Feeling Rejected by an Alcoholic?

Rejection is an all too common emotion or feeling we experience in dysfunctional relationships. Being rejected by a person who is an alcoholic can be devastating. We feel frustrated and lonely because the person we love and want to spend time with is treating us like garbage. Some of what we are feeling is associated with having a codependent relationship.

What I mean is that we can become so enmeshed with a loved one that when they are up and feeling good we are too. The opposite is true as well, when they are depressed and frustrated so are we. When our self-worth is measured in our minds by the way someone treats us, we are in a position to be on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. One ill spoken word can send us into a downward spiral. It’s bad enough being in a relationship with a so called “normal” person, let alone an alcoholic.

Woman Feeling AbandonedWe need to break this enmeshment and find our self-worth by loving ourselves for who we are rather than craving acceptance and love from an alcoholic who cannot fulfill our need to be loved.

Alcoholics really have a tendency to put the alcohol first in their lives and people second. Some people in AA refer to this as romancing the bottle. They also say that they had a love relationship with their booze of choice. Even though we may not get the love we desire from them, we can learn how to love an alcoholic with out conditions.

The answer for you can be found within changing your life a little bit at a time, over a long period of time. In the AA program and in the Al-anon program, it’s suggested that we learn how to live life one day at a time. It is in this process where we begin to make changes in our lives.

Here are a few suggested ways of lessening the pain of being rejected by an alcoholic. If you consistently practice using these tools, your feelings of anger will be reduced and you will begin to not be so devastated when they treat you poorly.

How to Avoid Feeling Rejected by an Alcoholic

lonely man1)When they say horrible things about your character, ask yourself a simple question. “Is what they just said true?” If it’s not, throw it in the toilet and flush that comment down the drain forever. One thing we never do is feel guilty because of how an alcoholic is treating us. There are some good tips her: Feeling Guilty Because Of An Alcoholic.

2) Understand that alcoholics have two weapons, anger and anxiety. They do things to get you angry so they can point the finger at you and say; “you are a horrible person because of the way you are acting.” Begin to recognize when they are attempting to do this and refuse to respond in negative ways. Zip your lip and tell them; I’m sorry you feel that way.” Here, read this about Overcoming Anxiety When Living With an Alcoholic.

3) Start journaling-This is an amazing way to begin to cope with feelings of rejection that are associated with dealing with an alcoholic who is constantly treating you poorly. As you write about the daily events, you will begin to see patterns of when you are feeling great and all of the sudden the alcoholic in your life did something to steal your good mood. As you start noticing these times, be prepared to respond in positive ways. Here. read this. “How to not Respond to an Alcoholic.”

These things I’ve mentioned are just the beginning of ways that you can stop the feelings of rejection from effecting you anymore. Here’s a great suggestion, find an Al-anon meeting close to you and start attending. Go to at least six meetings and you will for sure start to see how the program can benefit your relationship with the alcoholic.

There are millions of people all over the world who have gone to support group meetings to help them deal with the frustration, anger and feelings of rejection associated with having a relationship with an alcoholic.

There’s hope for your situation, but you are the one who has to change. I say this because you have no control of the alcoholic or how they treat you, but you do have control over how you will let those things effect your feelings and life.

This is a good video for working around rejection in life. I like what he says in there about not taking rejection personally. This is how we have to approach being rejected by an addict, don’t let them get to you personally. Let it drip off like water from a ducks back.

12 comments to Feeling Rejected by an Alcoholic?

  • Linda

    Are alcoholics stuck in teen years? Where did they began drinking?

  • mace

    Yes, Linda. At age 50, my A is so immature, running from job to job, from bill collector to bill collector and it’s always somebody else’s fault..ALWAYS! Immature people don’t take responsibilities for their actions.

  • Ross

    Linda, I have been told by professionals and read in books many times, that they are the age mentally of what they were when they began drinking….

    JC, you r very much appreciated! This topic has been something that I feel God has been revealing some things to me lately.
    Thank you for all the efforts you/others put forth to provide this site for all of us!!

