What To Do When An Alcoholic Always Blames

Girl BlamingGuilt is either earned or learned is what I have always heard. If you are troubled by an alcoholic who always blames you for things, I’ve got a few suggestions that could help you. I hated getting blamed for stuff all of the time. Once I learned how to protect myself from the barrage of complaints that were hulled my way, I very rarely fell victim to the blame game ever again.

Now I’m guessing that you get angry and somewhat resentful when your spouse, friend, family member or co-worker points their finger at you. Usually when the alcoholic accuses me of something I didn’t do, I have a tendency to defend myself. At least that was my natural reaction before I learned to handle situations differently.

You can learn how to live a happier life with an alcoholic even when he/she blames you for things all of the time. There is a method or tool that can help you with every situation you encounter while being in an alcoholic relationship.

I’m sure you have heard me talk about accepting the alcoholic just as they are. If you will accept that blaming others for their problems is just what alcoholics have a tendency to do, this should help you in responding differently. If  you think about it, they have probably been doing this sort of thing for a long time.

alcoholic pointing fingerEven though you have fought and argued about things, they still continue to do and say the same things to try and upset you. Can you see how they are not going to change? History should speak for itself. This means that you will need to change.

The other thing that has always helped me is not reacting to their false perceptions of the situation at hand. It is not necessary to confront the lies anymore because that doesn’t help. Alcoholics are just liars and nothing that you say or do is going to stop them from lying. If the problem drinker blames you and it is an outright fib, let it go. It is pointless to argue with a drunk. You know how they are…you say; “black” they say; “white.”

We have to choose our battles carefully. Stepping into the battlefield with an addict is really a waist of energy and time. Life is much more peaceful when we learn how to avoid arguing with someone who has a drinking problem.

When they are pointing the finger at you, much of what they are doing is pushing your buttons in an attempt to make you angry. Anger and anxiety are the two weapons of the alcoholic. If they can keep you upset, then it takes the focus off of them. While they are the crazy ones, you look nuttier than them because you are reacting to things all of the time.

Much of what we need is to learn how to communicate with an alcoholic. There are conversations that should be avoided and methods to learn that will help you avoid them. Knowing what to say and how to say it can really help when alcoholic always blames you. I cannot go over everything in this article. You will find some helpful tips here: How To Communicate With An Alcoholic.

Here are a few of the points I’ve made so far:

  • Never argue with a drunk
  • Accept that blaming others is just what they do
  • It is pointless to confront the lies
  • You don’t have to defend yourself when they are blaming you for something that you did not do, just let it go.
  • They blame on purpose to push your buttons
  • You are going to have to change-they will continue to blame

This article, Avoiding An Alcoholic Making Me Feel Guilty, can help you have deeper insight into how to be more resilient in the face of an alcoholic blaming you for things. We also touched on some great ways to be less effected by the things they say here: Being Happy While With An Alcoholic.

No one enjoys being blamed for something. We usually feel, hurt, sad, betrayed or an emotional heaviness. What counts though is how we respond to the accusations of others. This is the key to whether we will remain stable or not.

66 comments to What To Do When An Alcoholic Always Blames

  • JLG

    I came to this site because a year and a half ago I started dating a man long distance; had no idea who he truly was.. My gut told me to run; he charmed and charmed me and it continues. He found out he had a child in another state – had one already he’d not seen in years; his priorities were drinking, skiing, and whatever substances he did; not clear.. Kept coming to visit me; July – August he came to where I live a lot.. went into rehab – I think to make sure he got work leave benefits because the second he got out of rehab; he came straight to me, lived at my house for 3 months, then back to Colorado- his kids are on the east coast.

    We have been trying to part ways I believe each of us – of course, I don’t know how to love, etc.. a lot of what I hear above; he doesnt get that I run 2 companies and am a self sufficient woman. He stayed with me because he was waiting for benefits.

    When received he went off and made foolish mistakes with his money which I would never do; and now is on the East coast shocked that his daughter won’t hug him.. so unrealistic. She is 6 and she just met him.

    So today I get the message that I have ruined his life and he would probably already be in Colorado had he not come here to “save” our relationship.

