Can you make someone realize they have a problem?

Old 03-17-2011, 10:10 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I heard a story this morning getting ready for work and it spoke to me and I'd like to share it with you...

A woman was walking in the forest when a snake came slithering up to her. "Excuse me, can you please put me in your jacket? I'm cold and we're going the same way." The woman looked down at the snake and was very apprehensive but after a minute decided to be a good samaritan and give the snake a ride and the warmth it desired in her jacket packet. As she was walking along the snake bit her. The woman yelled, "WHy did you do that? I was nice and helped you out and you bit me!!" The snake replied, "What did you expect? I'm a snake, that's what I do."

It immediately made me think of my AH of 8 years. He's promised to not drink. Tried not to drink. Told me he loved me more than life itself. Swore on all his dead relatives and the lives of his children that he'd stop drinking. Been to rehab twice, arrested for assault 3 times, spend a year & a half in jail and is still an active alcoholic with no identifiable signs of wanting to work any kind of recovery program. He does what alcoholics do, but for years I was the woman yelling why are you doing this to me when I'm trying to help you!?!

I've had to accept that he's going to do what he wants to do, and when it comes to his disease of A, what it tells him to do. Of course it hasn't been easy to accept but each day it's becoming easier. If he says he's going to call me back and doesn't, I don't call him. I don't try to track him down. I don't cuss him out the next day when he finally does call. When he shows up at my door or calls me drunk, wanting his wife, I set my boundaries, let him know I won't deal with him in that condition. If he gets mad, he gets mad, not me. For instance, he called me when I was on my way home from work today:

Me: I'm just gonna go in the house & crash. I'm not coming back out for nothing.

AH: You mean to tell me, if I wanted you to come out, you wouldn't?

Me: No I wouldn't. I have to get up early & run errands before I go to work tomorrow.

AH: I don't care.

Me: I know you don't but I do.

AH: So it's like that now, huh?

Me: Yes, it is.

AH: You can do everything for everybody except me. Whatever! (Hangs-up)

See I've learned his issues are not my issues. I love my husband very, very much but I've learned in Al-Anon that my "protective" instincts or desire to protect him from himself is actually hurting more than helping. After all, if everytime he gets in trouble, wifey bails him out, what's he got to lose? If anything, he's got it made. There are no real consequences he has to deal with because I've dealt with them. How's he going to see this disease really is hurting him if he never feels the pain? If anything, my not rescuing him is showing how much I truly love him, even if he doesn't see it at first.

"His issues go way deeper than just drinking. He has no family, and had no one until me. He was kind of a drifter and thought very little of himself. He is just now starting to see that he can be whoever he wants to be and can have whatever he wants. His life has gotten so much better in the past year."

8 years -- Let me repeat 8 years -- My AH comes from a extremely neglectful parenting background. Both his parents died addiction related deaths in their early 40's. He was hustling up money to feed his mom and siblings since age 8. Dropped out of 7th grade to support them hustling on the streets. His mother lost custody of his younger siblings when he moved out at age 13. He's spent 12 years of his 37 years in juvenile and adult detention facilities. His two living brothers are addicts themselves. Since we've been together, he's experienced the longest stretch of time since age 12 that he wasn't arrested or incarcerated, he's traveled across the US, opened his first bank account, lived in a house he could claim (I brought it prior to marriage), worked legitimately, has learned to read & write effectively and can hold a conversation with CEO's and Board Presidents at Black tie functions, which my jobs have often required me to attend. Trust me, he'll be the first to tell you I'm the best thing to happen to him and he doesn't know where he'd be without me - actually he'd say he'd either be dead or back in jail. Yet he still drinks, he still gets crazy, he's still an active alcoholic. I have taken better care of that man than his own mother but he has a disease that I didn't cause, can't cure or can't control. A snake will do what a snake instinctually does and an alcoholic will do what an alcoholic instinctually does.

