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Living with an extremely HIGH functioning alcholic.

Old 12-06-2010, 01:50 PM
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Living with an extremely HIGH functioning alcholic.



Hi everyone,

This is my first time talking to anyone who has any experience with alcoholism about my boyfriend. I'm doubtful that anyone can give advice that will truly help me help my boyfriend stop drinking, but what I'm doing just isn't working so it's worth a shot.

I'm 25 and living with a 33 year old who has a definite drinking problem, in that he'll drink 6 drinks a night if I don't ask/beg him to stop around 3. Sometimes he doesn't fight and just stops, but sometimes he gets angry that I asked and tells me I'm "too controlling." Usually though, even if he gets angry, he does stop. Once, he even thanked me because as much as I did "nag" him about his drinking, it did result in his drinking less.

He doesn't mind, and even enjoys, drinking alone. If I have one drink with him, he feels obliged to have four more. He's never been remotely violent with me. If he ever were, I'm a tough cookie and wouldn't put up with it. I'm not slightly afraid of him. Drinking does not interfere with his work. He is wildly successful. I do believe that if drinking began to be a problem for him at work, he would do what he had to stop.

However, because of the nature of the flexibility of what he does, I don't think drinking will ever interfere with his career. My major concerns are:

1) His health. I'm a nursing student and I'm aware of all the terrible, long term side effects of drinking at the rate he drinks. He has terrible acid problems as it is, takes prilosec regularly and drinks mylanta every night. He knows it is the alcohol causing this, and still won't stop.

2) My future babies. I really love this man and hope that he's going to be in my life for a long time, but I don't want to hurt my future babies by exposing them to a parent who drinks.

3) What he's not telling me. I imagine that he really has tried to cut back, and has failed. It makes me sad to watch him and know he's probably struggling in such a sad way.

I've tried making him dr's appointments for his acid reflux, in hopes that the dr would talk to him about the serious dangers of drinking, but he always finds a reason to reschedule appointments.

I have talked with him about it numerous times with varying outcomes in the conversation (sometimes he agrees he drinks too much, sometimes he denies it), but the same outcome in the end: his drinking pattern doesn't change.

Even just last week I told him that if he could cut down to 2-3 drinks nightly, with a night here and there without any, I wouldn't bother him about it for the rest of his life. He said, "realllllllly? I think I could handle that.." So he tried, and failed. Since then, he's cut back to about 4 drinks per night.

We're getting to a point in our relationship where I'm *hoping* that we'll be getting married someday, but...is it stupid to make that kind of commitment to someone who has such an obvious problem? I can't imagine leaving him when it's not really having a terribly negative impact on our relationship, but I wonder if the situation isn't worse than I like to think it is.

Any advice would be sincerely appreciated.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:15 PM
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Hiya, welcome to the forum. Have you read other posts and the stickies? They hold a lot of valuable info in them that will help you.

From reading your post I would say you seem to be far too involved in his drinking. This is completely normal because at first we think we can control it for them and make them stop by nagging, asking, begging, pleading and threatening...what you're starting to realise now is none of that works. It doesn't work for you and it didn't work for us either.

I came here over 5 years ago with the exact same question "How can I help my boyfriend stop drinking?" and was quickly told "You can't".
Wasn't what I wanted to hear but I stuck around because I was going nuts trying to get him to stop and I didn't like the way I was changing and behaving.

Your BF is a grown man and it's not up to you how much he chooses to drink. That's HIS choice. Your choice at the moment is to stay with a man who drinks. What I'm trying to say is that we are each responsible for our own actions and choices, his choices are his and yours belong to you.

You will drive yourself CRAZY trying to make him stop drinking if HE isn't ready to. The willingness to change has to come from him or it will never be successful.

Have you found yourself counting cans or drinks, measuring how much he has left? Checking up on him? It will only get worse. Alcoholism is progressive.

There will be many more wiser than I answering you, stick around and soak up the knowledge. The only power you have with alcoholism is educating yourself to make the correct choices for you.

