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

  • Doug

    Thanks for this article. It means a lot. We’re still dealing with an alcoholic senior (my mother) in the family who refuses to go through the steps to make amends, but keeps saying she’s making amends and just needs to “move on.” Meanwhile, she keeps attacking us her her lists of grievances, sending toxic emails that blame us for many of her problems, while also trying to sidestep us and lecture our son, her grandson, on how he needs to be respectful and loyal.

    We’ve been cast by the rest of the family as the bad guys because we refuse to ignore and/or enable her behavior. In essence, we have stepped out of the circle of dysfunction, and are paying a huge emotional price as a result.

  • Amy

    Wow isn’t that thew truth..When the alcoholic tries and blame me drunk or sober I tell him over and over that its no surprise he is blaming me thats what alcoholics do…though I have said this and much more such as the only one responsible for your drinking and your choices is YOU…he keeps right on doing it..no matter if I point out the obvious or not…so as hard as it will be perhaps this will help..but it so hard..I hate being blamed for his drinking and any other problem he has..I dont buy it or believe it for a minute..but it sure gets old hearing the same thing over and over they certainly seem predictable after awhile..

  • Jeff

    I am in a situation where my alcoholic ex wife keeps accusing me of being abusive when I point out the reasons why our daughter does not not want to talk to her because of the abusive things the alcoholic has said to her and myself and the things she has done while drunk. I get accused of manipulating and brain washing our daughter but again I am accused of being abusive and picking on an easy target when I point out that I dont have to do anything as she has all ready done the damage. And while trying to assist the ex wife and inform her of how the daughter is feeling and how best to approach the situation she accuses me of not being able to let go of her and still being in love with her. One of her great lines is “you are a miserable man who can move on”. But in actual fact the daughter and myself are in a far happier place now then we ever have been without the alcoholic around…

  • Pez

    It’s always someone elses fault. boy, does that get OLD!!!!

  • Debbi

    It is hard when they blame you. It’s a tough spot to be in. It also seems that they blame us for the very things they themselves are doing. I had to stay away from my ex while divorcing and sent to a safe house by the police but to this day my ex tells everyone that I abused him. Shame they can’t see the police reports. Fighting back to the A or others who repeat what the A is saying about you is a no-win situation. Disengage, no contact. That works the best for me because first off the A gets no satisfaction when there is no reaction from you. Secondly you get no new hurts or have to hear what they are saying to you or about you. If your daughter is old enough to decide what time she spends with her mother, the best thing for you is to limit your contact with your ex. Trying to explain your daughter’s reasoning to your ex is wasting your breath and giving the A exactly what she wants–getting you upset. This means her life is not so great so they lash out at others. So, as they say here: step back, smile, say “sorry you feel that way” and walk away. They can’t argue with someone who refuses to engage. Glad to hear you and your daughter are now getting the peaceful and good life you both deserve.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the feed back Pez and Debbi. What is most frustrating is I think she truly believes her own lies. She has hooked up with some one who enables her drinking which obviously makes her happy and she thinks that I am jealous and miserable because I currently choose to be alone. She doesn’t understand that I am neither as I am doing a personal inventory of who I am and looking at my short coming. I did see this day coming not long after we started going out as we mostly drank till we dropped but there were long breaks in between. I decided to stop drinking and being lucky I guess I was able to just stop. She continued to drink and over 18 years of being together the frequency of drink increased until the last 8 months she was unable to go to work and function normally. I had a father who was an alcoholic and I was left to care for him up until his drinking killed him. I seen these traits in my ex wife and I tried to fix her but as we all know I didn’t course it I can’t control it and I can’t cure it. I do feel resentful that she blames me for the break down of our relationship sighting the fact in her words that I am an Abusive Control Freak because i wanted her to stop drinking. And her family have turned on me and this upsets me because why would she put the trust of our daughter in my hands if she believed I am such a bad person. Does she actually know in her own heart that it is her actions that have coursed all this and is she just as crazy when she hasn’t had a drink as is when she is drunk. I do have this compelling need to convince her that it is drinking that is making her think like this……

  • Debbi

    I am in total agreement with you and add that they all follow the same book when they blame. I too got called the controller. Once he asked me to call him at a certain time and unbeknownst to me he was with a friend at the time and when my phone call came in–I hear him say to his friend “yeah that’s just her controlling me”. Mine went that far to prove to others I was the one with the problem. So I learned no calls & when he asked me to do something and put the real nicey nicey spin on it I knew he was up to something and I would say okay but then not do the request. Mine scammed me like you would not believe, so be prepared, you might have the same thing going on. Your need to convince her about her drinking is the result of this blame game and I too wanted to convince him it was him causing the problem in the relationship because I needed my name and reputation validated and show others “hey–he’s the one doing this & no one sees it”. The urge to convince others and the A is strong. But again No Contact is the best way to go with this type because your words and actions will only be twisted. Good luck, spend time with your daughter since you have custody and make her memories good ones!

  • Brigitte

    Wow! its been a year and a bit that we (myself and the kids) have been away from the alcoholic and reading back on all these articles now make me realise how glad I am that I don’t have this bullshit in my life anymore. Life is serene and happy. I used to cry over the alcoholic and pine for him because I loved him so much and now I just feel pity for him. What a sad life he leads.

  • Julie21

    Brigitte, so happy for you and i am in the exact same place. Left my AH 2 years ago and when i read back on old posts i am so happy now too and can sense the difference and the serenity. God Bless everyone going thru this. There is hope.

