Understanding an Alcoholics Behavior

There are so many things that contribute to how the problem drinker acts. The process of understanding some of the alcoholic’s individual behavior patterns is something that develops over time. The way I learned more about why they do certain things was by attending Al-anon meetings and reading literature associate with living with an alcoholic. Living with an active addict can be mind boggling sometimes because the chaos levels go up and down. One day things are normal and all in life is good and without any warning everything changes and the change always revolves around the alcoholic’s behavior.

In order for us to be able to deal with these sudden unexpected life altering situations, we need to have a better understanding of the alcoholic’s behavior. It will do us some good to take a look at ourselves at the same time because that’s where the keys are for overcoming the frustrations that are associated with coping with an active alcoholic.

Let’s talk about the trust factor first. In my particular situation there were some things that the alcoholic could be trusted with. At other times they could not be trusted. The problem I had was always being suspicious. That’s because the alcoholic in my life had broken my trust so many times. Much of this problem is directly related to how they have a tendency to lie often. When truth and lies bubble from the same spring the waters get murky.

As soon as an addict   awakens, all an alcoholic  can think about is where they will get the next substance from to satisfy their habit. Here’s the problem though, they are never satisfied. So, they are constantly looking for an opportunity to fulfill the longing inside to get something to drink. If they are at a child’s birthday party, they want to get a drink. When they are out to dinner, they always want to have another one. If friends who are non-drinkers invite them over, the chances are pretty good that they will not hang out for long. It will be an eat and run engagement. That’s if they decide to go at all. My point is that they will try to slip a drink in every chance they get and they are always trying to create the chances.

It’s an addiction! You will never be able to control it or them. Only they can control what is out of control by asking for help.

So, trying to understand an alcoholic’s behavior hinges upon this very thing, they cannot stop trying to plan where and when they will have their next drink. The sad thing is that they will lie and manipulate situation after situation to get the alcohol that their body and mind are craving all of the time. Unfortunately, in a sense they are married to the alcohol. In actuality, the substance that controls them has become their god.

Now that you have a better understanding of what is going on in their mind and body, may I suggest that you accept them just as they are? Understanding an alcoholic’s behavior is one thing, but grasping the truth that you need to let go of them is another. Listen; ask yourself if anything that you have tried has forced them to quit drinking alcohol. I would guess no. They are not going to change so you will have to. The idea of forcing an alcoholic to quit just doesn’t work.
Along with letting them go, get into support group meetings. This will help you to understand yourself and your behaviors much better than the alcoholics. People in these meetings know what you are going through and can help tremendously.

2 comments to Understanding an Alcoholics Behavior


    Living with an alcoholic works, and the Title Of MONEY and ABUSE sure hit home for me this Christmas. I dont Have to worry about the attitude changes everyday, or the FLIP FLOP Moods, He Stole my money order from my rent, and went and cashed it up at wal-mart for 415.00 and Spent it. Now hes living back at his house with No running water, No heat, and No toilet. Probably next to NO food. IDK If i am going to press charges or not, IF i dont he may get away with this Time and time again with Some other woman.And Children. I have to take this one day at a time, but as i realize day after day I was addicted to the alcoholic addictive “behavior” Now, I am slowly Enjoying the peace with my kids. Even though he is out there Lurking ready to strike Some how some way. He wasnt there for any of his friends OR family, Just him and his booze, now In a way i have accepted. Thats the way HE wants to live until he dies. So be it.
    I cant believe after everything I have done for him, he would stoop so low as to take my money for OUR Home and go have a couple of big nights and drink it all away. NO CONCIENCE what so ever. but I can do something about it this time. No one else. Should I or Shouldnt I?

  • Jackie

    May I suggest not making any major decisions in anger. It’s good to set boundaries and not be an enabler. Learning how to do this in a loving way is tough and takes time.

    We need to be connected with people who know how to deal with these difficult situations.

    There’s a great saying that goes like this; “say what you mean but don’t say it mean.”

    The way I learned to set boundaries and to be more understanding of the alcoholic’s illness was by attending support group meetings.

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