Would the drinking stop if he or she loved you?

Published by at 10:58 am under Common Concerns

Welcome to First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today we’re going to ask Al-Anon members if they ever thought the drinking would stop if the drinker really loved them.

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164 comments on “Would the drinking stop if he or she loved you?”

  1. Roxanne says:

    I’m 30 years old and my boyfriend is 38. We have been together for 3 and a half years and lived together for 1 year and half. I have a 6-year-old girl that lives with us. I am not good with writing, but I need to express what I am going through.

    My boyfriend and I have a good time with drinking together and I thought everything is normal. He is really good to my little girl, with or without drinking. My whole life I’ve been with drinking parents — a father who is verbally abusive and a mother that can’t control it or stop. I told myself I would never put my daughter through the life I had.

    Recently, my boyfriend has become really bad with the vodka. He’s hiding it and lying to me (I know how to find the bottles). I know when he is toasted, I can see it in his eyes. I know he has a problem, and I want to help him to stop.

    I love him to death. I want to take him to AA meetings with me. I want to be there to support him and help him. I want to know why he has his addiction and I want him to talk to me. I did get him to confess that he has a problem and he needs to slow down and limit himself, but that didn’t help.

    He wants to quit, but he has a hard time finding a way to quit. Oh, also, when he is drunk he gets really lovable, to where it starts annoying the heck out of me. I am afraid that his liver will fail and he is going to have a lot of health problems. I will be joining my first Al-Anon meeting tomorrow.

  2. Broken says:

    Although reading these stories makes me sad for everyone suffering, it also makes me realize that, without a doubt, I made the right choice.

    I just ended a relationship with a high-functioning alcoholic, and I don’t drink at all. I loved her very much and tried many times to talk to her about her drinking. She would cut down, and then go back up again. She always said, “I have to be the one who decides how much I drink, not you.” And while normally I would agree with her, she really wanted to have a baby with me.

    She has no kids, and I have four already. She doesn’t understand what it means to be a parent and how much commitment and energy it takes. Anyway, we broke up over it and although I’m still in love with her, and miss her, I know it’s the right thing. It doesn’t make it hurt any less, though. I feel like she chose the bottle over me.

  3. Sherry says:

    I am in love with my soul-mate, who happens to be an alcoholic. I never was raised around or had any idea of what actually alcoholism really was, as far as the toll that it takes on the person that is not an alcoholic in the relationship.

    I just thought he was a good person helping his buddies all the time and doing favors to help them out, when the reality of what it really was was drinking, whenever he and they got the chance and had an excuse to do it. For a while he was a lot of fun, having all kinds of friends and hanging out all the time. I never got to experience that kind of life and was very naive. I had fun meeting new people and hearing their funny stories — then it got old when they kept repeating them night after night.

    I want to say I was roped into this by love and was blinded until we got married. I guess I thought it would get better once he had someone who honestly cared for him and he could be at ease that I was there to help him and not use him like so many other people. Then once we got married it got way worse and I guess he figured I was trapped and he could just be himself, as when he was single for 13 years prior to me, and reality set in with me. He always had an excuse to go over to visit with a buddy who was also a drinker and did not come home until late at night, through the week or weekend.

    As crazy as it seems, I am 57 years old and my husband is 55 years old and I had no clue about this kind of life. I met my soul-mate at 50 and I had been married before, but life was so boring until this outgoing, wonderful man came into my life and showed me how to really live. So I thought, as I look back and what he has put me through — abuse, physical and mental — and all the while I have a full-time job and have managed to excel, because life was much better at work. He is disabled physically and does not work, so he has no care as long as he can drink.

    But I love him and want to help him, but I have no idea how I can stop his drinking.

  4. Claudia says:

    When my boyfriend and I met, we drank and did the party thing. Three years later we had a baby girl. I changed my life to try my best to be a fit mother like I saw growing up. He kept doing the same — now 12 years later and 2 kids, it got worse.

    I can’t take this anymore and reading these comments I don’t feel so alone. I love him — his father recently died of a drug overdose. I’m afraid my kids will suffer the same.

    He tries to stop drinking for a couple days, then loses himself bad. When he’s sober, he is a good dad and we make plans for our future, but it all goes down the drain when vodka gets in his system.

