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

  1. unsure says:

    I have been with my fiancé for four years this coming January. We met over drinks at a local restaurant and in the first year prided ourselves on how many bars we had visited over the Pacific Northwest, but he always drank more. I knew he liked his cocktails before we took the plunge into love (and the occasional “herb” or pill) and was even very drunk on some dates, but I chalked it up to stress, nervousness, and I like enjoying cocktails and wine or beer also.

    He lost his well-paying job May of 2012 because he yelled at a co-worker while intoxicated, although he denies it. It has gone down hill from there. A few months later we moved where he found work with his father. Great! Except he started drinking at lunch and just a “small” cocktail before work–the cycle begins again. He was drinking more than a standard bottle of vodka a day and stopping at bars on the way home. We were in for some very mean fights and he (and I ) said horrible things. He would back me into a corner and try to scare me or punch a hole in the wall or dent the fridge, tell me if I were anyone else he would “eff” me up and so on. I am hot-tempered Irish and don’t like being backed into a corner. Needless to say he lost that job and the next two, where alcohol had played a part.

    The most he’s gone without drinking was six days. He denies he’s lost any work due to booze or had any other problems because of it. That’s because I take care of everything. My family thinks we need to part ways, but it’s a hard decision to make. The most recent booze-filled adventure was he fell in the bathroom after drinking heavily for days (wake up, drink, pass out, relieve himself, drink), fractured his ribs (the fourth time, all vodka-related) and I took him to the ER the next day. He had two cocktails before going–I only knew of one–and was drunk before going to the ER. His blood-alcohol was .50, and I was dumbstruck.

    He knows he’s an alcoholic, but doesn’t seem to want to go the next step. He was a contractor in Iraq and saw horrific things I can’t imagine. He gets drunk and starts talking about it and becomes very sad and depressed for days, or becomes very angry. I know his drinking is his choice, but I do buy it for him because we have lost so much we can’t afford a DUI. If I don’t get it, he’ll drive and get pulled over.

    I am enabling and have become codependent on his alcoholism. I want to leave, but when he’s not obliterated he’s amazing. I just want him back, but if he doesn’t get help I don’t know how to move forward.

  2. tom says:

    Sounds like the world is chock-full of swilling males. Well, I’m the guy and my wife of 31 years has been an alcoholic for easily 25 of them.

    At first I didn’t recognize it. Then she became disabled and combined pain meds with it. Sloppy stumbling drunk– embarrassing, humiliating, exhausting. Then she started getting abusive. Now she just retreats. Wonderful person until about 4 pm and then it starts. Of course, she doesn’t get up until noon–but then again, she “can’t.” Haven’t had sex in over 20 years.

    This is not a disease. This is a choice that turned into a habit that became an addiction. And the other choices just add to the pain. I made a commitment to God to stay with her, not a commitment to her but to God. And He will judge this. I feel like I’ve lost so much to her choices.

  3. me says:

    I come from a hard-working family, so I can’t tell anyone. I’m 30 and he’s 33. Last year we lost everything. I used to be a strong person, now I’m hanging by a thread. I used to drink sometimes, now my world revolves around it.

    I can earn good money working from home, now my work revolves around his drinking. If you can’t beat them, join them–but then the arguments happen. I can’t leave, I can’t live without him. Friends are starting to say they love him sober but can’t deal with him drunk. Neither can I.

    He says he’ll stop and get a job, that we’ll have a normal life–holidays, meals out, cinema–but it never happens. I die alone without him.

  4. me says:

    I love him so much I can’t leave. It’s been 10 years this December. I work from home. The money I make depends on his drinking. He says he’ll get a job and won’t drink anymore.

    We met in December 2004. I was 20. I thought he was with a group of friends, as there was so much to drink on the table, so I asked are these drinks for your friends? I know now they were his, so what do I do. Yes, he has chosen drink over me and now I find myself drinking too much just to keep up.

  5. just me says:

    I feel trapped. I don’t know what to do. We’ve been married 19 years. The love of my life. Ten years ago he started drinking. Three years ago the fights started. Throwing things at me, saying horrible nasty things to me. Problem is, I believe them. I am that horrible blankety blank that makes him drink. If I was just a better wife, more loving or more supportive or more this or more that, but I’m not.

    I can’t leave. I can’t afford it. My mom doesn’t know, she can’t handle her own life, I would cause a mental breakdown if I told her. My son, age 2, adores him. Our teenage daughter begs him to stop, but he just gets angry.

    He tells me he wouldn’t drink if I was a better person. So my next goal is to be a better person. Never say anything negative. Never say anything or do anything wrong. I wonder if that will stop him. I doubt it. But I feel like I have to try.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Been with the love of my life for almost 4 years now. He has always been a drinker, and family history of it. But since we moved into our new place he has been drunk every day, pushing 5 months straight. In the last year he has been in the hospital about 75 times or more (not joking), and I have even slept there with him for 2 weeks.

    He is young, 29, and doctors have already talked to him about the possibility of cancer and pancreatitis. In the moment it scared him and he slowed down and went from hard liquor to beer. Which I was proud of that change that he initiated. Now because the beers are not as heavy as hard booze, he says he has his stomach pain under control now, so his daily cocktail is a 30-pack and vodka. I’ve told him that he needs help. And that I miss the man that I met, that used to spend time with me, sober.

