The Alcoholic Is The One With The Problem-Why Must I Change?

We get emails all the time from people who don’t think they should be the ones who need to change because the alcoholic is the one who has the problem. In the video below you will hear how one of our subscribers feels about catering to the alcoholic all of the time. As always please feel free to comment below.

Video Transcription:

JC here, kind of a lazy Sunday morning for me. I wanted to share with you what one of our readers sent in, in response to one of the emails we sent out on communication. I really feel like you will be able to identify with the way that she feels with her situation of coping with an alcoholic.

Alright, here are the highlights on communicating with an alcoholic:

– Never talk about serious things while they are drunk.

– If what you have to say is not, kind, necessary or true, consider not saying it at all.

– Say what you mean…but don’t say it mean.
– Only say things once. Any more than that means you are trying to control them.

– Pay attention to your body language. A smile can go a long way.

– Try to not instantly react when they criticize you.

Now, here’s her response:
“Thank you for the tips. I’ve been married to an alcoholic for 22 years. I follow these “rules” every time he’s drunk. But I don’t feel I should be the one controlling the way I talk and my actions when I’m not the one with the problem. Its so unfair and selfish. I feel like I have to cater to the disease just to keep the peace.”

Now, this type of attitude is common among our readers. They send in emails like this periodically. You know what we teach on our website is that the responsibility of change lies within us because the alcoholic is not going to change. We’ve tried so many times to get them to stop drinking and to change the way they are acting. Everything that we’ve done hasn’t worked. We feel that the responsibility of change lies within us. We are the ones who must learn how to detach and let go of the alcoholic, so we can have more peace and serenity in our lives. It is a strange thing. It’s like doing things totally opposite when they are the ones who have the problem.

So, I’d love to hear your comments about how you feel about this particular situation that the responsibility of change lies with us because the alcoholic isn’t going to change. Feel free to share your frustrations, your experience, your hope and your wisdom in the comments section below this video.

Thanks so much for participating on our website. It always amazes me at how we are helping one another learn how to deal with this devastating illness called alcoholism. So, there you go. Have a great day!

Posts you may enjoy:
Can An Alcoholic Change?
Totally Frustrated With An Alcoholic
Tired Of Living With Alcoholism

74 comments to The Alcoholic Is The One With The Problem-Why Must I Change?

  • Ross

    I understand the lady’s comments.Unfortunately, whatever we try to do to address or fix the situation,in our own thinking, wont likely change the alcoholic.Changing the way the interaction to the alcoholic, may not cause them to quit, but it can save your sanity and give peace and direction in our lives.I’ve suffered from living with the disease of others and it has had a huge impact on me.Recovery for me is the thing that i have found that can give me my life and hope back.

  • Debbi

    You are totally correct here. You cannot change another person whether they are an alcoholic or not. By changing our reactions and responses we are really protecting ourselves, setting boundaries and trying to maintain the peace in our lives by not reacting to others words or behaviors. Our reactions, responses and behaviors to everything speak volumes to others (again whether they are alcoholics or not) because people pay attention to what others do. So if anyone in your life is trying to “push your buttons” and they see they cannot achieve the desired reaction from you they stop pushing that button and maybe even follow your example of how to react and respond to someone in a more caring way rather than the way they have been. Even practicing this at my work and showing co-workers what I will and will not tolerate in a kind and caring manner and brought some amazing changes at my job. It can make a difference.

  • uncadiane

    I lived with an active alcoholic/addict for almost 12 years; got into Al-Anon about 1-1/2 years into the drinking. I totally understand this lady’s frustration with communicating with the alcoholic. We are the ones monitoring our actions, responses, words, body language, etc, while the alcoholic is bulldozing through our lives. It isn’t fair . . . BUT the alternative is even worse. The alcoholic will still be bulldozing through our lives, but we would be screaming, yelling, cursing, hitting things, kicking the dog (I hope not), crying, and living in a constantly volatile state. That is no way to live! Plus, the alcoholic will blame his drinking on our behaviors. “No wonder I have to drink, living with a lunatic like you!” Sound familiar?

    As a wife who lived with the drinking & drugging for 12 years, I can tell you that you have three alternatives: 1) Scream, yell, and argue with the alcoholic; 2) Practice JC’s and Al-Anon’s suggestions; 3) Leave the relationship. I did all three. Before I got to Al-Anon, I did a lot of yelling, screaming, and crying. Then I got involved in Al-Anon and started working on me and responding differently. However, even after Al-Anon, there were times when I didn’t hold it together and resorted to fighting and arguing. And then, finally, I left. I simply was not willing to invest any more of my time and energy into the relationship. My feelings for my husband had died, slowly murdered by his actions and words over the course of time.

