Should I stay or not?

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Should I stay or not?

Post by cg996 »

My boyfriend is an alcoholic. We have been together a little over two and a half years and this has been the only problem in our relationship. Any argument we've ever had stems from him being drunk and putting his temper to use. He's never been physically violent towards me directly, but he has thrown many objects and broken them and he can be verbally abusive. He is a very nice guy when he is sober and seems very apologetic after he hears about the awful things he's said, but obviously that hasn't really stopped him from drinking. Every attempt he's ever made to quit seemed to last a day or two. He definitely has emotional issues surrounding depression and the loss of his father to alcoholism a little over a year ago. I think when he's drunk is the only time he feels comfortable expressing his emotions...he does not seem to do it when he is sober. I've told him he should try speaking to a psychologist/counselor (as someone who suffers with depression and had a substance abuse problem with marijuana about a year ago) but he hates the idea of "talking to a stranger". So clearly, emotional expression is not something he practices in a healthy way. We've recently moved to a new city, closer to my parents, and in the 6 months we've been here I have had to leave 3 times in the middle of the night to go stay with my parents or a friend because he's been completely intolerable when he's drunk. I'm starting to really consider ending the relationship because I can't deal with him when he's drunk, which has started to become more of a daily occurrence since his last "attempt" to quit in December. I should have probably ended things a long time ago, but obviously something is holding me back. I think I just feel so sorry for him that I can't bring myself to do it. I know it would break his heart but mine has been broken a long time. How can I get over my fear of hurting him and just end this?

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Re: Should I stay or not?

Post by avaneesh912 »

Checkout the Al-Anon website its geared for friends and family of an alcoholic. You may get tremendous support from them.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Should I stay or not?

Post by chefchip »

Hello. Thanks for posting. I agree with Avaneesh912. Al-Anon is a fantastic resource for loved ones of people like us, loved ones of alcoholics. While we can tell you what we were like and how we changed our perspective on what our friends and families went through will always be lacking somewhat. Just cuz.....

Here's what I can tell you. First, no one can advise you on what to do about your relationship. That is something only you can decide and act upon. From what you wrote, I got a very clear impression that you already know what you need to do. You just need the courage and strength to do it. Al-Anon has people who will listen and let you vent out loud.

Secondly, I was a very nice alcoholic. I was raised by a very mean alcoholic who abused me in a number of ways. I learned from him that I did not want to be that kind of alcoholic. Weird that I didn't learn I didn't want to drink at all, but that is another story. Anyway, it sounds like your boyfriend is like many of us. He will make any excuse or promise that he can in order to keep drinking without consequences. That kind of thinking will continue until he a) drinks himself to death or insanity, b) loses everything he has, or c) realizes he needs help because he can't do this alone.

You can't help him. You can't change him. You can only help and change yourself. As selfish as it sounds, that is what you have to do. Take care of yourself no matter what that means. Al-Anon. Go. Listen. Talk. Take care of yourself.

Be well,
The only constant in life is change.

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Re: Should I stay or not?

Post by ann2 »


I was a few years sober when I got into a relationship with a drinker. He was nice as far as I can remember, i mean, drinking the only effects seemed to be either disappearing or passing out. We broke up because the relationship wasn't going anywhere, I mean, i was more serious about it than he was, and when that became clear I politely departed. Heartbroken.

I did take him to an AA meeting, but as far as i knew sobriety was only something I was interested in. My plan however was not to change him or get him recovered; i just loved him the way he was.

About 6 months after we broke up we met for lunch for some weird reason. The main reaction I had from this get together was, "What did i see in this guy?"

That's not the end of the story though. After maybe 15 years he contacted me through Classmates, that old pay-to-hook-up-with-your-high-school-friends site. He didn't go to my high school but he joined in order to send me a message. The message was, "I'm sober 11 years and need to take step 9 with you." We had a nice couple of conversations on the phone and he found out what he needed to make amends for, the actual harm he had done, which was not at all what he thought it was.

He did tell me that he meeting I took him to made a big impact. He also shared about a miscarriage he and his wife had gone through, helping me with one my husband and I were going through. And I was able to make amends to him.

The thing that has always struck me about this episode of my life is the thought that maybe we needed to break up in order for him to get sober. And maybe that was the best way to show my love.

"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Re: Should I stay or not?

Post by Lali »

ann2 wrote:The thing that has always struck me about this episode of my life is the thought that maybe we needed to break up in order for him to get sober.
Yeah, sounds like one of those "if nothing changes, nothing changes" kind of thing. Unfortunately, many of us have to suffer consequences in order to get sober.

cg996, you stated, "He's never been physically violent towards me directly, but he has thrown many objects and broken them and he can be verbally abusive." Violence, like alcoholism, is progressive. It will only get worse. I was one of those alcoholics with a temper. With time, it just got worse. It was as if I was testing the waters to see how much I could get by with. IMO, the sooner you leave, the better.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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