Go Back  SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Friends and Family > Friends and Family of Alcoholics
Reload this Page >

how do you know if someone is an alcoholic,versus just partying too much



how do you know if someone is an alcoholic,versus just partying too much

Old 10-19-2002, 06:10 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
how do you know if someone is an alcoholic,versus just partying too much

I would greatly value some feedback...here is my story...I am in a relationship with a nearly 30 year old guy, Rob...we have a beautiful 3.5 month old baby girl together....I drink on occasion...and must admit that once in a while, I have drunk to excess before I got pregnant a year ago...so I have not been anti-alcohol myself...I understand the affects of drinking and will not drink and drive and when I drink, I do it responsibly...I didn't see anything wrong with drinking once in a while socially...

But I am tryting to determine what to do about my relationship with my boyfriend...I would like to understand where the line is drawn and when/how it is you can determine that someone is an addict and should not be allowed to drink and if they do, you should cut them out of your life versus someone who was just caught up with their friends, getting out of control for a time and then when finally something bad enough happens, you can believe them when they say they have realized they were out of control and are now going to keep it to a minimum and will stop after just a couple drinks...since there is no blood test or anything to say that a person is truly an alcoholic, how do you determine a person should not ever be able to drink even one?

My boyfriend and I use to drink a lot together...all of his friend are very heavy drinkers...most of them are younger than him...22-26 in age...they also smoke weed daily...and some dabble in coke...he was involved in all that while we were dating...he had just gotten caught doing coke before I met him and had a pending court date for the coke charge in January and he said he going to give up the coke...
Then I got pregnant last November, against all odds...he was so excited...told me he was ready to settle down...he was old enough and had partied enough that he got it out of his system and want to be a family, etc.. and he was great...he moved in and helped me with all kinds of things around my house...it was wonderful for about 2 months...he still smoked with his friends on occasion and drank but within reason...
Then in January he went to court for the coke charge...they put him on probation, which meant no coke, no smoking stuff, etc...when he got that punishment, he just seemed to have gone off the wall...he started going out with his friends every other night til 2:00 in the morning drinking (even during week nights and sometimes even all night he would be gone with no phone calls or anything) and since he felt he couldn't smoke weed since that would be detected, he started to do coke because that only stays in your system 2 days and he could guess when he was going to be tested...that went thru February and March...then he failed a probation drug test for coke and he got in house probation in my house during May...
Again, for that month, all was really great...his friends couldn't come over and he couldn't drink or do any drugs...he was fine...he wasn't irritable or anything because he couldn't drink so I figured maybe he didn't have a problem after all since he was doing fine without being able to drink. That month he helped me with so much around the house and was so loving and thoughtful...it was the best!...
But the day he got off house arrest, he went out...he was still supposed to be on intense probation, meaning no alcohol or anything, but he said that since alcohol wasn't illegal, they really couldn't lock him up for 'a few beers'...
So he started back with going out every 2 or 3 nights, with his friends, drinking til 2:00 or so in the morning ...and then I guess he was foolish and smoked stuff and did some coke while he was in that party mode with them and he failed another probation drug test in June and he got locked up June 20 for a month for violating his probation, to be release July 20.
I was due to have my baby July 24th, but I think due to all the stress, I went 3 weeks early and had Ashleigh, July 2 while he was in jail...he called crying and begging me to forgive him and swore he would be different when he got out.
They released him July 20...a Saturday...a group of his friends, who did not come around the whole time he was locked up, came to the house and started him partying to celebrate being out....and then again, he started going out and drinking to excess...he wasn't going out every other night...he cut it back to 2 or 3 times a week...but he was still drinking til 2:00 when he did go out and and he steered clear of smoking weed and coke. So anyway, he only lasted 3 weeks before he failed the probation drug test for the morphine pills...he thought that he wouldn't get in trouble for those since they are not illegal and said he was just foolish and stressed because of the baby and feeling bad that he missed her birth and had no license now, etc...
He got locked up again August 17th...he is still in jail...over two months now...again, none of his 'party friends' have gone to visit him or call or anything...the prison gave him a drug and alcohol evaluation and they are talking about sending him to a 28 day rehab, which he asked if I thought it would be okay if he asked to substitute intensive outpatient counselling, since he says he just needs to be educated and made more aware so he can learn to control his drinking and be more responsible about it...he says that since he is not an 'addict', he doesn't need the complete rehab...he is calling me begging me to forgive him...swears he realizes that he was getting carried away with his friends...that he was just being immature and selfish...and that now that he realizes how much he has put me thru, he will be different this time when he gets out...he sees that people who he thought were his friends don;t care and I have stuck by him and he now knows how important I and his daughter are to him and he is so sad to be missing her growing up...he says that when he gets out we will be a family and he won't go out with his friends anymore...but he still insists that he will have a few beers once in a while after work...do you think that is possible?
How do I know if he can or can't do that? I have a baby to worry about now and I am concerned about letting him move back into my house after he gets released...he will have no job, no license, no money...and he doesn't really have a place to go...he swears he loves me and has learned his lesson and wants to be a good dad to Ashleigh...is it possible that he was just going thru a year of immaturity and was wrapped up with his friends but that his being in jail this last time with no one visiting him but me and seeing his daughter growing up without him, has hit home and wised him up and he can be ok and drink just a few beers?