    I feel hopeless and I know I can make it without him. It just hurts to think of moving on. I will always worry about him. My kids don’t deserve to see this. I grew up in a Christian home with stability, love and peace. I don’t get it and probably never will.

  5. Tiffany says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years now. I’m so in love with him. I love him with every aching bone in my body. I just don’t know if I can handle him being an alcoholic anymore.

    When we talk about our future I get so excited, but I’m also disappointed because a piece of me knows he will never change. Being an alcoholic runs in his family. His grandpa and his mom are both recovering alcoholics. His grandma and his dad are still alcoholics. His brother is an alcoholic and so are his friends.

    Every time we try and get him help, it never works out — because everyone who he surrounds himself with are alcoholics. I want him to get better. I’m just waiting for the day he gets better, but a part of me knows that day isn’t going to come.

    I don’t know what I should do. I don’t just want to give up on him. I feel like he needs me. Leaving him will not be easy, but maybe it will be the best thing for me. Sad that I lost the love of my life to alcohol.

  6. Cynthia says:

    I listened today to the first podcast & it was talking about would an alcoholic stop drinking if he loved me. I have been married for almost 5 years to my highschool sweetheart, who found me after 20 some years on Facebook. Both of us divorced & with grown children in different states.

    He was the one person I never forgot about, so to speak. I was well established where I was & he was retired military with a civilian job on post. I felt like God had opened the skies & sent me the person I had always wanted to be with in life.

    I had a terrible childhood, which entailed a mother who left when I was 15 & I went to foster care and so forth. My husband now knew all those things, so I thought he would be the only one who could never possibly hurt me or make me feel unsafe or abandoned.

    The distance was 1,000 miles & I was the one who had to make the change, but I was okay with it — especially if it meant that I would feel complete. Problem was I can’t say I didn’t know he had an alcohol problem, because I did. But the key detail was I thought that I could “fix it” or it would get better since we loved each other so much. More or less, I would be the answer to the addiction.

    I uprooted where I was, moved to him. We married 3 months prior, all to a new town, new area, to realize almost 5 years later I can’t fix him, and I blame myself.

    The verbal abuse is so bad. Honestly, as I type this I cry because I don’t understand & I feel so alone. How could someone that I loved so long, hurt me so bad with words & why won’t he even try to stop for me?

    I feel like it’s too late to turn back now, and this is my life. My daughters both live 1,000 miles in separate locations & my parents are deceased. So I have no one but him.

    I have worked since I have been here, but never had time to make friends or do anything other than with him — because I felt like I had to hurry home to make sure he is okay. If I stopped somewhere on the way home it appeared I would get punished — by coming in and him drinking. I have expressed my concerns, just as recently as 2 hours ago, & he called me something to my face that he had never done before.

    We have so many things, so blessed. He is a hard worker and a functioning alcoholic. But I am an empty shell, longing for emotional connection, & him to just make me feel like I am someone to him that matters. I have quit caring about any of my wants or needs, due to worrying about him. I feel selfish if I don’t totally focus on his problem.

    I just had cervical cancer in April, & I really thought that it would wake him up, to see life is worth living for, but it didn’t. So honestly, I don’t know what to do anymore.

  7. taite says:

    My fiance and I have been together for a little over a year and are expecting a daughter in a few months. He claims he will quit drinking for me, but he will go a day, another day passes and he asks me if he can buy a drink. He will buy one, which leads to the day after me picking him up at his friend’s house and he is intoxicated.

    He has lied to me. I saw a bottle of vodka one night in the refrigerator and then when I mentioned you better be staying sober, I went back to the refrigerator pretending to get some ice cream to find the alcohol gone. I know I am about to have a child and my life is going to change forever, but I want him to be a part of it. I want to get married, to have a happy, whole family. He has been previously divorced, but alcohol wasn’t the only factor in the divorce — his wife had been unfaithful.

    I just don’t know what to do anymore. I love him, but I’m afraid that he is going to drink until he dies. He has recently shared with me he has been hearing voices in his head (usually he is drunk when this happens). I have never heard of alcoholics hearing voices before, though. I pray to God he gets better and seeks help for the sake of our relationship and our daughter

  8. Mia says:

    I have been with my fiance for 5 years now. He has always drank, but previously it seemed social. I didn’t realize he had a problem until about 2 years ago. He would drink and start fights with me, waking up the next day as if it never happened. He started blaming me for everything wrong in our relationship — when I have been the only one trying to keep things progressing.