  • Ross

    oh yeah, im adding one more thing I just thought of after posting….

    The rejection that i felt from my husband , resounded with my own insecurities that Id picked up as a child and it had apparently had some roots that stretched into my adulthood.I try to catch myself and replace those insecurities and replace them with this..(it came to me one day..you can take it or leave it :))…..
    Here’s what I asked/ask myself…….

    “Do you think when God made you, that He meant for you to see yourself as less than and be defeated?”
    “Do you think this is what He intended for you when He made you?”
    “How do you think He saw you, when He as a Father w/ His child,and felt as He looked upon you?”
    “Why not let all that go, and believe and that He had good things in mind when He put me here?”

    I on occassion would say to my husband, when i’d have a moment of clarity…”I dont think God put me here for THIS .Dont treat me like that.

  • I am coming to the end of an 18 year marriage and the rejection and pain has been overwhelming. I know in my head that the liquor is his new wife but I continue to ask myself why. Our marriage was great in the beginning but about 12 years the marriage it started spiraling out of control. The market crashed and like so many financial times were bad and he didn’t have work for three years. His sister who has admittedly wanted me out of the family for years started telling lies that were out of this world and he was believing them, or punishing me like he did. My family doesn’t live close but knew what she was up to as we had some family vacations together and they seen how she stirs the pot and watches and people are pitted against one another. Then his father passed away from cancer and they were best friends and we did everything together, they even went on our honeymoon. But the sister put a wedge on that relationship and I was unable let him know the truth before he died, hoping he knows now is the only thing I hold on to. I had two major surgeries last year and all the while his drinking escalates. His Mom provides excuse after excuse and will not see the problem in front of her or even listen to what he does or is doing to himself and me. His pattern is picking fights and then I would leave and wouldn’t be out the door 2 min and he was out partying with his nephew and son, at time not coming home all night. His nephews girl friend started calling their little side kick. After both surgeries I went home to my moms to have her help me get back on my feet and always wondering what was going on at home so I put a surveillance camera in the home and didn’t tell him. I told myself it was to see how much he was drinking but what I saw changed my life forever. He picked a fight and I left to my moms over 3 hours away. Friday night I didn’t log onto the camera but decided on Saturday I would check it out because he had to be home to show the house. He was there alright but brought another woman home with him. See he hadn’t come home on Friday night either I found out later. She went through my house, my things, used my toothbrush, he offered her a shower and she offered him to look at our books. See he had told everyone that I had miss appropriated funds to justify his actions. Then the nephew, girlfriend, son, friends all ranging their 20’s are at the house partying now. I hear them talking about watching out for me, her groping him and so I called. Told him I could hear them and wanted everyone out of my house. He told her her worst nightmare had come true. Nor viewing the entire video I had come in in the middle and hadn’t seen it when they were their alone, I call my sister and have her come with me to confront him. We get here at 3 in the morning and coats and phones left everywhere, door open, music blaring but no one around. I figured I knew where they were so jumped in the car and headed to the nephews. Door was unlocked so went on in… His son sat up on the couch and I told him I was there for his father and headed straight for the bedrooms. First door I opened there he was with the other woman. Looked like the both were naked and really didn’t matter the heart was broke. Took pics and left. I can’t move forward because I need answers on some questions that he conveniently blacked out and does not remember, but someone does there was enough people there, but he still wont provide me with them.

