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I think my boyfriend of 7 years is an alcoholic?

Old 02-22-2011, 12:46 PM
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I think my boyfriend of 7 years is an alcoholic?

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)

His drinking has been ramping back up over the last few months, but it came to a head last night when he was having drinks while I was chillin'. I went to bed and asked when he'd be in. He said in a couple hours. Couple hours passes and here comes Boyfriend, sloshed. He stumbles into the bedroom, stumbles into my altar (I have yet to check to see if there is any damage), trip and crash-lands on the floor on my side of the bed. I thought he was going to go into the sliding glass doors. He hit the floor and decided to just pass out there. And he did. He also wet himself (though he had the foresight to put a towel underneath himself). He's not awake yet, so I don't know if he's going to have any remorse. I don't know how much more I can take. He KNOWS how I feel about alcoholics (both parents were alcoholics, my mother severely), and yet I think he's become one. I want to confront him about it but it's extremely painful to think about. I cannot deal with dating an alcoholic, but the more I think about it, the more I think I AM dating an alcoholic, and I simply can't stick around if he gets defensive or denies his problem when I confront him about it. That on top of our other problems...it's too much. I want to be his support group, but if he doesn't think he has a problem, I can't help him.

He thinks because he doesn't drink himself into a stupor every day, or even have a drink every day, that he doesn't have a problem. I don't want to leave him, because I love him, but this is one problem in a whole basket-full that he refuses to take seriously. I don't know what to do. I don't know who to turn to. I feel alone.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:50 PM
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Hide a tape recorder and record him. Play it back for him when he is sober one afternoon. Few things are worse than seeing your drunk a** self on film. Maybe you will want to go to alanon. Get the list of the AA meetings in your area. Im no doctor but it sounds like classic alcoholism.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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Sounds like alcoholism to me too.

I encourage you to try Al Anon. It has helped me tremendously.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:17 PM
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Alcoholic. The normal expectation would be for it to get progressively worse.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:37 PM
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Hello and Welcome to SR.

I normally come into these Alcoholic BF/GF threads with a quick, Run and don't look back response.

While I'm always sad to see another post of this type, I am never surprised and thankful that you found us. We certainly understand your scenario. We've either been there done that, currently doing it or about to do the same thing.

There are a few things I've learned. They may or may not apply to you.

I've learned to put more energy into myself and making sure that I'm clear, level headed and as healthy as I can be. This is done for me so I can do it for my 20 month old son.

The other thing I've learned and practice as much as I can are the 3 Cs.

You did not Cause it.
You can not Control it.
You can not Cure it.

Lastly, there are a few sticky topics at the top of this forum. They provide some extraordinary insight and I believe they're a great read.

You've found an excellent resource here. Keep on writing and reading. It really does help.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:03 PM
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If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck, well its probably a duck. Guess you probably just need to decide if you really want to be with a duck. The odds of any duck getting better are not the best. Fortunately, some of us ducks do get better if we decide to completely stop drinking and stick to it. Otherwise, we continue to drink and often us and those around us quack up.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:15 PM
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Welcome, I am glad you have found SR. Please read the permanent posts at the top of the forum, and look into Al-Anon as well.

There is so much wisdom and support here. I have also spent time reading the AA Big Book, helped me realize that my exabf was an alcoholic. Hard to face, but once I could, I did what I had to do to save myself. That was all I could do.

You cannot be your boyfriend's support group, no matter what. You have to take care of yourself, and your own recovery from the effects that the disease of alcoholism has on the loved ones of alcoholics. You can feel better no matter what he is doing.

Please keep reading and posting, SR is always open
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:38 PM
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Thank you, all, for your support. I know what I have to do, but I'm afraid to do it. We split up once before, years ago, for different reasons, and not only did he crawl into a bottle, but he began to self harm while he was drunk. It ultimately put him in the psych ward of the local hospital. He's not relapsed, but his drinking is still going strong, and I don't know if he would relapse if I left. I know that's not my responsibility, but I'd lose it if he did. Plus his mom is severely ill, and he's her only child and her husband is long since passed. He's stressed about it. We share a home together, which makes it a touch more complicated. Our finances are pretty separate. Thank god for small miracles.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:41 PM
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You think it because he is...

One thing that is certain is that he is an alcoholic. Don't question yourself on this. And, by the way, he's not qualified to have an opinion on this because he's an alcoholic.

Another certain thing is that you did not cause this, you can't cure it, and you can't control it (but you can contribute to it).

When I was lost about how to handle my wife's drinking I eventually found Alanon. It's the best choice I've ever made.

It didn't stop my wife from drinking-- she continued to drink for several years. However, it did allow me to interact with her in a safer and better way.

Good luck Mimic, and take care.

Cyranoak
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:04 PM
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He's not relapsed, but his drinking is still going strong, and I don't know if he would relapse if I left
Mimic, one drunken night is a relapse. Self harm would be more of a relapse, but you are kidding yourself if you don't think he has relapsed.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:16 PM
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One thing I have learned is that I have absolutely no control over what my exabf did or does or any of it.

We are not that powerful. Whether or not you leave or stay, he will do what he will do.

When I left my exabf, he said he wanted to die. I told him to get professional help, I could not help him. He did. He is better now, and he got there on his own.