In Al-Anon we learn not to give direct advice but to just share our story. This was mine. Take what you want and leave the rest. I pray it helps.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:28 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
A work in progress
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Wow, Destiny,

Awesome post.

Wantto, we'd ALL love to help our alcoholics. The deal is, there is a VERY limited amount we can do to help. What helps more than anything is getting healthy, ourselves.

Stick around, and check out some Al-Anon meetings. Living with an alcoholic is a bumpy ride.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:07 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Destiny - thank you. Your situation sounds a lot like mine, except that you have been dealing with it a lot longer than I have.

I however did grow up with my father being an alcoholic. I saw first hand what it does to destroy a marriage, a family, and his physical health. I do not want to go through that all over again. I know that if my dad could stop drinking, he would. But he can't. He is what I would call a functioning alcoholic. He goes to work every day, but in recent years, I believe he has a few at lunch. Then after work, he drinks all night. He drinks every day. He drinks so much, that if you didn't know him, you wouldn't even know he was drunk. Everyone I know tells me what a good guy he is and how nice he is. Which is true in part. But he is also the guy that has made my mother miserable for years, he is the guy who got a DUI as a 60 year old man, lost his license, paid thousands in fines, etc. He is the guy who me and my sister do not trust to have our children in the car with. He is the guy who my son has begged to stop drinking and he just tells him to stop.

I believe that all alcoholics have good intentions, can be good people, and do love and care about their family and friends. But, they still can't control their actions.

There-in lies my problem. I know that this man can't control his drinking. I know what my life will be if I stay in this relationship. I know the issues I will face. I know I will never have a child with him if I stay because I don't want that child to grow up feeling the things that I felt. I know all of the bad things that will happen. I know I will be miserable, I know I will always be second to alcohol. But, when is the breaking point? When is the point where I know that he is never going to get help? How do I know he is never going to get help? He has changed so much in the last year, so how do I know that wanting to stop drinking is not going to be his next step? I know I can hope and pray all I want, but it has to be his decision. But, I don't know if he will ever make that decision. What if he does? What if I throw away everything we have believing he will never change, but what if he would have changed? I love my Monday - Fridays because he is sober and is a wonderful man, and we have a great relationship. But, then he becomes someone else on Saturday, and I have to wait until Monday to get the man I love back.

But I do love him, so how do I throw away all the great stuff we have together not knowing if he will change?
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:26 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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For me, this is where faith comes in the picture. I know a lot of people, myself included, would groan and roll their eyes at the mention of faith...but I feel I have acquired this belief after seeing first hand the journey of my life, and understanding that all events were lined up in a specific way for other life-altering events to take place.

In my case, the miserable year I spent after the end of my studies lead to meeting XAH, which lead to many more miserable years (which were incredibly educational), which lead to my getting preggo and having my daughter, who is the one who helped me realize that I COULD NOT continue living the way I was or I would be condemning her, an innocent, to the same fate. Through that realization, I "just happened" to find SR, which "just happened" to put me on the path to separation and divorce.

In my view, none of that happened accidentally. I was meant to live through the misery of a marriage with an alcoholic to understand what a healthy relationship is (and is not!).

With that in mind I'm going to say: trust in your Higher Power, whatever you call it, him, her, them. You're in good hands and you're coming to important realizations. If you relationship with your BF is meant to be, then it's going to happen. No amount of agonizing about the future and his decision to quit drinking or not is going to change that.

And, let's get real here...a man who binge drinks himself into a stupor on week-ends isn't suddenly going to quit drinking and be ok by Friday. Recovery is a life-long journey and it takes major "cojones".

