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Is My Boyfriend An Alcoholic?

Old 07-23-2017, 10:01 PM
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Is My Boyfriend An Alcoholic?

I've been dating my boyfriend for almost 6 years. Deep down he's a good man. Always there for his family and even my daughter who isn't his own. And myself. BUT...of course the BUT ugh. He's a heavy drinker. He was before I met him which surprise was at a bar. Shoulda known huh? But honestly at that time I was newly divorced and trying to let loose and have fun and we were introduced by a mutual friend and hit it off. In the beginning the going out was fun. I would meet him out on nights my daughter would go to her dads. As our relationship progressed and he moved in he'd still go out. Mostly after work for a few beers, and our weekends without my daughter. I thought nothing of it as we were still learning about each other and having fun. I started noticing, well not noticing so much as getting annoyed with the fact that he'd actually drinks to get drunk. Fast forward to now nothing has changed but me. I'm fed up. Everyone around us is growing up, engaged, buying homes and he rather waste money on betting on sports and bar tabs. He says he loves me wants to marry me but his actions don't change. When he's drunk he's all about broken promises of being a better man and I think he actually believes himself because he starts tearing up. But the next time it's like the bar/bets pull him back. His acid reflux is getting worse because of his weekend consumption. He stopped during the week only because I put my foot down. I hate to say he has influences because everyone is responsible for their own actions but at first it was his peers. They would have to take shots until they could barely stand up. Now that they are all getting married he hangs with his brother and an older crowd who do the same. We went to the shore earlier this month and him and his brother drank a whole bottle of whiskey until they threw up. It was disgusting to me. And he wants to try for a baby. No way in hell. His other older friend texts him to come out and it's like he gets antsy. He can't stay in. He makes great money and has nothing saved because it all goes to wasting it on bar tabs and bets or just crap he orders on the internet that a juvenile would order. Granted he's younger than me but like I said his peers are all settled so it's not the age. His dad was an alcoholic and turned around. It's in his family. His uncle, his one aunt is mentally ill, his sister is on drugs and very depressive. So I know he's battling demons. I thought being there and loving him would be enough and I know I shouldn't be so stupid. My last straw that led me to post is for the past 4 months since I told him we need to cut back going out to save it's like he's miserable or punishing me by sleeping his nights away when he has to stay in. There's no romance or date nights or anything that makes him happy unless he's at the bar with other ppl. He doesn't even fish anymore. He can't stay in the house. It's very hurtful to me. I mean when I'm out with him he's attentive to me but it would be nice to have that alone without the bar and friends. We have a lot of weddings coming up he's in and others invited and so he's very quick to cut back on date nights because of that but his brother wanted to watch NASCAR last weekend so we go out for that. It's hurtful that's more important. He slept all night Friday night and Saturday bc he worked all weekend and instead of spending time with me today he goes and gets drunk with his brother. Then realizes I'm upset and tries to sweet talk like always. This time I told him don't say a word. Just leave me be. And so here I am. Exhausted and hurt. And tired of starting over. Yes I knew he liked to have fun in the beginning but like anyone else I figured we would settle down eventually. He wants the best of both and I can't. But what I began to realize is that I really think this is an alcohol problem. I didn't at first because he always worked hard and did overtime. I imagined an alcoholic to be in the bars from morning to night like my stepdad. But my boyfriend cannot stop himself sometimes once he starts drinking and it gets scary. Not to mention annoying as he starts making no sense and it's like taking care of a child. It's not attractive. But when sober. He's great! I don't know what to do anymore.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:20 AM
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Hi, and welcome! I totally get what you are experiencing. But here's the thing--what you've got right now is the BEST it will ever be with this man unless/until he decides to get sober and do the hard work necessary to get there and live happily that way. Alcoholism is progressive and it will inevitably get worse. You have given no indication he has any interest in getting sober--have you discussed it with him? Some people take years/decades to get there and most really never do.