I focussed on my own health and well being. Al-Anon, SR and my therapist helped me when I could not help myself. I asked friends, family, anyone I needed to for help. And they did. And I am happier now than I ever have been. But it was horrible going through it. The hardest part was coming to the realization that I could not control the situation. Once I did that, I felt free.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:43 PM
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He KNOWS how I feel about alcoholics (both parents were alcoholics, my mother severely), and yet I think he's become one.
Mimic,

I am a recovering alcoholic, and after reading your first post, I think you know this is a big problem for you.
My father was an abusive alcoholic, I married an abusive man first, then an alcoholic, abusive man in my second marriage.
So, maybe your idea of a bad problem has been skewed by your upbringing?
"Oh, he remembered to put a towel under himself because he pisses himself at night."

Please get help for yourself. When I got sober, and went to AA meetings, I realized how low I had set the bar for my family. Me and my two children.
For a long time, (and maybe even now) I struggle with whether I deserve a good life.
I did not have a problem with whether my kids deserved better or not, just me.

You deserve better, I deserve better, everyone deserves better than what we got as children. You can change how you deal with it though.

Beth
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:43 PM
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This thread sums it up nicely. Everything you need to hear has been stated by you and the others.

Let me ask you this. If you think it is hard to leave now, do you think it will be easier in 5 years? How about in 10 years? 20 years and 2 or 3 kids later? Will that make it easier?

I wish I would have known of my alcoholic wife's alcoholism before we married. But I didn't see it. We didn't live together. Essentially, we had a year or so of romantic weekends. I assumed she didn't drink during the week. I was wrong. it got worse. Much worse.

And now, 22 years and $100K later, I am still dealing with a drunk. It is not fun.

Pack your stuff and go. What are you waiting for? There are what, 2 billion men on this planet. There are some nice men out there. Go find one. He's looking for you right now. And he's not at a bar.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:46 PM
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Hello Mimic, Welcome to SR!

Lots of great Experience, Strength and Hope (ES&H) being shared here! I hope you will consider some face-to-face support in Al-Anon as well. Many of us have found it to be invaluable.

Please know you are in a place where people understand exactly what you are going through.

Hugs, HG
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:39 PM
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mimic,

welcome to this board. i hope you will continue to come here -- read, and post, think new thoughts....you will be amazed at the changes that will start happening in you.

you are absolutely not responsible for this man - that's HIS job.

keep coming back....
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:16 PM
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Thank you all for your advice. I have yet to directly confront Boyfriend about this, but I noticed this morning that he had not only gone into my email (it was left logged in so it very well have been a mistake, though I doubt it) but he had gone to another message board where I had posted the exact same thread. All of this happened while I was asleep. (We share a computer) I have yet to get his reaction to it, as he's still asleep, but he was very stand-offish laying in bed last night and wouldn't cuddle at all. We shall see, and I'll keep you updated.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:22 PM
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hi Mimic and to SR. I'm glad you found this place. I hope you keep coming back here for support.

I notice in your second post you mention that your ABF wound up in a psych ward subsequent to your break up with him. You also mention that he's his ill mother's only child. These are sad things, granted, but they are not your responsibility. Your ABF is a grown man who is CHOOSING to dive head first into a bottle every day.

Remember,
You didn't CAUSE the drinking
You can't CURE the drinking
You can't CONTROL the drinking

Please don't let yourself get held hostage by what might happen to him should you part ways. He may very well blame you for whatever happens to him (blameshifting is a common alkie tactic), however try to remind yourself that every. single. time. he drinks, he is making a choice.

Please find some Al-Anon meetings and attend a few. You need some support.

Keep posting!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:06 AM
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Hey guys, just checking in. My ABF and I talked. 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. He insists it's because I'm out of the house a lot and not spending enough time with him and he feels neglected. I pointed out that his drinking was bad well before this and that a large part of my going out with friends so much is because I hated to be around him when he's drinking.

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. Now, he's gone sober for a month before, did fine on the responsible drinking for a while after that, but his drinking became a problem after that within a month. I want to believe he will tighten the reigns for me, but I know this is a common tactics of alcoholics. (ie "I can quit when I want to.")

Not sure what to think. My judgment is heavily clouded by my feelings for him.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
Not sure what to think. My judgment is heavily clouded by my feelings for him.
At least you recognize this!

If he truly is an alcoholic, he cannot "control" his drinking. I would say that it's hard to judge, but if you say he went a month without drinking before, and degraded into this again, there is a good change he is alcoholic.

That said, you need to concentrate on what is acceptable in your mind, with regards to you, how much you help him, how he treats you, etc. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and if you don't set up boundaries for yourself now, it is very likely you will lose yourself.

Also keep in mind, he is who he is. YOU cannot change him into something, only he can decide if he wants to change. You also can't pick and choose - "I want him on his good days but not his bad days" won't work - you are bidding on the whole package, because he is what you see.

:ghug3
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:27 AM
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Mimic,
I felt the same way for a long time. Fuzzy. Cloudy. Not sure what I thought. I knew I was upset but I didn't know why or what to do. I started employing some of the concepts you'll read about in here and over time, my mind is becoming very clear. I needed to be clear because for me, the outcome could be divorce and I have a toddler with my AW.

One thing I learned is that you can't simply draw a line in the sand and say, don't cross it. For me, it wasn't that immediate but every day I work on something that I believe will help me detach with love and concentrate on myself. I can't directly measure if my changes have had an impact on my AW but I can say that since I really started applying myself, we seem to be doing better as a couple. She's a binge drinker so the calm times are very seductive and dangerous. That's why I can't measure the impact yet. Then again, perhaps I don't really care as much about how it impacts her but more about how much more peace I'm finding in my life.
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