Alcoholic Rules


When I was young it was enjoyable to play Monopoly with my neighbor friend.

We would decide to change a few of the rules.

It not only made te game very interesting, the game would go on for days.

The key to win any game is a thorough understanding of the rules.

What are some of the rules your alcoholic plays by?

I’m in control

There’s an interesting phenomenon about your alcoholic if s/hes like the ones I know.

S/he wants you and everyone around to believe they are in control.

So common is the statement “I can quit anytime, I just don’t want to.”

If we had a dollar for every time it’s used there would likely be enough dollars to pay for treatment.

The only problem is all know it’s really not true.

There’s a truth hidden here.

Your alcoholic really wants to be in control s/he just is misguided to think alcohol can be part of control.

No problem

When you speak with your alcoholic there’s probably a majority of the time the opinion is there’s “no problem”.

You see, for your alcoholic to spend inordinate time with alcohol to the exclusion of family and sober friends is normal.

Even if you point it out there’s likely no connection between alcohol and the distance in relationships.

They really don’t see there’s a problem.

When you point it out you may actually encounter a huge altercation because it doesn’t match up with your alcoholic’s reality.

Just a few to relax

This is a good one. It’s really a two for one.

Your alcoholic NEVER really means TWO.

For any alcoholic I’ve ever known TWO is just a start and would be an insult if you really meant it as a maximum.

Relaxation isn’t the goal. It’s much more like get a buzz even though it may take all night and all the alcohol in the house.

I suppose if totally avoiding life is relaxation then your alcoholic may be attempting to relax.

Better with booze

Your alcoholic may actually buy into the idea s/he actually does things better with a little booze.

I know some people believe they dance better with a little inebriation.

Let me challenge this.

When your less inhibited, what alcohol does to you, you may not care what others think.

This may result in you trying things you might have been inhibited to do before.

Hence, the idea you actually do better when intoxicated.

If you stand back and watch people who drink when they dance, I think you might agree with me everything goes downhill.

Even discussions go from sensible to nonsensical and even para logical (logic of their own).

Avoid truth

One thing we know for sure there’s a rule where your alcoholic avoids truth almost like it’s the plague.

Truth may be obvious to you an those around but your alcoholic has a vested interested in denial.

Only in denial are they able to continue their pattern of alcohol use.

Blame others

There’s no doubt in your alcoholic’s mind it’s not their fault.

You may be the reason they drink, it’s a holiday or the holiday’s coming.

It’s gloomy out or it’s so nice lets party.

There’s no good reason for them to use except they have an illness of alcoholism.

You need to know you’re not to blame for your alcoholic’s behavior, s/he is.

Avoid personal responsibility

Your alcoholic may not intentionally avoid responsibility.

In most cases drinking behavior is followed by enabling behavior by someone around the alcoholic.

If you’ll pick up the pieces when your alcoholic drops the responsibility then they will continue to let you.

When your alcoholic drops their personal responsibility the best thing you can do is leave it alone. Let them pick it up on their own or pay the natural consequences.

Eventually your alcoholic may come to understand the full impact of alcoholism.

What are some of the rules your alcoholic puts in place. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 20 Other People Thought...

  1. Kat

    discussions go from sensible to nonsensical =Rod
    There’s no doubt in your alcoholic’s mind it’s not their fault.= Rod
    If you’ll pick up the pieces when your alcoholic drops the responsibility then they will continue to let you.-KATHY!
    ALL three r definitLY Rod, but the last one OH BOY , Well lets go there for one if I don’t we would have a huge mess with the banking , I do it to save myself and him and the children, after all I married him so shouldn’t I take some of the responsibility to help the children threw and show them problems can be worked on, Rods sister says divorce him, that’s not the answer to me , the answer is I love him, Hes ill, I need to help him threw this as i feel he would me, We r probably a unique couple but God loves marriage hate divorce and is there for us if we ask, I never realized rod had an illness, i thought it was just a habit he could stop but chose not to, well when I found out diffidently we went down that road , now the fix is coming but it’s not quick, alcoholic is a meany a bad tornado that comes and goes, sometimes your ready sometimes not
    but you can be assured your last comment is definitively a huge problem (In most cases drinking behavior is followed by enabling behavior by someone around the alcoholic.)When u learn to eliminate some of the obstacles it help all a great deal ,and his family wonders why I don’t come around

