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BF of 3 years with a drinking problem

Old 07-01-2013, 07:42 PM
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BF of 3 years with a drinking problem

My boyfriend and I have just celebrated our 3 year anniversary, which is great but I am still on the fence about moving forward in our relationship because he isn't consistant at controlling his alcohol consumption and I feel that he still craves the buzz. He can control his drinking when he wants to, but decides not to when its a special occasion or when it has been a while since he last drank heavy. His heavy drinking nights consist a combination of over 10 shots and or mixed drinks (8 oz) -with each drink about 30min between each other, followed by him blacking out. When with his friends, drinks can sometimes go on till 4 or 5 AM.

Up until about 4 years ago he used to drink every night after work (I wasn't with him then, but he told me about it). Now he only drinks on the weekends or occasionally drinks on the weekdays if we go out for dinner. I don't drink very much, so when it is just the 2 of us he usually doesn't drink to where he blacks out. But his heavy drinking plus blackout maybe happens once a month, usually when we hang out with his friends.

When he has drank way too much he is falling all over the place making a mess, making a scene, sleeping on the curb, and looking like a fool. I hate it!
I get so frustrated with him when he gets out of control that it makes him upset because he thinks I'm being strict, so in turn he becomes childish and unstoppable. A few times he has come up to my face and asked "me who the F are you to tell me what to do?" It was almost as if he didn't even recognize who I am. He looks right through me. Its as if his body is alive and moving but his mind has already shut down from so much alcohol. I hate to see him like this and the way he looks right through me.

I have expressed to him how much this bothers me and it isn't until the last 6 months that he is truly trying to change. He still drinks and sometimes its ok but the blackout drinking still happens once in a while. I still get anxiety before he drinks, especially when we go out with his friends -as I don't want to see that drunk side of him.

The funny thing is, our relationship is so great outside of his drinking. We never fight. The only arguments we have had are about his drinking, especially when he has gotten agressive with me. I could possibly see myself with him if he didn't have a strong tast for alcohol.

We just celebrated our 3 year anniversary and went away to a resort for the weekend. He drank both Saturday and Sunday all day long. The only time he didn't drink was while he was sleeping. He would start drinking right when we woke up. I could event be intimate with him because he smelt like alcohol and I was so turned off at the fact that he had to keep a consistant buzz. He never got to the point of blackout, but the fact that he had to drink every waking moment bothered me. I think he feels that he can drink whenever he wants just as long as he doesn't blackout or act foolish. So in his mind he probably thought he did well this weekend. In my mind I didn't think he did well because he needed to drink everyday.

It pains me to think of leaving him so I am still with him waiting patiently for him to get better. But after reading everyone's stories it seems that this might be an ongoing battle. I love every ounce of him when he is sober, but I can't see myself dealing with his drinking for the rest of my life.

He is trying to control his drinking because he wants to remember things and not suffer such a bad hangover. But he always manages to have a heavy drinking night here and there. I give him credit for trying, but I'm not sure that it is enough.

I don't feel that I can leave him as he hasn't directly hurt me, but it is indirectly hurting and pushing me away. I know no one is perfect, but this I can not live with or risk to have around my future family. I don't know how to walk away...I love him so much and wish he didn't have this addiction.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:18 PM
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Hi,

Thanks for posting. First off he's an alcoholic. Second:

We never fight. The only arguments we have had are about his drinking, especially when he has gotten aggressive with me
Getting aggressive with your is worse than a fight, it' worse than a bad fight, it's emotional and physical (if he's touched you) abuse. Emotional or physical, it is NOT acceptable.


I don't feel that I can leave him as he hasn't directly hurt me, but it is indirectly hurting and pushing me away.
Indirectly hurting you I would assume is hurting you by accident. Sounds like it happens way too much to be an accident, you are being hurt directly. You can control one thing, you. Right now you are doing the smart thing, learning about what to do, motivated by the fact that you are hurting.

I would start with asking yourself, and admitting to yourself, how bad is it really? How do I feel about it? How does it affect me?

Please continue to read up on these forums and ask any questions you have. Lots of great insight and support here.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenMe View Post
I would start with asking yourself, and admitting to yourself, how bad is it really? How do I feel about it? How does it affect me?
ZenMe thank you for your reply.

How bad is it...
I think it is bad since he usually feels the need to drink on the weekends and the fact that it is hard for him to have just 1 or 2 drinks. He is not an abusive drinker, but he is a careless drinker.

How do I feel about it...
I worry and get anxious whenever he starts drinking. I worry that he will have to much, I worry that I might say the wrong thing to upset him and start a fight that he wont remember (which hurts), I worry that I will see the evil side of him, I worry that he will suffer a bad hangover and have to see him weak, and I worry that I will have to leave him for it.

How does it affect me...
I get put off whenever he mentions that he wants alcohol, I become nervous and I feel disappointed. It puts me in a bad mood and I think others around me at the time can sense my uneasiness and probably don't want me around to rain on their parade.

