How To Cope With An Angry Alcoholic

Have you ever heard of the expression: “get out of harm’s way?” If you’re living with an angry alcoholic, then you need to learn how to get out of the way of being hurt, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I can give you a few tips in this article on how to cope, but you really need to get involved with alcoholism support group meetings. There are hundreds of ways to protect yourself from the affects of an angry alcoholic.

My former alcoholic spouse was very abusive in every sense of the word. She was filled with hatred and seemed to thrive on criticizing others all of the time. She was the type of person who found fault in everything.

One moment everything could be going fine and the next she was ranting and raving about something. Now, she also had a pain pill addiction problem that contributed to her rage. The mood swings of an alcoholic are intensified greatly when there are narcotics involved in their daily addictive patterns.

Most alcoholics use anger and anxiety as weapons. They unconsciously try to do things to those around them in order to get a negative reaction out of others. Once the “other” person is acting like a loon, then the alcoholic can point their finger at the other person’s behaviors instead of looking at their own. The sad part of all this is that we are left being angry, then they go get plastered. We must learn how to not let them get to us.

It can be devastating when someone is seeking to experience intimacy with an alcoholic spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend and instead, the normal routine is for the alcoholic to criticize them. Parents, friends and co-workers are no exception to this character defect of “anger” commonly found in alcoholics.

Rule Number One When Dealing With An Alcoholic


Never fight and argue with an alcoholic. Under no circumstances should we ever step into the ring and fight with them. This means that we are going to need to learn how to get control of our reactions to all the things they are doing to push our buttons. We have to become tough as nails.

There are hundreds of ways of avoiding an angry alcoholic. When you get involved in alcoholism support group meetings, you can learn from the wisdom of others. There are certain ways to handle different situations. For instance, you can go into another room, close the door and lock it. You can leave the house when their anger is getting out of control.

Take time to think of different ways that you can avoid having a confrontation with the problem drinker and start doing those things.

To avoid arguing, say things like:

  1. I’m sorry you feel that way.
  2. You may be right.
  3. Let me think about that.
  4. I don’t care to discuss that with you right now.

Then, get away from them as quick as possible.

Rule Number Two


You cannot look to an alcoholic for love. They just cannot fulfill your need to be loved. Alcoholics love one thing and one thing only… getting drunk. That’s the reality of the situation that you are dealing with. You are going to have to look at yourself and know that the mean things they are saying about you are not true.

It’s funny, somehow I knew that deep down inside that my raging, angry alcoholic spouse loved me. Even though she treated me like crap, I still knew that she loved me. Even though I knew this, I still had to see reality for what it was, I was married to an abusive alcoholic spouse. In situations like this, we can hope for change and believe they love us, but we must not sugar coat the reality of what is happening to us.

No one should accept unacceptable behavior from anyone, especially alcoholics/addicts. No one should be a doormat. You must learn how to set boundaries with an alcoholic.

I’m guessing that because you are reading this someone is being awfully mean to you. We have an email mini-course that can help you start learning how to cope with an angry alcoholic. You will find it located in the sidebar. After you sign-up, you will also be presented with an entire audio lesson course that can teach you how to handle situations involving angry alcoholics. Don’t wait for things to get worse. Make a commitment today to start learning how to protect yourself from the horrible effects of dysfunctional relationships.
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107 comments to How To Cope With An Angry Alcoholic

  • Aw, thiss was a vwry good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a really
    good article… but what cann I say… I procrastinate a
    lot and never seem to gget nearly anything done.

  • april55

    I am asking about my friend. She too is involved with an alcholic, she pretends everything is great, puts him on a pedestal, he doesn’t work, she buys his food, drink. he contributes nothing.
    My friend is very dear to me, we were like sisters speaking every day, however since she has been living with him, I have seen her only twice in 6 months one times she looked dreadful, second time overdressed and fake, when she calls me he is always interrupting, once she didn’t hang up and I heard the way he spoke to her I sent her a message saying “are you ok? it sounds as thought you are being bullied”, her response “no not at all”.
    I have read everything I can about alcholism, and my friendship with her is/was so important. When I sent her a message saying “hope all is well, haven’t heard from you for a while”, he read my message.

    I am asking you all, is it common for partners no to discuss the awful life they are leading with others? She tells me little bits like “he didn’t speak to me for 4 days”, or says he is very picky. On the rare occasions she calls me it is when he is not there or she tells me what time to call her back “don’t call me, I will call you”

    She is a truly wonderful girl, lively, fun and I miss the person she was.
    She has given up work for him, paid for overseas trip (pre covid).
    I miss her friendship and totally worried about her. I told her that I was really concerned about her and said “you know that is abuse”.

    This guy “she loves” has totally changed her.


    Feedback most welcome.

  • Maggie Pawlyszyn

    Alcoholics are narcissists of sort.
    They are so screwed up in their own pain, they either don’t see or ignore others pain. They care only for themselves? No, they don’t even care about themselves, they are self harming themselves.

  • C Maynard

    People like me who are in terrible emotional pain because our loved one is a raging alcoholic, shouldn’t have to pay to get some good advice. We need help, not a pitch line.

  • Anne

    A family member moved back home, and has gotten so angry, a quiet simmering anger that boils over once in a while.I I shut myself in my room when he is home, and try not to respond to his outbursts, I am a senior with a 9yr old dog who I need to put down pretty soon due to health issues and worry that things might escalate without my dog. She is protective, but confused because this person was one of her best friends and now they will not even speak to her because she irritates him as much as I do. There are other factors but I will leave those out. Am I in physical danger?

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