    It’s important to remember that JC’s suggestions and Al-Anon’s program are beneficial for dealing with all of our interactions with people on a daily basis. They aren’t only for dealing with alcoholics. These suggestions make communication with everyone better. We simply can’t go wrong using them.

    I still have to be aware and work at my responses/reactions, but I know I am a better person, a better friend, a better sister, a better employee, a better daughter, a better girlfriend from practicing these suggestions. And being the best person I can be is how I want to live my life. Ultimately, the choice is mine.


  • Rani

    I have read and understood all of your opinions on changing yourself.
    But, and please don’t be upset, I’ve talked to my father, who is a therapist and well, my father and he says this to me in response to the violent, drunken rages of my alcoholic boyfriend:
    “Get your plan together and run like hell!”
    Here is what my boyfriend does: ( I have edited the cuss words out)
    My bf has serious alcoholic problems and until I figure something out,
    I will stay here. This weekend was horrible. He was waaaay too drunk to
    handle. He has this thing: He will come up to you and say “I can see by
    the look on your face that you think I’m poop. You think I’m a piece of
    poop, don’t you? You’re just like my ex wife. Leave me the fark alone!!”
    and storm off.
    Then when mistakenly, you try to defend yourself to a drunk, they throw
    ALL of your bad qualities and mistakes in your face. Then they scream at
    you to leave them the fark alone.
    Then, like a giant mood swing, they will come back and plead with you.
    “Please love me. why won’t you love me? Please baby, I’m so sorry, I’m
    just farked up. I know I have a drinking problem. I know I’m psychotic
    and have mental issues. But please don’t leave me. Don’t fight with me
    anymore. I hate fighting.” And by morning, he’ll be sober, sweet and go
    about his day, only to come home and start the poop again, with out
    remembering what he did.
    He will never change unless he wants to. Never.
    My father says :True. As a clinician, I see too much of it. I’m glad they transferred me
    to medicine. When I worked as an addiction counselor, it was extremely
    disheartening to see my patients come and go and come back again like a
    revolving door. We called them frequent fliers. Even in the medical
    sector, I not only have patients dying from kidney disease, some are
    mentally ill, in deep financial trouble, or addicted to something.
    Hopefully I can put up with another 3 or 4 years of this kind of work.
    After that, I think I’ll join the circus.
    ~Signed, Rani.

  • karen

    I totally agree with the father “therapist” GET YOUR PLAN TOGETHER AND RUN LIKE HELL..FAST.. AND DO NOT LOOK BACK !!!
    Communicating with the ABF was just too much work for me and I felt like I had to be on the “alert” all the time and felt that I was loosing myself in the process.
    I am so much happier now and the focus is on me and I am liking it alot.
    I still find myself thinking of him now and then, but I snap myself back to reality.
    Be strong, be tough, and move on.

  • Bill

    Nothing works…I even poured a full beer over her head at a party when she was acting stupid. Now who do you think looked stupider, me or her? After taking the course here, I realized that everything I had tried in order to get her to see how bad her alcoholism was… seemingly had no effect on her decision to drink. I’ve been practicing detachment and I’m finding that I really am happier now. Yes, it is really frustrating sometimes when I am the one making changes and she continues to drink. I am hopeful though that she will eventually hit some sort of bottom now that I am letting go and not being such an enabler.

  • Jim

    I totally get this. I get exhausted with how the alcoholic has five different personalities and I’m the one who is supposed to be the stable one. Just about the time I think things are going smoothly and there’s hope, she screws everything up. I want to believe her when she says that she loves me and that I am her knight in shinning armor, but honestly, her behavior screams that she cannot be trusted. How did I fall for all this crap?

  • L.

    Alcoholism is a dis-ease and the alcoholic is sick physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is not my judgment; my own qualifiers have admitted such. Without Recovery, the dis-ease of alcoholism becomes progressively worse ending in one of three places for the alcoholic: prisons, institutions, or death. Not being dramatic or creative here, just my experience. We, who love the alcoholics in our lives, are also affected by the warped attitudes and behaviors of the alcoholic and if we do not practice detachment (with love if possible, with a frying pan if necessary), we, too, become sick: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Support, Steps, and Tools found in the Al-Anon program help give us the Courage to Change and walk our own path of Recovery. When we are “minding our own business,” the alcoholics, (whom we still love), do not have us to blame, (although they still may try), and are left to face the consequences of their own decisions … perhaps hit a bottom, find a program and their own Recovery. No longer enabling them and allowing them to “fend for themselves” are actually the kindest, most respectful things we, who love our alcoholics/addicts, can do for them. They have their own Higher Power, (who is not us), who will guide and protect them all along their path. Think about it; if we do not change first what is the alternative but a continued ride on that merry-go-round or roller coaster at a side show that is no longer fun.

