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.

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162 comments to Does An Alcoholic Care About Who They Hurt

  • Laurie

    Shelly I would suggest you educate yourself on alcoholism. Alcoholism is not a choice. It may have started with a choice that lead to a disease when they could no longer control their intake. Drinkers do have feelings. They are human not robots.
    You stopped drinking because you were sick and tired of something. Being an alcoholic and understanding it for what it is are 2 very different things

  • SC

    Like a friend of mine says.
    Can’t turns into won’t.

  • terry

    When my alcoholic boyfriend drinks it upsets me to the point of madness. I’m mean ,and say things that are cruel. I’m not a mean person. I really have a big heart I just don’t know how to handle this. I’ve tried so hard to get him to go to meetings even just one a week. He says there no fun. On his days off he drinks up to 2 pints or more. I get so tired of coming home from work just to fight with something that just isn’t there mentality. Am I the only one that can’t handle this? Can anybody handle it? I want to leave but the outcome would not end well. I’m afraid he would end up dead so I feel trapped.

  • Laurie

    Terry, we can not prevent death if it is going to happen, it is going to happen thinking that we can some how save people from death is an irrational thought. People learn to cope with it by seeking support thru Al-Anon. Read some JC’s Article on Detaching with love or google it. Id also suggest reading about setting personal boundaries, how to stop enabling and codependency. You can find an Al-Anon meeting here –

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