The only way you can help him is by detaching, not enabling and looking after yourself.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:19 PM
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hi highfunction and to SR. I'm glad you found this place...there are lots of supportive, loving and humourous people here.

I wanted to respond to your post because I too came here due to a "high functioning" alcoholic (my x-husband), and I wasn't really convinced he was an alcoholic at all, because he could handle his booze very well. We had a bunch of conversations about his drinking that always ended up with either promises to cut down he wouldn't keep, accusations about my being too controlling, or redirection towards some fault or other of MINE that made it ok for him to drink. It was a maddening dance, and if I'm honest, I kept dancing, because I too *hoped* that he'd get better, that we'd be happy, and that he'd become the man I wanted him to be.

Here I am, 6 years, a divorce, and a 2 year old later, still recovering from the financial repercussions of my adventures in "Saving An Alcoholic Land".

Granted, your ABF (alcoholic bf) isn't abusive like mine was, and he doesn't display the personality flaws that mine does. HOWEVER, let me remind you that alcoholism is a progressive disease. He may be "high functioning" today, but in 2, 5, or 10 years, it won't be the same story.

The fact of the matter is:
You didn't CAUSE the addiction
You can't CURE the addiction
You can't CONTROL the addiction

Nothing you say or do, or don't say or don't do will ever change your ABF's drinking. You simply don't have that power. You do however have power over yourself. You can choose what you are willing and not willing to deal with in your relationship...

I applaud you for thinking about your future children with this man...no matter how wonderfully successful he is *now*, you can bet that things will worsen as time goes by. Are you going to gamble your children's wellbeing on the *hope* that your ABF suddenly wakes up one day and says "Oh honey, you were right and I was wrong...I'll cut down right now and maybe even go to AA!".

I'm sorry you're in such a crappy situation. I hope I'm not coming off as too harsh. I speak from experience and hope to save you from the heartache I've been through. And comparatively speaking, I had it "easy". I was only with my alcoholic/addict for 6 years, and I was incredibly lucky to win sole custody of my baby girl. Others on this site haven't been so lucky and continue to have to coparent with an alcoholic partner who is deep in denial.

Keep posting!! SR is always open.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:42 PM
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I met an extremely high-functioning alcoholic, dated him and married him. I have two children with him - my oldest he adopted and youngest we had together. He was the most reliable, dependable, hard working man I'd ever met. My family thought so, my friends thought so. He is also one of the most honest men I've even met - with one exception. Alcohol. He will lie about alcohol. How much he drinks...when he drinks...whether he drives with my children while drinking.

My story is long, like most people on here. The most important thing I can stress to you is what others are telling you. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. I wish I knew that then. I wish I knew that I wasn't crazy for worrying. He made me feel stupid for worrying - and I don't consider myself a stupid person - except that I believed him. That I believed he would keep my children safe no matter what.

My now XAH is "in recovery". I say this in quotes because I hope I won't have to worry and he'll stick the program, but the truth is only he can control that. Now I'm faced with keeping my kids safe and eventually deciding if I can trust him again - this man who was honestly the most reliable, dependable, honest person I knew.

I do believe al-anon can help. I have been a few times and need to find time in my schedule to keep going.

Good luck. Trust your gut. Good for you thinking about your future babies. This is something my kids and I will deal with forever. I wish I had trusted my gut more and not allowed anyone to make me feel crazy .
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:53 PM
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Thanks, you ladies.
Tally, indeed I measure look at just how much of the wine bottle he has, and a sniff his breath when I kiss him after he gets off a flight or train ride.

At this point in my life, I have decided not to leave him over this. It might be denial or nativity, but I can't justify leaving a happy relationship because my boyfriend has an illness. This man is wonderful aside from his drinking. I mean, amazzzzing. He even likes cooking!

