line is: When it came down to a choice of living a life his way or mine, I chose mine. After more than 3 years, I still don’t regret my choice. Still love him, haven’t seen or heard from him in all that time and I’m ok with it. I don’t choose to live like that ever again. My life is better without him in it.

  • Susie

    Thanks for the gardening tips. I will share them at my next meeting! 🙂

  • Susie

    Awesome Laurie!I love your “If You Love Me Let Me Fall By Myself” Words of wisdom for us prone to enabling!

  • Sharon

    Laurie, I love your story, “If you love me let me fall by myself”.
    I’ve been in Alanon for about 7 months now and am attending group meetings 3 times a week and have just picked up two AA meetings twice weekly to work to develop some understanding of my husband’s alcohol addiction.
    He left over a week ago. Couldn’t stand his lies and his volital behavior anymore-very difficult time for me to grasp all of what is going on. I have had many highs and lows over these past 12 day’s since he left but today is a better day for me.
    I do have to admit that my AH has been trying so hard for me lately, in some ways but he still hasn’t let go of the alcohol or the denial.
    Good thing is that he attended an AA meeting a week ago. Hopefully, he will go tonight.
    I do love him dearly and would like to work things out. My issue for me is that I have developed serious trust and jealousy issues because of his womanizing behavior. I just can’t seem to get over and beyond it. But as I commented earlier, he denied that he did those behaviors and yet I watched him do it several times!!!
    He is planning on divorcing me because of “my” issues.
    I can see where the insanity comes in. Lol

  • Mary

    sorry if I offended anyone stating that A’s don’t love – what I meant is they LOVE differently and their love is challenging and difficult to relate to. Not my intention to ever make judgements on how people LOVE. We all LOVE differently, but the A’s mindset is much more complexed. As stated in many of the comments, WE CAN ONLY worry about ourselves, we are not the CAUSE, the CURE nor can we control (and if we try we will end up in the PATTERN that is painful and puts us into the same realm of the A) – Thanks all for your responsess – this is helpful, useful and encouraging!!!!

  • Kesa

    I really appreciate you guys comments. Mary, I understood what you were saying. Thanks to everyone.

  • Brenda

    I have been reading all the comments on this blog and just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Addiction of any kind is a disease. There are always root causes to a persons need to numb themselves through Alcohol and/or Drugs. What I am not seeing in the comments is alcoholic husbands going beyond detox. Detox alone will do absolutely nothing for a severe addict. They need to go directly to a Rehab Centre from detox. Detox is only withdrawal treatment to get them off of alcohol and/or drugs safely, it does not get rid of the cravings, triggers, root causes etc. We have to remember that addicts do not wake up one day and say I am going to become an Alcoholic today. This is a progressive disease with the tolerance level rising all the time. Inside each one of these people is the person they once were and with the right kind of treatment they can learn the coping techniques for triggers, learn how to let go of root causes, but this takes a true commitment on their part. When they have gone through a withdrawal treatment centre (usually up to two weeks) they come out with their brains still in the fog of their addiction this is the reason they need to go directly into a Rehab Centre. In a perfect world they would be in one centre that would be doing the detox and rehab treatment in one facility. Yes private rehabs can be expensive but the help the addict is receiving goes above and beyond to help them with the mental health aspect of their addiction. The reason I am writing this is hopefully to help other bloggers understand that without further treatment beyond detox, there is a very high rate of relapse which sadly is out of the control of the addict. Simply put they come out of detox still craving and without further help very few do not relapse.

  • Sharon

    Thank you, Laurie.

  • Mary

    how is it possible that my AH sees fault in everything that happens to him and somehow it’s my fault??? if i respond i end up getting crucified, if i say nothing he’ll find a way to blame me. how is it that my AH has double standards to anything that happens in his life or what he says, thinks or feels? and yet when it’s reversed, I AM ont allowed to feel, respond or react – it’s excruciating to live a life of constant turmoil and blame. no matter what I do or don’t do it will never be enough and somehow my fault. how to people justify themselves and actually find a way to blame someone over the smallest of things? i wasn’t put on this earth to be my AH parent, conscience or kicking bag – i am a human with feelings and needs, but his expecations are unrealistic and delushion. if A’s really do mirror and project to their spouses, children, loved ones (friends & families) how can they honestly sit there and think they are completely truthful and righ. it doesn’t matter if you stay or leave or ignore or fight back or even respond or react, NOTHING in this realtionship is allowed unless the AH justifies or thinks is correct in their mind. it’s really sad to see someone be so angry and cruel to not only me, but others (but mostly me) as the live in lies and shame, but again, we werne’t put on this earth to be the pile of garbage who has no say, gets kicked around and treated like they are nothing. life is much to short for anyone who lives this life. truthfully i know deep in my heart and soul that whomever he is with he will do the same, will it make him realize that maybe just maybe he has some issues that are far deeper than drinking, it’s a vicious cycle for A’s but at the end of the day, they will do anyting to proect and survivee and at anyone expense

  • Mary

    agree – everyone can change, but we are responsible for ourselves. there is only so much one can take living with an A (a functioning full on in DENIAL alcholic) but sadly anyone who is surrounded by an A, will get their anger, rage, depression, mood swings, blame , shame, lies and projection. this is my life and my truth and it’s beyond painful. no point in getting angrier or resenting, it’s a waste of time, energy and pointless – better to continue my therapy sesions, attend Alanon and find a way to walk away from this once in for all with a little bit of dignity i have left.