    Now it basically consists of me hanging in my room to avoid confrontation with him, and him blasting his music, drinking non stop. He says horrible things to me–and please don’t get me wrong. I know I am no angel. I have said some horrible things as well. But for a long time now, I’ve stopped drinking with him as to not enable him. That doesn’t matter. He tells me to do this one day, so I do what he wants. But then the next day he makes me feel crazy for ever doing that thing that he wanted me to do a few days ago.

    We have been in and out of fights. Serious physical fights that I never really believed were wrong or that I was a victim. But staying at my mom’s I’m been able to take a step back and realize he makes me feel like nobody. That I have no chance in life. Which I end up feeling guilty for feeling, because before I felt like I was his everything. He made me feel like I was the only thing that mattered. And now there is a mistress in our relationship that has stolen him from me. Her name is Alcohol. He becomes someone completely different. Even the look in his eyes is not the same.

    By chance he was begging for money and booze, but I told him I was broke–so for one day he was sober. And that was the man I met. He is still there. But masked by this vile poison that consumes him. Our fights have become so constant that my clothes are constantly in bags, because he kicks me out.

    Now this time I have been at my mom’s for 2 weeks, and I have barely heard from him, except only when he wants something. I am so torn. So mentally deranged right now. I still hold my phone hoping he will call. I still love him so much because I know his potential. But I wonder if I can keep loving someone that doesn’t love me in the same way. If I should give up on him and move on. Or if I should keep standing next to a man that has told me he knows he is an alcoholic and doesn’t want to change. I am falling into deep depression.

  7. Cyndi says:

    I’ve been married 34 years. Husband is an abusive alcoholic, no respect, no conches. He drinks every day/weekend very badly. I went to AA a few times, I was told I was trying/working a dangerous game–to be very careful. I really wasn’t thinking.

    I am a fixer/care-giver. I think I can fix everything. I made a big mistake in thinking I could fix him. It back-fired on me. He came after me with full force. As of right now, I have a concussion, 4 broken ribs, don’t remember that morning.

    When he’s not drinking, he is the most loving man you could ever want. He is my love of my life. I go to Al-Anon 2/3 times a week, I’m working the Steps. I see so clearly it’s a disease. I wish I had AA/Al-Anon in my life long before. Maybe the outcome would be different. But I realize, “I’m powerless over alcohol.”

    We have 2 beautiful adult children. We are now going through the court for a separation/divorce. It’s very hard to look back at the past, not much better looking at the future. I’m alone, confused, don’t know how to live by myself for I never lived alone. I’ve been with him 3/4 of my life.

    My wish/hope–I pray every day over and over he will get “help.” I don’t want my children to someday tell me something tragic has happened to their dad.

  8. Ally says:

    I met my guy about a year and a half ago online. No one ever advertises that they like to drink, so how would I have known. The first couple months of our dating were fabulous and there were no signs of any drinking problem. Fast forward a few months and he is out a few nights a week at the bar. My needs in the relationship have been forgotten.

    I don’t know if alcoholics realize they are hurting the other person as much as they are, because, let’s be honest – they are usually making very selfish decisions. At this point in our relationship, I doubt everything he says to me. I doubt the amazing man (when not drunk) who says to me that he is planning on spending his life with me and is trying to work to get there. But every night I see him that way, his actions speak much louder than any words or promises.

    At one point, I thought I could save him or help him. But I realize now that I can’t. I also realize that I stopped having one or two social drinks even. It is making me not want to be or go out near a bar even.

  9. teal says:

    My boyfriend whom I have been together with for 2 years has launched full force into his alcoholism. However, I can have a few and put it down before I feel drunk. He wants me to quit drinking altogether with him, but I really don’t want to. I enjoy having a beer after work. I don’t drink a fifth of Jack and drive in my car and play the victim card all night. If it came down to choosing him or alcohol, I would chose him in a heartbeat. I just wish he didn’t take it so personally when I have a beer. Gosh!

  10. Chantelle says:

    I don’t know what to do to help both my parents realize what they are doing and how it makes me feel without getting mad at them. I don’t want them to feel bad because they have practically lost everything. No, I am not under their care anymore, due to both their drinking.

    For my mom, after losing her kids and her home, I now know that she thinks that she can’t do anything to fix it and has no other choice but to drink. My dad, on the other hand, has been drinking ever since both my mom and dad have been together. My dad’s drinking and constant negativity have gotten my mom into that habit.

    I don’t see them as much as I use to. They have been staying at my auntie’s with us, but have gotten kicked out. I don’t know where they are. I miss them, the old them, and wish they would at least make an effort to show they care. When I do see them, I don’t feel that certain connection with them as I use to, but I do make an effort to spend time with them when I can.

    I want to help, but I don’t want to make them feel worthless. They aren’t going to get anywhere without trying. I feel so bad, the truth is they don’t have anyone or anywhere else to go and they’re out there struggling.

  11. September says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years as of September 2014. We had known each other for several months before we started dating. We met through a mutual friend. We would all hang out and drink together. I, however, grew up and realized it was getting me nowhere except into fights. He, however, still acts as if he’s a teenager (he’s turning 30 next January.)

    I didn’t mind the drinking in the beginning, even though it was 4-7 times a week. It became a problem when he quit his job in 2012, we lost our house, and he screwed over my father by not working with him (when my father offered to let him come along for a week so we could make our rent) and of course, he would use every dollar we had to buy beer or Wild Turkey 101. Or that stupid synthetic weed, K2 crap. But that’s not why I’m ranting here. We ended up living at one of his friend’s trailers after we were kicked out, and this place was nasty. No one would do dishes or clean, and there were rats and black mold everywhere. Still don’t know why I stayed.

