Guilt 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.
Even 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.
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
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.
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.
THANK YOU DEE FOR THE AFFIRMATION!
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!
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.
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!!!
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
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.