Everyone has flaws..and I do have hope that if I'm firm about not drinking with him and find things that he enjoys doing that don't involve drinking...maybe it will help.

nodaybut2day, it's wonderful you got full custody of your daughter! Someone very close to me is going through a custody battle right now, and it's a heartbreaking situation.

I have some real interest in your past and what your husband was like at about 4 years into your relationship. Was it already bad at that point, or did the relationship and drinking become bad over time? Yes, another concern of mine is the progression of the disease-- but how could I think of leaving him now because he might end up changing later? That's just silly!

His grandpa drinks at about his level. He's 80 and lives on his own without any real health problems. His dad was a very serious, abusive alcoholic. His mother left his father for a (long)period of time when my bf was a child, then his father quit cold turkey and hasn't had a drink since (his parents got back together and lived happily ever after).

I know these are the exceptions to the rule, but when they're all around..I have to take them into consideration.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 4mylittleones View Post
I met an extremely high-functioning alcoholic, dated him and married him. I have two children with him - my oldest he adopted and youngest we had together. He was the most reliable, dependable, hard working man I'd ever met. My family thought so, my friends thought so. He is also one of the most honest men I've even met - with one exception. Alcohol. He will lie about alcohol. How much he drinks...when he drinks...whether he drives with my children while drinking.

My story is long, like most people on here. The most important thing I can stress to you is what others are telling you. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. I wish I knew that then. I wish I knew that I wasn't crazy for worrying. He made me feel stupid for worrying - and I don't consider myself a stupid person - except that I believed him. That I believed he would keep my children safe no matter what.

My now XAH is "in recovery". I say this in quotes because I hope I won't have to worry and he'll stick the program, but the truth is only he can control that. Now I'm faced with keeping my kids safe and eventually deciding if I can trust him again - this man who was honestly the most reliable, dependable, honest person I knew.

I do believe al-anon can help. I have been a few times and need to find time in my schedule to keep going.

Good luck. Trust your gut. Good for you thinking about your future babies. This is something my kids and I will deal with forever. I wish I had trusted my gut more and not allowed anyone to make me feel crazy .
So you ended up leaving him?

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:02 PM
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It might seem silly, but really, what you're explaining now are "red flags" or warning signs. He may never get worse but chances are he will and you will too.

When I met my exA I was outgoing, fun, flirty and really sociable, had lots of friends and was happy. I ended up having no friends, no self esteem, no confidence, no sex life, no trust....nothing. Codependency is progressive too...I got worse so quickly I didn't even realise there was anything wrong with me yet I'd completely changed. I focused ALL my attention on him and changing him and sorting his problems out and I forgot about me.

If I knew then what I know now I would have ran away screaming when he asked me out.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:04 PM
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Here's a good post on red flags.

You'll find a lot of fabulous information in THIS thread.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:09 PM
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Yes, I left him 3 1/2 years ago. The reliable, dependable person I had met didn't know how to deal with stress except with alcohol. It got to the point that if I left him and my then pre-teen alone he would phone me non-stop...he couldn't deal with real life except to drink. There is more to it of course, but the bottom line is that I felt like I had two teenagers and a toddler in my house instead of two children and a partner.

I thought things had gotten better after we separated. He went through an addictions program and they "told" him he was okay. I now realize that isn't what happened, but that's what he told me.

In February of this year he emailed me at work to say he needed help. Turned out he was drunk on a Monday morning and couldn't handle it any more. I helped him, even though I'm his ex wife. He got some help, joined AA, got his 30 day chip and decided he could handle having a few drinks again. He didn't tell me this, and when I allowed him to take my children overnight (because he got help and was so dependable silly me thought he was fine) he was falling over drunk at 9am on a Sunday morning about to get in a car with my children. I'm not dumb enough to think that was the first time either...since then (late March) he has not had my children alone. He has fallen off the "wagon" several times since...with the last time having suicidal thoughts. Reached out for help after missing work for a week and drinking non stop. This man NEVER used to miss work. Has been at the same job for 20+ years. I'm hoping he's recovering. He's honestly working the steps trying to get better....but I now know that can change AT ANY TIME.