    I left him for a few months in 2013 when he cheated on me because he was so drunk. I should’ve stayed away, everyone tells me that. But I’m a strong believer in second chances. So, here we are on this “second chance.” He quit drinking in November of 2013 and hasn’t touched it but once on New Years (which was my idea.) He ended up getting out of jail on the 9th of this month because of his second DUI/driving with a revoked license which he was convicted of in May of 2013. His first offense was in 2008.

    I love him to death, but I don’t know if I can deal with him going back to his old ways. It’s been like 2 weeks since he’s been released from jail and he’s on probation for the next 12 months. He’s been drinking a lot recently, and mostly with his cousin. We got into a fight yesterday because I picked a friend up from work at 7 pm and was gone for about 40 minutes. When I came home, of course, he had been drinking. I drove off without speaking a full sentence to him.

    We’re moving in less than a week to the opposite side of the state unless I call it off, which I’m tempted to do. Where we’d be moving he has a bunch of old friends who still drink and smoke pot. I don’t know anyone out there except his mother and his older brother.

    I feel so confused. I want us to work, but he’s not willing to make the effort.

    I don’t want to waste my entire youth following around and living with an alcoholic.

    I’ve tried everything I can think of to make him quit. He won’t quit on his own, he won’t quit for me, and he won’t go to classes for help because he “doesn’t need them,” in his own words. All I know is that he and I are having a serious talk later, if he’s not already drunk, that is. He probably is. But if he won’t quit drinking, I’m not staying. If he loves me, he needs to prove it and start correcting his past mistakes.

  12. Newman says:

    I work on the weekends. My husband drinks every day after work. 2 weeks ago I told him he would lose his family if I ever came home from work and he was drunk again. He cried like a baby and promised he would stop. He got fired Friday and I asked him to not drink because it would make things worse.

    Well, I came home and he was drunk. When he’s drunk he is cold and talks to me with no respect. He is verbally abusive. He also acts belligerent in front of my 4 and 14-year-old and any other children around. Our neighbors have seen and heard many arguments.

    After 10 years of begging him to stop, I can’t take anymore. He won’t leave our home, so I have to deal with him until I can start a divorce. He denies that he is drunk when it is obvious. I’m tired of his lies and promises. His drinking is affecting my 14-year-old. He has no respect for his father anymore, because he hears the things he says.

    At this point I don’t care what happens to him. I just want him out of my life. He caused me so much pain and is crazy and uncontrollable when he is drunk. He is like another child.

  13. Mommyof3 says:

    Hello, I’m 26 years old and have three girls with my husband. We have been together for almost 8 years now. He has always been a drinker and here lately he’s been drinking a lot, and he’s not him when he’s drunk.

    I’ve been thinking about ending our relationship bc he won’t stop and it’s affecting our relationship. For the past three weeks he’s drank every day and drinks a lot and it’s to the point to where he’s just pushin me away. I don’t want my girls to grow up seeing their father drunk all the time. I just don’t know what to do anymore and I don’t want to hurt him, but I feel like that is how it has to be.

  14. Sherry says:

    I met the love of my life 8 months ago. I’m a recovering alcoholic so I know the signs. My man is wonderful during the day, but when he drinks at night I’m scared. He says so many awful things about me. I’m over 40 and wonder if I’m just hanging in so I won’t be alone. He wasn’t like this when we met and I have no one to talk to. When he is sober, I am the love of his life. When he drinks too much, I suck in every way.

  15. sad smile says:

    Married less than a year, and in the past 3 months my husband vastly increased his drinking. He always loved a drink, but not like this. Sadly with the drink came the fights and tantrums.

    When asked to cut down, it all came to a head for me and I told him (while he was drinking) that I wanted out. The following day he returned home after drinking, so wish I had told him to go to his mum (also an alcoholic) and what happened would of been avoided.

    I had to call the police and now he has been charged with dangerous and threatening behavior. I have dropped his stuff at his mum’s; he is devastated.

    If he would admit that he has no control of the drinking and the drinking brings out the monster in him and agree to attend AA, anger management, perhaps I may decide to take him back as my sober husband is a wonderful man.

    Only a mile separating us physically, but an ocean of beer keeping us apart.

    I wonder if I am a fool for believing he could stop and save our marriage.

  16. Sandra says:

    I’m 21 and I have been going out with my boyfriend for over a year now. I knew he drank too much before I started dating him, but I was a freshman and I wanted to prove I could be wild too.

    He makes empty promises all the time. We no longer go out on dates because I’m afraid he’ll show up drunk and embarrass me. I haven’t introduced him to any of my friends. I know they’ll judge him harshly since he always smells of liquor and looks unkempt.

    I didn’t want to break up with him because he is my first. I now realise that he has a disease and that I am too young to be dragged down with him. I know it sounds selfish, but I can’t keep up with him anymore. I’m glad to be getting out, but very heartbroken.

  17. ceemgee says:

    I was so naive I did not realise my partner was an alcoholic. He never had money; he was always moving home; he always turned his mobile off so I could not get in touch; he was full of excuses; he blamed me for most things that happened; he was often angry and took it out on objects by throwing and breaking stuff (never physically violent with me, fortunately); always in a deep sleep during the evenings and seemed to get drunk very quickly.

