Getting married to a binge drinker....HELP

Old 06-11-2011, 11:20 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Getting married to a binge drinker....HELP

Good evening!
I am getting married in less than a week to a binge drinker.
FH is a binge drinker and has been a binge drinker for the length of our relationship. He has been to counseling sessions and quit drinking for a month, but ended up losing his strenghth and started up again.
I need help!!!! What are some consequences or ultimatums?
I do not want to just give up and walk away. I plan on attending Al Non meetings.
He drinks at least 10-14 beers in less than 2 hours and when I confront hi
His words are I'm a grown man I can do what I want. If he's not drinking then he will jump to smoking pot. He has an addictive personality and is immature.
I have given him ultimatiums in the past and nothing has worked.
He does not get violent with me but he does get rude and name call or degrade me. Please help
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:01 AM
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lunakim... if you must marry him... you should at least postpone the wedding. the kind of questions running through your head aren't just "cold feet" type of things holding you back. they are CORRECT second thoughts because you are having to commit to a lifetime of the same experiences you've had (at best). i say at best because drinking problems are PROGRESSIVE. if he's a binge drinker now, it's going to get worse.

think of all of the effort you've put into your relationship thus far, is it something you'll be able to handle for the rest of your life?! think of the effort you've put in now... and you guys probably haven't had HALF of the hurdles that come in life... if you think you put in effort now, think of what it's going to be like in times when YOU need support (i.e. if either of you have a job loss... or a death to mourn... or maybe even decide to raise children together)... do you honestly think he'd be capable of stepping up? VERY DOUBTFUL when alcohol is involved. in fact, you'd probably pray for him to just "stay out of the way" in the times when you need support because you'll find that dealing with alcoholism ON TOP OF other life obstacles will basically be like having lead weights tied to you when you're trying not to drown.

im sorry. it must be tough to be in your shoes right now since you've basically got a week to figure things out. this is why i say, if you feel you must marry him or stick by him or whathaveyou... postpone it. there's no need to rush, right? if you're meant to be, it'll happen in it's own time. but you DO have a right to weigh your options... get more information into you... have a more solid footing under you by seeking al-anon or personal therapy.

think of what your wedding day would most likely be like with him being a binge drinker... instead of it being the happiest day of your life--you may find that it ends up being the most anxiety-ridden day having to keep your binge drinker from embarrassing you two in front of your loved ones. is that truly how you envision spending your wedding day? or more importantly, is this how you envision your married life?

get more information in you and make your decision with the best interest of YOU in mind. alcohol problems are P R O G R E S S I V E.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:12 AM
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btw, he may not be violent now... yes, that's how it starts.

mine started with "o he doesn't berate me--he doesn't speak ill of me" (he just does of other people)

then he began calling me names, twisting stuff around to blame me... always siding with his drinking buddies... started seeing me as the enemy to his "fun"... and i was like "o, but he would never hit me" (but he'd definitely fight other people)

then he started punching holes in my walls and destroying personal property and i kept saying "o, but he'd never hit me"...

and my last kicker before i left his ass was that he THREATENED to "beat the crap out of me"... he and i weren't in the same household that night, and i am not sure if he'd have done so if we were, but i'd rather not know.

yes, this guy is the NiCEST most quiet guy on the street... he'd help old ladies cross the street, get kittens down from trees, and bend over backwards if you needed help in any way... he'd call if he was running five minutes late... etc etc (part of why i totally fell for him)... but that's the thing with alcohol... THIS GUY... is no longer existent.

it's PROGRESSIVE... it's UNFAIR... it's SAD... it's the most horrible thing because the person you're marrying.. the person you are in love with will TRULY be erased. alcohol deteriorates your brain--it eats you alive. you no longer become who you are--and there will come a point where he won't even remember half the things that brought you two together.

im sorry. be careful.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:41 AM
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There is a small voice inside you, that is looking out for you. It is telling you that somethings is not right. You are here asking for help. Honor that voice.

