How To Be Set Free From Your Alcoholic’s Addiction


As children neighborhood kids would play cops and robbers. When the sheriff would catch a robber the routine was to tie the bandit up with a rope.

This included hands and feet. It was always a great time when as the robber you succeeded in breaking loose from the sheriff’s ropes.

The secret to wiggling out of the ropes was to find any amount of loose rope and work on it until free.

In the relationship with your alcoholic you may feel like your hands and feet are bound.

It may seem impossible to do anything about your situation.

As in my cops and robber days, I would recommend you consider these suggestions as part of getting free from your rope.

Improve your choices

Much of life with your alcoholic can be characterized as ‘out of control’.

Not that you want it to be, but it is because of what alcoholism does in your relationship.

One of the problems in efforts to break free from this out of control cycle is what I call all or nothing thinking.

This is where you think the choice is only between two alternatives.

It’s black or white, good or bad or even right or wrong.

When you think in all or nothing you miss all of the choices in between.

There are many shades of gray.

The more you are able to examine a variety of choices the better chance you’ll find a workable option.

Take time to think

Stress is the name of the game with your alcoholic.

If your like most people it’s very easy to react to situations.

Later, after you’ve had time to think about it, you may wish you had said or done something different.

I’m going to give you a tool to use it’s called S.T.A.R.

The S stand for STOP.

The first thing you have to do is stop yourself from acting on impulse.

Once you’ve successfully stopped the next step is to THINK.

Consider what just happened. Examine your choices. Generate lots of them before you choose.

The third step is to ASSESS. This means you take the choices you’ve thought about and evaluate them.

When you’ve come up with the best one the fourth step is to RESPOND.

You’ve just made a decision based on sound reason. You’ll
find these choices work much better than impulse decisions.

Give up revenge

You’ve so many reasons to be angry with your alcoholic.

It’s not unreasonable you might even want a little revenge.

The adage says revenge is sweet.

I would like to qualify that revenge doesn’t take away the hurt inflicted by your alcoholic’s behavior.

The only way to do that is to heal from your hurt.

Revenge will always leave you empty.

You need to find a way to forgive your alcoholic. This is one of those loose ends of the rope. When you find it and use it you are truly set free.

In what ways have you been set free from your alcoholic’s behaviors? Share with us in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 16 Other People Thought...

  1. Louise

    Amazing. Yet again you give advice as though it were meant for me only. This week I lost my temper. I’ve been trying to find a tool I can use to prevent this from happening. Thank you. Don’t ever stop what you are doing! X

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks Louise. I’m glad the article’s helpful.

  2. robin

    I totally agree with the abandon of revenge un forgiveness hurts me worse than anyone else . I like the star tool thanks

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Revenge is so deceptive. It’s like taking a stab with a knife but you’re holding the blade. Thanks for your comment Robin.

  3. Charlene

    By listening to my own strength within…. The power of our Lord…. Taking better care of myself….Enjoying life to change myself…Building my confidence.. Enjoy our grandson that is such a gift…. To live my life like it’s going to be my last day…. Laugh: Put up my walls when I need too… Set boundaries…..

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Wow, Charlene, what great steps your taking! It really isn’t all about your alcoholic… You count! Thanks for your comment.

  4. Dee

    I forgive him logically, but I am still disappointed and hurt. Does that mean I haven’t forgiven him in my heart?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When you forgive him you no longer hold what he did (or does) against him. You learn to let it go and attribute it to the illness. It doesn’t mean you’re not hurt and disappointed. Your hopes and dreams may be shattered. Hurt is an appropriate response. Hurts heal… over time when you take care of yourself.
      Thanks for your comment Dee, I’m sure others feel exactly like you.

  5. LorriT

    I really needed this one because I have done the revenge thing in the past and it is just like the article says, it did not make the pain go away.

    I like this STAR it can actually be applied to other people if you are a reactionary person like I am. With that said I will start using this right away with individuals in my life who like to push my buttons and when I am in a very annoyed and frustrated state of mind to avoid hurting the feelings of others because of my mood!

    Very good article for a life lesson.

    THANK YOU as usual!


    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks LorriT for your comment…As always thoughtful.

  6. Rebecca R.

    I guess I’m screwed. I resent my husband for 15 years of living in hell. I start to forgive and then he does something even worse and I’m back to where I was. As for revenge, I completely me, it feels so good at first but afterwards, I’m left feeling more hurt. I truly feel stuck.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It’s quite normal to feel resentment and also want revenge, but in the end they serve no purpose. They actually keep you stuck. One way to look at your alcoholic is to understand much (maybe not all) of his behavior is influenced by his illness. When alcohol is introduced judgment is impaired and things happen. There’s no assurance where the illness will end. Jellinek, an early researcher into alcoholism suggested it led one of three places recovery, insanity or death. Of course we all hope for recovery. Unfortunately, many alcoholics end up with one of the other two alternatives.
      I really appreciate your comment. I hope the other articles on the site help to provide encouragement and support.

  7. Jules

    It is hard to let go of all the unbelievable hurt my alcoholic spouse has inflicted upon me because for so many years, he was a wonderful, kind, compassionate man. When the disease took over, it totally changed him into someone cruel and vile. I guess now he is somewhere in between, a high functioning alcoholic who I see spiraling more and more out of control and yet he doesn’t wish to get better. So I am watching this man destroy himself – after he has destroyed so much in the way of truly healthy relationships for a reckless life. Now he lives with guilt and shame. But… he has no desire to recover from this baffling, horrendous sickness. It is truly a matter of learning to forgive to set yourself free – for me it is recovering from a form of post-traumatic stress from what he has put me and our family through so the process of healing is slow. Let go or be dragged – saw it on a magnet which I bought and keep on my refrigerator. Really trying hard to do that in the form of forgiveness.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks for your comment Jules. The illness of alcoholism is very destructive. When you think about the person he was when he wasn’t ‘in the bottle’ you see the impact of the illness. I liken it to seeing a person who has cancer and they’ve lost a great deal of weight and they’re emaciated. It’s hard to accept this has really happened to the person you love.

      An important part here is what YOU do to be okay. Not easy…but vital.

  8. Separated from my alcoholic husband7 months. Thought I was handling it well through counseling and a lot of prayer. Found out few days ago he has been trying to date a friend and former co-worker of mine. Is calling her constantly. She now works across the street from me and he is over there a lot talking to her. I can see his vehicle every time I look up. Told her he was divorced (we’re not) She was interested until she found out who he was and that he is still married to me. She is in a horrific relationship with a alcoholic at the moment. She started going to church and made him move out but he is in a camping trailer parked outside her bedroom window. They were common law and the property is in his family. We cried together. My husband does not know that I know any of this. Now I am in a tailspin (again!)
    It’s like I’m walking in a dream and none of this is real. Don’t understand why he would do this right under my nose. This whole situation is crazy. It’s making me crazy because I still love him. Anyone reading this insanity is probably scratching their head and going HUH It’s almost like he’s playing a really heart wrenching game between us. She even explained to him what she was looking for in a relationship: non-drinking, church going man: He is a borderline atheist. Is he going insane or am I? Very, Very scarry

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Alcoholics use poor judgment when under the influence. Some even make poor choices when completely sober. I’m not sure what your alcoholic’s doing but it’s certainly not doing any favors for you or the relationship. My suggestion is to let him know in very specific terms what you expect from him (only do this when he’s sober). Once you set the boundary be sure to keep it. You’re not insane but there’s a lot of craziness going on with your alcoholic, I admit.

      Thanks for your comment

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