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New to forum; need thoughts

Old 07-05-2010, 08:56 AM
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New to forum; need thoughts

I have been in a relationship with R for 5 1/2 years. He started drinking heavily about a year ago. Looking back, I see that he's had a problem for most of his life,(since 16) but he was sober when I met him and had maintained that sobriety, with some slips, until last summer. We've had some horrendous fights about it since then, culminating in a really bad one in April that finally woke me up to the truth. I've started seeing a therapist, and doing some reading at HIS advice that I seek help with HIS alcoholism. (?!) My therapist made the observation that most partners of alcoholics realize that it's an untenable position when they seek help--and he may realize this.

He's extremely high functioning-well respected/liked at his high level/paying job in healthcare and in his volunteer activities as the local chairman of the board for a well known charity. People here and there have witnessed him being drunk-he often gets drunk at fundraising events where there's always lots of alcohol--but no one sees it all put together like I do. They also don't see the at home drinking.

For example; this week--his weekly guys' date with his best friend on Wednesday: drunk. Drink 3 beers and Jack Daniels until I went to bed at 11 pm on Thursday. Friday: an art event with me and then start on the new 12 pack of beer. Saturday. Go out with me and sip two glasses of wine over two hours but then stop and pick up a 12 pack on the way home. Sunday; we arrive separately to meet friends for pre-fireworks dinner at 6 pm, but he doesn't eat, of course. He's drunk by 7:30. He's a big man and it takes a lot to get him drunk. He drinks very fast and huge quantities.

AND he drives home at midninght. I no longer fight him about this; this was the beginning of the huge fight in April, when I took his keys, because we'd arrived separately.

My confusion: i read over and over again how alcoholics mess up their lives so badly and that's when they will recognize what they're doing, if they are ever going to. I'm convinced of his alcoholism, but I am the main one suffering from it. His 16 year old is aware of it, but since she doesn't live with us, she doesn't deal with it. He drinks in front of her, but doesn't become obviously drunk. MY 16 year old is very aware and I know that I need to follow through on my plans to separate from him for her sake, as well.

He's mostly a benign drunk; but is verbally vicious when he gets angry at me when he's drunk. I was shocked at myself for letting him drive home last night when I knew he was so drunk, but I am just so tired of it all. I WANTED him to get arrested. I even looked for a cop, but didn't go so far as to report him myself. And is that even right, to report him?

I keep thinking that maybe he's not so bad, he's not really alcoholic, because he's otherwise doing so well, although at this point, our relationship is a mess. We make love very infrequently because I can't feel anything for him when he starts drinking, even one beer, because I know where it's going.

i am just so sad, disappointed, and angry. I loved the quote I saw here about how false hope prevents one from seeing real opportunity. I do have to end this relationship, don't I? Or at least get some physical distance.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:10 AM
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Hi Artist, welcome....there is a lot of great info and advice here as you will come to see.

I do have to end this relationship, don't I? Or at least get some physical distance.
I feel questions like these are turning points in our lives. 1. I think you have answered your own question.
No one else can control your decisions. You control them. There comes a point when we have to start making decisions because we know it is what is best for us to do, not because someone tells us to do it.
This is part of growing out of codependence and unhealthy relationships. You don't need anyone telling you that you "have to end this relationship"... that means that you feel more comfortable having other people tell you what you should do.

I have learned that I can come here to get support, to gain information about alcoholism, to gain strength by reading the thoughts and journeys of others, but in no way can I come here and expect for someone to make my life choices for me.

I realize you are only asking a simple question....but if you start to focus on you, you will be able to answer this on your own.
What you are feeling is so normal....I still get sad over the relationship I lost a year ago. But I get sad because I fantasize about the man he presented himself to be to me.... I really have no idea of the reality of him, and everyday I wake up and remember that. He is not the man I thought he was. I deserve better. I deserve to be happy. And only I can make that happen.
You deserve all of those things too.

HUGS.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:30 AM
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Artist, welcome to SR.

My situation is pretty similar to yours. I was with my xgf for over 3 years and her drinking was a problem for a majority of the the relationship. I have a 14 year old son who was also very aware of the drinking. If nothing else, the relationship with my xgf has opened up some very good conversations with my son regarding boundaries, healthy relationships and alcohol and drug use.

While I can't make any decisions for you, I can encourage you to keep coming here and reading and posting. This is a great place.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:42 AM
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Hello artist.

I love your nickname. I am an artist too and drawing/painting has helped me express my feelings when I lost an ex boyfriend who I believe is an alcoholic. In my case I chose to leave.

This is a great place to learn about Alcoholism. Have you read the Sticky section? lots of great articles over there.

Also if you could get Melody Beatty book "codependent no more" that is a Bible for us that have lost too much of ourselves due to someone else's problems.

You are not alone in your feelings and we all get how it feels when "society" ignores the problem or worse think its fun and YOU are the one blowing it all out of proportion or making a problem where there isn't one, etc etc. I remember how DAMN LONELY it was for me.

Make yourself at home, there is much Experience, Strength and Hope to share. Welcome to SR
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:08 AM
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Welcome, Artist. I'm sorry for the tough stuff you're experiencing. I think you'll be very glad you found this forum.

