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March 13, 2009

Take The First Step: Alcoholic husband refuses to accept responsibility

My husband is an alcoholic, and during and after an argument with me, he always says, "I didn't do anything wrong, nothing was/is my fault." I was watching a movie about a recovered alcoholic, and when he said, "I didn't do anything wrong, it wasn't my fault," I froze. His sponsor in AA says "Oh, you are one of those. When was the last time anything was your fault?" I guess this response of "nothing is my fault" is an alcoholic response like denial? I thought this was just a personality defect in my husband that he won't accept accountability for anything. Would you mind explaining?

A person refusing to admit that something is one's fault can occur among people who do not have drinking problems. As you stated, some people will not accept accountability for anything, and perhaps your husband falls into that category. However, people with drinking problems may refuse to admit that some kind of problem or argument was their fault as a way to deny their problem with alcohol.

For example, some people, when they drink, tend to get more argumentative, and fights between them and people they know often occur when they have been drinking. In fact, it sounds like this occurs between you and your husband. When a fight takes place and later when the argument is discussed, people with an alcohol problem will state that they did nothing wrong, and this is a way to cover up the drinking problem. They do this because the truth is if they had not been drinking, the fight would never have occurred. So instead of admitting that drinking caused the fight, which would mean that a drinking problem exists, people with an alcohol problem says they did nothing wrong as a way to keep the drinking out of the discussion. In this way, they can deny their drinking problem. I hope this helps to clarify this matter.

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