Your Alcoholic’s Judgment Exposed


So, you live with an alcoholic.

This means to me you experience times when you may turn to yourself and wonder…What just happened here?

Whether it’s the reasoning your alcoholic uses to explain falling down drunk behavior or the remorse the next day following a bender.

There’s one thing active alcoholic’s have in common.

Impaired Judgment

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

Even though your alcoholic may believe the booze enhances abilities it’s simply not true.

Alcohol consumption leads to impairment in the ability to:

  • Follow conversations
  • Think logically
  • Know when to stop
  • Drive a vehicle
  • Finish projects
  • Many others too numerous to list

I’m sure you have a few you would add the this short list.

Although the behavior is your alcoholic’s the impairment results choices that otherwise wouldn’t be made.

This isn’t an excuse for your alcoholic’s behavior it’s an explanation why one day you may see Dr Jekyll and another day you see Mr Hyde.

Character Flaws

Around the tables as members of Alcoholic’s Anonymous work the steps they come to a place where it’s time to do a personal inventory.

This is a time for the alcoholic to examine their own character flaws.

It doesn’t matter if your alcoholic has a huge ego and thinks the world actually revolves around him or her.

Every alcoholic I’ve met has found character flaws they needed to work on and have removed.

You can’t be an alcoholic for years, covering your behavior with lie upon lie and not believe at some level there might be a character flaw.

The real issue here may actually be that when your alcoholic sobers up they may not be at a place even to admit they have character flaws.

In this situation you live with a person who may not easily take responsibility for the hurt inflicted through the alcohol years.

Character is how you behave when no one’s watching.

The compromises your alcoholic has made to continue to drink may be many or just a few.

In either case, there’s character work to be done on the other side of the bottle.

“A Duck”

I’ve been told,”If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are IT’S A DUCK.”

Many times it’s easier to believe it’s just the alcohol when in fact much of the personality and character was formed even before the drinking started.

This doesn’t mean the alcoholic won’t do well in recovery, but it does mean if the person had a quick temper before alcohol it’s probably going to be an issues after alcohol consumption ends.

There’s no easy way to say it. Sometimes alcohol is used and the person becomes mellow and lives a life given to oblivion.

Other times the alcohol simply enhances personality traits that are quite problematic.

If your alcoholic has had a wandering eye and lack of loyalty, alcohol may lower inhibitions enough to result in betrayal of your relationship.

The question you might ask is,”was the wandering eye and lack of loyalty there before the alcohol?”.

You may look back and find out indiscretions are not just the alcohol, they may be part of your alcoholic’s character.

When your alcoholic commits to recovery and sobriety it’s just a start on a journey of change.

You undoubtedly know change is difficult and takes lots of effort.

In what ways have you experienced the poor judgment as a result of alcohol impairment. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 26 Other People Thought...

  1. Kat

    I married him

    • FreeMyAddict Team


  2. Gina

    I loved the article, I have been effected by my alcholic boyfriends crazy decisions. He went to re-hab for 30 days, home for two weeks and left for florida to be with someone he met in rehab. He was gone for a month now he is back telling me he always loved me and he messed up, and he’s back to using again.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When in a rehab program residents become very vulnerable. This may be interpreted as feelings of ‘love’. In the programs my organization ran we discouraged ANY new relationships until a year sober. The rationale is for the alcoholic to get their head on straight, sort out emotions and make stable decisions.
      I’m sure you have much to consider, Gina. This isn’t a situation that will likely be isolated into the future of your relationship.
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Michelle Santagate

    The primary ways I’ve experienced impaired judgement due to alcohol and drug use (from an addict) is :
    A Violent out burst. And YES, in line w/this article, I did see red flags while he was sober too. He had impulsivity struggles, my guess was severe ADHD, and perhaps even Aspergers in that he seemed unable to connect to people’s reactions to him and always seemed socially awkward. He was so intelligent, handsome and funny but when interacting with people he was always so uncomfortable. Our conversations were mostly him monologuing and me listening. I could see there were many issues beneath the drug use and guessed that the drugs and alcohol made him feel more comfortable with others and himself. It sort-of leveled the playing field if you will. Too bad. I liked his awkward but brilliant mind.
    His abusive and violent outburst was definitely in line w/his short temper (as well as his inability to properly interpret my behavior.) BUT wouldn’t have happened w/out the drugs. They just let him rip. It hurt to watch as much as to experience because I KNEW he was laying waste to all his own ideals as much as to mine. I couldn’t hate him then and still can’t.In fact I haven’t stopped missing him.
    The other way, and this is definitely w/my son’s father, was avoidance. When he is off and using or making bad choices and getting in trouble he hides. He runs away and we don’t hear from him. It’s shame driven, I know that and since we have a strong friendship now he’s admitted it to me.
    It is the absolute TRUTH that chemicals only bring out characteristics that were already there.BUT:
    We ALL have “dark sides”, Impulses toward things that could and will hurt others and ourselves. In the end it’s whether or not we have enough self control and self respect to CHOOSE who we want to be. Because the “light side” is a real side too. Like the devil and angel on our shoulders. Who do we listen to?
    Sober- a person can choose.
    High or drunk- Zero to little chance.
    So, and I think 12-steps agree with this, first thing is to get clean. Get the chemicals out of your system.
    BUT what I don’t think enough addicts do is move on to facing the rest of themselves after the chemicals are cleared. This was and still is my son’s father’s issue. He was sober for 17 years but never faced all his other demons.
    You get sober so you can do battle with them from solid ground not so you can ignore them.
    People’s greatest strenghts are always the flip side of their greatest weaknesses. Just like what you said about love and hate.
    Someone who cheats is probably very sexual. That’s a good thing. It usually means they are fun, free-spirited people. But if they can’t control it, it’s a bad thing.

