How to deal with an alcoholic boyfriend

Old 08-28-2013, 12:30 AM
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Unhappy How to deal with an alcoholic boyfriend

I am not sure how you deem someone an alcoholic, but I think my boyfriend is one and I am so lost and I need help.

I feel like I am the only person that cares about his drinking, and I think everyone else is too afraid to step in or doesn't believe it's as bad as it is.

My boyfriend and I have been together since December 2011, and I have always been aware of his drinking habits. He was in the military with little time to do anything else but drink and hang out with friends due to the time he got off work. I always accepted it because it seemed like it was just "what they did" .

during the period from Dec 2011 and Nov 2012 I think about 3 times I sensed he drank too much, but it's never been a problem until Dec 2012 to now Aug 2013.

His drinking has gotten progressively worse and he drinks more and more as time goes on, some nights it's 15 beers, sometimes it's 12 sometimes it's two bottles of wine and some beer, and sometimes he's rummaging around the kitchen looking for any drop of alcohol left.

He gets pretty emotional when he drinks, he yells, screams, breaks things, punches walls, and just gets nasty. Since we live together it's hard to get away. In our first apt it was hard because it was small, now we are in a bigger place and his computer room is at the opposite end of the apt from the bedroom so it helps keeps me feeling safe. Oh, and that's another thing, I get anxiety when he drinks. I get so angry because I am scared, my stomach starts to turn, much like tonight.

There have been times when he doesn't even remember what he does, what he says, and how much he drinks. I've had to record him to show him how he behaves, he thinks I do it to be mean, but I do it for the record. Sometimes I feel like having those videos will help me if I want to move on. If I listen to them they will remind me of why I want to leave. I have tried many times to leave but it's hard, it's hard for me to stay angry at him. We have been through so much. And I don't mean just negatively.

I have mentioned it to his family, but they seem to not want to respond. His family is close, yet at the same time they are Also a family that doesn't seem to know how to show affection or say I love you, and I think because his father was busy during his childhood with school, they don't know how to express themselves with each other.

I have talked to his sibling and they always tell me I should leave, that I shouldn't be treated like this. But I stay because I think with help he can change. But he needs more then me to help. I think if his father stepped in to say something, he would change, because he has high regard for his father. But his father won't, and his mother won't, and his siblings opinions don't matter to him. I feel so helpless, like I am dealing with something that no one who should care, has to deal with. I don't know what else to do, he has no friends where we live so i have no one else to ask, it's just me. I am alone in this. I think his family doesn't know or want to believe how bad it is, they don't have to deal with it so its like it means nothing to them.

I have tried to think about why he drinks so much, he seems to drink a lot when he plays a computer game that makes his Anger skyrocket. He also drinks alone, I can't even drink around him because he gets mad if I don't drink fast enough and I feel guilty bringing Alcohol in the house when it does no good here. I have to go out to drink because it keeps me from him. It keeps me safe.

Usually when he is drunk he says all the things he would never say sober, he use to have a saying "drunken words are sober thoughts" and it kills me every time he does something while drunk cause I know it's true in his case. He tells me how he really feels about me, he points out my flaws, and mistakes. He does it so much that I began to think that I was his reason for drinking. I think I am part of the reason, because of stress. But I think other stresses make his drink as well. He uses it to cope. I think he stresses about life, his future, pleasing his father, and money. Money is a big issue as I had no job for quite a while. I wouldn't say we desperately needed money because he had it, but he spends most of it on computer parts and car parts, plus alcohol and games. He always mentioned money stresses and my unemployment when he was drunk so I think it was part of it. It wasn't the reason the argument started, but it always came up. Because we were constantly breaking up and I was always on the verge of leaving and because my only other living option was an hour Away, I always felt unsure of working in his area because of the distance I would drive if we broke up. It was almost like I was leaving every other week, we argued so much.

Most recently he fell down the stairs from what I believe, while drunk. He almost injured his hand from punching the wall many times, broke an old vintage gift from my grandmother by kicking it into the neighbors door, and he's busted the family heirloom headboard. I really wanted to work things out and this was the perfect time because he was gonna visit his family. I wanted to find a job while he was gone, focus on myself and he was suppose to stop gaming and stop drinking so much. Well he is back now, and back to drinking. I am so disappointed and he seems unsatisfied, of course, of my soon to be job. I think he's never satisfied with anything I do. Tonight he's drinking a 12 pack. He drank a six pack within an hour, left and bought another pack. He told me I was "so ******* annoying" and it's no wonder he gets mad. But him drunk, is like everyone walking on egg shells around him. He is so easy to anger. His friend that came to visit, knows first hand.

