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

  1. Talitha says:

    My husband of 3 years left me because he chose beer over our marriage. He completely bailed on me, leaving me with all the bills. He never had the courage to tell me to my face he was leaving. He just grabbed all of his stuff while I was at work. I’m now blocked from his FB, his email, and his phone. At 43 years old, he’s living in his parents’ basement. And he’s going to the bar every day.

    There had been two attempts at sobriety on his part, both times initiated by him because, after our first six months of marriage together, it had become obvious that he was an alcoholic. He had hidden it well while we were dating. Both times he made the decision to drink again because he swore he could become a “normal” social drinker. Yeah, I’m sure you all know how that ended.

    I made all the mistakes in the book like pleading, nagging, threatening, bargaining, crying, and trying to “fix” everything. I compromised and humiliated myself in the process. I knew in my heart the relationship was doomed, but he was a loving and funny and amazing man while sober, so I told myself those moments were worth the pain. And I told myself the biggest lie of all when he was drinking: at least I got a man, and I’m not alone.

    Al-Anon has been the biggest blessing to me. I’m now much more confident about myself, and I worry less and less about things that used to eat me up inside. I now understand that I can only change or fix me. And I’m worth it.

  2. live ur life says:

    wow I can’t believe all the comments. I have learned after many years that we cannot make them stop. They promise to cut back and they might once or twice by a couple of beers but the end result is the same. I have spent countless nights crying and stressed and it starts from the minute I hear the clang of those damn bottles. I hate it. the highlight of my night is when he passes out and hopefully without an argument. I see it as a problem and he doesn’t. it has ruined many events including family vacations and functions. I have tried everything from being supportive to counting the beers and nothing helps. He actually drinks more when he thinks I don’t know how many he has had. I can’t help him and he doesnt want help bad enough to change things. so we need to change our way of thinking. we need to find an outlet (and I don’t mean start drinking too). get a hobby, make plans with friends or family and let them sit home alone and drink. After all, it’s no longer a conscious choice if it’s an addiction. they have to want to stop…sometimes even hitting rock bottom doesn’t do it. so the way I see it is that WE *THE NON DRINKERS, need to find new coping mechanisms besides crying, arguing, begging. If you can’t take it anymore, leave. I have finally after all these years (and I mean lotsa years), make plans on the nights I know he’s gonna drink. my hair appointments to pedicures to meeting a friend for a long overdue dinner. that way, I’m staying busy and happy. he’s staying happy too. it’s obviously not the best case scenario but way better than what it used to be.

  3. lynne says:

    I met my now fiance when I was 22 years old. I was a senior in college, had three jobs and a twice-a-week internship. He was 26, had a great job, handsome, tall and was extremely genuine — and he made me laugh. He loved to go to happy hour on Thursdays and out drinking almost every weekend — didn’t seem out of the ordinary — I was the only person I knew, my age, working almost 40 hours a week and a full-time student.

    His lifestyle seemed normal and fun. I enjoyed being able to let loose once or twice a week and go drinking/partying with him. I was a senior in college and it seemed so normal. It really wasn’t until I graduated from college, got a full-time management position right away, and we moved into an apartment together, that I noticed something wasn’t right.

    I wrongly assumed that once we moved in together, both had great full-time jobs, that the partying would naturally slow down. It did for me! I was no longer interested in drinking nearly as much as he was. I started noticing that he not only drank at dinner when we went out to eat, but also every night with dinner — at that time around 3 or 4 beers. i still didn’t really notice an issue. He is the size of an NFL quarterback, so I thought that my occasional one beer was about equal to his occasional three or four.

    I thought our weekend activities would change. They didn’t — not for a very long time — he still wanted to go out every weekend– he was still spending hundreds of dollars of his money on booze instead of saving or paying off his student loans. A functioning alcoholic to the tee. He was a true weekend warrior — he worked every week just so he could get to the weekend and party. He doesn’t know how to stop drinking once he’s started.

    Fast-forward almost 3 years later — we are engaged and getting married in less than a month. I am scared. He has promised many times to slow down — and honestly since we first met he has — weekends at the club/bar are rare — but he still has a problem. I find empty nips in the trash and once a half-empty bottle in his car. He can go about 5-14 days max without a drink, but never longer. The lying is what hurts the most.

    it’s very hard for me to understand this disease — I drank a lot for a while — but I grew out of it and stopped. I was simply done feeling sick and wanted to have productive weekends and days, rather than wasting them being drunk or hung over. Why claim that you ‘want’ to stop? Why claim that you are ‘trying’ to stop — but you don’t and can’t.

    I am starting to wish I ran a long time ago. He told me he would be home from his work function (at a bar) 2.5 hours ago. His phone is off and I feel like a fool. This isn’t the first time this has happened — and today is my birthday. What the hell have I done?

    I feel like a fool.

  4. Kandy says:

    Well, I must be nuts. I hooked up with my ex — we just lost a really good friend to a drug overdose. I am so afraid I am going to lose him. I just pray that he will go into treatment as he says he will. I know I can’t do anything, other than be there for him, but it is hard to watch him make these choices.

  5. molly says:

    My husband has a bad drinking problem. I pray he would stop. He is a good provider. We’ve been married 23 years and divorced 15, now back together. I love him and realized I didn’t want to be alone, but now I know why I divorced him. He would rather drink than be sober with me. He drinks and passes out! I hate it. I feel so alone. I wish he would stop.

  6. Megan says:

    I really don’t think it’s because they don’t love you. Addiction makes one selfish. I remember when I was using, I’d pick my addiction over everything and everyone. Then I felt guilty about it. And I used more. Used more, hurt more — a vicious cycle. It was an excuse to keep using.

