Feeling Uncomfortable With An Alcoholic-Are You Being Deceived

I had no idea how slowly things were changing in my life and relationship with the alcoholic. I was being deceived and didn’t even know it. Things were fine for about four months and then all of the sudden I found myself wrestling with very uncomfortable feelings. Over one year, I was slowly sucked into a very dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic.

Have you ever experienced anything like this in your life?

One of our readers sent in an email recently, sharing how she not only was deceived by the alcoholic, but she also deceived herself by thinking she could be strong enough to cope with his addiction to alcohol.

Video Transcription:
Hey, J. C. here, I received an email recently from one of our readers, she described herself as a strong-willed, street smart person who always does not allow people to manipulate and control her, but yet somehow the alcoholic that she married was very deceptive initially in the courtship, and now she’s found herself in a relationship where she’s had to learn how to protect herself from the alcoholic blaming her. Let me read to you what her mail says…

“I have always been strong willed and street smart, keeping my distance from people who control and manipulate…at least until I met my husband. It was A very short courtship with many ups an downs. I fell in love with a 25yr veteran alcoholic that professed he wanted rehab and sobriety. I thought that I was strong enough to be there for him and not enable him. I wasn’t and am not that person. Now I am trying to be the strong person I know I am and let go…not only for me, but for him. I love him still…not as much as I had, but more than I have loved anyone in my 41 years. I, like the rest, lost myself and feel the guilt of hearing his words over and over saying he loves me more, and I left him. How he loves me unconditionally an then reverses to how I lie an cheat baffles me. Which if you ask him he will tell you he fell in love with my honesty, strength, and wholesomeness.

He made it for weeks at a time sober, yet he struggles and you can predict it coming by his words,actions and anxieties. I am glad I found this website to know that I am not who he says I am.”


You know it always amazes me how we can be so deceived by the illness of alcoholism. You know being in a courtship, or a friendship… And initially, things start out as being a lot of fun. And you know, gradually over time, we fall in love with this person that we’re with, and we see these little warning signs, these red flags that pop up as we go along. We think, “Something just isn’t quite right here.”

And if we’re not educated about personality traits of the alcoholic that are common among most people that suffer with alcohol addiction, we have no idea how deep into the woods of the darkness of addiction that we’re walking into; and how slowly we’re getting in mesh and getting involved in a co-dependent relationship with someone who is very ill. And then all of a sudden, we wake up and we’re like… We’re lonely, and we’re frustrated, and we’re irritated.

And our thoughts are constantly on what the alcoholic in our life is doing. Because, all of these different personality traits are coming out that are common among alcoholics… They lie to us. They steal. They break engagements. They say things to us that they think that we want to hear. Now, that particular statement right there obviously, is exactly what happened in this relationship. The alcoholic said that they wanted to get into rehab so the deception was that in the courtship [clears throat] this person thought that “Ok, there is hope for this person of getting better. I know that they have a problem with alcoholism and I have an idea of what I’m walking into. And because of what they’ve said, I love them. I’m falling in love with them, and I want to believe what they’re saying is true.”

And it’s sad. It’s sad because so many people don’t understand what the personality traits of an alcoholic are like and what it’s like being involved in a relationship with an alcoholic. We get deceived slowly over time. So anyhow, you know what? This is why the Alcoholics Friend website helps so many people – because we are constantly exposing and revealing the personality traits of the alcoholic. And I love that all of our readers get involved in sharing their experience, strength, and hope. So if you have some experience, strength, and hope, and you’d like to leave a comment in the comment section below this article… Maybe you’re on Youtube, click on the link on the “Show More” section so you can go to our website, and leave umm, and… a comment about this particular email that’s just been sent in, and how do you feel about the situation. Maybe you can really identify what is going on here with how we can be deceived by the personality of an alcoholic. So there you go. Have a good day.

