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Heartbroken...Boyfriend with drinking problem says I have one too, co-conspirator



Heartbroken...Boyfriend with drinking problem says I have one too, co-conspirator

Old 07-03-2004, 10:56 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 96
Unhappy Heartbroken...Boyfriend with drinking problem says I have one too, co-conspirator

Hello All,

I am heartbroken. I started dating this wonderful guy about 6 months ago. I should have known on one of our very first few dates, he brought a six-pack over to my house (he did not ask if he could pick up something for me or if this was okay to do), I should have known he had a problem with alcohol.

I come from a family where my father was an abusive alcoholic to my mother. I actually am a cigarett smoker (Zyban Quit date July 14, 2004) rather than of fallen into drinking issues. I have drank since the age of 18 which I think helped me to appreciate alcohol as a fun, social thing. I have gone months without drinking as I think of alcohol like appetizers.....if I'm out with friends...sure. Anyway, my point is not to PROVE I don't have a drinking problem but rather, to share how I feel my boyfriend "tricked" me into this.

I drink when other people drink. I used to have a roommate who drank (daily). I tried this to see if it was fun, relaxing...see why he did it. I realized within a week he was not fun to drink with and it was a hassle to drink everyday. not for me. Sometimes, when I have gone out, I've had too much to drink but most times, I have 2 or 3 for the night.

Can you tell I'm feeling a bit defensive about my drinking habits? I never considered before that "I" had a problem but now that I've asked the boyfriend to stop, he is accusing me of having the same problem.

Since I started dating him, alcohol has been with us most days. I thought it was different (although I have dated alcoholics before) that we would have beer with our meals, or wine...or we would "have a couple" at the bar before continuing our night. I found it different, maybe it was exciting.

I'm 26 years old and most of my free time when I'm not at work has been spent on furthering my education. I am in the Technology field and continually am reading about Microsoft, Linux, GPL, CGI scripting, Routers and Gateways, Wireless 802.11,...on and on. I just got my MCDST and MCP in December 2003. The point is, as I dated this man, more of my freetime was spent with him and thus, we consumed alcohol together; more frequently then I had before.

I do admit I was on a project in the Virgin Islands for near 3 months and the hotel we stayed at graciously offered free drinks day and night so my co-workers and I did enjoy daily drinks. Once again, it was a very social thing..many of my co-workers were older than me so I took my queues from them. There were a couple of times I got pretty intoxicated but they helped me back to my room and I was into work the next day.

So, moving onto current events. My boyfriend has driven drunk. A couple months ago, he agreed to pick me up after work to take me another work project I had going on that night. He arrived late and very intoxicated. I got in the car, I shouldn't have....he was swerving down the road...I was in terror. I had not seen him like this before...I think I was in denial. Thank the lord, we go there without dying. He then made it home safely but fell alseep. I had to call a friend to come and get me a couple hours later. He was apologetic for what happened but it has happend a few more times with the most recent being this last sunday. He showed up sunday night, he looked very drunk, he fell in my living room, his zipper was undone, he had wine stains on his pants.....he just looked a wreck.

I was so angry, I knew it wasn't the right time to blow up on him. I asked if he had driven to my house like that; yes he said. I knew this was the last straw for me. I had him eat some popcorn and I had some soda....made him lay down to get sober.

So, this week, I laid it down. He would need to limit the number of alcoholic drinks. For example, daily limit could be "4" and party limit could be "6". Also, he would be required to eat (he would use that for an excuse on how drunk he was). He refused to do the limit thing as he said he knew he was an alcoholic, he'd been to AA already, he knew the only way to control his drinking was to quit. It was then, he accused me of a drinking problem.

I know, it is probably the alcohol defense coming up but how could he think I did? I was not a daily drinker at all. He was. We were together and he wanted to get a drink, why not say yes to having an alcoholic drink too? I have never been to so many happy hours in all my life compared to the last 6 months.