    I stuck with this for 5 years, without even realising what his problem was. I lost a few personal belongings (jewelry) and always thought there was some other explanation, other than the fact that he was stealing them. I know this sounds terribly naive. He always had great excuses as to why he never had any money, and why he had to keep moving home, and it all seemed plausible to me, so I honestly believed that he just had an awful lot of bad luck in life. This made me want to help him and “mop up” all the issues that seemed to conspire against him.

    Last week he asked, again, to borrow money so that he could get his mobile phone back from the pawn shop, in order that we could communicate. As soon as he got the money, I did not hear from him. It was at that point that I binned my sim card and decided that enough was enough.

    A couple of days later, I received some e-mails saying he would put photos of me on a porn site if I did not give him £250. It was at that point that I cancelled my e-mail account, removed myself from all social hangouts, blocked him on everything else, and have moved on with my life.

    Some time ago, I moved home myself and did not tell him where I was moving to, as I had been thinking of a great get-away for some time. I had not stopped contact with him, as I still loved him, and kept thinking that he needed me in his life. I was fooling myself into believing that he loved and needed me, as he would plead and whine every time I tried to get away from him.

    This time, he cannot contact me, and I will never ever contact him again. I feel relieved that I have now “seen the light,” after doing a bit of internet research and reading.

    I don’t feel cruel, as he really did lead me a dog’s life. I was so kind and so thoughtful and so full of the milk of human kindness, yet I was blamed for everything, and he never once took responsibility for making me so upset, nor for abusing my kindness.

    Now he has to pay for his crimes against me. I will not look back.

  18. Alysha says:

    I have been with my bf for almost 2 years. I didn’t know the extent of his drinking problems in the beginning, or even suspected anything. He ended up in jail for 8 months because of his drinking.

    He has been in and out of jail for 13 years, all relating to alcohol. He lost his wife and kids to it and naturally lied to me about what really happened at first. I left him once because he got physical. I have tried my hardest to get him help and keep him sober. Once he starts drinking again, his excuse is it’s my fault. Or when I ask why he started to drink again, he responds why not?

    The amount of stress was unbearable. I jeopardized my job for him, moved for him, sacrificed so much. It’s a cycle. He drinks, then gets sober. He feels remorse for all he’s done to me and promises he won’t do it again. It was the same with his ex.

    His last stint he was sober 6 months, then I found out I was pregnant. And that was his excuse to drink again, so after a 3-4 day binge I packed my stuff and left him. He drank for 2-3 weeks straight, got sober, and is now serving a month in jail. He has managed to make the same promises this time and wants me back.

    This time I’m weary because I am due in 3 months, so I have someone else’s well-being to look out for. It’s hard to trust someone who makes false promises repeatedly, treats you terribly and can’t change. I’m scared once he gets out he will fall into the bottle again. But in a way if he does or doesn’t that helps me to make the decision of fixing and working on rebuilding for our future family or cutting him out completely!

  19. cj says:

    Married to an alcoholic for 11 years. Need to talk to someone.

  20. MBA says:

    I’m so confused. I feel destroyed. I have been with my husband for 5 years now. We are in our second year of marriage. When we met we were both in pretty rough shape. I had made my decision to quit doing drugs and was struggling with that. He had his drinking. But when I saw him for the first time a surge of energy went through me and I felt I needed to be better, not just for myself but for him too.

    When we first started dating, he would drink every day and night. Have you ever heard of an alcoholic working in a liquor store? Like a kid in a candy shop. He even showed up wasted to our first dinner date. I’m a fool, right? I just love him so much. I knew he would get better and he did for a while. He was sober and sweet and caring and protective. Every day was an amazing adventure. A sudden tragedy changed everything and we decided to move to his home country to be with his family. He hasn’t been the same since. He doesn’t drink every day. He works so hard here, but any chance he gets he’ll drink until he is unruly and passes out. He turns into a monster.

    It’s not the man I fell in love with. The man who made me feel electrified. He makes me feel bad now. Like he can’t stand being around me unless he’s drunk. Or at all. I miss my intelligent, delicate husband. Now he gets drunk and blames the fights on me for mentioning that I don’t like it. Like it is my fault. I do feel like if he loved me he would think and not drink. Maybe that’s not true.

    Last week he had a four night binge and I packed my bags. Told him to pick me or alcohol. The next morning he seemed like he was ready to make a change. I said I needed a break to think. He stayed at his sister’s over night and called me in the morning begging to come home. So a week has passed, he worked all week so no problems until tonight, his night off. I was at work looking forward to coming home and cuddling with my man but he wasn’t really here. He said he only had 2 600ml beers but it seemed like more. He says he’s just so happy but that now I’ve ruined his mood. That I’m the one who always puts his energy down.

    Is it really my fault? Now he says he wants me to go home. What will he say tomorrow? Why did he beg for me last weekend and this weekend he wants me to leave? My heart is destroyed. I want my husband, my friend, my family back. Is this the end? Is he choosing alcohol over me? I must be unbearable. I’m so lost.

  21. Ann says:

    My boyfriend lied to me about his drinking. Before I met him he went to rehab because of his drinking problem. Now that we live together, I’ve noticed that when he drinks beer, he’s drinking like it’s water. Like he will drink all the alcohol that is in our apartment. He just drinks once a week, but if he drinks it’s too much. If he’s not working, he drinks almost every day.

