Blaming Others for Their Problems


One of the behavior patterns of an addict is blaming others. Alcoholics are not exempt from this character defect. It’s not until people get into recovery that they begin to grasp what it means to take responsibility for their own behaviors.

Why do people with addictions do things such as judge and criticize others?

Basically, someone who is struggling with an addiction has a very difficult time looking at the real person on the inside. It’s easier to point the fingers at everything and anybody who can take the blame rather than them having to.

What accompanies the blame game that the alcoholic doesn’t really realize they are playing with family and friends?

Alcoholic Pointing FingerWell, generally there is anger that goes along with the alcoholic who is blaming others for their problems. They will get mad at the power company for turning off their power and say that they are unjust, even though the electric company gave them a one month grace period. They will blame their spouse for the pool being filled with green algae because they did not have any money to purchase chlorine. Yet, every day they were able to purchase two packs of smokes and a twelve pack of beer.

It’s not an uncommon thing for them to imply that they told someone a particular thing when they never did, just to get themselves off of the hook.

Deep down inside they really don’t want to be the way that they are, but the power that the alcohol has over their lives greatly affects their behavior. They will even blame the outcome of things to be related to the alcohol that they consume. This may be very true, but using alcohol as an excuse is not ever acceptable behavior.

How to deal with an alcoholic who is constantly blaming others for their problems

I would highly suggest that the phrase “I’m sorry you feel that way” become a part of your daily lifestyle when you are conversing with an addict who is constantly blaming everything on others. If the blame is directed toward you, this phrase is a mighty tool to deflect things right off of you when they do this. You will find several other phrases here: Communicating With An Alcoholic.

By saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” it keeps us from reacting to the lies that they throw at us. If they are blaming us for the pool being green with algae, instead of us defending ourselves and pointing the finger at them, by saying: “well, if you didn’t spend all of your money on beer…”, we put an end to the thing immediately by communicating more strategically.

When we react to the blame game, then there is just too much room for an argument. Trust me, things will be a lot quieter around the house if we do not confront the lies that accompany the blame they hurl upon us. This is all apart of learning how to handle an alcoholic.

It’s a rare thing for addicts or alcoholics to take responsibility for the things that they are personally doing wrong. They feel so bad about themselves already because they drink all the time that somehow blaming others for all of their problems helps them to feel OK about themselves. The best thing that can be done, if you are coping with someone who is constantly blaming others for things, is to adapt my favorite saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

I


341 comments to Alcoholics Blaming Others for Their Problems

  • Susan

    I read these stories and so many familiarities I see and hear and my wonderful husband turned to alcohol as well and it has ruined our wonderful family. It is always good to see you are not alone in this disease yes ? But their are many diseases and choices within all of them. If you have Cancer you seek help ? If you have a heart attack you seek help, if you are an alcoholic you have enough times we all close to them see of clarity to get help as well so living in it for 10 years now I see many many opportunities for him to get help so I don’t buy this label of disease that makes us all feel like OH

  • Patricia, I too am going through the same thing the only difference is it is my boyfriend of 3 years also my long time best friend and I have my own children not with him. I understand your pain leaving and going and having worrying about the AH while they are gone and detoxing in program calling me so much but when he is drinking not calling at leaving me stressed out not knowing what’s what. I am tired as well I don’t know why I am been in this relationship with this person so long I ask myself everyday. I don’t like the arguing and the way he makes me feel and blames everything on me. Well here’s Some pointers I have learned with communicating with an AH just listen and not argue back no point say “Sorry that you feel that way” and this seems to work a little or go into another space. We all are in this together I am trying to get stronger for myself and not be and enabler and give tough love as well it is ok even when you think its not to give tough love. Take care of you and the your baby We do not deserve this God will see us through! God bless Take Care!

  • Linda

    Dear particia
    #1 They live in denial its easier. Its easier to blame someone else or get new enabler.This disease destory’s. Families, My son,s don’t speak to me. I left my 35 year marriage because of abuse phyical, emotional, . I am treated like a outsider in my own home.. it became more important to deceive his wife.. Its know way to live. Find yourself. The A ego is most important to them,they are. Running from the truth….

  • Alcoholics are in denial. They have a disease that tells them they dont have a disease. Seek support through Al-Anon to gain knowledge and tools to help you. There is no known cure for alcoholism or addiction. There is a solution. The solution is putting yourself first. Looking at our part in the problem, our reactions. Chrck out Codependency.

  • Is this love?
    Emotional infidelity – constantly checks young women out and flirts with them (he is turning 48 year’s old), then denies it. Had an emotional affair with a women with questionable behaviors. Allowed a women from his past to message him for about 8 months, saying loving things to him then told me, “at least she says nice things to me”. Told me that there are women out there who are way prettier than I am. Said if he was single, he would date a slutty women. Although I am tall, fit and attractive, told me that he prefers tall women and that if I were to get into a car accident and die, he would look for a nice, tall women.
    He denies that he said most of this stuff to me. He does admit to a couple things like the car accident and preferring tall women.
    Emotional abuse and abandonment – moved my kid’s and I to a remote area, about 100 miles from his job, 9 year’s ago. And then stayed in a room (at his work) or his travel trailer up to 5 nights a week while we struggled to adjust to isolation and lonliness. Was extremely emotionally abusive to my son for a long period of time. Moved out over a week ago and left my daughter and I to clean his stuff out of the garage and shed.
    Alcoholic – has been getting constantly drunk on a regular basis for probably 11 years now. Lately, has been raging and has been having threatening bully-like behavior, getting in my face and screaming at the top of his lungs and breaking things. Is leaving “me” because I won’t be his drinking buddy anymore (hate alcohol! Makes me sick.), won’t continue to live in isolation anymore and refuse to accept his emotional infidelity. My daughter and I planning on moving close to my son.
    Now he is transferring his affections to my daughter. Is texting her pretty regularly and wants to take her “shopping”. Ignored her and expected for her to fend for herself for college and a car although she was struggling, up until recently.
    My daughter is 17 year’s old and is impressionable. I don’t want my daughter to associate love with buying her, especially because he really hasn’T been there for her. That is what my husband did to me, bought my love…is this love?