    His 3 kids live with us and they are teens. They barely talk and spend most of their time locked up in their room. His middle son is failing most of his classes and his daughter is starting to sleep in the same bed nightly with the middle son. My fiance doesn’t care to correct any of what’s going on. He only cares about his liquor.

    Yesterday while he was drunk, he threw my phone into a wall and shattered it — his excuse was that I was getting on his nerves telling him a story about one of my co-workers.

    He wreaks of alcohol and BO daily. I have to wash our sheets every day because this horrible smell gets in and stays in the bedding. Even that smell is my fault. Nothing is ever enough for him — if I talk, I’m saying something annoying and he doesn’t want to hear anymore. If I walk, it’s too slow for him. If I want to watch something on tv, he storms out of the room because he “can’t” deal with the tv shows I watch. A few months ago he went crazy because I cooked chicken twice in a week and apparently he hated chicken that month. Now this month he hates ground beef and purchased a freezer full of chicken. I can’t keep up with any of it. I am drained.

    As I write this, I am laying downstairs on our couch because I can’t stand sleeping next to him. He woke me up 2 hours ago wanting to argue about why I told him a story regarding my co-worker — all a bunch of drunk nonsense, making a problem where there is none. Do I love him? Of course — but if he can’t sober up, I have to leave him.

  9. wendy says:

    How can A.A. help when he goes to meetings drunk — and they don’t say anything that I know of. He can’t get past Step 4, has been a member for a year. I was so blinded in love with him, but the smell of alcohol every night has soured my heart.

  10. Over it says:

    I have been staying with my boyfriend for a year now. When we first met it was one bottle, but I thought it was just celebrating our dates. But as the months passed, his drinking is unbelievable. He blames his job for his drinking, which plenty of times we have argued about. He can be an affectionate person, but there is no sex involved in this relationship. He prefers to watch porn. He is unsociable, will not go out, has only taken me out once for dinner.

    I ask him to take me for coffee. His reply is we have some in the kitchen. His favorite spot in the flat is the bed, with TV and wine. Cannot make a noise when he’s watching, either league, fishing, or cop programmes. Don’t make a noise in the kitchen, or there will be an argument, don’t chew toast while you are around him, don’t slurp your tea/coffee, not to make a noise with your fork or spoon on the plate. Neighbors cannot mow their lawns, or builders banging anywhere outside. Cannot mow our lawns while he is home, because of hangover day, which is every day. Picks on my dog if things don’t go well for him.

    We have slept in separate beds for the last three months. If I had to snore a little bit, which I do because I have a sinusitis problem, he makes this horrible grunt to let you know you are making too much noise. I have asked him to see someone about his drinking, but he said he does not have an issue with it.

    I think something has happened in his teen days. A man who once was a good rugby player, fitness person, had many girlfriends, all of whom gave him the heeve ho, and left them for other men.

    I am a widow. My husband and I were very happy and had a great marriage. After years being single, I met him through my sister. I have not compared him to my late husband, because he will never come close. How do I help him? I have tried everything. He is all about himself and no one else. He also texts other women when he drinks, and then denies it, and the list just keeps going. He even brings up that I am after his money if we are in a relationship for more than two years. I have more assets then he does.

    I have strong feelings for this man. I believe after 8 years being widowed, there must be a reason why I ended up with him. I am at my wits end, I don’t know what to do. He has a good heart, when he is sober — but it’s still all about him, and to top things off his brother stays upstairs, and they are both off the same branch. They need to divorce, but I cannot see that happening. When we have a deep conversation, he calls it arguing.

  11. kim says:

    Why do we subject ourselves to such pain and hurt?

    Married 7 years to my knight in shining armour. He gave so much of himself to me and our boys. Trust, independence and love.

    Now it’s the bottle that has him. I am drifting away from him emotionally. Feel alone, no one to talk to.

    Cried reading many of these posts and think I am being selfish.
    I truly hope many of you find the strength to follow your heart for what is best for you. Because you are important too, for yourself and the ones that depend on you.