  • Alyssa

    I too left my AH 5 weeks ago. He has not tried to contact me or anything. It’s a blessing but I am 7 months pregnant with his son. I do miss him but I have found hope in God who has been blessing me every single day and loving me in ways I didn’t know were possible. I am at peace about my life. Ryder will be born January 5th, 2015. This is my third and last child. We were together for 19 months and he really turned my life and faith upside down. I and my already two children who have a different father were exposed to unimaginable things. Things we have NEVER been exposed to before. Every week I send him the bulletin from our church he used to attend when we met and a rose petal from the fake flowers he gave me last valentines day with a note on it. Iv written his live never fails, & never give up we believe in you. I did everything for him, I was patient kind forgiving I took him back multiple times but the verbal abuse and drinking and marijuana use got worse and worse. I couldn’t take it anymore. His last words to me were I don’t want this baby you wanted it, he was your idea and I do t want u anymore in a heated argument. That was it I drove away, turned off his phone, changed my cell phone number and said my goodbyes on my way home to my house. My already two boys are 11 & 7 & they don’t deserve that life. I was promised the world, met him in a church, took care of his father until he passed bought him whatever he needed paid his bills bought his smokes and his beer & everything. It broke my heart to give up like that but I have found refuge in knowing Iv not given up on him I pray three times a day send the bulletins in the mail and I still get nothing from him. I TRUELY believe he never loved God, me, my kids or family or our unborn son Ryder. Yet we still pray for his salvation. God has given me incredible peace about this situation and I believe and have faith Gods love never fails and he is going to work so incredibly in my life. Hang on everyone out there, there is hope and peace and live beyond any understanding just a prayer away. Please pray for us. Thank you. God bless u all. Never stay in a situation that is unhealthy it really takes a terrible toll on your faith, your soul, your health & your self esteem. You ALL deserve more than this.

  • Julie21

    God Bless you and for sharing Alyssa. I am so glad to hear you have come to this decision much quicker than i did. Our stories are alike and i have been separated from my exah for almost three years now and the children and i have such a happier life it is unbelievable. i still find myself looking back and viewing past episodes with him from a new set of eyes and with a new understanding. It helps to understand , forgive and move on and change. God bless you and your children I wish you all the best.

  • Sandy

    OMG . . this whole paragraph just spoke to me “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.” This is so my alcoholic husband, he is sober and in AA but he’s been drunk for 40 years . . so the old bad behaviors are NOT going to go away overnight and he loves to blame and play the victim – I also believe that his new addiction is the adrenaline rush from pushing my buttons and getting me to fight with him . . now once the argument escalates and I’m defending myself, then all of a sudden he’s Mr. Niceguy and tries to calm me down and I just want to slap him . . he LOVES to still take the attention off him; and he’s so immature about it . . he started drinking at the age of 14 and I swear that’s how old he still is. Even the police that have come to our home have told me I’m married to a child . . I’m hoping that while he is in AA and sober he finally starts to grow up . . . but I’ve been here before and he fell off the wagon . . so . . I’m just cautiously optimistic at this point . . I have absolutely no trust for him whatsoever at this point . . thanks for listening . . and God Bless!!

  • Alyssa

    Thank you Julie. Some days are hard but most days are great and I know I doing and making the right decisions.

  • SJC

    I had a therapist tell me 20 years ago…
    when someone does something and you react to it,then they can focus on what you have done wrong and not what they did wrong.
    I have done this every since, alcoholic or a non alcoholic. Sometimes it takes doing it several times b4 they will start to back off. People like this do not want to take responsibility
    for their actions and when they can’t shine the light on you, then their behavior stands out and they have no choice but be responsible
    for it.
    I was with a friend one time and someone said something I knew pushed a button with him but he did not react and I ask him how did you keep from saying something to him and he said…
    just remember, you are dong it for you (not reacting) not for them. I have never forgot that either. Sometimes you just want to say something and this is what I say to myself.

    I have read that what ever age a’s start drinking is the age they stop maturing.
    We all have to deal with stuff in life and a’s drink instead of maturing and gaining wisdom.

    I watch Super Soul Sunday every Sunday and one of Oprah’s guest said…
    The relationship you have with another person is the same one your having with yourself, all the time. You are looking at your husbands
    inner world. Scary world they live in.

  • Paula

    I have not left my A. We have been married for 8 years. I really don’t want to leave, but think about it a lot. Not because I don’t love him, but because I need the peace. When we got together I knew that he had had a drug addiction in the past(to the point of homelessness) ,but i was ignorant and thought he would never do drugs again! Why would he, he’s got me and he doesn’t want to live under a bridge again…totally dumb thinking now that i look back. 2 years ago he started up again and has been clean for the last year. However, he has never given up drinking. He told me point blank that he would always drink. His “sponsor” drinks with him. Totally against what is taught at NA. It seems like they are endorsing each others addiction. Some days it’s one or two beers with a couple shots of whiskey and our best days he’s just not a companion and our worst days are like last night where he just wants to pick a fight and is angry. I’m starting to also see his anger is more than just when drinking. He holds down a good job, he comes home every night and is not physically abusive. For these things I’m very grateful. But that anger and blame gets to me. Plus the fact that he is not working his 12 steps. I have learned not to try and control his recovery, it’s not my job to make him see where he is going wrong. Last night when he picked a fight with me, I totally blew it by not responding to his angry outbursts and not taking it personally. I was a little passive about it, but i did respond and cry. Which i suppose is what he wanted me to do:/ He thinks he’s got it under control because he’s not drinking a case of beer and a bottle of whiskey a day like his father who died from liver failure!