  • Mary

    ALCOHOLICS DO NOT LOVE (with all due respect I am not saying they are unhuman) but let’s be honest, they have a DISEASE, their love is didfferent than most, and that is what the crux of the disease does. It is built on self doubt, insecurities, selfishness, anger, arrogance, narcissim and so much more. The hardest thing for those surrounded by A’s AH’s are we don’t understand their minds, their needs, their rationalizations and justifications What we do, is we engage (whether right or wrong) it continues to cause the merry go round affect. As I stated, you can stay silent or even respond or try and justify (especially when they are verbally abusive and or blaming you for EVERYTHING they do and their actions) it’s just a constantly roller coaster and yes WE are guilty (to a point) none of us were RAISED on how to deal with an A, none of us are professionals, but the more you learn, go to Alanon and therapy (with people trained specifically on this disease) the more you will realize WE ARE NOT unique, we all follow the same pattern our stories are different and yes some worse than others. But know, it’s NOT ABOUT US, the A will always find a way to justify, manipulate and basically throw you or ANYONE under the bus to preserve their truth, their deciet and their lies. And yes, I agree, whether you stay with your A or AH, they will find another enabler they will continue to live in this horrific life (and yes, I do feel sorry for them) but I can’t rationalize how A’s think they are actually human and can act the way they act. In all my years alive, I have never ever endured this kind of emotional and physical encounters in my life (although I do take my responsibilities and my own actions and how i’ve handled situations, but then again, its call suriving and standing up for oneself) but then it just puts me right back into the merry go round. Remember this isn’t about us, but if you get to the point where you start to question yourself or think that this is about ourselves – STOP and focus on you and only you.

  • Susie

    Here’s my advice to y’all. What other people think of you is now of your business. Stay out of the alcoholic’s business and focus on what works for you. There’s my business, your business, and none of my business. Stop trying to figure out your AH’s behavior, you’ll just wear yourself out. Oh, and remember, every time an alcoholic opens his mouth, it’s a lie.

    I learned all this and much more in Al-Anon. This is a serious disease. STOP trying to fix him. He’ll use your behavior as an excuse to drink and cheat more. LEAVE THE SICK ALONE OR THEY WILL DIE.

  • Susie

    Oops, I meant, “what other people think of me is none of my business” :)

  • I didnt cause it
    I cant control it
    I cant cure it.

    We can not control or fix others, we can only control and fix ourselves. You are nit responsible for your alcoholic lived one, we are only responsible for ourselves. The cycles your living in will not change.
    Insanity doing the same thing time after time getting the same results but still continuing in the hope it will change.. how nuts does that sound?
    Please go check out your local Al-Anon meeting.
    Twist the focus to yourself instead of focusing on the alcoholic that is already focusing on themself..
    We are not their mother..

    Get Off The Floor, Your Not A Doormat!!!!

  • Oh on another note. Whoever said alcoholics dont love.. is misunderstanding the disease of alcoholism. Even reading everything on this site will tell you this – the alcoholic does love you but due to the behavior of the disease of alcoholism he/she are incapable of showing love.
    With all of these comments Take what you need and leave the rest. Some have a poor understanding of the behavior of alcoholism.

  • Susie

    yes, yes Laurie. Every one GO GO to Al-Anon… and while living with your A “Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t sav it mean.” :)

  • IF you love me let me fall all by myself.

    Don’t try to spread a net out to catch me, don’t throw a pillow under my ass to cushion the pain so I don’t have to feel it, don’t stand in the place I am going to land so that you can break the fall, (allowing yourself to get hurt instead of me).

     

    Let me fall as far down as my addiction is going to take me, let me walk the valley alone all by myself, let me reach the bottom of the pit….trust that there is a bottom there somewhere even if you can’t see it.

     

    The sooner you stop saving me from myself, stop rescuing me, trying to fix my broken-ness, trying to understand me to a fault, enabling me…..The sooner you allow me to feel the loss and consequences, the burden of my addiction on my shoulders and not yours….the sooner I will arrive….and on time….just right where I need to be…me, alone all by myself in the rubble of the lifestyle I lead…resist the urge to pull me out because that will only put me back at square one.

     

    If I am allowed to stay at the bottom and live there for awhile, I am free to get sick of it on my own, free to begin to want out, free to look for a way out, and free to plan how I will climb back up to the top.

    In the beginning as I start to climb out….I just might slide back down, but don’t worry I might have to hit bottom a couple more times before I make it out safe and sound. Don’t you see?? Don’t you know?? You can’t do this for me…I have to do it for myself, but if you are always breaking the fall how am I ever supposed to feel the pain that is part of the driving force to want to get well. It is my burden to carry, not yours.

    I know you love me and that you mean well and a lot of what you do is because you don’t know what to do and you act from your heart and from knowledge of what is best for me….but if you truly love me, let me go my own way, make my own choices be they bad or good. Don’t clip my wings before I can learn to fly….nudge me out of your safety net….trust the process and pray for me…..that one day I will not only fly, but maybe even soar

  • Susie Something from 1 alanoner to another.

    How is your garden growing?

    WHAT TO PLANT IN YOUR RECOVERY GARDEN OF DAILY LIVING:

    PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:

    1. Peace of mind. 
    2. Peace of heart. 
    3. Peace of soul.

    PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:

    1. Squash gossip. 
    2. Squash indifference. 
    3. Squash grumbling. 
    4. Squash selfishness.

    PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:

    1. Lettuce be faithful. 
    2. Lettuce be kind. 
    3. Lettuce be patient. 
    4. Lettuce really love one another.

    NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:

    1. Turnip for meetings. 
    2. Turnip for service. 
    3. Turnip to help one another.

    TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:

    1. Thyme for each other. 
    2. Thyme for family. 
    3. Thyme for friends.

    WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MORE FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!

  • Sally

    While it’s all well and good to try to figure out a drunk, the bottom line is: When it came down to a choice of living a life his way or mine, I chose mine. After more than 3 years, I still don’t regret my choice. Still love him, haven’t seen or heard from him in all that time and I’m ok with it. I don’t choose to live like that ever again. My life is better without him in it.

  • Susie

    Laurie,
    Thanks for the gardening tips. I will share them at my next meeting! :)

  • Susie

    Awesome Laurie!I love your “If You Love Me Let Me Fall By Myself” Words of wisdom for us prone to enabling!

  • If you wish to find me and gain more info or support on how to be happy whilst living with an
    Alcoholic you will find me in my own group via facebook.. im here for the solution no dancing round any bushes.

    https://facebook.com/groups/1465669363689177
    closed friendly welcoming group. No one can see your posts and no one can see your a member either. If you want help. You have to reach out.
    Do something for you today.

    Susie i have lots of this stuff in my group. Im all for recovery!!!