  • Susie

    Read the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous for more understanding. Al-Anon is built on it.

    In chapter 6…(I have an old edition)…

    “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, ‘Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?”….

    Point is, just stopping the alcohol is not going to fix anything. There’s the spirituality part that must be healed also.

  • Kristy

    I found my answers in Al Anon. Maybe you can too. It takes time. Heal yourself and let him be responsible for his recovery. If you want to help him you need to help yourself. I too was afraid I was going to be told to leave my A but, I wasn’t. I have been in Al Anon for 20 months now and life is so much better. It’s not perfect but, I’m happier, healthier, and I feel safe and once again confident in my actions and abilities. Remember, you are not the problem no matter what he says. Alcohol is the problem. I am still with my A and he has found sobriety. For now. It is a disease and one that can grab ahold of him at any time. The other side of that is he is filled with personality defects that are results of the alcoholic thinking. He can still be an irrational thinker even in sobriety but, now I have the tools to react in a more responsible manner than to allow myself to be sucked back into the diseases path. No one will tell you what you need to do. No one has the right answers for you but, they will give you support, take away the feeling of being alone, remind you of what the true spirit of intimacy is, and hep you to regain your sanity if you give them a chance. Go to more than one meeting, visit several meeting sites and find those you fit in with the best. Help is out there.

  • I think I’m having a flare up of emotions and anger, confusion hurt, resentment, abuse, neglect etc.

    My AH is currently on house arrest for the third time in a year for 30 days and is being monitored for his drinking. So, for thirty days he can only go to his VA meetings 3 times a week and has to blow in a machine twice a day… He did go to detox prior to his house arrest but it was only for 5 days! My husband is a severely dependent alcoholic who also suffered from ptsd.

    So, now he is supposively getting better though his diabetes taken a real blow this time around with his heavy drinking. I know I’m supposed to be supportive while he is sober but now here I am sick and finding myself going over my hurt and pain over and over and over again to the point that I’m badgering him. I’m getting worried that once again his time will be up on house arrest and he will lose his mind all over again, I feel horrible after I have these out of the blue melt downs and I’ve told him that I hate him… I feel horrible and need help to get through this. I know I have anxiety, but could it also be ptsd? Has anyone been prescribed meds due to the anguish of living with an alcoholic?

  • Sharon

    I am married 5 yrs to my A husband, 7 yrs together, he hid his problem from me, but there were warning signs that I chose to ignore, but I have recently discovered he is narcissitic. I just don,t know how to deal with all this, the worst part about my husband is he just runs away, it started off, it would be 2 weeks at a time, then a mo th, then 3, now its 5 mths, 5 mths, who puts up with that, every xmas he is gone, my birthday, I,ve never had a holiday with him, and I did everything for us. He is in totl denial, every word is a lie and no way has he a drink problem. I get the same txt messages, I,m sorry or I miss u, but yet I still don,t see him, and I tell him he needs help, I don,t hear no more until another week or 2. My heart is broke at such total unacceptable behavior for any relationship, I just don,t know what or who I am dealing with, especially the abdamnoment which seems to apply more to narcisstic personality disorder

  • Sharon

    Thank you Laurie

  • Susie

    Thank you for the awesome post. This brings a lot of understanding to me!

  • Mary

    Thanks for sharing Laurie (Personally my experience with AH is Narcissim, Alcoholism, NPD) = ALL of it combine is what I endure DAILY. Many articles, blogs, therapist, PHD’s state that this disease can share in all of these personalities. What I encounter is constant BLAME, ANGER, RAGE and completely SELFISH, inconsiderate, projection, mirroring and very abusive behavior (mentally and physically) AND yet, it always comes back to ME, I caused it, I need help, I’m the one who makes him do things, I make him drink, I cause him stress, I yell, I nag, I critisize (honestly, the list is ENDLESS) and even when I keep my mouth completely shut, I am again WRONG or to blame. I can say nothing and he will turn to me and state that I have that “smug look on my face” or when in TEARS (as I am only human and the things he states about me, would bring ANYONE to tears – I am a VERY strong individual, but I have been tested to my limits) NO ONE should ever be told they are the cause for someele’s actions – NO ONE. If I answer, he’ll mock my answer and my tone, if I stay silent, I’m told I’m a Bitch or the C (word) and then told repeatedly how I am only making things worse. Even when i say nothing It’s not a roller coaster (as we know when your going up and coming down) with my life it’s a constant merry go round – it’s exhausting, horrific, excruitatinly painful and yet I still stay…. as they say, those surrounded by the disease are just as sick (if not worse, because there is nothing worse than being told you are the problem and the cause when anything and everything you do NEVER is good enough) I know the next step, and I admit I’m stuck and have been so entrenched in this disease myself that I have truly LOST me and who I am and what I know to be wrong and right. I do think an alcoholic is entertwined with so many demons of narccisim, shame, regret, failure, ANGER, rage, BLAME and sadly it’s a long battle once they even conceed to accepting that they even have a disease.

