Why do Alcoholics Push you Away?

Navigating relationships with loved ones struggling with alcoholism is complex. It’s tough to know how to interpret their behaviour, especially when they push you away. Yet, that’s one recurring pattern friends and family seem to notice. It’s puzzling, hurtful, and confusing. But understanding the reasons behind it can offer some guidance on how to cope.

Alcoholics push you away as a defence mechanism. The pull of addiction encourages feelings of shame, guilt, and self-loathing. Since they don’t want to face these painful emotions, alcoholics might distance themselves from those closest to them — including friends and family members. Alcohol can also distort perception, which clouds judgment, too, causing people to prioritize their addiction over relationships. This often leads them down a path of pushing away those who care about them the most.

Secondly, this action is an attempt to maintain their terrible habits. By isolating themselves from loved ones, they’re able to avoid any scrutiny or intervention attempts made by others trying to help. Unfortunately, this just feeds more into the cycle, making it even harder for alcoholics to break free.

Breaking down why they act like this reveals a lot about how we should help them through it, though — understanding the complexities behind why alcoholics push you away fosters empathy and patience as we navigate supporting our loved ones through their struggles with addiction.

Table of Contents

Why do Alcoholics Push you Away?

The relationships can be strained, and the alcoholic may end up isolated. Here, we will expound on why alcoholics might push away people who love them. Delving into these intricacies of behaviour will help us understand it better emotionally.

  • Alcohol as a coping mechanism
  • Fear of judgment and criticism
  • Loss of control and shame
  • Prioritizing alcohol over relationships
  • Emotional numbness and detachment

Alcohol as a way to deal Emotionally with Life

For most alcoholics, it is a way of dealing with underlying emotional pain or trauma. Drinking provides temporary relief that can create a false sense of comfort, leading to dependency on it as an emotional numbing agent. This reaction could lead to loved ones pushing loved ones away because they may unintentionally threaten the perceived security provided by this mechanism.

Terrified of being Criticized or Judged

Feelings of guilt and shame about their addiction are common in alcoholics. They get scared of judgment and criticism from others, forcing them to keep their distance from people who care about them. It comes from deep within believing that one is undeserving of love and acceptance; thus, anyone who tries getting near is pushed off.

Losing Control and Shame

As alcoholism progresses, they usually happen to lose control over how much they drink. The loss of control could make someone feel unworthy, leading them to develop self-loathing and eventually push those around struggling with their drinking problem far away from them when they witness this happening in front of them. Alcoholic’s loved ones become more distant due to the shame associated with the inability to quit drinking, which builds a wall between him/her and his family members.

Making Alcohol More Important than Relationships

When trapped in addiction, a person would prioritize alcohol over all other things, including relationships with friends and relatives. Thinking about alcoholism entails intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that do not leave adequate room for meaningful connections between persons having such diseases, as well as acquaintanceship with close friends or relatives either through marriage or consanguinity. The reason why these individuals lose interest in everything else just so long as they have taken another shot is because the brain has now been reprogrammed to recognize alcohol as its only basic necessity. This is what makes loved ones feel unwanted and distanced.

Lack of Emotion and Disconnection

This may result from long-term alcoholism, whereby emotional numbness sets in, leading to a disconnection from reality. Alcoholics are often not in touch with their own emotions, let alone the emotions of others. Therefore, a lot of them have emotional walls that keep them isolated from any real relationship, thereby pushing loved ones away even more.


Why do alcoholics frequently separate themselves from their loved ones?

Alcoholics usually isolate themselves as a defence mechanism against their addiction in order to avoid feelings of shame and guilt.

How does alcoholism affect relationships?

Individuals with drinking problems can damage love ties since they may prioritize the habit over relations with family members, leading to feelings of neglect and abandonment.

Why do alcoholics push away those trying to help?

As a means of perpetuating self-destructive behaviour undisturbed and avoiding interventions or scrutiny, Alcoholics might alienate well-intentioned loved ones.

What should I do if someone I care about is pushing me away due to alcoholism?

One should approach them with empathy and understanding, providing support while also setting limits that protect self-interest.

Is there hope for repairing relationships with an alcoholic?

It takes commitment on the part of both parties, but through patience, communication and professional help, trust can be rebuilt and relationships mended which are broken by alcohol.

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