Character Defects and Your Alcoholic


Character is more than personality or attitude.

The best description I’ve seen is, “Your character is how you behave when no one’s watching”.

Many things contribute to who your alcoholic is at this point in time.

All kind of situations are encountered and choices are made.

Some choices improve character and others take it down a notch.

Let’s look at some of the influences on your alcoholic.

Wet environment

Chances are your alcoholic was raised either in an environment where alcohol was used or there was no strong sanctions agains use.

If alcohol is perceived as an alternative to reality, or simply a way to have fun and relax, there’s a high probability of alcohol use.

When the increased tolerance kicks in…Your hooked.

Genetic influence

Researchers studied mono-zygotic twins and found those males whose fathers were alcoholic were likely to become alcoholics themselves.

These studies even suggested if alcoholism was in the father there was no greater factor for influence.

Now that the backdrop is clear let’s get to what influences character development.


If you are raised in an alcoholic home or for that matter most any high stress home, situations occur you simply can’t explain.

  • Truth often gives way to falsehood.
  • Manipulation is used to gain control
  • Betrayal often occurs for personal gain
  • Secrets, many secrets
  • Anger withouth understanding

These are just a few things that happen often influencing character development in your alcoholic.

Lack of truth telling

When the truth becomes an option rather than the norm it becomes very easy to use falsehood as a tool to further personal interest.

When perceived positives result from falsehoods it really does seem like the ‘little white lie’ is not consequential.

The impact however is severe on your alcoholic’s character.

This may simply set up a string of compromises as it relates to addition and your alcoholic’s character.

The predominant issue for your alcoholic becomes having resources sufficient to use regardless of who gets hurt or how often.

Normally you’d think the people who your alcoholic loves might be exempt from being targets of hurt.


Character is affected to the extent the very people who care the most are hurt the most often.


You might look at the word dysfunction and say, “My alcoholic is functional. That doesn’t apply to us”.

Well, the truth is when you live in dysfunction it seems like that’s just the way things are supposed to work.

Think about these things and see if they function the way healthy families would do it.

  • Communication
  • Intimacy
  • Openness to each other
  • Honesty
  • Understanding each other
  • Effort to meet each others needs
  • Personal responsibility

Your self evaluation may have revealed some areas that seem not to function real well.

When your alcoholic or anyone is raised in a family with dysfunction there’s an influence on the character of each person in that family unit.

The good news is character flaws don’t have to have to be permanent.

In the support groups one of the key components to successful self evaluation is to understand the flaws that exist in character and then to do something about it.

Character flaws came as a result of choices and chance. If they are to change it will take honesty, time and effort to examine them and make better choices.

How has your alcoholic been influenced regarding character. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. The good news is character flaws don’t have to be permanent.
    this is it this is the depth of it all, I was raised with an alcy father, he drank to find some kind of peace in his world , he felt as a man he could not keep up and it was constantly eating at him, he would drink bash my mother because some man looked at her, then come after us, I hated drinkers all of them I thought what morons if they think they need a drink I thought yep bums, but as I now live with a man who didn’t drink that much to down right drunk because of stress I now know it’s a disease, a drug fix, he just need to be taught a new fix like something healthy walks runs travel anything other than get mashed up into something that steals your brain a thief, blocks the th0guht and pain rather than finding help for it , rod is on the road to recovering it’s hard and especially hard for me, but I believe in any relationship it TAKES WORK , I am not a quitter , it has its up and downs, I try to make them more ups it takes planning on a good woman’s part , but then what else would I do, we are here for each other not just ourselves love all be happy

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Without intention it seems like when you come from a home with addiction it’s like you audition for the part in a play called life. When you settle into the part you realize it resembles a lot like home. Amazing.

