3 Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making


No ones perfect, right?

I’m a musician and I find it very difficult to handle mistakes.

It doesn’t matter if a note is played out of tune or the music should be interpreted another way.

The one that gets me worst is when I play something wrong quite a few times before I realize what the mistake actually is.

When it comes to your alcoholic, there are a few mistakes you may not know you’re making.

Blame yourself

When you’re involved with an alcoholic it’s real easy to believe you’re the problem.

Your alcohlic has told you enough times and in so many ways it’s your fault he drinks.

The subtle ways it’s said can make you wonder if you might have something to do with it.

Let me make it perfectly clear.

It’s NOT your fault.

You don’t hold him down and pour it down his throat.

Blame your alcoholic

Well, if it’s not your fault it must be his, right?

Not exactly.

It’s true your alcoholic is responsible when he picks up the alcohol and drinks.

I’m sure your alcoholic didn’t decide one day to become an alcholic.

The illness is far more subtle than that.

Generally, it starts with recreational use, progresses to drinking for relief.

It’s followed by using to keep from feeling the withdrawal symptoms and finally it moves into drinking to escape reality.

As I’ve said, no one I’ve known in my 30 years of work with alcoholics has ever intentionally decided to become alcoholic.

The illness is the only thing to blame.

Take it personal

When you’re in the middle of stress from your alcoholic’s use it may be hard not to take it personal.

Targeted words and actions that hurt come from your alcoholic. It’s part of the illness.

This isn’t an excuse for verbal or physical abuse. Under no circumstance is it acceptable.

You can know it’s the illness and not you.

Alcoholics when they’re uninhibited (because of alcohol) they say and do things they otherwise would never allow.

It wouldn’t be accurate to think those overt behaviors under the influence have anything to do with honesty or truth.

Pick up the pieces

How many times have you been where you had to pick up the pieces?

Whether it’s a friendship almost destroyed by alcoholic behavior or almost losing a job because of hangovers.

The truth is when you pick up the pieces it actually delays your alcoholic from hitting the bottom.

Your alcoholic has to get to the place where it’s no longer worth it to use.

If you pick up the pieces personal responsibility is avoided.

The recommendation here is let your alcoholic pick up the pieces.

It’ll be better in the long run.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. I really hate it when I play a sour note. The only consolation is the next time I take extra care to play it better.

In what ways have you learned from your mistakes with your alcoholic? Share with us in the comment section below.


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  1. Viki

    Very good points. Something I’ve discovered over the years is that in picking up the pieces you are often delaying the inevitable. I did everything I could so he wouldn’t lose his job, but . . . he lost his job. I was horrified at the thought that he might get arrested and did my best to keep it from happening, but . . . he was arrested, not once, but several times. I think the reason I picked up the pieces for so long was because I was taking on embarrassment that was rightfully his. Good Lord, what would people think? In the end, those who mattered understood with compassion. Those who didn’t understand, really didn’t matter.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You nailed it! People who care about you are understanding and those who don’t understand are not really friends anyway. There is never a point where enabling helps you or your alcoholic. What a difficult lesson to learn but it’s liberating when you finally recognize it. Thanks Viki.

  2. It’s REALY hard if you yourself are not the enabler but family and friends OUTSIDE the relationship enable the person because they don’t “know” what really happened or “need” the person in some way….to “work” for them, “have someone to drink with” or merely company (etc.) My guy falls for this every time and runs on impulse….not realizing that these people aren’t there “for” him…… later….when he seems to realize that he will “say” he gets it and does for a bit; eventually he will get irritable and the behavior begins anew and YOU get the blame for asking about the crazy behavior, lies and broken promises. You draw the line…..he goes somewhere else…..eventually realizing his “feelings” and that fact that these people have their own lives….but not really LEARNING from the process. It’s sad….but with so many places to go…I don’t think this man will EVER stand back and see that HE causes the behavior in others.
    There’s no talking to the family or friends as they drink as well…. or need him “sometimes.” Very sad….especially if he wants a relationship (as he says) and ruins it by treating the person who really CARES like crap.
    When you’re confused and can’t take it and have to preserve your sanity YOU’RE the bad guy. There’s no winning here.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You’ve just described the insanity of alcoholism. There’s no control over how others enable your alcoholic. When you speak truth, hold him accountable you know you’ve done what you can do; the rest is up to him. I appreciate your comment. Thanks!

    • Grace

      Pam, it’s almost like you typed a message for me…I know how you feel, and it’s good to know there’s someone out there who can relate to how I feel too

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks Grace for your supportive comment to Pam. Isn’t it good to be able to relate and know you’re not alone?