I know that this side of him is unhealthy for me, but the other side of him is so great. He is the sweetest and most patient and gentle person in my life. He seems so normal when he isn't drinking. I don't know how to proceed? I want to help him so that we can be happy together. Can we ever be truly happy worry free?

Another thing I'm afraid of is that he will never see the severity of his drinking since everyone in his life doesn't see it as a problem. I think that they just see it as him having fun, and whats wrong with him having a little fun.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:30 PM
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He is an abusive drinker, he abuses alcohol and he then abuses you in the process. A careless drinker had one too many one night, had a bad hangover, said "not doing that again" and didn't do it again.

No one deserves to be worrying, do you see how his life is consuming you? See how you are living in fear that saying the wrong thing could trigger his anger?

I know that this side of him is unhealthy for me, but the other side of him is so great. He is the sweetest and most patient and gentle person in my life. He seems so normal when he isn't drinking. I don't know how to proceed? I want to help him so that we can be happy together. Can we ever be truly happy worry free?
That's what alcoholics do, they are sweet charming, hypnotizing, some posts compare them to a vampire and their alluring charms and how they take hostages. My view is that they take willing hostages. You are willing to put up with the BS.

Doesn't sound like you are very happy now are you? The thing is you can't help an alcoholic, they have to do stop drinking by/for themselves. You will never be worry free dating an active alcoholic.

He won't see the severity of his drinking if he has a loving GF who is always there, makes excuses for him and tiptoes around him. I know this is hard to hear but you are enabling him. You aren't helping right now because you have gotten wrapped up in his drinking problem.

Who cares what others think, you know the truth. It's not just fun and games, he has a serious problem.

Many in the forums mention the 3 Cs. You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. All you can do is work on yourself. I would recommend going to a local al-anon meeting.

You only get one life, do your research and do what's best for you. You are also important, don't forget that.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:51 PM
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Hi & welcome to the site. I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time and believe me I know the feelings you are going through. This disease is progressive and if left untreated it only gets worse. While I know everyone's story is different, yours sounds a lot like mine did 3 yrs in with my now EXABF. I have a post entitled "Last night." If you take a look at that post and all of the comments that follow you will see where I found myself at 7 years and how the relationship ended. I wish you the best but your instincts are telling you to listen so pay close attention and yes, IMO, getting to an Al Anon meeting would be really helpful. They say go to at least 6 before you decide if it's for you or not. I'm glad I did...and glad I keep going. This is painful no matter how you slice it...but there are people there to help you along the way so you are not so alone. Again, my story may be an extreme version of things but it progressed to that stage over time, along with my ex's alcohol use and my codependency.

I wish you well
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:32 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Pull out your keyboard and make yourself at home. This is a wonderful resource of information and support.

When I first arrived, I learned about the 3 C's of my loved ones alcoholism:

I did not Cause it
I can not Control it
I will not Cure it

I was slow in accepting that concept. However, accepting that I was powerless of his alcoholism was the beginning of a healthier, happier ME.

Please stick around and spend time reading in the permanent threads at the top of this main page. We call those the Sticky Posts, and they are marked with a padlock symbol in the left column.

Here is one of my favorite Sticky Posts. Following these steps helped me:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:23 AM
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I know that this side of him is unhealthy for me, but the other side of him is so great. He is the sweetest and most patient and gentle person in my life. He seems so normal when he isn't drinking. I don't know how to proceed? I want to help him so that we can be happy together. Can we ever be truly happy worry free?
In my experience, it was important to remember a few things. There is no "this side of him" and "that side of him," it's all him. Jekyll and Hyde were, after all, the same guy. It's a complete package. Is this the guy you want to be with, warts and all, exactly as he is, drunk and moody and all?

Secondly, once alcoholism is on the table, it's always on the table. It's part of the package now. You don't get "a little alcoholic" one day and get over it later. It's a compulsive, behavioral, neurological disease that requires vigilance and a lifetime commitment to manage. A lot of addicts struggle over the course of their lifetimes to stay "on the beam." As his partner, this will become part of the fabric of your life also, assuming he even tries to get sober at all. He might not!

Pull out your keyboard and make yourself at home. This is a wonderful resource of information and support.

When I first arrived, I learned about the 3 C's of my loved ones alcoholism:

I did not Cause it
I can not Control it
I will not Cure it

I was slow in accepting that concept. However, accepting that I was powerless of his alcoholism was the beginning of a healthier, happier ME.
I second this. SR has been a lifeline for me -- it's a wealth of experience and information. When I was new at this, I read everything I could about addiction, recovery, and how families are affected (okay, I still do). Reading people's personal experiences over and over helped me fill in the gaps.

Welcome.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:01 PM
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First off THANK YOU all for your support and advice! I truly feel that I have a better understanding of my feelings and the actions that I must take in moving on to a happier life.

