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

  1. pinkytoes says:

    I met my boyfriend when I was 15 (I am currently 18). I feel pathetic and perhaps a little over dramatic and inexperienced writing on here.

    Anyways, my mother and father are both alcoholics. My mother ran away from my father and he now lives alone and I’ve seen him for a day in the past five years. My mother still drinks — I believe, in fact, more excessively than my father. She currently lives with my little brother. I have completely lost her, and I know every single one of her tricks and I know immediately when she’s had a drink. Every day I think of my brother and how he is doing, as I didn’t cope with it at all. I’ve lived in three different family homes after leaving my mom and will never regret leaving when I did.

    This brings in my boyfriend, the love of my life, my only love I’ve had. He literally brings the sun to me and no one has ever made me feel how he does. He is funny and clever, he showers me in love, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I believe I do a lot for him, but often I’m scared I’m no good for him. He started drinking and smoking at a young age, to be honest. He lost his dad (who was an alcoholic) at the age of nine and that clearly traumatised him.

    I’ve had immense difficulties in seeing him. My family, whom I first lived with, banned me from seeing him completely (he didn’t even drink much at this point, but smoked). Anyways, that is past. Now I live happily with my grandparents.

    After he had a gap year, this September he started a course, didn’t like it, so he moved to a college. However, he had a terrible accident two days later, meaning he couldn’t carry on his course, which included a lot of manual labour. He has had depression for the past 4 years, so 2 years before we got together. He currently self-harms a bit, and he is drinking a lot while being at home, but also he started his new anti-depressive medication about 2 weeks ago, which means he has much lower tolerance (and he isn’t meant to drink at all), which I thought was great at first but he is just getting worse, every occasion a drink is needed. He has bottles all over, hidden in his room, and he has started stealing drinks from my grandparents as well. I love him, I love him so much I can’t bring myself to get angry with him and I know he has to help himself.

    I’ve suffered from depression myself. I’ve had an ED (which I believe is very similar to addiction, if not one itself) and I’ve grown up watching alcoholics drown their inner bodies. I could never leave him, so that is out of the question. I cannot tell his mother, as that would just make things worse, and I cannot tell my grandparents as they are terribly judgemental and would destroy his self-esteem even further.

    I just no longer know what to do, other than completely unallow myself to drink which I rarely do, or to sacrifice our relationship by telling him how things are, but I’m low on money and if I have any it goes on drink for him. I really do understand more or less what he is going through. I just struggle to understand why he does not get tired of being sad and craving alcohol and why he doesn’t get tired of being sick, and tired of having to hide it all. And tonight I made a big decision that I will help him. I can’t fix him, which is what I often try and do, but I’ve found him three possible jobs. I’ve decided to not drink unless it’s a birthday of someone important and he isn’t present, and also decided that I will try and make our life more active.

    I know I am young and know there is a very high chance that I won’t be with this guy for the rest of my life, but he’s done a lot for me and I now must repay for all he’s done.

    I hope that all the people who are struggling with a close one feel as strong as I feel in whatever decision they make, but making no decision is making a decision itself. I hope that all the people who read this comment live much happier than they live now. Alcohol will not haunt me for the rest of my life, or those I love.

  2. Michelle says:

    I just lost the love of my life to alcoholism. He died with end-stage cirrhosis of the liver and he died alone. His secretiveness permeated everything. He told no one that his cirrhosis was end-stage and we all thought he was going to get better. No one had the chance to say goodbye to him. He left 2 young daughters behind, as well as a bunch of us who loved him, feeling like we were just hit by a truck.

    I was with him for 6 years and it was the best ride of my life for the first 4. I worked with him and saw him on the weekends, but we didn’t live together. I guess that was the perfect setting for an alcoholic to drink in secret. He’d always been a drinker, I knew that, but I never knew to what extent, because he hid it so well. He never got sloppy and never drank much when I was with him, but he was consistent.

    Looking back, it’s hard to not beat myself up for not figuring it out in time to maybe help him. It’s hard not to wonder what could have been. Hindsight is indeed 20/20. The relationship was so amazing for so long and the change happened so slowly and gradually that it was almost as if I’d woken up one day to find that I was his mother rather than his girlfriend.

    Constantly worried about him, trying to “fix” him, taking care of everything, sad to see our beautiful relationship starting to unravel, not really understanding why it was unraveling. How could I not have known I was dealing with an alcoholic??

    I was mad at myself for even being frustrated with this beautiful man whom I loved so much. I was begging him to take care of himself (he neglected his health in many other ways and I was focusing on that rather than the real culprit). I wanted to grow old with him and it would never happen if he didn’t watch his health and take responsibility for his life.

    I started becoming resentful that he wouldn’t take care of even the smallest things in his life, that I seemed to be doing everything for him. He never seemed to have any money, and I thought it was alimony and child support — there was always some excuse for the things going on in his life, and at first I accepted his excuses. He just had bad luck, that was all. So I gave him whatever I had.

    I would have done almost anything for him. Eventually I had to accept the fact that no matter how much I did in the relationship, it would never be enough. If I didn’t get away he was going to suck the life out of me. I told him that until he gets his act together we can’t be more than friends, and a week later he was in the hospital.

    Even then, he was able to convince everyone that things weren’t as bad as they were, like he always did. And we all believed it because, as always, we wanted and needed to. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Even though his belly was bloated and the rest of him was skeletal, and he was yellow and so weak he couldn’t get around. Even then, we believed that he was on the mend. It wasn’t until after he’d passed and I was cleaning up his apartment that the pieces started coming together.

    Conversations with his childhood friend and sister. Empty vodka bottles hidden in various places. Empty pill bottles of all kinds (some opiates). It was a shock and a betrayal. How could he tell me I was the love of his life and keep all this from me? There was a whole other life he hid from everyone else. It’s too late to go back now, and I don’t know if anything would have been much different if I’d known sooner anyway. Someone that secretive about it was too protective of it to want to change. I wish he’d loved himself and us enough to at least try, though.

    For my part, all I can do now is work towards forgiving myself and him, and learn more about the disease and the signs so I don’t make the same mistakes again. And I would like to help his children if I can, they will need a lot of support and help to get through this. I worry that they have the potential to become alcoholics later or get with men who are, if they don’t get help now.

    My heart goes out to everyone who loves someone with this terrible disease. There is nothing simple about it, there is nothing cut-and-dry. It’s filled with confusion, doubt, insanity, pain, shame and has terrible long-term effects on everyone it touches. I have to accept the fact that I understand almost nothing about it and I was woefully ill-equipped to even detect it in the man I love, let alone help him. I’m going to my first Al-Anon meeting on Friday because I have to do something, and I figure it’s a good place to start.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had been in my first relationship for 3 years, but met my current boyfriend (of only 6 months) shortly after I broke up with my first and only long-term boyfriend. We met when I was 19 and he was 24. Im currently 20, and he recently turned 25.

    The connection I had with him was unexplainable! We were so crazy about each other. It seemed like it was so meant to be between us! Within a few weeks of us dating, he was urging me to move in with him and his roommates, and to get a job in the small town he lived in. I landed a killer job in the community, working for a huge company, which was a really big leap for me and an amazing wage for someone my age! I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. But right from the beginning, I knew something was off with him.