  3. carol

    My alcoholic husband reached bottom…when he stuck his head through wall….didn’t know what he was saying or who he was the last two times..is this blackouts?
    I feel was tricked because he claimed he didn’t drink when we met & in 6 months after marriage drinking was a problem.
    He told me if I would have known he was an alcoholic I wouldn’t have even dated him.
    When I brought it up again he said he didn’t know if he was.
    He went with his ex cause she was. When after divorce if he took a drink cause he didn’t want it to become a problem.
    So it sounded like he was just dancing round till he could take back his admitting he was an alcoholic.
    Does this sound typical of excuses alcoholics use?
    Also he said I wasn’t perfect. I needed to work on things too so I am now trying to keep a perfect home.
    Work on my communication skills cause he wants the pronoun first so he knows what I’m talking about up front.
    Good News.
    I moved out WHEN HE PUT HIS HEAD THROUGH WALL & pounded his fist on wall to break his hand he claimed that plus his constant correcting me on everything & berating me caused me to withdraw & not talk much put up walls.
    Anyway, he stopped drinking & doing pot & taking pain pills combo.(cause he hurt his back….pain pills) it got to be to much for me when it became blackout time.
    I was afraid. I’m back now for a week now; I’m thinking leaving showed him I wouldn’t PUT UP WITH this behavior.
    So, I’m glad I did.
    How can I help him not drink from now on? He is drinking one martini & making it last all night.
    I thought he should stop all together but he said he can do it this way.
    He has anger issues.
    I told him the attitude had to go.
    It’s better.
    If it shows up its not directed at me.
    If he has an angry tone I tell him I want a marriage where we build each other up not tear each other down.
    Id appreciate thoughts on my situation.
    I’ve only been married 8 months even thought about annulment cause I feel like he kept his problem from me.
    Thanks for any helpful comments bout my situation!!!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Carol, there’s a lot going on here. First, I would say even if your alcoholic is drinking one martini now it’s only a matter of time and he’ll be back to the old way. There are thousands of excuses for an alcoholic to drink, including blame (you’re not perfect either). To an alcoholic, they’ll tell you the housekeeping isn’t perfect, but when it’s very well done they’ll come up with another reason to drink.

      You can’t please your alcoholic into no more excuses. The only thing you can do is not buy into them. He drinks because he’s addicted to alcohol. That’s what alcoholic’s do.

      The social drink effort is a path back into the bottle. It’s destined to fail.

      Thanks for your comment.

      P.S. Remember you can get 30 days of email support from a FMA Coach for ONLY $5.00. Here’s the link.

  4. Marina

    I am the one who has pick up the pieces for my alcoholic, from lying for him, giving him bus tickets so that he can get around gift card so that he can go to the grocery store to buy what he wants. When am I going to learn. Reading this article has open my eyes a little more. I have not tried to keep his job, but he managed to lose several jobs (he is a construction worker). I was the one who phoned the police when he was drinking and went to his car to get more beer (he doesn’t know this). He lost his license, but I was the one who gave he $ to get his vehicle out of the pound (why?? guilt??). I refused to give him $ to get his drivers license back. He was angry with me for awhile, but now it’s like he doesn’t care if he drives or not. I am trying to concentrate on myself, but going home to house not knowing what I will find, is very upsetting. Most of the time I am angry with Dennis, I try not to argue, but sometimes its very hard not to snap. I leave the house and go for a walk, but again coming home I am depressed. I feel I have a knot in my throat all the time. I am going to alanon it helps, but I am inpatient, I want things to be better I want to be happy. I am pretty good in covering things up when I am out with family and friends, (they all know about Dennis) I can put up a pretty good front. I guess I am happy to be with them, and I do laugh when I am out with my loved ones. But I do go home and its the same thing. Dennis is not always falling down drunk, but I can tell he has had a few drinks. Thanks for the articles, it helps.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Marna, as always your candor is outstanding. As you become more successful (and you ARE) it will become easier to let your alcoholic bear the consequences of his own drinking. To have family and friends who will laugh with you is a wonderful thing. I’m glad this article was helpful.

  5. Clifton

    I am tired, I have always run damage control for her, and I probably will somehow in the future. (Just being Pragmatic) I am holding up money, and making it in accessible to her. My children 3 and 6 love their mom, and I want it that way. but my heart is breaking and I am tired to my soul. Someone tell me that there is hope for my marriage (even an outside chance) I am a dedicated Christian husband in a downward spiral. I have stayed the course for years… My children are bright, and caring polite and intelligent despite being trapped into telling lies for the sake of momma losing face…

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Clifton, There’s hope for you and your children as well as your wife. It’s not an easy journey but it starts with not doing it alone. You need others who understand, listen and offer support.

      One of the first things you need to be able to do is stop enabling. Email me and I’ll send you an e-book on the issue. It’s give you a good start.

  6. Clifton

    I am not in depression but oppressed to being depressed, and hate to leave for work. She’s a stay home mom. A huge battle coming there, because this is not the deal, and she cannot stay that way. I am just venting for a second unless I were to explode. Thank you for your ears.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Clifton, your welcome to vent here anytime. It’s a very heavy load to carry. It’s obvious you love her and want things to change.

  7. Bernie

    Clifton brings me to tears because that’s how I feel about my husband. Now I find myself pulling away. Tired, too tired. I want to sleep forever and not deal with it anymore. Getting up and going to work is painful. Sitting with him, dying to have “him” is killing me. I feel so alone even though I’m not. This is not how I pictured life and love. If I express myself (good or bad) it seems to anger him. Tired!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It can be a heavy load to bear. Maybe the fact someone else understands helps a little. The fact you love your alcoholic makes it much more painful. When you get glimpses of who he really is it only makes lonely lonelier when he’s drunk again.

      I hope you find time to take care of yourself. It’s NOT all about him. YOU count.

  8. Clifton

    Yes and it does somehow help that others understand.

    • FreeMyAddict Team


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