    Since this – his own friends have told me that every time he went skiing the joke was “who is he going to hook up with this weekend” he had been in a 4 year relationship.. He will not own any of it…

    Second he is telling everyone he is out of money because he had to TAKE CARE OF ME which is a JOKE! Far from what I need; I don’t need a vampire sucking my energy.

    These people are very charming; very manipulating and really you can fall for their BS. I am – if any of my friends knew I was even speaking to him; they would dis own me..

    Any recommendations – I cannot kick this one

  • Dee

    Why would a woman like you, so accomplished, have to accept all these lies, manipulation and eventually abuse? This relationship will eventually destroy your personal life, your connections, your businesses, and you will be left without any confidence in yourself. Why? To my opinion he is disturbed, sometime of disorder… Do not even try to attempt fixing him. It will not work, and you will be left devastated and empty… Please run as far as possible.

  • JLG

    WOW THAT IS PROFOUND – that is what a neighbor told me – he is not working his program and everything is always someone else’s fault..
    I am a SUPER empath to my own detriment! THANK YOU – I appreciate that… I will block his number… It has already cost me a lot
    in my businesses and knocked a nice hole in my finances.

  • KS

    For all of you living or previously living with an alcoholic, I’m the A on the other end who blamed, manipulated, lied, sought sympathy, and couldn’t look at my own primary role in my demise. I’ve been sober for over 5 years, and the reason I did was the ultimatum. My Dad told me he would not be my father anymore, he would disown me if I didn’t get help. I’ve heard a lot in these comments about modifying your own behavior to live with an alcoholic. I do applaud your strength in attempting to maintain your well-being. However, if you hope to come out of your treacherous and destructive situation, in my opinion, you must leave/cut out your loved one. If they have continued to drink after you’ve placed consequence after consequence, there is nothing left to do but save yourself, your children, etc. I’m so glad that my Dad did what he did, and it was a gamble as he could have lost his daughter. Thankfully, I was more scared of losing him, what semblance of other relationships I had, that I had to stop drinking. It was so difficult, and I still have to remind myself that I cannot even toy with the idea of merely a sip of wine, and also had to adjust to a life I was so unaccustomed to. For me, the scariest thing to face was a complete change in lifestyle (living without alcohol) and fear of failure. I didn’t know who I was as a sober person. It is the beginning of an arduous process of admission, realizing how much more work is involved besides removing alcohol. I also thought my life would miraculously improve as soon as I got sober. Like someone was going to lay out the red carpet, I was going to walk back into life with everything fixed. This is when we think, ‘well, why did I even bother?” This is our A brain trying to lure us back in again. If your A is still actively using, has tried to get sober and keeps reverting back, please please please leave him/her. They will continue to use if you enable them. The simple non-action of staying does not do either of you any good. At least if you leave, you can begin to heal. Your A will either recognize the that they have hit rock bottom or not. It is not your responsibility to decide that, it is theirs. Good luck to you!

  • Bill

    KS, thanks for sharing your experience. I would like to say that there are many ways to not “enable” someone without shutting them completely out of one’s life. Ultimatums are good, but only if the giver of them is willing to fully follow through. In your case it worked. The decision to draw a black line doesn’t fit for everyone’s situation. I believe that we all have to choose our own path to dealing with an alcoholic in our lives. Many learn how to live full and vibrant lives, very happily, without cutting the ties to the alcoholic.

    I guess the most important thing is for us all to remember that we cannot control what an alcoholic decides. Yes, I can decide to cut an alcoholic out of my life, but it’s not something that is guaranteed to work. The alcoholic is going to quit when they are ready.

    KS, I am confident that there were many other factors that influenced your decision to quit. Usually when an addict hits bottom, it’s not just because someone gave them an ultimatum.

    I’d love to hear some of the other factors that were influencing your life at the time you quit that also helped you to decide for change.