  • Sharon

    Laurie, I love your story, “If you love me let me fall by myself”.
    I’ve been in Alanon for about 7 months now and am attending group meetings 3 times a week and have just picked up two AA meetings twice weekly to work to develop some understanding of my husband’s alcohol addiction.
    He left over a week ago. Couldn’t stand his lies and his volital behavior anymore-very difficult time for me to grasp all of what is going on. I have had many highs and lows over these past 12 day’s since he left but today is a better day for me.
    I do have to admit that my AH has been trying so hard for me lately, in some ways but he still hasn’t let go of the alcohol or the denial.
    Good thing is that he attended an AA meeting a week ago. Hopefully, he will go tonight.
    I do love him dearly and would like to work things out. My issue for me is that I have developed serious trust and jealousy issues because of his womanizing behavior. I just can’t seem to get over and beyond it. But as I commented earlier, he denied that he did those behaviors and yet I watched him do it several times!!!
    He is planning on divorcing me because of “my” issues.
    I can see where the insanity comes in. Lol

  • From Al-Anon part of the newcomers pack

    wife and husband, father mother son are interchangeable as anyone can be the alcoholic

     

     

    ALCOHOLISM

     

    Alcoholism: A Merry-Go-Round named Denial

     

    Alcoholism is a tragic three-act play in which there are at least four characters, the drinker and his family; friends, co-workers and even counselors may have a part in keeping the Merry-Go-Round turning. Alcoholism rarely appears in one person set apart from others; it seldom continues in isolation from others.

     

    One person drinks too much and gets drunk and others react to his drinking and its consequences. The drinker responds to this reaction and drinks again. This sets up a Merry-Go-Round of blame and denial, a downward spiral that characterizes alcoholism. Therefore, to understand alcoholism, we must look not at the alcoholic alone but view the illness as if we were sitting in the audience watching a play and observing carefully the roles of all the actors in the drama.

     

    As the play opens we see the alcoholic as the star of the first act. He does all the acting: others react to what he does. A male between the ages of 30 and 55, he is usually smart, skillful, and often successful in his work; but his goal may be far above his ability. We see that he is sensitive, lonely and tense. He is also immature in a way that produces a real dependence. However, he may act in an independent way in order to deny this fact. He also denies he is responsible for the results of his behavior. From this dependency and denial comes the name of the play – A Merry-Go-Round Named Denial. For him to act in this way, others must make it possible. That is why we must observe carefully what each actor does in the play.

     

    The alcoholic has learned that the use of alcohol makes him feel better. To him, it is a blessing, not a curse, his medicine, not a poison. For a few hours it floats away his troubles; it melts away his fears, reduces his tension, removes his loneliness and solves all his problems.

     

     

    ACT I

     

    The play opens with the alcoholic stating that no one can tell him what to do; he tells them. This makes it very difficult for the family to talk about drinking and its results. Even when the drinking is obviously causing serious problems, he simply will not discuss them. Talking is like a one-way street. No one seems to hear what the others are saying. On both sides, people say one thing yet do another.

     

    This is why it is necessary to see the play to understand alcoholism. To observe the alcoholic alone, to read a scientific description of the illness, or to listen to the family’s tales of woe, is only a small part of the drama.

     

    The key work in alcoholism is “Denial”, for again and again people do what they say they will not or deny what they have done. If we could watch the play on TV and turn off the sound, we would understand much better what was really happening.

     

    Early In the first act the alcoholic needs a drink, so he takes one. He drinks hard and fast, not slow and easy. He may drink openly; but more likely he will conceal the amount he drinks by drinking off-stage and not in the presence of other actors in the play. This is the first part of the denial: hiding the amount he drinks. But it proves to us that he knows he is drinking too much. He drinks more than others, more often than others and, above all, it means far more to him than to others.

     

    Drinking too much, too often, is not a matter of choice. It is the first sign of alcoholism. Repeated denial, by hiding the bottle and drinking alone, reveals how important alcohol has become in helping the alcoholic feel better. After one or two drinks he cannot stop.

     

    After a few more we see a profound change in the alcoholic. He reveals a sense of success, well being and self-sufficiency. He is on top of the world, and may act as if he were a little god. Now he’s right and everybody else is wrong. This is very likely to happen if someone objects to his drinking.

     

    There is no one way all alcoholics act while intoxicated; but they are not rational or sensible, they are not responsible. They are apt to ignore the rules of social conduct, sometimes even to a criminally degree, of which driving under the influence is a clear example. If a sober person acted this way, we would consider him insane.

     

    If drinking continues long enough, the alcoholic creates a crisis, gets into troubl4, ends up in a mess. This can happen in many ways, but the pattern is always the same: he is a dependent who behaves as if he were independent, and drinking makes it easy to convince himself this is true. Yet the results of his drinking make him ever more dependent upon others. When his self-created crisis strikes, he waits for something to happen, ignores it, walks away from it, or cries for someone to get him out of it. Alcohol, which at first gave him a sense of success and independence, has now stripped him of his mask and reveals him a helpless, dependent child.

     

     

    ACT II

     

    In act two the alcoholic does nothing but wait for and expect others to do for him. Three others in the play act out their roles and the alcoholic benefits from what they do. He does little or nothing; everything is done for him in the second act.

     

     

    THE ENABLER

     

    The first person to appear is one we might call the Enabler, a “helpful” Mr. Clean who may be impelled, by this own anxiety and guilt, to rescue his friend the alcoholic from his predicament. He wants to save the alcoholic from the immediate crisis and relieve him of the unbearable tension created by the situation.

     

    In reality, this person may be meeting a need of his own, rather than that of the alcoholic, although he does not realize this himself. The Enabler may be a male outside the family, perhaps a relative; occasionally a woman plays this role.

     

    It is also played by the so-called “helping professions” – clergymen, doctors, lawyers, social workers. Many have had little, if any, of the scientific instruction alcohol and alcoholism which is essential in such specialized counseling. Lacking this knowledge, they handle the situation in the same manner as the non-professional Enabler. This denies the alcoholic the process of learning by correcting his own mistakes, and conditions him to believe there will always be a protector who will come to his rescue, even though the Enablers insist they will never again rescue him. They always have and the alcoholic believes they always will. Such rescue operations can be just as compulsive as drinking.

     

     

    THE VICTIM

     

    The next character to come on stage may be called the Victim.