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It’s very possible to be supportive and not enable. Here’s an example. When your alcoholic (rod) decides to make a mess of things by his behavior and looks for you to fix it what would happen if you simply acknowledge what happened and suggest he might want to find a way to fix it himself. Then leave it alone!

      This technique is amazingly powerful. But you MUST leave it alone for it to work.

      • kat

        I don’t want to sound like a broken record but I have, because I for one am tired of fixing it, but my biggest fear is he will hurt someone driving and drinking if I don’t care, this I could not bare

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Resolve not to fix it anymore and take the keys away when he reached for the bottle.

  2. robin

    I see us in everything I read I think it is reasonable to say the rules are the same only the sex and names change including the enablers.
    I applaud those who get out of the rutt or cycle .those of us who still endure our alcoholics for our own reasons cope one day at a time not all because we have to but because we choose to. Me personally am riding on faith in power beyond us both to turn this thing around for the better and or make the mean time do able . not for everyone good people give up and get safe and move on and away. I don’t see anything wrong with not giving up or in and loving the unlovable. my rule for my alcoholic is love him , just love reward for it all ? between me and that power I call God. thank you

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Faith can be strength when there isn’t much coming from the situation. Some choose to leave others choose to stay. It’s a very personal choice. When the choice is made one way or the other support from others who understand is very important.

  3. David riley

    This is so true, it’s comforting to know that other people know what’s going on because in my world I’m the one made to feel out of control, like I’m inadequate and drink is never mentioned by my alcoholic. The lies, deceipt, bad bahavoir and distance is obvious when you step back but it’s like there’s only me that sees it.
    Frustrated but comforted!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Even though you feel alone in your situation your experience is very common with others who live with an alcoholic. This is one of the reasons I believe in using support programs. I’m glad the article was helpful.

  4. Ross

    I guess i’ve heard it all. My husband has offered me his last and final offer. He will go to AA(cant remember if he said he’d quit-i think so, I’ve heard so many variations of the same thing).And he gets to move home.I know he is mad, again.He told me the other day he drinks to relax.I told him that was typical textbook. I dont know if that was ok?or not. But its said, nonetheless. I feel sad, I do know he’s sick. I wish…..

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Going to AA is a great start. Here are some expectations that are important.

      • Decide on a home group
      • Get a sponsor
      • Attend weekly or more often as needed
      • Attend STEP meetings and open meetings
      • Read from the Big Book daily

      If you husband uses AA and works the steps there’s a great deal of hope for his recovery.

      • Ross

        He tells me over and over, over the past 5 months or so, right before his rent is due at his place. bUT HE HAS ONLY ATTENDED ONE MEETING.i BELIEVE HE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO MOVE IN THAT SAME WEEKEND.(oops caps lock on)
        Its too hard to live with.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        You’re right it would be quite typical of an alcoholic to expect to be rewarded for a single act of compliance. Remember the recommendation. He needs to regularly attend meetings, choose a home group, attend both open and step meetings and get a sponsor. This may take him a few months. Oh, and by the way he needs to stay abstinent. Maybe he needs to plan on paying rent and doing what he needs to do for his sobriety and the relationship will I’m sure follow a real recovery.

  5. David

    My husband’s number one rule is that it is not his fault he drinks, it’s always because of outside issues. He lies a lot about his drinking and if I bring up any of my concerns, he treats them like a joke. I really think he just doesn’t realize just how much he is drinking and the effect it has on him. He thinks he’s got an iron constitution and any growing physical problems like evening impotence and occasional incontinence is because he’s getting older. Maybe he is right but how will we ever know if he just keeps drinking?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Of course it’s not his fault. If it were he’d have to take up the responsibility and DO something about it. I’m sure he doesn’t want to do that.