You are on the cusp of making a decision that will impact your life in ways you might not fathom. You already know he is a binge drinker/alcoholic, you have addressed this in the past and nothing changed, and he verbally abuses you. That little voice is screaming that you are worth more then that! You have one precious life. Cherish yourself...and marry someone that cherish's you.

Do some reading on the board. Read the stickies up top. Keep posting.

When a problem or issue seems to big it helps me to think about what the next right thing is. You don't have to predict the future, or answer all the questions, you just have to do the next right thing. To figure out what the next right thing is you listen to that little voice, and you do the thing that is best for *you* as an individual person.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:18 AM
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Thank you all for the responses.
Is walking away really my only solution? When things are good they are great and when times get hard they are dark days. There are more good days than bad days.
He is on the road during the week and the last 3 weeks be has been home he has been drunk. I am not a saint either but I do not drink all the time. When I start I can stop.
What other consequences are there? How do I make him see that this is a huge problem and things need to change. He always has a comeback to everything and finds ways to blame or switch things up on me. I am entitled to have a few beers if I want to i work hard, that is what I hear all the time. Or it's only a few beers.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:36 AM
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But, it's not only a few beers. It's 10-14 beers in less than 2 hours. Alcoholism is progressive and never gets better without treatment, it only gets worse. If things continue the way they are now, what you have now is the best it will ever be.

Putting the wedding on hold is not walking away. Read around on this forum and see exactly what you have to look forward to. If you tie yourself legally to this man, it will be much more complicated and difficult to get out of what could become a very dangerous situation. He already verbally abuses you. Is it really worth it to marry a guy you already have such reservations about?
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:24 AM
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I second, third and fourth what the other posters said.

Marriage is hard enough without going into it knowing your future husband is an alcoholic.
If he really wants this marriage, let him get sober and stay sober for a year, that includes him getting into a strong recovery program.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease left untreated he will get worse.

Where is your support system in all this, friends and family, are they aware of his drinking?

Read others posts, be smart think with your head not your heart. Your heart is not designed to do the thinking.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:54 AM
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I had the same red flags you're experiencing.

I thought about calling off the wedding but I convinced myself that he would 'settle down' after we got married.

Boy, was I wrong.

I wish I had listened to my gut and not my heart.
You can always postpone the wedding to give yourself more time.
But marrying him when you have such huge red flags is dangerous. Trust me.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:56 AM
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Hi Lunakim, Welcome to SR!

I'm glad you found us, but very sorry for the reason!!

Two things really strike me about this statement of yours:

Originally Posted by Lunakim View Post
He has an addictive personality and is immature.
I have given him ultimatiums in the past and nothing has worked.
He does not get violent with me but he does get rude and name call or degrade me. Please help
I'm guessing that someday you want to have children. Forget about the alcohol for a moment. Do you want your children's father to be someone who is addictive and immature? Do you want your children to learn how to treat people the way he treats you? Until your fiance decides on his own to seek recovery and work it with everything he has, this sort of behavior will only get worse with time. I have seen that to be true over and over and over and over again here on these boards.

And...ultimatums rarely work, because unless we are willing to follow through with the consequence, the A in our lives will learn that we are only bluffing as a way to control them. They will just blow right through any "threat" we make.

I hope that you will truly seek out the local Al-Anon meeting schedule near you. So many of us here have found invaluable support in those face-to-face meetings.

Hugs and prayers for you and your fiance, HG
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:03 AM
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Lunakim, it this was a really good friend of yours asking for your advice what would you do?

The 3 c's are important here. I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it. There is nothing you can do to make him want to get better he will only do that when he is ready.

Go to some al-anon meetings, they will help.

BTW the fact that you are on a recovery forum asking for advice before the wedding is not a good omen for a long and happy marriage.

your friend,
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:32 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

I think you are a smart lady. Your inner voice is speaking and you are looking for affirmation to what you are feeling.