    I grew up where my dad always drinks, fights with my mum, so if I see my boyfriend drink it reminds me of the past. We always fight, and now I thought of leaving him. I don’t know if I am just over-reacting. His belly gets bigger and bigger and not wanting to exercise too! This affects our sexual relationship!

  22. Scared & Sad says:

    It’s always the same. He lies, gets vodka, drinks to black out, gets angry, gets emotional, sometimes suicidal, passes out, then gets very remorseful. I’m sick of this. It’s been over 20 years together for us. We have both been in the program for years, but this slip, 8 months, for my husband has been a beast. It seems he can’t leave the house now by himself without getting wasted.

    I’m not working & he carries our medical insurance so I’m absolutely stuck in a horrific situation. I never thought my life would turn out like this. He doesn’t even resemble the man I married. I don’t want to live the rest of my life so sad. I need a plan! It just doesn’t seem feasible for me to leave, financially. Also, I’m afraid he will die without my help. This just sucks.

  23. Linda says:

    My boyfriend is going thru detox. He has been thru detox before and in rehab numerous times before I met him.

    A great person–I’m afraid of the relationship ending. I do not drink, but wonder if I trigger his drinking.

  24. Heather says:

    Ok, well, I just need to know if I should worry about my husband. Well, his mother is an alcoholic and druggie, and he never knew his child-molesting father. So now he’s 24 and every day he gets off of work and has a 25-ounce of beer–sometimes up to three. Now he’s not abusive to me, but he grew up watching it with his mother. So now we have two kids and I don’t want them to remember their father always having a beer in his hand, not spending time with them, because he gets off of work at 5 and falls asleep at 7.

  25. Jess says:

    I have been dealing with a drug and alcohol problem for the last 15 years and I am 30. I have lost both of my children, and half of my family will no longer speak to me. I have been in recovery now for 4 years with a brief, but life changing, relapse in the middle. I have been sober for 2 years now. I am active in AA, I work the steps and have a sponsor.

    About six months ago I met a man whom I absolutely adore. I fell very much in love with him. He drinks every weekend, with the exception of the weekends I have off. He never drinks around me, but when he goes out he gets black-out drunk and I never know if he made it home safe or not. We fight when I get off work and he never remembers, but I do. He passes back out and I go to sleep and when we wake we pretend like nothing happened.

    I feel horrible being mad at him for something he doesn’t even remember. I worry myself sick and I think I need help. I know from my experience that I cannot change him, he has to want it. I just feel very stuck because everything logical tells me this can never work. But my heart and soul says hang in there this love is worth fighting for. I know that we need consequences to change. I’m just scared that if I leave him that’s it. Maybe losing me won’t be the thing that makes him want to change. I know he loves me, but I also know from painful experience that love is not always enough.

  26. Chad says:

    I’m 26 years old. I have been drinking since I’ve been 14. But over the past 3 to 4 years it has really gotten worse. I’ve had a lot of the same issues, my wife of almost 6 years had left me a few times before for it. I would cry and say I’m sorry and that I will slow down on my drinking. I would say anything just to get her back. Realizing at the time I wasn’t going to stop drinking.

    I was never physically abusive with her, but I was very mentally abusive. I would drink, then wake her up just to start a stupid fight. She would cry herself to sleep those nights and then we would pretend nothing happened the next day. I would sit and drink a 15-pack of beer and not even realize how much I drank. I always told myself I didn’t have a problem, that I just enjoyed the taste and the relaxation. It’s how I would calm down after a long 10-day stressful work week. I would also drink every night after work about 3-6 beers. I also told myself it’s what helps me sleep. It was very unfair to her and the kids. Because Dad never wanted to do anything if it didn’t involve drinking. We would go do a family day and I’d be rushing to get home because I knew I had some cold ones waiting for me in the fridge.

    All’s I know is I lost a lot of years because of drinking. I’ve become very unsocial to anyone. I became a loner, per se. Until my wife left me, stole my money to get a place to live for her and the kids. Let’s just say I was very glad she did. It made me realize how big of a loser I was actually being. To lose my wife who I love more than life and our 3 beautiful kids to alcohol. I quit that day.

    We’re back together. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful woman who put up with my stuff and still stands next to me. It’s been 6 months now that I haven’t been drinking. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s tough. I think about having beers all the time. BBQ on a hot summer day, or camping. All’s I know is drinking doesn’t do anybody any good, and I learned that the hard way. What helped me was losing my loved ones!

  27. caring says:

    For years I didn’t even know that my husband had a problem. I thought I was just insecure for no reason. He would tell me I’m crazy, but now two kids later I realize I am married to a severe addict. I really don’t even know who he truly is, because in order for you to be a “functioning” addict that means you have to lie to everyone in your life, including yourself. Every time he says he’s going to quit whatever it is he’s doing at that time, he just replaces it with something else and my hopes get shattered all over again.

    It really has been an emotional roller coaster ride, and now I see that it is starting to affect my kids emotionally as well. When he’s clean, he’s awesome and really plugged in with the kids and just when they get used to it, he pulls away and that really makes you feel sad! I’m starting to realize with the help of Al-Anon that my happiness cannot depend on anybody else and I need to be responsible for myself and my children’s happiness.

    Living in the “what if” stage is a waste of time and energy. Letting go with love means telling my husband I love him and will always be here if he needs to talk, but I cannot live with him anymore and most likely will be filing for divorce. I really do think this is the only way for myself and my kids to be detached from his problem. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him, but I can no longer put his disease first. I have to putt my kids and myself first.