I hate to be a hypocrite...like I said...I know I can drink a few drinks and stop and I do not have an 'anti-alcohol' perspective about life in general...I feel bad condemning him and saying that I do not believe he is capable of doing the same...so how do you know?
Should I give him one last chance? Or is he an alcoholic and I need to say he can only move back in if no alcohol ever...If he is an alcoholic and came to say he thought he was, I would be fine with never drinkiing again too so we could stand together as a team...and I told him that...but he says that since he is not an alcoholic, that is not necessary...
Again, any advice, feedback would be appreciated...
Old 10-19-2002, 06:29 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Supply Manager
JT's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleaverville
Posts: 2,898
First welcome,

I don't think it is important for us to label them...that is their job.
And it sounds like you are trying to KNOW what is going to happen in the future and that is impossible.

It doesn't sound like you are trying to make him stop...you just want to believe him and it is hard considering the past. You are asking for hard answers to a problem that has no answers. Only he can decide to stop using

You should do some reading about addiction and codependency...there is a sticky called "addictive personality" at the top of Naranon...read that...it has opened many eyes.

And consider recovery for yourself. Alanon or Naranon meetings.

Read the posts on thse boards and you will likely see yourself in us...and come back. We are a fun, supportive bunch and the important thing is that we have been there.


I feel so badly for you...this is a confusing time.
JT is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 06:35 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Nature Girl
Ann's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: By The Lake
Posts: 58,989
Hi Nybord and welcome to the best recovery site this side of insanity.

I think it is apparent that your boyfriend is out of control. And if he isn't seriously admitting he is in deep trouble and wanting desperately to do something positive to change, he won't be improving any time soon.

But all this is totally out of your hands. You didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it. How he is or will be, totally depends on him, and nobody else (sadly).

Stay? Go? - The decision is yours, and you don't have to make it until you are ready. When you are ready the answer will come.

Read some posts here, and you will see that you are not alone. We have all been where you are and share your pain.

The best thing you can do, for you and your baby, is to get some recovery for yourself. Read the "sticky's" at the top of the Al-anon and Nar-Anon boards. Pernell's "Addictive Personality" is a long read, but well worth the trip.

Also, I cannot recommend strongly enough to get to a meeting of Al-anon or Nar-Anon, where you will meet people near you who will welcome you and can help you get throught this.

And know that you are among friends here. We share our tears, we share our laughter and we share our strength and we work our program, one day at a time.

Welcome to our family.
Ann is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 06:43 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
smoke gets in my eyes's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: That's what I'd like to know.
Posts: 2,416
Hello Nybord!
Welcome to the recovery forum!

You don't really need a label to know that this man is causing chaos in your life. If you spend a little time reading the threads on this board, you will see the "I'll never do it again" story posted dozens of times. The trouble is it isn't you who needs to realize that he is an addict, it's him. Until he decides and accepts that for himself, he is not likely to get the sort of help he needs to change.

You may be putting the cart before the horse a little. There is no law that says that if a person is an addict that you have to cut them out of your life. Lots of the people who post here are seeking coping skills to help with relationships they have elected to stay in, at least for now. However, the best judge of a persons future behavior is their past behavior. Assume this man is going to stay exactly as he is and ask yourself if you want to stay with him.

I hope you will investigate alanon or naranon meetings in your area, or read some about codependency. There is a reading list at the top of the alanon forum of some of our faves. Even knowing that he is an addict will not allow you to recover for him, but you can help yourself.

Again, welcome to our family! Keep posting.

smoke gets in my eyes is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 06:45 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
I guess the biggest thing I am having a problem with...is that is somehow it was diagnosed that he was an 'alcoholic', then I would be able to say that if I left him move back back after he gets out, then he has to quit drinking period and there will be no alcohol in the house...
But since he is saying and swearing that he will control it and he wants a second chance and he now realizes things he didn't before and he is insistent he has seen the error of his 'out of control' ways, it is hard for me to feel justified in saying that he can not ever have a drink again without someone giving him that diagnosis...he says I am trying to control him or keep him away from his daughter ...and that is not what I want...
I just want what is best...and I don't feel I am qualified to make that decision as to whether he can never drink again ...
Maybe my question really is this... is it reasonable to give him one last chance and allow him to move back into my house and is there a seriously possibility that he has seen the error of his foolish ways and can straighten out without giving up the alcohol completely or is it competely ridiculous to consider that he is able to control it...I don't want to turn my back on someone who I care about but I don't want to waste my time and his if he is a person who can't ever have a drink so if he refuses to give it up totally, he will continue repeating that behavior even if he doesn't mean to...

