Does An Alcoholic Care About Who They Hurt

Question Sent In By: Amy
I just have a question and want to know what others think. Do you think alcoholics care who they hurt?. When they break plans, leave you alone, choose alcohol over everyone and everything in their lives etc. It sure doesn’t seem it. I can’t help but wonder if they even feel a pang of guilt over the things they do! Just a question that I am wondering what others think and feel about this subject?

JC: Thanks for sending in your question Amy. The substance abusers I have been in close relationships with were very caring people when they weren’t drinking or using drugs. It seems to me that an alcoholic will drink more in an attempt to cover over the guilt, shame and pain that is associated with them letting those that are closest to them down because of their drinking habits.  When a problem drinker  gets sober, they have to feel everything because they no longer have the alcohol to numb their feelings. This is why it is so important for them to stay connected in a program like AA;  they have to  learn how to deal with the uncomfortable feelings without stuffing them down with the use of drugs or alcohol. When I met my now ex- alcoholic spouse, initially,  she was a very caring person at heart. As she progressed in her addictions, she certainly treated those she was closest to as if she didn’t care about them at all sometimes.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

You might also enjoy reading:
Why Are Alcoholics Thieves
Why Should We Be Nice When Alcoholics Are Mean
Alcoholic Relationship Solutions

170 comments to Does An Alcoholic Care About Who They Hurt

  • Pat

    Thanks for posting back. I also need to pray more. Since I am just beginning my journey I feel like I have trouble expressing myself to God even though I know he knows what is in my heart. I think this is a theme that has run through my life with having trouble and being fearful of expressing myself. I like the being kind and gentle to one another. When we got married the pastor preached about how important it was to lift each other up with our words. We were both very pleased about the ceremony. It was a sign I guess but I always remember it and mention it also. The Armor of God is something I will use. I know why they say that it is like being born again because I feel like I am finally seeing things for the first time. I have had bout of being mad because I feel like the teachings I got when I was a child set me up for the position I have found myself in. But then I have to be grateful to the lessons I have learned in this life. Thanks again.

  • DJ

    You are so very welcome! I can so relate to you Pat. I too still today have a challenge expressing myself. I have to take time even to think about how I really feel about a situation. (Not my husband. He’s a quick thinker and knows just what he wants to say). It has been a journey for me to learn to say what is on my heart to God or my husband. When I talk to God I see Him as my very very bestest friend! I have learned that He accepts me just the way I am. Even when I make mistakes, say something I wish I hadn’t said, never ever judges me and He always listens to what I have to say. I talk to Him when I am angry, sad, hurt, happy, excited, no matter what I can say anything that is on my heart and mind…anything! And I know He really values me and what I have to say. (My husband is learning to). I’ve come to figure out He knows what I am thinking anyway I may as well get it out. I was once so shy, yet so angry (because of my childhood abuse) had such low self-esteem and very little self-respect (reason I let people abuse me in my adult years). No matter where we are as a person He meets us right there! Just the way we are…that is sooooo cool! No person can give us what He can. Nor can we give it completely to someone else. That is the way I believe, it is meant to be. 🙂

  • Pez

    Just remember it is not by OUR works but by the grace of god. Not everyone gets this outcome even if they’ve done all the abouve!

  • Ro

    Lately I have been thinking about living alone. I find my mind drifting to a place whre it is just me. In a very safe place. Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom. Swept and waxed the floor. I opened up all the windows to let fresh air in. Took out the garbage. I am the only one doing this. I remember having this fantasy when I was very young living in a log cabin. Now I am thinking about having a cabin near a lake. All by myself. Sometimes I would worry about being alone or if I was I would get very lonely. In the relationships I had in the past I had a lot of alone time. I don’t think being with me would be such a bad thing. I think I hated addiction so much that now it surrounds me. I think I will focus on what I want and stop putting my attention on what I don’t want. This is a brain exercise that I really want to achieve.

  • Jule Allen

    This is sort of off the train, like maybe taking a detour at the circus to see the magician’s performance. I’ve read several vague accounts of the alcoholic in your life and their drinking, but I’m curious how much drinking they do/did in the space of 24 hours. Could some of you elaborate on how much they drank, or what all they drank, and if there were periods where they didn’t drink or were sober… like, for work, kids events, and the like. I’m astounded by the fact that they can drink as much and live. I’m even more astounded that anyone could live in the same space with someone like that. Not to cause offense, but we have to be as sick as the alcoholic to stay with someone bent on self-destruction.