    The first time I met him, he had been drinking. He claimed it was because he was nervous about meeting me, and felt that was his ‘coping mechanism’ to calm his nerves. Then when I got the job and moved in with him, I noticed the drinking was a lot more frequent than I had first thought. He knew it bothered me, because I grew up with a very different way of life than he did. I didn’t know what alcohol was until I was 12 years old (if not older), and it terrified me seeing how it made people act. Granted, I only turned 18 two years ago, so of course I had went out here and there, but I’m not a big drinker! I hate the way it makes me feel.

    My boyfriend is an extremely hard worker! He loves his job, and his boss, and his family. But it’s difficult, because he grew up watching his parents struggle with alcohol abuse, and his dad and current boss (whom he admires) are both alcoholics.

    Only a month and a half ago we moved out of the place we were in (with roommates), and got our own place together — which was also quite the leap, considering we had only been dating for 4 1/2 months at that time. Within the first two weeks after I moved in with him and his roommates, he had had a bad accident where he almost lost his thumb (alcohol was involved in the accident). He was off work for about three months, and being so fresh in the relationship, it made things difficult for me.

    I went from living with my parents my whole life, to living with three guys and a six-year-old girl. All of a sudden I became a nurse, maid, and nanny with no transition time after moving away from home for the first time. We had to make 4-hour trips (2 hours there and back) to the nearest town, every few days for doctors’ appointments, and he became extremely depressed. His drinking had slowed down a lot due to the medication he was on for the pain, but it didn’t last long before he started back up.

    He’s been back working for just over a month and things seemed so much better. He seemed a lot happier all the way around and promised me the drinking was going to slow down once we had our own place. Then I noticed his drinking had become much worse. He will come home and finish an 8-12-pack of beer, and take shots by himself any night of the week until he can’t even speak properly or walk straight. I think in the past 2 weeks he’s only been sober maybe 3 or 4 nights (out of 14 days — it’s gotten way out of hand). I told him I don’t care if he has a few beers after a long day at work, but also that there is no reason he needs to finish a 12-pack and a whole thing of vodka by himself on a Monday or Tuesday night.

    Just the other night I had asked him to slow down a little since he had already finished a 12-pack, but he looked at me like he was doing nothing wrong, and chugged half a mikki of vodka as I asked him to know his limit. I just shook my head and went into my office, shutting the door behind me, but as little as 5 seconds after I shut the door and started to cry, he came stumbling in and hugged me. I tried to push him off and tell him to leave me alone because I was upset, but when he drinks he gets extremely affectionate –always kissing me, and needing me with him. But when he’s sober, it’s the opposite. He shuts himself out. Hides behind his video game and doesn’t say a single word. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m completely wasting my time here. He sits there and tells me he wants to marry me someday (only after he’s been drinking), and says he’s so happy we got to start our life together, but I just shake my head because I know it’s just because he had been drinking all evening.

    I see all these comments from people about being with their husbands for 10-15-30 years, and nothing has changed. And thinking that this is how my life is going to be (if I’m with him forever?), that scares the ever-living stuff out of me. Especially because I’ve had to start keeping track of his drinking (for my own sanity, because it’s getting so out of hand), and can’t even get myself a drink because if I go to work, it’ll be gone by the time I get home. I have actually had to hide liquor because he has no limit. It’s just an endless stream of drinking. He’s like a bottomless pit, and if there’s a bottle somewhere, he’ll finish it before I even have a chance to say anything about it.

  4. Mom of 3 says:

    My husband and I are high school sweethearts. I am due in 10 days with our 3rd girl.

    Alcohol is consuming my life. My husband drinks at least 3-4 times a week. I guess you could say I’m lucky he drinks at home vs a bar, but it brings out the worst in both of us. From everything I read, I see it will only get worse.

    It’s very hard to manage, considering I love him and everything about us, except his drinking. Recently I almost called 911 because I thought he had alcohol poisoning. (While 9 months pregnant). He was shaking uncontrollably and vomiting blood. We scheduled a physical the next week and of course he told me he is fine, not drinking, etc.

    I went with him to the doctor and made sure he heard about the blood in the vomit and the drinking. I was pretty depressed when the doctor gave him a clean bill of health (only because it seemed to validate that his drinking was not hurting him).

    I see that I have no control over his drinking, but trying to ignore it is near impossible. Especially when my 2 girls are getting old enough to notice. I almost had to laugh tonight to myself because I am in such a sensitive time (due any day), and he can’t stop the drinking, even though we will be going to the hospital any moment.

    It makes me so sad to have this be my life. When I told him I am considering Al-Anon, he told me I was being out of control. The more I read into it, the more I think it may help me. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

  5. Fran says:

    I have been married to my husband for nearly 30 years. He was always a drinker, but I never recognized it as a problem until about 4 years into our marriage. I had come from a non-drinking family, so wasn’t overly aware of the problems associated with alcohol. His alcohol consumption increased & along with this his temper & violence increased.

    My husband has always been an extremely hard worker & good provider & the good times have been great, but there have also been lots of not-so-good times mixed in. We have days where everything is wonderful, nothing seems to upset my husband & this then followed by a week of the total opposite with nothing being right.

    I am beginning to believe my husband has some sort of mood disorder such as bi-polar & his drinking is to mask the ever changing moods. On the good days I have convinced myself I am just being silly & an unreasonable wife. But then the drink gets the better of him & I’m sitting listening to nightly drunken ramblings, constant verbal abuse & total put downs. This always followed in the morning as if nothing has happened.

    The 30-odd-years of abusing alcohol has now taken its toll on all the family. The worst part of it all is that we have an adult son who has autism who lives at home. He is also subjected to his father’s alcoholism. It is for this reason that I have now decided enough is enough. Fair enough if I want to subject myself to the constant torture, but I am no longer willing to subject my son to the same.

    Many of you have said that the alcoholic in your lives admits they have a problem & is apologetic. Well, my husband has never apologized for his appalling drunken behavior or admitted to having a problem. He drinks an average of 6-8 bottles of beer per week night, 12-18 a night on the weekends. His memory is now shot & he seems slow & confused a lot of the time, yet still won’t admit he has a drinking problem.

    As I am now nearly 50 years old, I want to enjoy my life with someone who is loving & caring. My husband is either at work or drunk. We never spend any quality time together. I feel very alone & sad 90 percent of the time. I have decided this new year is my year & I will be leaving my husband & taking my son to start a new life. It will be hard, scary & a huge challenge, but one I am finally brave enough to take.

  6. jenny1000 says:

    My husband is an alcoholic. I have been married for 24 years. In the beginning my husband was abusive, but it all stopped 10 years ago — maybe because our children are older now, and also he felt real bad for his actions.

    I grew up with alcoholism all my life. My dad, uncles and now husband are all alcoholics. My husband’s drinking has progressed throughout the years and I’ve always struggled with his addiction. Just this year I’ve come to a complete breaking point, where now I have flat out cut him out of my life. We still live together, but he has also isolated himself, moving downstairs and never comes upstairs. He recently had a bout of anger and rage as to why I am not talking to him. I stood my ground and continued not talking to him, because he truly brings out a side of me that I never want to become. After sobering up, he actually for the first time in 24 years has told me he will get counseling, that he is sorry for his actions and he wants to have a happy family life.