I am so disappointed because we were suppose to be bettering our relationship. He was suppose to stop drinking so much (he had about 3 weeks or more to try and ease up) but he's right back to it. It's the source of all our problems And I held up my end.... I don't know who to talk to, what to say, or what to do. My future it unclear because I have been dealing with this for so long.

This is my first time on a forum... It feels strange but I'm desperate. I don't know where to turn anymore, it's draining me mentally and physically.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:49 AM
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I think I posted on the wrong forum. I'm trying to delete it but don't know how.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:59 AM
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You're probably not going to like my response, but how long before he stops hitting the wall and starts hitting you?! The guy is out of control when he drinks - you already say you feel 'safe as the bedroom is at the other end of the appartment'...

IF he's going to stop drinking, he needs to want to do so and it doesn't sounds much like he does, does it?

Try and imagine this is all happening to your best friend - what would you say to her?

I'm sorry if this is not what you were wanting to hear - I know from my own experience with an ex that things are (probably) just going to get worse.

Part of the reason I ended up drinking so much, was to cope with the stress of my relationship back then. Now? I'm free to think of myself and get myself back on track.

I honestly hope things work out for you and again, sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear x
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:01 AM
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This is the downtime of the forum wtrsnas - try and not take it personally.

members can't delete threads, and you're very welcome here in Newcomers, but if you want me to move it to our Family and Friends forum I will do that for you

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:15 AM
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Hi wtrsnas, I'm sorry you're going through this, I havent any advice for you, but I do believe that NOBODY deserves to live with fear, especially from someone who is supposed to love you. Welcome to the forum, I just wanted to say, hang around, there are others here who have tread your path and can give you more support than me.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:51 AM
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Welcome to SR! I hope you can get yourself to a safe place. He sounds too unpredictable to be trusted. Give a look at our friends and family forum. Lots of experience there.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:56 AM
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Would you please move the post? From what others have said, I guess it's a better place. Thanks for everyone's feedback.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
This is the downtime of the forum wtrsnas - try and not take it personally.

members can't delete threads, and you're very welcome here in Newcomers, but if you want me to move it to our Family and Friends forum I will do that for you


Would you please move the post? From what others have said, I guess it's a better place. Thanks for everyone's feedback.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:06 AM
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We can't get anyone sober or drunk. If sobriety is desired the persom has to do it for THEMSELVES. You might try Al Anon as well for help for yourself. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:06 AM
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I have talked to his sibling and they always tell me I should leave, that I shouldn't be treated like this. But I stay because I think with help he can change.
It is every woman's fantasy that our love can save a man. It can't, it won't, and it's not worth you sacrificing your life and your happiness in the attempt, which will fail. Change only comes from within.

Do yourself the biggest favor of your life and take the sibling's advice.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:17 AM
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Leaving him is probably the best move for you and maybe both of you in the long run. Staying around and trying to "fix" is a long slippery slope.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:40 AM
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Welcome to SR.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:29 AM
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Welcome to SR, wtrsnas, and glad you found your way here. As you said, living with an active A is absolutely draining, mentally, physically and emotionally. There's a lot of experience, strength and hope here. I hope you find it helpful.

The first recommendation I'd make for you would be to check out Alanon. Here's a link to help you find a meeting. Everyone there has been where you are and will make you feel right at home. SR is a wonderful place, but it's good to have some real-life support also--if you need a couch to sleep on, we at SR can't help much but your Alanon friends can!

The other thing you'd find helpful is to do as much reading here (and elsewhere) about alcoholism. Educating yourself will go far in helping you understand what's happening and what choices you have. There are stickied threads at the top of this page that contain a lot of useful info; here's one you might want to read first of all

Again, welcome, and I hope you find both strength and clarity in the coming days!
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:58 AM
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Hi Wtrsnas.

Depending on the situation, when your boyfriend told you that you were being mean by recording his drunken fits, I might have said, "How does it feel?" But this kind of intervention may be too dangerous for you.