  • Sharon

    Hi Mary, I know only too well, what is so hard to comprehnd for me, how do they not feel, how do they not care the hurt and obvious pain they inflict and how do they just disappear and then to turn up, don,t you ask a question or anything like that, ur suppossed to just carry on, until the next time, its so cruel and demeaning.

  • My old mate accused me of stealing his house keys going into his house and switching his water off / his freezer off/ putting his heating on to waist his eletric . Why are they like that ?

  • Kim

    My husband is 44 and has drank heavy for the last 20 years. He drinks close to 20 or more beers a day in some weeks. I am a devoted mother of four, but am sick and tired of reliving the same bs every time he is in a piss poor mood. Everything is always my fault or someone else’s, he has high blood pressure, and close to diabetes, but blames nothing on alcohol. Everyone in his family and mine know what I go through, but he just can’t see what he is doing to me and our kids. He drinks in garage after work and comes in at night, I could literally be Doing nothing but sitting with the kids, and he would start about money or something totally off the wall. He degrades me, and tries to direct the problem elsewhere. Thankful for kids, because they help me realize what is important, and I just try to avoid him altogether when he is like that. Problem is, he is one of the most unhappy people I have ever meant, and he is getting worse.

  • Nelly

    After 22 years of dealing with the same issue I left. It was so hard. I left with nothing. And then I was downsized from my company after 16 years. And then….. The list goes on. Seems like there’s is always something going on That will keep u from moving forward. And they first step is the most difficult to take. But it’s definetely worth it. Today I have been single for a little over three years. My kids are happier. A lot more stable. I’m healthier. Less stressed. Better able to manage my life. And just met some one who is turning out to be a great big blessing.
    It hasn’t been easy. Not at all. But it’s 100% worth it.

  • Thank you for sharing, I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for 22 years, we have a 12 year old together. I think about leaving but I’m concerned about how a divorce will impact our daughter, and I worry about him. I don’t know whether to wait till she’s in college, I just started AlAnon to deal all the bad feelings and emotions I’m carrying as a result of all this. I’m not 100% ready to separate, but I think about it often. Thank you for sharing, its encouraging to see the other side of the decision.

  • Kim,
    Thank you for sharing, I thought all this time I was the only person who had a husband that drank that much beer in one night, he can be very critical and verbally abusive. Its taken me a long time to reach out to anyone, the past week has been my first attempt to get support, and to purchase books on coping, so I don’t turn out to be a miserable bitter person….which I felt like I was starting to become.

  • Mary

    Thanks Nelly for confirming that there is LIFE after the CHAOS of living and breathing this very serious disease. I have finally taken steps to leave a marriage (starting our 4th year) but a relationship with my AH of almost 15 years. It’s been very challenging for me (as for us all) because we think we can help, or we have hope and recently in couples therapy, our therapist looked at me and said “What are you waiting for” “There will always be an excuse and even if he gives you a glimmer of HOPE” the next minute, the next hour, the next day or week the ugliness will root itself back into your lives” This time (after years of personal therapy, couples therapy, AA and even attending Alanon made me realize that nothing I do or say will make our lives or his life or my life better – every day, every week, month and year goes by and I’m older, sadder, lonelier and constantly told that I am the root of the problems that has caused the demise of this marriage. I realize that I’d rather be alone than alone with my AH (as being alone with your AH is so much more stressful, causes me to defend, question myself, react and so much more” wouldn’t it be better to be alone and in PEACE? Again, it has taken me a long time to realize that there is nothing more I can do, and that no matter what I do or don’t do, that this disease will end up taking what’s left of my heart and soul and life is much to short to let any more time pass me by. I told my AH, if I am wrong, then I will be the 1st to admit it, but how can every action, every reaction, every unhappiness, every rage and anger and violent temper tantrums all be caused by me? How is it that this pattern I hear at AA, from my therapist (who specializes in addiction) and all the countless similarities all be conincidence and let’s not forget – (this disease runs in his family) My AH is a functionally AH, but through the 15 years that I’ve known him, it’ has gotten worse, he doesn’t drink 22 beers a day, but he doesn’t need to because whether he is drinking (and hiding it) or making justifications about why he can drink and all the many excuses he lives in the secret of this addiction, the anger, the blame, the resentment, the RAGE and so much more. Again, thank you all for sharing your comments, I’m looking forward to a new start and a new life of finding myself and finding some PEACE.

  • John D

    Hello Ladies. My name is John and I have been on this post site in the past maybe 3 or so years ago. My ex-fiancé was an alcoholic and I found Alanon and THIS SITE. Sharing and reading so many posts finally gave me the strength to leave her. Be strong. I notice flare ups usually occur around any given holiday. All I can say is that I have kicked her out of my life going on 3 years now and I have found so many wonderful people in my new world. Non addicts. I am a so happy and a father of two daughters (18 and 13). If she would have stayed in my life, the negative influence and impact on my daughters would have been worse than them dealing with the pain of leaving. I started all over and I love my life….they way I invsioned it. Honestly, I feel that Heaven cannot be much better than what I have right now. Looking back….3 years ago, I was an emotional mess. You all have long lives to live. Don’t live to be a slave to someone’s addiction. You may find that you some how feel loved knowing the fact they “need” you but that is a false sense of hope and lope. If anyone needs to vent or share, feel free to write back. I know what you are going through and on the flip side, I now see the light. There is nothing more sobering and peaceful than not worrying and relief that you are not a victim to someone else’s addiction….Happy Holidays….John