    My daughter has left home due to the dysfunction in our home, and my son has been suffering from mental illness since high school and refuses to have a relationship with his dad. My son has decided to get counseling to get ahead in life for himself, and now my husband is also wanting counseling. There is hope in our home, but currently I feel so numb and angry that I just want to get away from this situation.

  7. Stacey says:

    Reading these comments and wondering why we are doing this to ourselves! I’ve been married to a high-functioning alcoholic for almost 10 years. And I do mean high-functioning! He is a beautiful man, like none other and treats me like his queen. Living with a high-functioning alcoholic makes it very easy to lie to yourself. If it’s not a problem, it’s not a problem, right? Wrong. Eventually you reach crisis point in one way or another.

    He developed gout several years ago but refused to accept that his drinking had anything to do with the severity of his condition. His non-alcoholic brother has gout and it was easier to pass it off as hereditary. I now believe that this was the first sign that his body was telling him to stop. However, I continued on in my denial. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I started to pull my head up from under the sand. I had a really hard time with the switch from sex 3 times a week to twice a month. This manifested in awful ways within my mind.

    I really cannot explain it but after much soul-searching, I finally put two and two together. 17 plus years of alcoholism has an awful effect on your body, libido included. I resigned myself to a sexless marriage and at times I even considered an affair. I’m ashamed to say that now, and glad that I did not act on it. I of course tried to discuss this with him, to no avail. He said I had too much time on my hands, thinking about things too much, etc.

    Two months ago he pinched a nerve to the point of paralysis trying to get out of bed. He was hospitalised, not for the pinched nerve but for excess alcohol intake and polyarticular gout. His joints were riddled with gout and he was being treated for severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

    I legitimately did not know that was even a thing! But it is and it is serious. I watched my beautiful, gentle giant turn into a monster over those initial few days. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, while his own hung in the balance. This was the first time I said out loud that my husband is an alcoholic. Those words had so much weight to them. So much.

    Like many of you, I have been on the merry-go-round. Broken promises, lies, deceit. The drinking wanes, the drinking exacerbates. But something changed in me and I can never go back to the way things were. And also, like many of you, it is the deceit that is destroying us. I no longer trust what he says to be truth. That is a very difficult place to come back from.

    He knows that the only acceptable way forward for me is 100% abstinence. If this does not happen then sadly, this will be our last Christmas together. And I have to keep telling myself that the pain my children will go through due to separation is not a blip on the radar compared to the pain of watching their father drink himself to death. We’ve had many relapses so far. Right now we are back to two days sober. I do not hold high hopes for us and am in no way prepared for separation, financially or otherwise. But I know that either way, next year I will not be married to an alcoholic.

  8. Paula says:

    I have been married for 34 years. I was in my 20’s and stupid — I thought that his partying ways would change as he matured — forgot to look at the mother and father who were flaming alcoholics.

    Now my life is a living hell. I live in the country, away from everyone. When the kids were here I had them — now it’s me and the animals. He tells my daughter how terrible I am — first it was I was having affairs (never mind that at the time I was always running the kids around, always with one of them or they always knew where I was. He was always the one home (with the beer) — couldn’t take the kids any place because he worked all the time; I’m a realtor and was a stay-at-home mom for 7 years — but ya don’t do anything at all.

    Most recently he told my 23-year-old daughter that he wants companionship — what does he think I want? He goes to the shop every day and downs a 12-pack. On a good day it might only be a 6-pack. If I walk back there, he’s quick to hide it. He doesn’t have the problem, I do. He needs to relax, unwind – now he’s retired and things are even worse than they were. After 34 years, I don’t think I should have to start over again.

    Don’t know how my life got so crazy.

  9. Help says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for a year (I’m 21, he’s 27). We met in school, we’re both engineering majors and he spent 6 years in the Navy.

    A few months before we started dating, he got his third DUI. He had a bracelet to monitor for alcohol until he went to jail for the DUI. He spent 45 days split between jail and rehab. Had the bracelet again for a couple months after he got out, so all was good. After he got the bracelet off, he immediately started drinking again.

    About two months ago his roommate told me he got a hooker and a few days after that brought a girl home from the bar and shot a gun in the house, but didn’t do anything with the girls except try to take the bar chick’s clothes off. I didn’t want to get the roommate in trouble and he was about to move out, so I waited until the day after he moved out (a few days ago) to ask about them.

    He said he was super drunk and we were fighting at the time (we were on a “break” for like a day, but didn’t see each other and barely talked for almost a week), said it would never happen again, told me nothing happened with them, offered to take me to the bar to meet her because she works there so she could confirm nothing happened, etc, etc.

    We talked about it and he told me on that week we were away from each other he had an eye-opening realization and realized how much I meant to him and how much he missed having me around. He told me he would stop drinking if I wanted him to because I was worth it. I asked him to just cut back.

    Yesterday he promised me he would only have one or two beers last night, but this morning when I got to his house I smelled alcohol when I opened his bedroom door, and he told me he played poker until 5am and when I asked how much he drank he just said, “Don’t worry about it.”

    He’s missing class all the time because he sleeps all day. I just don’t know what to do. I love him and can’t leave him. I want to help, but I’ve never had experience with an alcoholic before and don’t know what I can do to help.

  10. Lena says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over 5 years. I was 17 and he was 19 when we started dating. We were both still in our partying days when we got together; I had grown up in a very strict household, so when he introduced me to partying and the substances that accompanied it, I felt a new kind of freedom and fun.

    Fast forward to today. He recently came out of a 5-day detox program after drinking 750 ml of hard liquor per day, after I had told him that I was done with our relationship. He isolated himself and drank himself almost to death. He was apparently having tremors, visual and auditory hallucinations, fever, and more when he decided to get himself to the hospital. I was kept in the dark about all of this until I texted him asking if he was okay.

    That was about a week and a half ago. Last night he came over and I found a water bottle filled with vodka in his laptop bag. I love him dearly, but I can’t put myself through this. I have known he has had a drinking problem for the past couple of years. I would find empty liquor bottles hidden in the closet, and multiple empty beer cans.

    He is such a sweet and nurturing man, but his alcoholism has destroyed my trust in him. He never becomes violent or cruel when he drinks. He acts completely normal, actually. He’s at the point where he can drink about a half a pint of liquor and still carry on normally.

    I know that it is difficult for alcoholics to completely quit, but I feel I am too young to put myself through this. We aren’t married and we don’t have children, but I care about his well-being and health. I’m scared he will kill himself with his drinking.

  11. Gail says:

    I sort of knew right on our first date. We had been talking on the phone, and most of the time he seemed okay. One time late at night he called me drunk and I told him to never do that again. I was heading to his apartment and called him, we were going out for dinner and he didn’t drive. Yeah, totally restricted after 3 DUI’s.

    He told me to give him a few minutes, that he would call me, so I went to the Wal-Green’s and walked around, and walked around. I called him back and he seemed a bit confused and told me to come over — yes, he was finally ready.

    I get there and go to his apartment, he hugs me, we talk, we laugh, he hugs me again, told me he knew we would get along well. It was then I smelled the hard alcohol on his breath. I told myself, we will just be friends. Six years later, many horrible stories, almost all of them involving his drinking. Verbally abusive to my daughter on the phone, abusive to me. Homeless, we have never lived together, he said he wanted to get married and I told him, some things would have to change.

