Losing an alcoholic partner

Old 12-30-2010, 12:37 AM
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Question Losing an alcoholic partner

I hope this isn't too painful or morbid, but I wanted to hear from those who had lost an alcoholic partner/husband/wife/bf/gf...
Did you regret being there?
Did you feel like staying to the end was healing, or did it take too much out of you?
My boyfriend that I have been with 5 years, has been an alcoholic most likely since his teens, but it has progressed sharply. In under 2 years he has lost his job, DUI, getting in fights, severe jaundice of eyes and skin, getting the little red dots all over, dark urine, pains in his side... and these are just things i know about. He will not see a doctor, or any sort of recovery. His family and I have been involved in Al-Anon, boundary setting, and some degree of intervention. I have done distance and moved out so I only see him 2 days a week. But at this point I do not know what other bottom he can hit except to die. His body is dying at 37.
I love him more than I can say, but I also know I am co-dependant.
And I am torn whether I want to stay with him to the end knowing he is dying from a disease, the way you would with someone who has cancer. Or cut him off the way you (well, I would) do with someone who was doggedly suicidal/self destructive.
Would appreciate hearing any one else's experience.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:13 AM
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Have a read through some of the sticky posts at the top of the forum - they are a mine of information and experiences. You are not alone in going through this.

I'd also recommend reading 'Under the Influence' and 'Co-dependent No More' - both these books really helped me see what was really happening in my relationship with my XAH. I think you might find them useful too.

Ana, do you think you would be able to help him if you stayed? Do you know the three C's? You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you cannot cure his alcoholism. Stay or go, only he can decide when he has had enough and puts the bottle down. He may never do. He needs to want to help himself and it doesn't sound like he's anywhere ready for that. Are you taking good care of yourself in all this?
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:41 AM
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i totally agree what bookwyrm says....

only you can decide...are you going to AL ANON? it helps...
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:04 PM
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I have read Co-dependant no more. And have been to al-anon in the past, but know I need to go back (looked up meetings last night) as well as maybe some one on one counsling. Like now.
Where I am unsure- I know there is nothing I can do for him, only for me...but both feel very painful for me.
Self care is a struggle. I can convince myself of all the things I do and boundaries I have, but I catch myself in thoughts or actions that I am doing on his behalf and not mine. Or just plain obsessing. I work to be aware of it, but have a long way to go.
I am unsure of what I want, the pain of leaving now and waiting for the inevitable phone call, or being there and witnessing. Both sound hard. I also question both because in leaving there is a secret part of me that would hope it was some kind of leverage...which shows me I have not fully let go of the idea of control. But I also worry that if I am staying to the end, I am just being a martyr...
I guess I have to stop forecasting the future.. get my butt to meetings. And take away the little barriers, that if I do want to leave,, would become excuses not to (like bills in my name that he pays, and moving the rest of my stuff from his home). One day at a time.

Thank you for listening and your replies. <3
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:42 PM
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Well, I kind of stayed.

I was ready to leave my husband.

The very day I had an extra part-time job lined up, I came home to him only to have him tell me he had lung cancer. He was a smoker, too. He only lasted another five weeks.

Look, even if you moved out, you may decide to help him in some limited way. I remember reading years ago of a woman who discovered her husband was gay, and had AIDS, and she let him stay in the house throughout his illness to his death.

Although my husband claimed to have quit drinking once he had his diagnosis, I later found the remains of a 30-pack in the shop, and receipts for two more dated after he gave me the news. So he cut back to three a day, as opposed to the 8 to 10 a day he had been drinking.

Was it healing? No, not for me. I'm nine months out, now. I'm a 54 year old woman. The chances of me finding another partner are pretty slim, given the ratio of single men to single women. The men my age can pretty much chose whomever they want for a partner - a middle aged woman without youthful looks or substantial money isn't likely to make anyone's short list. I spent my youth with someone who *acted* like he, frankly, didn't give a rat's ass about me, and I'll spend the rest of my life alone.

I'm sorry that i sound bitter, tonight. I'm not having a good night. My husband shared my sense of humor- sometimes, a situation would strike us as humorous, and we'd be thinking the exact same thing. There just weren't very many moments like that in the last 8 years. And I know he loved me as best as he could; I just didn't feel loved. I imagine he didn't feel loved either. He must have been unhappy to drink himself into a stupor every night. I don't think of his unhappiness as my fault: but it's still incredibly, heartrendingly sad.
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