Just Trying To Cope


When you have an alcoholic in the home it changes everything. Your entire family is changed as a result of alcohol or drugs.

Your family system attempts to make adjustments. As a result it becomes way out of balance.

Some of these adjustments are understandable but in the long term not healthy. They often lead to a total demise of the family unit.

Here’s what many families do in their dysfunction to cope (see if your family does any of them):

Enable the Alcoholic

It is understandable why families try to enable the addict. The stress is high and it appears there is little the family can do to make a difference. After all, the alcoholic has all the choices, right?


Each member has decisions to make. You can decide to

  • quit making excuses for the alcoholic
  • stop taking responsibility for their use of alcohol or drugs
  • refuse to minimize the impact put on the family because of addiction
  • Stop enabling

Play the Blame Game

There’s plenty of blame to go around in your highly charged family.

The inhibitions of your alcoholic are lower and the tensions run high.

It makes total sense there is poor judgment. Decisions are either abandoned or put off on others who either don’t have clear understanding of the responsibility or refuse to take it.

Ultimately there are unintended consequences that happen very often. These have to be attended to and take up a lot of the families focus.

Ironically, in the dysfunction the focus may actually be taken off the alcoholic for a moment while the crisis it tended.

The only way to make this process stops is to begin taking responsibility for what your own choices. Set boundaries and say no more to the blame game.

Consider Cheating

Using has become so much of an obsession it feels like your alcoholic is having an affair. In some ways it has similar characteristics:

  • Attention is focused away from you
  • Time is spent more with alcohol or drugs and on seeking opportunities to use than on your relationship
  • If put to the test, the mistress ‘addiction’ wins the affection

What can you do? Does it give you reason or justification to cheat?

It is clear you need to make a choice about the relationship. If you decide it is over, then you choose to end it, but if you remain committed to the relationship learn what you can do to establish healthy boundaries. Learn to take care of yourself regardless of the decision of the alcoholic.

Families with addictions have challenges.

You can get help for your alcoholic

In what ways has your family been effected by your alcoholic’s drinking behavior? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. ladypugsley

    An alcoholic IS having an affair!
    They have ‘fallen in love’.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thank you ladypugsley, You’re exactly correct. Alcohol takes on all of the dynamics of another lover.

  2. Robin

    I am in my third day of stopping and Oh My God there are these new behaviors coming into play from a demonic B film if his head does not spin it will be the only thing missing. literally wait for us to be out in public to throw a fit and yell and throw things and mean mouthed beyond reason….throwing things like a toddler calling me names critical of everything I do and watch and eat . He has to find something to criticize Please its bad he left his seat belt off just to get me to say something and start a fight cause I would not let him drive. I am spent today just spent. I regret deciding to not enable in so much as I was this is hell on earth.But I am no quitter hope next week is easier he will be broke with no cigarettes or beer …its gonna get worse …this must be when woman decide to leave …gotta pray now later thank you robin

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Robin, I really hope you rethink the regret about enabling. These days no doubt are very difficult. If your husband sticks with abstinence, gets some support from others and sticks with it, the days will become a bit easier over time. Hang in there.

  3. Robin

    ways our relationship is effected …
    no trust
    no peace of mind
    no scheduling
    never enough ice …
    no sleeping early unless he passed out first
    extreme point of view about everything and nothing at all
    lack of personal hygiene “his”
    dragon breath you can smell across the room
    the only friends we have are his and they drink too
    family tolerates him but we are not invited out allot
    the effect is horrible compared to non alcoholic spouse.
    by the grace of God he and I do not have children between us and all are grown.robin

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Alcoholism takes it’s toll on every relationship it encounters. You give a clear picture of it. Thanks.

  4. Ross

    It doesnt seem i have one. we live apart because of things he’s done and until he gets treatment, then we’ll see. there are too may to count. I didnt want our marriage to end, but he needs to still be accountable for what he’s done, right/ cheating and stole our retirement. Now he’s crying money is tight and he cant afford two households.H edrinks everyday, his solution? He sends me papers from a lawyer to strong arm me since i wont let him move in.Ive thought with tough love and he might eventually hit bottom. Sometimes i think he waits me out instead to see if ill buckle under it all.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Stay tough about recovery as a boundary. If he wants the relationship you’re simply saying you want it with someone in recovery not drunk.

  5. Ross

    When im blamed for his drinking. Do i simply inform him i do not beleive it. Or just reassure myself within that im not to blame?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It’s good to let him know you don’t believe the lie.

  6. When you are looking after an alcoholic it takes away the time you need to spend on other areas of your life, IE work, children, sleep, ect…

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Indeed caring for an alcoholic can be totally exhausting. A balancing act takes place if you want to accomplish priorities. Sometimes it means your alcoholic isn’t the highest priority. Some even find they must become the priority to be okay. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Be sure to show them you love them unconditionally first then make your moves.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Unconditional love is so important. Some may mistake love for enabling. Love that says NO and is STRONG is often the most effective. Unconditional love may be love for your alcoholic when they have no love for themselves. Thanks for your comments.

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