IMO, it's time to step away from the alkie in your life, let him do what he will do, and focus on yourself.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:17 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Trudging that road.
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Wow I have so many thoughts running through my mind but after reading all the advise people gave you, and then what you wrote, it just dawned on me that you are going to do whatever you want to try and fix him. You seem hell bent on the notion that somehow if you go through enough hell with him one day he will come to his senses. The thing is, is he might, but that isn't the issue, the issue is why are you living in hell and justifying it by telling yourself what a rotten life he has had? I got kicked out at 13 and had unbelievable things happen to my mind body and soul on the streets but I know scores of alky's that have. You can't save him, and by enabling him you are just helping him to continue to kill himself. Please go get help for you, and in return he may follow suit. Lead by example if he sees you getting better than just maybe he will, give it a shot. You don't have to leave him but you can't go on like this can you? Just something to think about. Peace and blessings
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:49 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Hi Wanttohelp, my situation right now is very, very similar to yours. I don't want to instill false hope, but I hope you find what I say to be helpful. My very first post on here was asking if I should talk to my ABF (now) RABF in person or write him a letter to tell him how I feel about his alcoholism and out relationship (I subsequently had that post deleted for various reasons). I was not ready to leave my relationship, and I'm still not. I am still in it. I got a lot of varied responses from everyone on here. When I didn't like the ones I heard? I went over to the alcoholism forum to read their stories of recovery and ask them what their "bottom" was to try and get some hope in my situation that maybe I could somehow be my RABF's "bottom." I've been on this site for about 1.5 months, read books, gone to Alanon, gone to couples therapy with RABF, now in personal therapy also and learned HUGE amounts of information. And, sometimes there is hope. But the alcoholic has to be ready to change HIMSELF, from the inside out. Some of my thoughts were identical to yours re: my RABF. I set a boundary and told him "I don't want to marry an active alcoholic... what you do with that information is your choice, but I need to protect myself from the hurts, the fears, the anger, the sadness, and the pain, and I will do whatever it takes to protect MYSELF." That's the short version.

My RABF experiences with drinking have been varied, some severe, and he was a high functioning binge drinker (only lost control SOMETIMES), not an everyday drinker. But obviously not severe enough for him to hit HIS rock bottom. So I thought, if I can raise his "bottom," by "loving him enough", by "trying to convince him" that he is worthy of love and having a better life, by "teaching him" that alcoholism is progressive and destructive, maybe he will take this chance to opt out! He DID choose to stop drinking. As of right now. He has been "sober" for 35 days. But there are some very serious things that I want to say next.

I set my boundary which I am holding, and he made the choice to stop drinking on his own
I know he loves me, but I keep reminding myself that sometimes love isn't enough.
There is a lot of work to be done now the alcohol is removed, but his work is his, and my work is mine
All of the things I quoted- loving him enough, teaching him, convincing him= codependent thinking
My codependency, my wanting him to change and not accepting who he is TODAY, has made ME just as toxic to the relationship, rendering it unhealthy, as the alcohol was toxic

I see a lot of similar thinking in your post to my thinking (which is starting to shift now).

I tried to walk away from him... more than once. The thing is, I couldn't.
You chose not to. You do have choices. You're not ready. That's OK.

but I know without me, he has no one else in his life to encourage him to have a good life.
This is a TON of pressure to put on yourself.. and is what makes us start to go crazy trying harder and harder to get them to see, understand, realize, change

If he didn't drink, we would be perfect. His issues go way deeper than just drinking. He can be whoever he wants to be and can have whatever he wants
Here's what I realized what was so awful for me in this thinking: Its essentially saying "I love you the way I know you could be." Translation "I don't love you the way you are." I apologized to him for my codependent thinking. My thinking WAS the truth however, and now I am working on accepting him the way he is instead of the way I hope will be, or could be. Knowing the truth of that thought really made me sad, for me, and for him.

Another sad truth, is that... maybe he IS whoever he wants to be, and maybe he HAS whatever he wants. Maybe his issues are too deep and too scary for him to bring to the forefront. Once he acknowledges them, he has to deal with them or live with it, because you can't un-acknowledge them. Thats a scary thing. (this applies to your BF and mine, I think!!)