I spent two years in a relationship with a high-functioning, well-respected, loved-by-most professional man in his late 40's. Sounds a lot like your guy. Even though we didn't live together, it became obvious pretty quickly that alcohol was a first love for him. After a year with a couple of painful break-ups in it, he also admitted a marijuana addiction, but he was "wanting change" and wanted me to be a part of his road to recovery.

I decided to be there for him, but quickly learned that 35 years of drug and alcohol dependence had a pretty tight grip on him. He was sober/clean for a few weeks and then we went right back to the same lifestyle/patterns.

Three months ago, I made the choice to walk away after the disrespect and the deceit became more than I could tolerate. My self-respect and dignity finally took over. It has been PAINFUL and enormously DIFFICULT. But once I realized and accepted that his real girlfriends were marijuana and alcohol, and that no amount of love I could give him could change that, it was easier to hang tough with my decision.

The only person I can control is me. My happiness does not depend on anyone but me and my relationship with God, my higher power.

I am also responsible for caring for my three daughters--they are my greatest gift and my greatest responsibility. It is up to me to be their example of a healthy adult who chooses healthy relationships.

Only you can decide what is best for you, but I think you are already coming to your own conclusion about that.

I honestly believe that if I had not stumbled upon this forum, I would have had an almost impossible time staying out of that very unhealthy relationship. I have learned here how addicts really DO lie and manipulate their way through relationships with WORDS as opposed to ACTIONS to hang on to the people who have become attached to them. It doesn't matter how much we love them. Their first loves are not their human relationships.

If you haven't yet, take time to read the stickies. They are loaded with eye-opening reality checks...things that will make you realize you are not alone...that addicts have common characteristics. Same script, different humans. We who love addicts have common characteristics. Same script, differnt humans.

I hope you stay and find the support and guidance you need here. Hugs to you.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:35 AM
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THANK YOU from Artist

Thanks to all the great responses that came so quickly. I already feel much less alone and you're right: I know the answers, I just don't like them. However, i also recognize that I don't really have the relationship I think I have. He has it with alcohol and I am in a relationship with an illusion.


Thanks also for recognizing how lonely it is and the warped perceptions people push on you: I am not 'fun', I am taking it too seriously, he's just fine, blah, blah, blah. It is all distracting because I wish so much I WAS a wet blanket and just over reacting.

I will read the stickies and keep coming, if only to read and gain strength from you all. Thanks to the dad of the 14 year old; I have had discussions with both my daughters about these things and know that I am showing them the right thing to do.

thank you so much.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:36 PM
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He has it with alcohol and I am in a relationship with an illusion
This one statement is the one I repeat most often, when I feel the magical fairy dust falling in my brain.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:12 AM
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Hi Artist,
I'm glad for you found this place. It's been a lifesaver for me, and many others I'm sure.
I also suggest you stick around and read as much as you can. This could be a place where your beautiful journey begins. You just need to stay open and ready to work on yourself and question yourself. Change your focus from him to you. It's a process, hard one too, but for sure it beats staying where you are right now. You'll make you decisions when the time is right for you. Give yourself the time you need, you're already going in a right direction. There will be few steps back, I'm sure, but take them as the learning experience and keep moving forward.
We're here for you.
I wish you well, and wellcome.
HUGS
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:45 AM
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You are at the point where my ex-wife was before she eventually kicked me out. I have been on the other side. If he keeps up this behavior he is going to wind up losing it all. Trust me I know. Just because you have a good job, it's does not give you the right to get plastered, and drive to boot. He will get a DUI eventually, it will happen sooner or later. He will lose his job, and will have trouble finding one in that field again, they do perform background checks.
Now as far as the relationship. I personally distanced myself from my wife by drinking. My main reason was she hated my parents and my sister, and used it against me, calling me a momma's boy, etc, putting my family before her. OK, fine, but I embraced her family wholeheartedly and was dismayed with her lack of understanding. After taking her side, big mistake, I decided I could no longer deal with my folks and started avoiding them, mistake #2. Then I started hiding my drinking, mistake#3. Eventually she mistrusted me and my lies, and kicked me out. I lost everything. I had nothing. I hedged all my bets on this woman. I did not realize she had some issues as well. I should have never married her in hind sight. But I was drinking when we were dating, maybe that skewed my judgment.
So I would look to what's really going on here with the relationship first. Do you respect him, does he respect you. Does he want to make you happy. Is he trying to change, if not, why? Dig deeper, there's a bigger problem going on, I'm certain.
The most painful lesson I learned was when my wife divorced me. But I moved on, sober and more eager to make my life better. I hope and pray you can work it out. Knowing what I know today, I would never marry a woman who drank. I don't care how much money she had, or how good looking. We all have individual lessons to learn, so I cannot tell you what to do per se. I just offering my point of view from being the drunk husband. I miss my wife everyday. But I also know I can never go back to being an alcoholic, so I guess it's a mixed blessing.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:16 PM
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You've got some good guidance here, so I won't restate it, but just wanted to touch on the driving drunk thing. ABSOLUTELY its ok to call the police on a drunk driver. In fact, in most jurusdictions YOU could be prosecuted for contributory negligence for knowing he was driving drunk if he kills/injures someone. Its not only right, its a responsibility.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by artist View Post
MY 16 year old is very aware ....
That's all I needed for the fog to lift for me. When my sons form my previous marriage were no longer safe from the devastation it was time for me to make a change. Good for you for seeing this as your call to action.
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