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20 comments to Feeling Uncomfortable With An Alcoholic-Are You Being Deceived

  • Kris Callow

    I completly understand how this person feels. I just went through a similar situation. I divorced my ex-husband 17 years ago because of his drinking but we have always stayed in touch. I have always loved him. He called out of the blue 6 months ago and we met and he told me he has drank for 35 years and has seen his life go down hill and he wanted to get help and that he still loved me and wanted us to get back together and that I meant the world to him and has always loved me. We e-mailed back and forth as he lived 700 miles away and then he decided to move to where I lived as he was in a volatal relationship and someone was going to get hurt as they both drank and he wanted to stop and make things work with me. Long story short, he moved were I lived stayed for 1 month and left to go on business for a week and called me on his way home and told me he rented another place in another city where his ex-girlfriend moved and that he needed to know it was over with her. Well the drinking never stopped, just slowed down when he was here with me and now he is back with his co-drinker and only calls me when he is drinking and they have gotten in a fight. I have been crushed by his lies and indecisivness and I was pulled into his insanity and I am still trying to get out of it. I still love him and I know he is sick, but there is nothing more I can do for him, he can only help himself. I hope he finds the help before he either dies or goes to jail for fighting with her.

  • Mara Paradi

    On the topic: for me, feeling uncomfortable wasn’t sufficiently alarming, I went further into severe anxiety with panic attacks until I got totally desperate, then into therapy for MY PROBLEM – which my alcoholic partner of then 2 and a half years, whom I loved very much, was movingly helpful with, so when the therapist suggested my Subconscious might have been signalling a disfunctional relationship, I wouldn’t accept that but went on looking for other possible causes (hormones, thyroid, what not).. Although my father was also an alcoholic, which colored my childhood grey, although I was presensitized to the signs, I was stil deceived by Alcohol: this good-hearted and devoted man was so loving, so tender, so caring, to and beyond the point of self-denial, he would do anything… but, oh, stop just there… anything but not drink. The drinking was moved away from sight or postponed till later hours of the evening at best, but never actually given up on. I opened my eyes and realized his life was actually ordered so as to enable the drinking, and centered around it; no significant other interests actually; couldn’t hold a job, the usual… And I have been a sole earner and provider. Now I saw the problem for what it was, the anxiety and panic subsided. But I was so sad, not being able to even imagine detaching or even denying him anything. After another year of constant wrestling with myself, trying to impose the wisdom of this site (great help), and since he remained completely deaf to the idea of having a drinking problem, I finally ended the relationship, and have been engulfed by sorrow, because: since he cannot (?) understand the alcohol is what I have separated from while the man is just in the same package unfortunatelly, as he does not see the drinking as a problem, he is really heartbroken, which makes me feel like a villain and a traitor and I have a realy, realy hard time staying separated. This is how deceiving and baffling alcohol is… Very sad. Very tough. I have gotten a lot of help from this site, so – thanks!

  • Debbi

    My heart goes out to you because you divorced this man knowing you deserved better but your heart still loved him and then believed him a second time because of that love and got hurt again. I can only imagine how you are feeling because I just divorced my A against what my heart wanted me to do but my brain knew I could not continue on that path. Please stay strong and maybe you need to do what I’m doing–absolutely no contact because every contact or piece of information brings back the memories and the hurt. Mine has yet to admit that his drinking caused any of our problems so at least you got some closure on that and are able to hope for him to get the help he needs–You have a good heart–always guard it & protect it.

  • Debbi

    My prayers go out to you because you too tried to stay in a relationship with an alcholic who did not even realize his illness was the cause of your stress. You are a good person to still hope he gets help because despite the deception your love stayed strong for him and you let him go and are now enduring that sorrow. Maybe this will be the “tough love” they talk about and things can be worked out between you. I think alot of us that finally cannot tolerate it any more and leave still hold a little place of hope that maybe, just maybe our leaving will be the catalyst that encourages some changes in them. My prayers and hopes are with you.

  • L.