I saw a glimmer of hope last weekend. So, I went out on a whim and asked him if he was saying that he didn't want to drink anymore - that he had had enough? And he said yes, then drank his coffee and didn't have another beer that night.
I suggest you review the Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief and Stages of Change by Prochaska and DiClemente. It might help you to understand where you are right now in your process, as well as getting an idea of where he is. For me, the process is unraveling fairly quickly, but for my RABF, it is moving much much slower. Knowing the stages and seeing where he falls, gives me some perspective as to how long I might "wait to see" what changes in him and what doesn't. And if he might relapse in the whole process!! Scary! But again, I love my RABF too, and I'm not ready to give up. It sounds like your BF with this statement is at least starting to consider some deeper meaning, or is at least doing some deeper processing.

He just won't see the truth for what it is.
This is denial.

I know that I don't deserve to live this way, and trust me, I do not want to spend my life taking care of him, or avoiding him, or sleeping on the couch. I do take care of myself, and I have a good life.
Keep this thinking at the forefront!!

I know that walking away is the easy thing to do
Walking away is HARDLY the easy thing to do, and may very well be the hardest part of all of this. Especially when all we want is to love them, to "help" them, "save" them... we want, hope, pray that they will see what we see, that they will know what we know.

but isn't ready to admit it yet.
Again, this is denial. But possibly, he is inbetween the stages mentioned above.

How do you love someone and be with them without enabling them? How do you let them know that you love them and are always there for them without condoning their behavior?
Detachment with love. I am working on this.. learning to push through my fears and anxiety and worry of all that might happen to me if I leave, if I stay, if he relapses, if he hits bottom and dies, throw anything else in there you like.

I believe that all alcoholics have good intentions, can be good people, and do love and care about their family and friends. But, they still can't control their actions.
True, true, true, and true!

There-in lies my problem
His not controlling his actions is not your problem. The problem is in the thinking that has resulted of you being in a relationship with an alcoholic, the codependency.

When is the breaking point? When is the point where I know that he is never going to get help? How do I know he is never going to get help? He has changed so much in the last year, so how do I know that wanting to stop drinking is not going to be his next step? I know I can hope and pray all I want, but it has to be his decision. But, I don't know if he will ever make that decision. What if he does? What if I throw away everything we have believing he will never change, but what if he would have changed?
Of course the cliche answer here is you can't predict the future. But, you can read the stages of grief and change and get a baseline, and you can observe his actions. You can learn to live your life in a healthy way and still love the alcoholic- thus accepting him the way he is. Any quite possibly in your journey, you will learn that YOU matter most, and not him and his "recovery" or lackthereof.

I honestly really wish you well. I hope I didn't offend in any way, if anything, my intention was to share my similar experience and some of the clarity that I have gained so far. I will pray for you to have strength in getting through this journey. You are not alone and coming to SR was just the beginning for me. The journey is so so hard, but its well worth it!!
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:32 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttohelp0318 View Post

But I do love him, so how do I throw away all the great stuff we have together not knowing if he will change?
If you only love your mondays-fridays, just find someone else to date on the weekends.

Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it.
Sounds like how I justified things with my ABF. As a starting point, you are miserable %30 of the time (Sat and Sun). Probably more. I would spend some of Monday and Tuesday resentful about the weekend fiascos, and parts of Thursday and Friday wondering what the upcoming weekend will entail. Not to mention all of the hours I spent worrying, wondering, and watching him for signs of change, or planning out our next conversation or confrontation about the problem and what he plans to do about it. Plus the hours lying awake in bed at night, trying to predict the future, don't forget those, trying to figure out what it will take for him to see the light, and how I can expedite the process. Been there, done that.

I deserve to be happy %100 of the time, not just %40 - %50 of the time. It took over a year in Al-Anon to realize that.

