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Is he or isn't he?

Old 04-29-2004, 04:44 PM
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Is he or isn't he?

Hi All! I'm new here. I landed here after searching for some definitive answers to whether or not my b/f of one year is an alcoholic or not. Is there a such thing as a functioning alcoholic? He has a great job, been there for 9 years. Worked his way up to Supervisor due to his strong work ethic. He has not missed a day of work since I've known him and he goes in on Saturdays to get a jump on the next week. However, the first thing he does when he leaves work is to stop at the liquor store and get a 12 pack of beer. When I first started dating him, it was the 12 pack as well as a pint of Jagermeister. He has since cut out the Jag. He doesn't always finish the 12 pack in the same night. I don't really know exactly how much he does drink because he only stays with me a few nights a week. He has on occasion admitted to me that he didn't recall a conversation we had the previous evening b/c he was "hammered". We briefly discussed my problem with being with someone who drinks more than I am comfortable with due to my ex/h being an alcholic. I am not sure if I am being paranoid b/c of my past relationship or if my b/f really has a problem. If the problem really is there, how do I deal with it? I have really made a soul connection with this man and he takes care of me and my children (along with his 2 boys) better than I can tell you. I can't imagine my life without him; which is maybe why I worry that he's doing damage to his health; but I need to know just how to deal with this. Can someone offer any advice? Thanks for letting me ramble...

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Old 04-29-2004, 04:55 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Hi Belle,
Welcome.Yes there are functioning alcoholics. Regardless of whether your boyfriend qualifies for that title, if his drinking bothers you, you have found the right place. There is a lot of experience, strength and hope here dealing with the effects of alcohol on families and friends. I don't have any advice, per say. We really don't give advice. We share how we are dealing with things, what is working. We get cyber hugs and support from people who really understand. There are some really good posts in the power posts at the top of the forum. Feel free to browse through the posts old and new. You will probably relate to a lot of them. There are solutions for dealing with the problem of someone elses drinking, but there are no pat answers. The first thing that helped me was this; We didn't cause it, We can't cure it, and We can't control it. Alanon helps us focus on us and what we can do to gain serenity in sometimes very stormy waters. I am glad you found us. I hope you stick around to share, vent, and learn. Hugs, Magic
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:02 PM
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Hey Belle,
Welcome, I'm glad you joined us.
If his drinking is a problem for you, then it's a problem. It doesn't matter how much he drinks, or what he drinks, or how "functional" he may seem.
If he's forgetting what you talked about the night before, that is another big red flag.
How do you deal with this? Well, you seem to be doing just fine. You came here and reached out to people who understand what you're going through.
Have you thought about going to Alanon meetings? That is a great way to meet people who can offer experience, strength and hope.
It's hard to have a soul connection with someone when you feel like they might be lost and in trouble. It makes that soul connection feel a little bit blurry and not as focused as it once was.
Stick around, there are lots of good people here who understand where you are with this.
Peace,
Gabe
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:04 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Thanks, Magic! I've been reading some of the other posts. Some have helped and some have actually scared me. I've read about some partners having to deal with multiple D.U.I.'s, mental and physical abuse, and money problems. I fortunately haven't had to deal with any of that and I hope that I never will. I haven't actually even talked to my b/f about my concerns lately b/c I'm a little nervous about it. I don't want to create problems where there aren't any. Like I posted earlier, I don't want to overreact due to past evils creeping up on me. Thanks for being here. I will keep reading the other posts. Thanks again!
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:12 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Originally Posted by Gabe
It's hard to have a soul connection with someone when you feel like they might be lost and in trouble. It makes that soul connection feel a little bit blurry and not as focused as it once was.
Gabe
Thanks, Gabe. I hate to admit that I agree with you on that point. It is very obvious to me at times. I start to feel "disconnected" from him and that troubles me. Just not real sure how to approach it with him. I have given some thought to attending a meeting; I've even checked times and places in my area. Only problem is that the meetings are on nights when we spend time together. Not sure how I would handle going to a meeting. I don't want to be dishonest with him and sneak to a meeting, but I'm also not sure if I want to blurt out that I think he has a drinking problem and I need to deal with how I feel about it. Any ideas?
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:14 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

On the functionality question -
my husband, who's now recovering, has always been very successful in most areas of his life, even when he was drinking at his heaviest. He wears a suit every day, is a vice president in his organization, is an adjunct professor at a university, does triathlons, and coaches little league baseball. He never drank before dinner, and I almost never saw him drunk that I could tell. He also had a very high tolerance for alcohol, so he could drink for hours and not seem affected, which is a red flag.