So, I have explained, I will quit alcohol for 2 months to help be supportive of him, then I will do my limit of "2" in 24 hours. I am worried he will go back to drinking because I am. The only reason I offered a limit for myself is because he accused me of having a drinking problem.

I offered a parallel that when I quit smoking on July 14, if he hasn't quit chewing tobacco, I will not use that as an excuse to keep smoking. I would like him to quit, he did buy nic gum on his own accord about 2 weeks ago but continues to chew. We are seperate people, I do not want to be held responsible for his sobriety...right?

He has made me feel totally crappy. My friends and family agree with me that I do not have a drinking problem.

thank you,
giz is offline  
Old 07-03-2004, 11:07 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you don't think you have a drinking problem, why does his opinion matter? You sound pretty solid that your drinking is social and under control.
As for his "limit" on drinks...if he's an alcoholic, that ain't gonna happen.
Alcoholics either drink or they don't. If they could "limit" they wouldn't be alcoholics.
My guess is that he threw down on your drinking because he's defensive about his own.
Welcome to Sober Recovery, I'm glad you found us.
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,709
Originally Posted by giz
I am worried he will go back to drinking because I am. The only reason I offered a limit for myself is because he accused me of having a drinking problem.
Wow. Time out. Big red flag giz.
Two things. First thing an alcoholic does is turn the tables. You've got the problem, not him.
Secondly, to echo Gabe's comments, it's a technicolor dream to think he will respect any limit you impose on him. On the contrary, he may drink more. Any attempts by my wife to control the amount I ingested resulted in more drinking.
Welcome to SoberRecovery giz. I hope you get a grasp of what is going on here and the dynamics involved in your relationship with an alcoholic. It is, in many respects, a crash course in harsh reality.
Good luck to you both.
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:22 AM
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Location: Minneapolis MN
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Thank you for your reply. I have read some of your postings.

I guess I believe that if he decides to go down the path of sobriety again (this will be the first time with me although he had tried before), I am projecting that statements, boundaries or needs I bring up in terms of his sobriety will be expected the same back for me.

Then, I am responsible for his sobriety.

I don't mind not drinking for a couple of months to be supportive and to him and then having a limit but I have this feeling, he will say I will need to quit FOREVER. I am 26 years old, he is 38. I don't think it would be fair for him to expect me to quit for the rest of my life. I have never been told, by anyone, I have a drinking problem. Not friends, boyfriends, family, co-workers. He has lost one wife already and family and friends have commented on his alcohol abuse for the last 20 years of his life.

It does not seem rational. If I can adhere to a set limit, while he cannot....Why must I abstain for the rest of my life?

I have also offered that he could interview friends, employers and family to discuss "my drinking problem", offered to have a chemical assesment done, anything to prove to him I have never been considered to have a drinking problem.

Maybe I am looking at things wrong, he has to stop drinking for himself, not based on my drinking? If he uses me as a blaming tool or crutch...I cannot change that?

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Old 07-03-2004, 01:17 PM
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Location: That's what I'd like to know.
Posts: 2,416

Don't play this game with him. If you want to quit to be supportive or because you don't like or trust alcohol any more, good on you. But don't be manipulated. It won't make the difference in his getting sober. You haven't even said that he's indicated he wants to get sober. Your sacrifice is not going to inspire him. Don't make deals with the devil.

Hugs and Welcome.
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:20 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
Here's the deal.
You're drinking has absolutely nothing to do with his.
They are two seperate issues.
You don't need to prove anything to him.
You aren't responsible for his sobriety, he is.
Smoke is right, it's a game...don't play along.
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:42 PM
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Acting not reacting
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I agree with everyone on this. IF he agrees with your limts on drinking he will just allow you to see him have that many, he will have more before or after you are around, or sneak them. I had this same scenario with my A for awhile and thought things were going ok, until I found out how much he was consuming and hiding from me and everyone else. Its playing with fire.