    JC, your topics and posts just keep getting better and better … thanks again …

  • JC

    Thanks L. I say this often, I’m amazed at how many people are sharing on this site. It is truly a blessing that I never saw coming, especially when I was living in the midst of the war zone of alcoholism. I had no idea that someday thousands of people all over the world would be touched by mine and so many others experiences that are shared hear everyday.

  • James Pendragon

    JC, I loved that expression you used “..entering the deep dark forest of addiction…” or words to that effect, poetic and so true.
    If only someone had warned me at the time…oh, well…better late than never.

  • James Pendragon

    Kris, I know how you must feel…to be deceived twice…because I’m a sucker that had the same experience with my ex. Like you, we divorced but kept in touch. Then she started manipulating me again so imperceptibly that at first I really didn’t notice. Then she tried to up the stakes by calling me early one morning saying she “…had a new boyfriend”, I thought “Is that all I was in her mind…a “boyfriend”? However, I said “Okay, I hope you can find happiness finally. I best change my number and say goodbye for ever because you can’t keep disturbing my peace and serenity every time you have a crisis”, and I changed my number. (Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?). Then she said she wanted our dog…and I said “Yea, but the dog doesn’t want to be with you, babe”. Even our dog knew she was a hopeless case and walked away. He actually showed up on my doorstep after she took off with him the last time she took off on a binge and never came back. Do you think the dog had more sense than I did? You know, addicts know exactly how to push our buttons…so, everyone, as much as you may love your A, they aren’t ever going to change until they die. My wife was a very intelligent person, consequently she was bored most of the time and drank because, in the words of that old Negro spiritual, she was Tired of living, and ‘fraid of dying. She had this excuse every time she failed.
    We continue to love them but equally we have to understand that there is no cure… so, you either put up with their drinking or you walk away. Kris, you can’t save someone from themselves. You have my kindest thoughts and I wish you all the very best…go and live your life and strive to be happy.


  • Mara Paradi

    Thank you, Debbi.

  • PM

    JC and others, I have a question I have ask myself many times. Is the A even able to love anyone but himself–I doubt he loves himself but he sure puts up a good attempt to take care of all his needs. He doesn’t consider me or any of his children or grandchildren of what his actions do to them. I know he is deceived but ALL of us have a conscious(GOD GAVE TO US) and we all have been taught right and wrong to some degree. How do they live with themselves always hurting the people that love them most?? Lies–lies always for them to take advantage of our love and manipulate. Do you just say NO MORE and give up on them and pray that God will intervene, as we continue to ask God to Save and Deliver them?? There is Nothing I can do in my power–I have tried and just had it rejected as he runs back to his alcoholic girlfriend and alcoholic friends after swearing they are out of his life.Do they have a heart??

  • Debbi

    James Pendragon – what a great post of yours with such insight–Thank you.

    I would like to take a stab at your question: “Do you just say NO MORE and give up on them and pray that God will intervene, as we continue to ask God to Save and Deliver them??”

    As I read all the posts it is true “we cannot change another person, we can only change ourselves” so in answer to your question it is Yes, as much as it hurts us. We can only control ourselves by saying NO MORE and let a higher power (who can change another person) do that changing within that person. I struggle & struggle just hoping that my ending my marriage would be the catalyst that would cause him to finally admit his wrongs to me–I do not ever wish to have a relationship with this man again but I so want to hear those words that my actions of love were not in vain & maybe in there somewhere he did care and love me just a little & it was the alcohol controlling his brain that caused it.

    How do we get over the grief and pain? That is what I need to work on in order to “let go & let God”.

    I too am searching for answers like you and when you find yours, please let us all know.

  • L.

