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What do I do?

Old 08-19-2010, 05:31 PM
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What do I do?

I don't even know where to start, there's so much thats led me to where I am now. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years. He's an alcoholic. I love him, of course, and I know he loves me. At times I wish this wasn't true, then it wouldn't be so hard. When we met there was an instant connection. I knew he was trouble... or had troubles.... either way, when we started dating I never planned on staying with him. He is 10 years older than me and yet no further ahead in life, other than life experiences which by now I feel like I've heard all his stories and learned everything I could from them. He had a hard childhood with an alcoholc/abusive father and a codependant mother. i think because of our similar backgrounds we've been able to understand eachother better. I myself had an alcoholic mother and an alcoholic father that was killed in a car accident when he passed out behind the wheel when i was ten. So when i met him i knew right away that he had alcohol problems. What i found out in the following weeks was that he had just moved home because he had drug problems so bad that he had been on the streets. This scared me, but i thought he was getting better and would stop everything. For the next couple years I was so proud of him, he stopped all habitual drug use and cut his drinking from a 30 pack or more a day to 6-12 a day and it continued be less untill it was a 6 pack day (a bit more on weekends, or days off). He's had a steady job for almost the whole 5 years and primarily has always paid our rent so he thinks he's improved greatly and should be praised. I've been thankful and made more efforts than i wouls have liked to to show him how much i care.
I've read many books on alcoholism, taken college level classes about it, and researched it on the web. I know i'm codependent. I know i can't change him. And i know i can't deal with it for the rest of my life. I'm young, early twenties. I grew up surrounded by alcoholism and then chose a boyfriend that also surrounds me with alcoholism. I don't want it anymore. I used to enjoy having a few drinks with my friends, now i barely ever drink in fear of encouraging my boyfriend. I love him in such a way that i don't want to leave because i don't want his life to be worse. I'm afraid that if i leave he'll fall back into his old ways. I don't want him to be an alcoholic and i don't want him to feel alone and lonely. but the way it is now and has been for a year or more... i'm lonely. I see him in the morning, sober, for half an hour before he leaves for work. Then i spend all day looking forward to seeing him sober at night... then he comes home drunk 4 out of 5 days a week, the other day he's started drinking but has only gotten 2-3 beers in and is still tolerable, which he then makes me feel like i should be thankful hes not drunk. I feel like i don't have anyone. As i write this he's passed out on our couch, with shoes on, pissed pants, and a belly full of the dinner i had ready for him when he got home. I don't feel like i deserve this anymore. I want someone to want to spend time with me at the end of their day and to appreciate the love i have to give.
He's told me he wants to quit... but has never been successful for more than a few days, and his reason for starting back up is usually that i made him mad. He knows he has a problem, i don't think he knows how bad it still is. He's been in rehabs, he has 7 DWI's, he's been to AA meetings and knows all the steps. He says they don't help, that talking about it constantly makes him want to drink more. His last rehab he took the "Successful Completion" coin that they handed out at the end to the bar across the street for a free beer...
I don't know how to approach him anymore, I don't know if I should just move out, no word, no letter. Or if I should move out and tell him that if he gets sober we can get back together. Or if I should stay, and try to help... some other way. I don't know.
I can't live like this for much longer, it's not the life i want and it's ruining the life i have... Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I love him, but I have to love myself too.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:37 PM
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If you are not living the life you want, then you are the only one who can change that. If he wants to drink, he'll drink and you staying with him is not going to stop him, as you can already see. It all just depends on how long you are willing to continue living with someone who so obviously does not want to change. You have the keys to your chains.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:41 PM
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All I can say is that when the pain of living with him outweighs the happy, peaceful times you will make the right decision for you.

I am sorry that you are involved in this situation. Unfortunately, love cannot conquer addiction/alcoholism, it just doesn't work that way...if it did there would not be a soul posting on this board.

You have to do what is best for you, this is your decision. I think that you are fortunate that you are not married to him, you are avoiding alot of legal issues.