     

    This may be the boss, the employer, the foreman or supervisor, the commanding officer in the military life, a business partner or, at times, a fellow employee. The Victim is the person who is responsible for getting the work done, if the alcoholic is absent due to drinking or is half on and half off the job due to a hangover. Statistics in industry show that by the time drinking interferes with a man’s job, he may have been working for the same company for ten or fifteen years, and the boss has become a very real friend. Protection of the man is a perfectly normal response; there is always the hope that this will be the last time. The alcoholic has become completely dependent on this repeated protection; and cover-up by the Victim; otherwise he could not continue drinking in this fashion. He would be compelled to give up drinking or give up the job. It is the Victim who enables the alcoholic to continue his irresponsible drinking without losing his job.

     

     

    THE PROVOKER

     

    The third character in this act is the key person in the play, the spouse or parent of the alcoholic, the person with whom the alcoholic lives. This is usually the wife or mother. She is a veteran at this role and has played it much longer than others in the act. She is the Provoker. She is hurt and upset by repeated drinking episodes; but she holds the family together despite all the trouble caused by drinking.

     

    In turn, she feeds back into the marriage her bitterness, resentment, fear and hurt, and so becomes the source of provocation. She controls, she tries to force the changes she wants; she sacrifices, adjusts, never gives up, but never forgets. The attitude of the alcoholic is that his failure should be acceptable, but she must never fail him!! He acts with complete independence and insists he will do as he pleases, and he expects her to do exactly what he tells her to do or not to do. She must be at home when he arrives, if he arrives.

     

    This character might also be called the Adjuster; she is constantly adjusting to the crises and trouble caused by drinking. The alcoholic blames her for everything that goes wrong with the home and the marriage; she tries everything possible to make her marriage work to prove he is wrong. She is wife and housekeeper and may, in addition, feel compelled to earn part of the bread. Living with a man whose illness is alcoholism, she attempts to be the nurse, doctor and counselor. She cannot play these three roles without hurting herself and her husband. She is so upset that she cannot talk to her husband without adding more guilt, bitterness, resentment or hostility to the situation, which is already almost unbearable. Yet the customs of our society train and condition the wife to play this role. If she does not, she finds herself going against what family and society regard as the wife’s role. No matter what the alcoholic does, he ends up “at home’: this is where everyone goes when there is no other place to go.

     

    Act two is now played out in full. The alcoholic in his helpless condition has been rescued, put back on the job, and restored as a member of the family. This clothes him in the costume of a responsible adult. As everything was done for him and not by him, his dependency is increased, and he remains a child in an adult suit. The results, effects and problems caused by drinking have been removed by others. They have cleaned up the entire mess made by the alcoholic. The painful results of the drinking were suffered by persons other than the drinker. This permits him to continue drinking as a way to solve his problems. In Act One the alcoholic killed all his pain and woe by getting drunk; in Act Two the trouble and painful results of drinking are removed by other people. This convinces the alcoholic that he can go on behaving in this irresponsible way.

     

     

    ACT III

     

    Act Three begins in much the same manner as Act One, but something has been added by the first and second acts. The need to deny his dependence is now greater and must be expressed almost at once, and even more emphatically. The alcoholic denies he has a drinking problem, denies he is an alcoholic, denies that alcohol is causing him trouble.

     

    He refuses to acknowledge that anyone helped him- more denial. He denies he may lose his job and insists that he is the best or most skilled person at his job. Above all, he denies he has caused his family any trouble. In fact he blames his family, especially the wife, for all the fuss, nagging and problems. He may even insist that his wife is crazy, that she needs to see a psychiatrist. As the illness and conflict get worse, the husband often accuses his wife of being unfaithful, having affairs with other men, although he has no reasons for these accusations.

     

    Some alcoholics achieve the same denial by a stony silence, refusing to discuss anything related to drinking. The memory is too painful. Others permit the family to discuss what they did wrong and what they failed to do, whether drunk or sober. The wife never forgets what her husband does.

     

    The husband may not remember what he did while intoxicated but he never forgets what his wife tells him he did or failed to do.

     

    The real problem is that the alcoholic is well aware of the truth which he so strongly denies. He is aware of his drunkenness. He is aware of his failure. His guilt and remorse have become unbearable; he cannot tolerate criticism or advice from others. Above all, the memory of his utter helplessness and failure at the end of the first act is more than embarrassing; it is far too painful for a person who thinks and acts as if he were a little god in his own world.

     

    In time the family adjusts to their way of living together. The alcoholic may deny he will drink again and others in the play may vow never again to help him. The Enabler says he will never again come to the rescue. The Victim will not allow another job failure due to drinking. The Provoker, whether wife or mother, tells the alcoholic they cannot live together under these conditions.

     

    What is said is completely different from what everyone has done and will do again. The Enabler, the Victim and the Provoker have said this before but did not carry it out. The result is that the alcoholic’s sense of guilt and failure increased, his god-like assurance that he can always do as he pleases is challenged – and all this adds to his heavy burden of tension and loneliness. If this mental pain is made unbearable, especially by the changed attitudes and actions of other members of the cast, there can be only one sure way for him to remove his pain, overcome his guilt and sense of failure, and recover a sense of worth and value. However if Act Two is played out as described, it is inescapable that in Act Three the alcoholic will drink again. This is his one sure means of relieving all pain, solving all problems and achieving a sense of being all right. The memory of the immediate comfort and benefits of drinking blot out the knowledge of what will happen if he drinks. Also, always in the back of his mind is the hope that this time he can control it and get the great benefits he once did from drinking. So, what seems absolutely necessary to the alcoholic occurs – he begins to drink again.

     

    When he takes the drink, the play does not come to an end. The curtain closes at the end of Act One and Act Two, but in Act Three the play suddenly returns to the first act without closing the curtain. It is like watching a three-reel movie, which continues to run without stopping at any point. If the persons in the audience of the play remain seated long enough, and the first two acts are played out as described, all three acts will be played over and over again; and at the end of Act Three, the alcoholic will drink again. As years go by the actors get older, but there is little change in the words or the action of the play.

     

    If the first two acts are played as described, that Act Three will follow in the same way. If Act One had not occurred, we would not have had the beginning of a play about alcoholism and the drama surrounding it. This makes Act Two the only one in which the tragic drama of alcoholism can be changed, the only Act which recovery can be initiated by the decisions and actions of those other than the alcoholic.

     

    In Act Two the alcoholic has accepted everything that was done for him by others, who perform in this way by choice or because they simply cannot resist helping him. Yet this Act is the one with the real potential to break the downward spiral of alcoholism and its merry-go-round of denial. Let us see what happens when those associated with the alcoholic determine to create a change in the situation!

