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How do you have "the talk"?

Old 06-28-2010, 01:46 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by smacked View Post
Ok, I've read all your threads. You are spending a LOT of time glorifying and idealizing the rest of this relationship, and this man. If everything's so unbelievably amazing, what's the problem? .
I had already thought someone would say this, but the things Ive said about him are not untrue or exaggerated. and I guess they are the reason why I have been willing to continue this relationship so far. One of the things Im questioning IS "am I glorifying everything" , "AM I tricking myself and thinking he's better than he is?" Ive never been confronted with a situation like this where my choice are to leave behind a very good person because they are addicted to something. I know my choice is that my childrens well being is more important. I am not taking a "save him" attitude. I AM considering that he has a long history. But the reality really is that I have witnessed none of that. I have only witnessed a beer in his hand constantly. As have my kids when they are around, Im not lessening that.


As you said, it's that he always has a beer in his hand, and you don't want your children to grow up around it. Ok.. so that's a fact. And he's unwilling to change it. What are the next steps for you? Either be ok with your kids growing up in a questionably alcoholic home, or don't. Ball's in your court, ma'am.
Of course this is true too. I do not know that he is unwilling to change it because we havent really explored the idea. To make a decision for myself to leave this person behind or to talk to him about not drinking and have him do that.. that is why Im here.

@learn2live Yes I am spending considerable time right now figuring this out. Ive stuck around long enough to see what his alcohol problem is all about and who is he. Now I have a choice to make. and I know at 7 months in, this is a better time than 7 years in.

I have came to the conclusion that he is a good enough man that I will first ask him to stop before I chose to end seeing him.

Perhaps that is where the heartache/ bad relationship will start. I'll somewhat expect that. I feel, at this point, that I am strong enough to not be sucked into any savior/ excuses problem with him. I also feel like he is good enough to not put that on me. Maybe Im wrong.

But I know that now, at 7 months, before we live together, before we have enmeshed finances or anything.. now is the time.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:03 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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P.S. I CAN think of things I dont like about him, so it's not like I think he's God or anything. ;-P

He's a high strung perfectionist who can be complainy if life isnt perfect.

Never AT me, or about me, and he never makes me feel not-good-enough. Quite the opposite, he tells me Im great and so so good to him and do too much for him.

I mean in a just-woke-up "Grass needs to be mowed, weed whipping needs to be done, we gotta weed the garden today, I gotta wash the truck and grocery shop :::sigh:::" Before he's even out of bed.

Im always like, "You dont want to sit around and relax ANYWAYS so what are you complaining about??" He always just smirks and says, "I know :-P "

Im more mellow. I dont want to wake up at 7 am and hop out of bed and tackle the day. He never makes me feel like I have to and most of the time I dont. So those are livable differences.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:28 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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You could simply tell him exactly what you have done.

You have sought a recovery board, seeking answers about his drinking.

You could pose some of these questions to him, see what he thinks..or simply, ask him to stop for the sake of your children.

His reaction will speak volumes.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:30 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Most of the A men in our lives were absolutely wonderful, loving husbands, fathers, stepfathers, brothers, sons, friends, whatever....without the drink.
With all due respect, seven months isn't a very long time.
If his drinking is a probelm for you it's your problem, and not his.
He may well have a drinking problem/be alcoholic, but if he doesn't acknowledge it there's not a lot you can do about his part in it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:30 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by incognito70 View Post
I have came to the conclusion that he is a good enough man that I will first ask him to stop before I chose to end seeing him.
Whether he's a good man or not, asking him to stop is tantamount to expecting that you have power over his actions. You do not.

You can however approach the situation differently. You can figure out if it is acceptable to you to have a man who is constantly drinking (and visibly intoxicated though this intoxication doesn't cause any "negative" effects--for now) around you and your children. If it isn't acceptable (which your posts seems to hint at), then you can then decide what you plan on doing if your boyfriend continues to drink (i.e. leave the room, leave the apartment, etc).

If you approach your "talk" from that perspective, by stating what you will do or not do should he continue to drink in your presence, you keep the focus on you and not on him. In all likelihood, there'll be some upheaval following this discussion, and as a complete stranger who knows nothing about your life except the thread you've posted here, I'd say that he'll probably go on drinking.

Originally Posted by incognito70 View Post
But I know that now, at 7 months, before we live together, before we have enmeshed finances or anything.. now is the time.
You are spot on here. Bravo.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:36 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Exactly what noday said.. You really can't ask that he stop and expect anything.. you can tell him you have a problem with his drinking, and that you have a problem with having your children around someone that is always drinking.. and that you plan to not be around him if he drinks, and see where the conversation goes. At this point, it is only YOUR problem, it's not a problem at all for him..(yet).
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:38 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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incognito...