For me to wish I'd done something different would mean I wouldn't have my son. I would NEVER wish I didn't have him - he is amazing and I love him. I do wish he didn't have to deal with this for the rest of his life. My XAH's father was an abusive alcoholic. My XAH is an alcoholic. My job is now to keep my boys safe (I chose to have a child with him and he put them in danger) and try to end the cycle. I wish the situation was different...I wish my son's father wasn't an alcoholic, but at this point I can't wish I didn't have him. Tough question to answer, but I hope I managed?
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:13 PM
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Hah! Loved the red flag list:

#79. He's an ex-con. For some women, this still isn't enough, for some reason.

#91. He/she is under 23 and has already been married and divorced and has kids.

#98. He tells you not to get "illusions of grandeur" in regard to marrying him.

Oh, and the rest were great too. They weren't exactly...serious, though. :-p
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:13 PM
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just remember this site whenever you may be interested.

If I knew then what I know now...I would bail like a house-a-fire.

My sis brings in a ton of money, travels widely, etc, etc, etc.
That doesn't make her alcoholism any more attractive. Really.
I can't stand to be around it.

For now...after awhile your conversations with him will soon become nagging and an added excuse for drinking and drinking more.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by highfunction View Post
Everyone has flaws..and I do have hope that if I'm firm about not drinking with him and find things that he enjoys doing that don't involve drinking...maybe it will help.
Alcoholism is a lot more than a "flaw," like leaving the toilet seat up, or the cap off the toothpaste. It's also something that you have no control over. And I promise you, the harder you try to control it, the crazier you will get.

Originally Posted by highfunction View Post
Yes, another concern of mine is the progression of the disease-- but how could I think of leaving him now because he might end up changing later? That's just silly!
Silly? Maybe. But alcoholism is very serious stuff. Leaving him now may not be the right course of action in your mind, but I would strongly encourage you to educate yourself about his disease. Also, learn about codependence and enabling. It is very likely it will get a lot worse, not just a might.

I was with my alcoholic husband for 18 years. He was very high functioning and we had a good marriage for the first 13 or so. Those last five years were utter hell, though. I slowly became someone I didn't even know, and I didn't like myself very much. I wish I would have understood more about the disease and my part in it sooner. I wish I wouldn't have put my kids through those last five years. I wish I would have gotten help for myself a lot sooner.

Have you ever heard the story about the frog in the pot of water?

L
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:02 PM
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hi there and welcome-

i'm afraid you are gravely underestimating the power alcohol has over alcoholics. this is a progressive disease. it sinks its teeth into them, bit by bit.

you would be wise to hold off on marriage and babies. i would also advise that you keep you finances wholly separate and do not enter into any property deeds together. also, watch out for drinking and driving. if you are going to an event where drink will be served, establish that you will drive home. if he won't agree to that, take your own vehicle.

give it some time. you'll see where we're coming from.

