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I think my boyfriend of three years is an alcoholic.

Old 11-02-2010, 04:44 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Yup, the fact that it is a progressive disease doesn't bode well for your bf if he refused to admit/deal with is problem.

If you have to ask 'is he an alcoholic?' and you aren't a puritan about drinking then there is your answer I always say.

I like the occassional drink but I hate how I feel the next day so I rarely do it. Just special occassions. My sister loves her evening 'aperitif' (french for evening drinky-poo) but her husband IS French and it is a cultural thing as well. Do I think she has a problem? Potentially yes. That is because I know my sister and her emotional issues. Knowing now what I know about the disease, I am slightly worried as is my mom.

Relationships with someone in recovery is difficult. Only you know if you have the patience and resiliency to ride that roller coaster. I guess what I would recommend is getting the book 'Under the Influence'. There are stickys on SR that you may have already come across. That for me was by far the best source of information on the disease and its progression.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:40 AM
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How's it going today Craven?
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
The first is that I highly recommend you go to six or more in-person Al-Anon meetings in the next two weeks. If you don't like one you've attended, try another. Sometimes people use these forums to avoid having to see people face-to-face or because they are isolated or isolating. I'm not saying you are doing this, but I can say that in my experience there is something to be experienced at an in-person meeting that simply can't be matched online. I see value in both in-person meetings and on-line forums-- together they are very powerful. Alone they help, but not at the same level.

Secondly, the fact that you cannot control your anger and behavior when drinking suggests he may not be the only one with a drinking problem, or that you may be drinking in order to handle his drinking (I did that-- highly ineffective for me). Perhaps not, but consider that it may be true.

Thirdly, it appears crystal clear from your post that you are trying to control him and his behavior, both overtly and passive agressively. In my opinion it is unlikely to result in anything other than increased anger and resentment-- on both of your parts.

Fourth, end the endless talks and they will end. Continue the endless talks and they'll be endless. Have they ever changed anything? Ever?

Lastly, get thee to an Al-Anon meeting.

This is, of course, just my opinion. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak-

P.s. I don't wish what you are experiencing on anybody. I lived your scenario for a long time, but was in denail a lot longer. Well done figuring out something a little sooner.
Your first post and to me, you hit the nail right on the head.

Don't make ANY decision to stay or leave until you've gone to al anon to work on your own recovery.
It's SO EASY for others to bark out "leave him" when they know full well how "leaving an addict" works.

ONLY make decisions about your recovery for now, then you can focus on either staying or leaving.

Your BF will only recover when he's in enough emotional pain to do so and this pain will not come when/if you leave. You may think so, as will he because he may beg for you to stay or promise to stop, but these promises are based on fear. He needs to make the decision based on his own struggles.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:32 AM
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Michelle70,

A southern gal!! I'm from South Carolina!

First of all, thank you so much for telling me your story. I appreciate it so very, very much. It definitely helps to put things in perspective. Your wisdom, honesty and generosity are so comforting and reassuring. Your daughters are lucky to have a mama like you.

Boy does it take a huge weight off of my shoulders to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. Thanks, to all of y'all, for your support and good will.

I had a conversation with the BF last night- I only cussed 3 times and did not raise my voice! I stayed calm and tried to address his drinking AT LEAST three times, but each time he either a) answered my question with a question or b) subtly changed the subject. It was maddening, but I held my ground. In other words, I did not offer to 'work on it' or 'go to therapy' or 'try to control my emotions'. In the past I have always assumed responsibility for mending the damage after one of our fights. That obviously doesn't work for us (or any couple, does it?). We are not seeing eye to eye, but, for once, I am at peace with that. I don't have to 'make' him understand my POV. If he gets it, he gets it. If he doesn't, so be it.

We did not make a decision on whether we will break up, take a break, or stay together. Besides dealing with my father's death, this is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. But, I do have faith that even though I know I will make the right decision for me, it might not happen in one or two days. This may take a while! I have to stay focused on what will make me happy, not what will placate him or serve as another bandaid.