  • Jim

    L, now those are words of wisdom, obviously from someone who has lived through a few battles with alcoholism. I wish I could have such stability in my life as you have expressed. I’ve been to a few Al-anon meetings but never really connected with the folks in the meetings very well.

  • L.

    I remember when I first went to meetings circa 2006 I was so tense I could not talk or even meet the eyes of the other participants and as soon as the meeting was over I would bolt out the door. It wasn’t until the summer of 2008 when my qualifier was hospitalized for his alcoholism that I returned to the rooms and basically said “whatever it takes” because I was sick and needed recovery too. At that point I hit a meeting, (sometimes 2) a day and eventually found one that I call my “home.” Actually, we meet in about an hour 🙂 …. The program stresses “principles above personalities” and to check out six meeting before deciding whether the program is for you or not … keep coming, Jim … it works 🙂

  • karen

    Good morning readers,

    In response to ‘L”, I totally agree that we harm ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. For me, I needed to detach from him completely and walked out of his life with no contact at all. It has been 3 1/2 months of total peace and quiet and most of all serenity.
    There are still moments of reconciliation and memories to deal with, but I take one day at a time and most of all I am learning how to be “kind” to myself and to be patient with myself also.
    I realize that we all have our own path to follow and that we do love the ‘A’ person in our lives, but the turmoil that they create and the muliple personalities is WAY too much to deal with and our minds and thoughts are constantly about and around them…WHY WHY WHY…move on with your lives, get the hell out and then you can discover,in time, how less complicated your lives will be.
    And hppiness with follow.

    The ‘A’ person that was in my life only told me he loved me when drunk and in the manic phase. He would tell me that he felt peaceful when he was with me and how lonely he was without me. He asked me to marry him on 4 different occassions. He would also tell me he could feel some stability when he was with me…really!!
    But,he could never me these words when he was sober and not high. I told him he was never to say those things to me again when he was drunk and or high. So now I tell myself that those words were not real and besides that when I would tell him the next day what he said, he would tell me that I was lying to him. It was a no win situation. Best wishes and good luck to him in his future endeavors.
    Have a great day readers.

  • PM

    I have take the course and read the replys and it helps to realize somewhat the mindset or deceived mind the A is in. My husband of 37 yrs and I have been seperated for 4 years. He has been involved with his alcoholic girlfriend. I am a christian and have been standing for our marriage and his recovery. He will leave her, go live with a friend and ask me to forgive him. He will say he can’t live that way anymore and wants me and the family–that he has no realitonship with the girlfriend, but has not quit drinking. As of today he has gone back to the OW and is drinking himself to death. As we all say we love them but can’t rent them anymore space in our minds. My heart is fearful that he will die, because he has a bad heart, and not come into the life Jesus has for him–freedom. I continue to pray and believe God’s promises.

  • Hi Everyone,

    I am so glad I found this web site as I thought I was off my head. I am separated from my AH Husband of 25 years. It’s nearly 3 months and I am up and down. My AH is a binge drinker he goes for months well now maybe 3-4 weeks without drinking but when he does I don’t see or hear from him for weeks. I decided I am not living like this anymore I told him not to come back in Dec 2012, my son wants nothing to do with him my daughter has left to live with him possibly because he has more money than me she is very self centred just like her dad. Anyway the final straw was he has been texting and phoning another woman for 18 months he is denying this, I had no idea how much of a liar he is. I am so hurt about this. He also has been taking cocaine, its like I don’t know the man. I can relate to everything everyone sais as I think we all live the same kind of life. He sais he’s not coming back he does not love me I have to move on with my life. Normally I am okay but the other woman has really knocked me for six. I have been texting and abusing him as he doesn’t answer his phone to me comes to the house when I am at work he seemingly is drinking Friday-Monday he has been for 3 months and a good friend told me he is very depressed by now I would have taken him back but not this time I can’t physically or mentally take any more. Its not easy but nothing can be worse than going back to the life I left because his drinking and unacceptable behaviour is getting worse.