  • Kath

    Oh my God…I am so glad I found this page! I have a sister (younger) who has been in recovery for 30+ years. I love her dearly. Of course this being the political season…and over thank God….it’s been a walking on egg shells time. We are at opposite ends of the political thinking. I had made a comment on her page defending one candidate and making an observation of the other. Nothing mean or cruel in the least. I know better especially when it comes to her. I tried in vain not to comment on her page and made sure she didn’t see my stuff. She was extremely upset over the election results so I kept my distance until I felt it was “safe” to talk lightly with her about happier better stuff. I had not spoken to her yet but she sent me a note yesterday. She said she feels we have to stay off political topics (which I TRY to do with her)…then lit into me about blasting her and me always having to be right and that others don’t tell me off…..because they need to be “graceful” with me. I was ASTOUNDED how much she blamed me for everything concerning HER issues. She was decent about it….or guess manipulative??? I have tried in vain not to react so thanked her for her note, said a few things to stroke her ego and let it go. I HATE THIS! I am always afraid to say ANYTHING to her about ANYTHING. She even said that she s concerned about “white supremacy” because “when I lived in Atlanta I saw so much of the hate”. HUH???? She lived there in the 70s and has NEVER EVER spoken of this before. It seems like she has to have drama. I’ve heard her “story” which is grossly enlarged to suit her history. Soooo……..are active/in active drunks blamers? Liars? Drama Queens? I have seen her go after her husband thousands of times. I am amazed he puts up with it. UGH!!!

  • Adam

    I am a functioning alcoholic, I like to drink in the evenings it helps me to unwind and enjoy the night me and my wife do so togeather sometimes she likes it and sometimes she goes off of on me for no reason telling me telling me I’m the reason she drinks and she never did before she met me and she is tired of it. We met before we were 21 yet I’m the reason? I enjoy drinking but she blame me for her inability to stop because I enjoy it in moderation. What should I do

  • Maryssa

    I’m the daughter of two alcoholics and as a result I drink very carefully IF I even have a drink due to liver dysfunction which is now genetic. My grandmother died at 36, an aunt at 42, and my father died 10 years ago all from liver failure. My mother still drinks herself through the roof though and I can’t find any way to get her to cut back or distract herself because SHE REMARRIED ANOTHER ALCOHOLIC SHE MET AT A BAR! It’s a nightmare because due to disabilities and medicaid I can’t move out or drive anywhere too often. The funny part is that she’s a nurse. For the longest time, she’s point the finger at me and scream at me for “taking her bottles” until she caught her husband taking them. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I need to have serious conversations with her due to my health almost all of the time but once she gets home from work, she’s trashed within an hour and a half. There have been serious violent incidents between me and she and her husband due to drunkenness. I can’t deal with it much longer and I’m only going on 27. If I have 1 drink, it last me about 2 hours; by the time I finish it, the two of them have consumed between 6 and 7. I’m losing my grip badly to the point where I have severe anxiety and a chronic pain condition from fracturing vertebrae from breaking up fights. And no, I DO NOT drink at all if I take any medications but yet when my mom is slurring her words she says I’m taking Xanax for correcting her own speech. I don’t even have a working lock on my door because of how the house was built so I just get followed around and harassed and have to bite on my tongue and tolerate it. I don’t know what to do.

  • Thank you for this article. I often forget the alcoholics tools. Sad part is I’m about ready to admit myself into the hospital as my health cannot my husbands shit anymore. I’m tired. And fed up.

  • Lala

    Basic info; You cant teach an old dog new tricks and you can’t teach a dumb dog nothin !!

  • Thanks. I appreciate the reminder to just disengage. It is always tempting to counter an outright lie or distortion with “the facts.” but the problem is: they simply “gaslight,” tell you that your view is something you “always do, because you are a…” or whatever, which escalates the entire interaction. Best to just shrug, walk away, ignore the accusations that ensue for “walking away,” such as “why are you being shitty about this?”

    One suggestion: something is not a WAIST of time and energy; it is a WASTE of time and energy. WAIST is that thing we put the belt around.

