Old 05-15-2013, 12:30 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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I am writing in the hopes for some guidance on communication with my boyfriend regarding what i believe is a problem with alcohol.

My boyfriend is 30 years old, stable job, takes care of himself physically. I am 29, and we have been together 4 years. We've gone through some rocky patches in our time together, but this most recent issue has me seriously contemplating if enough is just enough already. I love him, and want to be with him, but I am wondering if there is anything worth salvaging at this point or if I would be damaging myself to even try. Let me explain.

My boyfriend doesn't drink often, but when he does, he really makes it count. He frequently blacks out and loses large chunks of whole evenings, and spends the entire next day recovering in bed, and he is also a different person (never, ever abusive, but moreso ambivalent to my presence and loud, sometimes rude, and cares only about what he wants). When we first met years ago, before we started dating, I'll admit to the same occasional college bender myself...but at this point, I now drink only casually/socially, while he still hits it hard when he goes out with friends. His friends are also all the same, and all enable each other by being the same...they still think it's funny, as 30 year old men, to get blackout drunk and fill each other in with the missing pieces of their night. By this point, I am bothered by it.

A few months ago, my boyfriend was out of town with his friends for an annual gathering which involves - you guessed it - a giant four day bender. Every year this happens. This year, my partner got so smashed I'm fairly certain he had alcohol poisoning. He called on Sunday from 2 1/2 hours away, asking me to come get him because he was too hungover and feeling terribly to drive the next day, and he was considering admitting himself to the hospital. At first, I flat out refused, but after (literally) 6 hours and him still not feeling better, I'm sorry to admit I did go get him. On the way home we talked a lot about this issue, and he voluntarily stated "This is a new low for me, I'm not proud of myself, I have to change". I was, unfortunately, very proud of this statement from him and hoped it was a new leaf. In the next couple of weeks/months things were really good. We even have an "at home therapy" game which we played a few of his questions asked what he needed to change in his life at this moment to improve it. He responded, "My drinking. I have to work on that". Again, very encouraging.

Then, I was out of town three weekends ago. I came back Sunday to a moderately hungover boyfriend on the couch, he'd been out pretty much all weekend with one of the worst and most persuasive of his "friends". Stupidly, I didn't confront him on this at that time. This last weekend takes the cake though...we'd had very tentative at home dinner plans Saturday night, when he decided he was going to go to a friend's house instead for a game. I asked if we could just have a nice late dinner instead, and his response was "well I don't know what I'll be doing later". Well, I'm no dummy, I know what that means. I was angry, and got a little emotional asking him what happened to his vow to work on his drinking when I knew he was going to go out and get drunk tonight. His response was irritated, he scoffed and said "Thanks", as though he couldn't believe I didn't have faith in him to control his drinking. Well, he went out, and tied a good one on. While he was out, his father had tried to reach him and learned he was out drinking; he then called me and was talking all sorts of drastic measures, such as intervention and family meetings...I honestly don't think either would be effective on my boyfriend. When he finally got home, he was nearly fall down wasted. I was angry, and asked what was wrong with him, he responded, "It's my life, and my choice". He spent all of the next day, except four hours, in bed, noticeably hungover. We haven't spoken in four days now, because I am so angry and upset with him, and it's always me to fix things or initiate discussions, while he waits for things to boil over. He knows I'm very upset, as he's tried to engage me in casual conversation several times but I've been pretty unresponsive.

I know this isn't the way to handle this, but I am at a loss. I don't understand how he can know and recognize he has a problem, and then blatantly disregard this and make the same mistakes, over and over again. I guess I don't really know what I'm looking for from this site, other than a cyber-shoulder. I am at a loss, and any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much for listening.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:43 PM
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Welcome to SR, though I am sorry for what brings you here.

Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
"It's my life, and my choice".
You might want to adopt your boyfriends philosophy. You can choose to stay; you can choose to go. But you can't choose to make him see his problem as you do. It's an inherent characteristic of alcoholism and problem drinking...we can't maintain our addiction AND see it for the problem it is.

You might want to pop over to our friends and family of alcoholics forum. Lots of people who have gone through what you have gone through, or are going through it now.

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:49 PM
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I agree with Carl. It's your choice whether you stay with this or not. It's sure to get worse as such drinking never gets better, only worse. It's your life and your choice. I hope you do right for yourself.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:28 PM
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All of what you are explaining are very common indicators of alcohol abuse.
These as you well know are MAJOR warning signs.
Given your past experiences, understand this will certainly get worse with time, (alcoholism is a progressive disease). My advice would be that if you are interested in sticking through with this relationship, I would have a serious sit down discussion with him (While he is sober and not hung over etc.) And lay it all down on the table that in order for the relationship to continue he needs to want to get help and get serious help. Otherwise If it were me, I would listen to your gut and heed the warning signs, and prevent yourself a lifetime of pain and suffering while continuing to let a Alcoholic partner cause you to suffer.

Just my two cents. I wish you only the best.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:45 PM
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Just echoing what others have already said--sorry you need to be here but glad you found us.

Check the stickie'd section at the top of the "Family and Friends of Alcoholics" section for a lot of good basic info and some suggestions on reading material. Also, I would highly recommend googling Alanon and finding a meeting soon. Try several different meetings if you possibly can; they tend to have different flavors. You will learn a LOT there in addition to feeling as if you are among folks who "get it."

As others have said, your BF drinks b/c he is an alcoholic, not b/c of anything you do or don't do. Unless he decides he is serious about wanting help, you will have nothing but grief and lies to look forward to. Again, as others have said, it will not get better as time passes.

As far as your BF and his drinking, you did not cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. The only thing you CAN control is yourself--your actions and decisions and how you want your life to be. Take care of you, do some more reading and posting and educate yourself.

Wishing you strength, hope and clarity.
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Skyfall (05-15-2013)
Old 05-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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Sometimes music says more than my words ever can, if you can find this song, I recommend you give it a listen, if not, please read the lyrics and apply them to your situation. Best wishes. -CM

"She Can't Save Him"

She can hear his car, as it pulls in the drive.
She can whisper a prayer: "Thank God, he's alive."
She can meet him at the door; catch him when he falls.
She can even believe that it isn't his fault.
But she can't save him

She can make his coffee, in the cold light of day.
She can make his excuses: tell the boss he'll be late.
She can wave at the neighbours, then kiss him goodbye,
And not say a word 'bout what happened last night.
But she can't save him.

Sometimes she dreams that he's caught in a stream,
And the water keeps pulling him down.
She reaches for him, as he pulls her in.
She wakes just before she drowns.

She can remember the man that he was,
And still shed a tear for what he's become.
She can live in that house until the day,
She sees that it's only herself she can save.
But she can't save him.

And that day she'll know she hasn't failed,
'Cos nothing can change until he saves himself.

No, she can't save him.
No, she can't save him.
No, she can't save him.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:33 PM
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I have to say thanks very much to each of you. Never have I received such blind compassion, support, and encouragement without any judgment whatsoever. It is sincerely appreciated! I guess we'll see where the road takes me, I suppose the first step is having The Talk about getting help, and if he's not receptive to that, I pretty much have my answers. I will also poke around the Family and Friends section, great idea!

Thanks again.
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