  • Rani

    My AH boyfriend has mood swings and a nasty attitude and asked me today what MY problem was. He had to submit to a urine test today from his parole officer. If he fails, he will go to jail or be on house arrest and not be allowed to go to work or any place else. So I told my AH boyfriend that he doesn’t take this alcoholism thing seriously.
    He told me to stfu and go upstairs and leave him alone.
    Well, he asked.
    He ruins everything. He was wasted on Thanksgiving and kept calling my cell phone ( I was out of state with family) every two hours and bawling his eyes out, he was wasted Christmas, New Years and even my birthday weekend.
    I see that we all have something in common here.
    Yes, it is a disease but it is curable, and the diseased would rather die than get help.
    I’m really about done here. D O N E.

  • L.

    “Like a tornado, alcoholism often brings along additional problems, including verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, illness, debt, prison, infidelity, and even death. Some of these problems can be so embarrassing that we don’t dare to talk about them. But in Al-Anon we learn that we are only as sick as our secrets. Until we let them out into the light, they keep us trapped.” – Courage to Change (2/16)

    “Compulsive drinking is an outward manifestation of the alcoholic’s inner anguish; if it goes on, it becomes a destructive cycle of deterioration. To make myself ready to help, I must, first of all, accept alcoholism as an illness … How does the knowledge that the alcoholic is sick work on me? It changes my attitude toward him! It replaces my rage and frustration with quiet patience.” – One Day at a Time in Al-Anon (2/16)

  • Sandy

    And not to burst anyone’s bubbles regarding the alcoholic behavior etc. – it doesn’t change just because they quit drinking either. Don’t know how many of you have heard about the PAWS syndrome that applies to recovering addicts, but my AH should be the poster child – he has every PAWS symptom out there, trying to talk to him is like trying to talk to some one mentally challenged right now and he’s been sober 8 months . . I really fear he’s going insane . . his mood is all over the bood, he gets angry if I blink wrong – he’s like trying to communicate with a stick of dynamite and I’m the detonator . . this last week has been a nightmare; he hasn’t drank but stress increases PAWS symptoms, and his final court date came and he has to do 52 weeks anger mgmt and court ordered AA – he went off the Richter scale . . he’s so consumed with anger right now he can barely function; YET YET YET . . he thinks I’m the reason he acts this way; everything is all my fault . . and he doesn’t understand why I can’t bear to have him touch me . . he calls me an Efin “C” word all the time . .screams at me . . the man has went insane . . actually thought about having him committed for evaluation . . seriously . .

  • oana

    There are more than 2 years since I started to work on myself to be able to continue my marriage , my LIFE with my alcoholic husband. He is an alcoholic for more than 15 tears. Being in an Al-anon group I have learned about how to make my own life better. I am lucky that my husband is also in an AAA group.I have discovered that my behavior was not always the best: when he started to drink I made the usual mistakes. I considered always that I don’t deserve to have an alcoholic husband. So now, I am able to accept the facts and I try to deal with.I feel I am a stronger, better person and I’m grateful to all the members of the group, they shared their experience with me and slowly, meeting after meeting I have understood what I have to change on me. Now, I feel responsible to share my experience with others.Sorry for my English, I’m from Europe, I usually don’t speak in English.Thank you for what you do for all of us, it is a great help!

  • Debbi

    25 year marriage to end is so sad & I admire you for realizing you don’t want to live your life like that anymore. I had a 15 year marriage and the last five years were similar to yours and add abuse to the mix but what threw me into my final “fit” was, same as you, another woman. With me it became known while I was facing a major surgery and he “bailed” on me to add escorts, etc into the mix of the other affairs also. It infuriated me.

    I realized it had to be no contact from that point on because my rage would make me do and say all the wrong things I would be so sorry for later. So I could not follow some of the advice given here about dealing and speaking with the A because of all the other circumstances I had going on and looks like you are in the same situation. Stay strong and remember you deserved better than this.

  • Debbi

    Oh Sandy you poor thing–his abuse seems to be getting worse and you certainly are getting the brunt of it for sure. Hang in there. Can you explain that “PAWS” to me. This is something I never heard before.

  • Sandy

    Debbie – PAWS is Post Acute Withdrawel Syndrome – just google it and there is a wealth of information on it – you really said something too that hit home; with me . . my anger for the way he is treating me is almost becoming uncontrollable for me; I’ve reached a point of no tolerance – I love him but I also hate him if that makes sense – and controling my responses is just almost impossible; and when he pushes and pushes and I turn into a raving maniac like him I can’t believe some of the things that come out of my mouth; afterwards I want to crawl in a hole – I know it takes 2 to fight and in that regard I’m just as responsible . . I just don’t know who this person is that I’m becoming . . I’m a very easy going forgiving loving person . . I’ve lost that for now . .

