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Does this dry drunk behavior mean he will relapse?

Old 10-18-2013, 02:35 PM
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Unhappy Does this dry drunk behavior mean he will relapse?

Hello , this is my first post so I hope I can make my point without babbling too much :/
I have been with my ABF for 2 years. When I met him he had been sober for nearly a year. I was very na´ve about alcoholic behavior because I had had recently ended a 22 yr marriage with a nondrinker.
I knew he had issues with anxiety as I did and I think that brought us together.
I trusted his sobriety and was floored when he relapsed about 8 months into our relationship. He has since been on a consistent pattern of relapse and sobriety, every two months or so. He has relapsed nine times in one year.

During that time he managed to be sober for 4 mo in a row. He attended in- patient treatment and showed progress, but then said he didn't need any more time in treatment. He seemed be more humble and kind and so I let him move in with me. But then it would start again.
And each time it ended up with the same scenario. He would be ok for about 2 weeks and then he would start to pick at me, subtly insulting me. He would get upset if I didn't sleep naked with him, or snuggle a certain way to show him I liked affection. He wanted to be with me all the time and I felt smothered. I didn't feel like calling friends or family because I thought he would get mad if I did. Eventually, I would get this feeling in my gut that I really couldn't handle this man or his issues. I do love him, but it was sooo much work to have a good day. Eventually I would explode ( I admit this was stupid of me). and he would move out or I would ask him to leave and he would relapse. Then Drink for weeks, end up sleeping in his car, pawning everything, end up in the hospital etc. I would feel sorry for him and I always hoped this would be his rock bottom. So I would take him back.
This all happened again here the other day. He seemed form the outside to be doing all the right things, but every time I asked him if we could talk about his drinking and his plans for treatment of some kind, he would literally talk over me and change the subject. If I persisted he would tell me I was bringing up the past, being cruel and abusive. He constantly discounted things I needed to talk to him about , like texting other women.. etc. he would deny then keep denying and get overly aggressive in the way he talked to me.
Even tho he has been sober and appears to be doing good things, I am smart enough to know that if I couldnt talk to him about something he says he is done with (drinking) without him getting very angry, that he hasn't really got any plans to change. (Or else he figures if I get upset, he has a good excuse to start again ).
He doesn't drink every day. he can go for a few wks/months and he will drink every day for two or three weeks.. usually ending up in the ER. this has always confused me because he claims he has no desire to drink when he is around me. But then he starts in with these weird behaviors and I tell him I wont tolerate it and we argue and I ask him to leave. Then he goes off to drink somewhere.
I am exhausted mentally. Is this just typical dry drunk behavior that I am supposed to be patient with?
Or is this a manipulative cycle? Is he really trying like he says? Any advice would be appreciated. This is an amazing group of selfless people that I truly admire. Thank u all ahead of time
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wordwrap View Post
He seemed be more humble and kind and so I let him move in with me. But then it would start again.

And each time it ended up with the same scenario. He would be ok for about 2weeks and then he would start to pick at me, subtly insulting me. He would get upset if I didn't sleep naked with him, or snuggle a certain way to show him I liked affection. He wanted to be with me all the time and I felt smothered. I didn't feel like calling friends or family because I thought he would get mad if I did. Eventually, I would get this feeling in my gut that I really couldn't handle this man or his issues. I do love him, but it was sooo much work to have a good day. Eventually I would explode ( I admit this was stupid of me). and he would move out or I would ask him to leave and he would relapse. Then Drink for weeks, end up sleeping in his car, pawning everything, end up in the hospital etc. I would feel sorry for him and I always hoped this would be his rock bottom. So I would take him back.
This all happened again here the other day. He seemed form the outside to be doing all the right things, but every time I asked him if we could talk about his drinking and his plans for treatment of some kind, he would literally talk over me and change the subject. If I persisted he would tell me I was bringing up the past, being cruel and abusive. He constantly discounted things I needed to talk to him about , like texting other women.. etc. he would deny then keep denying and get overly aggressive in the way he talked to me.
It seems like your boyfriend is far from "dry", he's actively binge drinking. IMO you're boyfriend isn't a good person, period. I doubt him being sober would help him much. You should probably proceed with your eyes wide open. Do you deserve to be treated the way you're being treated? If you're boyfriend was out of the picture, would most of your problems go away?
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:56 PM
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It does sound a bit like he is into a binging cycle, but I'm not sure that thinking the behaviour as 'dry drunk' is all that helpful. I don't personally like the term, but if it means anything it is the way people who get sober act out problems that are still unresolved and that caused them to drink in the first place.

I know that after stopping drinking a couple of weeks many people do go through a very irritable and moody period - I know I did. It could be that as he dries out a bit he is going through a phase like that.

Or of course you could be seeing the 'real' him. Hard to know. Either way his drinking does not appear to be happily resolved at this stage does it.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:05 PM
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That sounds like a toxic relationship to me. He's just binge drinking and sucking you in with the vacuum of his drama.