And unless you have a crystal ball, you will never know when he will "come to these realizations" or "hit bottom". And in my experience, thinking you will have anything to do with it is fantasy. Why he drinks has nothing to do with you. His disease and any recovery chances he has have nothing to do with you.

You're not going to get the answer you are desperately looking for here, hun. I tried it over a year ago, posting similar threads, hoping someone would just tell me "here's what I did, he quit drinking and now we are so damn happy i want to vomit". Still haven't seen that written here, ever.

I wish that I had listened to what these people told me a year ago, through their own experiences, when I first started here. I wish I had listened to their stories, and realized that mine was the same. But I had to go through what I did, and learn for myself. And it sucks, but i've learned it. A couple thousand dollars later, and a whole state away from my friends and family, alone in a city where I know noone because I moved there for him, I've learned it. Now I'm packing up and leaving to start over, again, without him. I learned the hard way, but I guess that was God's intention. Just as you'll learn whatever you need to know as He intends, and in His own time.

Good luck to you
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:33 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I think that the suggestion about the book Codependence No More by melodie beattie can really change how you see things.
I know it did for me.
I also grew up w/ an alcoholic dad and then married one. I used to say I had horrible taste in men but I didn't...I just went to what I was comfortable with...those who would cause me pain, who were unreliable, treated me badly and could not show any type of support for me or my decisions.

I have no doubt that I would make the same bad choices even now, having learned what I have about alcoholism, children of alcoholics and how we've learned to cope with our home life. That is where Alnon comes in.

It can teach you how to help yourself heal. It's hard admiting you have problems too. It really isn't all about your alcoholic but about the fact you've chosen to be involved w/ your alcoholic and won't walk away.

I think you know where your going to end up if you stay with this guy. I don't need to tell you that.

I also want to remind you...that this relationship will cause your Mom especially, pain. She has lived your life and now has to watch you live through the same pain she did.
I know this because my mom told me that is the hardest part.
She wishes she had left my dad. If she had, maybe I wouldn't have been raised the way I was and would have not repeated the pattern.
Unfortunately I did.
and now 19 yrs into it. I have 3 sons.
Do I think they will miraculously be able to avoid the alcoholism that runs through my family?
I really doubt it. In fact I can spot even now which of my sons will have the most difficulty coping w/ problems, that will seek an escape and that has more of a thrill seeking personality. I knew this would happen and I let it.
I will never be able to forgive myself for that and that is a resentment I will probably never be able to forgive my spouse for either.
I just don't want you to make the same mistakes that many of us here have.
Your still early in the relationship, you can get out. Call your parents, ask for their help...go to Alnon, read the book we recommended. Talk to a therapist, whatever it takes to heal your wounds so that you can have a full and happy life w/out the shadow of alcoholism.
good luck to you.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:59 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttohelp0318 View Post
But, what I want to know is in situations where your loved one did realize they had a problem and get help - was there anything that happened that triggered their change? Was there anything that you did to motivate them? What made them realize? Did they lose their job, get a dui, get in a fight? I know all of this is out of my control, but I feel that he can change and deep down wants to, but isn't ready to admit it yet.

How do you love someone and be with them without enabling them? How do you let them know that you love them and are always there for them without condoning their behavior?
That change you are waiting for isn't instant. It is a process and an internal one. Meaning, the dui's, losing his family, job, a relationship, a great gal (me!)etc didn't motivate him... it was just being tired of living that life and not the life he knows he can have (and had). Or maybe it was that he ran out of money for booze (which really he admitted was the catalyst.. not as glamorous but whatever the reason, he is in rehab so that is all that matters).

I let him know I loved him by saying it and it isn't a behavior that needs condoning or not, it is a disease. I have lots of compassion for him but tried to educate myself as best as I could because I would mistakenly feel that I had the power to help or change him.