  • Holly

    I have been married to my AH for 14 years. we have two beautiful little girls, ages 9 & 11. After being cheated on, emotionally and verbally abused for the better part of 14 years, I committed just as selfish of an act as my AH’s selfishness. I had an affair. I admitted my affair to my AH 8 months ago. We have struggled to say the least to keep our marriage together, by yelling, screaming, crying to the point of almost nervous breakdowns, marriage counseling, trying to explain to the girls that the vile vulgar hateful things daddy called mom on any given particular night, we just have to overlook right now because mom hurt daddy. The day finally came when the girls told me how embarrassed they are of their daddy when they have spend the night company or we take them out to dinner and how he is always drunk at home bumping into things causing things to break and they want us to divorce and are tired of hearing how he talks to me. This was my wakeup call that I could no longer tolerate the emotional instability I was allowing in my home, right before my children’s eyes and very impressionable hearts and minds. Our move to another house is tomorrow. The girls are excited and ready to be able to have some peace. I am too, but I am a basket case emotionally. My affair was with someone who has been in AA for 8 years now and it’s a small SMALL town where we live, so you can only the rumors flying at this point. Especially given that the person I was having an affair with is recently divorced. I expect to hear everything being said and assumed, but all I can think and feel at this point is concern for my daughters well being, myself and my AH who I fear is about to spiral completely out of control. His mother is like another mother to me and we don’t really discuss details, but she is well aware of what all the girls and I have been living through for the past 14 years that I made worse with my horrible horrible act. However, she is very supportive of us moving because she see’s what i seen in the girls. sadness, embarrassment, a deep need for attention, etc. I have made counseling appointments for all four of us dec. 23 so hopefully we can somehow begin to heal and my daughters will know eventually that you do not have to live with, cater to or be emotionally or verbally abused by your spouse no matter what you did or did not do and that daddy is sick and all we can do is support him and love him and pray hard for him, get help for our own issues and make our way one day at a time. I don’t want to leave him because i love him…during the day when he is sober, rational and happy, then at night I pray before I go home from work that we have a good night and maybe he will just pass out early and I can help with homework, laundry, etc and the girls and I can have a few hours of peace. How can I be confused about leaving???????? But moving day begins at 9:00 tomorrow and my father will be there moving us and helping us while my AH goes shopping for christmas because he can’t bear to watch his family leave him. I don’t blame him. What is wrong with me that I feel so sorry for him and my heart just breaks for him??????

  • Every time I read these posts, I think to my self why wait any longer. So much of what I’ve read tonight resembles my life for the past 22 years, so much of the abuses, so much sadness, depression, anger, frustration, so much trying and forgiving and then trying again. My husbands mom left his dad because of an affair and suffered through a lot of problems because of his drinking, I know she knows whats going on, but has only offered support once or twice in that time, and will never go against her son, not even for her granddaughter. I’ve had zero help from family and actually a uncle of his that interferes and enables so he can keep his image up with my husband, I can’t stand it.
    I give you all a lot of credit for making the choices that you made, and I pray that tomorrow’s move is 100% successful mentally and emotionally. I am very concerned about my daughter, one of her biggest worries is that we will get a divorce, she’s to young to understand everything I’ve endured up till now, and I really don’t want her to know anymore than she needs to or observes. Holly, I am not condoning it, but I completely and totally understand why you had the affair, and frankly almost had one myself a few years back, when I knew my husband was acting very inappropriately with his assistants(he was employed at the time), and I was completely at a deficit, at the time he’d worn me down so badly I had a very low self worth. Please don’t waste anymore time beating your self up, you had a lapse in judgment that’s it, everyone makes mistakes. Good luck with the move and your new life!!!

  • John D

    The most painful step in making the decision to leave is the first step. Have a game plan and stick with it. Never go back to the AH. They will destroy you and in a blink of an eye 20 years will have passed. I left everything behind, divorced, split custody, etc….and now 3 years looking back, it was the best thing I could have done. Both of my kids now live with me full time because they do not want to be part of the abuse and addiction. Stay strong and make the addiction be known to family members. If they care, they will support you. Do not be ashamed. Atleast you tried and took a leap of faith on love. Some people never do. Good bless.

