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Old 08-22-2009, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I suspect my boyfriend is drinking again

My boyfriend and I have been together off and on for two years. About a year into our relationship, I confronted him about his drinking problem (when he was drunk...I realize now that was not the best strategy). We were apart for about six months when he decided to stop drinking and get professional help. He went to group meetings and also met with a counselor one-on-one (it was not Alcoholics Anonymous, but a church-affiliated program).
Everything seemed to be going fine till today. He just returned from a family vacation, and admitted to me that his cravings for alcohol were very strong during the trip because of others who were drinking around him. When I talked to him on the phone, I was 95% sure he was intoxicated. He seemed extremely up and happy, which is not normally his mood. I am going to ask him directly about it tomorrow, but feel I already know the answer in my heart.
We live over an hour away from each other. I would drive up there now, but I have a four-year-old son.
How many second chances can you give a person??? He also just admitted to me that he had a beer at his friend's wedding reception and did not tell me about it at first because he feared how I would react.
I don't know what to do...I love him and we're very compatible, but I don't want to be married to a using alcoholic. My ex-husband was a drug user who hid his habits from me, and I don't want to go through that again.
What is the right thing to do here??
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd like to suggest a couple of things for you. Get your hands on a book called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Also, "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood is an excellent read, and both books opened my eyes up. Also check into some Alanon meetings in your area. Alanon can start you on a journey of discovering self, and breaking old patterns.

When I left my EXAH, I thought the problem was gone. Unfortunately the problem was still looking back at me in the mirror.

I still had that 'broken-ness' inside that drove me to pick out dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships. I rationalized with each one that they were not whiskey-swilling, meth-slamming, violent/psychotic convicted felons like my EXAH.

At best they were emotionally unavailable, and at worst emotionally abusive.

I finally had to look at why I kept engaging with that type of man.

You have a God-given 4 year old son. You have yourself. Give you and that son the best gift ever and seek some recovery for yourself to make yourself whole.

:ghug2 :ghug2
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, Wooten!

I asked myself how many "second chances" I should give my (now) XABF many times over the last two years. It wasn't until recently that I realized I wasn't really giving HIM another chance so much as I was allowing myself another chance. Gawd--SOMETHING I did or said HAD to have SOME kind of effect on him at some point. It HAD to sink it somewhere along the way and he'd get the help I wanted him to get!!

I gave him another chance....."Honey, I don't like the glazed over, blood shot eyes anymore". Hmph, he was drinking tomorrow anyway. Okay, maybe I wasn't clear, let's reword it and give him another chance. Maybe if I say it different, he'll understand and do what I want him to do (sober up).

"You're killing yourself by drinking so much everyday". Two days later, he's drunk, again.

That was his last chance, right? Oh no, I just wasn't clear, he just didn't understand what I was saying. Let's re-word it AGAIN and try this another time.

Good lord that went on for over a year!!

The problem was HE just didn't want it. He didn't want to sober up. It won't happen until HE wants it. I so wish it would happen because I want it for him.

Only you know what the right thing to do is; though it is hard to see what it is. Look around here for awhile, there's a lot of really good posts. They will help you find your answers.

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Old 08-22-2009, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How many second chances can you give a person???

Well, technically, only 1 "second" chance! Or else it's not a second chance it's a license to continue to disresepect whatever agreements you both committed to.

I love him and we're very compatible, but I don't want to be married to a using alcoholic.
No I'm sure you don't!!! and I hope you obey the voice inside you that is telling you that! For your sake and more for the sake of the child you are raising. Relationships with alcoholics create all kinds of unhealthy dynamics for kids to learn from, I had a lot of deep-seated bad habits of mind I had to un-learn from growing up w/ an alkie father and codie mom.....

My ex-husband was a drug user who hid his habits from me, and I don't want to go through that again.
Do you have an eerie feeling that this relationship could be similar? Again listen to your gut and trust it and do the right thing-- it might not be easy-- it might cause you some temporary pain and heartache, but it sounds like you know what the deal really is!

What is the right thing to do here??
I agree w/ Freedom-- the best thing I did after my divorce was get my rear end into therapy and figure out how I had chosen so poorly, and how not to repeat that again.
This may be difficult, but you will never regret it!

peace-
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well this is my 2 cents worth.

My ex bf has a severe pot addiction.

Back at the beginning of December o8 he said he was quitting as he was incredibly abusive towards me with his paranoia. So he supposedly did. But he was smoking at work. Anyways for 6 months I thought he had quit but he hadn't. Finally admitted he hadn't after he walked out and left. Then said he quit and was going to get help, gave him another chance.

Last weekend the s$%t hit the fan again and I was called a s$%t again and accused of being unfaithful (all made up in his THC soaked paranoid brain).

My point is, "How do you know when an alcoholic/addict is lying?"

"When their lips are moving>"

Unless they get into treatment and work a program get a sponsor all that stuff there really is no hope.