  • laura m

    Hard to think that an alcoholic thinks of anything but booze. My H can be sooo nice sometimes and then out of nowhere a mean nasty horrible person. I think this is what makes it so hard to stay sane with them. You fall in love with the good side and hate the ugly side. My H has drank himself to a point of no return health wise and sometimes I help him with things and other times he gets mad at me if I do. I feel mean if I don’t help with help with things,but don’t like being treated like— if I do. He is a master manipulater and making me help him when he does not want to do something then I get sucked into taking over and then he will all of a sudden get mad if I try and help. I am now working on only helping if he asks and letting him be more responsible for himself as he does not listen to what anybody tells him about his health and is on hospice so I need to relize I cannot save him only myself. The crazy moody road of this sickness. I am trying to focus on me and stop the insanity of worry and fear in my head as much as possible. It always seems like everything is supposed to be about him and I seem to have no exsistence in the world at all. It is hard to be strong and keep a level head with an active user. L

  • Pez

    Hi Julie Ann, It’s hard to tell how much an alcoholic drinks because they lie and minimize!! But from what I could tell from my X alcoholic boyfriend and a few times he was honest. A 24 pack of beer and then whiskey chasers at his worst with crazy lunatic rants from one end of the spectrum to the next to crying to blackout to peeing the bed passed out. On the light days a 12 pack of beer still with unbecoming behavior. I could not live with it and moved out after a year got my own apt. a place of peace and escape. He ended up threatning if I didn’t come back he would move on and he did!!! They want served, they want to control, and if they can’t they move on to someone they can do this with. I was always astounded too at how much the alcoholic could drink. I’m a sap at 2 or 3 : ) and I’m done! We are just caught up in the idea of love and maybe we can help this person, but reality eventually sets in of the severity of the addiction/disease and it’s hard to come to that realization. But we must.

  • Rick

    My wife is 5′ 2″ and weighs about 105. She would start drinking beer when she would start drinking about 4pm. After 3 or 4 beers she would open a bottle of wine large or small, and drink it all, since I’m not a wine drinker. Then after the wine was gone she would have two more beers. If the beer was gone, she would have a couple of strong vodka and tonics, ice tea sized. Go to bed, get up early and be fine to do everything she needed to do the next day. I never knew what an alcoholic was. I thought alcoholics were like homeless winos. I just though since her family all drank a lot and since she was Greek and German that must just be the way “they” are. In 20 years, I can’t remember her ever being hungover. She would get verbally abusive when drunk. Other times really sweet. I never knew which one of her was the real her. Did the alcohol give her the nerve to tell me what she was mad at me about. Or was that just the alcohol talking. It will make you crazy trying to figure it out.

  • Jule Allen

    WOW! Yeah, they can put away some alcohol! My AH was a heavy drinker until he got laid off right after the recession in 2009. He managed to get another job before he was laid off again a year later in 2011. He drank heavy with the stress of the first job and slowed down dramatically after a couple of domestic incidents. He figured out that I’m not affected by his verbal abuse and that I won’t put up with anything physical. I used to feel the cortisol coarsing through my veins when he got nasty while drunk. Now, I pray for him and sleep soundly. As most of you know the Jekyll and Hyde phenomena, my guy has his moments but he really tries to exercise control and he’s limited himself to about a six-pack in the evenings. On the weekends, he might drink more, but it’s still reasonable. Sometimes, I swear I’m not drinking around him anymore after a night where he was verbally crude. But for the most part, I love him sober and inebriated… he’s really a cool, creative, sexy and faithful guy. Flaws and all, he’s a keeper.

  • Debbi

    Great Question Jule:
    Here’s what my A drank but I tend to double it because I think he was able to drink at work when I could not tell:

    2-12 oz beers before I arrived home from work
    2-12 oz beers after dinner
    2-16 oz mixed drink with vodka or whiskey later in evening
    Saunter off to sleep–some blackouts of conversations with me before he would go to sleep (he could not remember what he did or said from 8 PM on)

    Double the above.

    Hoping other people respond to your great question!

  • Jule Allen

    Thank you so much, Debbi, Rick, Pez and Laura, for responding to my question. I do hope that others will respond. I would also like to know if any of you have changed your drinking habits as a result of the A’s behaviors or habits. Who is buying the alcohol in your home? Is most of the A’s income going to alcohol? See, I sometimes feel guilty buying alcohol and drinking with my AH. I worry that I’m keeping him in stasis where he won’t recognize and admit that his drinking may be a distraction from real issues in his heart and in his life. And I feel much like the spouse of a dieter would…I don’t want to swear off alcohol just because he’s an alcoholic. It’s a tough call… the balance between enabling and just plain living and loving.