Taking it one day at a time... make that one minute at a time. And lots of deep breaths.

I hope you are having a fabulous Wednesday, Michelle70.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:33 AM
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Ha! Yes, the shoes are coming with me!!
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:47 AM
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Hi there noday!

I am alive, I am healthy, I have a job, I am good!!

I'm just reading all of these wonderful posts and taking it all in. I am definitely going to go to an Alanon meeting. The idea of starting on my own recovery before ending things with the BF really resonates with me.

I hope you are doing well today!
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:50 AM
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Summerpeach,

I will take your and cyranoak's advice and go to an alanon meeting. Thank you for letting me know how important this part is. I've been so focused on ending the craziness with the BF, that I've completely overlooked the craziness that is going on inside of ME!
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
The first is that I highly recommend you go to six or more in-person Al-Anon meetings in the next two weeks. If you don't like one you've attended, try another. Sometimes people use these forums to avoid having to see people face-to-face or because they are isolated or isolating. I'm not saying you are doing this, but I can say that in my experience there is something to be experienced at an in-person meeting that simply can't be matched online. I see value in both in-person meetings and on-line forums-- together they are very powerful. Alone they help, but not at the same level.
I hope I did that quote thing the right way! Anyway, Cyranoak, I am going to respond to your five things. Thank you, by the way. While I am very nervous to go to Alanon, I am going to go. I actually have experience with Alanon. I dated a guy who was an everything abuser (alcohol, pills, cocaine, crack). We only dated for 5 months- he went to rehab and was only out for about 2 months before he relapsed. I kicked him out of my apartment and out of my life. While we were dating, I attended 4 or 5 alanon meetings. For the first few I kept quiet and just listened. By the 4th or 5th meeting I decided to speak up and immediately broke down!! So cathartic. I probably should've kept going to the meetings after we broke up... I obviously have a pattern of dating dudes with addiction issues... GREAT! I'm so thankful that I can see it now.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Secondly, the fact that you cannot control your anger and behavior when drinking suggests he may not be the only one with a drinking problem, or that you may be drinking in order to handle his drinking (I did that-- highly ineffective for me). Perhaps not, but consider that it may be true.
Yes, yes, yes! That's it! Sometimes I feel that I am drinking to handle his drinking. I've just never been able to articulate it. I could have a drinking problem too. I find that when I drink responsibly I tend to stay 'me'- calm, happy, rational. If I do not actively control the amount that I drink, an angry episode could most definitely erupt.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Thirdly, it appears crystal clear from your post that you are trying to control him and his behavior, both overtly and passive agressively. In my opinion it is unlikely to result in anything other than increased anger and resentment-- on both of your parts.

Fourth, end the endless talks and they will end. Continue the endless talks and they'll be endless. Have they ever changed anything? Ever?

Lastly, get thee to an Al-Anon meeting.
Could you expound on the controlling stuff? Intuitively I know that I am doing it, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is that I do... I can FEEL that I am being controlling (when I hear the ice clink in the glass I twinge). I scrutinize his actions, which I think is some form of control, and I HATE it!! I hate the way it makes me feel.

Your fourth point makes perfect sense. I love logic. And, no, they haven't changed one thing.

I put the alanon meeting in my daily planner- a small step, but I'm getting there!

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom- I cannot tell you how helpful they are right now!
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:28 AM
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not so much wisdom as experience in a similar situation...

..and I'm a very controlling person so recognize it when I see it/read about it. After seven years in Al-Anon I'm very good about not manifesting it on my wife (and she's good at calling me on it when I do), but I'm very challenged to not do it to my daughter-- I find the line very fuzzy for me in the context of parenting, and I have much, much room for improvement here.