  • Holly

    The move was successful. He went Christmas shopping with his mother and aunt while my father and a few men came to move the girls and me. It has been so nice not fearing going home in the afternoons, not having to worry about what argument will ensue just in time for homework, etc. The sad part right now is that what I thought was support from his family about us moving was just lies apparently. Now that the move has happened, all of his aunts and mother are so very hateful about it! I had my lecture Friday night from his mother about how ridiculous this was and people fight in marriages, etc. (she’s never been married) and how could I do this to those girls and her baby boy? I am doing nothing but destroying their lives and making a fool out of her son and how could I hurt him like this? Then, I had the pleasure of having to attend a nieces birthday party with all of this family Saturday night. On the surface everyone was about 95% the same towards me as they have been the past 14 yrs, but when we left my oldest daughter asked me why daddy’s family is so mean? and I said what do you mean? she said Mama, your family is sweet and even though grandmother didn’t like daddy, she was always sweet to him and everybody made him feel loved the one or two times he went to your family’s with us and every time his mother, or his two aunts would look at me they would give me a mean look and roll their eyes behind my back. All I knew to say was, well, you might just better get used to that because they are very upset with mama right now and they don’t know how to react and they just love your daddy is all. its just human nature. And they aren’t mean, they are just hurt because they don’t understand why we moved and they don’t know what all we have lived through the past few months, so give them some room to feel what they need to. did it crush me, yes, because his family was just like my own flesh and blood family. we were that close. His mother was like my very own mother. So, now I have to fight back the sad and heartache this is causing myself so that my children won’t have to see Mama sad. then after school Monday, they told me that their grandmother yelled at them about moving. My youngest said that she was closer to some of her friends now and their grandmother yelled at her and said, “NO YOU’RE NOT! YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS THAT LIVE OVER THERE! YOU HAD FRIENDS ON ***** DRIVE! AND NOW YOU’RE SMART MAMA MOVED YOU TOO FAR FROM ME TO BE ABLE TO WALK OVER WHENEVER YOU WANT!” My oldest said, we are just as close to you as we were at daddy’s! and the youngest said, i didn’t have any friends on ***** drive! One person, in my sister’s class lived next door but she isn’t MY friend and now I have 3 friends who live near us! i am scared the oldest is developing some anger towards her daddy’s family over all of this. She does not want to go to her daddy’s house anymore and would prefer to just go to daycare than her grandmothers now. She is always the first to defend me and tell me what they are doing behind my back and thinks they are mean and talking to me when before all of this, it was like pulling teeth to get her to talk to me about how she feels, etc. Now she’s a waterfall. I don’t want her to start to dislike his family because they can’t see that you just don’t talk to a child badly about their mama and daddy, no matter what! at this point, we are her mama and daddy and she loves us. she may be embarrassed about daddy and hurt but she loves him. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT HIS FAMILY WHEN THEY 1. HAVE NO IDEA THE LIVING HELL HE PUT US THROUGH THE LAST MONTH and if they did it wouldn’t matter probably and 2. HOW DO I TELL THEM THAT THE ONLY REASON I LEFT WAS BECAUSE HE IS USING MY TRANSGRESSIONS AND ALL THE JUNK STIRRED UP IN TOWN OVER IT TO BE ABLE TO BE DRUNK AT NIGHT, GO OFF ON ME AND OUR CHILDREN AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF IT! i can’t help him anymore at this point. I want to but I can’t fix him. THIS IS A FAMILY THAT HAS NOW TURNED ON ME LIKE SNAKES BECAUSE MY AH HAS ALWAYS BEEN PERFECT IN THEIR EYES AND ALL OF THIS IS MY FAULT! what am I to do? I don’t care anymore if they hate me, but I will not let them screw with my kids minds more than their daddy and I have!

  • My life is a lot like Marys. I spent 38 years with him. I believe in marraige and that there’s nothing we can’t endure and for better or worse and that you shouldn’t divorse unless your spouse cheats. But like Mary and most of you who have devoted everything into your marraige because you see something in them worth saving because you love them. They can’t possibly throw away all those years. They usually hold jobs, pay bills, and funtion at some normal level but the minute they walk in that door and they head for their booze and you wait and watch because you know its coming and the irrational behavior, hate, blame,gamble, manipulation over anything just because they can, they have no empathy, they can’t feel for you, they act as though they hate you while wanting to sleep with you at the same time,you spent all your life trying to make them happy in every imagineable way, you moved to the ends of the earth trying to find his happiness and there’s something wrong with every human being on the planet he encounters, He blows and blames, blames, blames. Your his worse ememy and yet he loves you but has absolutely no idea what so ever what the word means. He’s also narcisstic and always right, always and never ever apologizes. He reverses everything you say, you can’t avoid them they won’t let you but they can avoid you. They ask you a question and walk away while you answer. Their minds are sick as the tv shows they watch. Mine finially saw he wasn’t going to break me anymore but he left me three months ago for someone who worked in a casino. She listens to his jokes I’ve heard 1000 times and she laughs. This is the same man that demanded perfection out of me and made fun and critisized everybody. I am fit, clean and have a clean home and we never really fought because I just wouldn’t because I knew the outcome and thats so much more energy than I have in me. I have better and more important things to do and he is now with someone he used to make fun of. Someone fat, broke, dumpy,loud, broken down car, swears, screams,doesn’t have a bank account, her daughter is sick, she is sick, her parents have passed and she is a gambler, in her 50s and looks 80, she is no beauty by far. He drives her back and fourth to work every day since her car broke down, something he never did for us in all 38 yrs. But I get it. He met somebody that has nowhere to go and that has to look up to his narcisstic personality. He owns her and neither will ever fix the other. He has no friends. She really has no friends. She smokes but doesn’t really drink. So it’s not about sex, beauty, anger or anything like that. They just simply loose all touch with reality and you’ll kill yourself trying to make since of it. I don’t think we ever grocery shopped together. Like I said I did everything for him. Cut his hair all his life, made breakfast, his lunch for work, dinner when he came home on his time and terms,I worked a job, did his laundry,mowed, shoveled, served his food in front of the TV with his potatoe and bread buttered. He was a gambler and went out every night for two hours. I seldom ever said no to him. I wouldn’t dare. I watered down his bottles for two years because I couldn’t deal with his personality on full strength. I am now in counseling because I would cry all the time.I was getting sick and so stressed. I had to go on medication and then I ended up going for open heart surgery in which I am home right now recovery from. Stress will make you very sick. I poured my heart into this man,put up with years of craziness all for what. I threw him out the day I caught him. It was easy in that moment but my whole world and daily routine is effected. I’m so glad he’s gone because there’s no more stress in my home but i miss who he used to be or what I had hoped he would become.I had always hoped he’d hit rock bottom and realize he needed help and go to AA because he loved his family, son, Mother and brothers and sisters. But they can’t and that’s not what happened. They can only feel for themselves and need to be looked up too as the King of their ship and when they see you giving up they may search for someone down and out like themselves that hold them on high. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Nothing what-so-ever. This relationship won’t last either. The alcohol is their love. Always…. People always ask me if I’d ever take him back…One full year of AA and a counseler that deals with Narcisstic Alcoholism and knows the very sweet game. If he turned around maybe but truely I don’t ever see that happening. One year is a huge difference and by then I hope I’m fully recovered and who knows what mess this world will be in by then and what new distraction we will have. Holly as soon as you can afford it and get yourself healed mentally change your number and move further away. These men boys are Moms babies. Stop trying to prove yourself because it will never happen and your far too good for them. Protect yourself and your girls. Get out while you can.Once inlaws get involved it triples the problems. Stick to a trusted friend and Al anon. Stick with people who get you, who have been there. 38 years and I wish I left 37 years ago when I saw where this was headed. I wasted my whole life doing his things and giving up who I was for him. My husband moved into a security appartment and gave her a key and his own son and wife cant visit and he blames me because his son wants nothing to do with him. he moved 5 blocks down the street and his friend works close to where I work so it’s in my face all the time. Then he acusses me of making his family turn on him. his family doesn’t even know yet.I said tell them and make them proud I’m sure they’ll just love her and you. Go for it. He wants something new to talk about because he doesn’t know what to tell them about me when they ask how I’m doing. Now he can go run me down. It’s turned beyond pathetic. That’s all because of the Alcohol. I’m good and ready. I’m going to attend my first Al anon meeting this Thursday. I won’t do this anymore. I can’t..