    !,000,000 or so lies later, if I try to talk to him about any issue, he brings up my adult daughter who has had severe panic disorder, Asperger’s. She is high functioning and holds a job, and pays her bills, she doesn’t wash her dishes and that makes him rage. I am a horrible mother, she is a horrible daughter. Though he cannot keep a basic store stock/clerk job due to drinking on the clock. Sigh, I will never befriend someone who loves their addiction so much.

    I have no respect for myself currently. Coming here to hear the Al-Anon podcasts, going to counseling and a regular doctor.

    He lied to me today, starting verbally abusing me and told me he was not drinking, he has no respect for me. I guess that is where it stands for now. Reading this, this is a truly pathetic story. I suppose I know what will need to be done. Is there an easy way? Absolutely not.

  12. Megan says:

    I stumbled across this site on one of my many searches for “answers” to my current situation. I have been with my husband for 16 years, married 13. We have two awesome boys, 12 and 6. We always had the type of relationship that others envied. I felt we were truly soul mates. He had times when he would drink too much, but only at parties and infrequently enough that I could handle it.

    He’s had a rough life and I always admired how he rose above his negativity. His parents died when he was 9. He lost close friends to drugs, his brother passed unexpectedly 5 years ago. But he always pulled through. A year and a half ago he contracted necrotizing fasciitis (the flesh eating bacteria) and nearly died. He spent weeks in ICU on a vent and had several surgeries and skin grafts. He slowly got better and was able to come home.

    I’m an RN and at first the trauma seemed to bring a new closeness and intimacy, as I did his dressing changes and helped him to physical therapy. We talked and talked and talked about anything and everything. I was so overjoyed that he lived and came home to me and the boys. It had been very hard on them too. But then slowly he started to unravel.

    He started drinking more and more. He started to become argumentative and putting me down when he would drink too much. He called me obscene names and said, “Go ahead and leave. You aren’t much. Oh, poor Megan — you have such a rough life,” with an eye roll.

    Last year at Thanksgiving he got drunk and belligerent and my mom pulled me aside and said, “What is going on?” I broke down and finally told someone about his drinking. A few days later the school guidance counselor called to tell me my older son wrote in an essay that he became scared when his dad was drunk. I was devastated. How could I think he didn’t notice? He’s a smart kid. My husband seemed mortified by both events and agreed to go to counseling, but went for a few sessions and “didn’t get anything out of it.” He said, “I just need to cut down. Stop nagging every single time I have a beer.”

    One night he got drunk and yelled at me in front of my son. I lost it and poured all his beer out. He flipped out and said, “That was real ……. stupid,” and then bought more anyway. He is now drunk every night. I mean, every night. He still gets up and goes to work, but I have no idea how. He wets the bed almost 3 times a week. He sits in the garage and drinks all night, only coming out to eat dinner or help with the dishes. Then back to the garage until he passes out or goes up to bed.

    I can’t go anywhere with friends to decompress because I don’t trust him alone with the boys. I told him that and he looked devastated and cried and said, “I have a problem. I want to stop, but I can’t. It’s out of my control.” I suggested rehab and he told me what I could do with myself. This is so far from the person he was with me for 14+ years, until he got sick.

    He started seeing a new counselor, but again isn’t consistently going or delays making the next appointment. During the day I get short glimpses of who he used to be, but by night he turns into a spiteful manipulative jerk. We have no life together anymore. I am lonely. I cry daily. The situation has only gotten progressively worse.

    I believe I would have the strength to leave him, but I feel guilty because of everything he’s been through in his recovery from his infection a year and a half ago, but then I get angry because the boys and I suffered during that time too! And now we still are.

    I can barely stand to be around him anymore. I can barely sleep next to him without literally wanting to punch him in the face. I miss him. Or at least who he was. But if he won’t help himself, I know I can’t fix it for him. He needs to do it. I am losing myself in his addiction and he makes me feel like I’m the crazy one!

  13. Jess says:

    I have been with my live-in boyfriend for a year and a half now. He and I knew each other a few years before we started dating. He is a very handsome and charismatic individual. Needless to say, I was in love with him the first time we met, even before we started dating. At the beginning of the relationship, there were no real signs of alcoholism. We drank occasionally while watching sports at home or out to dinner. But our lives did not revolve around it.

    About 4 months after we started dating we decided to move in together. We left the area I grew up in, where my family is, and moved back to his home town, about 45 minutes away. I agreed because I love him and because the schools are so much better here, which is great for my two children. My kids were also on board because they love him.

    About a month into living together, after I sold my home, I saw a trend. He no longer was interested in doing anything unless it involves alcohol. Even our bike rides turned into bar-hopping bike rides. Before him, I was very active and athletic. Did not drink a lot because my kids have been #1.

    Fast forward to today. I have a hard time taking care of myself, because I always have to take care of him. My kids are still number #1, but I feel as though I have a shorter fuse now because I have so much stress in my life due to his drinking. He agrees he drinks too much, but refuses to quit. He and his ex-wife were party animals, and I feel as though he thinks this kind of life is normal. It is not normal. It is the furthest thing from it. Currently, I am stuck because I do love him when he treats me well, which is rare. There is no talking about things, it is his way or no way.

    This is a terrible disease that is ruining our lives.

  14. marissa says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for five years in January. I had previously dated a sociopath and was still attached to him when I met my current boyfriend. He was a breath of fresh air. He did not control me or belittle me. He did party, but I figured, hey, we’re young. I was 19, he was 20.

    The first year was pure bliss. He was sweet, made me feel amazing, but the partying got old. Then his friends became our “roommates.” Our home became a party house. We argued and reconciled every night.

    It seems worthless to throw away the love and life we have built. It is like we are stuck in a loop. He gets better, then gets way worse, says he will lose his mind if he doesn’t drink. He cheated on me a few weeks ago. Again I said we were through. I came home to flowers, a beautiful note, and after I read the note he promised he would stop.

    A week later, I walked in on him drinking whiskey. It broke me, we fought amd he apologized and told me he couldn’t stop, that every part of his body was screaming at him. So he said he would ween himself off. Well, that sort of didn’t happen.

    He is drinking less, but it is picking up now. He wants me to be proud of him, but for what? Infidelity? Lies? I don’t know. My mind keeps telling me to kick him out and move on, but I think of him not walking up the sidewalk and kissing me and having to experience life without him.

  15. Tia says:

    I married my high school sweetheart, literally right out of high school. Been married for 10 years. Dealt with the verbal abuse, the all-nighters. Partying all night, coming home, picking a fight. In and out of jobs. A couple of times leaving for a day, but couldn’t think of living without each other.

    What kept us “trying” was the one fact and rule in our church, that once you marry it is a sin to divorce or separate. No marriage was perfect. I think it was my cross to carry. Dealing with this man, with whom I have 3 children, 9, 4, and a 6 months. Suddenly, after 9 years of ups and downs, after one incident I said it, “I want a divorce.”

    Since then, we’ve been 10 years strong, moving forward with clear understanding, communication, and most of all patience. Drinking for my husband was the only thing he knew. His family drank, his father drank. To my husband it was like a hobby. Substituting that with events for our kids or working out and work. I am now a happy stay-at-home wife/mother, while hubby works and comes home, happy to spend time with our kids.