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:04 PM
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I met and eventually married a kind, ethical, honest, fun, thoughtful man that drank to much. He was spontaneous and we had many adventures. He had big plans and we had shared long range dreams. He was kind and gentle when he spoke to me, even when he was drinking. For a variety of reasons I did not identify him as a problem drinker at the beginning of our relationship and I certainly didn't think of him as an alcoholic. I eventually did recognize that his drinking was a problem (still did not think alcoholic)......and I married him anyway. I thought it would be OK. Certainly I could manage this one issue. Then we had kids. It was suddenly not as manageable. Everything mattered. His drinking pattern changed, at times seemed like it was getting better, we adjusted, we discussed things, we had more kids. Things became less manageable. Shared income was harder to control. Money was spent with abandon - and it was never spent on family because we were not the priority. Time away from family. More depression, less spontaneity. Pressures and stress increased (as they naturally do with kids) and that resulted in more drinking. More isolation, more drinking. 'Sleeping' at 7pm. Up all night due to anxiety that results from drinking so much every day. Liver issues. Driving kids after drinking. Toddlers run to the fridge for a beer. 6yo's wonder where the cooler is. I've never felt so alone in my life as I did married to an alcoholic. I was not the priority. I was optional and I know that because when push came to shove, he kept the beer. No friends over. The kids do not have activities because that is a PITA to a man that wants to be on the sofa drinking at 7pm. No kids over because i don't want my house marked as the one where a man has a beer glued to his hand even when there are a bunch of 8yo's running around. No friends because I don't want to leave my boys home alone with a man that is 'asleep' by 8pm - and anyone would sleep after 10/12 beers. No friends because normal people do not drink every single day. I became isolated. Camping trips with a dad that staggers and becomes more work then the kids. Promises that aren't kept, future plans that are never realized, conversations that are nothing but words. The kindness is mostly gone, the shared dreams are nothing but smoke in the wind, the world revolves around alcohol and alcohol takes everything. He did not become mean but he became selfish in the extreme. Despite his words his actions showed that he wanted what he wanted, and what I needed/wanted/etc. was not respected or considered. He'd manipulate and push buttons to get it. The intimate part of our relationship became something I hated him for and I hated myself equally as much. I became filled with bitterness at not getting the life he promised or that I wanted, I was filled with resentment towards a man that was walking with alcohol, not his family. All alcoholics walk with alcohol first. I was a bitter, resentful, unhappy person.

Well, now we are apart and I have four children and a dad that flakes out on them. Not what I wanted and not what I thought when I started my family but I *should* have because all the signs were there. I"m sure I could have posted my story 12 years ago and everyone here would have predicted quite precisely where I'd be now. It such a sad and tragic legacy for the four kids that I love so much...and I chose it.

You make your own decisions based on your unique circumstances and so I shared not to convince you to do anything but to explain why I would strongly suggest that you make no further decisions regarding the future of this relationship until you explore al-anon and/or do some other self exploration. There are some really great stickies at the top that list some other resources etc. Welcome to SR and stick around
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:06 PM
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We're getting to a point in our relationship where I'm *hoping* that we'll be getting married someday, but...is it stupid to make that kind of commitment to someone who has such an obvious problem? I can't imagine leaving him when it's not really having a terribly negative impact on our relationship, but I wonder if the situation isn't worse than I like to think it is.
Since you asked -- yes. I wouldn't do it in a million years. But I just got out of a 20-year marriage to an extremely high-functioning alcoholic. He saved up all his energy for his career, and saved the drunk rantings and emotional abuse for his family. And as someone else said, alcoholism is a progressive disease. And as the spouse, you tend to progress right along with it. And get to a point where you accept being treated in a way that initially, you would never have thought you would put up with.

I'm a tough cookie, too. I would probably have been voted "Least Likely To Put Up With BS" if my high school had done that kind of thing. And yet, I found myself broken and unable to leave what I knew was a destructive relationship, for myself and for our children.

I was with my alcoholic husband for 18 years. He was very high functioning and we had a good marriage for the first 13 or so. Those last five years were utter hell, though. I slowly became someone I didn't even know, and I didn't like myself very much. I wish I would have understood more about the disease and my part in it sooner. I wish I wouldn't have put my kids through those last five years. I wish I would have gotten help for myself a lot sooner.
Ditto every word of that. Do you know what our children blame me for now? Not leaving sooner.

You make the choices you want to make for yourself. But think long and hard before you bring children into living with an alcoholic parent. Two out of my three have been diagnosed with PTSD from living with an alcoholic father.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:20 PM
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"If I knew then what I know now I would have ran away screaming when he asked me out."

"If I knew then what I know now...I would bail like a house-a-fire."

Me too on both of these.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:41 PM
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I can tell you my personal story of marrying a kind, nice high fucntioning alcoholic. Mine is a physician. Hasn't missed a day of work in 20 yrs.

