Do you have a loved one who seems to blame everyone but themselves for their drinking? This person will typically blame you, their children, their job or even say the bar they were drinking at made them drunk!
Michelle Dunbar, developer of the Freedom Model Family Program states emphatically that no one can cause someone else to drink. The decision to consume alcohol always remains with the person consuming it. People may use outside influences such as a fight with a spouse, loss of a job, health problems or nagging parents as an excuse to drink, but they are never causes.
If your loved one starts blaming you for their drinking, do not accept their blame and listen to your own common sense. Your loved one is making a choice to continue drinking because they want to drink and it seems like their best option at the moment. They are seeking instant gratification, but that happiness is short lived which is why they may continue to drink. Those we perceive as problem drinkers often feel out of control. This is the primary reason they blame friends, bosses, family members and circumstances for their drinking. In order to overcome their problems and regain control over their lives, they must first begin to take responsibility for their choice to drink. Without taking personal responsibility or learning that they do have the power to change their own behaviors, they will continue to struggle.
This is why AA and 12 step rehab programs are not successful because they reinforce the belief of an individual's powerlessness over alcohol. The idea that relapse is an expected part of recovery stems from this powerless belief system. When substance user goes into a alcohol recovery program or support group, they are told that they will never overcome alcohol problems and will always be powerless. This creates a learned helpless with respect to thoughts and behaviors about alcohol; and is the number one contributing factor to continuous relapse and personal struggles.
In order to help your loved one effect a change in his/her life, when they start laying blame, refuse to accept it. Don't allow yourself to believe that you or any other environmental factors are the cause of the drinking problem. To do so only reinforces the drinker's feelings of powerlessness and lack of control. Instead begin to ask this individual if they can imagine having complete control over their own behaviors. Be sure to broach the question without judgment or arrogance. Most people who feel powerless want nothing more than to gain control of their choices and behaviors. Let this person know they can change and take control.
This process of taking ownership for their drinking is part of the maturation process. While most people spontaneously correct problem drinking as they mature, others that feel they need or want help choose Freedom Model's. The six week Freedom Model Program quite literally empowers people to take control of their lives. Once your loved one realizes they can only blame themselves and no longer you for their drinking they will know that they have the power to choose not to drink regardless of your behavior and other outside influences.