    The addict has to love themselves enough to quit drinking or using. They could have every ounce of love for you and the world, but at the end of the day it’s their choice. It’s a very unhealthy way to guilt an addict into quitting. It will never work. Besides, if you can’t love yourself, you could never love anyone else either.

  7. Val says:

    I have been with the love of my life for 2.5 years. We currently have a 15-month-old son and I have a 6-year-old from a previous relationship. I am 29 years old and the very first day I met him he was covered in the smell of an alcoholic. I knew the signs and ignored them, until later that night I called him out and said he was an alcoholic. I did not make it any better, because I ordered a drink for myself.

    He has been battling alcoholism for a long time. Both his grandfather and father fought off the disease. The nights we seem to have are like battle zones. We moved in together and for what. He hasn’t helped me with any of the bills, because of his drinking. I have woken up to find him missing. He has stolen from me and our kids. Our sex life is non existent. I have to wake up early to work and it’s very stressful, and I come home and literally do the most. He doesn’t go grocery shopping, so I have chosen to leave him. He has even keyed my car when I finally did throw him out. We have fought and it’s just not good for the kids. I told him if he can’t pay for the damages and then agree to get counseling, we will never be together again.

    I am so grateful to hear these stories. I love him, I do — but some way or another I have become exhausted, as if I am the one who is drinking and ruining my life. I stop by occasionally at his job to remind him of what is waiting for him, but I can’t live with him. He needs to feel for me the way he feels for alcohol, the way I feel for him. We are a family and I will continue to love and support him, just not highlighting his negatives and try to be a lil more loving. I guess I could of been more loving if he just was more responsible. Hope our situation gets better, because all these stories are super similar.

  8. Andrea says:

    Not married. I dated my childhood crush for 6.5 years. I have known him for 25 years. We had a child together. He lived in Texas.

    I knew he was a drinker before he moved out to California to be with me. His choice, not mine. I have a child from a previous relationship. When he first moved here, my oldest daughter would go with her dad and we would go party. Not knowing he was a heavy drinker and a not-so-nice drunk. He did not know his limit. He would drink and drink and drink. He is not a functional drunk by any means. After a few huge fights, I stopped going out and drinking with him.

    When he first moved out here, he lived with his mom for well over a year before I allowed him to move in with me, because he was not working. His drinking was so bad he would pass out in the bathroom, living room, drive way, car, and even the dirt lot next to the house. He would have no control over his functions. Within a year of living here, he got a drunk in public.

    In the 7 years here, he has 2 DUIs with a blood alcohol level of 3-to-4 times the legal limit, and a drunk in public. He is loud. He is annoying. We live in a small town so everyone knows of him or about him and his ways with drinking. 98% of the people just tolerate him. We are now broken-up and have been for 7 months.

    It is so heart-breaking to sit back and watch the love of my life drink his life away. His dad is an alcoholic and lost everything (career as a marine, wife and kids). Out of 4 kids, he is the only one who followed in his dad’s foot steps and he is not even the youngest one. He is 30 and lives with his mom. He is always at a bar.

  9. Kandy says:

    I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months now. He drinks every day, stands me up, lies daily, argues, but can be very sweet and loving when he wants. The problem is I am almost 9 years in recovery from alcohol and drugs, but I am also 6 yrs older than he is and now I have kicked him out, and he is back at the homeless shelter. He doesn’t seem to care if he is homeless, and also no job. Now I am alone again, as I can’t live with someone who drinks every day. What a shame.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I have been married for 2-1/2 years. While we were dating, we’d have a couple of beers a couple of nights a week. Never really got drunk together. Never saw any red flags. He was affectionate, romantic, attentive. After we got married, we immediately moved out of state. Things went downhill fast.

    It’s like he became a different person overnight. No longer did he feel the need to sit next to me at restaurants. Gone was the snuggling and the romance and the butterflies. I had a difficult time finding a job after we moved and it was a really difficult time for us. I got really depressed and we were broke, but he ALWAYS had beer. Regardless of how dire the situation was, he could afford that beer. He wasn’t supportive or understanding while I was looking for work. He just blamed me for all the stress in his life and for his drinking. He basically made it sound like my unemployment was his reason for drinking. Forget that I’m an absolute wreck!

    4 months passed before I found a job. It’s a great job! I love it. We’ve moved to a better part of town into a nicer house. We’ve taken up camping and really enjoy doing that together. The problem is, he can’t go one night without a 6-pack or more. There have been a few times when he’s been passed out snoring and I attempted to wake him up to roll over and he’s started slapping or hitting me. When he “comes to,” he acts like I was attacking him and he has no idea what is happening. Aside from those 2-3 times, he’s not really a mean drunk, but those two or three times were horrible; threatening suicide, breaking his brand new iPhone, calling me every name in the book.

    I’ve begged him to stop drinking. I’ve even started sleeping in the guest room on nights that he drinks, but he still would rather have beer. He has literally chosen beer over me 9 out of the past 11 nights. I’m concerned for his health and concerned because as much as I love him, I don’t really like him anymore. We’ve been planning this great outdoors weekend that kicks off in the morning, and I’m actually dreading it. My hair is literally falling out from the stress and anxiety caused by his drinking. We’re never intimate. He won’t have an adult conversation with me about anything.

    No idea what to do, where I draw the line, how I get him to get help. I’ve tried everything I could think of. It doesn’t help when I’m super supportive and it doesn’t help when I go to bed at 7:30 to avoid being around him. Ugh. It’s so frustrating.

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