  • Mary

    Happy New Year!!!
    I love your blog and this has helped me through some very challenging times. Your honesty, witty humor and similarities have helped me get enough courage to finally walk out of my marriage. Although, I never had children with me (soon to be EX AH) I spent 15 years (4 years married on 11/11/11) dealing with a disease that is far bigger than I am capable of handling. I do own my own action (triggering, fighting back, defending and sharing TRUTH and FACT) but in all honesty, if it were just us arguing about things and disagreeing that would be a normal type of marriage, but it took (blame – so much blame, lying, cheating, physical and mental abuse, anger, rage, manic, depression and so much more) for me to finally take steps and see if it was just me or was this disease that I kept denying really the cause of such hurt, hatred anger and living so disgusting that I was the cause? After meeting with therapist (alone and together) and professionals who specialize in Alcoholism and attending AA and Alanon (and with recommendations from several therapist who told me that I indeed was dealing with an AH husband) I finally took the steps I should have taken years ago. I am a very strong person, with confidence, raised never to think that a man should swear, hit, throw food, spit, destroy your items, destroy walls, doors, chairs++++ and blame me for all of his actions. This disease wrapped myself into someone I’m not proud of (but I do give myself some credit to realize that it wasn’t about me, and that I was not the cause nor was I able to CURE, CAUSE, or CONTROL) sadly it took a piece of my soul and heart and knowing the truth and facts still didn’t help me until just a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a 16 foot POD (had it delivered to our house) let it SIT for 2 weeks (as I headed out of town) but knew that if I didn’t finally take the step that I would continue staying in this horrific thing called “marriage” as you can imagine the empty POD did not go well (my soon to be EX AH went ballistic and called the POD company to have this removed – fortunately I was the only person that could have it removed) That being said, I finally had the courage, strength and determination to remove myself from the chaos. I spent my 1st holiday (in 4 years of marriage) peaceful, happy and away from the craziness, selfishness and narcissitic man that I called my husband. I know it will still take time to heel, but life is much to short (and I know how hard it is to leave – even without children together) I got so wrapped up and lost myself along the way. I caused triggering, but it’ a vicious cycle as you can either stay silent and hold back your hurt, pain and anger or fight and stick up for yourself (trust me, I’ve done both and they both = YOUR FAULT. I am excited about the new year and hope that anyone who reads my response knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’d rather be alone and in peace, vs be alone (which I was) and walking on egg shells and this is the best present I have ever received to FIND me again. I also filed for divorce and will have papers served to him by next week (I asked him to do this, but as we know A’s never follow through with what they agree to) i’ve stayed away and silent and he’s been texting me since NY Eve (and hopefully) once he gets the paperwork, he signs, we wait 90 days and we are both free.
    Happy New Year Sandy and thank you for keeping me sane and realizing that I am NOT alone (and using your humor, wit and truth in sharing your life)

  • Melinda S.

