No Name Calling | Horrible Names Not Allowed


When I started changing the way I interacted with the alcoholic, standing up for myself was difficult. When setting boundaries, one if the things I had to do was tell the problem drinker to stop calling me horrible names. When the alcoholic I was living with  got mad they thought they had the right to call me degrading things. I had to learn to tell them in a nice way to stop belittling me.

It only took a few times before they finally got the message. I had to say things like: “please stop calling me that.” Then when they would do it again, I would remind them of my request gently by saying; “I asked you nicely to not call me that name again.” It’s funny, when you begin to get stronger from attending support group meetings, with people who are dealing with active alcoholism, you start remaining a lot calmer when the alcoholic is spouting off. You also start having less expectations of alcoholics.

declaring nameThe key to getting the alcoholic to stop calling us names is consistency. Every time that they hurl an insult, we must block it with a gentle reminder for them to quit the name calling. We must learn how to do this without yelling or getting mad. By keeping our composure, we tell them that we would greatly appreciate it if they would stop the name calling.

There are such horrible things that protrude from the mouths of alcoholics and from our own mouths as well. If we find ourselves wanting to blast them by calling them an drunk or drug addict, we must learn to not to call them names as well. If we slip and let a horrible blurb fly from our lips, we should be quick to apologize. They may throw it up in our face, but we must make an amend. This will help us to stay free from guilt related to alcoholism.

Give it a try. Just remember to be as nice as possible while asking them to stop calling you names. Name calling is a horrible thing.


8 comments to No Name Calling | Horrible Names Not Allowed

  • Paula g

    In my experience it hasn’t been so much name calling as just the blurt out of biting remarks. I feel somewhat lucky in this area though because my AH hates it when other people cry and really has no need to cause this kind of reaction in another. But that said he has anger and the irritable discontent of all alcoholics and it manifests itself the way it does. Like plugging leaks in a leaky dam if you stop the outlet in one spot it will find another place to come out. So, we try to be civil, but one important thing to remember when we are the person on the receiving end of all this negativity is to recognize that even though the lashing out is directed at us, it is just because we are near the individual, and not because it reflects their feelings towards us, in fact the truth is, the nastiness is more a reflection of how the alcoholic feels about themselves, and the world as a whole, as their existence as I see it is a “self imposed sentence in hell on earth.”

  • Becca

    I have tried this several times. My husband will just continue his tirade for hours. The last time I went through this I felt very drained and depressed the next day. What am I supposed to do when asking him nicely to stop doesn’t work ? I’ve tried ignoring him and he continues to randomly come up to me spouting off.

  • C

    In the beginning, when the name-calling started, I was in shock! Soon I started asking if he called his relatives names – was that how his family treated each other when he grew up. I was lucky to have a conversation with his grown son over the phone – he said his grandfather talked down to his wife constantly. He said his father worked the night shift and when he got home his wife was asleep in bed – so he went out to a local bar! I finally found out that the kids knew their father is an alcoholic and were aware of his behavior years and years ago. What a relief. I thought I was the only one who knew.

    The phone call also revealed they knew the father had family issues that would require therapy but no one forced the issue because the alcoholic is so nasty at times – no one stood up to him over the years, they just avoided him with excuses.

    When you learn that the A’s behavior has been going on long before you meet them, it is a relief – we know we don’t cause them to drink or lash out, but hearing the history really calmed me down.

    One thing is so clear – the alcoholic only gets worse. They eventually contribute little and focus on their next drink. If the A will not seek help, the partner must go out, socialize and be a part of the community to keep their sanity!

  • M

    One night when mine begin to spew his verbal abusive remarks, I in my most calm assertive voice I could muster, simply said. “If you found out another man was speaking to your mother or your niece the way your are speaking to me, you would be in that mans face so fast, yet I’m suppose to sit here and allow you to speak to me this way, with no one to defend me, but myself.” “I also know you would never say these things to me if my father or my brother were in this room, so you need to stop now.” The verbal abuse has really almost stopped completely. The drinking is still there, but he seems to disappear into the garage, instead of using me as his verbal abusive punching bag.

  • Patty

    M, I like your idea a lot! I like it so much I’m going to try it! Thanks for the great tip!

  • M

    I’m still walking on eggshells, and don’t trust what might set him off, so I’m very careful how I respond. I’m working very hard at not being codependent & enabling him. I’m doing things for myself, I watch tv or read in another room, and I try new recipes for myself. When he complains that he doesn’t like it, I simply say “Oh, I made that for me, and I enjoyed it.” Or “I’m sorry you feel that way”. Also, the videos on here have really helped me. Especially the one where I try and visualize the word “sick” across his forehead. I’m learning that my addiction is trying to fix him, so I’m trying to fix myself instead. There’s still a part of me that feels like I’m “allowing” him to drink by ignoring the drinking. Instead of focusing on that single thought, I try and turn it back to myself. I do something for me! It’s a very weird feeling, I feel very selfish. I just repeat… “I’m worth it”. Because I am.

  • Silvia

    My AH is very vocal when he is upset. I try all this gentle boundarie setting and it works for a while. Now my patience is running out very quickly specially when he starts screaming and calling names in front of our 7 month baby. Can’t tolerate that so… When asking gently doesn’t work I simply tell him I do not want him around the baby when he is upset because it’s bad energy and I leave the house to go for a walk.the longer I go depends how upset I am. Lol It’s a great thing to do. It always works, it calms us both down and when I come back if he is still upset he goes into another room and locks himself out for a bit. Or I do. Good way to change the energy.

  • My alcoholic partner seems to do this all the time. When I try to get him to stop, it just gets worse. I try to figure out why he does it, and it seems to come back to the idea that he is not actually calling me those names, but he is actually saying these things about himself.

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