  • sc

    Great article will have to look up his website.
    I wanted to add…I lived with my father for 13 years after he quit drinking. When I was 13 he started to blame and criticizes me (everything the A does) and this was 5 years after he quit drinking. It was not day in, day out but he still acted this way until he died.
    Emotionally Regressed…this is so true.
    I think the same thing that makes them become an alcoholic is the same thing that causes them to keep from developing into a mature adult. We ALL have to do it. My xah was physically abused as a child, my father was treated by his father the same way he treated me, I was mistreated by both and I am the only one that went to therapy, sat in coda groups and read everything I can get my hands on to be a better person. Why wouldn’t they want to do the same thing??? If they did not know how ugly that act, then why would they pretend like it never happened. Something has to be disconnected upstairs.
    I will never get close enough to an A to get caught up in their vortex. There is a reason why we all feel the same way…it is what it is.

  • Debbi

    My case is a little different in that I am now divorced from my A but during the marriage here’s how the alcohol in home was handled:
    1-I never bought any except for a special dinner for friends/family or a BBQ and when the event was over remaining alcohol was thrown out. That is also the only times I drank were special occasions and when we were out I was always the designated driver so I never drank.
    2-He bought/paid for all his alcohol, he made good money but hid his pay stubs from me and during divorce process I finally got to see how much he was making & thus hiding. Turns out he could not account for $37,000 of his income which I now know was going to alcohol, gambling & escort services. I in turn was working 2-3 jobs to cover household expenses (burns me up now when I think about it!)
    3-His drinking escalated to brewing his own beer as well and so the garage was always filled with empty’s & full’s in different process of the brewing stages.

    As a side note–I smoke cigarettes (trying to quit) but if anyone around me were trying to quit or on a diet I would abstain also or do the smoking or eating of restricted items away from that person as a courtesy. I would do this for anyone and I refrained from drinking around my A to set an example. They will follow what they see you do sometimes much better & quicker than if you point it out to them. Be a Good Example, but if things get bad, back off & if necessary separate until they stop.

  • Debbi

    I applaud you–you saw the problem & chose to do something about it with therapy and not continue the practice. Maybe it is a “male thing” that men more especially won’t consider therapy as quickly as women do, but either way–Great Job–You should be proud. I was told by a neurosurgeon who has been on the cover the American Medical Magazine 3 times–“drink one alcoholic drink per day for just 5 years & he can see the damage to your brain on an MRI but if you stop early enough and not continue for decades the damage is reversible” Scarey! My ex A drank almost daily from the age of 12 to current age of 58. Emotional regression he has is absolutely permanent damage to several areas of the brain that does that processing–so the neurosurgeon explained that even after they quit the behavior will continue when the damage is permanent & sometimes their personality even gets worse because now they can’t drink to cover up their feelings of guilt, shame, anger, etc. So you are right on the money!

  • Pez

    I did not drink around my ex alcoholic boyfriend only at Christmas or Thanksgiving a glass of wine maybe. It seems to not make any difference setting the example.we were together for 4 years. Now we’re not together he still drinking with his low life girlfriend. So now I am I in my own place and I have a glass of wine now and then if I please Yippi!!!

  • Amy

    Mine when drinking will drink a 5th of Coffee Brandy on a good day..on what I call a bad where before the end of the night the cops have made a trip here he will drink a half gallon of Brandy by himself…a sure sign disaster is going to hit is when he comes home and doesn’t come right inside but sits in the truck and blares the music, waking me and the kids up…he is on day 11 of being sober and attending a.a. meetings..he just left and to be honest I kind of like haveing time to just be alone and relax..I have seen this before so I am not getting my hopes up, i’ve done that in the past and the let down and resentment I felt were terrible…during the last 11 days I have watch him have withdrawls so bad..I thought I was going to have to call for an has not been pretty..I have watched (moods from hell)..he over reacts to the smallest things and gets ANGRY…I have watched his moods go from so happy and talking so fast I would swear he was on something…and if I hadnt been right by his side all day…I would of thought so without a doubt..and I have watched him sleep for over 14 hours get up for a couple of hours and be so exhausted he goes right back to sleep…for a nap of about 3 hours…but I have to tell you it is so nice despite it all not having to deal with the insanity of drinking for now…I feel like I am on a mini vacation…lol

  • karen

    Thanks JC for your response. On the fourth drunken day of my alcoholic partner leaving rehab he was arrested Friday morning for breach of his asbo and now in custody for two weeks on adjournment to see if his alcohol services can get him into another rehab more appropriate for him. Have not heard from him since the Friday morning he was sent down. I crashed the car yesterday into a bollard probably because my head is spinning with the disappointment and worry of it all. Have just come back from an AA meeting and attended Al-Anon last Thursday, Monday my counselling session and now on Wednesday I have been referred to a Woman’s Trust and also Thursdays I have started another Group connected to my counselling. My head is spinning with information that I don’t like, but I have to take it on board. I did not want to get out of bed today, pulled myself out eventually and got out of the flat to do a bit of shopping and a meeting. Feeling sad right now although I have made baby steps towards helping myself.

