I think my boyfriend of 7 years is an alcoholic?

Old 02-25-2011, 08:29 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hi, and welcome!
You can wait three months and see if he relapses. You can stay with him your whole life.
The point is, he is a man that is addicted to alcohol.
He is a man that is not treating his alcoholism.
He gets trashed.
He pees himself, and I would guess the bed and the floor.
He might have times of temporarily quitting.

To me, it sounds quite serious.

So given all that...
Does that work for you?

That is the question to answer.

It's not about how much you love him, or what his great qualities are, or how scared you are or how much he needs you or how he might change.

Does how he is right now work for you? Because he is being who he wants to be.

You might want to check out Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More.

She talks about respecting the A as an individual. Feeling pity or wanting to save them from themselves (because they might do self harm, for example) is not respectful.
They ARE an independent adult that CAN take care of themselves and it is our job to TRUST that they can do so. They might not trust that they can do so, but how can they ever practice self care if we baby them?

Welcome, I know this is tough. You can get oodles of support here.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:34 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi Mimic, glad to see you're back!

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
He said he was willing to say he might have a problem, and it was caused by more factors than I was willing to concede.
Ok, so he's willing to say he MIGHT have a problem BUT...get this, it's due to stuff you had no idea

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
I'm out of the house a lot and not spending enough time with him and he feels neglected.
Ta-daah! There you go. *Classic* blameshifting at work. Sure, he *may* have a tiny wittle problem BUT WAIT, it's your fault.

Mimic, this is a very very common argument. So common it's boring. At least my XAH was creative enough to come up with "the impending apocalypse" as one of the many reasons for his drinking.

Anyhow, read this sticky from the Classic Reading stickies. It's an eye-opener:
Excuses Alcoholics Make

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
He says he'll go sober...for three months. He says that at 22, going sober for the rest of his life may be hasty and he feels he can achieve responsibly alcohol use. He wants to see if he can go three months without a drink. I insist he go sober longer than that, but he is holding firm at three months.
Ah, now he's bargaining with you (and perhaps with himself). As you know, this is also a classic tactic.."I can do it myself, I can cut back, I don't need a program, I'm not *really* an alcoholic". It's all smokes and mirror, and unfortuntely, it can lead to some nasty behaviour on his part. If he does manage to sober up for a period, without getting any help or support from a program, he'll be white knuckling it like nothing else, and will undoubtedly become unbearable. Also, just because he's sober won't make him a better partner, or better at dealing with the usual stresses of life.

The reality is that if he was truly ready to quit, there would be none of this b.s. bargaining and attempt at control. The 12 steps begin with one thing: surrender. Acceptance that life has become unmanageable and that we need help.

Have you considered Al-Anon for yourself, to get through this difficult period? Individual counselling could also be very helpful. It helped me a great deal when I was struggling in my marriage (or leaving it).

IMO, it's time to ask yourself what you want out of life. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How do you plan on getting there? Does the future you imagine for yourself include dealing with your partner's addiction, day in and day out?

Food for thought...

Keep posting!
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:31 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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My question about his drinking has always been, is it an addiction or is it a bad coping strategy? My step-father is an alcoholic in the worst way. He starts his day with a beer the way most people start their day with a coffee, and he gets the shakes and nausea if he doesn't. Boyfriend can go without alcohol, easily, for long periods of time. He has no issues with abstaining. I don't know how to categorize it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:36 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I know what you're going through and it's tough. There's no need to "categorize" it or compare his drinking to anyone else. You've already laid it clearly on the table. I would say that if your BF does the following, as you've said, he probably can't go as long as you think without taking a drink.
Please be careful not to fall into the trap of lessening his problems.

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
I think Boyfriend is an alcoholic. My reasons:

He drinks alone a lot.
He will easily kill a 12-pack of bottled in a few hours
He drinks to intoxication, by himself
If he's drinking a mixed drink with liquor, he will constantly top it off with more liquor
He's still having problems with wetting himself after too many drinks and going to sleep
He says he will control his drinking, but he's still getting drunk
The first thing he does after work is either go to the bar, or crack open a beer at home
He jokes about being an alcolohic by blood (He's Irish)
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:41 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
My question about his drinking has always been, is it an addiction or is it a bad coping strategy?
Does it really matter? What are you willing to live with? Someone who drinks to the point of stumbling around crashing into furniture and wetting himself? Whether it's an addiction or a bad coping strategy is his problem to deal with. Your problem is to decide what you are willing to live with.

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Old 02-25-2011, 02:58 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Hi Mimic - Welcome! Glad you are here looking for help.

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
My question about his drinking has always been, is it an addiction or is it a bad coping strategy?
A lot of people in your position get very focused on trying to define their loved one's relationship with alcohol. This is a distraction from the real issue - is the behavior acceptable to you? What you described in your original post sounds very problematic whether he is an alcoholic, a heavy drinker, a chemical dependent or whatever. I would add that you have no control over his behavior no matter what it is called or category it falls into.

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
He has no issues with abstaining.
I seriously doubt this, and would encourage you to question yourself as to why you think this is true.

I hope this doesn't seem too harsh. Please keep posting and gathering information.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:14 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Thanks Mimic for starting this thread. It reminded me of my own life I thought for a sec it was my wife writing. Sounds like your bf and I are very similar.. Perhaps the only difference being I know I've got a problem. I uses to go to AA but havent been for a while..

I'm working on my illlness and am making (slow) progress but just wanted to say thanks. Your situation has reinforced for me that I certainly am an alcoholic.

And as this is my first post, hi to everyone! I'm glad I've found this place. I'm positive it will make a big difference in my life.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:59 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Hey guys, just checking in. I left Boyfriend this previous Monday. He claimed my reasoning (his drinking even though he quit, his mom constantly needing money, my not treating him as he deserves because I'm bitter over the previous reasons, etc) is faulty and just excuses. I think it was in anger, though. More of a knee-jerk reaction because now he wants to talk about it more.

I'm having a hell of a time with it, because once you've been with someone so long, they'e practically built into you. I'm not staying at the apartment, rather I'm with a friend. I keep telling myself that going back may mean dealing with alcoholic behavior again once his three month sober period is up. This is insanely difficult. :-/
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:17 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Hang in there, Mimic. It does get better. I am 2 1/2 months out of my marriage and my RAH continues to get better (slowly) each day with the help of AA, but the separation saved my sanity. The first month sucked - the second month was much better and the last two weeks I feel like my old self again! Life is good again. Oh, I still have bad days or bad moments, but I am in a much better frame of mind to deal with that when it occurs.

It will only get better from here. Stay strong!
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:52 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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You are at the crossroads. You've come this far. Do you want to turn around and go back or move forward? Moving forward is scary, but going back means doing what you've always done and getting the same results. Hmmm. . . Think about it.

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