Arguments, tension and confrontation are daily occurrences when living with an alcoholic. Avoidance of interaction with the alcoholic while they are drinking is the best solution; this includes, talking and arguing with them. They are not thinking clearly and won’t take in what you say, so why waste your breath arguing about their behaviour? Why fuss and fight with someone who has lost the ability to make any sense? Don’t become ensnared in the alcoholic trap with them. Stay out of the trap, so you can help them.
Alcoholics are often confrontational, so it is better to avoid him when they are getting drunk. This is often easier said than done. This may take going to bed early or setting up your own area of relaxation in the house. If he follows you to try to draw you into an argument, try to get him to agree to talk about it in the morning instead. Don’t say, “You’re drunk, so I am not discussing it” as this will only add fuel to the fire. Instead say, “I’m feeling too tired to discuss this now, so can we talk about it tomorrow?” He’ll probably continue to rant and rave, but keep firm to this line and hopefully he will leave off.
When he is sober, then address the issue and say you are ready to talk about what he was keen to talk about the night before. He may not remember having the conversation or the context of it and try to brush it off. So you may need to drop a few reminders of the hurtful things that were said. However don’t gloat, nag or labour the issue. If you are not comfortable doing this, then don’t do it – it is not mind games, but just enough to remind them of their behavior so they realize gradually over time that they are having blackouts and being nasty.
- Extract from How To Live With An Alcoholic and Still Enjoy Your Life
Additional Tip: When I would see the signs of a confrontation brewing I would deflect it by acting like I didn’t notice and then ‘casually’ realising we needed milk or I had forgotten to get something for dinner and leave the house as quickly and as casually as possible for a couple of hours with the kids and go to a friend’s or the playground. He’d be usually unconcious before I got back.
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