  • Nicole

    I have a sister who is an alcoholic. She blames me for all her problems. Everyone in my family doesn’t ask about her anymore including my mother after she watched a show on enabling addicts. She has come to terms that my sister will get helps if and when she hits a rock bottom but might not. I woke up this morning to a nasty message saying it’s my fault that she can’t call her family during Christmas time. Like I have authority or mind control of other family members. She once told my other sister that she went to see a psychiatrist and he told her she had histrionic disorder. I realize this is in the same cluster b family as narcissist are. She definitely has narc traits. My father is also a narcissist and my mother is a codependent and I learned to be a codependent but am fully aware of it and working to change. This is wh I cut my sister out of my life 13 months ago. However she keeps texting me from various texting app numbers a few times a year to try and make me feel guilty. Usually I ignore her and then block her but today I answer led back saying if she wants to talk to my mother she has her number. Then she says she is talking to my mother and telling her what a horrible person I am. Meanwhile I am literally on the phone with my mother on speaker while I’m texting with her. Lol. She likes to start a fight and then went into a tirade that I am fat and do not have a college degree. Lol. My sister is skin and bones and doesn’t eat. She also does cocaine. She did this to me around New Year’s Eve last year and the holidays must be really trying for some alcoholics but I refuse to let her ruin it. I blocked her until she will try from another number and I will ignore her again. I’m considering changing my number as she has isolated herself from our family entirely yet it’s my fault she doesn’t talk to them. I know my sister has jealousy issues with me and hates the fact that I have children and a husband and she doesn’t. She is 35 years old and her life is fading away but she is a professional victim. It’s just gotten to the point where I feel something bad is go It to happen to her. She has already been arrested for going to her married ex boyfriend’s house who is another narcisssit and she had to spend the weekend in jail. She is erratic and unstable. She can text me all these things but she can’t say them to my face or face my mother because she has a guilty conscience. Everyone has just given up on her and stopped asking about and I think she realizes that and crying out for attention but just wants to start an argument. I have disowned her. She is no longer my sister and just a alcoholic/ addict who thinks the world revolves around her.

  • […] hoping this time it’s for good. He says I am the reason my father is an alcoholic (How To Handle An Alcoholic Blaming), and I am the reason that his life is so screwed up. I know this is victim blaming, and […]

  • stacy

    hello, i dont know if youll see this but… i have a partner that realizes they are chemically dependent on alcohol but says they are only stopping for me there for putting all the pressure on me. ive told them multiple times that they should love them selves and stop because they want to but when im on the phone with them and there drunk off there hat they blame me for all there drinkinking. i dont know what to do about this.

  • Danny

    My sister is an alcoholic. Arrested 5 times for DWI. One of them is on a little motor scooter driving to her job , hitting a curb and passing out. She had suspended license. Both our parents are passed away now, and i am handling the estate, by their written request. She now accuses me of cheating her of out of money. There was alot of money spent on our parents house to get ready to sell. Not talking about alot of money. I gave out money to her, her children, and to me and my children. Both equal amounts. Everything has been sold and settled out. She called me sounding irate and drunk. Wanting bank statements. So i gave them to her. She wont be able to understand anything because statements dont clearly show what amounts are paid to what business. She said i cheated her. Never did. Thanks for the few points of dealing with alcoholics.