My XABF was textbook perfect. On paper, he was much like your man. Kind, considerate, funny, sweet, caring. Took care of the household, did the maintenance on my car, cooked for us most of the time. I lived with him for 3yrs, and I never once paid rent. He had money in the bank, he had no debt, he went to work everyday. He had a good relationship with his parents. My family LOVED HIM! They thought he walked on water.

Sounds like a real keeper right?

EXCEPT for the fact that he drank. Every day. Every night. Every weekend. He drank when he was happy, when he was sad. When he embarassed me, and almost cost me my job, he blamed ME for not knowing he couldn't handle his booze. He blamed me for being unhappy. So, he drank. He blamed me for taking over his house. So, he drank. He blamed me for his inability to get an erection. So, he drank.

He drank himself out of a relationship with a woman that loved him. Cared for him. Hated to leave him. Didn't want to leave him. Wanted to save him. Wanted HIM to want to be saved. Wanted him to validate my existence in his life. Didn't I matter? Didn't I mean anything? Wasn't it enough for ME to love him? Wasn't it enough? HOW could he choose a bottle of Miller Lite over us?

Well, beloved. He did.

It didn't matter what I did. I would never morph into a bottle of beer. I was in the way of his relationship with his first and only love, thy mistress is ALCOHOL. And she is a temptress, a thief, a liar and a homewrecker. She destroyed my love for him, and keeps him company in my place. He chose her over me.

Someday, yours will choose her too. I am prayerful that by then, you will have saved yourself the pain of staying in hopes of being stronger than his addiction. You won't be. Ever.

You are not alone, we have all lost someone we love to this lying witch. I am better off, and in the end, the booze can have him. They belong together. I pray for him daily. I wish him to be saved, and find his way. It's the only thing I can do for him.

Praying for you dear one. ((HUGS))
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:55 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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nodaybut2day -- I'll expect that maybe he wont quit.

I expect that the end decision is mine and if I want to be with a drinker or not.

I WILL talk to him, I know that already.

I am preparing myself right now, as I read and talk here. I want to be sure I have covered what needs to be covered, FOR ME.

Like, one thing I want to have under control is: I feel great love and tenderness toward him. I fear hurting his feelings or making him feel like he's not a good person. Maybe this is co-dependant 'his feelings are my responsibility' type thinking, or maybe I just love him and care about how he feels. "You drink too much and if you dont stop I will leave this relationship" is not how I want to approach this. It may actually be a truth, but there has to be a much better delivery of the message.

Making sure I do not cause some emotional unease (which Im sure it will in some form) does not take precedence over getting to the bottom of this though.

I do not yet know how to approach this while being compassionate but not weak.
Strong but not seeming cold.

While I wont over-extend myself with walking on eggshells about the conversation with him, I do care enough about him and the end result that I would rather approach it with some education and information behind me and with my own feelings in check.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:59 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by smacked View Post
Exactly what noday said.. You really can't ask that he stop and expect anything.. you can tell him you have a problem with his drinking, and that you have a problem with having your children around someone that is always drinking.. and that you plan to not be around him if he drinks, and see where the conversation goes. At this point, it is only YOUR problem, it's not a problem at all for him..(yet).

See now this is valuable information to me. (and what nodaybut2day said)

Instead of asking him to quit and telling him he has a problem, I can put the ball in his court and tell him *I* have a problem with his drinking and see if his reaction is that his drinking becomes a problem for him.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:03 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I have found in my life that a healthy measure of detachment from EVERYONE is imperative if I am to maintain my peace and serenity. This has been a difficult lesson to learn and practice. If you don't know and recognize this feeling of healthy detachment in your romantic relationship, it behooves you to learn how to do this. There is only one way I know how to learn this and that is 12 steps. Incognito, you seem to adore all that he does and although you seem to recognize some of his 'bad' you MAY be in denial. Whether or not you are is not for anyone but you to discover. People on SR may be able to help you determine what is going on with you. I recommend you get some emotional distance from this guy.

Hope something here is helpful.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:10 PM
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"Instead of asking him to quit and telling him he has a problem, I can put the ball in his court and tell him *I* have a problem with his drinking and see if his reaction is that his drinking becomes a problem for him."
you are setting yourself up to play a LONG, painful, agonizing game with this man.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:13 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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nodaybut2day -- I'll expect that maybe he wont quit.
He won't. He has to want to quit. If he doesn't then nothing you say will matter.

I expect that the end decision is mine and if I want to be with a drinker or not.
Absolutely. You only have control over YOU. If you can accept him as he is, TODAY, then you will be fine. Because this is as good as it gets. It will only get worse, until he reaches out for help

Like, one thing I want to have under control is: I feel great love and tenderness toward him. I fear hurting his feelings or making him feel like he's not a good person.
Does he worry about YOUR feelings, and how his drinking affects you?