    I didn’t give up! It was worth it for me. Not every alcoholic needs to be given up on, but needs to be dealt with in their own special way.

  16. Tinks says:

    My boyfriend and I have been in love for ten years and have been together for two. I was in a horrible six-year relationship before him and so when my now boyfriend came into my life again and we started a relationship, it was bliss. He was funny, romantic, poetic, inspiring, caring and in total awe of me. I felt like the only woman in the world when he looked at me. But within months into our relationship I started noticing his drinking habits.

    He would come round to my flat and if there was no drink in (I’ve never been a big drinker) he would go out straight away to get some. His answer to a hangover was to drink more, and I found after every romantic meal and evening it would always end in the pub. Regardless of whether I wanted to go or not. He would always find a way to persuade me.

    Eventually I told him I felt he had a drinking problem. We only ever seemed to argue when he drank and my loving man would turn from kind to cruel and cold. He had even pulled my hair on one occasion and it frightened me to death. When I told him, I expected him to lash out, but he seemed to accept this. He tried cutting down, which didn’t work. Eventually, after completely humiliating me in front of his family on Boxing Day after our first Christmas together, he decided to join AA. He was so passionate about it, he would talk about it and read the book almost every day. He seemed happier, healthier. And we never argued.

    I cried with happiness after every milestone he hit and told him how proud I was of him all the time. But soon, he relapsed. Convinced himself he wasn’t an alcoholic. I made a deal with him and said if he hurt me one more time as a result of drink he would have to stop. He agreed. Persistent that he could control his drinking. It didn’t last long, and with that came the excuses in order to not honour our agreement. Everything from he’ll cut down, to he’ll only drink at home, to he’ll only drink with me. None of it worked.

    Eventually, as time went on, and after each failed attempt to cut down, he told me he wanted professional help. I agreed, but told him I wanted to go, too, so I could learn how to communicate with him better in order to understand his addiction more. The counsellor we went to asked him to set his own goals, as then that way he couldn’t complain that the goal wasn’t realistic. He said he only wanted to drink with me when we go out for a meal, that he didn’t want to drink at home or when he was away (he works on the other side of the country for two weeks at a time).

    Within the first week after this session he failed his goal, yet I still reassured him that he shouldn’t let it get him down and to keep trying. Not once did he meet his goal after that. His paranoia, which he had anyway without the drink, got worse as a result of his increased drinking. He would see things that weren’t there, see things that never happened and hear conversations that never took place. Even imagining that I had wrapped my legs around one of his friends even though my boyfriend stood directly behind me. His paranoia and his insecurity got worse with every drink. Eventually leading to him convincing himself I had been unfaithful. That hurt the most out of everything he had done to me.

    He has left me in debt. I lost my job four months ago and have been desperately trying to find work, yet he always holds the fact he supports both of us against me. He even went as far as to say I’m the one that makes him drink. That I drive him to it. That I’m an attention whore. His words sting every time. He recently admitted that he is depressed, and after admitting that he was wrong to believe I had been unfaithful, he self-harmed upstairs while I was sitting downstairs waiting for him so we could continue talking everything out.

    As a sufferer of depression myself, and having self-harmed in the past, this was devastating. I have done nothing but defend this man until I’m blue in the face. I have dedicated two years of my life to supporting him and making it known that I’m here for him. Sometimes I feel it’s a control thing with him, that if he can upset me with his actions and words then it must mean I care. That because he is supporting me financially that he can do and say whatever he wants.

    I used to be so strong. Now I’m afraid to leave the house in case someone he knows sees me and that it will only convince my boyfriend further that I have been unfaithful. Sometimes I can’t eat or sleep. Yet I know he doesn’t lose sleep over me. Over how he makes me feel. I know it doesn’t cross his mind that I may be laying in bed crying. He has already almost lost his job due to his drinking. But I’m not scared of losing our house, I’m not scared of how many sleepless nights I have. I am scared of burying him. Scared that he will either drink himself to death or become so depressed as a result of his addiction he will kill himself. I simply cannot live with myself if that happened. Yet even though he credits the fact he is alive today because of me, sometimes I do truly doubt whether he loves me or cares for me. Yes, this man has put a roof over my head and supported me through unemployment, but nothing can condone how he has treated me. He even went to a strip club and didn’t even tell me until I found out. Yet, he accuses me of cheating?

    Tonight he accused me again. Exactly a week after he was so apologetic that he had accused me in the first place. I know that if he doesn’t get help and change and I continue to stay with him, that it’ll be me they will be burying before him. I have lumps in my breast that I have been warned could turn cancerous, a heart problem, and a history of depression and self-harm. I simply cannot carry on with the way I am being treated. I’m not even being treated like a human being. Everything has to be on his terms. When we talk, how long for, when I can call him. Yet, when he comes home from working away, and he’s sober, he’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of. It’s heart-breaking to see the man I love change because of drink. Knowing that one day it’ll kill him.

    I have been advised by help-lines to leave. Because I alone cannot convince him to stop drinking and that the way he is will eventually run me down to the ground. I have not yet decided whether or not I have it in me to do that. This man has been in my thoughts for ten years, the love of my life. I always believe there is one person meant solely for another. I know he is my soul mate. But nothing hurts more knowing that your soul mate has the potential to run you into an early grave, and that he will soon run himself into his. I feel for his family who one day may lose a son, a brother, an uncle. I feel for myself, knowing that if I stay, there is a chance I will bury him, and that if I go I will get a phone call with the news I have been dreading, or I will pick up a newspaper and see his face. I want my boyfriend back, not this stranger that has taken over him. But I’m scared it may be too late.

  17. Rosie says:

    I too am living with and married to an alcoholic. My husband is non-abusive, non-violent and a great dad to our 2 children, aged 5 and 1.

    I always thought I trusted my husband. He is not a bad man, but has experienced a young life with an alcoholic, abusive father and a family all sharing the same guilt and shame. His own mother is emotionally unavailable. They say they care, but they have turned their backs/gone into denial since discovering he has the same sad illness.

    As sad as it is, you have to break the cycle sometimes to save your children. It is a progressive illness. I have lived with my husband for 15 years. I am the provider in the family, have a good job and manage the children. He works, but treats me like his mother when it comes to paying the bills, sorting the children and emotionally, etc.

    I have been clinging on to the idea he will change. The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is the lying and the deceit. That has ruined our marriage. Then there is the denial. I am trying to support him and he is having weekly counselling and attending (albeit a reluctantly) AA.

    He accepts he has a drinking problem, but also accepts he is struggling with the prospect of a life of sobriety. My fear is that at 35, I am letting life pass me by. I can no longer cope and my own health is suffering. My head is telling me to go, but I wonder why I feel so guilty.

  18. Mel says:

    I decided to leave my fiancé today. I finally have the strength to do it and not look back. We have a 5-month baby boy together and last night he went out at 9 and didn’t come back till 3 in the morning. When he came back, he was throwing things and crying. He eventually fell asleep on the floor.

    We are currently living with his family while we are or were saving for a house. We were together for 4 years and engaged and this has been a cycle for years. It’s pretty pathetic and he needs to grow up. I may sound cold, but I was there and tried to be supportive of his recovery, but as always he does well for a little while and then eventually stuff like last night happens again and he never remembers what happened. I remember. He is also verbally abusive and I don’t have time for that.

