Messages To Your Alcoholic


Keep off the grass.
No Trespassing.
Beware of the dog.
These are common signs you might see if someone is trying to protect their property from unwanted guests.

Have you considered what signs you may put up to set boundaries in your life?

Leave me alone

This is a strong message but a very lonely one.
Maybe it’s born out of the deep sense of hurt.
The core of it is the desire not to continue to be hurt.

In this sign you end up asking for ‘nothing’ because it at least may keep the intolerable at bay.

The sad thing about this sign is there’s no real hope in it.

Isolation doesn’t work through any issues.

You can marginalize your hurt, keep yourself from feeling at all, but at a high emotional price to you.

Here’s another…

Guess what I’m thinking

Desire for romance and closeness suggest you grow together into a couple who can anticipate the needs of the other.

One problem with this one.

You do all of the anticipating and your alcoholic does all the needing.

How is that going to work?

Worse yet is when you long to have your alcoholic understand what you’re thinking and you actully expect it to happen.

You then bare the emotional pain.

Feeling rejected and unloved by your alcoholic.

Think about it for a minute.

Your alcoholic is consumed by the desire to drink.

Mentally preoccupied by alcohol, acquiring it and making opportunities to drink it.

Do you really believe your alcoholic’s thoughts are about what you might be thinking?

I love you, but…

This is a tough sign because it seems so legitimate.

You love your alcoholic, but there are things you want to have changed.

Not to say your love is conditional but it’s much more difficult to love someone you can’t stand.

The behaviors surrounding your alcoholic’s illness are very difficult to accept.

To get to a point where you believe something must change in order to love is an easy thing to do.

Love on the other hand is not something given with condition. It’s best when offered unconditionally.

Love isn’t tested when all things are wonderful. It’s when things are hard. When illness and hardship come into the relationship.

Love only in good times, during prosperity and rejection when illness and heartbreak happen?

Is that what love’s about.

I understand living with an alcoholic is hard and not the life one might choose.

Indeed, love is best represented in the hard times and when unconditional.

I’m not suggesting you enable or withhold the truth from your alcoholic.

Love is also expressed in encouraging the best of your partner.

At it again?

This may be the sign of the day.
Your alcoholic won’t let you down.

The behaviors surrounding alcoholism are very common and predictable.

What I wonder about at times is why you’re so surprised when your alcoholic acts just like they have most every time they use.

These things are common among alcoholic behaviors:

  • Poor judgment is typical
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol
  • Amost daily use
  • Unkept promises
  • Lies
  • Manipulations to be able to drink
  • Unfinished projects
  • Promises to quit
  • Unable to quit
  • Excuses(reasons)to use

Of course you could add hundreds of behaviors your alcoholic does because of alcohol.

So what? Well, if you know these things about your alcoholic, you know attempts to stop haven’t worked and this is an illness, why are you surprised?

Possibly the most important sign in your yard of life may be the next one.

Respect ME

There’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t post this sign for everyone to see.

Many times you may take on shame for your alcoholic’s behavior.

It’s an illness. You wouldn’t take on shame if your alcoholic had cancer or diabetes.

Even though there are differences in the illnesses the principle is the same.

You don’t need to bear shame for your alcoholic’s illness.

In fact you need to have respect.

Some in our society hold on to the idea if your with an alcoholic there must be something wrong with YOU.

That’s simply not true.

It takes courage, commitment and internal strength to stand by someone with an illness.

You deserve respect, period.

What signs have you put up in the yard of your life? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 20 Other People Thought...

