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Old 03-25-2019, 08:16 AM #1
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Attention Dealing with a partner who is an alcoholic

I am dealing with what I believe is a “functioning alcoholic” I love my boyfriend, but I don’t think I’m doing him any favors by supporting/enabling his drinking habits. Don’t get me wrong, he works hard all week so Friday/Saturday is understandable. We have our date night one night on the weekend, and then the other he hangs out with his buddy/buddies. He doesn’t frequent bars, maybe every month-month and a half so it doesn’t bother me. He was actually trying to live a healthy lifestyle by not drinking on a work night and this made me happy. Well, lately he has been drinking during the week one day (that I’m aware of) and then he drinks all weekend Friday-Sunday. I am concerned, because I know he is dealing with work stress by drinking..I will reach out to him after a night of drinking and now he’s putting his drinking as a priority by saying he needs “Me Time” he has career goals, wants to get married etc. He doesn’t realize he is sabotaging any chance of happiness. He is slowly making me distance myself from him. I am no longer going to prioritize communicating with him and accepting his drinking behaviors as normal..unfortunately I know how this works. He needs to hit rock bottom with no one to catch him. You can bet his drinking buddies won’t be there...I read something online called detachment
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:56 AM #2
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Default Re: Dealing with a partner who is an alcoholic

I am the alcoholic in the marriage here. I have been sober for 6 years. I put my husband through hell. It snuck up on me like its sneaking up on your bf. i started by hanging with a drinker and we would do cocktails most nights, and on the nights we didnt get together we would have cocktails over the phone and talk. I was alienating my husband and making the drinking friend a priority. That friendship died and I didn't stop. I even enrolled in beauty school and would come home on lunch for a "glass of wine". Soon it was bottles. I dropped out of school. I have been on disability for other reasons so that made it easier to justify my drinking. I still cooked, was a decent mom and wife. I held it together until the end. I joke that I turned 30 and by the time I was 35 I was a full blown alcoholic. My poor husband did his best, and my middle daughter took the brunt because she would get in the middle of the fights, and one time dumped all my wine and I blamed my husband and took off down the street to the bar. He asked my neighbor to go follow me to make sure I was ok.

I have always been an early riser but the physical effects I was having had me waking up super early and I would chug wine to stop shaking and sweating. One morning I feel to my knees realizing I was out of wine, ( i was up to three big bottles a day) and I weeped and cried like I never have. That noon I went to an AA meeting and I have been sober ever since. Prior to that I had tried AA and relapsed, I think it was about 4 times. Relapse is not required but it goes with the territory. Not everyone needs a 12 step program. Some people use SMARTrecovery and some people can do it on their own. AA helped me understand my addiction and medication and therapy helped me work on the internal piece of the addiction.


You are right that he must hit rock bottom if he is an alcoholic in order to stop but who knows what that bottom is? I never got arrested (though I should have been) I never abused my kids physically or my husband. But I did miss out on a lot. I think you are wise to pull away and not prioritize certain things with him. Consequences are the only thing that wakes us up. Sometimes those consequences are devastating and to be real, you may not make it with him. But if you are able to learn the right kind of support you can. AlAnon helps families of addicts. Its tough to figure out the difference between alcoholism and heavy drinking but I do not know any heavy drinkers that make it to their 50's and dont become alcoholics. The joke I hear is "how many active alcoholics do you know that are 65 years old?" The answer among my crew is none. I have first hand witness the death of an active alcoholic, most recently in April of last year. They poop themselves at the end. They are combative, they get "wetbrain" the are neurologically impaired, liver failure, fatty liver disease. They start out really bloated (look for the reddish bulbous nose- red cheeks, watery red eyes) and then they just stop eating and become skin and bones. Its horrible. I am not trying to scare you, just share my experience.
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She just couldnt handle it.

its important for you to decided what parts you are able to take and live with, and how much support you are willing to give, and to NOT feel guilty if your choice is to leave or that you cant give him what he wants.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:10 AM #3
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Default Re: Dealing with a partner who is an alcoholic

You are right..I’m an ACOA. My dad was a heavy drinker to the point he would binge. So this is a real trigger for me. I have told him what I went through but since he isn’t to that extreme, he doesn’t see it. I read a good article on detachment. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him, but it means I am not going to laugh or make jokes about his drunken nights, and act like this is normal behavior. Where will his buddies be when he falls? Bet they won’t be around.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:26 AM #4
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Default Re: Dealing with a partner who is an alcoholic

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much and that you and your boyfriend are going through all of this, Gymgirl71 I completely agree with what sarahsweets has already wisely said better than I ever could. I'd suggest to listen to her if you can and want. She always has great advice! I believe you need to make things clear with your boyfriend. Make him understand that you won't accept this behavior and that he needs to change it if he wants this relationship to continue. Do not be afraid to set up boundaries. You have every right to do all of this. You're not the one to blame. Just try to tell to him what ways there are out there to get out of all of this. There IS help available. I'd suggest to make him try AA and see how it goes from there. Maybe that could help. I feel like that may definitely help him. Remember that you can't force him to get help and to get better. He's the one that needs to put the hard work. If he refuses to get help, you may want to consider to end this relationship. I know it's hard, especially when you've invested so much time in it, but you need to take care of yourself. It's the right thing to do. Perhaps he'll understand his mistakes that way, although there's no way to be sure. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and to ask for help. You deserve to live an happy life, with him or with someone else. He deserves it too, but he needs to get better first! I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this, Gymgirl71. Please don't give up. Try to hang on. Keep fighting! You're a strong, wonderful person! You're awesome! You're strong! You're a warrior! I'm so sorry you're going through all of this! You don't deserve to suffer at all
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