Last edited by nybord; 10-19-2002 at 07:11 AM.
Old 10-19-2002, 07:18 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Nature Girl
Ann's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: By The Lake
Posts: 58,989

Okay - I will say it "he is an alcoholic/addict". Now....did that change anything?

Sweetie - I say this with love in my heart, he is out of control, he cannot control how much or when he uses. He may want to and he may believe that he can. He will make you feel responsible, he will lay guilt on you, he will spend all your money and tell you lies, he will stay out late and he will have a story each time. He will make you think that YOU are the one with the problem. And he will get sicker and sicker and it will get worse. That's the truth in a nutshell.

All our addicts are like this - and we love them. We love our addicts, hate their disease.

I know that you are looking for even a tiny ray of hope that this will change. Like me/us, you are desparate for an answer that fits what you want - a happy life for your family.

But that ray of hope, that answer, lies within you, not him. You have a lot of work to do, starting with Step 1 "We admitted we were powerless over drugs/alcohol/our addicts, and that our lives had become unmanageable". Once we surrender to the fact that we cannot control this, we begin to heal and move on through our own recovery.

My heart just breaks for you. I feel your pain and wish I could give you answers that would make you smile and give you peace. But, because I care, I can only give you the truth as I see it.

My prayers are with you, your boyfriend and your baby. God Bless you all.
Ann is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 11:41 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: San diego, CA, USA
Posts: 86
My husband told me over and over again that he could "control" it.... that he did not need rehab.... because he was not one of those bums that lived in the park and did not shower... addicts/alcoholics come in all shapes and sizes.... rich, poor, black, white, man, woman... does not discriminate at all... You should check out some of my past posts... You will really be able to relate to me as I can relate to you.... I actually believed that if I loved my husband enough, and married him, and gave him everything he wanted he would get better.... I also use to party with my husband... I used to drink socially and occasionally I would have a puff off the old Magic dragon.... but I can say I am not an alcoholic or an addict... as soon as I realized the rode my husband and I were traveling down.... I gave it all up....
After everything your husband has put you through, do you really think it's ok to have that one beer!!!!!!!!!! I'm only saying all this because I have been exactly where you were... My husband use to tell me the same things...
I suggest you stick to this site... You will know what to do when the time comes... Just take one day at a time right now... Right now I'm taking one hour at a time... I will pray for you and your family... Please keep posting here... We will be here for you... Your friend in Recovery.... Clowie
Clowie is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 12:01 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Stephanie's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: The Basement
Posts: 724
Hi Nybord,

I could so relate to your story. My husband said he wasn't an alcoholic he just drank too much. A very wise person in an Alanon meeting once told me that people who are not alcoholics don't think about quitting drinking.

I am an addict myself with over 10 yrs in recovery and I was scared for myself if my husband started using. Well, he has and I have done all the threats and laying down the law. I learned that none of that will make him stop. If you truly don't want to live with an active alcoholic than make the move. But, if you choose to stay then there are a lot of programs that will support you if and when things get rough. I find I'm actually finding myself while trying to detach from my husband and it has been a pretty cool journey so far. This is a wonderful site with a lot of wise people that have been through it all. I suggest going back and reading some of them. It really helped me.

Good luck

Stephanie is offline  
Old 10-19-2002, 03:24 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
bonbon's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North America
Posts: 362
Welcome!!! Glad to see you here!
Geeze, I read your post and your questions and thoughts remind me of my own when I first joined here.

I was with my A (now my x) for close to 9 years. We have a 5 year old daughter together. He drank and smoked weed every day, which got worse over the years. This past year he started in with crack.

He still does not think he has a problem. He has lost me and his daughter, our house and my love and trust. It took me a long time to understand his disease, took me reading and educating myself, coming here a whole lot, and finding support in any avenue I could get it. I was scared and hated the disease. But loved my A.

Let me tell you, your boyfriend is going to make it sound really good, he is going to tell you he has it under control. He is going to say you and your daughter mean the world to him. He will make you feel like everything is ok, he will say that it has hit home to him to be in jail, just be ready for the fall after every time he will tell you these things, and carry them out temporaily, but then fall back into his pattern that is making you question whether he has a problem or not.

It is tuff, and it will make you tuff. Having a newborn is enough, I hope your taking good care of yourself and getting some rest.
I absolutley love the way you spell your daughters name.

Keep coming here, feel free to email me anytime. It helps to have support and someone to talk to.

So glad you found us!!!
Take care....
bonbon is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:28 AM.