  • Pez

    Getting back to the subject. Sometimes I find the dividing line Between abusers and alcohol/substance abuse confusing as there is conflicting info on the subject. I am reading, “Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” by Lundy Bancroft. He claims that alcohol is not the root cause of abuse or abusers. That it is a deeply held root in the thinking of the man or a privileged/entitlement position basicly, that the world should revolve around them. It all has to do with control and domination. Then other articles say 70% of substance abusers are abusive and show a lot of the same characteristics. So is it the chicken or the egg? I have seen this in my X alcoholic BF. He thinks the world should revolve around him and his “pain” and my needs were minimized or pushed aside. He definitely felt entitled to drink to relieve his pain at the cost of me, his children, himself etc….He went to a girl who “Would accept” it and I was, in his eyes, crazy and a pain in the ass. I’ve read the same things about mental disorders. Some with mental disorders such as depression, Asbergers, or bi-polar disease have higher rates of alcoholism to self medicate, but the “experts” say these mental disorders don’t cause alcoholism. I really don’t think they know for sure the dinamics of it all. I know for a fact my XAB has alcoholism in his family and mental disorder so I wonder?

  • Debbi

    I struggle with those very same questions until I read a book by Doug Thornburn “Alcoholism Myths”. It was a real eye-opener & basically said in many studies he researched that when the alcohol is removed 80% or better of abusive personality and mental disorders go away. He has a website & 3 books that I purchased and have lent to several people already & they are amazed because it is just plain common sense–the alcohol changes their emotions and mental state. He backs it up with proof from doctors & years of research. He’s amazing in his indepth research. A Must Read! Amazon sells them & I think you will get quite a lot of information from them & his website.

  • Julie

    I agree that the alcohol does take a toll on the emotions and mental state. However, when i think back to when we first got married and even when we were dating and he was drinking but not as much, my xah was still controlling but the whole situtaion was insidious and it was like broken glass you get cut before you realize it is there. I was drawn into the relationship and held prisoner by my own unwillingness to believe the dream could not happen with him and by the confusion and blame he put on me. I kept trying harder and harder to please him but it only made him ask for me to give more even though he never gave of himself. I think that Lundy is correct though and the alcoholism is just another illenss not the underlying cause of the abuse. I found that whether or not he was drinking he was still controlling and selfish. But when he was drunk the abuse would get worse because all his inhibitions about consequences were out the door and he just did not care. Now i believe he is so far gone in his alcoholism that he is menatlly altered from it and it is causing more erratic behaviors. Still if he would embrace a higher power i believe he could stop it and turn around, but as he told me last night on the phone he will never give up drinking and has no reason to. Again it is my fault he has no job and no home of his own and that the kids do not want to see him. He does not care that he was so abusive the children are angry and hurt and scared. It is all about him and all about how i am to blame for everything. 🙁

  • Pez

    So. That would leave, between the 2 points of view. 6o-80% would get much better if they abstained from alcohol. But 20-30% may have underlying personality disorders or mental problems. That makes scence. I know from My X alcoholic boyfriend 1st marriage in which he was sober for the last 8 years of it, he was still controlling and full of anger that’s why the marriage ended, His X wife removed him from the home but wanted him to get counseling. He opted for divorce (he does not like boundries!). And a repeat with me get help or I’m gone–jumped to another woman. Adding the family history into the mix, I think he’s one of the hard cases and may never get well.

  • mace

    I have been through it this weekend.

    I had to go to court to finally rid myself of my ABF and now the police are looking for him for a domestic abuse compliant/restraining order, and the DUI, since he never appeared in court.

    No more black eyes! I finally got sick and tired of making excuses, and covering for him. The type of rough sex we had led me to file sexual assault charges, and submit to a rape test.

    So sick and tired, but he is still out there and has not been picked up so I’m staying close to home and looking over my shoulder.

    I thank god for this terrible experience, and look forward to putting this man in jail soon.


  • Pez

    That is just horrible Mase. I honestly still find it hard to grasp the cruelty of some alcoholics. It baffels me. I am glad mine did not get that far but, I feared it could so I left. I still watch my back because of threats of killing people when he got drunk. Always be safe. He is angry at the world!!! Peace

  • Amy

    How do you do this?..I just screwed up was my first day back to work and I just came home and he is drunk..arguing with me about a darn squirrel I rescued..said he is getting a dog..I got enraged.I said there isnt going to be a damn dog you dont help out in any way not cleaning up after a dog…it was all just to much at once to come home my feet killing him drunk and mad about a squirrel.he was suppose to get groceries and he didnt do ANYTHING..we just got into it bad I LET him push my buttons and I let him win…I actually got so mad I frigging smacked him…not even kidding..and I am not going to lie about it..Now he is sitting out on the truck in front of the house drinking and blaring the music…I just got to overwhelmed and didnt stop to see what he was trying to do…so I am the one who looks like the nut…ugh

  • Bill

    Amy, check out this article:

    It has helped me on several occasions to realize I just need to start over when I feel as though I’ve have messed up.

