Three Ways to Never Confront an Alcoholic Again


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 someones drinking problem and 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 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.

False Reality

confrontational manSomehow, 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, we’ve been wasting a lot of energy trying to get them to stop destroying their life and the family members lives? This is why we 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 and guilt. 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.

There are great benefits to our personal emotions once we put an end to the desire to confront the alcoholics in our lives. One thing is for certain, we will have more peace in our lives. It takes two people to argue and when we stop confronting, then that’s one less chance to fight and another opportunity to have a more serene lifestyle.


4 comments to Three Ways to Never Confront an Alcoholic Again

  • jane

    well these tips could have been written by my alcoholic spouse himself.
    just what he would want to enable him to continue with his drinking selfish lifestyle.
    ie the non alcoholic spouse sacrifices her own feelings.
    Life seems to short to me to be a doormat which is what these strategies scream to me.
    He gets peace and quiet and licence to continue drinking.
    I shut up and put up.

  • Heather

    I’m kind of inclined to agree with Jane. My mom has been sitting in a hotel room since Wednesday night on a drinking binge. She is on medications for her heart, blood pressure, and anti-depressants…and we’re just supposed to ignore her behavior? I know they won’t quit unless they want to, this is something that’s been going on with her for 26 years since before I can remember. But some how just ignoring the situation doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

  • Pamela

    Heather, I didn’t see anywhere in the article that mentions ignoring the situation.

    What I did see were ideas for doing things differently. If you think about how frustrated you have become trying to force some sort of solution, and failed, perhaps you can see the authors point.

    It’s about changing the way we have been reacting to the irrational alcoholic behaviors in order for us to have more peace in our lives. We shouldn’t tolerate unacceptable behavior form an alcoholic that is directed specifically toward us. No one should be a door mat for anyone to walk on.

    If this has been going on for 26 years that should be enough for you to recognize that you have no control over her behaviors.

    There are many things that we can do. Some of them include learning about treatment centers so that when they do hit bottom, we are ready with a plan..

    We can also learn how to love an alcoholic without conditions.

    Getting educated in how to set boundaries with an alcoholic is a good idea too.

    You can choose to confront the alcoholic in your life if you want to. I just know that all of the begging, arguing, fighting and demanding never produced any positive results with all of the many relationships I’ve had with alcoholics.

  • lambsicle

    I have to agree with the first comments. My alcoholic wife would wholeheartedly embrace the idea of me trying those strategies.

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