Here's how the disease progressed with us.
~He drank a lot when we met, but in college everyone drank. For me it was normal to see that, I should've seen the warning signs.
~First 3 yrs of marriage he functioned just like anyone else. We had 2 children and with each his almost daily drinking increased. I later learned that his drinking would increase with each life stressor. He was kind, emotionally stable (never flew off the handle) but emotionally UNAVAILABLE. He slept a lot and spent hrs alone in the finished basement. The girls and I were welcome to visit there, but he wouldn't hang with us elsewhere.
~Fast forward to 15 yrs later. He builds his own building for his practice. Due to poor decision making skills, that I believe is part of alcoholism, especially later, he overspends, despite my protests and can only pay himself for 50% of the yr for the next 5 yrs. Here we are on yr 18 of marriage, it's December and he can't pay himself. He doesn't have enough courage/strength/energy to manage his business.
~Today he can no longer function socially. He can still work though. He refuses to leave the house after work unless it involves going to a bar. Was unable to see family at Thanksgiving.
~Severe depression and loss of identity have set in. He blames this on our marriage. Alcoholics love to blame others because they don't want to face what the alcohol has done to them. That would give them reason to quit, and while they're drinking they don't want to quit, until they hit bottom. He was contemplating divorce, since I was to blame for all of his problems. I can't begin to tell you how far from the truth this is. I am a very non confrontational person and try to make our home as happy and comfortable as could be. Nothing is good enough. It becomes this way for alcholics. They have a big whole inside, the alcohol can't fill it, YOU can't fill it, your children can't fill it.
~What hurts most is my kids have grown up with an uninvolved dad. Most alcholics socially isolate themselves unless it involves alcohol. My kids are hurt. He will flat out refuse to do things with them when they ask. I wish I'd known better and that I never would've put myself in this position.

If you've read this far I applaud you. I just wanted to give you the end picture of what a high functioning alcoholic looks like.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:37 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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Hi highfunction and welcome to SR,

I felt the need to wade in on this thread as I too have a highly functioning alcoholic in my life who I continue to remain with, so thought that I could add another perspective for you, he is my husband of 22 years who I have known since I was 15 yrs. old (now 45), so a very long time.

I recently posted a reply to a thread about 'positive outcomes' of living with an alcoholic and explained how the alcoholic in my life works hard, has only taken maybe a day or two sick days in the past 22 years, rarely takes time off for holidays. He is a great provider, and does a lot more than me around the home, cooking and cleaning and he can be thoughtful and generous, running baths for me or sending a txt to see how my day has been going. All fantastic things, you will probably agree.

However, over the past 22 years, both myself and more recently, our youngest daughter, have been subjected to some angry unjustifiable bursts of emotional and verbal abuse. These outbursts have occurred when he has either been drinking or when I have asked him politely to reduce his drinking (or a mixture of the two). My AH has never been violent but the verbal abuse can still be devastating. I still remember incidences from 20 years ago that are continually triggered, I have low self-esteem and I feel like a complete mental case some days.

With alcoholics it appears the best defense is to attack! and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

I have also tried many forms of 'reduce alcohol' speeches; including his health and drinking: suggesting the national guidelines of 21 units a week for men, one crate a week (24), drink at the weekends only etc. but nothing works! Nothing! Many of the times I have had the speech, he has gone out the following day and bought another crate.

Late last year, I had become so obsessed by his drinking that I was counting the number of beers in the fridge, keeping an excel spread sheet on the amount he spent on beer and my stomach would churn every time I heard the back door open to where the beer fridge was located. I was a complete mess and he kept drinking. I finally exploded at him, giving him a choice, me or the beer and he chose beer. I felt so low - destroyed, that beer could come before 22 years of marriage and certainly not a 'normal' choice for a non-alcoholic husband. It was at this point that someone suggested that I try Al-anon. This was also the point that the penny dropped that I was married to an alcoholic.