More specifically, anything that you do (or don't do) to specifically change his behavior rather than your own, in my opinion is controlling. Clearly, changing your actual behaviors will go directly to this, but also working on not feeling the need to do so, in your brain, will make you actually feel better.

The only place I've been able to get help not thinking this way is in Al-Anon. It didn't happen overnight, but it happened. I'm much happier now because I feel controlling less often, I usually recoginize the urge to control when I'm feeling/thinking it, and I can usually release it once I recognize it. Getting to this point was a lot of work, and very worth it. Like most bad habits, it's hard work to change but worth it.

Sometimes I just physically remove myself from the situation, especially if there's a meeting I can go to. The vindictive part of me loves it because it always pisses them off-- if you leave they can't engage you in the BS.

In my opinion you are doing all the right things, you have definitely opened your mind or are open minded, and you are starting to think in a way that I believe will be healthy for you. Great work! Keep it up.

Take care,

Cyranoak

P.s. I ****ing hated the endless talks! I am so glad they are over.

Originally Posted by craven View Post
Could you expound on the controlling stuff? Intuitively I know that I am doing it, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is that I do... I can FEEL that I am being controlling (when I hear the ice clink in the glass I twinge). I scrutinize his actions, which I think is some form of control, and I HATE it!! I hate the way it makes me feel.

Your fourth point makes perfect sense. I love logic. And, no, they haven't changed one thing.

I put the alanon meeting in my daily planner- a small step, but I'm getting there!

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom- I cannot tell you how helpful they are right now!
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:21 PM
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Thank you, cyranoak. I suspect that I am more controlling than I think I am, and I definitely want to find out how I can deal with it. BF and I had a short conversation last night, it went something like this:

Me: Hey. So, I guess we need to get together so that we can talk about what we're going to do about this (ie- break up, take a break... you get the picture)
BF: Yeah...
Me: I guess we could talk tonight, or not.
BF: It would be nice to have some time to 'not think about it'.
Me: How do you do that? (Not said in a nasty tone, more of a joking tone)
BF: I don't know.
Me: It would be nice to give ourselves some time to avoid having to deal with it! (again, not nasty, but joking.)
Me: Do you want to figure out a day and time that we can talk?
BF: Sure. (not in a nasty/blunt way, but in his 'yes, but you're going to have to make the decision' way... do you know what I mean?)
Me: Well, we could meet tomorrow, or we could wait until Big Event on Saturday is over. Maybe we could talk on Sunday? (Big Event= BF just bought a business and the business is hosting an event on Saturday)
BF: That sounds good.

OK, so sorry for taking you through that VERY boring conversation. But, it's important for many reasons. First, I felt a PROFOUND sense of relief. Relief that he did not sound angry or bitter. Relief that I now have 4 days to myself, I don't have to think about dealing with him or our relationship. I felt lighter when we got off the phone.

The next Alanon meeting in my town is on Wednesday and I plan on going. (I live 45 minutes away from my home, so my schedule is a little tricky, but I'm going to make it work).

Thanks for getting back to me!
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:01 PM
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craven you will say the right things when the time is right. i was in the same position about a month ago. i had already asked my ABH to leave 3 or 4 times during the past 2 years but he always started to get very emotional (cry etc.) and saying things that made me unable to keep insisting that he should leave, how much he loves me, that he will stop drinking from now on etc.
i always knew it was wrong of me to give in, as i knew i was just too weak to handle the time frame between splitting up and him moving out. i could hardly handle any stress any more due to the effect his drinking had on me so any more stress (even if it lead to freedom) was out of question.

anyway i finally found the courage to finish it once and for all and to hell with the consequences. it was sooo hard to handle the first few days as he still refused to believe i really meant it this time. more tears, some anger.

now he has sort of accepted it though he still maintains he loves me and will marry me one day. he will move out in 6 weeks however, and i am so glad my internal struggle is finally over. already planning my own removal and choosing colours to paint the walls with and new carpets :-)

all the best for you.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:16 PM
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Thanks, cinnamngirl!