    PM, the qualifiers in my life have been some of the most attractive, talented and creative people as well as the most self-centered and self-absorbed … even before I was directed to Program, (and knew virtually nothing about the dis-ease of alcoholism), I had a theory that alcoholics were afraid of their own genius and that was why they drank. HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. The alcoholic is hurt, wounded, sick (like an iceberg, the drinking is just the tip, a symptom of what lies beneath the surface), cannot exist in a vacuum, so all of the supporting characters in his/her drama are affected by his/her dis-ease. That is why, imo, detachment is so important … then, in Al-Anon we acknowledge that our pain and grief, Debbi, are our own and via the same Steps, (as AA), we begin to walk our own road of Recovery.

  • Sandy

    I’m a true believer that all A’s are narcissists . . they all have a chip on their shoulder, have this intense feeling of entitlement, and have no idea how to NOT feel sorry for themselves for all the bad things that have happened to them in their lives EVEN though they’ve created those things by their behavior. My AH is going through such a period of self pity and entitlement I want to ring his neck, it’s pathetic . . and yes the only thing we can control is ourselves and how we respond . . I, myself, have been doing a TERRIBLE job in the response dept., I’m so angry and disappointed in my recovering AH’s behavior I just can’t seem to get control of my responses . . and shame on me . . but that being said, at least unlike a few years ago I’m aware of my behavior which is half the battle and I need to get that checked at the door . . period . .

  • gG

    One morning I woke-up thinking to myself” Something just isn’t right.” I know now that was the Holy Spirit warning me to take a step back and WAIT! My soon to be husband turned into a monster the week we married. The hate that he had toward everything came tumbling down on me. I was a nervous wreck trying to please him. Finally, I figured out the only person in this relationship was me. I have a woman’s lair , my own place to escape. You can make lemon-ade out of lemons…you just have to be creative. Let me just say there is good in every relationship. At least I don’t have to worry about my bills or my job. God is the answer in every situation…He is your highest power.

  • JC

    gG, we would all be able to avoid many difficulties if we could just yield to the whisper within our spirit from the Holy Spirit.

    I’ve certainly learned through years of experience to pay attention to those times when I’m feeling uncomfortable with someone.

    I met a man recently and instantly had an uncomfortable feeling while conversing with him. About 10 minutes into the conversation, he confessed that he had addiction problems.

    There really is a lot of truth in “Spiritual discernment”.

    Thanks for posting.

  • JC

    Sandy, I love how you are seeing the progress you have made. One of my favorite sayings is “thank God I’m not the way I used to be”.

    When we are living in the middle of the dysfunction, we are constantly under pressure. I also like to say to myself, “J.C., go easy on yourself; you’ve been through a lot.”

  • Rhonda

    Oh… the deceit. It took me so long to catch on. Always thinking it was me. I did not experience alcoholism growing up, this was all new to me. Instead, my self-worth was based on work-a-holism. So it really hurts me when he calls me lazy. Especially after an auto accident whereas I am now on disability pay.

    Until retirement he was a functional alcoholic with a government job, they had random drug and alcohol testing. He binged every chance he had on his days off. I told him you put in long hours, I will take care of everything else around the home, and I did. I thought we were a team.

    To this day, (after 20 years of marriage) the only thing that he says I do, is to pay the bills. There is a reason for that. We are in debt up to our eyeballs because he will not do a budget. All I do is spend hours “juggling” the money to keep the wolves from the door. He calls me a tightwad when I talk about our money challenges. He spends like there is no tomorrow. He retired without even 5 minutes spent on financial planning. He turned 60 and retired. No discussion. Now we have 1/2 the income and twice the bills. He drinks more now. Sleeps 12-16 hours per day. I’m still the lazy one. Grrrr.

    Back to the deceit. When we first married he would cook on the grill. It would take hours before the grill “was ready”. We would eat at 11:00-midnight. It took me years to figure out that he had to be filled to the gills with alcohol before we could eat. To hell with my hunger, or health. It meant nothing to him. Eating out the same thing. He keeps telling the waiter to come back for the food order as he orders two beers at a time. Embarrassing, and extremely expensive. Then he thinks the server has all the time in the world, to listen to all of his “charming” stories :(.