  • Debbi

    I did look up PAWS and you know what–the symptoms are the same as when they’re drinking so how do you ever know if they are withdrawing or drinking or something else–all this still baffles me.

    I bet I can beat your anger–One time I got infuriated when he told me another lie. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had some yellow stickey notes on the kitchen table and that morning I wrote down every lie he ever told me. . .each on it’s own separate note and posted them on the kitchen walls for him to find when he got home. You know what–almost every inch was covered–it looked like I re-wallpapered the kitchen!!

    I started to realize then that whether I yelled & let my anger out or wrote it down it made no difference to him and the only one I was hurting was me–I think that evening I knew in my heart it was over because he wasn’t the least bit concerned over the new wall paper but I did find all those notes later in his truck. He saved them & probably was going to use it against me. I think he was plotting to leave me then for someone else.

    Sometimes just thinking & writing things down here on the posts does help jog my memory & remind me how awful it was and I should be so glad I am away from that but still the hurt marches on!

  • Sandy

    Wow Debbi-that sticky note thing is pretty clever actually, I don’t think I could even remember all the lies . . and my AH exaggerates too, especially with anything involving numbers . . if something cost $100 when he tells someone about it it was $300, he’s so insecure and boasts to look better to people . . unfortunately it really has the opposite result I think; most of his friends and co-workers are on to him and he has no clue – I think the one thing about the PAWS and his personality issues that drives me the most crazy is him not accepting responsibility for his actions or anything . . always someone elses fault – usually mine . . or an excuse . . he has fallen further back into denial even more so than when he was drinking; how in the world can that be? I just hope the court appointed anger mgmt classes and AA get through to him . . but I don’t know . . extremely cautiously optimistic for sure . . Anyway Debbi, I know our higher power is with us and giving us the strength to get through . . if we remember that we’ll be ok . .

  • Hi Everyone,

    Debi thanks for you’re kind words Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. One thing I asked him not to do and he did it anyway. One good thing I have lost 21 pounds in weight and its taken years off me, so I am thankful for that.

    Its my birthday today and nothing from my A Husband other than a note to say he wants a receipt for money that he is leaving for me (housekeeping money) this time last year we had about £70,000.00 pounds in the bank I don’t think we have very much now but the old me would have went crazy I’ll give you f’ing receipt well I laughed and I will buy a receipt pad in the week and leave him the receipt. I have not contacted him for 4 days I am ok at this but as I said earlier the other woman threw me. God love him he must see something else when he looks in the mirror as all I see is a middle aged sad man.

  • Nel

    My heart is breaking for the experiences of we, the Alcoholics friends.
    We really are being tossed in the stormy seas, with no hope of reprieve.
    Sending love and hugs to all who have found our way to this website. I
    know we all just want our Qualifier to find health, peace and freedom from
    the chemical enslavement. That our lives are being destroyed in the quest
    for finding that freedom is injustice indeed.

  • Hi everyone,

    Do all alcoholic’s have affairs? could it be that their wives/husbands nag them to stop drinking etc and the bit on the side understands them? Mine was phoning and texting another woman for 18 months when I confronted him he denied it they can be so smart but so silly I can check the phone bill online.

  • Brenda

    Evening everyone,
    First of all, to anyone is not married to their A, leave things will not get any better, only worse. If I had known when I met my AH I never would have married him.
    He is from another country and most of his family is still there. Every year he goes for about 3 months over there to visit. I don’t it’s just not a safe country for women and since he’s drunk most of the time I can’t trust him to protect me. Anyway, in the past he has always given me a cell number to I can reach him. This year, he left right after the New Year, he’s given me a cell number for a friends phone. For us to talk he has to walk to the friends house to get the phone. Most of the time it just rings and no one answers it. It’s been about a week since we last talked. This has been happening since he left and always an excuse. He got into an accident, his friends relative died, he’e been sick for days, always a dramatic lie. I used to think he lied about 90% of the time, now I’m beginning to think it’s 100% of the time. I think he lies to make himself look like a better person than he really is. Sadly, the only one he’s fooling is himself. I don’t confront him with his lies because I don’t want to hear more.
    I’m angry, I’m frustrated, because I really didn’t think he could be so cruel to me. I totally understand the “love-hate” relationship because that’s what I’m feeling at times.
    I am a born-again Christian and I feel God pulling me towards Him. My AH is not a believer. I don’t know what’s going to happen in my marriage, I know I want change. As painful as this is, it’s still better than when he’s here, no constant lies, no coming charging in the house like a bull after drinking, no yelling and carrying on to the person he’s drunk-dialed, no cursing at the furniture or walls because he walked into them, the house is much quieter and calmer. The stress is still there, but it’s a different kind of stress. I pray for my AH even when it’s hard to pray for him. I love the sober husband, not the drunk husband.