I would know. I'm a binge drinker (hopefully I can turn that I am into an I was this time), but luckily I like(d) to drink alone.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:09 PM
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Hi wordwrap;
Welcome to SR.
I can only speak from my own perspective as a former drinker.
When you want to drink, you drink no matter who you hurt or how often.

I think this is not healthy and you should distance yourself from this person.
Someone who ends up in the ER when drinking repeatedly and pawns everything is no one to share a home with. You deserve better.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:13 PM
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Yeah I wouldn't classify somebody who goes on a binge every two weeks as a "dry drunk".
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:53 PM
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Wow. I am so grateful to u all! I cant believe ur quick responses and openness! I am going to consider all of ur responses and appreciate them so much! To be honest.. I never thought of this cycle as a binge cycle.. I think I kind of know when its coming ( because of his moodiness) and so I get ready for it by being tense for days. My worry was that I was "jumping the gun" about his behavior and not letting him "get thru" this period.. but.. then I thought. It isn't that he is just irritable.. argumentative.. No. He is suspicious and accusatory.. demanding and..i get that icky gut feeling. Guess that says a lot right there. I will keep reading SR.. so far it has kept me from totally losing my mind thanks again all!
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:56 PM
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I suggest you post in the Friends and Family forum.
You'll get some great support and information.

Just click on this link:

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:05 PM
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to SR! Do check out the friends and family forum for more insight into your problems. I agree that he's not a 'dry drunk' at all, he's a binge drinker. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy? How much more of his behavior will you tolerate before you get on with your life?

I had a drunk for a boyfriend once. It took me a lot of abuse but I finally threw him out. I felt so free.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:36 PM
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Imabuleva..I think ur honesty says a lot about ur future. Thank u for ur post!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:36 PM
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Read this again:

Originally Posted by wordwrap View Post
Even tho he has been sober and appears to be doing good things, I am smart enough to know that if I couldnt talk to him about something he says he is done with (drinking) without him getting very angry, that he hasn't really got any plans to change. (Or else he figures if I get upset, he has a good excuse to start again ).

And: Is this just typical dry drunk behavior that I am supposed to be patient with? Or is this a manipulative cycle? Is he really trying like he says?
Given the choices you offered, I'm going with manipulative cycle.

Though I can summon compassion for his struggles with alcohol, your ABF is a dick.
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:42 PM
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I posted in the alcohol forum a question to what constitutes a relapse. What's the difference between a slip, a relapse and having never quit at all? How long do you have to be dry before you can call drinking a "Relapse"? It's all semantics. One has either quit, or he hasn't.
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:43 PM
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You've gotten lots of good advice here, and I would add, that stopping drinking doesn't change all your behaviour. Stopping drinking is just that. The changes in behaviour take a lot of work and motivation too. It sounds like he has a lot of issues to work on.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:30 PM
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Could it be that you think you can "help" him, "fix" him, "stop" him from drinking, have him use you as a "control", keep him in "line", when he falls, pick him up and "dust him off"?
If so, it's an old, old story and leads only to what you describe going on right now. Only he can get sober and if he won't start doing it for himself then he's just going to get sicker as time goes on. This guy can't be the only game in town. Why not do yourself (and him) a favor and get off the bus?

W.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:01 PM
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He has bigger issues than just the drinking. The problem are likley to get worse- he doesnt seem interested in fundamental change
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:24 PM
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Good Evening Wordwrap,

Well as an alcoholic, the drink had a lot of control over my way I treated my wife to get the excuse to drink or feel like I had a reason to drink. In one way your in a no brainer situation and in another way your in a very tough situation. I don't have any real suggestions but I do have experience, I would have to say follow ur heart, sometimes tough love is a really hard decision but it could also be the best. Say a prayer and take care of you!!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:38 PM
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So grateful for all ur replies.. u have no idea! I should have posted long ago! THANK U all .. I will do as I already knew I should
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wpainterw;4246344[QUOTE
]Could it be that you think you can "help" him, "fix" him, "stop" him from drinking, have him use you as a "control", keep him in "line", when he falls, pick him up and "dust him off"?
If so, it's an old, old story and leads only to what you describe going on right now. Only he can get sober and if he won't start doing it for himself then he's just going to get sicker as time goes on. This guy can't be the only game in town. Why not do yourself (and him) a favor and get off the bus?


wpainterw,
This is something I have really been thinking about..I think I felt "obligated" for some strange reason to try to help him. But I realize this is way out of my hands and was never my responsibility to begin with, and im exhausted trying to live two lives, his and mine. Thank u for this reminding me of this!
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
Read this again:



Given the choices you offered, I'm going with manipulative cycle.

Though I can summon compassion for his struggles with alcohol, your ABF is a dick.
lol! I love me some straight out honest feedback! Thank u!
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wordwrap View Post
every time I asked him if we could talk about his drinking and his plans for treatment of some kind, he would literally talk over me and change the subject. If I persisted he would tell me I was bringing up the past, being cruel and abusive. He constantly discounted things I needed to talk to him about , like texting other women.. etc. he would deny then keep denying and get overly aggressive in the way he talked to me.
....and he's living in YOUR home? He's gotta go.
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