    Now, I eat alone at home and in restaurants 95 % of the time. He’s drinking while I eat. And he tells me I am the selfish one!!! Over and over. That I am a liar.

    I love movies. We have gone to movies together a few times per year, compared to sports bars every week. He even started sneaking beers into the movie theater. This is a man old enough to be a Grandpa. After retirement I wanted Sundays to be our day of rest …movies etc. That had to be planned around his damn sports addiction! I chose to go to movies alone and he calls me for fast food on the way home. Gotta go, over my shoulder.

  • Cindy

    Hi I have been married for 34 years I never seen any problem with alcohol or drugs until this last six years of our marriage I can see now by his disposition he obviously has been using off on, he was told a year ago he was in the last stages of alcoholism He went into rehab for three months he stayed sober for four months then he started drinking beer here and there I started noticing A peculiar behavior my husbands drinking behavior when he was drinking was the type when he started he could not stop know he had been drinking some here in there but what I didn’t know until now when your in the end and that means the alcohol now has no control of their drinking and The disease of the brain It’s a disease that develops with alcoholism that causes damage to the brain when they stop drinking it can goes away if there is not a lot of damage but when they start up with just a Bain it wakes up those in sensors in the brain so when they stop
    One day there body start to go through with drawl And that start a psychological behavior hearing things that there partner didn’t say watch can cause them to become violent if they stay away from alcohol or drugs you won’t see the behavior one beer can sent a alcoholic right in to a psychotic behavior. And stage alcohol is him it’s real hard for them to stay sober when my alcoholic is sober he isn’t very pleasant to be around they have to work and have to work hard to change by the time end stages that alcohol has hijacked their pain . They have lost all empathy I noticed so much has changed from last year to now just the things he worried about He don’t even ask about The things that were important to him at one time now and that is really hard to work with so right now I’m looking for a miracle

  • Denise

    My son came home from California for Xmas. He has been studying for his doctorate in the medical field. My son thought it was peculiar that his Dad was making numerous trips out to the garage. I just laughed and he said ” Oh” and snickered. What else can you do?!? We know he’s killing himself. Alcoholic encephalopathy, pancreas, liver, and sundry other ” I don’t feel good ” ailments. Unfortunately, all we can do is watch. I yelled at my ah yesterday. Had a nice dinner planned. I’m not eating. I don’t feel good. So he went up in the loft and slept. My son and I had a nice meal together even though I wanted to cry. He said that’s o.k. Mom. So later I went outside with the dogs.The alcoholic came outside. I yelled at him and said ” so booze is more important than spending time with your son who you haven’t seen in 2 yrs.- you make me sick, you are pathetic!” He told me to shut-up. The usual. I cannot wait for the alcohol to take him. After 36 yrs. I can wait. Sounds pretty cold-hearted to some but live it. My son is here until Friday. I want to go back to Cali with him but I cannot. Today is the Winter Solstice. All of my days seem horribly long when he’s around. Thanks for listening. Always, Denise

  • Rhonda

    Hi Denise. So sorry that he couldn’t even be there for your son. AH is all about themselves. You sound like you have had enough. You are not cold-hearted at all. We give, and we give, until we have no more (20 years for me). I wish alcohol would take them sooner. Don’t drag this misery out any longer, not to mention the medical bills. I Wish you the best.

    I turn 60 tomorrow. 2017 will be a better year for me, not him. He is feeling my detachment. For the first time ever (drunk of course) he started rambling about; nobody cares about me, except the cat. I have news for you, Even the cat hates being around him when he’s drunk. I told him I am the only one left in his corner and he pushes me away too. He chooses Budweiser over me, every single time. I said,”don’t worry your mistress Budweiser will always be there for you. During your Diabetes injections, your kidney failure, and when your liver’s shot…she will be there laughing and partying to the end.

    Merry Christmas and a sober New Year.

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