It is his work to muddle through. You won't ever know the 'thing' that does it or be able to predict.. That is why they say to detach and let it go because you have to. "It' being the thing that makes you believe you have control or some type of importance in their sobriety. Nope. It is all internal I believe.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:52 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I know that this topic is pretty old... but I am completely new to forums and didn't know where else I could post my message.
Iíve got here because I was looking for a way how to make someone to realize that they have a drinking problem. And as most of you have already said it hundreds of times: there is no such way.... So I left my search behind... but then I got to a bit different point and I don't exactly know what to do...

So here my story comes:
Some time ago (aprox.3 months ago) I've met a really nice guy and I quite quickly realized that he has a drinking problem. I was trying to help him but of course he thinks that he doesn't have a problem and it's me who is making problems. Well... it is a bit different in his case because he has a huge alcohol tolerance (he has been drinking for 20 years) and as a result he doesn't really mess up important things like for example work. But he does drink 5 days a week on average and it's usually 7-9 pints of beer in one evening.... out of this he gets drunk like twice a week (when he just talks rubbish but is not aggressive or anything like that). So for me it really looks like he has a drinking problem... and I am very worried about his health... but this is my only argument... that I am worried. And then he gives me his contra-arguments that it doesn't really influence his life and my life (except for me being worried but that's my problem (and itís not completely true either because the longer we are together, the more situations happen when it actually does influence me)) so it becomes very difficult to show him that it's not good. I know I cannot do anything so I'm trying to do different things with him after work- so he doesn't go to a pub and drink... but that's not really a solution .... I had a very calm conversation with him about his drinking a few times... and sometimes he just admits that he knows he drinks too much but he doesn't realize that this is a problem and he doesn't want to stop. And then recently, when we had similar conversation he said: "I do know I drink too much.... but it makes me feel good and it's easy because it's always there. And it also helps me to socialize with strangers. So when I do my calculations- I get more than I lose out of drinking". And then when I asked him: "what if at some point I am so unhappy with your drinking that I decide that I cannot stand it anymore and I leave?", he replied: "well.... then I hope that it will be at the point when you are so important to me that when I do my calculations, it won't be worthy anymore to drink".

So my question is: What can I do in situation like that? Is it possible that we will be close enough to each other to get a different outcome of his calculations? Or it's just his empty words? Leaving now would be so much easier... I am younger than he is, I could find someone who doesn't have a drinking problem, who spends time with me instead of being in a bar every day, drinking with strangers. But I know that if I left him now, he wouldn't do anything to get me back (he's not this kind of person who gets attached in 3 months) and he would definitely not stop drinking. But if there is even a small chance that me staying would change something in his calculations- I would stay. But then I am so scared that I will end up like all of you here: in love with someone who hurts me and who is not going to change. And I have all of the predispositions to end up like that; reading all of your posts I could see that most of us have the same thing in common: we are very strong women, who naively believe that we can change the world....

What would be your advice? Has anybody told you before that it possible for them to stop? That they can picture it and that you can be a part of this realization? Or is it just another way of saying: "I will be drinking no matter what but I still want you by my side"?
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:33 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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He is telling you very clearly that he has no interest in quitting drinking. Time for you to decide if you want to go down this road knowing that he may never want to. You can't change him. You can change YOU.

Alcoholism is progressive, so when you report things like he hasn't messed up anything "important" like work, my mind always adds "...yet." And by the way, he is messing up something important -- your budding relationship.

Right now, what you can reasonably expect from this person or this relationship is continued, and probably worsening, alcohol use and consequences. With only three months invested, and with him being extremely clear that he is not interested in changing, I am not sure what you would stay for.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:35 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Maybe you can move your post over to the F&F and will get more responses from a new post then from this old one.

And then when I asked him: "what if at some point I am so unhappy with your drinking that I decide that I cannot stand it anymore and I leave?", he replied: "well.... then I hope that it will be at the point when you are so important to me that when I do my calculations, it won't be worthy anymore to drink".
He answered you honestly – at this point in his life you are NOT important enough to him to quit drinking, (no one will be)……….believe him. And with 20 plus years of drinking under his belt vs the 3 months you have invested your time, energy and hopes on dating…….best bet is…………his past behavior of drinking is a dam good indicator of his future behavior of drinking.