I admire your courage. I will keep reading and posting- I am definitely building courage through your support!!

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Old 11-10-2010, 07:32 PM
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So glad to see your reply, and thanks for the kind words! I've been away from the site for a few days, but felt the need to check back in.

I also read your post that you went to an Al-Anon meeting. I didn't go this week as planned, shame on me. I'm so glad you found the strength to walk in, and that it turned out so well. You've inspired me to 'bite the bullet' and get in there, too.

Hope you're doing well. Stay strong and believe in yourself--I believe in you!
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Michelle70 View Post
I'm so glad you found the strength to walk in, and that it turned out so well. You've inspired me to 'bite the bullet' and get in there, too.
Yes! You can do it!

Originally Posted by Michelle70 View Post
Hope you're doing well. Stay strong and believe in yourself--I believe in you!
I believe in you!!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:05 PM
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Hi Craven, I hope that you're doing okay and feeling some peace inside. I wish I could give you a hug right now, I can understand what you are feeling. Isn't horrible that we have to feel this? It makes me so upset to know that there are other people out there hurting and confused because of the stupid choices of others. I hope that you are having a good day and welcome. I have to say that this forum has eased my soul and dried my tears and gave me smiles.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ala3037 View Post
Isn't horrible that we have to feel this? It makes me so upset to know that there are other people out there hurting and confused because of the stupid choices of others.
Hey Ala! One hand, yes, it is horrible. But, on the other hand, I am very grateful that I am aware of what is going on in my own head. I know that I contributed to half of the problems in our relationship, and BF contributed the other half. For a long time I carried the weight of 'fixing' our relationship. I put all of that on ME, and that's just not the way it works. I think I knew that, somewhere deep down inside, but now I really KNOW it, and it is incredibly comforting. Thank you for the hug!!

Originally Posted by ala3037 View Post
I hope that you are having a good day and welcome. I have to say that this forum has eased my soul and dried my tears and gave me smiles.
I really don't know where I would be if I hadn't found this forum. Honestly!! It is a life saver!! You all are lifesavers!!

I can't say it enough- THANK YOU!!
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:53 AM
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I feel you about control. We ask ourselves blankly, "How am I controlling?"
Well, what becomes more clear with each day is how I control FOR GOOD!
That's my superpower. Control.
Although I do a lot more TRYING to control than any controlling, in truth.
So, how do do it?
Trying to get him to talk to me about drinking, depression, porn, money, problems.
Trying to get him to realize depression is a theme in his life.
Trying to get him to realize he has a drinking addiction.
Trying to get him to realize drinking to manage depression is not a healthy choice.
Trying to get him to realize he has the ability to change the way he looks at a situation.
Trying to get him to realize that his fear and resistance ruins any chance of us talking about these issues.

Do you see a theme? LOL!
I feel like his life would be way better off if he would get on board with my ideas.
I feel like our relationship could survive if he could just "face the truth".
*sigh*
He doesn't want to.
He doesn't want to change.
He doesn't want to be changed.
He doesn't want to see it differently.

Which means me continuing to pursue getting him to do anything is control. Even if it is getting him to decide with me what we are going to do about this relationship. The ball is in my court 100%.

Peace
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:54 AM
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FindingPeace-
You just summed up my emotions and behavior beautifully. Thank you for your response. It is remarkable how helpful it is to find someone who really understands what I am going through- what a lot of us are going through. It relieves a lot of the pressure. I think that within this incredible bunch of F&F'ers, there are so many different stories. Every story seems to share a common theme- dealing with the effects of living with and/or loving an alcoholic. But, our stories also range from intensely emotional/devastating to feeling detached- I guess maybe that's a reflection of the stage of our recovery, rather than the actual story? Anyway, I am rambling. My point is that having input from those that seem to be in the same 'moment' is truly uplifting. THANK YOU!!!!

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