Finding Al-anon has been great and finding this site has been great, a real solace. I have learnt to take the focus off my Alcoholic and concentrate on looking after me. I shrug things off more these days. I don’t worry so much about his drinking, I don’t obsess about it. If he wants to drink - let him, his choice, hes a big boy. I sometimes think about his health and what he is doing to himself and I just shrug my shoulders and say to myself 'his choice' and move on to something else.

My daughters are both effected by their dads drinking. My eldest daughter is a nurse and has tried writing to her dad about her fears. It didn’t help and she is angry with him for what his choice to drink has done to us all. My youngest daughter has been at the brunt end of his alcoholic angry outbursts and has consequently moved out of home at the age of 18 yrs. Far too young IMO and not under the right circumstances, but I am so pleased that she is happy and is protecting herself. She still has a good relationship with her dad and he is very lucky he hasn’t destroyed that, but she now chooses when he comes into her life and can walk away.

My AH is in complete denial about his drinking. Denial is a huge part of the disease. Here is some of how our past conversations went. Me - AH

Me or the beer - the beer, as our marriage is bad anyway.
Following an angry outburst at his daughter (she said 'hi dad' to him) - she was annoying, is lazy and uses the tumble drier too much.
Please cut down - if you drank more you wouldn’t have an issue with me.
Look at how much you have spent this week on beer - you have your hair done
Please cut down - all you do is sit and watch the TV, you have no friends and you are boring.
Your dad died young as an alcoholic - that will never happen to me because I cook and clean
You might die young - you will be OK, you have a pension.
and my personal favourite was that alcoholism - is a term invented by the Americans to sell books.

I choose to stay with my AH (TODAY) because I love him, because of his good qualities, because we have a long history and life together, we have two daughters - a family. I choose to stay for now and I choose to stay because, so far the negative consequences have not outweighed the benefits of staying and I still love him, despite of his drinking. This of course could change.

There is no doubt that my AH drinking has had terrible negative consequences on all of us - it truly is a family disease. I have learnt that there is nothing at all that I can do to get him to stop or cut down and in all likeliness he will get worse. However, I can do something for me and I have sought help through Al-anon and this website and I am getting better. I have changed the way I react to my husband and I am learning to ignore his drinking for my own benefit and peace of mind. I am also trying to build a life for myself aside from my husband.

You really are setting yourself up for a roller coaster relationship if you stay with an alcoholic - however highly functioning and I don't think I would have gone down this route if I knew then what I know now.

I hope that you have gotten something out of my long ramblings and at the least I have given you something to think about whatever you choose to do.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:38 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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i think it will get worse, he sounds in denial.
a few questions;;;
Does he change at any point during drinking? Become dismissive, mean, rude, change of voice or facial expression? has he ever done something while drinking that he forgot or that he was apologetic for later?
Here is my experience with my A, my A mom, my A dad...
If he has not had this happen yet, there is a great big chance it will start to happen soon.
An alcoholic dad?
Now, that adds in learned behavior on top of addictive traits.

What I am hearing is that you do not like the way he drinks, you worry for him, feel his pain for him.
What if he does not change it? What if it does progress into abuse, or unmanageability?

Where will you draw the line?
These are the questions that denial buries.
Being high functional in the job place, or even in everyday life alone does not make a good partner.

Ask yourself a few of these things:

Is my day or my quality of life suffering because I am spending more energy on his problem than on my own life?

Am I willing to shut up nd put up until he gets too uncomfortable with his own issue that he hits a bottom?

Do I want to wait and see what his bottom might be like?

You do not sound like leaving him is even an option to you, but, then you may need to look at whther you want to enable him by drinking with him, whether you want to spend anymore time helping a struggling swimmer get out of the deep end while he fights against you. your quality of life should be your first concern. Keep an eye on this.

good luck with this. Keep posting.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:35 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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I'd recommend reading 'Under the Influence' - it will give you the facts about alcoholism and what you can expect. I too lived with a 'functioning' alcoholic. XAH were together for 18 years and I wish I had learned about alcoholism a lot sooner.
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