    Hi, This all sounds to familiar, especially the blaming! My husband has been sober for 6 years and attended some AA meetings, but now has decided to not go to meetings. Without healing emotionally and spiritually he is now starting to blame me again for all his problems. I am having a difficult time accepting this blame which doesn’t belong to me. I do attend Alanon, but I feel I need to go to counceling to help me.
    I told my husband I was going and his reply” Oh I am so glad you are going to get some help for your problem”! I just bit my tongue when he said that. I am gong to try the response ” I am sorry you feel that way”. I am hoping this gets better – we have been married 43 years and I don’t want to start over, but I don’t want to continue in this crazy pattern. If anyone out there is living with a dry drunk I would be interested in your suggestions! Thanks, Melinda

  • Andrea

    Hello, I am new to all this. I have been with my husband for almost 9 years. The pain is so unreal. We had a blow up last night. I told myself not to get sucked into it and I did. He blames me for everything. I am the crazy one. He can’t deal with my crazy anymore. He did nothing wrong. He lies about everything. I just don’t know what to do. He is the main support. I have no where to go. I can’t have my kids in this house any longer. I have to leave. I don’t want to leave. I love him and will always love him. He is refusing to get help. He tells me he was a drinker when I met him and he is doing nothing wrong. I need help. I don’t know where to turn to. Please someone help me.

  • Nikki

    Hi there . What you wrote could have been my ex husband … All of it sounded like him ! They are all the same , constantly walking on eggshells is a good definition .
    You cannot help him you sound like you have had enough . Only you can put the wheels in motion to make the change to give you and your kids a better life…. Or do you choose this one ?

  • Gina

    Andrea, if you can’t get away to an Al-anon meeting, try a phone meeting, I do them all of the time and they have times almost 24/7. You can just listen and know that you’re not alone. Al-Anon Phone Meetings

  • k

    Alcoholics are just that with a lifetime of misery for themselves and their families. Love won’t cure them. They have to change because that is what THEY
    want to do. The alcohol is controlling their life and retaining their life as a
    sober person is very difficult for them because they often times will act like
    who they are when they were drinking.

    Andrea, are you working? Do you have savings enough to get you out asap.
    Another thought, find the womens center who can help you. Often times it
    will be dshs, yes welfare. The safety net that can help. Get in touch with
    a local helplline. They can give you a lot of suggestions to get you going.
    Good luck, it is never easy weather you stay or go. The children would weigh
    heavily in my heart to get them out of the mess. Good luck

  • Angela

    I have tried for the last 5 years to love a man that does not even know how to love himself. When we met he was perfect. After about 6mths everything changed and it spiraled downward from that point until now. We argue everyday about something stupid. Most of the time it took place our first year together. I always felt like it was something I was doing wrong because that is what he always said. I finally realized that I was living a normal healthy life before him. He talks down on me for not having a car, but my last three got seized from him sneaking off drunk when I am not paying attention. He says I need to get a job and stop living off of my SSA, but I lost my last job when he got drunk and jumped on me in the parking lot. He say I should respect him more and be more understanding, but when he drinks I get the respect of a stray dog. I found myself living in a situation I would tell other people they are stupid to be in. My wake up came recently, only a few days ago. I came home and found him arguing with my 10 year old and to me it seem like he really would have fought him if I didn’t get home at that moment. He swore the next day after he sobered up that he love me and my kids and would never hurt them. The first thought came to mind is the many times he said that to me when I wake up in the morning after fighting him all night. My kids are all I have in this world and I decided then that we could never be together or even be friends. Being friends is only a way to hang around and wait on me to be alone to fight some more. He drinks until he is staggering every day of the week. If he don’t care about himself, why should I? I chose my family over being alone and throwing away those five years. I haven’t had a reason to cry or feel discouraged since. I LOVE IT!!!!!

  • Paula g

    Hi Andrea,
    You have grown and learned and realized, that you can’t live with this and that it isn’t right. Start to think about alternative places you can go, and ways you can live. Then when you figure it out, tell him in his most sober moment, with no emotion that, you need to do what is right for you and the kids, and give him one last chance to get serious, and don’t count on it. Then move on.
    If he gets it he might start to work on change, and if he doesn’t you have done what you had to do. Try not to engage him in anything when he is drinking, it’s futile. Try to always be 100% honest without emotion, the facts are all he needs. Try to be 100% true to yourself and your kids needs.
    I know you love him, we all understand how you love him, but you need to love yourself first, because you are not first in his calculations. It is so important that you figure out your needs and respect them, find your boundaries and put your foot down and respect them.
    You may not feel strong, but 9 years of this should remind you that you are very strong. The only thing you need to do is turn your care onto yourself instead of on him. Someone has to take care of you and it may be that there is only you who can do it. You will be alright, but you might need to instigate change. Sometimes it’s hard to realize we are already alone, but the sooner we recognize it the better off we are. You can figure this out, just start to get creative and not be afraid. Good luck sister!!!

  • James

    Andrea, Leave the bum. He’s going down and will drag you with him if you don’t watch out for yourself…!

