What do you do when an addict becomes angry and abusive?


I have been dealing with an alcoholic partner/best friend for many years. He is in end stage alcoholism and has tried to recover many times though inpatient, out patient, AA, and on his own. He is in and out of jobs and often goes through grueling detoxes. His finances and job prospects are very grim and he has little contact with friends and family due to the effects of many years of alcohol abuse. He is very isolated and I am one of the very few people left in his life. When he gets blacked out drunk he often gets verbally abusive and tries to push me away. I’m often left feeling hurt, abandoned, and neglected. He often blames, manipulates, gets demanding, and puts me down during these episodes. What is the best method when dealing with an alcoholic or addict who gets abusive and mean? We live separately, so I have tried blocking him and not taking his calls. However, he often will show up at my house with demands and more verbal abuse, so the chaos is often difficult to escape. In addition, those episodes are becoming more and more frequent. When he gets sober he often claims he remembers very little and is a completely different person. Sober, he is kind, loving, and a beautiful soul. I love him dearly but this has taken a toll on my energy. I have many things to be grateful for in my life such as a wonderful job, great kids, and a wonderful family and network of friends. However, I’m heart broken by the deterioration of a person I’ve loved for many years. I’m at a loss.


Thanks for sharing @Jess have you tried to talk to him about these events once he is sober? Setting up boundaries together in a collaborative way can be helpful and timing really helps to be heard.

Also, in two weeks on November 20th is our digital topic meetup on Positive Communication - this goes into detail on communication skills and you can RSVP for that HERE.


Thank you! He used to say he didn’t want to hear it. But my therapist advised me that he should know what behaviors he’s displaying when under the influence. So I’ve started to tell him. He of course says he doesn’t mean any of it and really when he’s mean he’s either trying to push people away or he’s talking to himself in a round about way. It still hurts tremendously though despite whether he means what he says or not.

He’s advised me to not respond when he’s like that, which is often easier said than done in the moment. I need to learn to shut it down and not feed into it from the first sign of alcohol induced negativity and abuse. It just gets very lonely on my side when things get like that.