     

     

    RECOVERY BEGINS IN ACT II

     

    A planned recovery from alcoholism must begin with the persons in the second act. They must learn how people affect each other in this illness and then learn the most difficult part, that of acting in an entirely different fashion.

     

    New roles can be learned only by turning to others who understand the play and putting into practice their insight and knowledge. If Act Two is rewritten and replayed, there is every reason to believe that the alcoholic will recover. He is locked in by his illness; others hold the key to the lock. We cannot demand that he give up drinking as a means of solving his problems, but if we unlock the door he will be free to come out.

     

    If the alcoholic is rescued from every crisis, if the boss allows himself to be a victim again and again, and if the wife reacts as a Provoker, there is not one chance in ten that the alcoholic will recover. He is virtually helpless; he himself cannot break the lock. He may recover if the other actors in the play learn how to break his dependency on them by refusing to give in to it. The alcoholic cannot keep the Merry-Go-Round going unless the others ride it with him and help him keep it going. The actors in the second act keep asking the alcoholic why he does not drinking and yet it is what they do or fail to do that helps the alcoholic to try again and again to solve his basic human problems by drinking. It is not true that an alcoholic cannot be helped until he wants help.

     

    It is true that there is almost no chance that the alcoholic will stop drinking as long as other people remove all the painful consequences for him. The people in the second act will find it difficult to change. It is much easier and far less painful for them to say that the alcoholic cannot be helped, than to go through the agony of learning to play a new role.

     

    The Enablers and the Victim, too, must seek information, insight and understanding, if they plan to change their roles. The wife or mother must become active in a program of counseling and therapy, if she is to make a basic change in her life.

     

    In understanding the role of the three supporting actors in the drama, we must remember that they did not learn to play these roles overnight. They play the role they think is expected of them; they have been taught to act in this way. They imagine they are helping the alcoholic and do not know they are perpetuating the illness and making it almost impossible for the alcoholic to recover.

     

     

    ENABLERS

     

    The Enabler is a person who feels he must not let the alcoholic suffer the consequences of his drinking when he can so easily prevent this by a simple rescue operation. To him it is like saving a drowning man; it simply must be done. But this rescue mission conveys to the alcoholic what the rescuer really thinks: “You cannot make it without my help.” The Enabler thus reveals a lack of faith in the alcoholic’s ability to take care of himself, which is a form of judgment and condemnation.

     

    The role of the professional Enabler – clergyman, doctor, lawyer or social worker – can be most destructive, if it conditions the family to reduce the crisis rather than to use it to initiate a recovery program. The family has probably known for five or more years that drinking was creating serious problems, but his is not so apt to be visible to persons outside the family. When the family turns to professionals who are not adequately qualified to deal with alcoholism, before the anti-social behavior has become obvious, the family may be told that this is not alcoholism and that there is nothing they can do until the drinker wants help.

     

    When alcoholism reaches the point where it breaks outside the family and the alcoholic himself turns to such professional people, he secures a reduction of his crisis by seeking and using these persons as Enablers. This again keeps the Merry-Go-Round going. The family which was told initially that there were no signs of alcoholism is now taught that the way to deal with it is to remove the symptoms, rather than to deal realistically with the illness. The very persons who failed to identify the alcoholism in its early stages may now treat the more advanced symptoms by helping the alcoholic get back on the merry-go-round.

     

    This further conditions the family to believe that nothing can be done to cope with the alcoholism. Even when the family members attempt to secure help for themselves or the alcoholic, the professional role may be that of an Enabler, rather than leading the family and the alcoholic into a long-range program of recovery. As the Enabler is the first person on the scene, he influences the remainder of the second act because it sets the direction and movement of this part of the play. Thus the uninformed professional helps everyone get back on the Merry-Go-Round.

     

    The Victim does not get on the Merry-Go-Round until the drinking has begun to interfere with the alcoholic’s work, usually after he has been on the job for many years and a close friendship exists between the Forman and the alcoholic. The Forman protects his alcoholic friend, knowing that the wife and children will suffer if the man is fired.

     

    This is especially true if the company has no program for helping alcoholics to recover. Fellow workers also protect the alcoholic’s job because this man is their friend. Personal interest and friendship cause the Victim to give the alcoholic the very “help” that increases his dependency and need for denial.

     

    The wife is the first person who joins the alcoholic on the Merry-Go-Round. If she absorbs injustices, suffers deprivation, endures repeated embarrassments, accepts broken promises, is outwitted or undermined in every effort to cope with the drinking situation and is beaten down by the constant expression of hostility directed toward her, her own reaction is hostility, bitterness, anxiety and anger. Playing the role in this way makes the wife sick. She is not a sick woman who made her husband become an alcoholic but a woman who becomes part of an illness by living with it. She is put I a role which forces her to become the Provoker. She is caught between the advancing illness of alcoholism and the wall of ignorance; shame and embarrassment inflicted upon her by society. This crushes her; she needs information and counseling, not because she caused her husband’s illness, but because she is being destroyed by it. This, in turn, hurts the alcoholic and greatly reduces the chance of recovery.

     

     

    THE WIFE STANDS ALONE

     

    Another reason why the wife needs help in the plan of recovery is that if she changes her role and begins to act in a new way she will discover she is alone. Others – friends, relations, business associates – will treat her as an actor who is deserting a play when there is no substitute to take her part. This is especially true if the wife separates from her husband, whether by choice or necessity.

     

    Some wives can change their roles by having talks with a counselor who has basic knowledge of alcoholism, or by attending group meetings in a local alcoholism clinic or mental health clinic.

     

    Others gain insight and security by taking part in the Al-Anon Family Group meetings. Having new friends, who understand her new role, because they have lived through similar pain and agony, is very important for the wife at this time. Relatives and friends may tell her how wrong she is in trying to play a new role; she needs people who understand and can give moral support in her search for answers to the problems of alcoholism.

     

    The basic mistake made by women who seek help for their husbands’ alcoholism is that they want to be told what they can do to stop the drinking, not realizing that it may take a long time to learn a new role in the alcoholic marriage. Long periods of regular weekly conferences or group meetings are often necessary before a wife begins to change her feelings and learns to act in a new, constructive way. If others in the play do not learn new roles, the wife may need to remain in the group for a period of two or three years before her feelings and emotions will permit a change in role.