Yes, your life is important
Yes, your happiness matters
Yes, your life is valuable
Yes, you are special

I agree with the above posters, based on our experience, that postponment is a healthy choice. Give yourself the time you want/need to make a healthy decision that brings you peace.

Unsettled feelings, confusion, worries, and doubts are red flags that you may not be on the right path to happiness.

You mentioned attending a support group in the future. I agree that Alanon, Nar Anon or other 12 step support groups will be a good choice.
I have learned how to take better care of myself,
how to have healthier relationships with loved ones,
how to have healthier relationships with business associates, and
how to love and respect myself through Alanon, SR and self-improvement books.

However, one thing that 12 step, SR and books can't teach me (I tried) was how to fix my alcoholic loved one. I am powerless over another adults choices. I needed to let go, or be dragged.

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed. You are not alone!
We understand.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:55 AM
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Whatever you do, DO NOT accept a bunch of promises from him to change everything and then go through with the wedding.

Keeping their addictions and abusive behaviors a secret is a big deal to addicts and alcoholics. He would promise to conquer death itself if you threatened to out him and his problems to the world. An empty threat just to manipulate him would just lead to a bunch of quacking. Just don't marry him. Don't threaten or talk about it or simper about it. Just cancel and and tell him why without discussion or he very likely will talk you into it anyway. Trust me on this one.

Do not have anything to do with this man until you see REAL, MEASUREABLE, SUSTAINED CHANGE. A YEAR OR TWO or more depending on your situation.

FH is a binge drinker and has been a binge drinker for the length of our relationship. He has been to counseling sessions and quit drinking for a month, but ended up losing his strenghth and started up again.

So...can't stay sober, even with professional help. Makes promises and breaks them. To the best of your knowledge, has always been this way and hasn't changed.

His words are I'm a grown man I can do what I want.

Then....belittling your concerns along with a big dollop of entitlement.

If he's not drinking then he will jump to smoking pot.

Followed by escalation to stronger substances when denied his true love.

He has an addictive personality and is immature.

Is this someone you want to be with for the rest of your life? And if children enter the picture - is this who you want for their father? An immature, self-righteous man who belittles your concerns? And when he does this in front of your children...or even to your children? What then?

Right now you are probably thinking....but what about all the money I've spent on the church? The dress? The invitations? And all the planning? What would people think?

Personally, I would rather they thought, "Whew - that was a close call for her. Good thing she got out in time" rather than "Poor thing - I feel so sorry for her, being married to a guy like that". Consider any money you might lose as a fee in the School of Life. Make sure your money goes to good use.

Take what you like and leave the rest.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:59 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
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The most important thing I read from your post was "What are some consequences or ultimatums?" You can't pose 'consequences or ultimatums' to an adult . . . he is free to do whatever he wants. He may promise to do something, or not do something, but then turn around and do whatever he wants . . . he has that choice. You also have choices - how do you want to live your life???
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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i'm only going to add that it is very difficult & expensive to undo a marriage.

Really, think about what you have posted....why are you chancing getting tied to this man?...he is already bullying you. He does not value your opinions. he would rather binge drink or smoke pot. What kind of daily life are you going to have together????

can you depend on him? will he love and cherish you? or will you be afraid of him when he's drunk in the future?
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:31 AM
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You know what, i at least thought when it went wrong and i knew one day it would as i think you do really, i'd be able to walk away and move on. When i became pregnant he had stopped drinking, i thought atleast if he starts again( by that time i knew it was no longer possible to survive living with him whilst he drank) i can leave and bring up my children safely, i managed 15 years at the end of which he left and drank again, we were never married so atleast i had financial independance. My children still aren't safe from his abuse and i am not either, with children, to have no relationship atall with him is impossible, so now i have to deal with the abuse maybe until the children are grownup. Please think carefully! I thought i always had the option of walking away from all the abuse if i needed to, i am so tired of the abuse now but he isnt of handing it out.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:38 AM
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Not sure if I can add anything else to the ESH that you have received, but I wanted to add my story.

