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What do you do when you realize you are in love with an alcoholic?



What do you do when you realize you are in love with an alcoholic?

Old 04-01-2011, 10:05 PM
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What do you do when you realize you are in love with an alcoholic?

I am new to this site, have read some posts and appreciate the discussions already.

My partner of about 4 years is wonderful, loving, generous, helpful, intelligent, and funny. He also drinks almost every day, lately a bottle of wine or six pack, really takes advantage of his prescription pain killers and muscle relaxents when he get them, and has a damaged liver from previous illnesses (none substance abuse related). So, I am really worried about him. And about us.

Over the past 6 months or so, his world has really shrunk. We rarely do things outside of the home. He has trouble with his health, naps a lot, can't remember things, doesn't take care of his appearance as well as he used to, procrastinates on decisions, events, responsibilities...

Sounds like I am complaining. But, I am not. Just trying to paint some of the picture here. Not sure what to do. I am angry and sad. I try to keep things moving in a positive direction, but feel, at times, hopeless and at risk.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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well i'm sorry i can't give you much advice... i'm totally hurt and confused too right now w/ my alcoholic husband. have you talked to him about these issues though? if so does he realize he has a problem and does he want to change?
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:19 PM
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Thanks, confusedandsad,

What a "sad" name you picked. I hope it evolves over time to a better one.

I have spoken with my partner, in a very calm voice one night when he came over intoxicated (drunk seems too strong here) and then proceeded to open another bottle of wine. I told him I was very worried about his health and that I thought he was an alcoholic. I know! You probably aren't supposed to do it this way - I am going to be a social worker (really). It is better to use I or we statements than you. He said 'how would l know how much he drank?' He did not speak to me for four days.

This is backwards. Getting punished for trying to help.

Last edited by InLoveWithHim; 04-01-2011 at 10:21 PM. Reason: would like to link to group, not sure how
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:42 PM
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Well all I know is this...my little sister is extremely mentally ill...however she doesn't believe so. i've put her in the hospital myself on involantary papers. but when she got out she quit her meds and went back to her self destructive behavior AND quit talking to me. what i've learned from this is that if someone doesn't believe they have a problem you can't force them to see it and you can't force them to get better. HOWEVER i completely understand wanting to do that. but neither of us can help our loves if they won't let us i'm having an EXTREMELY hard time excepting this right now too though...its alot harder when its your partner it seems than if it were just a friend or other relation...
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:05 AM
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Welcome. My second husband had liver failure as a result of drinking. The mental confusion can go along with that. Once the liver is damaged for ANY reason, alcohol and drugs can hasten the damage. Has he had a biopsy recently?

There probably isn't a lot you can do to get him to quit drinking, unless he is ready to do that. I suggest you start by educating yourself a bit about alcoholism. Here are a couple of good resources: The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (an online version is here) and "Under the Influence" (you can read excerpts here).

For yourself, I suggest you try some Al-Anon meetings. They can be a real lifesaver.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:10 AM
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My RAH, when he was still active, and toward the end before he went to treatment, started to have some mental symptoms.

Disordered is what I call it.

He could not put two thoughts in line and also, his drinking changed day to day. Meaning, that one day he could drink a case of beer and appear mildly tipsy, and the next day he could drink two beers and the be obliterated. This was what they call saturation.

His brain had pockets of saturation that could be triggered by varying degrees of consumption. This scared him, and it really scared me.

He would also change a lot more when he was drunk. I began to notice a point in the days/nights drinking when the drunk would "turn".
His demeanor would get angry, annoyed, grandiose...He would say strange,paranoid things.

The blackouts increased, then would stop, then get worse.

It is a progressive disease, and it wont just improve on its own.

Recovery is a whole other mountain to climb, and if I were you, I would ask myself if I want to be involved in the project of "getting him sober".

He is the only one who can do it, and if he is not already open to the idea, you are looking at a waiting game.

Start asking yourself if you are willing to continue livng with another persons disease if they are not trying to heal or recover from it. This has little to do with whether you love him or not.
It has to do with whether you are willing to love him actively at ANY COST to you and your happiness, your day to day calm and serenity.

Keep posting
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:17 AM
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I have to say my experience went a lot like B66's above. So similar - its eerie to read her words. I thought at first it WAS mental illness. When I realized that at least it was alcoholism (and maybe still mental illness, who knows?!) and could say the word out loud, I got to an Al-Anon meeting and a counselor. For me.

Because it became about me at that point. I identified the problem, called it what it was, and now it was my responsibility to fix it. At first I tried to fix HIM, but that didn't last long because he would just react badly and I got tired of the attacks when that happened. So I sucked it up and admitted my codie ways and starting working on fixing ME and here I am...separated from the RAH and happy again. And although I know he is not "happy", he is relieved I got off his butt and let him be.

Welcome to SR; find an Al-Anon meeting, keep reading, give yourself some time to process, stay safe, and keep focusing on you. If you don't take care of yourself right now, no one else will.

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Old 04-02-2011, 10:44 AM
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What to do when you are in love with an alcoholic? You cry and get angry. You feel stressed and frustrated. You realize that you don't really have a partner anymore. You feel alone. You do what you are doing....try to figure out what in the heck to do next.

Start learning everything you can about alcoholism. You read books and do online research. You talk to folks here and maybe you go to Al-anon.

You have to decide if you want to live in your current situation or not.
Whether or not you stay in the relationship, you have to figure out how you are going to live and fine peace of mind while you are living with an alcoholic.

Alcoholism doesn't get better. It's progressive. None of it is your fault. You can't fix it. You can't control it. So learn what you are dealing with and learn to take care of yourself.

Welcome to SR. You'll get support here.
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