Florence -your comment
In my experience, it was important to remember a few things. There is no "this side of him" and "that side of him," it's all him. Jekyll and Hyde were, after all, the same guy. It's a complete package.
has really hit me hard and I now realize that the good and bad of him is the same person, and that I can't fully love him because I can't love all of him good and bad.

Everyone of your comments have really gave me confidence and insight on what I need to do. I need to leave not only to help myself, but hopefully by me leaving he will realize that he is an alcoholic and that he wants to help himself. I can no longer be his enabler, and I can no longer be my own hostage in a situation that I can't help.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:52 AM
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Weightoflife,

My ExABF had me convinced he wasn't an alcoholic at first simply because he didn't get "fall down drunk," wasn't belligerent, and as he said, could control it. But that's all CRAP. He abused alcohol a different way, by needing it throughout the day most even though not all days, by needing a cocktail late afternoon, by using it as a crutch, by hiding behind alcohol.
His actual behaviors in the time I knew him were not all that horrible on the scale, but I see now how much damage he did to his life and his health over time, and how powerless he seems under alxohol'a grip.

I say this just to challenge you a bit on the idea that it isn't that bad. I promise you, it is. I think people who seem to be getting by but show the patterns you describe are just as injurious to themselves and the people they love.

Please read here and do whatever you can to care for yourself and be honest with yourself. It is HARD to do, but it is life-saving. You can't save his, only he can do that. But you can care for your own. You have good instincts coming here. Keep coming back, these are good people with incredible generosity and wisdom.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:02 AM
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Weightoflife -- I hadn't seem your last post when I wrote. You sound very wise and strong and very much in line with self-care. Hoorah!
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:36 PM
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Whe he has drank way too much he is falling all over the place making a mess, making a scene, sleeping on the curb, and looking like a fool. I hate it!
Have you asked yourself if this is what you want? Doesn't sound like a very happy relationship. There's nothing you can do or say that will affect his drinking. It helps to understand that alcoholism is a progressive disease and his drinking will increase over time. "Powerless over alcohol": What it means is once an alcoholic picks up a drink they have no control over how much they drink and what happens. I'm a recovering alcoholic (21 years) and didn't start off as a falling down drunk either. By the time I got sober I was drinking two bottles of wine per day. A long-term friend said it was like I got in the elevator and pushed the down button.

I don't know you but I'm certain you can do much, much better.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:46 PM
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This has been a great post for me to read. I have been sober for 7 months and am beginning to realize that my relationship of almost 4 years may not make it due to the fact that my bf is an alcoholic. He doesn't drink like I did but an alcoholic nonetheless. When I was growing up my mother had a black-belt in Al-Anon as my dad was an alcoholic. Generally I've been focused on the "newcomer thread" for my recovery from alcohol but glad I found this area!
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:19 PM
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Hi Soberclover,

Thank you for coming to this thread. May I ask what made you decide to give up alcohol?
Is your BF ready or even thinking about trying to be sober?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:31 PM
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Just an update:

My boyfriend initiated our conversation about out relationship yesterday as he sensed my frustration about his drinking over our anniversary trip. The conversation ended in us breaking up which was very hard for me as I still love him. I decided to leave because he told me straight up that he feels that he doesn't have a drinking problem and that he doesn't know if he ever wants to change. This destroyed me and was also a wake up call for me to leave.

I know that me leaving was the right thing, but I still miss and love him so much. All day the thought of "maybe his drinking isn't that bad" keeps creeping in my mind, and I fight it off every time but it is difficult to do.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:15 AM
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weightoflife, I became sober after many levels of loss in my life; primarily physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. My BF is not even close to thinking about the fact that his drinking is a problem. I guess he hasn't experienced enough loss in his own life.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:50 AM
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wol,

I hope you are able to stick with your decision. I think it was the right thing to do. I say "I hope you are able" because you are already minimizing how "bad" his drinking is.

As someone who has been in two marriages to alcoholics (one got sober before we got married and the other went back to drinking after almost dying of it), and is a sober alcoholic herself, you are NOT overreacting. Your ex-b/f's drinking is classic alcoholic drinking, and it will get worse and worse--maybe quickly or maybe slowly--over time. He is nowhere near ready to quit, as he told you. I have to give him a tiny bit of credit for not making empty promises to quit--that only prolongs the pain for you as you stand by him, giving him chance after chance that will be doomed to failure because he is only making token efforts to get you off his back.

I have known HUNDREDS of alcoholics--many who recovered and many who never did, and I don't know one person who quit (for good) before he or she was ready to. For some people that takes literally decades of drinking, and, of course, lots of them never get there. And, as soberclover notes, most of the ones who do recover have to suffer losses in their lives before it happens.

I know it's hard to simply forget the "good times" you shared with him. Someday, you will be able to look back and remember those with perhaps a twinge of regret and sadness, but happy you did not sign on for years of misery as he spirals down. For now, keep reading here. It will reinforce your decision to leave for your own well-being. Lots of folks here on this list wish they had done exactly what you have done.
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