My father was an alcoholic. My mother knew that she made a "mistake" on their wedding night. He spent that night down at the bar drinking while she stayed up in their room crying.

They were married for 16 years and had three children. I'm the oldest.

He never did stop drinking and died last August at the age of 71. He lost a business, his marriage, and the respect of his children all because of alcohol. Nothing could ever MAKE him stop. He would of had to find it within himself to want a different life. For whatever reason, he chose to continue to drink.

When my mom became a single parent we were 15, 13, and 7. She had to work and we struggled with money because my father wouldn't pay child support. I had to pay for my own college tuition and wedding.

I spent most of my life feeling ashamed of my father and my life. Like most children of alcoholics, I blamed myself for my father's alcoholism. Thought if I was a better daughter I could have done something to stop him.

I'm 48 right now and have been in therapy for over 10 years trying to recover from the affects of living in a dysfunctional home. Both my sister and my brother also struggle with their lives - we have chose inappropriate relationships (personal and work), are huge people pleasers, are always worried about what others think, avoid conflict, like living with drama, ... it's a very long list!

My mother re-married and has isolated herself 1,000 miles away from us. I really don't feel like I have an extended family. I luckily didn't marry an alcoholic (however, many ACA's do). My holidays are usually spent with my husband and children. I'm working hard on my own recovery and hoping that I won't continue to pass down this disease to my children.

That's my ESH.

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Old 06-12-2011, 08:09 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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Please start reading around the forum and see where this will lead.

I do not normally tell folks what to do, I'm sure most of the members will agree, HOWEVER, in this instance I am going to break my own rule.

I am about to be 66 years old, I have 30 years continuous sobriety and 27 years working real hard on my co-dependencies issues and usually doing a pretty darn good job of it. When I read your post I literally started to shake.


The heck with what people think. Please, walk away. Even if he started recovery today and stuck with it, it would be several years before you saw the person he really is.

There is a saying in AA, has been around a lot longer than I have been sober:


You know that is truer today than it was 30 years ago. I see it over and over and over.

My family (husband, parents, sister and brother in law) closed the door on me when I was 33 1/2 years old and said:

"NO MORE, ENOUGH. This is YOUR PROBLEM and you have to fix it. If you call, we will hang up, if you come to the door, it will be shut in your face, and if you attempt to steal from us, we will call the police."

and they meant it and stuck to it. It took me another 2 1/2 years to find recovery, the last 1 and 1/2 years living on the streets of Hollywood. Even after I found recovery it took me another 2 years at least to be able to interact with others in a civilized manner.

Your finance is not near ready to give up his "friend, lover, mistress, and Master."

Is this what you want to get into? Read the threads of others here and ask yourself is this really what you want for you and your future children? You do not even know who this man 'really' is. All you see is the facade of his false reality produced by alcohol and/or drugs.

I will say it again, and I usually do not tell folks what to do, however, I am really concerned for you.


I apologize for being so blunt as over the years I have learned some tact, but your situation is really upsetting to me and I am sure to others.

I would like to save you the He!! and Heartache that many of us have endured and gone through.


Praying for you.

Love and hugs,
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:11 AM
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I think the advice in this thread is absolutely golden. (And, when I say "advice" I really mean the collective experience, strength, and hope expressed.) Nobody is saying you must "walk away" from him. That's something you will have to decide for yourself in due time. BUT, as has been pointed out, once you are legally tied to someone it isn't simple to undo it. Divorce is a much bigger step than not getting married. It's harder to do, more expensive to do. And by then, all kinds of damage may have been done.