  • Jennifer

    I don’t know if this site is still active, but it came up in my Google search for “how to deal with an Alcohlic who blames everyone else. My sister is a terminal alcoholic. She is one of the worst I have ever known. It should have been me, as I was the”party girl” who made bad choices and slept around and partied through my youth, always dating the “bad boys”. I did not even graduate from high school. My sister, on the other hand, always dated wealthy, educated men and was certainly seen as “most likely to succeed”. That all changed about seven years ago when she came to me and told me that she “thought she had a drinking problem”. I was shocked. She begged my secrecy and asked that I help her and not tell anyone. She comjunced me that her husband was an abusive control freak and they is shy she drank in the first place. I did not know then what I know now and the last seven years have been Hell. She is now divorced, living a few doors down from he, and has lost gustody of her daughter. She has benn through several in and out patient recovery programs and has had as much as 10 months sober. She recently fell off the wagon again. She is 47. The same age as my father when he died from alcoholism. She recently fell off the wagon again and is now fighting to regain her sobriety. The problem is that she blames everyone else. She takes no accountability and is dishonest and manipulating and does not take accountability for her actions. I don’t think she can. I don’t know what to do. She is sick. I can not turn my back on her. What do I do?

  • Amy

    That’s just what they do. I use to fight back, try to reason, defend myself. Now I don’t even bother. Its pointless. If I come home and my A husband is drunk I just leave, go tanning , etc anything I want to do. My ife no longer revolves around him. I use to all I did was try to fix him, reason with him, beg, cry, fight.. Now MY LIFE is my focus.They will drain the life right out of you if you let them..

  • kimmy

    hi hun , they will never change , unless they seek help , ive livd with false promises for over11 years , my hubby is lovely but when he drinks its like jekell and hyde, awful , i now dont listen to his boring drunken rages , i go to bed, ive advised i will leave if he carrys on , and he knows i will , while i love him still there is hope , but i feel i hang on to he will cut down and be ok , im kidding myself to be honest , but i know ya pain , and what you are going through etc…….alanon meeting are no good for me , as so many people want to speak and no time for us all to get it off are chest , so i go on these websites and speak and advise others, and it does help to speak to people in are situaction , my hubby drinks 10 cans a night of beer and at weekends when i work alot more, but ive detached from it , and i do feel better in a way , i lookafter him , but i dont feel sory for him , he must do what he wants as all i get is im nagging etc, so now i make sureim ok , and healthy and he can carry on doing what he is doing , start thinking for yurself hun , and you will feel better , if you want to message me anytime you can , its good to get things out , take care ,kimmy xxxx

  • Mary

    as we’ve all learned, A is a disease and it progresses. I don’t know the why’s and how’s of who is chosen or who gets the gene or how someone becomes an A, but I do know that you can’t control or are you the cause nor can you cure. It’s hard to live by these words, but honestly you have to worry about you. Of course support and LOVE is something we can offer, but don’t look into this and TRY and figure this out. You stated, your father passed from alcoholism, this is a very serious disease and it pains me to learn more and more how many people are affected by this. I AM NOT a professional and I am certainly NOT equipped for advice, but I do know that their manipulation, lies, deceit and NO accountability and lack of responsibility and MOSTLY blame is all entanged in this serious disease. I live each day knowing I am responsible for me and whe I’m thrown into the disease I need to remind myself that this is NOT about me and I cannot justify argue or even try and help my AH seek the truth, it’s their life (and trust me, i’m not trying to sound cold hearted) we love whom we love (husband, children, parents, friends….) but life is hard enough as it is and then dealing with a disease that has no rhyme or reason puts us into another category. Love, support and hopefully she’ll figure it out. Truly if she chooses to accept her disease that is one of the 1st steps, but in all honesty, that is only the beginning. good luck

  • I suppose I am lucky. My partner is a long time sober and recovering alcoholic, who allows me to have a drink and drives me home and I am now beginning to understand her mood swings.

    Cheers !! Ray.

  • James

    It is a sad thing to watch. I married a alcoholic who promised many changes if I provided for her and our family. It is a struggle. The only thing I have found that helps her is if I find a way to take the kids and go out to have our own fun whenever she drinks. Skating, bowling, you know. I am as kind as possible when I do it and am overly kind when she doesn’t drink to help her understand that it is not that we don’t love her, but the drinking drives us away. After a few months she has improved. However relapse is eminent and we just try to be ready for it. Cudos to you for not letting it destroy your life. Be proud!

  • Lisa

    Step back and really look at this as the disease that it is. Do we blame cancer pts who cannot heal themselves? Do we vilify an MS pt because they are losing function? Until HIV/AIDS came along, these pts received all of society’s worst contempt. You can’t be well and work in a mental hospital if you hate the dementia of your pts. Your sister is in a type of dementia; please detach your personal feelings from her ravings. I know-it’s really hard. But you don’t want to go down with her, do you? The hardest thing in the world is to walk away from being unjustly slandered and blamed. Humans crave justice! You are not getting it from her.

    I am a caregiver/hospice CNA, working with a late stage A right now. It’s all about harm reduction. We offer wine instead of liquor. We sugar water the liquor. We document binges/falls. We offer highly nutritious meals to offset all the carbs. We steel ourselves for holidays! We honestly believe everyone is better off if he is at home drinking, instead of making life hell for the staff at some facility where he would have to be ‘dry’.