    He filed for divorce and since we have been back and forth trying to work on the relationship but he still doesn’t think he has a problem. I am currently no working outside the home but doing the books for our business, keeping up two homes that are both on the market but only getting paid for a few hours for doing the books. My bills and expenses are not covered and my credit card it climbing. He will come down to this house not buy food or anything and leave and wonder why I can’t make my car payment and tears me down because he has to. We made boundaries and he broke them by drinking hard liquor and hides it. When I call him on it he lies and starts tearing me down. He finally said he was really going to try this time and that he hadn’t been earlier and so we talk and make a date night and for the first couple of weeks they were great. Then on date night I was going to have to ask for help because I can’t keep up and pay bills I need to get a paying job. Well that night I had put on something I thought he would like and when I came back in he was asleep so I laid next to him and rubbed his sore hip until I was woke up by him screaming at me that he was going to sign the agreement for the divorce and to pack my shit and get out of his trailer and that I needed to keep my mouth shut and my legs open. I drove home with no call from him to see that I made it or anything. Figured out later that it was because he wanted to go out with his son and party the next night. All of which is unacceptable. Then he comes home a couple days later and yelling that all the lights are on like a f Christmas tree and I need to get a job he wasn’t paying the light bill screaming at the top of his lungs outside, then left and didn’t see him for a couple of days. Then comes here so I can do payroll, flops on that couch and wonders if I have something to eat. Really? He left again and I haven’t seen him for almost a week. I can’t stop asking myself why. Why doesn’t he want to spend time with me? Why does he put everyone else first? Why can’t he see what he is doing to me> I would never treat him this way? I am here with no family, he has chased off our friends, his family of course thinks its all me and really wants him to leave me and all can do is sit her and cry asking why. No matter how hard I try its never enough and I’m exhausted and emotionally drained. At times I wish the hurting would stop and I would do anything to stop it. I just want to feel important and loved again. We were best friends and did so much together that I just can’t let go. I asked him at one point before the affair to walk away if he didn’t love me because I wasn’t strong enough. I cant show my face in town, living 20 miles out of town the silence is driving me mad as he is living at the other property. He threatens to sign the papers and now I finally told him to do it, and now wondering how I am going to start my life over at 50. My mind knows what I need to do but I can’t get my shit together and do it. I keep waiting for the phone to ring, for a pat on the back, a how are you doing? something from the man I gave everything to and the worst part is he doesn’t care or he would ask, but he don’t…. The ultimate rejection I would have never thought I would be here because I had a strong character, tell you like it is, self sufficient, didn’t ask for help type of gal and now Im a blubbering idiot without a job or life.
    Taking one day at a time but need to move on I know,it just doing it is the hard part. Help!! He is on his way so I have to get the house clean, oh yea he has OCD tendencies as well.

  • Debbi

    You hang in there girlfriend. First of all, you’re not old. I’m older & I did it, added another job, saved the house from foreclosure and now it’s mine! There are a lot of women here older than both of us and they’ve done it–you can too.

    Your life is twin to mine. Mine had a nephew who would come to visit with sister-in-law (oh yeah there’s always a sister & mother that stick up for poor poor little guy and rub out noses in it). This nephew should be dead–2 times on the interstate at over 80 mph Going The Wrong Way! Mom & sister stuck up for them. Mine put the camera on me–told everyone I was cheating. . .guess who was? To walk in on a scene with your husband with another woman must have felt like a stab in the heart–how did you get the sense to take a picture–I probably would have fallen to the floor.

    I too look for those same answers. Here’s the thing–they won’t come from him–they will come from others. You’ll hear later after it’s over that he’s full of remorse. But be careful–since my divorce the mind games he’s still trying to pull are awful.

    Linda–180 him fast! Turn around, don’t go near him. Too many things done to you are non-negotiable. Get support from every where fast! I know about loss of friends & facing 2 surgeries without the person who you think is supposed to have your back. Stop all contact, get support, work on a job. Select one property that you think you can handle, get in there and maintain it–let the other foreclose or make him pay the bills, stop working for him. I am one year ahead of you & willing to listen at any time. Email JC and tell him I said okay for him to give my email address to you. You need someone who will listen & I’m hear if you need it. This is tough but you have to and you can survive this! YOU did not cause this, YOU did nothing for him to make the decision to let alcohol lead his life or be unfaithful. This is all his doing but now you have been handed this situation, you can step up to the plate. Sorry to be so long but my heart turned over when I read your story. In one year you will feel immensely better I promise you.

  • Debbi

    Laurie I am so sorry–I meant my previous post to you & for some reason had the name Linda on my mind–please forgive. Hang in there Laurie.