I am going to give you a hopeful story. I was very close to (and hoping to marry) my b/f I met in college. He was an alcoholic. After we left school, it got worse because he started drinking even more. It soon became obvious that even when there were important reasons not to drink, he could not stop. After many arguments/discussions, a friend at work gave me AA's Big Book. I read it, and learned a LOT about the nature of the disease. I gave the book to him, and he read it too, recognized some of himself in it, but was sure he could manage it himself. When that didn't work, he agreed to go to one AA meeting. He thought it was OK, the people were nice, but still thought he could manage on his own. When that didn't work, I was at the end of my rope and told him I needed a long break from the relationship--that he had to figure out what he wanted, but that I didn't think I could continue to deal with the drinking.

During our brief separation, he went to AA on his own, put down the booze, and never picked it up again. He celebrated 31 years of sobriety in January. We later divorced for other reasons, but he was a great husband, a great Dad to our kids, and we are still good friends.

So. It IS possible for people to recover, but they have to be ready to do that. His is kind of an unusual story (as they say in the weight-loss ads, "results not typical"). We got married after he had been sober for a year and had a solid grounding in AA and a good support system that didn't depend on me.

I don't know what would have happened if we had gotten married while he was still drinking. My guess is I would have become more and more enmeshed and despairing and that he might have taken a lot longer to conclude that he needed and wanted to stop.

I would encourage you to postpone the wedding indefinitely. It's a hard thing to do, but extricating yourself from an alcoholic marriage is a lot tougher.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:31 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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I remember hearing those voices inside before I got married. My experience was like yours--and your description of your fiancee matches my AH to a tee. My warning alarm was flashing all over the place, but like you, I figured, it's not THAT bad. I love the guy. He's great when he's not drinking. I can deal with it. You will see this same line of reasoning consistently with people who are in the same boat as this. Lots of them are here on this forum--others have had more history and have learned that the drinking part quickly overtakes the great part of his personality, and that it's very difficult to deal with, and that even though you love the guy, you have to work very hard to not hate him after a while, and it's just as hard to learn to detach with love.

Now, I'm not about to say I regret my decision per se, because that would be like regretting the whole past 34 years and my four wonderful children.

But, if my desire and intention at that time was not to marry an alcoholic (which it was, clearly, based on my mother's own experience), I did the wrong thing. My "wonderful when sober" AH has put alcohol above everything in our marriage, except for 5 short years out of 34 that he was sober. He's put it above truth and integrity, his relationship with me, our financial stability, and his business.

I went with him to Florida last week to his dear departed mother's best friend's 65th wedding anniversary. This wonderful woman, age 87, came to talk to us at our table and do you know what she said to him? Not, nice to see you. Not, you look great. She said, "J.., your mother talked to me before she died [last summer]. She told me how worried she is that you drink too much. She said 'he has to stop or he's going to die early like his father. I'm worried about him and his beautiful wife.'"

He had already had a few drinks, and he said, "Geez, I didn't know I was coming here for an intervention." Then he said, "Can I sing a wee song now?" She said, "No, you are not singing a song. Listen to what I'm saying. Love yourself. Stop drinking. Take care of your wife."

To which he said, "But I love to drink."

Play that scenario in your head and ask yourself if you want to be there in my place in 34 years.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:56 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2011
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Hi Lunakim, I found myself in a similar situation last September a few weeks before my wedding. There were red flags all over the place, but I loved him, we already lived together, so much was already paid for, and I just didn't have the guts to call it off even though my inner voice was screaming "stop!"

Things only went downhill after the wedding and I had moved out by our 6 month anniversary. Now I'm getting a divorce. He continues to deteriorate.

Listen to your gut, is all I can say. I wish I did. Things will only go in one direction (worse) until he decides he wants to make a change. And you'll come to realize that there's nothing you can do or say to make him hit that point. It's "let go or be dragged."

If you go thru with the wedding, please hedge your bets for a while. Make sure you are the one managing the money. Don't combine finances any more than you already have. Make sure you have some savings tucked aside that he can't get to. Don't buy real estate if you haven't already. Don't get pregnant.

Please talk to someone you trust in real life about what's going on. You'll feel much more empowered to do the right thing for yourself once the secrecy is gone.
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