  28. Lawrence says:

    Falling in love with someone who is an alcoholic/addict in recovery was the last thing I expected or wanted for that matter, but the chemistry entered and all logic left. Now I’m not saying I was blind to the fact that my partner has mountains to climb and it is very much a solo journey. The difficult part for me was accepting that I’m powerless over her choices. Because I love her and understand the recovery process from personal experience, I sometimes have to play the parent and let her learn from mistakes, while protecting my own emotional health and the “want” to guide and control her choices.

    A recent relapse drove home how dangerous expectations are. I felt betrayed and let down, promises broken, and for a moment the end to the relationship and a lot of emotional pain. So we got back together after a period of time and reading some of the articles I’ve come to the conclusion I need help on this. Loving someone and protecting yourself at the same time is a balance I wish to achieve.

  29. Kas says:

    I am 8 months pregnant. Advanced maternal age. I have been with my husband for ten years. He just got out of his third trip to rehab in one month. He has been in rehab and/or the hospital more times than I can even remember. He wrecked our truck, turned violent towards our son (he has been violent towards me many times, but never our son) and now we are being evicted weeks before our baby is due.

    He has had numerous run-ins with the law and several dui’s– although not for a while.

    One more and he would probably go to prison.

    He also almost died from a traumatic brain injury he got during a brief sober time when he was being not nice to me (and my son) and I pushed him. I almost killed him just trying to get him to leave us alone.

    He just got out of his last stint in rehab and is staying in a weekly motel (paid for by his mother) while I am at home trying to move everything to storage before I am homeless–and before I go into labor.

    I, too, want my life back.

  30. Andrea says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years and have two wonderful boys together. At some point right before our first son was born he started casually drinking, which was extremely unusual for him. I have no idea what happened, what changed, where the time has gone, but he is now a moderate to severe alcoholic and I have spent every night for the past 18 months crying myself to sleep from anger. He won’t get help, even though I know he has no control anymore, and mostly because I am so scared.

    I am so so scared I will wake up in the morning and he won’t be alive. I am so scared our son will find him on the couch–he has fallen, passed out drunk every single night, not alive. I’m so scared of losing him, but I know now I have absolutely no control over him. I begged, cried, screamed, wrote letters, sat down calmly with him, saying he needs to get help, he needs to try and change because I will not be around to support someone who is willing to throw his life away. But most importantly I will not have our sons raised in a toxic environment.

    My boyfriend is the warmest, loving, most compassionate, funny, amazing man I know. That man is still inside and it makes my stomach turn that this evil disease has masked the real him. I want my kids to remember the man I know and not see this person I don’t recognize anymore.

    Our arguing turned into fighting, which turned into verbally abusive on both ends, to becoming as frequent as 5 times a day. The most out of control fighting sometimes will last for hours. I just packed my things, got my boys and left. It has been about 6 weeks and I have not gone back.

    He needs help. I have no idea how to help him find help or what I can do. I cannot sit back and watch him kill himself, but I cannot be in that environment so I feel very lost, confused and just emotionally and mentally exhausted.

  31. linda says:

    My son went into recovery on January 2nd. After four days of detox in a hospital setting, he underwent six weeks of intensive outpatient therapy. Then, he was let go in a job he loved with a local diesel mechanic–not because of drinking, but because the owner was not making enough money to pay him, too. So, he’s been looking for a job for a week and a half–and started drinking again yesterday.

    I have gone to seven Al-Anon meetings. Since January second. I was struck by the question at the top of the page because I am trying to separate the action from the person.

    Yes, I have thought that if my son loved me enough he would not drink. I am so trying to calm my anxiety and my hopelessness by breathing deeply and working on accepting the situation as it is.

    I did not cause it, can’t control it and can’t cure it. I know the words. I am not owning them yet, apparently. I am afraid. I wonder how far away the bottom is.

  32. Tami says:

    My boyfriend is an alcoholic. He drinks from the time he gets up till he goes to bed, but tries to hide it. I didn’t know this when we met, he had been sober for a year and relapsed shortly after we got together. I’ve had my own issues with alcohol in the past so can relate to his struggle, but this is beyond anything I have ever seen.

    In the past 7 months he has had 2 OUIs, and been to detox 3 times, just to start drinking immediately when he gets out. The logical part of my brain tells me it hasn’t been long that we’ve been together, but my heart tells me to “stick it out.” I love him, he’s a terrific person, we love all the same things, have the same dreams–if he could just stay sober. I worry about him dying every day. I just don’t know what to do.

  33. Jenny says:

    My husband and I have been together for 17 years. That is 17 years waiting for him to fulfill his promises that always get broken; wanting to be first in his life; wishing that my love was enough to make him happy. 17 years I’ve given this man to realize that the whole time I could have just loved myself enough. I could have made good on promises that I made for me. I could have put my needs first. I could have been happy with myself.

    The next 17 years of my life I am going to do just that and quit waiting for somebody else to be responsible for my happiness. I can find things I enjoy in life that don’t involve hurt, shame or indifference. I can look at the big picture and not wonder if it is broken.

    I am not broken; I am rebuilt with new feelings, new chances to change my ways, and a brand new understanding about what life should be.

  34. neicy says:

    I know I have to leave him. I have pulled my life together, knowing that I am worth more than I have accepted over the years.