You deserve so much more out of a partner then he would ever be able to give you. Dating is the way we find out if two people fit together…………you two do not and if you feel you are too attached to him already then it’s really not his drinking issue here but your codependent issues.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:37 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Oops! Didn't realize that this was an old thread. Well, what I've said still stands!

I haven't read all the very thoughtful replies here, so sorry if I'm repeating what others have already said. I just wanted to say that I, too, am an adult child of alcoholics who grew up and ended up in relationships (a series of them!) with alcoholics. It took me a long time to accept that I had learned some very bad patterns as a child that I need to let go. From my parents, I learned to accept unacceptable behavior, and I learned to live for some day. I learned to live on hope that things would get better. As a kid, that was my only way to survive emotionally, because living in the present sure wasn't cutting it! I've had to accept as an adult that these coping mechanisms no longer serve me. I've learned that it is so, so important to make my decisions about who I will let close to me based on who that person is in the PRESENT. If they change in the future, those decisions can be revisited. But staying with someone based on who you hope they might someday become is a recipe for heartache.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:03 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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It's kind of like meeting a guy who lives in a cardboard box. Forget about alcohol, just assume he lives in a cardboard box. He tells you he LIKES his cardboard box. You ask him whether he would be willing to move out of the cardboard box if you were going to leave if he didn't move out of the cardboard box. And he says, "Maybe... If you said that and I wanted you to stay badly enough."

Same thing. Why stay until you can't STAND it one more second, on the mere slender hope that he will change his entire existence to keep you?
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:13 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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The only way he will ever change is if he seeks sobriety and is doing it for himself. You did not cause it, you cannot control it, you cannot cure it. You cannot motivate him to want sobriety. It may work for a few months or days, but not long term.

You have dealt with an alcoholic father, so you know what it brings. Do you really want that in your own life? He is not two people, the sober person and the drunk person are one in the same. Alcoholism is progressive, so that will show itself more and more.

Many hugs, I know it's hard.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:42 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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You can't make someone realize they have a problem.

You can only take care of you.

Originally Posted by wanttohelp0318 View Post
I have been dating this guy for a year. I knew that he drank from the beginning, but didn't know the seriousness of it at first. He is not from here, so he didn't know many people, and the people that he did know and was living with spend their entire day drunk and living in filth. He would complain about these people on a constant basis and say he doesn't know how they can live like that.

That's the funny thing. He can see when someone else has a problem, but can't see that he is no different from them. And that the things he says about them are equally true about himself.

At the beginning, we would go to my house after work and he would ask me to stop at the bar so he could get a 6 pack. He would drink the entire 6 pack in a very short amount of time. I know a lot of people that can do that and don't have a drinking problem, so I didn't think much of it. Then, when he wasn't with me, he would text me all night long. The later it got, the more the msgs didn't make any sense and were illegible. If I asked him if he was drinking, he would say he had a few, but always denied being drunk. One night, I went out with my friends for a girls night, came home and found him passed out on my couch. I couldn't wake him up for anything. I was shaking him, shouting, slapping him across the face, and nothing. I started to get scared, so I got a spray bottle that I use for the dogs and sprayed him in the face. He finally aroused a little, and I yelled at him, and went to bed. He tried to come to bed with me and I told him to go away. The next morning, he went home, and that night, I told him I wasn't going to deal with it. I told him that I lived with an alcoholic father most of my life, and I wasn't going to be with someone who was like that. He promised he wasn't like that, and that he didn't have a drinking problem, and he could stop whenever he wanted. So, I told him that it was either me or alcohol. He told me that he loved me and nothing was more important than me and that if he had to never drink again to keep me, he would do it. I told him I wanted him to quit because he wanted to, not for me.