Keep posting, it will help.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:52 PM
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Because alcoholism is progressive...it sounds like a trainwreck to me.

I am sorry if that sounds harsh and cold.
I honestly just don't see anything here that would give me hope for a loving mutual relationship.
I want more than rent and a guy one or two days a week...with an attitude that it is such a sacrifice or favor. hogwash.

I had to leave a relationship like that and it was hard, yeah it was. But wow, am I glad I did.

My guy buys a beer .....one can.....every once in awhile. There is no beer in the fridge. I am so glad that I won't ever have to deal with that insanity again.

It is bigger than I am and took me down...low and hard.
I had to escape for my well being and the"bill of rights" pursuit of happiness.
It's constitutional, ya know...so pretty important.

He is either going to get in treatment or get much worse.
That is alot of heartache to take on.

If you were my daughter I would advise you to let him go and get on with your precious life.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:57 PM
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I know I have to leave him. I don't know how to do it. Or how to leave our relationship. is it fair to tell him i'm leaving, but if he gets sober i'll come back? Is it harmful to him to tell him why i'm leaving? that if i don't it would ruin my life. or is it better to just leave, delete his phone number and burn our photos? I don't expect any way to be easy, but i don't want it to be harder than it has to be...
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:19 PM
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Work on your personal boundaries. And then let him know what isn't working in your relationship, that you are unhappy and that you have to leave. It takes courage to stand up for ourselves and our beliefs.

DO you have the means to live on your own? I think that the first thing you can do is start with a plan. Start putting money away. Start looking at rental places.

And yes I think it's very fair to say to him I can no longer live with you because you drink more than I am comfortable with. Then leave. Don't make idle threats or try to change him. Accept that he is who he is and that it doesn't match up with what you need in a relationship. Don't listen to false promises or empty words when he swears he will quit drinking. Watch his actions after you leave to see if he is telling the truth.

If he decides he wants recovery and follows through on that choice, you can always go back... but in the meantime you can build a life for yourself where your future happiness isn't dependent on an active alcoholic. That's really no life at all.

You really do deserve better than what you are settling for. You know that, don't you? Maybe counseling will help you figure out why you are settling for less than you deserve. And why you are scared to leave.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:20 PM
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Hi BandAide,

So sorry you are going through this...yes, it is doubly difficult when we LOVE the alcoholic in our lives. The alcoholic in my life is my sister, and I love her dearly...but I am currently not in contact because things have gotten so bad with her drinking. I could have stayed in contact...but staying in contact meant staying in the drama--the shoulda, woulda, couldas, the excuses, the "you are the reason why I had to go back to drinking" (she recently blamed me being messy when we were roommates 12 years ago for the reason of her latest binge), the, "I'm going to quit tomorrow", the lies, the promises, the emotional blackmail, the manipulation, the chaos. I decided one day I was done living that way. It is up to her to change, and if/when she decides to get sober, I might have her back in my life. But then again, I might not. I can't really decide that now.
Perhaps look at your life now and make decisions for now...what is keeping you there? What about this relationship is fulfilling to you? You sound like you've had enough, and that's okay. If you're not done, that's okay, too. Just know that there are ways to make living with an alcoholic more bearable, and getting out is one of them.
I have found therapy an immensely useful outlet for me....have you looked into therapy or al-anon?
Sending you hugs.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:35 PM
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Bandaide,

So sad to read your posting today. I just left my ABF last week. It was very hard, but the best advice I can give to you is to have a plan.

Several times I gave him the benefit of the doubt, he promised to get better, go to AA, etc. It never happened. I finally had enough of his lies and his playing on the emotions of myself and his ex-wife.

We weren't living together, so it was easier to tell him that I was making plans to leave. He didn't believe me and I kept my plan to myself until I found a place and put down a deposit. I sent him a text the day I left to let him know how serious I was about ending the insanity. His calls were blocked and I took it one step further by changing my number.

It is hard, I still love him, but last night I slept so peacefully, it was wonderful to wake up on my own without dreading what sort of drama this new day will bring. I am no longer slave to his alcoholic lifestyle.