  • C

    Thank you everyone for sharing – it helps all of us. I wonder why alcohol is so available when it ruins so many lives. The Pres is trying to get rid of guns because they kill, but no one says anything about the accidents caused by drivers who drink – or the lives they destroy trying to prove they are just fine!

    I am so blessed because I don’t like the taste of any alcohol – iced tea is all I drink!

  • Bruce

    Brenda you are right about leaving if you are not married to the AH. As my AH relationship took off I started to see the alcoholism in her. We both drank when we first met. I never liked to drink everyday. Then I noticed she drank every day. Then the amount she drank grew. So I quit drinking. My stopping pretty much ended the relationship for me. Once I wised up and quit drinking, I didn’t want to be around her anymore. Glad we never married. I have moved on. Should I meet someone now. I will have a watchful eye. I’m not going to go through with another AH relationship. Oh I have not had a drink in 18 months! 🙂 Thanks for letting me ramble folks. Remember we are here for each other. Have a good day!

  • Dawn

    I have gotten to the point that I don’t think I an stand it anymore! I am DONE! If you think staying with them and “waiting it out” will work, it WON’T! You have 2 choices. 1) Either continue in this dysfunctional never ending struggle (that hurts you so much and doesn’t stop hurting you). 2) Get out of it! You will find that you have an overwhelming sense of PEACE and start to have time for yourself, your family and friends you’ve neglected. The feelings of sadness of missing them pale in comparison to the extreme torture of living with them. The good news is that if you leave, it DOES get better!!

  • Debbi

    Happy belated birthday! I hope things get better for you. Me, things getting worse–a 2nd debit card intercepted by who? Last night one of his old girlfriends–the one from our bowling team kept calling my house until 1 AM. I can’t take this any more. Could he actually be putting these women up to torture me? This woman I’m sure has his cell number so why is she constantly calling my house and asking for him? I wonder too if all the A’s do have affairs and how do us bereaved people survive this when I can’t get it to stop even after divorcing him.

  • Debbi

    Dawn, Brenda, Bruce
    I believe you 3 are absolutely right–leave immediately it never seems to get any better. I am hoping for my peace and quiet back since the divorce last August but my A is doing his dirty work from a distance using mail fraud, fraudulent phone calls, and still spreading ugly rumors around about me, although sometimes I take every incident that happens to me now and blame him which is not good either. What could this mean? I’m hoping it means he finally figured out what a great wife he had (Me!!!) and life on the other side of the fence isn’t so good after all. Boy if I could just hear that from someone I could continue on and get back a small amount of the self esteem he took from me.

  • Bruce

    Debbi you should be able to go on line to phone co. site. Once there see if you can block the girlfriend’s number. I have WOW and Verizon. They have it set up so you can block numbers.

  • JC

    Okay Debbie, here ya go, I’m saying it. Your ex lost a wonderful lady when he chose alcohol over you. Rest assured, he is living with deeply covered over regrets for not fulfilling his marital vows and knows he really screwed things up.

    As far as what he is doing, saying and what others are hearing, you have no control over them. It’s best to let go and “believe” that you are a beautiful person, uniquely created, who has a purpose in this life.

  • Hi Debbi, Thank you. Sorry to hear this, you’re A probably can’t let go of you. Can you get numbers blocked from calling you? I am still at the stage were I need contact from him it is crazy but no other people can understand this only ones that have been in relationships with alcoholics I am addicted to him. I am hurt and angry about the other woman but I feel for him with the illness.

    I started speaking to a counselor 3 years ago she is brilliant she is a recovering alcoholic so there is nothing you can tell her that shocks the best bit advice I got was do the total opposite of what you’re brain is telling you hard but it works.

    I have been blamed today for something I got a text at 8.30am I just laughed I know I should have ignored him but I did answer. My sister also texed him and told him he treated me like s… and he better stop blaming me for things and to stop bad mouthing me, well surprise surprise my sister got a apology.

