Dating a alcoholic

Old 07-08-2013, 03:15 PM
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Dating a alcoholic

I'm sure this has been asked a million times. I was looking for a place to live and a friend introduced me to one of her friends who had the upstairs of her house to rent. I met her and we hit it off right away, but I wasn't looking for a girlfriend.

Well the more we lived together, the closer we have become. First she has cancer (bone cancer in hips to be exact) 2nd she is an admitted alcoholic. 3rd her husband left her when she was diagnosed with cancer.

I really like her, she is a fantasic person even when she's drinking, and she had a DUI 3 years ago, got into a program got clean for 2 years, but when she was diagnosed with cancer she turned to the bottle to deal with it. She is a high functioning alcoholic, she says she doesn't drink outside the house anymore since she had the DUI, and I believe her. She is not a mean drunk, but she drinks till vodka (usually about half a bottle a day) until she passes out at night, gets up in the morning goes to work, comes home and drinks shots from the bottle all night.

She really is a great person, maybe I am being an enabler, by justifying it by that she is a great person. She has also calls me to bring home vodka from time to time, and I do.

I have been told by several people to run and don't look back, but I don't want to be the ******* that abandons her.

So is it ever ok to date a alcoholic?
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:19 PM
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Why not be her friend? Sounds like that what she needs right now. And if she is interested in something more, you can be honest about your reservations re her drinking.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by datingadrinker View Post
I have been told by several people to run and don't look back, but I don't want to be the ******* that abandons her. So is it ever ok to date a alcoholic?
Hmmmm...well, given that alcoholism is a progressive disease and will only get worse as time goes on, I guess it depends on what you want out of the relationship.

Maybe take some time and read some of the posts in this section of the forum and see if you answer that question for yourself?

Also, I guess, ask yourself why you are concerned about abandoning someone who apparently is unwilling to take care of herself. Do you see yourself as the white knight riding in to save the day and the maiden? Again, do some reading here and see how that has worked out for others. I suspect you'll begin to formulate your own answers to your questions.

Welcome to SR, and I hope you find the help you need.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:26 PM
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If you can handle the drinking and it doesn't make you sick yourself, you can date an alcoholic. If you start to wish she would quit drinking or try to control her drinking in any way, you are setting yourself up for a big problem.
Ask yourself how comfortable you are watching someone slowly kill herself.( I'm not being sarcastic.)

I've got a friend who got sober himself but is still married to an active alcoholic. They have an oddly harmonious life. He is really dedicated to his own sobriety and completely detached from her drinking. I feel like this is very rare though.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JustanotherWOA View Post
Why not be her friend? Sounds like that what she needs right now. And if she is interested in something more, you can be honest about your reservations re her drinking.
Well We are already more than friends, and yes I have reservations about her drinking, we have discussed it and she has made it clear she has no intention of stopping, basically it's a case of love me all of me. She even makes it a point to tell me how much she loves vodka, and that if she didn't have to work she would be drink all day, and more than she does now.

I have my demons too, I am dealing with mental illness, and was institionalized for 6 months after trying to commit suicide for the 3rd time. One thing I learned was how to not judge or try to change what can't be changed. So I do love her, and by default then I guess I have to love her addiction too. But it is hard watching someone someone self destruct.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:50 PM
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If it's difficult to watch now, give it a few more years and imagine what it will be like. It will only get worse as alcoholism is a progressive disease. Good luck with that. Unfortunately I don't see a really bright future unless she finds sobriety.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:32 PM
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If I knew what I knew about alcoholism years ago, i probably would have run a mile back then.

My bigger concern relates to the fact that she is both unwilling and unable to look after herself. Drinking to deal with a cancer diagnosis is the ultimate in lack of self care. The drinking won't make the cancer go away, and the cancer hasn't stopped her from drinking.

Building on this - relationships are built on mutual trust and support. What happens if you need support down the track? If she can't look after herself, she can't look after you.

I've been thinking about things lately and realised that if I were sick in hospital and unable to fend for myself, who would I want overseeing my affairs and making decisions on my behalf? It certainly wouldn't be an active alcoholic. I'd want my sober, sensible best friend or someone I could rely on.

I see red flags ahead. Just my opinion though.

Wishing you much luck and strength.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by datingadrinker View Post
So is it ever ok to date a alcoholic?
What do you mean, is it ok? Nobody is going to come and arrest you or anything--at least, not for that.

You are letting yourself in for some serious heartache, though. I don't know of anyone who has been involved with an active alcoholic for any length of time who hasn't come to regret it.

It's your life, though. You don't need our permission to date her.

If things are so good, though, why are you posting here?
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:22 PM
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datingadrinker,

Not only have I dated an alcoholic but I have lived with someone who has serious health issues and was unwilling to take care of herself. You are falling for this girl because you have fun, enjoy each other's company etc. That is going to fade, fast. You are going to get real hurt here because you will begin to care for her more than she cares about herself.

If you could just be her friend who isn't "all in" then I say go for it, but I doubt you can be just her friend. She has been really clear with you that she has a death wish. You are basically parachuting onto a sinking ship.

Alternatively you could move out, gain a bit of distance and perspective.

In each of my 2 past relationships I suffered and didn't lead as healthy a life as I could have. Sounds like you need to recover from your own issues. This isn't a healthy environment for you.