No matter how "great" he is when he's sober, the sober times will be less and less and the "not so great" when he's drinking will become progressively worse. I sure wouldn't stick around for another rodeo with someone under these circumstances.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:52 AM
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Hi, Tiffany. Welcome.
Sure sounds like your SO has a problem with drinking and, possibly, gambling/overspending.
Have you been to Al-Anon meetings?
I found them to be a great source of support, and going helped me to clarify my thinking.
As Lexie stated above, unless your SO becomes sober and pursues recovery, things will likely get worse, as alcohol addiction is progressive.
Nothing needs to happen today, but I would recommend learning as much as you can about alcohol addiction, if you haven't already.
I would also think hard about what kind of life you want for yourself and your daughter.
Life with any kind of addict is a hard road. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for taking time to read my story and respond. Currently he does not think he has a major issue. He thinks he can stop drinking any second and he has. There was a period his schedule changed and didn't for awhile but it's only when he's busy with work. Whenever there's too much time on his hands is when he tends to gravitate to the bars. Like I said his dad is was an alcoholic but is now sober but he bartends (crazy I know right) so he visits him a lot. Then there's shuffleboard and cornhole that he gets involved in, all at private clubs/bars. He says he enjoys those things but I know it's more so he can drink while he plays and then stays hours after to drink more. Right now he's like borderline. It's socially not where he needs it yet all the time but I see where it could get there. I've been around that. My step dad was an alcoholic and my mom on drugs so I'm not new to it. But watching him drink to get drunk kills me. I've stopped him so many times getting a last drink that I know he didn't need and he'd get mad at me. And wouldn't remember the next day. He says he knows he enjoys it too much but doesn't think he's got a major problem. But I also know he's a smart man. He knows deep down it's bad and I know he wants better for himself and has the best intentions but alcohol wins every time. It's almost like I can see him battling it. I feel for him but I'm also a tough love kinda person. His family is clueless it's an issue.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:32 AM
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Hi Tiffany - our stories are in very similar places right now. It's exhausting to have to keep worrying about our guys and where the relationship is heading. The things you talk about I can relate to so well. I also get in fights with my bf about having "one more drink." My bf likes to ask me when we're out, "do you mind if I have 1 more?" I've gotten to a point where I want to explode at him - "yes! you know I mind if you have 1 more, and you didn't need the last 6 either! But just do what you want because that's what you're going to do anyway." My bf also ends up sleeping away the time we might have together because he stayed up too late drinking. And alcoholism runs strongly in his family too - it's like an uphill battle. I just wanted to tell you I'm thinking good thoughts for you and I hope we can both get through this dark period to a brighter side.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:48 AM
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But I also know he's a smart man.
Being "smart" is no protection against alcoholism. There are plenty of smart, professional, successful people who are alcoholics.

How does this
He knows deep down it's bad
coexist with this?
He says he knows he enjoys it too much but doesn't think he's got a major problem.
How can he "know it's bad" while "not thinking he's got a major problem"?

I know he wants better for himself
What evidence do you have of this? What ACTIONS--not words, but ACTIONS--have you seen that tell you, loud and clear, that he does indeed "want better for himself?" I believe that YOU want better for him, but that's not what will get him into recovery.

It's almost like I can see him battling it.
It is ALMOST like it--but not REALLY like it, b/c if he was truly trying to stop drinking, he'd be seeking out a recovery program of some sort. He'd be working that program like crazy. He would NOT be hanging around in bars. He would NOT be getting so drunk he doesn't remember what he did. Those are NOT the signs of someone "battling" alcoholism; that is an active alcoholic doing what he does.

I'm sorry, Tiffany, but I don't see anything in what you've posted that makes me believe he is in any way "battling" his drinking. It sounds like a lot of wishful thinking on your part...not that you're the first, last or only one here to ever do that! I think every single person here has been in that place of manufactured hope.

Read around the forum as much as you can, making sure not to miss the stickies at the top of the page. It would be great if you'd hit several Alanon meetings too. Educating yourself is the first step in figuring out what to do.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:15 AM
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Six years ago his heavy drinking was acceptable to you. And as the relationship moved along you assumed he’d outgrow it but as you are finding out that is not the case. You have outgrown him and short of him changing exactly who he is today (alcoholic) what you see is what you get.

Even if he were to actually have that deep desire to quit drinking and jumped into a recovery program……who says you’d even like him sober? All you have ever known with him is a man who has functioned with an alcohol soaked brain the entire time you have been with him. The times you assume he’s sober because he’s not consumed alcohol yet doesn’t mean he’s operating with a sober brain.

I would do lots of research on alcoholism, addict behavior, codependency and check out some al-anon meetings for you in your area.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:07 PM
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you now have a six year body of work to review - let's say this was his resume for possible longer term relationship partner or husband. in your mind, when thinking of what YOU want, where do the following rate?

1) i like to drink, often and a lot
2) i like to spend a lot of time in bars - and a lot of money
3) i like to order stupid sh!t off the internet
4) i have no savings and no plans for the future
5) i won't be able to commit to my partner very much, see 1 and 2.
6). i refuse to grow up. my name is Peter Pan, no Wendy's allowed.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiffanylee75 View Post
I've stopped him so many times getting a last drink that I know he didn't need and he'd get mad at me. .... I feel for him but I'm also a tough love kinda person. His family is clueless it's an issue.
To my understanding, tough love isn't continually stopping someone from that last drink (which is never the last drink) or getting on them about their drinking. In my understanding, that is codependent thinking.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:32 PM
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When I was with my ABF, I found it helpful to evaluate the relationship based on my experience in the relationship, not on whether & how much he drank or what all he got up to when he drank. How I felt every single day about him, myself and our interactions was what became my guide. Al-Anon has been very helpful for me in getting my focus off of his behaviors, his words. concerns over how bad off he may or may not be - and keeping it on my own experience of myself and the relationship. When I focused on my experience in the relationship and wasn't thinking so much about his drinking, I got into a much better mental position to make choices for myself that were healthy. I can't recommend Al-Anon highly enough.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:53 PM
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How many red flag indicators of alcoholism do you need? It's not about you. You didn't cause it. He likes to drink and somewhere along the way, he crossed that line. And there is no going back . It will not get any better EVER unless he quits entirely and stays quit. Do you think he can do that? Is he even willing? Cuz if all he's going to do is talk big while he's drunk and then go back to the same ol same ol the next day, I'd say you have a pretty hard choice to make. Hugs to you.
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