I'm not sure there is ever a definitive answer about whether someone is an alcoholic. It's a progressive disease -- it's not like one day you cross the line. If alcohol is affecting your life and your relationship, then there's something here for you.

I hope you find what you're looking for.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:38 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

[QUOTE=kodfishy]...coaches little league baseball. He never drank before dinner, and I almost never saw him drunk that I could tell. He also had a very high tolerance for alcohol, so he could drink for hours and not seem affected, which is a red flag.[QUOTE]

Oh boy, does that sound familiar?!? Most of the time I can't even tell that he's been drinking. Sometimes the only way that I know is if he goes to bed before me and I walk in the room, all I can smell is beer (he snores, so his mouth is always open when he sleeps). I didn't even realize that he drank when we started dating b/c he always seemed sober to me. I'm glad that you let me know about your situation. I have another question for you, if you don't mind. Did your AH progress to the point where it started to affect his work, etc? I mean, did things get worse for you? It would help me to know what I may be in store for. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2004, 06:32 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Hey Belle,
My H is a well-respected firefighter and has never let it interfere with his work. But the progression is very real none-the-less and I could see it someday winding its way there,too. But how it became unmanageable for me was the verbal attacking and the blaming his problems, and therefore his drinking, on everyone but himself. Blackouts began and skipping out on responsibilities that he could, whenever he could, began. His kids know not to ask dad about future anything, because we never know "where he'll be". We do most things without him, or he's a last minute addition to our outings because he's sober and willing. The straw was driving with my 11 year old and a friend while drunk (firefighter!!!!) and took them to soccer practice, coached them, and brought them home. I think what you'll learn most in here is that we all have our differing tolerances for our alcoholics and what we can and cannot live with. We don't judge or advise anyone what to do in their situation until/unless it's a danger for them or their families. It sounds like you may be recognizing a pattern already, though in that this may be the second alcoholic you've had a relationship with. Read through posts and find that to be an all too-common reality. There's often something in US that brings the "arrows" to the "targets" and we feed off eachothers' sicknesses. I pray for your own health and wisdom to do what's best for you and that you can feel peace with whatever you decide! Hang in there!
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:28 AM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

I want to thank you all so much for responding with such wisdom and messages of hope for me. I'm sure that I will become a regular visitor here, you've all made me feel welcome. Thanks again! :tongue3:
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:11 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

My AH was in absolutely no danger at work. In his organization, when the bigwigs meet, the "in crowd" goes out to bars after the meetings and makes the real decisions. He did lots of bonding over scotch and made lots of inroads by being a heavy drinker. One thing he was most scared about when he stopped drinking was that he would suffer for it at work.

On the other hand, he went in late a lot because he was always a little, ahem, squeaky, in the mornings. But his office is away from everyone else's, and nobody ever noticed.

While he could maintain great appearances in most areas of his life, his personal relationships were going to sh*t. He stopped talking to almost everyone who loves him. But he just kind of shrank away - he disappeared.

Alcoholism comes in many shapes and forms.

He stopped drinking after he spent a night in jail when he crashed our car and got a DUI.
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:08 AM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Hi Belle,
I guess all we can do is offer our own stories as we live them, Only you can attest to what you live. There are many types of Aclholics. My AH is like 140 pounds 6'1 he "WAS" a functional alcholic. He never missed a day of work untill just about 6 month ago. I never knew just how much he was drinking because he hid it from me he knew I did not approve. Things got to the point of him sleeping all day not working, He thought he was working he would think about all he had to do and then go to sleep and thought he was making all this money, so of course I was spending it all. He started getting mean and hateful and saying things that he would never say. He could drink 24 beers in one day and still be funsctional. He got very depressed and ended up in the ER He was walking, talking, working, passed 5 sobrity test and his blood level was .31 three times the legal limit. AND remembered everything he said and did, so that was his excuse " If I was drunk I wouldn't remember it" well He has such a HIGH tolerance for alcohol and does not understand the problem with that. IT is truley a progressive disease.
You are not married, take things slow and really think about it, attend Alonon meetings, there are alot of reding materials out there. do as much research as you can. Goos Luck Belle and welcome.
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Old 05-01-2004, 03:10 PM
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Re: Is he or isn't he?

Hello Belle,

Welcome to sr. I would like to ask if you know anything about his past relationships? A quote: "the best way to judge future behavior is by past behavior". Is he on good terms with his ex? Does he have any past girl friends he is still friends with? Why does he drink again? Most people drink and take drugs to avoid intimacy and reality. Take care and keep posting.
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