    First, it was my mentally and physically abusive husband, whom I had a son with. When I was 6 1/2months pregnant he attempted to set me and my unborn son on fire. Later, so as not to testifiy against him, he started dating my cousin and later had children with her.

    Now I am married again, but this one drinks a lot. I started going to nursing school, but later stopped going because of stress at home, as well as I stopped working. I made a promise in Dec. 2013 I would get back on track and go back to work and school. Well, I am working, but not yet in school.

    The first week of working my now husband was stopped for a DUI at 2:30 am. You can only guess how I felt not to find out until 11 am in the morning that he was in jail. On top of that, they towed my truck. Now I had to borrow money to get my truck out.

    The thing that hurts the most is for over three years I have been telling him he drinks too much, and his reply was I allowed other men to do more harm and treat me bad. And that all he does is drink, but I want to complain now. And the fact that he spends his money on drinking still after the DUI, and I was the one paying people back the money that was borrowed, all while he spent his on cigarettes and beer. I do not want him driving my truck to go buy more.

    He has not accepted that he is an alcoholic and that he should not drink, which makes me say I have to leave him and save my son and myself from any more pain.

  35. Kate says:

    I have fallen in love with a functional alcoholic, and consider myself to be a very strong, non-judgmental person. I can see the beauty in him, though he cannot see it in himself. The deeper we fell for each other, the more he revealed to me, and now there is transparency, and though I don’t like what I see, I cannot abandon him.

    I cling to hope that he will realize his true life is not controlled by anyone or anything. I pray and I stay quiet. But, I am becoming a martyr that I don’t want to be. I want to be authentic and transparent too. I want to tell him how it hurts me to be his second love, though I wear a smile. I want him to know he is killing himself, and I can no longer sleep through the night because of my worry for him. He struggles with so much guilt, that I can’t stand to contribute to any more of it, but I also don’t want to contribute in any way to his alcoholism.

    I feel that sharing with anyone about what I know is a betrayal, but I want life for him. Additionally, I am a mother of two, and I know we have no future because I will always protect my children. I won’t allow them to love him too, just to watch him self-destruct. I feel lost, alone, and scared.

  36. patrick says:

    I can relate to precious wound. My best friend of 31 years has been drinking heavily for 1.5 years and I often feel like there must be something wrong with me. I try to stay detached with love, but it is almost impossible to do without getting stressed about what I am doing.

    I get lied to daily and there are moments of lucidity when he knows he is destroying his life, but yet continues on the same path. I do believe he is suicidal and I fear the day that I find him lifeless. I am almost starting to feel numb to all this now and that scares me. I never thought that our friendship, which has endured for over 30 years, would come to an end. At least not like this.

  37. feelingcrazy says:

    I can really relate to the last post from preciouswound. I also feel crazy and am having a hard time reminding myself that I am not to blame! I have been married to my husband for 38 years and we were drinking buddies at one time, but I stopped over 11 years ago when my life became unmanageable.

    I go to AA. It saved my life. Now I see him doing all the things I did and it’s really hard to accept. I am trying not to enable him. That is hard for me to do. I will take it one day at a time.

  38. PreciousWound says:

    I have been involved with an abusive alcoholic for 4 years. A lot of days are filled with despair. I feel forsaken in my heart. But I still want the best for him. I wish I could rely on him, trust him, depend on him. His lies have gotten almost hourly.

    I used to feel bad for him. Then I stayed because he wanted to kill himself. Now, I don’t know what. I am scared and anxious a lot. I want him to be healthy. I have been rather selfless in this relationship and don’t have much motivation left for myself. I know that it is not too much to ask for someone to simply be respectful, but I keep proving myself wrong.

    I know it is not fair to be lied to and cheated on, but I still can’t seem to walk away bc I know he is not ok. Does that make sense. I am feeling like the crazy one a lot of days. Thanks for the place to breathe life to my needs and to hear my heartache.

  39. maria says:

    I live with a man who drinks every time he has his cash. He won’t think of bills or rent. He drinks it all. When I hide the money, the guy goes crazy, starts breaking everything and gets violent with me just to get to the cash, just to buy alcohol. If I don’t give it to him, he starts insulting me a 100x, and hits me.

    I try and try and try, but I can’t take it anymore. I try to be sweet, nice, so he can just stay with me, no dude has some place to be, with friends, calls me anti-social and all sort of names. I really don’t know what to do. Sometimes I’m like I don’t need this. But he just won’t leave.

  40. Heart broken says:

    I have been trying to help my boyfriend get help to stop drinking for over 2 years now. I have gone to his house and found him passed out, urinated on himself, threats of killing himself, etc. I try to help him, drag him to the shower, dress him, sober him up, get him to hospital, found out all info needed for programs he can attend, but he won’t do it. He says his life has sucked for years and will always suck.

    He tells me I can save his life by letting him move in with me and my kids. That way he can stop living paycheck to paycheck, and his problems that cause him to drink will go away. I love him so much, but I’m scared he will just keep on drinking and the whole “saving his life by moving in” will be just another excuse for why he drinks.

    I don’t know what to do anymore. This last episode of drinking has happened on my birthday. He knew I blocked out time for he and I to celebrate, but he stayed home at his place and drank, just disregarded my birthday.

  41. Tiffany says:

    Tonight sucks. I am so much at a breaking point. I have been trying so hard to work on the Al-Anon Steps. Not today. I am feeling dumb and betrayed. Thought my husband meant what he said again, but again not so much. I just wish I was not feeling like the crazy person. The mad person. I hate the person I am becoming.