    The following are Rules for Detachment from emotionally destructive (closeted man, in my case) spouses. You can see where they allow some peace for the person embroiled in a conflict with someone who is not “healthy relationship” material.
    Take what you can use for your sister’s drama. Takes two to fight.

    1. Stop asking new personal things of your partner about him/herself.
    2. Don’t give out personal things about yourself to them.
    3. Don’t bend over backward to celebrate any occasions that involve them.
    4. Don’t bend over backward to help them more than is necessary.
    5. Don’t help them if they or someone else can.
    6. Avoid discussions that involve their lives, re: old topics.
    7. Start to develop new activities that don’t involve them.
    8. Try to make new friends, acquaintances, anything.
    9. Make small changes in your life: rearrange furniture, change decorations, try new soaps, ride your bike in a different route, eat at a different restaurant, eat different foods, cook them a different way, shop at different stores, rearrange the landscaping, change some of your habits, change the style of clothing you wear, etc.
    10. If they ask favors of you, tell them you want time to think about it.

    I’m sorry for your loss and your broken heart. I lost my only sister to a horrific disease and she never even made 50. We tried everything. It was horrible to watch her slow demise from ALS.
    Hugs for (((((Jennifer))))))

  • marilyn

    It’s true you can’t help them they have got to want to help them self’s I try everything with my now x alcoholic husband I took blame manipulation lie after lie abuse everything I took from him I even suffer a heart attack though all the stress of it all in the end I had no choice and had to walk away because he would of kill me and I’m the the alcoholic and I got my kids to think about and I believe he’s out there doing it all to another person now so no they never change

  • Anita

    Hi, just reading through all your comments and everyone has the resounding same thing going on and it really is true. You need to look after YOURSELF first and still love her and let her know you are there for her but do t buy into the blames. Let her know that you won’t listen to any of the bles. Inevitably it is only us that can change our world- NO ONE else. If she finally hits rock bottom and wants help then it would be wise to find someone who deals with speaking through problems from childhood, a bit like a healer. They are fantastic and help them come to the real reason they are doing what they are doing. Going back to your inner child. It might be so etching you need to do as well to find the joy and happiness in your life as you deal with your sister. It’s great you are reaching out as people are always there for you to help. Xx

  • I feel humiliated, embarrassed, confused, resentful, angry, hurt, weak, unloved, abandoned, disrespected, small, second choice, like a child, unappreciated, manipulated, disspised, criticized, ridiculed, lonely, less than a woman, tricked, laughed at, mentally and physically tired, unwanted, used, low, in love, hopeful, forgiving, understanding, supportive, loving, shocked, sidetracked, thrown off, mislead, misunderstood, unliked, horrible, lied to, cheated on, stepped on, uncared for and again used all in one day.

    I want a divorce then I don’t… He doesn’t want a divorce he thinks that all will work its self out. He doesn’t think his cheating is cheating and he thinks are marriage is saveable yet, I’m afraid he will continue drinking, cheating, lying and manipulating. How can he possibly want to stay married to me? Why won’t he let me go and admit that marriage is not for him. Why does he want to keep me around to only continue to emotionally and mentally abuse me? My therapist says I’m strong for enduring all that I’ve gone through and be able to function…? Is it strength or low self esteem?

  • It is important to understand certain things about this disease. Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever you prefer, I am not an alcoholic, so I can only make my comments from my experience of knowing alcoholics. In simple terms, if an alcoholic can go for a day, without a drink, then that is about as near, as you will ever get, to a cure. Joining Alcoholics Anonymous is the only answer, but it is not a cure, but the start to a new way of life, where everyone helps everyone, to stay sober. Alcoholics Anonymous will not stop an alcoholic’s craving for a drink, but it will teach them, how to live with it. Alcoholics Anonymous can help to put such a craving, into the background, by creating new habits and a new way of life, but will never solve the craving. By joining Alcoholics Anonymous, you will become a Recovering Alcoholic, but never will you actually recover. I do, however, strongly recommend this way forward, for your loved ones, if you can achieve it, but it is up to them, they will have to make this choice. When they go to a meeting, they will find a lot of nice people and maybe some strange ones, just like anywhere else. The meeting will probably be chaired by a Veteran Recovering Alcoholic, who may have been sober for many years. I can think of a recent meeting, where someone celebrated there 25th. anniversary, since joining AA and becoming sober. There was a funeral for a member, a short while ago; a lady who had been sober for about 40 years. Hundreds of people turned up, mostly AA members. So AA is a way of life, where you will find many friends, that share your problem.

    I hope you will find this post useful. I am told by a strong member of AA, that it is not possible to understand, unless you are an alcoholic, but I can at least try to understand and perhaps help you to have a little more hope, as to the possibility of a solution.

    AA is almost a religion.

    Cheers !! Ray.