When someone doesn't feel safe in their own home, it's time for major changes, starting with you taking care of yourself.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Wtrsnas View Post
He does it so much that I began to think that I was his reason for drinking. I think I am part of the reason, because of stress.
You are not the reason he drinks. His family will likely of little assistance as their family culture likely contributed to his drinking in the first place. He is the only one who can really help him. Loving him unconditionally will not help him. Adult love is conditional. And you really shouldn't accept the conditions you are in. But I am reminded of the whole frog in hot water analogy. A frog who jumps into hot water will immediately jump out. You kills the frog by slowly turning the temperature up. He adjusts to his environment (like you have with him) and does not realize the water is getting hotter and will eventually boil him to death.

The water is getting hotter Wrtsnas.

The best way to help him is saving yourself. It is often when we lose something dear to us that we will make the changes necessary to get what we want back.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:06 PM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. The first thing we learn in Alanon is the 3 C's: You didn't Cause it, can't Cure it, and can't Control it. You have NO power over his disease. It is progressive, and will only get worse with time. I am actually glad his family is not getting involved. Obviously, for whatever reason, they are keeping boundaries and staying out of it. Too many families jump in to try and "save" the A, that kind of enabling only prolongs the process.

You can't save him. If he wants to drink, that is his choice. Adults have the right to make their own choices, even when they're bad ones. But they also need to be allowed to experience the consequences of those choices. That's where it's important for us to step aside and let them go on their path.

The ONLY person you can save, the ONLY person you have control YOU. You can decide that this is not the life you want for yourself, that you deserve peace and happiness. No on should live afraid in their own home. Don't give up that new job. Of course anything you do that might make you a little more independent is going to aggravate the A, don't let that keep you tied.

Find an AlAnon meeting near you...and go! You will find a room full of people who totally understand your situation, and will offer their experience and hope to help you move forward.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:21 AM
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When I read your post, Wtrsnas, it felt hauntingly familiar. I could have written the same words about one month ago. My boyfriend of nearly 5 years has had a drinking problem for the last 3.5 years. Like you, it kind of crept up on me, on both of us.

My bf was never "Barney the drunk". Despite drinking heavily, he always showed up to work, never poured a drink first thing in the morning, never drove drunk or got drunk in public. It was easy for him to deny a problem. Yet I still had anxiety. At his worst, he was drinking a full bottle or more of cheap vodka EVERY night. I have never been a drinker, so I didn't know how much was "a lot". It began to effect our relationship. He was incapable of intelligent conversation in the evening and eventually started saying and doing nasty things. Like your bf, he often had no recollection of the prior night's events. Then the "night terrors" started. After drinking himself to sleep, on several occasions, he would get up and act frighteningly violent. About an hour later he would "wake up" with no memory of what had just happened. But unlike your bf, this scared the crap out of him. That combined with the fact that he began to replace food with alcohol, and eventually stopped eating altogether, really woke him up. He checked himself into detox and has been sober, and struggling to stay that way, for a month now. He remains committed to regaining control of his life.

As is the case with you, his friends and family seemed content to ignore the problem. With the exception of one friend. That friend never gave up, even though it nearly cost his friendship with my bf. Neither of us gave up. But it is true that no amount of love and commitment can change an alcoholic's behavior. They have to do that for themselves. I understand your reluctance to "abandon" your bf to this disease. I understand because I have had that same reluctance. That said, it is such a terribly fine line between helping someone you love and hurting yourself. YOU are worth saving, too. You are not the cause of, or solution to, your bf's drinking.

During the worst of my bf's drinking I struggled with depression and desperation. I had a lot of anxiety. I still do. But I have learned that it is ok for now if your future is unclear, you just need to recognize that you have a future. If you have been strong enough to mentally and emotionally support both of you this far, you are strong enough to survive on your own. You can love someone, support someone, refuse to give up - yet still remember to love yourself enough to recognize that you are living in fear in your own home. It is ok to start taking care of yourself. Please don't let the thing that finally wakes him up be something along the lines of him seriously hurting you. Your bf may wake up on his own. He may never wake up. But you are awake. It is time to start redirecting your energy toward yourself.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:29 PM
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You are an abused woman. Read the sticky about abuse. You are being verbally and emotionally abused by this man. You live in fear. You must have a domestic violence resources in your area. Call them. Here we have one CAAW. Committee to Aid Abused Women. They have a group where the women meet one night a week to support each other. They can help you get counseling, file a protection order, or plan an escape. You can get emergency shelter. Your life, and your emotional and mental well being are at stake here. You need more than Al Anon at this point. Things will only get worse and one of you could end up dead and the other in jail. I have been in your situation. Please get help for yourself. You do not deserve this.
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