  2. Tamara

    Wow! You just described my husband to the point that its a relief to hear. That means Im not the only one living this nightmare. Its such a lonely and isolated place for me. I feel like I’ve lost my identity and purpose for living. I have no access to money and he won’t fix my car so I can’t get a job. I’m at the lowest point I have ever been. I am so thankful for this online counseling. It has been so eye opening and a blessing to understand why he does what he does to me. I feel like I have a little bit of hope where there was none. Thank you so much!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Tamara, I trust your hope will increase and that you feel the support from FreeMyAddict and those who read and comment. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Ross

    Hi, i appreciate all the articles.
    Do you have anymore on alcoholics and infidelity?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      We’ll consider additional articles on the subject.

  4. Speaking of lying…it seems when you catch the alcoholic in a lie…he or she gets VERY angry. WHY???? How do you deal with this?
    Also…it seems he plans for himself without telling me and makes excuses later that HE did…WHEN I KNOW HE DIDN’T! Does he think me THAT STUPID????
    I don’t want to let him back in…..the promises never some true…..he just doesn’t realize he CAN’T DRINK!!
    I’ve had it….I have no feelings any more.
    Should I use an ultimatum?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Lies are to preserve opportunities to use, protect the stash or deny how much is used. When you choose to set a boundary be sure you’re ready to maintain it. Speak truth to him and hold your ground.

  5. Tina

    I have been receiving these emails, but am unsure how to get involved or talk with others. I grew up in a alcoholic home (both parents), dysfunctional, abusive (emotional and physical), neglectful and whatever else.
    Both my parents are still alcoholics and their attitudes towards me is the same. I am 42 and have a Master’s degree, but currently on disability. So my funds are not positive and I have to rely on one of them financially. Neither one is there emotionally and I have a brother that I didn’t live with after age 9. Him and his wife are also alcoholics and not nice. I am just learning why I have some of the thoughts and thought processes I have. Married and divorced 2 alcoholics. The first one I married to please my dad. We have been divorced 15 years and my family still keeps in contact with him. My father visits with him all the time and treats him way better than me. The second marriage, we got married to soon and under the wrong conditions and reasons. I did not even know he had a drinking prolem/alcoholic. Much less a lot of other things. I keep learning different things by him accidentally letting something slip, by his family members, and other ways. We got a divorce so if we decided to be married it would start off on the truth and right foot. We are dating. He is living with me and has helped me with going and talking with my doctors. Which is nice because my biological family doesn’t believe/understand any of it. And they don’t want to take the time to know. I also have a step-mom. We really have never liked each other. There is a lot of fakeness. I live in South Dakota and have not found any beneficial help for me, so I don’t keep repeating mistakes and trusting those I shouldn’t.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Readers are encouraged to relate to the articles and may comment on the respective comments shared. FreeMyAddict has a membership area called Community Connect where you can be part of the forum. When you join Community Connect you’re entitled to be part of the FREE Group Coaching available for all members. Of course, there is Mastery Coaching where you can get one on one time with a FMA Coach. I hope we can be a support to you.

  6. David

    You have pretty much described my husband’s background to a tee. His dad was an alcohlic who drank, cheated, and spent all the money. Luckily, his mom worked so they family finances were okay. But after she died, he got worse. He lost everything in a bad car accident. He wasn’t injured but he was sued for every last penny. He was very ill before he died in his early 60s. Besides his dad’s drinking, David’s mom had mental health issues. She was in the hospital several times and committed suicide just after David left to join the military. She told him before he left that if he left her, she would die. The weird thing is, no one told Dave his mom committed suicide. His dad said she just died in the mental hospital. It wasn’t til later that Dave and his sister realized that she killed herself. I think that his mom’s death messed him up a bit but he didn’t want to face it. I find the least bit of stress sets him off. Funny thing is, he denies being under any stress. According to him, nothing bothers him and he never worries about anything.

    Sadly, you have described the family environment my children grew up in as well. The deceit is not all on his side either. I have excused his behaviour and used his behaviour to excuse mine. My kids see my covering up with friends and relatives. I lie to my husband to smooth things over and avoid conflict and I have encouraged them to lie or find other ways to avoid conflict with him. We are all afraid of making him mad because he can be such a jerk. My oldest son has a problem with booze. Luckily, he gets it and is on the road to getting help. My middle son is okay most of the time but I think he tends to binge drink. My youngest doesn’t drink much. Luckily, he seems to be like me and have a low tolerance for the booze. Unfortunately, he love pot so he lets that ruin his life instead.