    Alcoholics don’t like other people to think bad of them my A husband always said to people you know what she’s like (that’s me) now the mask is slipping and he can’t take the fact that I am telling everyone about the real him. He can’t handle people that he knows through me have lost respect for him. I wish you had a switch to turn off you’re feelings.

  • Debbi,

    His loss is someone else’s gain. I don’t know if this applies to alcoholics because they are ill but you always hurt the one’s you love.

    I’v just been to a wedding on my own and why did I miss him? He would have been drunk looking at all the other women. I do think alcoholics are capable of love because I know my A husband loves me and he is hurting.

    Saturday’s are bad for me as my A Husband was a great dad and him and my son used to watch the football and take out the dog and we would have a family day. My son wants nothing to do with him. This is the first time my A Husband has had to take responsibility for his actions. Still blaming me for it all though.

  • Brenda

    It’s been my experience that alcoholics are very hurt people. My AH is. The drinking medicates this for them. I always knew if he was mixing drinks something happened that he couldn’t handle. They are also very insecure people. Personally, I think when they get someone good, they do at some level realize what a good thing they have, but because they are such hurt and damaged people they strike out and hurt the person who might have been good for them. In a twisted way they want to hurt you before you hurt them.

    My AH never said sorry to me for anything he did, in 10 years of marriage, and anything that happened to him was always blamed on anyone but him. Like living with an angry, overgrown and immature child.

    One thing I know for sure, everyday will be better and I will be getting stronger.

  • Debbi

    You’re smart & I was one step ahead of you but I cancelled my cell because of phone calls and my house line with Verizon is on hold until they verify my name change to my maiden name but as soon as that’s done–I’m doing just that & then adding caller ID. Yesterday from a PC I sent the hounding girl friend a text to make it look like it came from my ex “Hi it’s XXX–call me on my cell XXXXX”. So, now she can call him there & hopefully this will stop or maybe she’ll hound him and he’ll have to explain to current girlfriend about this old girlfriend. Just a little payback.

  • Debbi

    That was the nicest compliment I have received in over 20 years–you cheered my heart. I just want to be sure this was all caused by the alcohol. I guess which is why I am waiting for that one answer. But you made me feel special with your kind words & you brightened my morning.

  • Debbi

    Yes, I am trying to get the numbers blocked & in the meantime I sent this girl a text making it look like it came from the ex giving her his cell number so maybe she’ll stop calling my house. I too am still hurt & angry but I don’t think my exA loved me at all for the last 5-10 years. What he is mad about is that I went public with his use of escorts & showed it to his family members a year ago & I guess I ruined his reputation and he is now literally seeking revenge on me. I sure wish I had your counselor–she sounds great. I went to pastor of my church, a Christian counselor and ex followed me to both later & so convinced them I was crazy I quit going and don’t dare even go back to my church. I’m so glad for you that your family is sticking up for you–that will make him stop treating you poorly if he knows others are watching. That’s a big break through with your sister–reputation seems to be everything to them–go figure?

    Hang in there–you’re doing great!

  • Debbi

    You are very insightful & I think you “hit the nail on the head”. I noticed my exA always very cocky & self-assured but there were moments I would hear things that co-workers of his did that made him very insecure at work and he would be bent on revenge to them. Mine also never apologized for anything ever–one time I got the words “well I guess I shouldn’t have done that”. Wow–now I know that was the closest thing to an apology that will probably ever come out of his mouth. I guess you’re right about them being insecure & child-like.

  • Debbi,

    Hopefully the anger and pain will go. You know the life the girlfriends will have with him unless they are like him. We have a saying in my family ‘she couldn’t lace my boots’ which means he will never get better than you and he won’t Debbi who cares what he thinks of you, you know you are worth 100 of him I know he is ill but sometimes the AH goes too far. What gives anyone the right to make a human being feel worth less. Most alcoholics have very strong caring partners but there does come a time when you have to let go. I am very angry today my daughter who took her dad’s side has just abused me by text it was just like listening to him. She has said i am desperate and Dad doesn’t want me back etc what a horrible nasty girl. If it wasn’t for me she’d be in care he walked out on average 2-3 times a year for her whole life. I have to get my self respect back. I am 48 and sick of playing games and trying to second guess a sick man. I told the two of them to get all their stuff and return my house keys I also asked for a divorce his answer to that was pi.. off. As from today no contact with either of them, I have to for my own sanity. Very hurtful though.