     

    The wife should seek help for herself to recover from her own fears, anxieties, resentments, and the other destructive forcers at work in an alcoholic marriage. As she is able to change, this may change the drinking pattern of her husband, and I many cases such a change leads to the alcoholic’s recovery. Few husbands can stand a drastic change in their wives without making basic changes in their own lives, but this desirable change cannot be guaranteed. Many wives seek some form of help and then drop out of a program when the problems of an alcoholic marriage are not solved in a short time.

     

    To avoid injury to the children, the wife must seek help outside the circle of family or friends. When she plays the role of Provoker the children are placed between a sick father and a sick mother. The wife who seeks and finds help early enough can prevent much of the harm which is being passed on to the children through her reaction to her husband. If she seeks and finds help, it will protect the children in many ways and may open the door to her husband’s recovery. The rate of recovery increases greatly when the wife seeks helps for herself and continues to use this help.

     

     

    THE MORAL ISSUE

     

    The Moral Issue is also important. No one has a right to play God and demand that the alcoholic stop drinking. The reverse is also true. The alcoholic can only continue to act like a little god, telling everyone what to do while doing as he pleases, if a supporting cast continues to play this role. The wife has every moral right and responsibility to refuse to act as if her husband were God Almighty whose every wish and commandment she must obey. As a rule, she cannot tell her husband anything for he refuses to hear it. Her only effective means of telling him what she means is to learn to fee herself from his attempt to control and dictate what she is to do. This independence may be exercised in silence; it need not be expressed in words. Just as a real message to the wife is what the husband does and not what he says, she must learn to convey her message by acting in a new way.

     

    Two things may interfere with success in a long-range program for the wife. First, the husband’s attitude toward the new role may range from disapproval to direct threats or violence. Second, responsibilities in the home, especially if here are young childfree, make it difficult for the wife to get away to go to group meetings, counseling or therapy during the day. At night, few alcoholic husbands will baby-sit or pay for this service while the wife attends meetings of Al-Anon. Nor should they be trusted with this responsibility while drinking.

     

    If the couple married at an average age, during the pre-alcoholic stage of his illness, the wife is the first person who joins him on the Merry-Go-Round when alcoholism appears. Many years later the Enabler and the Victim start their roles. If recovery from alcoholism is t be initiated before the illness becomes acute, the wife must initiate the recovery program.

     

    Most persons today, often including the helping professionals, are unwilling t accept alcoholism as an illness until it reaches the addictive stage of chronic alcoholism. Thus the wife will find herself in the position of a pioneer in the search for help. If her minister condemns drunkenness, she is ashamed to turn to him. If her doctor fails to recognize the existence of alcoholism is in the early stages, medical help and counsel for her are cut off. If conditions become unbearable and she consults a lawyer, he may talk in terms of separation or divorce as the only service he can offer. This increases her sense of failure as a wife, or terrifies her with the prospect of the anxiety and grief she would have, if she took such action. So most wives stay on the Merry-Go-Round or get back on soon after trying to stop it or get off.

     

    Until there are drastic changes in our cultural and social attitudes toward drinking and alcoholism, the family member who wishes to initiate a program of recovery form alcoholism must understand this can be a long and difficult process. However, if the wife or other family member is willing to enter into a weekly program of education, therapy, Al-Anon or counseling, and work at it for a period of six months, changes usually occur, not only in her life but often in the life and action of the alcoholic. A wife cannot make such a change unless she believes it to be the right and moral choice, so she must understand the nature of alcoholism. She must also have the courage to stand against her husband’s opposition to her own program of recovery. A wife cannot be expected to do what is beyond her emotional or financial capacity. However, by remaining in a program of her own, she may be able to solve problems which at first seemed too difficult.

     

    There is no easy way to stop the merry-go-round, for it can be more painful to stop it than to keep it going. It is impossible to spell out definite rules which apply to all members of the play. Each case is different, but the framework of the play remains much the same.

     

    The family member is able to see the Merry-Go-Round of the alcoholic, but often fails to see that she is the one who helps to keep it going. The hardest part of stopping the repeated cycle is the fear that the alcoholic wont make it without such help.

     

    But what she unknowingly considers help is the very thing that permits him to continue to use alcohol as the cure-all for his problems.

     

     

    INITIATING RECOVERY

     

    If a friend is called upon for help, this should be used as an opportunity to lead the alcoholic and the family into a planned program of recovery.

     

    A professional who has alcoholics or their family members as clients or patients should learn how to cope with alcoholism. Specific literature is available through local, state and national programs on alcoholism. Short, intensive workshops are also available for professionals who are willing to spend time and effort to acquire basic knowledge of alcoholism.

     

    If a wife thinks her husband has a drinking problem or drinks too much too often, she should seek help and counsel immediately, evaluating the situation in order to find the programs best suited to her needs. Regardless of the kid of help the wife chooses, she should not stop after a few conferences or meetings, for changes do not occur overnight. Regular attendance should be continued, for many wives learn it takes a long time to secure the real benefit from such a program. In our present society, the wife has one basic choice – to seek help for herself or permit the illness of alcoholism to destroy her, other members of her family and perhaps her marriage.

     

     

  • Mary

    sorry if I offended anyone stating that A’s don’t love – what I meant is they LOVE differently and their love is challenging and difficult to relate to. Not my intention to ever make judgements on how people LOVE. We all LOVE differently, but the A’s mindset is much more complexed. As stated in many of the comments, WE CAN ONLY worry about ourselves, we are not the CAUSE, the CURE nor can we control (and if we try we will end up in the PATTERN that is painful and puts us into the same realm of the A) – Thanks all for your responsess – this is helpful, useful and encouraging!!!!

  • Kesa

    I really appreciate you guys comments. Mary, I understood what you were saying. Thanks to everyone.

  • Brenda

    I have been reading all the comments on this blog and just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Addiction of any kind is a disease. There are always root causes to a persons need to numb themselves through Alcohol and/or Drugs. What I am not seeing in the comments is alcoholic husbands going beyond detox. Detox alone will do absolutely nothing for a severe addict. They need to go directly to a Rehab Centre from detox. Detox is only withdrawal treatment to get them off of alcohol and/or drugs safely, it does not get rid of the cravings, triggers, root causes etc. We have to remember that addicts do not wake up one day and say I am going to become an Alcoholic today. This is a progressive disease with the tolerance level rising all the time. Inside each one of these people is the person they once were and with the right kind of treatment they can learn the coping techniques for triggers, learn how to let go of root causes, but this takes a true commitment on their part. When they have gone through a withdrawal treatment centre (usually up to two weeks) they come out with their brains still in the fog of their addiction this is the reason they need to go directly into a Rehab Centre. In a perfect world they would be in one centre that would be doing the detox and rehab treatment in one facility. Yes private rehabs can be expensive but the help the addict is receiving goes above and beyond to help them with the mental health aspect of their addiction. The reason I am writing this is hopefully to help other bloggers understand that without further treatment beyond detox, there is a very high rate of relapse which sadly is out of the control of the addict. Simply put they come out of detox still craving and without further help very few do not relapse.