    I deserve someone better. I am moving in with my family and really want to start over. Any girl can have him. He’s a good looking guy, but he gets a pass because I feel some people shelter him. I am not an enabler and I need to do what’s in the best interest for myself but for above all my son. It’s not going to be an easy road, but I’d rather pick this road than continue this damn road. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and there were many other instances too. I almost left him while I was pregnant, but wanted to work things out.

    So, I am 30 and starting over. That’s fine with me.

  19. Julie says:

    My husband is an alcoholic. I knew it before I married him 4 months ago. He is not abusive or mean or any of the things I’ve read here. He is actually sometimes more affectionate when he drinks.

    He was so bad he nearly lost his job. We put him into a 5 day detox and he is better, but still drinks every day. Not while at work and now only beer. But today I found 2 shots of vodka in his pocket and he admitted he has drank at work again.

    I am so scared he will lose his job. And I am worried about him. The doc says his liver enzymes are high. He can’t keep going like he is or he will die. I love him, but I wonder if tough love is the best route, or just letting him go.

  20. OSF says:

    I have decided to end it with my partner after 1.5 years. It’s one of the hardest things I have to do. I have given him loads of chances.

    On Friday night, we were supposed to go out. I found 18 empty bottles of vodka, hidden. He became abusive towards me and I did not feel safe. He grabbed my arm behind my back and was roaring and shouting.

    He is a great, intelligent, kind man when he is sober. I always believe him when he apologizes — “Next time it will be better. I will make it up to you. I want to stop drinking.”

    Heartbroken beyond belief, but know it’s the right thing in the long term.

  21. Erin says:

    Four months ago, I began seeing a wonderful man and we fell insanely in love with each other. He has always been so kind and has treated me so well. He showered me with attention, compliments, gifts, wonderful surprises. Our relationship has always been healthy and we communicate well.

    We wanted to get married and had planned on meeting his parents. He, however, binge-drinks about twice, maybe three times a week. Sometimes he will have all-night drinking marathons and sleep all day until he has to go to work. If he’s stressed and overwhelmed, he will drink more often.

    This was always a concern to me, but I wanted to ignore the problem because everything else was so perfect. Per his idea, we went vegetarian, and he made small changes in his drinking habits. Started smoking less, cut out the liquor and only drank beer.

    He got very drunk one night and broke up with me, saying he didn’t feel like he was good enough or could do anything right. He became remorseful and we decided to work it out.

    We had a long talk. Laid everything out, and all seemed to be going wonderfully. I gave him the coming-to-Jesus talk about his drinking and how it impacts our relationship and future together. He seemed nervous and uncomfortable, but admitted he drinks too much and that it’s bad for him. He agreed to not do the after-hours drinking anymore, to see a therapist, and cut way back overall. I told him that if he can’t control his drinking, he shouldn’t drink anymore, and get help.

    He agreed. We spent the night together. In the morning, he said that he just can’t do it anymore and that he resents me for asking him to stop. He has cut off contact and refuses to tell me what we both know — he can’t stop and he’s backing out.

    I feel like I lost the person I was going to spend my life with to drinking. I’m afraid of what it will take for him to make the decision to stop. I’m terrified that he won’t. I miss him so much it tears me to shreds.

  22. Dissapointed and Confused says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 8 months now. We met dancing salsa. We hit it off so well. We have so much in common. He makes me laugh, he loves me for being me, and I am just so comfortable with him, except when he’s drinking.

    He has been drinking a lot lately. He lost his job due to going out and drinking and being late. He barely passed his classes his last semester of college and has one class left. I am 26 and have a stable job and am getting my masters and he is currently jobless, living at a friend’s house because his family got evicted from their apartment, and he is 30 years old.

    The last time I went drinking with him, that was the day I quit drinking for myself. He upset me so much to the point that I can’t even look at any alcohol without getting anxiety and nauseated. He calls me names when he is drunk and then says he’s never going to do it again.

    It’s so annoying because I did him a huge favor and went to pick him up across the border because his license is suspended due to a ticket. Oh, and he’s also had 2 prior DUI’s. About two months ago, something happened and he scraped his face up so badly. I don’t know what else to do at this point. I told him that he needs help, and he agreed, yet when I brought it up again, he got upset.

    I honestly don’t know how I’m going to get through this because he has so much potential. I recently found out that he is traumatized from a prior relationship and had met me when he was already in this drinking phase. I don’t know what to do. I’m so sad because he is an angel when he’s not drinking, but I don’t see this stopping any time soon. I don’t know what to do :(

  23. Jessica says:

    I thought I was alone. I am a fairly attractive 24-year-old student teacher. I have options, as many of my friends and family will remind me. Everyone’s answer when I try to talk about the alcoholic in my life is to simply leave him. But it’s never that easy. How can I forget the hope that man gave me when I met him? How can I just abandon my dreams of all that we could share? He used to seem so moral and strong. How can I just forget that?

    Well, short answer, I’m sick with his disease now too. But maybe I have finally found the help I need. I’m tired of wanting to jump off the BB&T building because I can’t fix him, and because I always believe the empty promises of proposals and a new sober life that never comes. I just want to be happy and feel secure. I don’t remember what that feels like and I know this is because there are things that I need to work on myself.

  24. Leanne W says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 7 years. We started drinking together many nights a week after work. We both have decent jobs. I managed to get a DUI a year ago and knew way before that I should stop drinking. This was a huge blessing in disquise. Huge fights, no money and black outs.

    I have now been sober a year and have tried to get my other half to stop drinking. A lot of time I don’t know where he is and he tells me lies about where he’s going. He’s not cheating on me. He’s having an affair with alcohol. It is part of every day after work. He gets into town from work and 3 to 5 hours later, stumbles into the house.

    I, through my own addiction, have discovered that control was a huge road block to getting better. I cannot change him. I am helpless when it comes to that. I can’t handle the lies and obnoxious attitude. My problem is letting go. I need to let go. He will not get better with my help, but maybe with tough love when I walk away. I know he loves me, but not enough to keep me here in this predicament.

  25. Sarah says:

    I do not want to admit to myself or to my community that my boyfriend has a drinking problem.

    I met him at a bar, and at that time I was doing well for myself. I exercised, ate right, barely smoked — had two jobs. I started to party with him, and lost both jobs because I couldn’t juggle partying and working.

    He drank almost every night to oblivion. When his daughter was around, he drank less but he still drank.

    Almost two years later, I have a great consistent job. He drinks less than he did when I first met him, but he still drinks.

    When he drinks, he’s hard to talk to. He repeats questions and I have to repeat myself over and over again.

    When we are out, I always worry about him driving home drunk — without a license, because of his DUI that he stopped going to classes for.

    When he’s not recovering from the night before, he is having a drink. For him, he always makes excuses for why he’s drinking and I let it slide.

    Or I nag him, which he says makes him drink more.

    I don’t want to break up with him, but I am so angry and bitter and unhappy. Living a life with him is total chaos. I tell him I am done all the time, and he says that I bitch too much. I question myself all the time: do I have the nagging problem, or does he have a drinking one?

    I am very confused and very sad and very lonely. He is out at a bar right now, while I am sitting home alone. I don’t want to be done, but I am so tired.

