How to Do Less For Your Alcoholic and Get More Results


I’ve often heard the adage ‘less is more’ and have realized it’s true when it comes to you and your alcoholic.

Let’s take time to discover how to make it happen for you. Along the way you’ll reap the benefit of more results when it comes to your alcoholic.

Much less

I’m sure you’ve told yourself to do less for your alcoholic. Yet when push comes to shove you bail him out of the jam he’s put himself in.

Fortitude! it really takes courage to stand up in these times and decide to let him bear the full responsibility of his behavior.

When you do less enabling…the result is always more results.

There may be a little time in between your refusal to enable and the results but it’ll certainly happen because there’s no one to bail him out of the situation.

Speak the truth

Truth is very often uncomfortable for your alcoholic. It goes counter to the denial he must tell himself to continue his pattern of use.

Refuse to take on his responsibility but be free to speak the truth. Leave it with him to deal with it.

When you make an observation remove any attached expectation from your alcoholic. In time the impact will become evident.

Eliminate excuses

Here’s an exercise you can do to determine if you still make excuses for your addict.

Take a paper and list behaviors your addict does that annoy you or others like co-workers, family, friends.

Place a check mark next to the ones you have offered an excuse for in the past. Put another next to the ones you still make excuses for.

Make a decision to eliminate excuses entirely for his behavior. Let it be his.

Stop the games

The back and forth can become a game. Another way of ‘he said, she said’.

Games can be very destructive to a relationship. They are also easy to fall into and to get out is difficult.

I use an example. If someone plays their move in checkers what are your choices?
The obvious is to take your turn. Another choice is to refuse to play the next turn.

Unless the other person plays both sides, the game is over.

It’s much the same way here with your alcoholic. When you refuse to play the game, it ends. Oh yes, he may go on for a while in an effort to play both sides.

The game will stop. The results follow.

End arguments

When you use the ‘end the game’ principle to an argument it works the same way.

You may find your alcoholic’s pushed your buttons and you want to argue. Let me assure you the argument will continue until someone doesn’t make the next move.

The choice is yours. Less is more when you decide to not make the next move it’s over. The results follow as you refuse to argue.

Do less and get more results.

As you put these recommendations into your life remember, it takes patience as you consistently refuse to take on your alcoholic’s responsibility.

In what ways have you done less and seen more results from your alcoholic? Share with us in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. Louise

    Since I found this website, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer worry or try to control his behaviour and surprisingly the arguments have become less but also his drunken nights out have reduced! It’s like we become locked in a cycle and play different good guy/bad guy roles. He may get worse at times, he may get better at times but I know now that I can choose how much it affects me. Thank heavens for Free My Addict! X

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      We’re glad to be here for you. It’s amazing what difference there is when you begin to make better choices. Thanks for the compliment.

  2. Edward Stypulkoski

    This is excellent advise. I have come to the same conclusion..but it took many arguments before I relized I could end it.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      There’s empowerment when you realize it doesn’t have to continue the way it’s been. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Marina

    Thanks for the advise. It has taken me a long time to realize just how enabling I was. He doesn’t work, I have taken on the full responsibility of the household. He goes to AA off and on. I give him bus tickets to go to AA and to look for a job. (he lost his drivers license, I refuse to help him get his license back, told him that if he wants to drive he will have to work for it himself). I took the bus tickets away last week, as he has found someway to get some cash to buy beer. I fell in the same routine, get angry, yelled and screamed. I did catch myself a few times and just walk away and didn’t say a word. He tried to push my buttons, but I had the strength to walk away. I made plans and went out all weekend, went to a movie with my son and sister, went out to dinner, went for a hike. Now again he has stopped drinking and trying to get on my good side. I just have to find the strength to carry on, and let the alcoholic do his thing. He asked for bus tickets to go to “AA” I told him that if he really wanted to go he could pick up the phone and phone another AA member to come pick him up. If he does, he does.
    Thanks for letting me vent again

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Good Job! You are indeed discovering how to stop enabling. Isn’t it wonderful how when you let go YOU feel better. He’s the same if he chooses to be… Or he changes if he chooses. Either way, you can be okay!

  4. Deon

    Thanks so much for all the articles. They are really helping me. I recently put this into practice when he drank so much that he threw up all over the bathroom. The next morning I set the paper towels and cleaner by the door and asked him to clean up the mess in the bathroom. He seemed shocked that I wasn’t going to clean it up for him (enabler), but after I walked away, he cleaned it all up. He didn’t drink for several days after that incident and actually admitted to me that he had a problem. That was short lived, but it gave me hope that if he admitted it once, maybe he will keep moving in that direction. I know it’s his stuff and I will still be okay no matter what he continues to choose.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You’ll find more success to follow as you stick to your guns. Absolutely no enabling. There is a connection between your alcoholic being held responsible for behavior and recognition of there being a problem. Guess what… The problem isn’t YOU!

  5. LorriT

    Very good and true article. It took me a while to come to this (thanks tom) as well but once I did it is so liberating and true. :)

    Thank goodness for Free My Addict!


    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks for your comment LorriT. It’s very liberating when you recognize your not responsible for your alcoholic.

  6. Theresa

    I used to be so depressed when my partner starts drinking. But, now through this website and trusting God with all my heart and praying for him, God has given me peace that surpasses human understanding. No matter how much he drinks, it does not affect me anymore because I know God is in control and without arguing, I now see a great change in him. He looks after me so well and I know one day he will be free from alcohol.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When your focus moves away from enabling your alcoholic good things happen. I’m glad your faith has given you strength for this journey. Thanks for your comment it really does help others to see the progress you make.

  7. Gloria

    I have been battling with my alcoholic for some 20 years now. I finally had to move out or I should say he actually threw me out. It has been a positive move for both of us. I definitely no longer enable him. We see each other regularly and talk on the phone, when arguments heat up I can just hang up. This has been an awake up call for him as he now has all the responsibilities of the house that I have had for years. He doesn’t like it much but is doing it as I refuse to help out with anything that I use to do. Thanks for this WebSite I’m glad I found it. The information is proving to be invaluable.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Even though you had to leave it’s interesting how things seem to work out for the better when you stop enabling. Good for you Gloria! I for one am proud of you.

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