Ngaire
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i'm afraid my report is not much better than kv's or ngaire's with my xABF..

let's see...

he abandons me while pregnant.
i give him another chance.
he sells my boat behind my back.
i give him another chance.
he flips the car.
i give him another chance.
he cheats on me.
i give him another chance.
he attacks me.
i give him another chance.
he goes to jail.
i give him another chance.

i could go on but i'm sure you get the picture.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to all of you who have posted replies. I am really impressed by all the wonderful people on this site who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.
I just want to clarify some things that some of you wondered about...John (my boyfriend) truly is a wonderful guy...WHEN he's not drinking. He is the complete opposite of my ex husband...educated, intelligent, caring, and we enjoy doing many of the same things. The alcohol really is the only fly in the proverbial ointment. If it weren't for that, I could see myself marrying this guy. So I don't think that I am trapped in a pattern of dating abusive guys...in fact, when John and I started dating, I thought I was going in the opposite direction from my ex. John was that good at hiding his alcohol problem, or now that I think about it, I was that good at denying it to myself.
I am going to talk to him tonight and ask him if my suspicions were correct.
Now my question is, should I tell him to get in AA and stay sober for at least a year before contacting me again, or should I just get on with my life??? It's hard because I'm afraid if I break up with him, he'll end up really going off the wagon. I guess I really should read some of those books you recommended afterall...
HELP! Thanks again!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wooten,

You are in a tough situation, but before I talk about that, let me just point something out:

Almost ALL of our alcoholic loved ones are "wonderful people...except when drinking." If they were jerks 24/7, then we would have a much better time of removing ourselves from their presence. This is the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde problem of alcoholism. Many of them - like my siblings - are lovely, lovely people. Except.

You say you do not want to be married to an alcoholic. Unfortunately, he IS an alcoholic (from what you've told us). So the price you will pay for this relationship is never knowing -- when you are 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 -- if or when he will relapse, throwing your life into chaos. There are alcoholics who make it their entire lives and never drink again, but they are in the minority.

You say too that you are compatible. I could've said that with most of the relationships in my life with substance abusers -- I was compatible with them all, to one degree or another, from 30% to 90%. Not all alcoholics are wife beaters or street winos - many are like your boyfriend, with good social skills, good personalities when sober, etc.

Your decision is whether this "compatibility" - with the huge dealbreaker of alcoholism hanging over you - is going to be enough to make up for the stress and doubt of dealing with this disorder on a daily basis. I know, for me, it was not. Worrying constantly about "will this make him drink? will that event make him use? is he drinking now?...." is not what I wanted to do with my precious minutes of life. I knew that somewhere out there was someone who was both kind AND had no chemical problems.

Examine too what Freedom said above, in light of your comment that you're worried about breaking up with him, that it will make him drink again. THIS is the pattern we get ourselves into over and over, not necessarily seeking out slobbering drunks, but seeking out relationships with this dynamic-- that's where the books can really illuminate a few things, and help you with your decision.

I wish you luck in finding the right path for yourself and your child.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wooten3955 View Post
It's hard because I'm afraid if I break up with him, he'll end up really going off the wagon. I guess I really should read some of those books you recommended afterall...
If we had the power to make an alcoholic really go off the wagon, we'd also have the power to make them get sober.

I think those books will help you immensely if you keep an open mind.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We don't have that power, even if our alcoholics would like us to think we do.

"you are sabotaging my sobriety" is baloney.
"if it weren't for you leaving me, I would have been able to stay sober". BS.
"who could stay sober living with you?". Crap.

Alcoholics drink because alcoholics drink. Your leaving plays absolutely no part in his decision to do so.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In the end the choice is yours and YOURS alone. Not every person is the same. Perhaps he just had a slip? It happens.

That being said, he'll never be sober if he's doing it for you. I've been there. I quit for my ex-girlfriend several times only to hide my drinking from her -- too bad she had a key to my house and came by while I was at work. She founds dozens of empty beer cans stacked up on my coffee table. That was all it took. She's gone now and I'll never get her back. I lost her trust. It wasn't until I TRULY wanted to quit for me that I was able to do just that. Hopefully -- I'm on day seven today.

Good luck with this. Keep us posted...
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Wooten
I wish I were in your situation. To me it would be a simple decision. I would not get involved or marry with an alcoholic. I am married almost a year and a half to my AH. He pretty much hid this from me before we married (we spent the two year courtship in a long distance relationship).

My husband is what you call functioning alcoholic. He has been able to maintain a job and makes a good living allowing us to live comfortably without me working. The problem is he is an accident waiting to happen. He is overweight, has signs of liver problems, and drives intoxicated several times a week. Now he has taken up with marijuana. He is our only source of income as I quit my good paying job and moved to his small town. At first he tried to stop, but he started again. Now, he drinks so much that he can't stop.