  26. Sarah says:

    Alcohol has been a defining theme throughout my entire life — first (and still) my dad, now my husband. I wish I had the resources then that I have now to have researched and understood alcoholism and specifically the children of alcoholics. If I had, maybe I would have realized my susceptibility toward falling for an alcoholic. Maybe I would have realized when I met him 22 years ago, that he was already on his way to becoming an alcoholic. Maybe I would’ve never married my husband. What an awful thing to say. What an even worse thing to feel.

    I love my husband, desperately. But every day I sit and secretly wonder what my life might be like if I had fallen in love with a sober person. Maybe I wouldn’t have the nice house, or the nice car. Maybe I couldn’t afford the vacations we take and maybe I wouldn’t be able to be a stay-at-home mom. There would be a lot I might not have. But I might at least have the peace that I long for. And that desire seems to be getting stronger and stronger all the time. Then I feel guilty when I realize that he has given me the one thing that has made all of my pain and anxiety so far worth it — our children.

    My husband is a great provider and a pretty great dad. And when he’s not drinking, he’s a wonderful husband. To be honest, even when he is drinking, he’s a good husband. Well, at least compared to some, I guess.

    He’s never been violent with me. He doesn’t call me names or belittle me. We do have some heated arguments, though, which always end up with me feeling guilty and hopeless. So I try not to bring up the drinking at all. Especially if he’s already had a few. It only ends up with me in tears, crying myself to sleep. Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point that he’s drinking almost every night, anywhere from 12 – 24 beers a night, so there’s never really a good time to discuss it at all anymore. Not that it’s ever done any good anyway, but still I keep wanting to talk to him, to tell him how much it hurts me, how embarrassing it is to me, how the sound of him crushing yet another empty beer can makes me cringe. How smelling it on him sometimes makes me physically ill. I keep hoping he’ll realize that he’s slowly losing me and that for once, for this one person, I’ll be enough.

    I wasn’t enough for my dad. I know it’s a disease, but my heart can’t stop believing that if I was worthy, my dad would’ve stopped drinking. I wasn’t enough for him, but I truly thought I would be enough for my husband. I want someone to love me so much that they can’t bear the thought of hurting me.

    My children are getting older now and although they’ve never mentioned his drinking, I can see that they are beginning to react to it in subtle ways. And it hurts so much, because although I was much younger when my dad crossed the line into full blown alcoholism, I remember all too clearly the anger, the frustration, and the embarrassment that I believe they are just now beginning to feel. I can’t stop their dad from drinking, but I can save them the anxiety of living with an alcoholic. It’s a feeling that I’ve lived with since I was 5 or 6 years old. It’s never left me since that time and if I stay with my husband much longer, it will probably be the thing that kills me. I don’t want that for my children.

    Unfortunately, I’m a year from being able to leave, at least. I need to work on building a career for myself so that I can support myself and our children. I need to have some money put aside that is not in our joint account so that when the time comes, I can be ready to rent a place of our own. I need to be ready to explain to my children why we’re leaving.

    They’ll be shocked. They have no idea there are any problems with us at all. At this point, even my husband probably thinks I’m finally ok with his drinking. At the very least, he has no idea that I’m planning on leaving him. I put on a really good face and pretend to be happy because a year of fighting seems worthless.

    But tonight, a year seems like a lifetime.

  27. Jill says:

    So glad I found this page. It helps to not feel so alone — because I am. We recently moved away from my family to live in a mining town. The plan is/was to cash in so we can buy our own home in a few years. I am now in the middle of nowhere. With zero support around me. Not a single person I can talk to. I’m currently a stay-at-home mum (getting back into work really soon), so haven’t a cent to my name.

    My fiancé has always had a bad relationship with alcohol but has been able to ‘control’ it over the last few years. Since moving last week (big regrets now!), he has gone through 2 boxes of beer, countless bourbon cans, wine etc. He thinks it’s no big deal.

    He had promised (ha) me that he was working on his health. Eating healthy, exercising, no more drinking. When he walked in the door last week with a box of beer and a 4-pack of bourbans I said, “I thought you weren’t drinking anymore!” Well, he cracked it. Because he doesn’t have a problem with alcohol. And he works hard so deserves it. And it’s hot. It was a hard day and he just wants to relax. I’m so over it.

    He tries to control me and has a way of turning things around on me. Sometimes it works. I’m a well-educated woman, how am I letting this happen? He’s very manipulative.

    I guess I always try to see the good in people. I’m a helper. A fixer. Except I can’t fix him. I want to talk to him properly about it. But I won’t do it when he’s drinking — it seems even one drink is enough to change him. Plus, I won’t do it in front of our 1-year-old, but I have no one to mind her.

    I’m sure he has depression, I’m sure he’s a narcissist. He complains about our lack of intimacy. Sorry, a slob who burps, farts, swears, stinks of alcohol, who is drunk is not attractive to me at all. But if I explain that, he turns it around on me. It’s my fault that intimacy is no longer present. He works hard all day to pay the bills, you know.

    Money is a huge thing. A few years ago we lived in a similar place where our pays were fantastic. He acknowledges that he drank the money away. It wouldn’t be like that this time, though. He’s a dad now, with goals. Bull.

    Last night I asked if he’d like me to make a quinoa salad for dinner tonight (a meal he’s said he liked before). “How much is quinoa? We’re trying to save, remember?” So pretty much I can’t spend $10 on something healthy for the family that will last many meals, but he can spend hundreds on alcohol every week.

    I feel like I’m just about ready to leave, but have so much to consider. I definitely don’t want this to be my daughter’s ‘normal.’ But what I do, what I say to him, how many chances I give him, I don’t know.

  28. Bella says:

    My story is basically similar to all of your stories — I currently live with/am married to an alcoholic. He’s quite a high-functioning alcoholic. We’ve been together for over 20 years & married for 12 years. We have three adorable children; 7, 5 & 4 years of age. Yes, I knew he was very fond of alcohol before we married, & envisioned a problem. Although I didn’t want to face it & justified by thinking he would outgrow it, change over time, step up to his responsibilities of having a family, a mortgage to pay, his dream home blah, blah, blah. Boy, was I wrong! If anything, he’s become much worse.

    I am aware that alcohol is a progressive disease — however, wholeheartedly believe that I have enabled him for years. Why? That, I’m still trying to understand. All of the reasons why I’ve allowed this unhealthy relationship to continue for so long will unfold in time, as I soon begin to work on myself.

    There are many differences in my story. One is that this is the second time I’ve been in long & serious relationship with an alcoholic/addict. I’ve recently realised that it’s been easier for me to blame him & my ex (yes, I also see the pattern). Another difference is that my husband is not the abusive one — I am.

    On top of that, he isn’t at all violent (not like my ex!). He seems to have an excessively high tolerance to alcohol; as he fails to slur his words, stumble, suffer from blackouts. Even though he drinks at least a bottle of vodka a night + some extra spirit mixers or wine whenever he can. However, he does wreak of alcohol, he is excessively overweight, his personality changes, he is more argumentative & confused, he suffers from memory loss (but doesn’t admit to it), his liver is obviously suffering, he has an unmanageable life (works, but is very disorganised), continues to make empty promises, etc. I could go on & on, but you all know the symptoms.