Maybe this is co-dependant 'his feelings are my responsibility' type thinking, or maybe I just love him and care about how he feels.
You are only responsible for you.

"You drink too much and if you dont stop I will leave this relationship" is not how I want to approach this. It may actually be a truth, but there has to be a much better delivery of the message.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I uttered those exact words. I'd be rich.

Making sure I do not cause some emotional unease (which Im sure it will in some form) does not take precedence over getting to the bottom of this though.
When you confront someone with a problem they already know they have, there will always be unease. It's unavoidable.

If you do decide to talk to him, go in knowing he will probably be angry. He will probably say he's not an alcoholic. He will try to make YOU the bad guy. Don't let him.

You didn't CAUSE this.
You can't CONTROL this.
You can't CURE this.

Take care of you, and your feelings. They are the only ones that matter. And the only ones you can control.
Praying for you!
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:38 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Does he worry about YOUR feelings, and how his drinking affects you?
Yes he does. That is my guess anyways, because he has said to me many times, "If you have a problem with anything please let me know" Also one time we talked, very briefly, about whether I'd ever move in or not. I said I didnt want the kids witnessing drinking every day. He looked genuinely concerned and admitted that wasnt good. Did he care enough to immediately quit? ha.. no. But he recognized it.

The position we are in right now though is that I have been totally accepting of his drinking. I have said very few small things. I admit Ive been overly impressed with all his other good traits so Ive let it slide. Im ready to confront this tho and I know it isnt my fault, I cant change it, and Ive been sucked into minimal (but admittedly some) dysfunctional stuff and I want to keep it that way.

I dont think he'll blame me or anything.. he had this problem looooong before me and he's never spoken a harsh word to me. If he does.. I know I will recognize that and it will change my feelings for him and I'll have an easier time walking away.

I have a feeling if he doesnt wish to change it he will only admit defeat and that he doesnt want to.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:44 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by incognito70 View Post
See now this is valuable information to me. (and what nodaybut2day said)

Instead of asking him to quit and telling him he has a problem, I can put the ball in his court and tell him *I* have a problem with his drinking and see if his reaction is that his drinking becomes a problem for him.
No so much. You are considering setting a boundary. I struggle a lot with boundaries. I found this really thread helpful.

Setting Boundaries

From that thread here are two parts that might stand out.

There are basically three parts to a boundary. The first two are setting the boundary - the third is what we will do to defend that boundary.

If you - a description of the behavior we find unacceptable (again being as descriptive as possible.)

I will - a description of what action you will take to protect and take care of your self in the event the other person violates the boundary.

If you continue this behavior - a description of what steps you will take to protect the boundary that you have set.
and

Setting boundaries is not a more sophisticated way of manipulation - although some people will say they are setting boundaries, when in fact they are attempting to manipulate. The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is: when we set a boundary we let go of the outcome.

I'd encourage you to read the entire thread though. It has a lot of good info in it. Not all of the examples are going to apply to your situation but the general principles were so easy for me to understand, yet really hard for me to grasp if that makes sense.

Maybe what stood out to me was when you shared that you were afraid to hurt his feelings. That is so close to how I feel and my boundaries crashed down in the slightest breeze and they were non-existent at the end of my relationship with xah. Be cognizant of your boundaries and protect them!

ETA: and not all A's get angry and mad. Mine was plenty sorry and ready to change/do better/respect my desire/do what is right. yadda yadda. I can see now how silly that sounds because he just nods his head, tells me how right I am, and shuts me up....then gets another beer. Words are cheap. 'What you do speaks so loud I can not hear what you say.' by Ralph Waldo Emerson is permanently on my bulletin board as a reminder.

Works on both sides btw. His words were cheap about the drinking and so were mine when it came to boundaries. I hardly knew what they were in the end but even when I still had some semblance of knowing what they should be - I did nothing to protect them, or myself - or sadly, my children. I don't mean protect from abuse either. My xah was not abusive but basics like emotional safety, financial security, trust, etc go sliding down the hill, washed away with a river of cheap beer, without boundaries.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by incognito70 View Post
See now this is valuable information to me. (and what nodaybut2day said)

Instead of asking him to quit and telling him he has a problem, I can put the ball in his court and tell him *I* have a problem with his drinking and see if his reaction is that his drinking becomes a problem for him.
Ok, hurrah for the first part, telling him YOU have a problem with his drinking. The second part about this perhaps making him realize he has a problem..no..do not even think you have that power or responsibility. The statement you make, boundary included might be "your drinking is a problem for me, and I want you to know that if you choose to drink, I will not be around you.". Period. Then follow through. The boundary is not for his benefit, in fact it really doesn't have to be voiced again. He drinks, you go elsewhere. If he chooses to change his behavior so be it. But at least you're protecting yourself, and children from being around his drinking, which is the goal, yes?
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