  • My son is an alcoholic. He has recently, in the last few months, been going in and out of mental health hospitals-32 yrs old. He also consumes kratom which seems to make him psychotic when combined with alcohol. He was abandoned by his father as a toddler, when I left his father due to his alcoholism. His father over the years however would off and on contact and string him along saying he was going to come see him but was most always he was a no show. The courts did nothing. My son’s father denied being an alcoholic and told my son everything was all my fault. My son blames me for everything and is extremely verbally abusive toward me when he drinks. When he is not drinking he is a completely different person and very loving. He recently got a DUI, of course he says he didn’t do anything wrong. He has court this Tuesday. Tonight I found him talking on the phone when I git home from work saying he wants to die and again trash talking me, I knew immediately he was drinking he was slurring so bad. I found small hard liquor bottles under the bed and in the nite stand. Then, saw his gun under his head, under the pillow. I immediately reached for and took the gun, he was so obliterated and drunk his reaction time was extremely slow. I locked it in my car for both our safety. I contemplated on what to do. As I was doing this, he proceeded to call 911 to turn me in for stealing his gun. After he belligerently, tried to get it back cussing me out and threatening me. I am so over this and exhausted, I then contacted 911 and told him what was going on, and that he was drunk. he proceeded to tell 911 that I am psychotic and that I physically abuse him and that I’ve taken his property and then I can’t kick him out of my home because he lives here and so I’m stuck with him. But then I’m effing this and an effing that and this and that. I then called 911 to advise of the situation. The police came, they noted that he was acting erratic, and they advised him they were going to detain him for questioning to figure out what was going on and said they were going to place him in cuffs to talk with him. He began to argue and tried to manipulate/control things, over talk them and so forth at the same time they continued to place cuffs and my son totally resisted them. He kept saying he didn’t do anything to be arrested, again they said they were detaining him for questioning. . They kept saying we just have a few questions to figure out what’s going on. My son began arguing and told them to F off. And that he has done nothing and shouldn’t be arrested that I am the one who is abusive and psychotic. They again repeated you’re not under arrest we are just detaining you so we can safely ask you some questions. He would not let them speak, and they said we’re going to ask questions on our terms. We have some questions. He continued to argue with them and he ended up going to jail fir kicking at them. This behavior is most unusual, because he’s usually very respectful to police. Even if it’s manipulative behavior, which I believe so over the years on his part, he has always been super respectful to police, except me, his mother, of course. I also told the officers I wasn’t comfortable with his gun being in my home, and I handed it over to them as well. My son always knows everything! He has narcissistic behaviors. He manipulates people, but recently is losing the technique because he is getting so bad with his drinking. Every time something good comes his way, he self sabotages with this horrible bad behavior. He has done this since he was around atleast 12 years old. He has been told for sometime now that his liver is not good, recently he was throwing up blood. We ended up in the ER three mornings in a row a couple weeks ago. I was up at 1:30, 2:30 and 4:00 am three days in a row and still had to ho to work. My son has no obvious regard for me my health or how his bad behavior is affecting anyone. I am exhausted, I work fulltime, have heart problems. Him, nor I have zero support in this nitemare!!! I discovered a medication for opioid withdrawal in his medical documents. So I am thinking there is even more to the story. A few months ago I took him directly to a detox program. He was there a few days then released and went to a rehab for 30 days, he really needed to be in much longer. I am assuming he manipulated his way out of there. Plus, I was finally at peace thinking he was getting the help he needs, finally and i could actually get some rest minus the abuse! I love him, but I do not like him! My life is peaceful without his non-sense. He has told my friends, family that he has no problem, but if he does it’s all because of me because I am psychotic (Not), a falling down drunk (I don’t even like alcohol and barely, if ever drink). I was a single and only parent. He says I brought guys in and out of the house when he was growing, which us total lie and my close friends are bewildered he says tjis stuff about me. They have expressed they worry for me, my health and my safety. Yet I see them hesitant to come around because of him. I am so done, yet kniw he has NO ONE else. I am praying at this point he ends up with a breathalyzer and probation with a probation officer worth their salt! Also ordered by the court into a long term program with extensive therapy! During my career, I’m retired from law enforcement and working in another fulltime job now, to make up for a lot of the money that was spent when my son was a teenager on trying to get him help.. during my career I would often hear parents say, when I had to tell them that their criminal ir addicted child had passed away, They were sad but relieved their child was no
    Longer running the streets or cold, hungry or suffering they now atleast know their child was praying for their child to be at peace. I never understood that until now. Some people say well, you have family, yes, I do. However, throughout my son’s life in my career, they were not very supportive. They can be at times very abusive as well, so I did not rely on them much for assistance as they really weren’t gonna give any and if they did, they would cuss me out in front of my son, and though I had a fantastic career, own, my own home was very responsible, never drank or to drugs I just handle business. My dad would often say how worthless I was in front of my son. When my son had high aspirations for his future, my dad would pretty much tell him that he was worthless as well. At the same time we would leave, because I would refuse to be talked to in such a manner. They often made my son and I (at times) feel very unwelcome. it was vicious. Many of their friends have said over the years is how I could even still have any type of relationship with them at all, is beyond them after the many times they saw a lot of the abuses heard a lot of the abuses experience them firsthand. They are in denial too. Over the years, I did keep my distance as much as possible from them and often missed mini holidays when my son and I spent them alone just him and I because I didn’t want to deal with the abuse. Sometimes I feel like I get it from all angles. It’s really hard, but I’ve always held my mud and been a strong person and moved forward. Not allowing these people to get me down. But now that my son is suffering from this addiction. I’m at a complete loss. Our system is so broken and I know it.

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