    Someone who is violent is probably very physically strong and brave. But if they can’t control it, it’s a bad thing.
    You have to be able to choose AND to modulate. Balance yourself out. And being high or drunk takes away that ability.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Chemicals definitely bring out the dark side of people. In Freudian terms, the id is in control without the benefit of the ego.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      • Michelle Santgate

        How important do you feel the idea of atonement is to an addict’s recovery?

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        It’s the central idea in doing the 4th step in AA. Even the 1st step suggests the alcoholic realizes they can’t do it alone and turn it over to God as they know Him. This is a beginning of atonement- bringing God and man together.

  4. Amber

    Funny you mention the ‘wandering eye’. When my husband is heavily intoxicated, he has been easly influenced to go to a strip club (and spend the last of our money for the week, at it), he has ordered porn a handful of times, has made more sexual comments when he see’s an attractive girl on t.v. It does make me wonder because, he is NOT like that at all when he’s sober. He’s very wise, intelligent and respectful when he’s sober. And it does take a lot of alcohol to bring him to that point, BUT the problem is that it does happen occasionaly, and even though I’ve forgiven there’s no way to forget. What are your recommendations and suggestions for coping, because it does hurt.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      When inhibitions are lowered there’s no telling what one might compromise. These indiscretions are very painful. Thanks, Amber.

  5. Ross

    I’ve now supspected that my husband has cheated evry time he’s relapsed and i didnt really see it. Even if i were to ask-he’d probably deny it. That doesnt mean i would believe him.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Poor judgment often results in infidelity. There’s no reason to keep the truth of how it hurts you away from him even if he denies it. You don’t deserve the betrayal.

      • Ross

        Well he went from wanting to come home,telling me he loves me (trying to trick and manipulate without any real actions/and i wouldn’t let him move back in till he had) to being mad, no communication,having his attorney send me a letter,and acting like i deserve to be treated that way.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        If you had been willing to allow manipulation all would be well. Stand your ground. You don’t deserve to be mistreated.

  6. Marina

    my alcoholic made his choice, and didn’t stop drinking, he passed away 6 weeks ago. I now am truely working on my self. I have the same feelings, but different.
    I feel angry for him leaving me. I feel gulity for now doing more, not having more faith, hope. All I can do now is forgive myself. Hard to do, but I am working on it.
    Thank you to all who shared, you all truley help me.


    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Marina, Ultimately it was your husband’s choice to drink alcohol. Remember it’s an illness and unfortunately it’s often fatal. It’s interesting to note even if you had the greatest faith…Your husband had the final choice. I hope you find a release from the guilt and indeed forgive yourself. It truly wasn’t your fault.

  7. David

    My husband doesn’t cheat or blow tons of money (on anything except booze) or get into trouble. He just wastes away on the couch lamenting how misunderstood he is, how hard done by he is, and expressing anger and jealousy at every person he sees on tv getting a break. He makes a lot of racist and sexist comments. He seems to hate black people, aboriginals, teenagers, mothers with unconditional love for imperfect children, and just about anybody who isn’t a white guy being successful. He lies to himself by saying that he is the same jerk sober that he is drunk. Well, he isn’t. I get where some of his attitudes come from. They are not right but but I can reason with him when he’s sober. He can even admit when he’s wrong or being out of line. Doesn’t happen when he’s drunk. He also doesn’t fall down and drop things when he’s sober. The man is physically fit and light on his feet when he’s sober. A big, clumsy elephant who’s broken some nice dishes and nearly fell on my grandkids when drunk. He’s smart when he’s sober. Can’t string a sentence together when he’s drunk. Good looking in a rugged way when sober. Almost ugly when he’s got that droopy, dumb look on his face. We used to make out a lot in the evenings. Now he falls alseep in the middle of foreplay. Well, not anymore since we don’t actually ever do it in the evening. Now it’s all morning quickies. But apparently that’s because I’m tired in the evening. He’s right about that. No matter how much I talk myself up during the day, the minute I’m with him I feel exhausted. We also cannot afford to go to movies, out for dinner, or on holidays because I don’t work full time and my son (who does pay room and board and his own groceries) is living with us. It doesn’t occur to him that the nearly $700+ he spends on booze per month (that’s what I can track on the bank statements) for himself could pay for a few movies and a nice holiday for two. I could go on and on and on. I’m sure we all could. I’m lucky I don’t have any real pressing issues like violence or debt. But all these constant little things for over 20 years is gnawing away at me. It never seems to end. The biggest lie of all is his belief that he’s Mister Honesty. He tells it like it is. And he does. About everyone else’s faults and slip-ups. I hate that I let him get away with it all the time. So that makes me a big liar too.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Booze will make a person who doesn’t get along well with anybody feel like he’s the best in the world. This is part of the delusional thinking associated with alcoholism. Everyone else is to blame and your alcoholic assumes zero responsibility for his behavior.