  • I feel so good when I think about leaving him but then I feel like I’m not being a supportive strong christian praying wife…. I don’t trust him and i feel like I have a mood disorder because of all the cheating lies manipulation and disappointment. I try to be loving and patient since he is right now a few days fresh from detox which was only 5 days and currently taking Antabuse… Again!? I have been heartbroken so many times after trying to be supportive and forgiving that this time around I don’t want to open my heart up again… To my own husband! I just don’t have the energy to believe in him anymore. Is this mean? I’m trying not to allow my emotions dictate how I interact with him but sometimes it’s hard because I have flashbacks of the hurtful events and words exchanged and all the countless nights he came home at 4am after being gone all day and night with no call to at least check on me and the baby… Not to mentions the many nights he didn’t come home and the ex addict girlfriend I caught him with twice and to add insult to injury the incident from when he took my car one day to get new tired put on but never came home until I received a call from the sheriff that my car was impounded four days later due to my husband being drunk and having his ex addict girlfriend in my car and her hoping in the drivers side trying to move for whatever reason while he was in the bathroom at some gas station…. There was a cop that saw her get in the driver side drunk! So they took her to jail and my car too… Left my husband walking back to the motel they were staying in…. I ended up bailing my car out the next day and found the hotel key on the floor of my car so I drove there to find my husband in a room drunk busted and pitiful. I drove him home all while recovering from a csection a month prior!!! This is just one of the many painful events I have had to endure… Anybody else have an alcoholic husband that cheats but constantly tells you he loves you and that he hasn’t cheated even though you saw them both with your own eyes!!!

  • Mary

    Patricia, you have used every word that I have felt, said, and endured (and then some) I don’t have the right answers but this is how loved ones will continue this pattern. We forgive, we justify, we hope, we pray, we love, we take the blame, we even change but at the end of the day, this disease takes over a persons mind, heart, soul, integrity and trust. trust me, i’ve been in your shoes and I am to this day struggling to WALK away and never look back. I have boxes packed, I have been looking for another place to live (but the there are those days whe you think hmmm, the person I knew and why I love with him becomes HUMAN again, has as much as they can love and warmth. But these are far and few and honestly reading each of your feelings made my heartache – I am felt this way for many years and experienced the similar pattern but just a diferent story. All i can say is you can’t not help but question your self which in turns makes you question you self esteem.
    Work on you, let him and his problems and his cheating go. My AH HATES abandonment (even though he’s caused people to abandon him) they want you to stay so you can be their dumping group, where they can make themselves feel better when deep down inside it’ actually THEM who is so insecure, angry, 1 sided, mean , rage full abusive (mentally and physticall)
    PROTECT you – if he’s been cheating well what do they say, once a cheat always a cheat – do you want to be wlaking on egg shells fhe est of our life?? Do you want to wake upi and realize years and humilation and a lost of your soul was taken away from you. You cannot cure nor are you the cause, so stay stong an hopefull you’ find that kigh at the end of the tunnel

  • C

    Patricia, you are amazing. I have been around two alcoholics, my father and a bf, so I understand what you are going through. Please take care of yourself and your baby. Let him figure out how to take care of himself.

    Raymond, AA does help some people stop drinking forever. My father stopped drinking for 23 years – until he died. He made friends at AA meetings and really went through the steps like it was a business effort. I am still amazed how he turned his life around.

    My ex-bf, on the other hand, denies he has a problem. I offered to go to AA with him but he won’t. I stopped feeling anything – could not stand talking to him – he argued about anything! The stress will age you and I spend money on makeup to look good and could not afford to let him ruin every single day and put me in an early grave!

  • marilyn

    I got rid of my x alcoholic husband nearly two years ago and there isn’t a day that don’t go by that everything he done doesn’t go though my head and have so much anger and I’m sorry but you don’t ever get over it yes they blame you for everything they manipulate you they lie and believe there own lies you take a buse from them I let that vile man in to my home an let him verberly abuse my kids and me so yes apart of me dose blame myself
    Alcoholic use people they dont care for no one but them self’s I put up with his crap for ten years I lost friends family though him because of his dissapearing act and taking him back every time and his affairs but it took me ten years to actually wake up and say enough is enough and I got rid so don’t ever stop and think twice about getting rid because they always find some other poor victim to fall for there sob story and put them though there vile disease they use and abuse mentally and verberly
    They don’t change they destroy people and dont give a shit for no one they make you fall in love with them and you believe it all but they don’t love you they love there drink you see a alcoholic needs someone in there life because they can’t cope with the real world they also likes drinking partner lucky for me I don’t drink never had all I done was pick him up every time and put him back on his feet he lost job after job though his drinking they build up a lot of debt and expect you to get them out the situation there people I have knowed that have died though
    Alcohol and its sad because they don’t think about who they leave behind I know that’s gonna happened to my x ah I put myself and my kids though them years of his vile disease so it was time to get rid because I was not gonna put myself though his death as well because it will happened when he went and I clear out his belonging I came across yes a cross 67 empty vodka bottles that he had hidden in the loft behind the garden fence in the shed in side coat pockets so yes to me he’s way pass help and now I got. My home back I don’t have to come home to a drunk anymore so yes its the best thing I done was got rid
    It broke my heart and till this day he has mentally destroy me I could never have another man in my life I’m still trying to get my life back together £nd its hard very hard

  • Pez

    Marilyn, You are so right but it takes time for a good heart to see through all the lies! if you feel mentally disturbed due to an alcoholics behavior I encourage getting counseling to sort it all out. it’s the contradictions between his words and actions that screw you up. They are great con-artists. just learn and grow and accept there are people in this world that do not have the same heart and standards as you do. Evil people that will just use you for what they can get. gain wisdom and accept it for what it was or is. These kind of people are not just on the ID channel, they are real and walking among us! I now recognize fake people better than ever!! if actions do not match what they say==my antenna goes up!! I gained wisdom! I accept he is a drunk jerk that has no heart or conscience. The pain will get less as time goes by, but is a hard road. you will recover. Get help if needed to deal with your feelings–no shame in that.