Anyways, he quit and was sober from May to November. During that time, he admitted that he had a problem, but that he didn't want to drink, and that his will power was stronger than his desire to drink and that I was so important to him, that he would never risk losing me.

Then it happened. There were several nights when I was talking to him that I sensed he was drinking, but every time I questioned him, he would get mad at me and accuse me of not believing in him. He denied it every time. Then he started avoiding me, and making up excuses to not be around me, and ignoring me for hours on end, then getting mad at me for being upset about it. He then said that maybe we need to take some time to think about what we want. I told him that I knew what I wanted, but if he wasn't sure, then I had no say in that. He kept saying that he loved me more than anything. He finally admitted that he was drinking again, and that he knew it was either me or alcohol. Every other person in his life encouraged him to drink. I was the only person who didn't. He would go hang out with his friends and tell them that he didn't want to drink anymore, that he quit, and they would still always offer him a beer or even go buy it for him so it was there, just in case he wanted it. So, I totally understand how he lost that battle.

I told him at this time that I didn't think it was fair of me to give him an ultimatum and that if he was going to quit drinking, he had to do so on his own, because it was what he wanted for himself, and not for me. I asked him if he was drinking again because he wanted to or if it was because he couldn't control it. He said it was because he wanted to.

I can not figure out why I allowed him back into my life at this point, other than the fact that I am so in love with the man he is when he is sober. But, in summary, he lives with me now, and "only drinks on the weekends". I think this is his way to "prove to himself" that he doesn't have a problem. But, I actually took a second job working on the weekends just so I don't have to be around him. He isn't mean or abusive, but I can't stand being around him when he's drunk. He will buy a 30 pack on Saturday, and it's gone by Sunday. He doesn't stop once he starts. He is sloppy, annoying, is on an emotional roller coaster - one minute he's happy, the next he's depressed. He has spilled his drink on my brand new carpet because he misses when he reaches for it. He is clingy, and doesn't listen, or will get upset if I leave the room to get away from him. He is a 37 year old man who turns into a stupid 18 year old drinking for the first time. He will even take a bag with like 6 beers with him if we go anywhere out of the house. (he is never driving) He even does that if I am going to drop him off at his friend's house - 15 minutes away, and he will drink at least 2 beers on the way there. He always passes out, and there have been times when I hear him snoring, and then he sounds like he is choking, so I run to check on him, or he will stop breathing for a few seconds. His breathing is always slowed, and if he does make it to the bedroom, I usually sleep on the couch because he snores so loud that I can't sleep. He starts coughing, and coughs all night long. I have expressed my concerns over the amount that he drinks and that I worry about him. He always says, I know, I'm sorry. But then does it again.

He wants me to quit my second job so we have time to spend together on the weekends, but I don't want to spend time with him while he is like that. I am embarrassed to take him anywhere. I don't want him around my friends or family, so working is my excuse. But then I think if I wasn't working, maybe we could go out and do something that didn't involve alcohol. But I doubt that.

I just wish there was a way that I could make him realize that just because he only drinks on the weekends doesn't mean he doesn't have a problem, and that if it continues, he will lose me. And, that if it continues, I know one day I'm going to wake up one Sunday morning and find him dead because he drank so much that he choked on his own vomit or something. That is my biggest fear.

But, he won't even discuss it. If I try to bring anything up, he gets defensive, refuses to talk about it, then gets upset if I don't let it go. I think he knows he has a problem, but thinks if he admits it, he will have to do something about it, and he doesn't want to do anything about it. And, now that I have allowed the behavior, he thinks it's ok. I have no idea where to go from here. I am willing to help him, but at this point I am at a loss as to what to do. Do I put my foot down again and tell him that we are over? Do I ask him to get help? Do I ignore him and let him realize that he needs help on his own?

Where do I go from here?
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