Remember that you are not the one with the disease...I am allergic to Peanuts, but dont expect others to limit thier peanut butter intake bc of my problem. If this guy says you should quit forever bc he has to, then that is, pardon me, but B.S. He probably figures you wont and therefore, he wont have to.

I drink socially even though I live with a recently sober (25 days) alcoholic, who is older than I am too (I am 24). Its really hard, but I try to not let his addiction get projected on to my life. Day by day it gets easier. But the interview idea, all that will do is TAKE THE ATTENTION OF HIS PROBLEM.

Just be careful and good for you for coming to Sober Recovery.

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Old 07-03-2004, 02:04 PM
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Well, here's my story, for what it's worth...

When I was about your age, I moved in with my then boyfriend, now husband.. We would go out and get loaded about once a week,maybe more (for him , definitely!).. it was the thing to do. We got married, I got pregnant with twins(same day!!) ..

Well, no drinking while pregnant, not a problem. I would still go out some, but would tire easily. Then I was put on bedrest, and the big problems began!! He got a taste of going out by himself, and liked it!! that is when the all niters(and 2 dayers) began. I spent my 1st married and pregnant Christmas alone.

After I had the twins, I drank a few times, but quickly realized that hangovers + infant(then toddler) twins = COMPLETE MISERY.. So I basically stopped drinking. And going out. (hub had a built in babysitter, of which he took full advantage)

When I was younger, I thought I had a drinking problem, as I would get LOADED.. However, when you have no kids and no responsibilities, what;s the big deal if you spend a Sunday on the couch due to too much Saturday night?

I think the true test is if you keep drinking and ignore your responsibilities. Nowadays, if I go out, I rarely have more than 3-- the 1st one goes down quick.. second is a little slower, then I'm forcing the 3rd. Plus, it's nice not being hungover the next day. My twins are 10, and I don't think I've gotten really drunk since they were born.

So you are the only one who can tell if you have a drinking problem.. Anyway, just my .02...
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:09 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 96
Thank you all so much. He said he cannot limit his drinking so the only way to stop the abuse is to quit.

Smoke, you are right. He still has not said, he WILL, just that he SHOULD.

Gabe, you are right, I don't have the problem, he does.

Elizabeth, how wonderful! You are in the same-like situation...wow. I truly appreciate you sharing as it inspires me to go through with this.

I did explain, by letter and in person, I love him very much and want to spend time with him but the concern and worry I feel is overwheming. It is like the tension I felt as a little girl when my dad would get drunk and beat my mother. Mind you, he isn't physically or verbally abusive, this guy I'm dating, but is very sad to see him so drunk he can't stand properly.

I'm very glad to have found this board.

I will stick to my guns. I am going to pick up all the items I have left at his place over the months to indicate we will not continue this relationship until he has stopped.

I am also considering going to one of my local Al-Anon meetings.

Thank you very much,
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Old 07-05-2004, 08:30 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 96
Woot! update!

The boyfriend has been sober now for 4 days. We sat down and talked about things. He agreed it isn't fair to bring up another issue, when I bring up an issue.

Also, by giving examples of how it is unfair, I also acknowledged that my approach could have set him on the defensive.

I will stay dry for 2 months to support him and he understands I will have drinks after that. And he understands that just because I don't or do something, we don't have to be at the same place!

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Old 07-06-2004, 07:39 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 103
Trust me......(as others have said) it is not your drinking that will make him change...you are right it is eaiser for him to drink if you are but mostly for the guilt they feel..not becasue you have a problem........I am dealing with the same issues right now except mine has been sober for 4 1/2 months an drecently fallen off the wagon but once AGAIN claiming to be able to drink socially .......needless to say he had a meeting at work this morning about his performance becasue in the last 3 weeks he has missed 4 days.....which all have been missed because of drinking.....he expects me to feel sorry for him and in a way I do but that makes me more pissed off that I let him get to me like that .......we have been datin gfor 1.5 years and same as you in the first 6 months it was "party time" all the time........I guess what I am saying is don't expect mircles and don't rely on him to make you happy or "change" !!
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