  • sc

    C. Did your father quit blaming criticizing and insulting after he went to AA? Would you say he was emotionally healthy and how many years after being in AA did he become emotionally healthy? I’ve always wondered if they can change that behavior. My
    father quit drinking (dry drunk) but his behavior never changed.
    Just curious.

  • Mary

    do you think AH knows that there disease entails more than just drinking (whether they drink daily, weekly nightly, hide, deny……) and realize their mind set, mood, ANGERNESS, RAGE, abusiveness, vile comments, blaming that it’s someone else fault (specifically their significant other or family kids or the closest person to me)? this disease isn’t just about drinking (sure it STEMS from drinking and wanting more and never having enough and using this disease to numb their minds of their shame, their secrets, their failures their insecurities…..) but the demeanor and mood swings and insecurity is all part of the merry go round. my AH thinks it’s all me and you know, I have my own responsibilities and my own actions, but is it too conincidental that our pattern falls very similar to many other A stories? i am curious if you think the AH thinks it just drinking and they have no idea how their entire BEING affects their life, the outcome of their lilfe, their day to day, every single evolves around the selfish mindset and how they can find a way to make someone else look worse than them (hope this makes sense) THOUGHTS???

  • SJC

    Mary you said… I have my own responsibilities and my own actions,…. THAT is the difference between an A and a “normal” person. We take responsibility for our actions and they do not!
    This is why they are non deal able. A counselors say they have an external focus of control. I guess only a recovering A can answer your question. I have wondered the same thing.

  • sjc

    Mary, I gather by what you said that you have ask your alcoholic husband these questions direct… and
    his answer was no its not me it’s you…and you said do you really think that’s true, it can only be one person and not the other person. In other words it was a conversation and he really thinks it’s you. Of course, alcoholics lie and manipulate too.
    So their you go.

  • Mary

    thanks for your responses. i have asked, cried, pleaded, been perplexed, confused, begged, taken the BLAME, you name it i’ve done it. I don’t think everything can be someone else’s fault (especially someones ACTIONS, MOOD, RAGE, demaeanor, lies, manipulation, abuse) I mean every single thing has a justification, has a rational and mostly there is a way to always point the finger at someone else to make the A look and feel better about themselves. There in lies the CRUX of this disease – it’s sad but honestly it’sjust mind boggling that A’s will do ANYTHING (literally) like throw wives, children, family, friends, ANYONE under the bus to survive. I have learned that there is nothing you can do about this, the 3 C’s are in my mind, but it’s challenging (to say the least) to even begin to think how A’s justify what WE think is NORMAL, HONEST, RESPONSIBLE behavior. Wishing this on no one – truly NO ONE. Not sure how it feels to be an A (mind you, mine waivers back and forth and states he is/isn’t, my fault he drinks, my fault i’m not supportive, my fault i ARGUE, my fault I feel, my fault i make him miserable or do things that he refuses to take any accountability for. EXHAUSTING.

  • SJC

    I understand, my father was a dry drunk and then I married (late in life and I have been in self help since the 80’s)a VERY High functioning A. They were the same, no different. I would even look at my xah and think he looks like daddy and acts like him. They would both sit up in their seats, all self righteous and tell you what you did wrong or how bad you are. My father, I was to young and just stood their listening to him and then go to my room and wonder why he was so mad. Had NO knowledge to draw from. My xah would do the same thing and I would explain myself or defend myself and then he would act like I was acting crazy (but I would be saying things with a voice of reason). Couple times he would act like I was going off on him (like he does)and he was scared of me. I know I wasn’t because I am not real young and I have been in therapy, gone to coda groups (they are like alanon), watch John Bradshaw and read tons of books. It is like a hobby at this point (self help). I tell everyone to not get involved with an A…no good can come from it.

  • Mary

    thanks SJC – easier said than done not engaging with the AH (but 1Million % AGREE – no good comes from it) but then you start to realize this isn’t the life to live. No one wants to be blamed for EVERY SINGLE thing that is wrong in the A life. Life is hard enough as it is. We (or ME) we have our own struggles, our own dreams, our own hopes, and fears, throwing in an AH is unbearable. I’m sorry that you have had to endure this at such a young age and then marry someone else. But how are we to know whom we meet. It’s not like these high functioning A are showcasing who they are until later on in your relationship (and they are LIARS and MANIPULATORS) and very good at it. what’s amazing to watch (but honestly not be a part of) when you see them go MANIC when you call them out or give them examples of how wrong their truths and facts are – the go ballistic (it’ not something to even engage in because it can be dangerious) i read a lot, i blog, i attend therapy, i attend alanon, but honestly when is enough enough. this isn’t a fun like and it’s empty and lonely because A don’t know how to love, they don’t care if you have feelings (like i said they will literally throw you under a bus, in front of car to survive) i can’t even imagine doing anything like this but now sadly, i find myself trying to survive and defend this delusional messed up cruel insulting AH.

  • Pez

    I believe they do KNOW! I have heard this is one of the main obsicals of recovery–the shame and guilt of what they have done. If active, they have times of recognition, but they just again drink it away. It’s all justified so they can use. Cognitive Dissonence is what it’s called. they do what is needed to help the addiction to servive and then justify it in there own minds–but deep inside they know.