    This one is a good one as well:

    Hope this helps.

  • Pez

    Amy, Some can and some can’t “Detach” from the alcoholic. Some can do it most of the time and all variants in between. I couldn’t do it. You have to determine if you can or can’t, the level of damage it is doing to you, and what you will do about it.

  • Amy

    I am beginning the think the only solution to this is to leave…I cant take this vicious cycle anymore..their has got to be more to life than this

  • Jule Allen

    Amy, it sounds as if he’s heading nowhere fast. If you care about the guy but can’t take the alcohol-induced chaos, spend less time at home and give him no means to purchase alcohol. You may need to move out but you have to be willing to accept that he may end up homeless and mooching off vulnerable parents. If you’re stronger than they would be, you might consider surrounding yourself with friends and family who love you, getting involved at a gym, taking some aerobic exercise classes. These activities will help you detach in a healthy way, not in an angry resentful way. When you feel good about yourself and your life, you can take a lot more stress, whether it’s coming from spirited children, caring for elder parents or living with an alcoholic. They all produce equal amounts of stress. The levels only depend on how WE are feeling in that moment. Are we tired, hungry, or thirsty? You can bet your life we won’t take it well, no matter who dishes it out indirectly or directly.

    Debbi, I just Kindled the eBook, “Alcoholism Myths”. It’s only about $6.99 at Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it on my Galaxy Note! LOL I sound like a freaking advertisement, ha!

    Those of you who volunteered info on the drinking habits of your (ex)alcoholics, thank you. You help me keep my situation in perspective. My ABF does not drink as much because he’s felt the effects of excess on his health and he values his ability to be a ninja / martial art / kind of guy. When he’s had a few nights of hard liquor though, I’ve noticed tremors in his hands. Just this morning, I saw them again when he was showing me an article in a magazine. I pointed it out to him and told him that he probably needs to lay off the drinking for a couple of weeks to a month. He looked at me like, “What are you talking about?” He didn’t deny the tremors but suggested that it was attributable to nerve damage he may have sustained from a broken pinky. LOL I said, “Hun, both your hands are shaking.”

    What do you guys think? Can an alcoholic have tremors in the hands when they are NOT drinking abusively? He’s been drinking since the age of 15, he said. He’s gone through periods of control and periods of excess. For the past four years, it’s been tempered since he’s been with me. When I have to go out of town on business, it’s the only time he drinks as badly as many of you have described about your loved one. And I seldom go out of town.

  • sc

    Interesting article.
    Areas of the brain that are especially vulnerable to alcoholism–related damage are the cerebral cortex and subcortical areas such as the limbic system (important for feeling and expressing emotions), the thalamus (important for communication within the brain), the hypothalamus (which releases hormones in response to stress and other stimuli and is involved in basic behavioral and physiological functions), and the basal forebrain (the lower area of the front part of the brain, involved in learning and memory) (Oscar–Berman 2000). Another brain structure that has recently been implicated is the cerebellum (Sullivan 2000), situated at the base of the brain, which plays a role in posture and motor coordination and in learning simple tasks.
    Frontal Lobes of the Brain: What Functions Do They Control?

  • Jodi

    The alcoholic I was with was so ugly and mean to me. I finally left after being hurt so many times. The thing I don’t understand is why he never apologized. It was like he didn’t even care about the one person in his life who really loved him. I can’t remember one occasion when he said he was sorry for treating me like dirt. I am glad I moved out after living in that hell for a year. It’s true, you don’t really see the mean alcoholic inside when you first meet them. I suppose there were plenty of red flags. I can see them now that I look back on things. I guess that love is blind…He still tries to contact me once in a while. He was so mean to me that although I still have something in my heart for him, I know I could never get back together with him.

  • Jodi

    I was wondering if this is a normal pattern for most alcoholics to not feel remorseful for the mean things they do to us? He used to yell at me for the stupidest things that were not important at all. When he pushed me in an angry state one night, I decided that I couldn’t live with someone who was getting more and more abusive…so within a couple of weeks after he pushed me, I moved out. I know some people can stay in situations like that but I feel like I can do much better than that with a man. There are plenty of men who will treat me nice. It’s hard because I do still love him, but I honestly think I love me more!