And man, it's like you are going to take both of my Xs on at the same time... holy hell. Either problem alone, not caring about her health, her alcoholism (not to mention depression etc), is enough to be a deal breaker. I get how fun it is to live with someone but seriously think this one through.

You have to put yourself first here or you will both sink. You have to save yourself.

Don't buy stuff together, don't get a dog together, etc. Otherwise you will find it harder to leave if that's what you chose to do. GLUCK.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Also, I guess, ask yourself why you are concerned about abandoning someone who apparently is unwilling to take care of herself. Do you see yourself as the white knight riding in to save the day and the maiden?.
THIS!!!! As an alcoholic nothing is better than when someone feels bad about abandoning us and if you want to look after us, all the better! Now that you are hooked, I can manipulate you with guilt and make sure that the booze will always come first and if I can't get it for me, then I'll manipulate you into getting it for me. All I cared about was the liquor when I drank. Nothing else mattered.

My honest opinion is to get out it now before you invest too much time. Even thought I am in recovery there is no guarantee that I will never drink again. I've also always said that being with me is not for the faint of heart as I will ALWAYS be an alcholic. Can't cure it, I will always be one drink away from the dark side. I pray I never will pick up a drink again, but the choice will always be there and it is something I will have to work on for the rest of my life.

That is just the reality of being with an alcoholic.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:07 PM
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Well i had a long conversation with a friend who is 22 years sober this afternoon, after that i know i have to do something.

I called my gf earlier and had "the talk". I a truck driver i get home every thursday, i gave her an ultimatum, either she goes back to rehab when i get home or i'm out. She used every line in the book my friend said, going through a rough time, she can get a handle on it, she needs more time. I told her one of two things were going to happen either i take her to rehab, or she decides vodka is more impartant and i'm done.

I am a man of my word, and won't back down. But i feel like the biggest heel in the world right now, but i know i am doing the right thing for me, she has to hit bottom, and see there are real consequences. I pray she makes the right decision, but i won't be an enabler
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by datingadrinker View Post
But i feel like the biggest heel in the world right now, but i know i am doing the right thing for me, she has to hit bottom, and see there are real consequences. I pray she makes the right decision, but i won't be an enabler
You are not a heel. You deserve someone who will respect you. When we are engaged in our addiction the only thing we respect is our poison. That is it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:27 AM
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just a question---what evidence do you have of the diagnosis of bone cancer?

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
just a question---what evidence do you have of the diagnosis of bone cancer?

dandylion

I was wondering the same thing, not to sound rude of course. But us alcoholics like to make up things like this to justify our drinking.

Like someone above said, she may need a friend, but I wouldn't involve your emotions if she is still actively drinking the way you describe. It will only get worse no matter what she tells you. We tell people what they want to hear and we don't care who we hurt as long as we get our fix. It is a shame that it has to happen but it is the only way that we learn, by making the same mistakes over and over.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:25 AM
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IMO you don't have the right to tell her to stop drinking. She is an adult and as such has the right to run her own life. If her drinking bothers you then leave, that's fine, just don't use it as a club to try and get her to change.

If she is not ready to quit and it doesn't sound like she is then it won't make any difference what you do. She will quit when she is ready and not one second sooner.

Your friend,
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by datingadrinker View Post
One thing I learned was how to not judge or try to change what can't be changed.
Wait...when we are dating it is our responsibility to ourselves to JUDGE others as we determine if they are relationship material for us!

When did we (people in general, more commonly found here at SR) decide "judging" others is bad, therefore we let others manipulate us and abuse us for fear of judging them as toxic people?

And her addiction can be changed. By her. Not by you. You can change your decision to date a person with an addiction, even if you fear you are judging her and finding her coming up short. Because she is, ya know. And she knows it too, deep down inside. She knows.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Wait...when we are dating it is our responsibility to ourselves to JUDGE others as we determine if they are relationship material for us!

When did we (people in general, more commonly found here at SR) decide "judging" others is bad, therefore we let others manipulate us and abuse us for fear of judging them as toxic people?

And her addiction can be changed. By her. Not by you. You can change your decision to date a person with an addiction, even if you fear you are judging her and finding her coming up short. Because she is, ya know. And she knows it too, deep down inside. She knows.
Amen.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:03 AM
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You can not give her ultimatums. She has the right to decide for herself whether she drinks or not. The only thing you can decide is what you want for YOUR life. Forcing someone into rehab never works. Never works. She has already told you she likes vodka, and she's not going to quit. When someone shows you who they are.....believe them.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:04 PM
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Personally as a male, sober in AA for 30+ years I say that many of us are difficult to live with period. We think differently in many ways not badly just different. Next is the drinking person has a very raw emotional level that is difficult to understand by a "normal" person and might last too long even if sobering up. I feel that 2 "normal" people s relationship are difficult enough. JMHO. BE WELL
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Wait...when we are dating it is our responsibility to ourselves to JUDGE others as we determine if they are relationship material for us!

When did we (people in general, more commonly found here at SR) decide "judging" others is bad, therefore we let others manipulate us and abuse us for fear of judging them as toxic people?

And her addiction can be changed. By her. Not by you. You can change your decision to date a person with an addiction, even if you fear you are judging her and finding her coming up short. Because she is, ya know. And she knows it too, deep down inside. She knows.
God Bless you Tuffy.
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