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Alcoholism and the Blame Cycle

Affected by Alcoholism

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. the only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for... reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. ~ Casey Stengel

Have you noticed that the alcoholic appears to blame you for everything? You may have prepared the best meal, or overly cleaned the home, or made sure the children were all in bed before he arrived home. Still, there would be something he will pick at and blame you for.

The drinker doesn't mean what he is saying. He blames you because of the way he feels about himself. It is usually to get a reaction from you. You more than likely react back by blaming the drinker for his drinking. This then starts off the blame cycle. The drinker blaming you and you blaming the drinker. This results in an argument about absolutely nothing. But the argument has left you feeling hurt, angry, disappointed, frustrated and worried as to where this relationship is going. How about if I said there is a better way?

When the drinker starts to blame you, you can just agree with him. This does not mean you think he is right, but he can't argue with you saying he is right. Here's the difference.

Example, the drinker says, "You could have cooked a better dinner than this." You say, "You could have arrived home without being so drunk, but you didn't!" The drinker will take this as a green light to argue back. What you can say instead is, "I think you're right!" or "I'm sorry you feel that way." No one has to react back by blaming using the same techniques as the drinker and then feeling that they are being blamed for everything, but not realising that they are using the same behaviours and attitude as the drinker.

I have tried both and have to admit my life changed for the better when I stopped participating in the blame cycle. It's never-ending. It caused a wedge between the drinker and me. I discovered that the drinker would try to instigate arguments as a way of shifting the guilt of his drinking onto me. The drinker would also use this technique to keep the focus off his drinking. Also to get a reaction from me, which he would use as an excuse to drink, and yet again it was blamed on me. I stepped out of the circle of blame by just saying simple things.

The drinker kept the focus off his drinking by getting a reaction from me, which led to me defending myself. The focus was not on the drinking then, it was on me defending myself from the hurtful things he would say. The drinker often felt guilty for drinking and would attempt to rope me in to carry that guilt. He would blame me for his drinking. If I was a good wife, if I cleaned the house correctly, if I had a better-paid job, if I looked better, if I was skinnier, or worked out more, or parented our children better, he wouldn't drink. For a very long time, I thought this was true, and so I carried his guilt.

You know what? One day I just said, "Here, this is your guilt, and I refuse to carry it!" and just like that, I handed it back. I nor you are the reason to why a person drinks. I nor you should be used as scapegoats in someone else's issues or wars with themselves. To believe it was my fault that he drank so much would mean that I could stop the drinking. I can't, I've tried everything. I didn't cause the drinking, I can't control the drinking, I can't cure the drinking, but I can choose how I respond to it, I can learn a better and healthier way of dealing with it, I can set personal boundaries, I can watch my reactions, and I can step back from being pulled to pieces by the drinker.

I choose to do these things because they free me from carrying his burden. I am a person, I am important, I matter, I have the right to be happy. I choose to be happy... no one can make me feel unhappy unless I give them my permission. I am 100% in control of myself. You can do this too. Just be aware of what is actually happening, recognise the patterns and your behaviours in your relationship. You will get through this. 

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