    Basically, alcohol is taking him hostage & it’s just about to kick him in the groin. Yes, I’m taking action – & if you can’t tell already, I’m really excited about it. Life is too short & I’m not wasting any more time in denial.

    I see the light. I’m moving forward, no matter how scared I feel at times. I’ll cry myself to sleep every night for a while, but with each new day without him I’ll become stronger — I’ll find me again.

    Happiness is just around the corner for me. And, yes, I’m scared & yes, my kids are going to suffer & yes, my hub will also suffer, but hey what’s the alternative — stay living in this miserable situation in a nice house, with a comfortable lifestyle? No way. I’m going to be a single mum & I’m going to be poor, but I’ll be rich in my health & happiness. That’s the only way forward for me. Advice to self: Don’t look back; you’ve been down that road before.

  29. shmrd says:

    My (ex?)-boyfriend of a year and eight months is a low-bottom alcoholic. He has been drinking for three decades, has lost jobs, been kicked out of school, been homeless, arrested and in jail many times, had health problems — like extremely high liver enzymes and throwing up blood, and when he goes to the hospital to detox every month or so, his blood alcohol level is high enough to kill a person, or at least put them in a coma.

    He’s almost been killed because of alcohol on occasions, like chipping a tooth when he fell while drunk, and another time stumbling in front of a speeding fire engine! He’s burned bridges with friends, and now is losing me.

    I’m tired of the merry-go-round, tired of dealing with abusive words when he’s too inebriated to have a normal conversation, etc. Yet, he still won’t go to A.A. And he knows that A.A. helps because he’s done it before!

    Lately, he thinks that smoking pot will save him from drinking, but he keeps picking up anyway. But I know that there’s nothing I can do about his recovery, only mine. So I will keep going to Al-Anon because it helps me. God help me if I go back to him again! I love him, but I have to love myself more.

  30. Olivia says:

    Married 22 years. My husband and I used to party all the time as young single adults. He comes from alcoholic parents and I come from a family with alcohol abuse from grandparents.

    Over the past 5 years I’ve noticed the drinking was getting severe and it was not uncommon to find him drunk early in the a.m. We have kids. We have careers. Every school vacation or holiday vacation for the past few years have been ruined with his drinking.

    I don’t even want to host holiday events. I would like to cancel Christmas and if it weren’t for the kids I would. Last summer I had him taken away by ambulance because he was so drunk he was lashing out, demanding alcohol but too drunk to get any himself. These week-long binges occur approximately every three-to-four weeks. He will just drink until he is lying in bed groaning in pain because “his guts hurt.” I’ve found him passed out in his own puke in my bedroom, his nose bleeds and makes a mess of my bed and bathroom.

    Back a couple of months ago, he was out driving and got into an accident and had no recollection of the driving, he was so drunk. He managed to sober up for 10 weeks and recently during his week-long binge passed out in the road and fractured his skull. We have two kids to put through college — I could really use that $20,000 toward their education, not legal and hospital fees.

    It is so frustrating. Even after this recent near-death experience, he tells me he still plans on drinking — he thinks he can be a casual drinker.

    I feel so helpless. He is seeing a therapist and I understand there are relapses, falling off the wagon. I really wish someone would get it through his thick skull that he no longer is able to handle any alcohol.

  31. Beth says:

    My boyfriend is a “functioning” alcoholic. He is kind and funny on one end, but has to have at least 6 beers every single day after work with his buddies at the bar and can’t go the weekend without trips to the bar too. He neglects the emotional needs of his daughter and has started to neglect our relationship too.

    Last week I told him how much I don’t like it when he shows up at my apartment drunk and tries to treat me like a booty call. He had promised to come over to my apartment last Wednesday for a nice dinner I cooked him, but never showed up. He had spent four hours after work drinking with his buddies at the bar and forgot about coming over to my place. I cried as I blew out the candles I had so carefully placed on the table and hurt inside as I put the cold uneaten food in the fridge. Of course, being a functional alcoholic, he had tears in his eyes as he told me how sorry he was the next day.

    When I’m babysitting his 11-year-old daughter, she tells me how much she doesn’t like it that her dad goes to the bar after work instead of coming home and spending time with her. I’m starting to realize that I do not want him to be a stepfather to my three sons, because of his drinking.

    I did not allow him to come over to my apartment tonight, because I knew he had been at the bar with his buddies drinking again. I thought long and hard about it and I think I’m going to break up with him tomorrow. There is no way that I can have a healthy future with an alcoholic who doesn’t want to get help. Just because he has a great personality and a good job doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a problem. I love him very very much because in a lot of ways he has been kind to me, but I can’t overlook the alcoholism in his life.

  32. James says:

    I’ve been with my partner 2-3 years now. Known her for 8 years. Always got drunk off 2 glasses of wine. Now she regularly drinks 5-6 bottles a week and has done so for 2 years. I don’t know what to do.

    Had many arguments, as I love her dearly. We have children from past relationships and she has been in abusive ones in the past. Her mother and siblings are all alcoholics. Not sure what to do.

  33. Amber says:

    I have been in a two-and-a-half year relationship, living together a year and a half. Recently with his last drunk episode he broke up with me. It hasn’t even been a week apart. At his point I did not argue, just left and have been moving my things out as this is not an isolated incident. He has been verbally abusive and has pushed and shoved me.

    Our relationship is very loving and functional without alcohol. There is good communication and teamwork. Being that we are in our mid 20s, a lot of our mutual friends drink. For a long time we decided to put distance between his friends, so he could stay on track. Recently they have all made amends and I did not want to keep him from his friends. Since then, he has been on a downward spiral. He struggles with what I believe to be bi-polar disorder. I know he self-medicates.

    My problem is I still love this man very much. I want to be a supportive person in his life, but at what cost? He has made empty promises. I have always forgiven him the next day. This has been the first time I have kept no contact. He seems apologetic and doesn’t want me to leave. I just don’t know whether to tell him that I’d consider giving him another chance if he quit drinking, or if it is hopeless altogether.

  34. sb says:

    After many years of struggling to keep my marriage together, I am at my wits end. With three grown boys and no one to turn to, I have become numb, sour, angry, frustrated, empty, helpless, angry, sad, depressed, and lonely. I gave him 19 years of my life, but for some reason he just can’t get on the right track.

    He spent 12 years of his life on drugs, sobered up for three years and is now on alcohol. It first started with a few drinks and “I can quit when I want” to drinking any time of the day and forgetful nights, fights, and abuse.

    I gave up my family, friends, country, and myself for him. My kids gave up a lot also, just to have a father in their life, but now I regret it. I regret putting my kids through the life I chose. Every day he wakes up with regrets, and I’m sorries, and it won’t happen again’s. He knows he has a problem, but won’t get help! Says he needs to go to rehab, but won’t. We are in a 3rd world country because of his drug issues and cases, so he thinks the rehab here is useless.

    Now my kids don’t want to live with him anymore. I am financially stuck here and know that if I leave him, his friends will eat all our savings and most likely end up killing him or his liver. I don’t want my kids to have such a bad influence in their lives, and I know I’m being unfair to them.

    I tried calling a few Al-Anon meetings for help, but was not able to get it! I have lost myself many years ago. Feel like the merry-go-round won’t stop and our days won’t change! I wish I could walk away.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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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