I am seeing a psychyatrist trying to get through this. I can't really talk to anyone about his...my family or his family or my friends. It is too embarrassing. I don't know where this is going to end. I am scared for my future.

Knowing what I know now, I would would just "passed" only any relationship with a guy who had an alcohol dependency....even if they were sober before.

I can't imagine why you want to continue this...especially if you have a young child. You are just setting yourself up for more trouble down the road...why do you want to knowingly do that to yourself and your young child?!
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks again to all of you who have written with your insights.
When I asked my boyfriend if he had been drinking the night before, he denied it. But when I pressed him, he finally admitted that he had had "a few" beers at his friend's house last week. So that makes TWO TIMES (once at a wedding reception, and this latest episode) where he drank and DID NOT TELL ME about it.
I hate to act like his mommy, but I got back together with him with the deal being that he had given up the booze. We live in different towns, and with his job, I would have to move to his town if we ever got married.
How can he expect me to do that when he is withholding information that is very important to making a decision like that??
Now he is on medication for his bad moods, which he used to treat by getting drunk. He still claims he has been sober this whole time, and has been having anxiety from not drinking.
Part of me feels I should stick by him until we see how this medication works for him. But the fact that he's lied to me twice really bothers me. I do not want to have to ask him every day, did you drink anything? That was life with my pot-smoking ex. They lie to you anyway.
Any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There are some good stickies about boundaries.

I know you think this is complicated, but it's really quite simple. "but I got back together with him with the deal being that he had given up the booze. "

You made a deal, right? That is not unlike setting a boundary. The deal is=I stay with you, and you give up the booze. He hasn't obviously given it up. So...you need to decide, are you gonna let your boundaries be trampled and disrespected? Or are you going to stick to what you said you would do?

Believe me, I have sympathy for you. I've more than once bent on a boundary, but let me tell you-once someone sees they can push your boundaries and get away with it, your rules and wants and needs will NEVER be respected by that person.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Alcoholism is PROGRESSIVE

Choosing to stay with an alcoholic is like choosing to buy a seat in an airplane knowing it will spiral down and crash.

Alcoholics blame everyone and everything else except ALCOHOL

The "lovely person" when not drunk would be even lovelier if they were not alcoholic

Marriage and/or driving your car will make you liable for damage, injuries/deaths they cause DUI. You can lose everything you worked hard for; home, assets, etc

Not to mention innocent people injured/killed

You will continue to suffer dealing with the "insanity"

Would you look for a mate at a mental hospital??
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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In my experience alcoholic partners mess up our head so bad, it becomes impossible to tell what is truth and what is a lie anymore, I guess bacuase it is impossbile for us to aknowledge that this person we're sharing a life with is capable of lying so much... so I ended up not trusting myself what I deep down knew it's true, and what is even worse I desperatly needed him to confes he's drinking (which he hardly ever did). I put myself in the position of depending on him to tell me that is truth and what is a lie.
Now, I don't anymore, I became aware of the pattern and I broke it. I have my own mind and I have my gut instict and my reasons. I don't need him to tell me if he's drinking or not. I can see it for myself. I wouldn't even ask ever again as his lying responses are humiliating.

So, one of my biggest problems when dealing with my AH was I needed him to approve of my thinking. Confirm it. SO Wrong.
If you are questioning him about his drinking, I'm sure you're not doing it because you're paranoid (something I was offen accused of, in a polite way thought, by my AH), it is because you have reasons to believe so. use your common sense, and relay on your own mind and reason. All alcoholics lie about they're drinking for many reasons (shame, denial, ...)
especially to their partners, that's the first thing you'll learn reading personal stories people share here.
I am not telling you what to do re your relationship, that's the one you have to decide for yourself, but I just wanted to say don't let anyone make you disstrust your own judgement, and please always remember your first priority in life is making sure you and your son have a happy life...
best of luck
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
How many second chances can you give a person???
I personally gave the most recent addicted person in my life two chances. The first time he betrayed me, I was shocked, dumbfounded, and severely hurt. We discussed it and decided that because we loved and cared about eachother so much, and because we were so compatible (clean and sober), that we would try again. The second time he betrayed me, I set my boundary. I told him if it happens again, we would not continue. It happened again, and I have honored myself and my feelings by sticking to my boundary. That person is no longer in my life.
Quote:
I don't want to be married to a using alcoholic.
Then don't marry him. You are already aware of what you want and what you don't want for your life; so you're actually ahead of the game. Now you have to decide to honor yourself, bite the bullet, and move forward in your life seeking out what you DO want. Do not look back; that is not honoring yourself. Do not look side to side; that is second-guessing yourself.
Quote:
What is the right thing to do here??
There is no right or wrong. You cannot look into the future and see what will happen or not happen. Let Go and Let God. Honor yourself and know strongly what you want for yourself. And then, just do it.
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