  • Pez

    Interesting SC. And right below the article there was this “The Psychopathic Brain & Violent Behavior A recent study in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that frontal lobe abnormalities of those with APD may contribute to violent behavior”. I read and research a lot! It’s my therapy! The more I learn the more I am set free in understanding alcoholic (and other) behavioral problems. I am reading a book now “How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved” by Sandra L. Brown MA. She puts active alcoholics and drugs users on the DO NOT DATE LIST and includes them on the list of Pathology patients. I did not know but Pathological means that these traits that are learned, usually from youth are very rarely able to be made well, Basicly, a personality has been formed. So this explains dry drunk behavior if they get sober. They may need ongoing counseling for pathological problem or personality disorders they have engrained for years. She said even with counseling, the ability to change this behavior is low. You’ve all seen the behavior of pathology, Denial, lying, lack of empathy, Emotionally or physically violent etc…. I am looking at myself mostly in this book to find out why I would have chosen to continue dating an alcoholic and there are many answers I have found!

  • Debbi

    Jodi–same here 15 year marriage and not one apology until I demanded it and then he made a face like a child. They never hold themselves responsible. I too started the process to end the marriage when he started to shove me–I said that’s it, I’ll take my consequences but I will not tolerate physical abuse or infidelity & those 2 he did at the end. So it was time for me to exit. If it is any consolation though my girlfriend who had alcoholic parents told me that when they wake the next morning after their bad behavior (before they would take a drink) they do remember what they did (to a point) and start to feel some remorse but since they cannot handle that feeling of guilt they turn right back to the drink. So I do believe, even though we rarely get to see it, they do feel remorse but they certainly won’t show it because of that big ego!

    SC & Pez: Good recommend on the article & book. I think you two are becoming experts on the human brain–I know I have learned a lot through my ordeal. I was told by a surgeon that drugs affect a certain part of the brain only whereas alcohol has a “shotgun” effect and affects each differently as their body breaks down the alcohol. Keep those good articles coming!

  • Pez

    Ok, am reading another book that is an eye opener! Since Alcoholism in a lot of individuals we see: domestic violence (in some form or another), Lack of feelings for the participant, and addiction, I have read books on all three. Then not wanting to get into another situation like this I read the book in my last post about avoiding dangerous men. It amazes me that all three of these dangerous types of people exhibit the SAME characteristics!!! “Red Flags Of Love Fraud” by Donna Anderson is a must read! In one part of the book she claims alcoholism and sociopathy have the same genetic pathway.

    Warning signs of Sociopath:
    .Starts out quickly ends horribly
    .Without conscious or remorse
    .Unable to feel love (as we do)
    .Charisma and charm
    .Huge ego
    .Large sense of entitlement!
    .Lies and deception
    .Cyclical behavior (Jekyl & Hyde)
    .Abusive in some manner
    .Use people up

    And more if you read the book. Not saying all alcoholics are Sociopaths, but it seems a lot may be or are when using.

    Noting one chapter that applies to this thread. Trauma Bonds or Betrayal Bonds: “A psychological Phenomenon in which you actually feel attached to, loyal to, even addicted to, someone who has hurt you! In cases such as domestic violence, dysfunctional relationships, religious abuse, exploitation in the workplace, litigation, kidnapping, hostage situations, addictions, incest and child abuse.”

    I always wondered why I was so attached to My XA. In the past I lost interest and ending up not being able to stand a guy who was a jerk! Now I get it! Trauma plus time invested. It’s helping me see it for what it is and detach permanently. This info may help those still involved detach while still in the relationship.
    It’s just chemistry.

  • Debbi

    I can understand how that book enlightened you. I found the same things when I studied similar books but came to one conclusion–don’t know if they drink because of a disorder or the drinking caused the disorder but either way it is their problem and they are choosing to do nothing about it. I never see them pick up a book and try to correct a problem like the rest of us. & yes we do get emotionally attached to our family members when it involves this behavior. Completely understandable that we would do this. . .Because we care & that makes us Special & Good People, so I try not to be hard on myself for my behavior even if wrong sometimes. . . mine was done out of love.

  • Jule Allen

    We can read and study everything there is to know about alcoholism, or any condition for that matter, but the bottom line is that we were given a heart and we ARE souls who were made to love. God designed us to be interdependent. We can grow up with alcoholic parents, siblings, neighbors and lovers and they each will play a significant part in our lives that we could not avoid or escape. When we spend too much time analyzing why we’re hooked on a certain someone, or situation, the answer doesn’t lie in understanding them, but in knowing our own hearts. When we’re busy reading every book on the topic of alcoholism, were still obsessing over the person! Instead, read about how YOU can find fulfillment for YOUR soul, how you can put your talents to use to the benefit of others. We can’t change the fact that 100% of human beings are addicted, diseased, and dysfunctional – imperfect. Reading about them won’t help us avoid them. It SHOULD help us to love them that much more. It’s exactly what Christ commanded.