    One of the hardest things for me to understand is why I tolerated it at all. I did not grow up with booze in the house. My parents had some hard liquor but that was just for once in a while when friends came over. I don’t think I ever saw them drink. I’ve never understood the need to have a drink every day, to always have beer in the fridge or anything like that. This has never felt normal to me.I have accepted as being the way that it is but it is not normal.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I’m not surprised you fell in love with your alcoholic. They are charming, usually the life of the party and seem in the early days to be able to handle themselves even with a lot of booze. You fell in love with him not what the alcoholism has done to him.
      I hope your children do ‘get it’ because the genetics are such there’s little chance to escape the illness unless they remain abstinent.
      Thanks for your comments

  7. Cat

    We fell in love quickly. Then I noticed that once I was “his”, he treated me like I wasn’t that important when other people where around. Actually even when they weren’t around. He was retired and we were both working hard to get our yard in before Spring. We were both tired but he was frowning and grouchy in the evenings. It made him worse to talk about anything when he was like this. So, I asked him if he’d rather that I didn’t talk about anything in the evenings. It was a test and he didn’t even get it. He said “yes, please don’t talk to me in the evenings”. That was the 1st ah moment. Then he’d veg all evening and watch TV while frowning. Then he’d brighten up with a funny to “that’s too much information” about a past girlfriend. For a smart man (well, big words) he just wasn’t getting it. If I tried to tell him what his attitude was doing to me, no matter what time of day, he’d get angry, make excuses and be into rage. Problem number 2.

    I could never finish a sentence. It usually only got to my second word, his eyebrow would go up and he’d be off and running in seething rage for sometimes hours until he exhausted himself. One day pushed me when I got close to him in order to calm him. I called his friend over to tell him so that it was on the record I got pushed. My boyfriend calmly(of course because his friend was there), stated any lie in the book…that I pinched him first, pulled him and pushed him (his story kept changing). I simply stated that he’d better not touch me again or I’d call the police. Problem 3.

    After his friend left, all hell broke loose and every hurtful thing that I told him in confidence of what I endured in my past was thrown in my face as things that I deserved. I could not make a full statement because he was in charge. Of course he saw it as me always doing the talking. He was acting like he was going to lunge at me from his chair. Problem 4.

    However, I was getting very clear that this was never going to work out between us. Anger, verbal and physical abuse, not being over the anger of past relationships that failed (not surprising that it was always the women’s fault in his view). Then his ultimatum…that this was all my fault and I needed to go to counseling for my childhood issues (huh?) or he wouldn’t marry me. I said “fine”. I also said that it is the women who choose who they want to be with (should be) and that I rejected his treatment of me, so i was the one leaving not him kicking me out. I was moved out the next few days, not without him running to talk to his attorney to get me out. As if that was the problem.

    We’ve had to discuss things by e-mail for a few things I left or things I mistakenly had packed. Once that was taken care of, I had to tell him to stop contacting me after he was going back to AA and had some things of interest for me to learn. HA! I told him that he must be looking in the mirror and was scolding himself.

    He had stopped drinking 30 years ago. he hadn’t worked the program for the 8 months I knew him. I had no idea what an alcoholic was. And to think that after 30 years or more, although he doesn’t drink, he thinks he is “all that” and has not been able to control his world.

    Too bad. There was much happiness waiting if he just “got it”. He told me and everyone that I was the best woman he ever had in his life. He just didn’t know how to love me and or how to control his demons.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      My first advice in any relationship is to NEVER accept abuse. You don’t deserve to be mistreated. It sounds like you identified the problems in having a relationship with your alcoholic. The key is to act consistently with what you know to be true. You may care deeply about him but it’s always a matter of weighing the cost to you personally. Thanks for the comment.

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