  • Sharon

    Thank you, Laurie.

  • Mary

    how is it possible that my AH sees fault in everything that happens to him and somehow it’s my fault??? if i respond i end up getting crucified, if i say nothing he’ll find a way to blame me. how is it that my AH has double standards to anything that happens in his life or what he says, thinks or feels? and yet when it’s reversed, I AM ont allowed to feel, respond or react – it’s excruciating to live a life of constant turmoil and blame. no matter what I do or don’t do it will never be enough and somehow my fault. how to people justify themselves and actually find a way to blame someone over the smallest of things? i wasn’t put on this earth to be my AH parent, conscience or kicking bag – i am a human with feelings and needs, but his expecations are unrealistic and delushion. if A’s really do mirror and project to their spouses, children, loved ones (friends & families) how can they honestly sit there and think they are completely truthful and righ. it doesn’t matter if you stay or leave or ignore or fight back or even respond or react, NOTHING in this realtionship is allowed unless the AH justifies or thinks is correct in their mind. it’s really sad to see someone be so angry and cruel to not only me, but others (but mostly me) as the live in lies and shame, but again, we werne’t put on this earth to be the pile of garbage who has no say, gets kicked around and treated like they are nothing. life is much to short for anyone who lives this life. truthfully i know deep in my heart and soul that whomever he is with he will do the same, will it make him realize that maybe just maybe he has some issues that are far deeper than drinking, it’s a vicious cycle for A’s but at the end of the day, they will do anyting to proect and survivee and at anyone expense

  • Everyone can change. If they didnt i would still be an alcoholic/addict. They may not be ready. That is their buisness. Al-Anon can help. Self help on anger and resentment can help too.

  • Mary

    agree – everyone can change, but we are responsible for ourselves. there is only so much one can take living with an A (a functioning full on in DENIAL alcholic) but sadly anyone who is surrounded by an A, will get their anger, rage, depression, mood swings, blame , shame, lies and projection. this is my life and my truth and it’s beyond painful. no point in getting angrier or resenting, it’s a waste of time, energy and pointless – better to continue my therapy sesions, attend Alanon and find a way to walk away from this once in for all with a little bit of dignity i have left.

  • Susie

    Read the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous for more understanding. Al-Anon is built on it.

    In chapter 6…(I have an old edition)…

    “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, ‘Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?”….

    Point is, just stopping the alcohol is not going to fix anything. There’s the spirituality part that must be healed also.

  • Mind, Body & Spirit.

    In the beginning they work on sobriety. Then the behaviour & spirit.

  • Book to read Dilemma of the Alcoholic marriage by Al-Anon

  • Kristy

    I found my answers in Al Anon. Maybe you can too. It takes time. Heal yourself and let him be responsible for his recovery. If you want to help him you need to help yourself. I too was afraid I was going to be told to leave my A but, I wasn’t. I have been in Al Anon for 20 months now and life is so much better. It’s not perfect but, I’m happier, healthier, and I feel safe and once again confident in my actions and abilities. Remember, you are not the problem no matter what he says. Alcohol is the problem. I am still with my A and he has found sobriety. For now. It is a disease and one that can grab ahold of him at any time. The other side of that is he is filled with personality defects that are results of the alcoholic thinking. He can still be an irrational thinker even in sobriety but, now I have the tools to react in a more responsible manner than to allow myself to be sucked back into the diseases path. No one will tell you what you need to do. No one has the right answers for you but, they will give you support, take away the feeling of being alone, remind you of what the true spirit of intimacy is, and hep you to regain your sanity if you give them a chance. Go to more than one meeting, visit several meeting sites and find those you fit in with the best. Help is out there.

  • I think I’m having a flare up of emotions and anger, confusion hurt, resentment, abuse, neglect etc.

    My AH is currently on house arrest for the third time in a year for 30 days and is being monitored for his drinking. So, for thirty days he can only go to his VA meetings 3 times a week and has to blow in a machine twice a day… He did go to detox prior to his house arrest but it was only for 5 days! My husband is a severely dependent alcoholic who also suffered from ptsd.

    So, now he is supposively getting better though his diabetes taken a real blow this time around with his heavy drinking. I know I’m supposed to be supportive while he is sober but now here I am sick and finding myself going over my hurt and pain over and over and over again to the point that I’m badgering him. I’m getting worried that once again his time will be up on house arrest and he will lose his mind all over again, I feel horrible after I have these out of the blue melt downs and I’ve told him that I hate him… I feel horrible and need help to get through this. I know I have anxiety, but could it also be ptsd? Has anyone been prescribed meds due to the anguish of living with an alcoholic?

  • Patricia, further up in the comments is a link to a private fb group. 24 hr support for families affected by someone else drinking. They can help talk to you about everything your facing at the moment if not try Al-Anon. Take care.

  • Sharon

    I am married 5 yrs to my A husband, 7 yrs together, he hid his problem from me, but there were warning signs that I chose to ignore, but I have recently discovered he is narcissitic. I just don,t know how to deal with all this, the worst part about my husband is he just runs away, it started off, it would be 2 weeks at a time, then a mo th, then 3, now its 5 mths, 5 mths, who puts up with that, every xmas he is gone, my birthday, I,ve never had a holiday with him, and I did everything for us. He is in totl denial, every word is a lie and no way has he a drink problem. I get the same txt messages, I,m sorry or I miss u, but yet I still don,t see him, and I tell him he needs help, I don,t hear no more until another week or 2. My heart is broke at such total unacceptable behavior for any relationship, I just don,t know what or who I am dealing with, especially the abdamnoment which seems to apply more to narcisstic personality disorder

  • Shannon, im sorry your going thru this right now. Here is an articles i find very useful. Also if you scroll up the comments you can find a link to my private group on facebook where you can connect with people who have been or are going they similar.. 24 hrs aday. So you dont feel alone.

    What are the Differences between Narcissism and Alcoholic Selfishness?

