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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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