  • Pez

    well didn’t mean to offend anybody buy my publishing. researching does help me put all the pieces together. it helps me a lot. I don’t feel guilty about loving my alcoholic either. it just didn’t work. everybody heels differently and this is how I heal. it is just information do with it as you want.

  • Debbi

    Absolutely no offense taken by me–I too, still try to put the puzzle pieces together and read & study. You & I are enriching ourselves and learning. Never be ashamed of that. The very fact that we are here on this website is also an act of learning, using others experiences instead of books. I love your reading suggestions, please keep them coming. If as Jule says 100% of us are addicted, diseased, dysfunctional–I’d rather be this kind of dysfunctional than the other side ( the A’s). To change any behavior, first we must learn about it and I am not ashamed to read or be here on this website learning from others.
    “Every Man is My Superior In That I can Learn Something From Him” –Abraham Lincoln

  • Pez

    Lol. I’m addicted to cinnamon rolls! I want to read that book you sugested too.

  • Jule Allen

    Pez, I’m not criticizing you, but the trend in America for people to psychologize their way into selfishness and rationalize the rejection and abandonment of others. There is literature out there to rationalize every activity we want to engage in. We can pigeonhole, label, stigmatize, brand, categorize and stereotype others until we feel in control of everything but it doesn’t change the fact that God didn’t call us to avoid and reject people we brand as toxic, depressing, negative, bitter, etc. Labels make it convenient for us to treat groups of people the same and dismiss them with impunity if we’ve labeled them conveniently as sociopaths, narcissists, toxic, BPD, bipolar, and on and on. The need to feel in control is driving us out of control. Again, nothing personal against you. But knowledge, like horoscopes, can be abused and misused. We should follow our God-lead hearts, not psychology handbooks. Psychology is not a science, by the way. It’s practiced through trial and error, and is therefore fraught with misdiagnosis and maltreatment.

  • Bill

    Jule, it sounds like you have a good handle on how to love people without conditions. I wanted to address your question about how much the alcoholic drinks.

    In my experience, one of the alcoholics I was with was very good at regulating when they drank and how much. They would only get hammered when they knew they would not be in danger of hurting themselves or other people. They were a pretty good functioning alcoholic.

    In JC’s testimony (found here:, he mentions how much he obsessed over alcohol and planned when to fit it into his day.

    I’ve been in many AA meetings and have heard countless accounts of people regulating their drinking patterns to accommodate the situations they were coping with on a daily basis.

  • Pez

    Well, like I said. Take it or leave it. Take part, take none, or take it all. Each individual can discipher what is for them or not. Love yes, abuse no. I don’t feel anyone should put up with abuse to the point of psychological distress and destruction. If you sit in on ANY hearing be it, a sermon, lecture, a TLC show. You take what speaks to you and leave the rest. That’s being a grown up. If you don’t agree, that is your right.

  • Bill

    Pez and Jule, I think that it’s so important for us to love ourselves. One of my biggest problems used to be that I was constantly looking to the alcoholic for love that she just couldn’t give. I wanted her to validate me, appreciate me and treat me kindly.

    It was a very sick dance we used to do. She would reject and hurt me. Then she would feel guilty for treating me like crap and then make up with me by having sex with me. This usually occurred when she would stay out late and come home drunk. She would climb in bed and wake me with physical arousal. It was almost like she was apologizing to me for treating me like dirt. Me being a man, I rarely rejected her offerings.

    Anyway, my point is that once the relationship ended, I took some serious time for working on myself. I no longer look to anyone except God for love. I love myself and know that God loves me.

    I do think that it’s important for me to study about how relationships affect me. In doing so, hopefully I will find a healthier person to be with. I know one thing for sure, I know what an alcoholic looks like, acts like, smells like and most of their deceptive tricks. In possessing this knowledge, hopefully I will not get deeply involved in another abusive relationship with a problem drinker.

  • Amy

    Tonight has been rough…it has also been my breaking point..I came home today and my boyfriend as he always does like twice a week try to kick me and my son out..he started packing my stuff after I worked all day…to make a long story short..he threatened to slit my tires..held me so tight in the car as I tried to get away I had to bite him to protect myself. He got in my sons face and pushed him and pushed me. I punched him when he pushed my son. I told my son to call 911 and my boyfriend ripped the phone off the wall. My son tried to get out and he pushed him and kept trying to keep him from getting out. My son went to the neighbors and long story short we made out statements and he is in jail. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF HIS CRAP EVERYDAY. So here is where I am worried the cops said that he will remain in jail for 24 hours or more and that even though the house is legally his he cannot just kick us out. I hope this is true and they are going to try to make it so he cant come here and he cant come near us. Anyone out there have any advice or who has been through this. I need some help/advice, something. I am so upset, confused embarrassed that the whole neighborhood knows what has happened I just want to crawl in a hole…I had to call into work tomorrow. I’m so scared seeing this is his house he can and will come here and I will end up being kicked out…this is a NIGHTMARE…I don’t even know what to do right now..CRY!!