  • Brenda,

    I think you are right the A is a very hurt person, pity they have to hurt you into the bargain. I am very angry today and hurt so I have no sympathy for my A Husband. He is one of 8 and 5 of them are alcoholics. My husband’s family are very dysfunctional some of the nephew’s are also alcoholics really sad as they are in their 20’s and think all this drinking is great fun. Until I found this web site I thought I was the only one living this horrible.

  • Debbi

    I think it will be a long time for me for the anger and pain to go away. The worst of things he did to me was when I was battling for my life heading into a hospital 3 hours from home for a surgery & he bailed on me. If reputation was so important to him why did he not at least act the part of dutiful husband for his “good name”. Maybe that is another issue he is vengeful against me for–I had 3 friends assist me and I think word of that got around to his co-workers. I love your saying “she couldn’t lace my boots”. Never heard that before–will remember it. It think he has selected other women like him so I’m sure life will be just grand for him–finally getting someone who is more of the “party girl” type. Guess that’s what he wanted. Me–too old to ever try that again. Just hoping I don’t “outlive my boots”.

    How old is your daughter that she would go against you? I have a 31 year old son who no longer speaks to me–it hurts so try to stay close with her if at all possible or you will have regrets like me and believe me that is a tough thing to stomach.

  • Ross

    Hi JC,something you said to Debbie struck a cord…how do you know that the alcoholic
    feels regret over not keeping his vows?I’m in somewhat similar situation and feel hurt.
    I was just curious.

  • Brenda


    I’ve been reading a book about alcoholics and the author is a recovering alcoholic. She said something in there about the drinking stopping their growth on a maturity level. It makes sense because only someone who is emotionally mature can own up to their faults and mistakes.

    When people ask me if my AH has been in contact and I say no, they just can’t believe it either, but as we talk about it I find myself saying this is all his doing. He’s the one in another country, he’s the one who gave me a cell number that no one answers or is turned off. I have no other way to contact him, and he is the one refusing to talk to me. It feels very weird to put most of the blame on him since I’m the first one to own up to what I’ve done wrong.

  • Brenda

    My AH is from another country where drinking is known as a “national problem.” All the men in his family drink until they pass out so I guess his is just acting like them. He says it’s considered disrespectful to go to someones home and not drink with them. The “elders” all expect it. How twisted is that, they are ruining the next generation before they even have a chance.

    But, he’s been in this country for almost 20 years and there is no excuse.

  • Debbi,

    I had no idea what he did to you what a dog. Maybe the need for alcohol for him was greater than anything else. I read on this site that they revert back to the age they started drinking well mine’s 18 that’s why he gets on so well with our daughter she is 19. If I said black he’d say white if I said no he’d say yes when it came to our daughter. My auntie is a very wise woman and she said only have people in you’re life that show you the respect you are due. Well my daughter or husband have never respected me. There will have no rules he buys her affection they day will come when he lets her down because alcohol is the most important thing in his life. I always knew this day would come if he kept drinking. I am sick of being treated like nothing Debbi my daughter is not a very nice person she is a silly spoilt brat who knows nothing about life. I hope you and your son can make up Debbi. I am lucky I have a son who is a lovely boy and I have a large supportive family however they don’t understand what you go through being involved with a alcoholic.

  • Debbi

    I think I heard those same sentiments in several books about it stunting their maturity growth & thus they cannot admit mistakes because they are not mature enough. I hope that means I am a more mature person because 9 times out of 10 when I lost my cool with my ex I always apologized for it. You are in a difficult situation not even knowing where yours is at right now. How do you deal with that & what will you do if he returns?

  • Debbi

    I’m glad for you that you have a son who respects you. Mine walked out of my life as a senior in high school because I grounded his driving privileges for breaking curfew. He left the next day to his father’s and never contacted me again & that was 13 years ago this April 1st. I only have a 90 year old mother in Florida and a half sister who I haven’t spoken to in many years. I would be grateful if I had a large family like my ex did that stuck by him–he does not appreciate it and used them against me. I generally just hope now that soon this awful life I am now forced to live will change or end because I am still not sure what caused this man to change and hate me so in the blink of an eye.

  • Debbi

    Hi Ross:
    I think JC was trying to give me a pep talk but you and I seem to be the two here with the same feeling of not knowing–we did not see the same behaviors as the others and are at a loss as to what happened. I know I am just looking for some closure that will probably never come–I feel like the dog waiting patiently for his owner to return (not my ex–just the answers I seek the return for) to make make sense out of what just happened to me & my life in one quick instant–putting me in the hospital, struggling to keep the bills paid while the man I thought loved me sat downstairs for 9 months on chat lines lining up his next date night.

Leave a Reply