Do what feels right for you, take it one step at a time, know that you ALWAYS have options.. This is your life Bandaide!
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:38 PM
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Thank you all for your help and advice. I am thankful to have found a place that people understand and don't judge. Its so relieving to have an outlet, and to receive wisdon from people in similar situations. I found this quote on another forum, these words along with yours, will help me make it through.

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’ So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:44 PM
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You don't have to stop loving someone in order to/or before you leave.

I wouldn't make any promises about what would happen if he got sober either.
Who knows when that may be if ever or where you will be in your life?

I think (just my opinion) that it would be considerate to talk to him when he is sober and tell him you have decided to leave. Tell him some of the things you wrote here about why it isn't working for you and you have your life and your future that YOU ALONE are RESPONSIBLE for. (You are just doing the responsible thing, ya know). You wished it had worked but it hasn't and you're going to love him from a distance and go on with your life. Wish him well.

Then LEAVE. Don't act as if anything "normal" is still going on.

a clean break is easier on both of you.

I hope this helps.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:45 PM
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Keep posting! It truly does help. I know that I wouldn't be at the point I am in my life without the help of this forum...sending you hugs.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:01 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

You will find lots of support and information here. Some of our stories are in the permanent (sticky) posts at the top of this forum.

This is a link to a sticky post. It contains steps to help a loved one:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by groybin View Post
Bandaide,

So sad to read your posting today. I just left my ABF last week. It was very hard, but the best advice I can give to you is to have a plan.

Several times I gave him the benefit of the doubt, he promised to get better, go to AA, etc. It never happened. I finally had enough of his lies and his playing on the emotions of myself and his ex-wife.

We weren't living together, so it was easier to tell him that I was making plans to leave. He didn't believe me and I kept my plan to myself until I found a place and put down a deposit. I sent him a text the day I left to let him know how serious I was about ending the insanity. His calls were blocked and I took it one step further by changing my number.

It is hard, I still love him, but last night I slept so peacefully, it was wonderful to wake up on my own without dreading what sort of drama this new day will bring. I am no longer slave to his alcoholic lifestyle.

Do what feels right for you, take it one step at a time, know that you ALWAYS have options.. This is your life Bandaide!
Your story is mine and as hard as the decision was to end the relationship, it was the best thing I did.....for me. No more knot in my stomach, no more tension headaches, no more dread whenever the phone rang.

Like you, we didn't live together (my choice after a nasty incident involving the police last summer) and agreed to work on our respective recoveries. Suffice to say, I grew, he didn't and after 3 relapses, counselling and other avenues, EXABF made it perfectly clear that he knew best for recovery.

SO, after a tense couple of weeks and one very nasty conversation last week, I ended it, hung up, blocked his #, email, Facebook, MSN and any other avenue of communication he has.

It's not been easy but what I do notice - even after a week is (to paraphrase the Eagles) a peaceful easy feeling within myself. the wounds are still raw, I do hurt, I do still love him but will no longer be his punching bag, his doormat and enable his lifestyle.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:53 AM
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bandaide,

Welcome to Sober Recovery! This is a great site, and as you've already seen, folks come here to share their wisdom, and offer support.

You are a smart young cookie. You have already taken the first two, difficult steps: Awareness and Decision.

There are several more, and sometimes you may feel that you are taking one forward on then one back. NORMAL. This is tough, tough stuff.

I think a candid, short, conversation with him will continue the process, be respectful and help to reveal where you need to go next.

I would, however, suggest dropping any statements that sound like either an ultimatum, or the promise of a return to the relationship should he get sober. This sets you up for further heartache and it's not really what you role should be. You can think this in your own mind, and if he asks "well what if I stopped drinking altogether?" you can give an honest answer. But he is in the driver's seat of his life and he needs to make that decision FOR HIMSELF and not be coerced into it. In my experience, that rarely works long-term, so...again...setting yourself up for huge disappointment.

Peace to you, and keep coming back.
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