  6. Ann miller

    I left my husband three weeks ago. I started to become resentful and hateful. He has a great excuse for everything. And if you corner him in a discussion he turns the tables on you and brings up your mistakes. He said he couldn’t quit drinking because it would kill him. However me drinking Pepsi all the time is much worse than alcohol. It can cause more health problems. He told me that he started AA meetings Sunday and is attending his third one tonight. I’m proud of him but I won’t reply to him. I dont think he is doing it for himself, i think he is doing it to get me to move back in with him. My family and his family keep tellin me I need to communicate with him and that I should be there for him and don’t make him do this by himself. I know I need counseling. I know it’s not healthy to be resentful towards him. He has never hit me. But I do have a scar from a night of drinking where he says he thought it would be funny to toss a lot zippo lighter at me. He has physically blocked the door so I couldn’t leave. He actually has me scared sometimes. But everyday I fight my emotions. I wake up sympathetic and wanting to go back and believe him. Hours later I am mad and upset at him for lying and being deceitful. I will be attending counseling next week. I’m not sure i I can ever go back to my husband. I’m not sure if I can put the past away and have a new future with him. Yet something still pulls me back to him.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It sound like when your husband drinks things are quite out of hand. Let me make sure you are aware violence is NEVER acceptable drunk or sober. It under the influence your alcoholic commits violent acts then you need to press charges. This can be a turning point for recovery.

      The fact your husband is going to AA is a good thing. To me it doesn’t matter what his motivation for getting there. If he stays there long enough he’ll learn somethings about his addiction.

      If you decide to go back with him let it be with your eyes open. He has an illness. It doesn’t go away but it can be managed. Relapse is part of recovery and you will no doubt experience a few if not many on the way to a stable recovery.

      There are many articles on the site. Hopefully you will get a clear picture of what you face should you stay.

      You may want to take some time with a FMA Coach.

      You’re making choices for yourself. Make sure you continue to make your own choices without undo influence from others.

      It takes a real commitment to see it through to stay with an alcoholic.

  7. Amber

    Great article! I never thought I would ever stop picking up the pieces for my alcoholic husband. I finally became honest with my children about their fathers drinking problem, so they didn’t have any confusion as to what we are dealing with as a family. That right there was a huge step because my husband did not like that I was talking to our kids about his problem, and I told him that he had no say in the matter because we are going to move on(in a healthy way)in life whether he chooses to drink or not. And recently, I finally told him that if he didn’t follow through with getting help, then I was leaving him. He now knows that I’m serious, and I’m following through with what I say. As a matter of fact, he’s got an appointment to see someone tomorrow. There is much truth said, that the alcoholic knows that we will pick up all the pieces. For the first time, in a long time, I feel really good about myself for letting him deal with his own problems. I’ve accepted that I choose to no longer live this way, and I figure if this man really loves me and our kids like he says he does, then he will follow through with getting help. If not, then I’ve accepted that I can’t help him, and will move on in life, because I choose not live this way anymore.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I’m glad to see you’ve set down the boundary in clear terms your husband understands. Now it’s up to him. If he wants you and the children he gets help for his alcoholism. If not his family adjusts to life without him.

      • KJ

        What do you do if he doesn’t want to get help and wants to drink? He is ok with being an alcoholic? Afterall, there are no consequences for him other than losing me. He has a trust fund, so will never have to worry about paying the bills. He is also 50 years old, has never been married, doesn’t have kids, and hasn’t had a job since he was 35. Help!

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Consequences are a tough thing. Eventually alcoholism brings on consequences often in the form of physical illness. Of course it takes time for this consequence to happen. There is a process called intervention where those people with the most influence on your alcoholic confront his drinking behavior and provide a path for recovery. We at FreeMyAddict do interventions if you are interested. Thanks for your comment.

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