  • It’s okay and wanted to take a minute to thank you for your words of encouragement and kindness. I can’t tell you how long it’s been to have someone say your okay, it made me cry but for a good reason for a change. I am moving forward with the divorce he is acting like he is the one pushing for it and maybe he is and I was dragging my feet but I replied to the attorney last night and let him know to proceed with the agreement and as soon he signs we will be divorced within a week. WOW. Here there is only a 90 day waiting period and his weekend with this woman was back in March. I thought I would always know what I would say but that wasn’t the case at all and turned out I knew her which made it worse because she knew he was married. They swear nothing happened there was just no place else to sleep. She actually said “Where should I have slept on the floor?” I think that was the most ridiculous question I had ever heard but what can you expect from trailer trash. I am or they are, very fortunate that I took my sister with me because she actually took a bat out of my hand before we went to find them or I am not sure what would have happened. She is also the one that thought of the pictures. I was leaving at one point and she stopped me and asked about it. I ran out to the car and got my phone came back in and the idiots were still in bed. Threw the door open again and said smile for the camera!!! We then came home, packed his stuff in his truck that was here printed some copies of the picture and plastered them on his truck. She put on of my pictures over her face and wrote on it “Boy don’t you wish it was all a bad dream and you really woke up next to your wife this morning.” I wish she was closure, I could use her sense of humor. Once I can get one of the houses sold I can move home but stuck here for now until then. Thanks again Debbi

  • […] Feeling Rejected By An Alcoholic Excerpt: “Alcoholics really have a tendency to put the alcohol first in their lives and people second. Some people in AA refer to this as romancing the bottle. They also say that they had a love relationship with their booze of choice. Even though we may not get the love we desire from them, we can learn how to love an alcoholic with out conditions. […]

  • Paula g

    I think, we need to keep in perspective that we can love a person from afar. Without subjecting ourselves to the deterioration of civil lives and without putting our hearts through things they should never go through, we can still love an individual. This to me is why understanding that alcoholism is a disease is so important. If, say your husband had tourettes syndrome, we would try to ignore rude outbursts and not take them personally. In this case we could detach ourselves from the things being uttered much more easily. We need to be almost clinical in our dealing with our alcoholics, like we are with our children. These are the rules and when they are broken these are the consequences, no exceptions. Something my alcoholic says is he had undisciplined disciplined while growing up, and I believe this is very common among alcoholics and addicts. Being very cut and dry about outlining your boundaries is where you can find your sanity, and not feel guilt. It is the key to finding the ability to remain detached. Again, it also makes it very clear what you will take before you have to leave. You can tell your alcoholic that you love them but because of certain behaviors you have to leave it is what is fair for you. period. This system has been working very well for me. That is not to say everything is easy, it will never be easy, but at least I feel like I have my fair say in what I will accept. It is coming to an understanding of sorts. I hope this system can work for others as well.

  • Diane

    Thank you for the article about rejection. My daughter is an addict, but it is really the same thing.
    She has been criticising my parenting skills with her younger sister and of course, herself when she was a teen. I am having pretty serious problems with my teen and of course feel like a failure. My husband
    Is very supportive and considers it “our” responsibility–not just mine. Unless you live in our home and witness the issues our child has, you cannot possibly criticise our methods. And we have a therapist involved as well.

    Intellectually I know that my addicted daughter is just trying to take the focus off herself, but she is
    Sometimes insinuating that I need to rescue her. How can I do that if she refuses rehab?
    She has been on opiates for three years now….

    Kind regards,

  • Paula g

    Hi Diane,
    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. I can’t imagine how it must be for you. It is really hard to communicate with a child once they have decided that we are the bad guy. I hope you didn’t think that I was making a blanket statement about parenting, just that I think what my alcoholic experienced is fairly common, that’s all. Maybe your daughter is aware of the problem she is having and can’t stop, but doesn’t know how to ask for help. Pride can be very damaging, I know my own was, in a different way, but it was still pride. It can even blur our judgment about whether we need help or not. God bless

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