  12. Rae Mary says:

    Thank you guys for writing these stories. It makes me feel a little better about the situation I just walked away from.

    I have always drank some. It was very bad when I was young, left home at 15 and was in with the wrong people, a never-ending-bender for 6 or 7 years — always working and putting money away, though. My ex cleaned my account out (over 50 grand) and took off to another country. Wake-up call for me. If I wasn’t so drunk, he wouldn’t have pulled that off!

    Started my life over, flat broke at 25 years old, living out of a backpack again and driving a beat-up old truck. Sold my boat and everything of value and rented my house to clean up debts he left me. Off to the drilling rigs I went, ran a 24-hour-a-day vacuum truck and lived in a shack on a drilling rig way up in northern Alberta. I am good at it. That is good money, but you earn every dollar.

    I got a boiler ticket and worked the same abusive work. It isn’t a life I would wish on anyone, but it sobered me up because there was no time to drink or eat or even change your socks some days. I still drink some in the summer when I am off. But I got involved with a nice guy that doesn’t cheat on me, but even in the beginning I knew he had the same problems as me, but was a very good person underneath.

    For once I could go out of town for months on end and work without wondering what he was up to. Not cheating or spending my money out in bars — no, because his main plan was to work part-time and then come home and get drunk by himself. This spring I came home from the north country and he has smashed up my pickup, destroyed my house from home renovation projects gone wrong. His grandfather is sick in another province, so this is somehow my fault he doesn’t work enough to earn enough to travel. This is all somehow my fault and causing him to drink.

    A couple months ago he was working lots. I am off for the summer — can afford and need it. He decides he is somehow supporting me and that I am having some kind of affair with a water hauler. Interesting and almost funny as our water hauler is a 60-year-old man with a Mohawk. I ignored most of it, until he punched me in the face and broke my nose — going on and on about what a whore I am, then up and hit me. My being German, Hungarian and some Irish might have played a part in how it played out. No skinny drunk retard that took the winter off work is going to call me a lazy whore. I broke bones in his face and ribs.

    He has been threatening to leave me once a week for the last year, then sobers up and it all changes. He packed his stuff and went home to his mommy and I haven’t heard from him since. Leaves me feeling empty and alone, but could not continue watching someone who was a shell of a person. I get a 5 minute conversation and then he is too drunk to make sense. He watched his mother put up with his dad like that for so many years and told me he never wanted to be like that — he is exactly the same.

    She works every day while he is home too drunk to talk to, or just yells at her. I see the emptiness in her eyes and never want to be 60 years old in her shoes. Is it wrong, I just kicked him to the curb? Could there have been any fixing it? I can’t bring myself to call and check is he doing better or just sinking deeper? So many questions and 4 years of my life down the drain. Now I can move forward with my life and try very hard not to pick another one like him.

  13. Linda says:

    I love my boyfriend with every tiny piece of myself. We’ve been together almost 5 years now.

    We met at 22 and immediately fell completely in love. He was everything I’d ever hoped for and more. I couldn’t believe I had found someone so amazing.

    Somewhere over the years our fun “drinks with friends” and “drinks with dinner” became a necessity to him. Every day. Immediately after work, on lunch breaks during the day, as soon as he wakes up on the weekends, and until we go to sleep, he is drinking.

    Also over the years he has become resentful of me and angry and emotionally deficient. I’ve blamed myself and sought therapy for anxiety and depression, even medication to help myself. I never equated his mood swings to alcohol. He never really acts drunk, slurs his speech or appears unbalanced , but he must never be sober. I can’t count how many beers he drinks in a day, and that’s just what I know about.

    To be honest this is my first time ever really admitting this (any of it) to myself and it’s sending me into a panic. I’m scared for our future together. I cannot marry this man and have children and love a lifetime with an alcoholic.

  14. Doreen says:

    I’ve been married for 14 years now. My husband has been drinking all along. Without a job, and depending on our parents — that’s been our life.

    My husband is so selfish. When he gets money, it all belongs to him. There is no proper planning in our family. Recently he had stopped drinking, but after 4 months he has gone back to drinking.

    He does not provide. He is just too lazy to work. He is so violent when he’s home. He comes home late and I feel this is just too much.

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