  • Carmen

    Hi Andrea, Go to Al=Anon. Look them up on-line for your area. If you don’t like the first one, find another one until you are okay with the group. I called a therapist who directed me to Al-Anon. If you don’t have the money for therapy then Al-Anon is your best bet. It’s free. You will have to pay for some of the literature but they have lots of free flyers. You’ll have to speak to others in your area about a support system but the YMCA is a good place to start looking. Al-Anon is specifically for people who are affected by alcoholism in family or friend. The blame game is what alcoholics play. It gets worse and worse until all of you in the house are demoralized. My life changed when my husband began the blame game. It got steadily worse until he made such ridiculous statements such as, “You should know what I am thinking,” and “I’m not going anywhere until I’ve gotten the $45,000 I’ve put into you.” (It could have been that much money but it was over a period of 10 years.) The point is that you need to be around people who are all in the program. You need a support group asap. The chances of him changing are very small but your chance is huge now that you’ve made a decision to seek help. {Hugs}

  • Mrs B

    Dear Andrea.
    Make a plan today to get out. You cannot love this away. I tried for six years to love away my sons drinking. We had an expensive intervention and until we enforced our bottom line of him
    Getting help or moving out nothing we tried worked. We were enabling him (which means allowing him to continue drinking so he wouldn’t get mad at us). Now that he is out our lives have come back into focus. Its heart wrenching, biut so freeing. You forget what peace is like dealing with an alcoholic day after day. Then only then will you start to heal. Alanon is for you! It is not to help the drinker. Know that❤️

  • Nance

    My heart goes out to Andrea and every one else in this type of situation.
    I have wasted 6 years on a man who was clean and sober when I met him, but started drinking and drugging a year later. The crazy things that have happened I could write pages on. Including me getting arrested when I called the cops on him for stealing something valuable from my home, that he used to buy drugs. That was a low point for me. He said I attacked him. Which got the focus off him stealing from me and I went to jail. I was there for only a little over a day but that was the longest day in my life! Anyway, the stories could go on and on. The number of times I let him come back and live in my home. The things craziness. I still love him. Why? I am not sure. If honest, I love the person he was. Not the person he is now. I love him but I won’t live with him. It is hard when he calls me and is homeless. I just look at the whole he punched in my bedroom door and my sweet dog, and know neither one of us deserve to live in fear and drama. IF he ever gets clean and sober, I would be happy to date him and see where it goes. It was very hard at first breaking free of him. I missed him. I missed the good part of him. I missed having a man in my life and intimacy and all kinds of things. But I don’t miss the fighting, the drama, the insanity. Nope. Sometimes I feel sad I wasted that many years. Other times I think of how it has helped me to grow, and we did have some very special good times, so I guess it was not a total waste of time. If you get in with an al anon group they can probably help you sort through some options. No one will tell you to leave him. At least they should not tell you to do anything, unless you or your children are in danger. However, they can share what has worked for them and possible solutions. Al Anon passes a hat for donations at meetings, but you do not have to give if you can not afford it. No one will tell you to get out. If they did find another group. You and your children deserve a sane life. If we fought for our own sanity and well being as hard as many of us have tried to please and change the alcoholic we would all have totally amazing lives!

  • Joseph

    Hi everyone.

    Its been a very long time since I have made any comments here, but I just wanted to reiterate my thoughts on this subject. I have been married to the same woman for almost 36 years now, and she is an alcoholic. Long story short, if you are married to an alcoholic, you have two choices. Stay in or get out. Its really that simple. I know that everyone has different circumstances, but that’s really all there is to it. You either leave the person, or you stay and try to cope the best you can. I decided to stay. Yes we have had our little “split ups” for short periods of times, but we have never divorced. I have come to the conclusion that I love her more than anything, and I could never leave her because of an illness. I would not expect her to do that to me either. Life can be tough, but nobody ever said it was easy. God Bless you all, and until next time.

  • Mary

    Hi Andrea – It’s also been a while since I’ve responded to this site, but just received the feed from your struggles and the many responses and felt it was a “calling” for me to jump in and share. I too loved my AH, and also can relate to the up & down craziness, blame, mental, physical, roller coaster of a marriage. I left in November 2015, after 15 years in a relationship and 4 of those years in a marriage (after, seeking therapy, attending alanon – even AA to see, hear and learn more about the illness) getting diagnosed to see if I WAS THE PROBLEM, went to AMC (anger management class) took the blame, fought back, lost myself, I mean you name it , I DID IT and sadly lost a big part of myself along the way. I am now back to a point in my life where I am happy, humbled, living in calmness, no drama, no walking on egg shells, no arguing, no blame, no food being thrown at me, no walls being punched, no anger, no lies, and no blame. I can only speak for myself, but I too wanted to stay and make this work, and I did what I could (I thought it was me and realized that yes, I do have challenges, who doesn’t – but at the end of the day, the way I behaved, reacted, LIVED was a result of someone who was and is sick) and there was nothing more that I could do, and I had to realize that my life was miserable, sad, ugly and painful – I cannot tell you how much better I am now, and how worthy I feel about being who I was before I met my EX AH. All I can say, is we can only do something when we are ready (no different than the A) they themselves have to stop living in denial as we the co-dependent or somewhat addicted family member. Thank you all for sharing your story and making me realize that I no longer live that type of life and that my world has changed from removing myself from a toxic situation, but it took me a while and come full circle to be where I am right now and I can’t live in anger, blame or regrets it’s life and I am blessed to be back in what my life use to be without the AH. Good luck to you.

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