    “I have heard that alcoholism can look just like narcissism when a person is abusing, but when the person sobers up the narcissism goes away. What is the difference between narcissism (NPD) and alcoholic selfishness?”

    NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder, is a condition where the narcissism is an integral part of the person’s personality. Therefore, drunk or sober, the person will display excessive self-absorption, an over-inflated sense of self, and feel that he deserves special treatment. He will show no empathy for others and will always put his needs above the needs or concerns of everyone else. Always. A person with NPD will exhibit these same characteristics even after years of not drinking. Abstinence does not make them disappear.

    Alcoholic selfishness has many of the same characteristics while a person is using. Many alcoholics demand to be the center of attention, put their needs above their families’, and they strongly deny that their behavior is a problem. The use of many drugs, including alcohol, does indeed produce feelings of over-inflated sense of self. That is one of the reasons they use- it makes them feel more confident. However, when the addiction to alcohol is resolved, the individual will no longer exhibit those characteristics because the traits of narcissism aren’t a part of his typical personality.

    Sometimes alcoholism is co-diagnosed with NPD. That does not mean that all alcoholics are narcissists, although they certainly may have some narcissistic traits. Until the issue of alcohol addiction is resolved, it may not be clear whether the alcohol was causing NPD traits or whether the person is indeed a narcissist.

    All narcissists are selfish; not all selfish people are narcissists

    There is a big difference between “general” selfish behavior and narcissistic behavior. Selfishness, or sometimes it is just thoughtlessness, will cause the person doing it to feel concern or dismay when you bring it to their attention. They usually will apologize, but most important- they can stop (they may not stop, but they can stop). They will accept responsibility or at least acknowledge the behavior. All of this, of course, is assuming the behavior is being talked about in a rational manner…it is not likely to happen in the middle of a screaming match.

    Narcissistic Selfishness

    A person with NPD, on the other hand, will:

     Never acknowledge the behaviorNever take responsibility for the behaviorMore than likely blame YOU for the behavior (or claim you made them do it, or that you are the one who is acting selfish)Not be able to stop the selfish behaviors—everUse “gaslighting” which goes far above blame and denial. Gaslighting is considered by some to be a form of ‘brainwashing’; it is when an abuser tries to convince the victim that they are crazy or imagining it (the abuse or selfish behavior) or that somehow they are defective for thinking it. It can be used to make the victim more pliable, more easily controlled, or more emotional so that they are more dependent.Why Living with Alcoholism Feels Like Living with Narcissism

    The person with a narcissistic personality does not view people as individuals with their own needs and wishes; they are simply extensions of him. A narcissist gathers around him people who behave in such a way as to meet his needs (such as for admiration or power) or that enhance his vision of himself. For instance, they belong to the best country club or attend his university of choice, etc. If family members or his “in crowd” begin to act separately or have too many opinions of their own, his equilibrium becomes threatened.

    Living with an alcoholic is highly similar to this. The alcoholic or addict is continuously seeking his next “fix”- the fix is how they maintain their equilibrium. Obtaining his next fix is a priority and this need of his comes before anybody else’s needs. Just like the narcissist who lives for his next fix. They are both self-absorbed and both only concerned with their own priorities. The selfishness of the alcoholic and the narcissist are observed in their lack of awareness, or even lack of caring, about the needs of those around them. They come first; everyone else’s needs come second or not at all. They both have overwhelming, overpowering needs-whether it is for their next drink or for their next drug, food or sexual encounter.

    A person with alcoholic selfishness is very much like a narcissist. Addiction produces a kind of narcissism. The addiction is preoccupying and it takes over the person’s body, mind and soul. It is all-consuming. Living with alcoholic selfishness is a lot like living with narcissism because no matter what you do or how hard you try, you will always come second.

  • Sharon

    Thank you Laurie

  • Your most welcome.

    When there is nothing else there is always hope

  • Susie

    Thank you for the awesome post. This brings a lot of understanding to me!

  • Not all narcissists are alcoholics and not all alcoholics are narcissists. There is a difference.

  • Mary

    Thanks for sharing Laurie (Personally my experience with AH is Narcissim, Alcoholism, NPD) = ALL of it combine is what I endure DAILY. Many articles, blogs, therapist, PHD’s state that this disease can share in all of these personalities. What I encounter is constant BLAME, ANGER, RAGE and completely SELFISH, inconsiderate, projection, mirroring and very abusive behavior (mentally and physically) AND yet, it always comes back to ME, I caused it, I need help, I’m the one who makes him do things, I make him drink, I cause him stress, I yell, I nag, I critisize (honestly, the list is ENDLESS) and even when I keep my mouth completely shut, I am again WRONG or to blame. I can say nothing and he will turn to me and state that I have that “smug look on my face” or when in TEARS (as I am only human and the things he states about me, would bring ANYONE to tears – I am a VERY strong individual, but I have been tested to my limits) NO ONE should ever be told they are the cause for someele’s actions – NO ONE. If I answer, he’ll mock my answer and my tone, if I stay silent, I’m told I’m a Bitch or the C (word) and then told repeatedly how I am only making things worse. Even when i say nothing It’s not a roller coaster (as we know when your going up and coming down) with my life it’s a constant merry go round – it’s exhausting, horrific, excruitatinly painful and yet I still stay…. as they say, those surrounded by the disease are just as sick (if not worse, because there is nothing worse than being told you are the problem and the cause when anything and everything you do NEVER is good enough) I know the next step, and I admit I’m stuck and have been so entrenched in this disease myself that I have truly LOST me and who I am and what I know to be wrong and right. I do think an alcoholic is entertwined with so many demons of narccisim, shame, regret, failure, ANGER, rage, BLAME and sadly it’s a long battle once they even conceed to accepting that they even have a disease.

  • They have similar behaviors but most alcoholics are not narcissists. Many loved ones use this as an excuse. Its not an excuse. Yep you cant do right for doing wrong. Anything you say can and will be used against you. But theres tools we can use to help us along our journey. If you scroll up you will find in one of my posts a link to my group its private so your safe. Its on facebook you wont feel alone. The group is strictly for families and friends affected by alcoholics and addicts. Hopefully i will be able to chat more to you there Mary xx

  • Sharon

    Hi Mary, I know only too well, what is so hard to comprehnd for me, how do they not feel, how do they not care the hurt and obvious pain they inflict and how do they just disappear and then to turn up, don,t you ask a question or anything like that, ur suppossed to just carry on, until the next time, its so cruel and demeaning.

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