  • Tracy

    Hi Amy,

    Do you have somewhere else to live? If so Run for you’re life and never look back, it does not get any better believe me I was with my AH for 25 years it gets worse. Think of you’re son PLEASE. No one has the right to abuse you period. It is easy for everyone to say I know, I have been away for 6 months. I’ve lost my home etc but I have peace my son has peace he loves his dad but no more madness for us. I lost my daughter because my AH manipulated her for 19 years showering he with gift, money the fun parent I was strict moaning parent etc. My daughter has lived with him for 6 months she is now responding to my texts. My AH is using her to get to me I now can see this my daughter can’t she is very angry with me, you are effected with the madness of being in a A relationship so will you’re son be. You owe yourself and your son love, respect and safety. I hope and pray you find a safe place for you and you’re son.

    Tracy x

  • Jule

    Amy, only you know your limit. Your ego wants to stand up to him, stay in your home, let him know how wrong he is and beg you to let him come home. That only happens in the movies and with true abusers. For you, the answer lies in obtaining a temporary restraining order so that you can find another place to liveand move out. Both of you are responsible for the situation. Do the healthy and good thing and move out IF this is a reoccurring event. You are engaging each other and neither is capable of baking down or walking away before the chaos starts or escalates. Having a teen son who is trying to learn how to be a man and wanting to protect his mother is a dangerous situation to remain in. If he’s not a fighter, he can be seriously injured. You take responsibility and act. It can’t get any clearer than that. Or, you could stay and clean the house and apologize to him for your part in the fight and hope the next time you won’t be so quick to react to his crazy accusations and criticisms.

  • I sure would like to hear from husbands with AW’s and young children.

  • Jule

    Rick, I personally know two husbands with AWs and young children. The story is the same. .. emotional abandonment, coming home whenever they want to… adultery…lies… arguments… apathy… what would you want to hear them say?

  • Amy

    No actually my ego doesnt want too…I went today and got a temporary restraint against him and he is not allowed on the property for 3 weeks after they release him from jail..Even after that I can still stay.I choose to leave..I want to leave..I just cannot pack over a years worth or belonging and my life up in one night like he expects us to when he is drunk the whole time hollering and dictating what I can and cannot take when they are my own belonging and items I purchased,and when he is sober it is not any better…I have found a place to stay and I have been packing what I least now I can do it peacefully instead of trying to do it when he is here in the middle of what would be complete chaos..He will never beg to come home what he will do is violate the restaining order when he gets out and attempt to do something ..I know he will.the situation is so bad and this being a small town the cops just came and did a check on us because his mother is as dysfunctional as he is and cannot be trusted the cop was actually headed to her house to collect any fire arms and to tell her she is to stay away from me as well.he hates me for finally standing up too him and I do not care.I cannot take another day living like this..I dont even know who I am anymore..this is not living life is a nightmare..I live daily with constant fear, anxiety,I dont sleep at night and most nights cannot as he is drunk and wont be quiet so anyone can sleep..this is a really bad situation and finally for me I can get out and move on with my life..I use to paint, run, do so may things..I dont do anything anymore how could you when you wake up everyday being exhausted from him literally keeping me up all night and all day at work for the last year I have been angry, irritable and a bundle of anxiety and nerves never knowing what I was coming home to and just praying he would be passed out before I got home..I actually feel a sense of relief tonight that all this is finally coming to an end

  • Jule

    Amy, I was in your shoes last year in April. I know exactly what you’re going through, and all his “friends” are convinced that you are the b—ch and the one who caused all this and the one who needs to hurry up and get out of his house overnight do as not to keep the man out of his own house. Yes, I know full well what you’re feeling, especially the alienation, isolation, the witch hunt, the feeling the weight of other people’s judgment. But rest in the knowledge that HE is the addict. You’ve read enough and heard enough about alcoholics. Don’t let the community trouble you. Remember that he’s been painting a rosy picture of himself for a long time and portraying you as a psycho b—ch to anyone who’ll listen. And yes, the ones who know that he’s an alcoholic will not come to your aid or defense for fear of his anger. For some reason, many alcoholics are charming and personable to everyone but the one they ought to cherish. So expect to go through this alone, but you have us here to support you and see you through. I’ll be praying for you.

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