  1. Lyle

    I have put up a lot of thse signs, but right now I do not know where to turn. I need a break and don’t know how to get one.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It sounds like you need to become the priority in your situation. I don’t know what a break for you might be. If you’ve been carrying the load of responsibility for your alcoholic’s addiction…let go. Leave the responsibility with him. Learn to quit enabling and don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Thanks for your comment

    • kat

      Lyle I found my break in Jesus Christ, you could try a church or maybe on line church if you don’t like crowds, but i agree with FMAT, I found a hobby to where i could sell some things on eBay or sell sites or just for self comfort, find yourself and you will see the difference in your man

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Faith makes a difference in the life of those who believe

      • Robin

        I agree with you Kat my break my breathing room is in the presence of Jesus Christ Things are changing in the smallest of ways and not the way I would change them …but they are and as you live from one day to the next you will note your changes too. It is true we are never given more than we can handle. Putting god first in this takes the extreme out of it. Not matter how bad this gets How I deal and cope are easier.Because I am not alone.the disease of alcoholism is a nasty one with a base line in evil. God can help.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks for your support of Kat

  2. kat

    Great article! , well as I said letting you know today’s events, we had to unload a wood boiler from a trailer and since I have been working on a farm for some 40 years horse ranch I know allot about unload from trailer and running a tractor, rod had always worked as a mason brick layer, so the emotions really flew when he thought his way of unload was better, finally when he listened to me and things went as planned, all was quiet , but his temper flew and he said nasty things to me, I abundant the quest for a short to let him calm his thoughts, he has to retrain his whole line of thinking when coming off the drink, his way put two dents in boiler my way of rolling the boiler off with planks and pipe no dents, rod has to relearn how to be around people before it was one big party easy, beer made him more relaxed but as years went on it ate away at this intelligent, I am not making excuses but his dad was a school teacher and demanded perfection, so does rod to the point it drives you nuts, for the most I like it gives me a break from not having a sloppy husband, but on times when he needs to relax he is up tight and I have to calm him and reassure him it alright tomorrow will come

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I would recommend for Rod to learn some relaxation techniques. There are times he might just need to listen to you. When he was in the bottle all he paid attention to was his need to drink. Now it’s important to get along with others without alcohol. It’s a whole new thing.

      • kat

        yes FMAT , We are doing just that, We talked and he has agreed he needs to calm himself, he believe the drink will but he has also realized his anger and impatient is not the drink its him, his shakes and coming off of it , If i could hold him like a little boy and its mother he would be fine, he needs to feel acceptance all the time, He knows i excepted him because i never ask him o be different , Rod has a huge amount of decency in him, this disease has him bound but we will break it together @

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Often there’s a misconception that the only thing that needs to happen is for the alcoholic to stop drinking. There’s far more to be done. There’s so much change and adjustment without alcohol. When your primary mechanism of coping is alcohol, guess what, when your coping mechanism is gone you need to replace it with some sober methods. Those don’t always come easy. It’s good you’re talking it through together. That helps a lot.

  3. Michelle

    Messages are so faulty. Especially when they’re written. You could mean one thing and it’s interpreted the wrong way.
    Signs are much more clear. They are straight forward and universal, but can be too broad to convey the subtle nuances that exist when you love someone.
    Boundaries are absolute. That’s why they should be few, but VERY pronounced.

    I guess the messages I’ve been trying to get across are these:

    I miss you
    I believe in you
    I’m attracted to you-

    the signs:
    All green lights.
    But with yellow lights right beneath.
    With all my heart I want to move forward, with you, but slowly.
    I think one step at a time is best for both of us.

    Get that in check or I check out.

    Those should be pretty clear.
    Relationships are two way streets though. He’s made no indication to me that he even wants to hear from me. Until I hear from him, the last messages he gave me were:
    Get out. You are not welcome. I don’t want you.
    And most traumatic of all:
    You are not safe around me.

    Pretty powerful stuff.
    So, from my point of view, the ball is in his court. I certainly would love to hear from him and feel I’ve made myself very clear on that front.

    But who knows. Maybe that is not how he’s interpreted things.
    All this interpretation is ridiculous though. We have to talk. My gut tells me we both want that.

    My most recent “Many” and I were in that tender still getting to know you stage when a pretty terrible thing happened. And he’d rejected me for women who were much easier to drink with and get high around before so he’s left me with a lot of doubt as to if I should even still be thinking of him any more.

    That’s probably where I feel the most embarrassed. I’m still really attracted to a man who hasn’t treated me well. That makes me doubt my own sanity. I don’t like the feeling. It’s not about what my friends or family might say. It’s that not knowing if I was ever that important to him.