      Maybe you could stash some money away from week to week and use it to treat yourself to a movie. If he want to join you…he pays.

  8. Michelle

    Reading over all these comments has, sadly, made me realize that in one situation I was “the other woman”. Not by choice. And not because I knew he had “committed” himself to someone else, but because I’d found out after the fact that he’d call me between “fights” or on down periods in their “relationship”. It goes without being said how painful that was. When you’re trying your hardest to get to know somebody and they have little to no respect for you and always treat you as if you weren’t worth anything. And their “girlfriend” ends up to be just that. A young girl with the same drug problem he has. It’s like your stomach falls out underneath you. And what’s worse is that he always felt entitled to abuse me, treat me badly- because, as it turned out- I was his “dirty secret”. I was his “porn”. All the while I just thought we were on dates and all I was trying to do was get to know him. And, in his mind, he owes me nothing- only her. She’s the one he feels bad about treating badly and he blames me for being part of that. In other words, I became ugly like the drug- because he was using me as one.
    Do you understand how hurtful that was?
    Especially knowing that I wasn’t a drug at all. That I’d made it clear to him what I was looking for in spending time with him and that it wasn’t to be used or be “dirty”.
    Abusing drugs is a horrible thing but when that drug becomes other people it’s just unacceptable. Because a human being is not an inanimate object. When you interact with them- you affect them. They don’t just get stashed under a bed or back on a shelf like a bottle or a bag of whatever.
    And the person they are “in a relationship with” (and I say that loosely because, with this man I am speaking of, that “relationship” turned out to be with a specially chosen partner chosen because she was so young, and naive and wouldn’t question or interfere with his use and, I’m sure, would use with him), ends up being something they use as an excuse to hurt you, abuse you and make you feel horrible about yourself, they way they feel horrible about themselves.
    So, believe me- it’s not so good from the other side of things either.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      It’s never okay for someone to treat you like an ‘object’. You deserve to be treated like woman respected for who you are. Many alcoholics have issues with not being loyal, dishonesty and poor judgment. Often the chaos of their life brings chaos into our own. When you become aware of this happening you then have opportunity to make changes.
      Thanks for your comment and your candor, Michelle.

      • Michelle

        But my point was, I wasn’t the ‘poor judgement’- she was. His being with her is a sign of his illness and social disorders. He’s trying to “be loyal” to a person that’s an extension of his addiction. She is a part of his sickness, that’s why he’s “with her”. I believe his constant interest in me had to do with his wanting someone who would be straight with him and give him the truth that he needed.
        But you are right. The chaos is too much and I made the right choice to cut contact.
        Ironically this same thing happened with my son’s father. He left me for a 19 yr old girl with drug problems that basically enabled all of his bad behaviors. She was his biggest fan, wanted to be just like him. And all his deviant deeds she just rode along with, stroking his ego and spending his money.
        She cheated on him and he ended up in prison.
        We all make choices, and if they aren’t healthy one’s nature has a way of carry out it’s own consequences.
        Thanks for your support, as always :)

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks for your comments

  9. David

    I have started stashing some of the rent money from my son for movies and gifts. I also keep a small medical pension I get from the miitary as well. This is a new thing so it’s not a big stash but I don’t really spend much so I think it will grow. I go but it isn’t as much fun by myself. I also go during the day so he won’t get all pouty about it and I generally go to movies he wouldn’t want to see or where I think his atitude would spoil my enjoyment of it before, during, and after. Like ‘The Help’. I should do it like you suggest, where he sees me going out whithout him but honestly, right now, I just don’t want to have to deal with his pestering, pouting, and questioning. Although, I did take my son out for a movie and dinner on his birthday and he didn’t say anything about it except that it sounded like fun. So maybe I could start doing it that way. It is sort of a waste of time going during the day when I could be doing work around the house. I’d really rather go out in the evening.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Maybe at some point you’ll be able to stash the equivalent to what he uses. Wouldn’t that just seem fair? I only say that to suggest if you start to feel bad about putting some away for a little bit of enjoyment (not addictive) it’s entirely reasonable.

  10. Artemisa

    THank you for all these comments .They light me up and help a lot.
    Please don not stop to sed me more articles. (I haven’t received more a couple of months ago) I NEED THEM SO MUCH!!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks for being part of FreeMyAddict. We appreciate all of our readers, especially comments.

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