  • Mary

    to me if they DO KNOW, makes me cringe at how a disease can affect someone so strongly that they are willing to do anything to perserve exactly what? liars, manipulators, cheaters, abusers, rageful blaming people don’t have integrity, it’s not what the majority of society lives by, this is what I struggle with, if they DO KNOW and yet they still continue to hurt and destroy not only themselves but the wives, the children, the famlly , friends, (anyone who challanges or gets in the way of the A) and tries to confront them or disagrees or has an opinion or even wanting anything from the A. (it’s not all about the DRINK, but that all falls in line with the disease)

    sad, very sad for all involved with A’s and ourselves for being so intertwined in the disease that we get entrentched as well.

  • marilyn

    Alcoholics know exactly what they are doing that’s why they live in a pattern with there vile disease and yes they are so a shame of there self’s that why they manipulate abuse and blame you they can’t face up to the real world can’t take on responsibility and don’t care who they damage and detroy they have no feelings what’s so ever I’m glad I don’t have my x ah in my life anymore but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t damage me because he has I have so much anger in me I wake up every morning with anger and I want to do so much damage to him because of everything he’s done to me and my kids
    He’s out there doing it to someone else now but it’s her 3 young kids I feel sorry for and what they have to go though his vile disease and his controlling I just hope it doesn’t take her ten years to wake up its a sad life

  • SJC

    A good article to read is, Google
    Understanding how the alcoholic thinks. It’s written by a recovering alcoholic and he is also a addiction counselor.

    I read a saying to alcoholics.
    What you say, what you think, how you feel, has got to line up with each other. You have to be strong enough so you don’t betray yourself or anyone else in order to feel safe in the world.
    -Carolyn Myss

  • Jessica

    Thank you for the article. I have a 1 and 4 year old and take care of my stepson emotional and financially. My husband of almost 9 years is basically an alcoholic. I never said that about him. He served 11 years as a drafting and surveyor in the Marines and got caught stealing video games. His military career took a dive. I’ve stuck by him and supported him. He started drinking more and more. He wasnt able to reenlist and laid-off the job he got after the marine corp. His debt is out of control and blames me or others for everything but himself. He blames me for getting pregnant with our now 1 year old. I love him so much but it’s gotten to that point where I don’t want my children learning that behavior or my 4 year old thinking that is okay to treat someone you love or anyone that way.


  • greg

    my sister; golly.

    She’s been involved with alcohol and marijuana since she was 16 or so. Now she’s 50. According to her, I have no friends, no home, i do, she is certain, have adhd, and has contacted a councillor on my behalf. (gee thanks!) Where does it stop? She is in debt, she is single, has been through many jobs in the last few years- some lasting only hours before she quits, or is fired, She is living with my elderly mother basically rent free in some sort of weird codependent thing ever since my dad passed away some 6 years ago, As such I avoid her, so as not to furnish anything for her warped mind which may come out later during yet another drunk episode of blame. Sometimes many people are called at ridiculous hours when she is drunk and accusations fly. On one occasion she called my phone 21 times in one night and during the course of the veining sounded like 5 different people. Its all sad, garbage behaviour really and rationality doesn’t apply much at all. I got my mum to head over to alanon for families. i went too. all good in that area….Anyone else out there with nut bar siblings? thanks and best wishes to all,

  • mari

    Everyone knew he was an acholic an acholic that should not have one drink but no one told me, there was a red flags but I didnt catch on. Once at a family wedding I asked him to have a glass of wine with me, his sister came by our table and was shoock he was having a glass of wine, he shooch her away. Wow i was blind, and fooled because i married him. In our 7 years of marriage he had 3 relapsed, 2 dui’s, a wreck vehicle, lost 2 jobs, rehab twice and so on and so on, It’s like an episode every 18 months, now he found a new friend and says he was never happy in the marriage and blame me for his drinking and has the gulls to say if he stays he will drink. I notice he has had his prescription drugs increased in strength he is not fooling me he just switched his high. I asked him to leave I missed my husband and the companioship but I had to close that door for my sanity. I mention to my friend i should tell the new girlfriend that he can’t have a drink she said why nobody bother to tell you. I wish he doesn’t drink anymore for his own sake but going though al-anon and aa retreats with husband i keep seeing and hearing there is a large percent of users relapsing. If you want your life suck out of you stay if you get an opportunity to moved on, moved on you are the only one reponsible for your own happiness. We had no kids so it was easier to move on.

  • I have been with my alcoholic husband for 20 years, he has been to rehab 6 times, hospitalised at least once a year for the last 10 years, he is always ‘sick’ his constant whining and self pity really bring me down we argue constantly and basically have nothing left in common. We have a 7 year old daughter but through his selfishness I find she suffers coz he can’t be bothered … I work 7 days a week 9-10 hours ( I run a bar!) I know silly really I’m trying to sell it but until I do the bills need paying etc so what can I do ?? His family seem to think I don’t care enough about him coz I don’t do enough for him ???!!!! But when you’ve been through months of coping alone and trying to keep your heads above water with all the responsibility on your shoulders it’s hard, they think he needs to go to hospital again to get better …. He has been told basically on the verge of cirrhosis , and yet still continues to drink ! We live in a different country too so my family and friends are only reachable by phone, it’s a nightmare, am I wrong to want to leave??? Basically I’m throwing away my life coz he ain’t ever gonna change, !!