    That’s why I’ve accompanied all my green lights with yellows. I have to proceed slowly with this one. Not at a snails pace, but a steady walk. Side by side hopefully.

    Hopefully this time my message is clear.


    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Well done, Michelle. I thing you’ve represented the intent of the article. Thanks.

  4. I found this article very interesting and helpful. I have had people question why I am with a alcholic, and judge me. I have other’s not want to get to know me becuse my Husband is a alcholic. It gets very frustrating and hurtful.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      There are still a lot of people who don’t understand alcoholism. They believe it’s a moral issue and they judge. It’s really sad they don’t understand alcoholism is an illness. You’re not the cause of his illness nor can you take it away. I hope you spend some time on the site and be encouraged. We’re here as a support for you.

      • Michelle

        Depression, OCD… and a myriad of other illnesses are also not taken seriously and judged as moral deficienies instead of illnesses. Many people judge poverty as a moral deficiency as well. I remember all the criticism I used to receive from my son’s father and from other addicts. They could understand and expect everybody else to understand their illness but were completely unwilling to open their ears or hearts to others. I think, in the end, the person you are is not defined by your illness, whatever it is. You define yourself, especially in how you treat people.
        If you don’t want me to judge you, then don’t judge me. If you want me to have an open heart, then release your stereo types of those things I suffer from. Is self-centeredness a common characteristic for addicts (even sober ones)? Or maybe it was just the people I was involved with. Everybody has their issues and prejudices based on their experiences, but open your mind to another perspective and you’ve opened up your world. You start to see so much you didn’t see before. Addiction is a serious illness, as are so many other things. It’s better to see the person as a whole, not in pieces. I just wish addicts could understand that we “non-addicts” are not the only ones responsible for understanding, sympathy, patience and LISTENING. All of those things should be reciprocated. We’re all people and none of us is perfect.
        You get what you give.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Agreed! Thanks, Michelle

  5. David

    In the 22 years I’ve been living with my husband, there are only 3 people besides my children I ever spoke to openly about my husband’s drinking (outside of health care professionals). One was very supportive and never judged me, one was always telling me what to do, and one brushed me off and blamed me for the drinking. Every health care professional’s first suggestion was that I should leave him. One doctor called my husband a loser (because he figures all alcoholics are losers) and a therapist told me if I wasn’t talking to him every day about his drinking it would be my fault if he died. So my big sign for everyone is stay away. I don’t have friends except casual work friends that I never see socially, I barely talk to my family (siblings), and I definitely shut out my husband. I find that I am starting to block out my children a little bit now too, just so I don’t continue dumping on them. I’m always on guard against getting my hopes up, being lulled into a sense of security, getting close, and opening myself up to being vulnerable. I pretty much do that with everyone now. I can understand why I’m like that but it doesn’t really seem very helpful to the situation.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Your story is far to familiar. Isolation is often the norm because others feel the obligation to be judgmental. I wonder if they have the same affinity for the diabetic who eats a piece of pie, the heart patient who still eats the wrong things without exercise, or the person with emphysema who still smokes. I think not. The roots of this prejudice run deep.
      Here at FreeMyAddict we want you to know there’s no judgment from us, only support for the decisions you make. Thanks so much for being part of this site and your comments.

  6. jojo

    my posted signs are:

    Its ok to deprive me as long as you are happy.

    I don’t have needs, because your needs is all that matters, I will bury mine as nonexistent to focus on supplying YOUR needs

    I won’t say anything and hope you will get better and wait for you to get better, and do all I can for you to be happy.

    I will tolerate you until your needs are met and you are satisfied and you change. I will wait for you to be satisfied and then it will be my turn.

    Its ok., I can do without.

    I can bend to whatever YOU want, I am willing to forgo my wants so that we can do what YOU want. Your happiness is tantamount.

    I can deprive myself, its ok, I don’t really need anything, I can sacrifice.

    I am waiting, I know its going to get better,….

    I can’t leave, you dont’ give me scriptural grounds for divorce, you haven’t committed adultery with another woman.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Classic enabling signs. Be true to yourself and know it’s the best way to help him.

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