Tired of being the investigator? Are you always looking for the stashed alcohol so you can confront the alcoholic about their denial? Have you been putting marks on the booze bottles to see if they are drinking? Did they drink the Vodka and fill the container up with water? Did they stay out all night and never call? All of these things get very frustrating to us because we try to have control of someone’s drinking problem. In reality, we have no control over their choices to continue drinking.
A spouse, friend, son or daughter who has a drinking problem will really not stop their search to get a drink until they have one. Once they get a bottle or two, they have a tendency to be really be good at hiding them. So good that when they cannot find the bottle, we may get blamed for taking it away from them, even if we did not.
Somehow, we think that if we confront them and tell them how awful their behaviors are that this will make a difference. We say things like; “you’re ruining our families lives, can’t we just have a normal life, if you would stop drinking everything will be OK”. Well, those comments don’t make a difference at all. We can threaten, scream, and throw them out of the house and they will still romance the bottle until they hit bottom, and decide to get help for themselves.
Think about it… Has it ever helped in the past to confront your friend or loved one? Did they quit drinking because of your opinions about their drinking habits? Of course not and they never will. So, doesn’t it stand to reason that perhaps, you’ve been wasting a lot of energy trying to get them to stop destroying their life and the family members lives? This is why you need to learn various methods of letting go of an alcoholic.
Here are Three Ways to Quit Confronting an Alcoholic
1) Don’t even look at them when they come into the house to see if they have been drinking. Stop obsessing over the alcoholic’s behavior. Let them go completely and do things that you enjoy rather than trying to always figure out if they have been drinking or not. Read a good book, tend to the plants, cook dinner or go for a walk. It doesn’t matter what you do, just stop the negative behaviors that cause you to stick your nose into their lives all the time. Get a life of your own and leave them alone. You CANNOT make them quit!
2) If you are talking to them on the phone and they sound like they have been drinking, don’t ask if they have. Just finish the conversation in a NICE way and polity hang up the phone. Remember to tell them that you love them too! It’s not necessary to confront them because they are just going to deny that they are drunk anyway. If it irritates you, then call a friend and tell them about it. DO NOT ACCUSE your spouse, friend or relative of drinking.
3) Always have a back-up plan when planning to do something with an alcoholic. They have a tendency to not show up for things that have been on the calendar for months. This way when they fail to appear on time, you can continue on without them and without the need to confront them.
Here’s what happens to us. Over time, when living with an alcoholic, we have a tendency to lose sight of who we are because we are constantly obsessing over the alcoholic. You must break the obsession by doing things with friends, attending support group meetings and planning things to do that you enjoy without them.
What happens when we stop confronting an alcoholic?
First off there will be a lot less arguing because of this there will be more peace in your life and less shame or guilt to deal with. Oftentimes when we confront our spouse, brother, sister, friend or child and they deny they have a drinking problem, we respond as if they are lying. The truth is alcoholics lie a lot.
When we react in negative ways there is a lot of shame we have to deal with because we usually lose our temper and say things we should not have said.
When we stop confronting then there will be less shame because there will be less arguing with the alcoholic going on.
When we stop confronting the alcoholic we will enjoy the benefits of healthier emotions. One thing is for certain, we will have more peace in our lives. It takes two people to argue. When we stop confronting, then that’s one less chance to fight and another opportunity to enjoy a more serene lifestyle.