  42. Grandma says:

    My husband of 44 years drinks more than ever. He has progressed from a social drinker to sitting in the garage drinking and smoking. He has trouble walking–falls down a lot, wets his pants and isn’t embarrassed or uncomfortable. He is fine mentally and physically each day before he starts his drinking. He golfs every day and is doing extremely good. I am wondering if the falling down is caused by his liver getting worse. He never used to be this bad.

  43. I am lovable says:

    I gained a lot of insight from Melody Beattie’s book. Here are words that made sense to me when I thought if my husband really loved me he would stop drinking. When someone, especially someone we love, behaves inappropriately or treats us badly, we don’t see the behavior connected to a person’s problem or addiction. We don’t understand that it’s their issue. Our only frame of reference is, “It must be me, there must be something wrong with me.” Children do this as well as adults.

    Messages control or generate our behaviors. It’s the destructive messages we want to change, the “I’m not lovable” or “It’s not okay to be who I am” that we want to change. These generate self-destructive behaviors.

    We don’t have to take another person’s behaviors personally. If they have no love or approval to give us, it isn’t our fault. They may not have had any to give to anyone, including themselves. Here’s an example: “Why didn’t ____ love me? You mean it wasn’t me? It’s not my fault, I’m not unlovable?” The doctor said, “No, you weren’t unlovable. You were just deprived of love. Either they weren’t capable of it or they didn’t know how to show love.”

    I want to be sure I am not negotiating with myself when I am discussing conflict resolution. If I ask a person three times to do something and they agree and don’t do it, I am negotiating with myself. They are using the occasion to manipulate, use and sabotage me. And finally, I believe alcoholics are unavailable for relationships because they are already in one. Only if they are in recovery can they be in another relationship.

  44. Ani says:

    I am a widow the past 3 yrs. & I suffered a lot in my first life because of drinks. I hate drinks. Now I had a best friend 2 yrs back. Later we both were very close friends, but now we are lovers. He loves me very much, but the thing is that now he is drinking a lot but I don’t want to leave him. Sometimes I am thinking to leave him, but I can’t. So I don’t know whether to leave him or marry him.

  45. Stone says:

    I’m currently on probation and attending a recovery programme. I would not like to discuss the reasons why, but had something to do with assault on my partner. I would never of done this if I hadn’t of been drinking. I can go weeks if not months without drinking and when I do have a drink I can go on a 3-day binge.

    I am on the verge of losing the love of my life and want to not drink ever again. I want to be able to give my partner a night out and not get drunk and only have a soft drink. I love my partner and daughter with all my heart and could not imagine losing them.

  46. Curtis says:

    The past year and a half my drinking got worse and worse. I was happy during the day and drunk at nite. I have never had this problem before and was always a happy drunk. I will be 28 days sober Thursday and have no withdrawals or desire to drink again. Drinking made me a verbal abuser and it is not who I am.

    My wife and I are separated at this time and I don’t know what the outcome is going to be, but I can tell you one thing. I hate drinking now and will never touch it again. I am a happy person, full of love and I pray every day my wife knows this and we can be back together one day.

  47. Aware1 says:

    Working a program of recovery (aka healing) was and is the best decision I ever had the courage to make. I now live a life of contentment with periods of joy interspersed. I want to share that my baby’s colic (which was significant in its severity) has all but vanished. My relationships have improved, with family, coworkers, friends, etc. I am ever grateful for the 12 Steps.

    I was very, very resistant to go to Al-Anon, for several years. I didn’t want to believe in a higher power. I didn’t want to tolerate time, ie have patience. I wanted my life fixed immediately! I heard someone say in Al-Anon, “Give our group a try for six to twelve months; if you haven’t noticed improvements in your life, we can gladly refund your misery.” Ha! A challenge! So, like a good daughter & a good wife of people with addictions/alcoholism, I took my Al-Anon group up on the challenge.

    I found a wonderful woman to be my sponsor–boy, she really told me how it was, which could be tough to hear, but I loved and trusted her and I was willing to go to any length to improve my life. And what she said was often true! Al-Anon works if we work it. My child’s colic seems to have been, at least in part, a response to my own distress, my own wounds, that I was carrying around pretty well hidden, or so I thought. What I couldn’t see at the time was that babies and kids are very sensitive to the emotions of the people they depend on for survival. Especially before they can speak or understand language. And no matter how much I denied my woundedness, my child absorbed it like a sponge in water.

    Today, after a while in Al-Anon, I feel like a capable mom, and my child finally has a healthier role model and no GI disturbances. Some of us know about “gut feelings.” We carry a lot of emotions in our gut. No wonder babies have colic–if they absorb our pain, their guts can be affected, even causing physical findings like inflammation.

    Well, I could go on and on about the wonderful ways in which my life has changed. And to anyone who resists the group because of the higher power thing, what about Love being your higher power? I have a pretty good idea that love is something that most of us want more of, and love can be so healing.

  48. raztazz says:

    After receiving a DUI, my fiance stumbles through our front door and proceeds to tell me that none of it would’ve happened if she never met me. Usually it’s just the normal–her drinking and getting upset at me about my cats. Now it’s gotten bad enough for her to get arrested for driving drunk.

    When I tell her I’m going to leave, she says she’ll just drink even more and then we’ll all have to pay–especially my cats!

    She’s so good at making me feel bad about her drinking. I think she uses my cats as an excuse too!

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