  • Julie21

    Milly, Do not listen to his family saying you do not do enough for him. He is an adult who is making his decision to do what he is doing. They truly do not understand your position or what is really going on. I used to get upset because my exah ‘s father used to say why do you let him go to the bar? Excuse me? he is a grown man and how am i supposed to stop him? It is ridiculous how people blame you for the alcoholic’s behavior and it is another example of why they can continue to have such behavior. If no one holds them accountable for their actions then they believe they are doing nothing wrong and why change? So you take care of yourself and your child and let him take care of himself. Why should you and your child suffer so he can live how he wants.

  • D. Barris

    Ty for this article. One thing I’ve learned from this is to stop taking it personally when my AH’s finger is pointing at me. Tonight, I heard every reason in the book of why it’s my fault that our relationship is failing. She told me I’m the reason she drinks.. This makes me defensive and now we’re arguing about me instead. Now I know, it’s a defense mechanism. I must detach from the blame game.

    When she drinks, ANYTHING will set her off. She’s super hateful and abusive; she likes to throw things. She even inflicts injuries (by accident) on herself during her drunken rages. More than once, in a druken rage she has grabbed a kitchen knive and start to stab the counter repeatedly. She’s destroyed the TV remote, her own cell phone,picture frames, DVD player, lost her job, got her car repossessed and I could go on.

    We’ve been together almost 6 years and somehow the first 3 years she hid her alcoholism frim me or I subconsciously ignored the signs.

    I called her mother tonight hoping she could help… Stupid. She turned it around on me and said her and I need time apart. Her mom tells me she is picking up her daughter and our two year old and taking them to her house. Her mom lives 10 hours away.

    Lol, like I’m going to let her take my 2 year old son 10 hours away AND with the AH, too??? Wow, a severe alcoholic, who will drink a whole bottle of wine in one sitting and an enabling mother. What a pair. Btw, my gf father is an alcoholic who abandoned her when she was very young, around 10 or so. It seems the deck is stacked against me and I think I need to leave her and fight for custody. Life is too short. I need to cut my losses and move forward. God Bless, Shine On!

  • Rolf

    Hey everyone. I’ve been reading all these comments on this post and others that are similar. It really is a tough thing to live with an alcoholic and to truly try and understand their pain. My wife of 10 years has recently announced that she is an alcoholic which came as no surprise. Our fights became about her drinking too much and then they became about her self esteem and her own ‘coming to terms with getting old’, family of orgin issues and now the worst part anger and blame toward everyone around her. My mother was an alcoholic and many years ago I made the difficult decision that I could no longer be involved in her cycle of rage, anger and blame. It went on for 15 years and I expect it’s still going on.

    I fear the same fate for my wife that we might not have the combined fortitude to get through this. Can we? My in laws have just heard that she’s an alcoholic, she told them two weeks ago. Several time now over the past few months we have these ‘blame fights’ where her life is my fault. I’m abusive, controlling, and manipulating her. The in laws of course have no sense of perspective and are ignorant on the topic of alcoholism, which is surprising because it runs in their family and my wife’s own brother is a recovering alcoholic. Needless to say I am the bad one on their eyes and I have left my wife no choice but to drink. That’s a tough pill to swallow and yes I do take some count ability for not being there and working on my career the first few years of our marriage but I can’t possibly be to blame for her alcoholism. I’m so confused and her and her family have me so mixed up right now that I don’t even know up from down. My brain tells me that I am not to blame but my heart feels so bad for the pain that she feels that I want to take it away from her and crept the blame. Wow, I just read those last couple of sentences – I sure am mixed up.

    I truly believe that she is a good person and that her depression and self esteem need some work. We have a 7 year old and I just can’t let him see my wife and I fight like I saw my own mom and dad fight. Is the cycle repeating because of me and my history. Is my own mothers anger at my father the same as my own wife’s anger at me. Is it coincidence, is it me because I’m the common element or is it just an alcoholic thing.

    I’ve been scouring the net looking for resources on how to help her and I have even seen her councillor to try to get an understanding of how to deal with her. She’s normally fun, she an incredibly talented decorator and interior designer. She claims that I have gotten all the accolades I. Our marriage because of my job but I truly think her talents are commendable but she doesn’t have a venue or forum to showcase them as a stay at home mom. I am hoping if she can get past the blame and anger then she can find a passion, whatever that may be, that is all hers.

    I just don’t know. Her drunk ranting is so intense that it really does hurt even though I’m trying to have perspective.

    Thanks for listening, it helps to put it down on paper and have it out there. It’s calming. Feel free to respond or be opinionated.


  • Dee

    Blaming is endless and it just becomes worse over time. My alcoholic husband had absolutely no interest in improving himself. The blame is just a set up stage, a manipulation to create a convenient environment for him – an environment which allows him to drink, be nasty, selfish, passive aggressive, hide his disorders or better said, drown his disorders in alcohol.

    I was blamed for making him walk on eggshells, for not allowing him to express himself, for not choosing the right time to talk, for not educating my children well, for not asking about his feelings, for being interested in money only (he was not providing anyway), for not loving him (reason to fake commit suicide), and finally for being an alcoholic myself. He would roll his eyes with disrespect, sigh with disrespect, mumble & curse to himself but pointed towards us. Multiply these words and acts by 365 days x 3 years = 10950 times. At the end, the kids & I were a mess and my relationship with them was destroyed. Yes, counseling is crucial (for us) after dealing with this kind of manipulation, or better said, abuse.

    Love? The first part of this performance/stage was filled with “love and attention”(fake, of course), only to prepare for the last part, the manipulation and destruction. There is no love in abuse.

    I took the advice from this website – run far away. I am glad I did.

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