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Partner who drinks

(12 Posts)
mslau Tue 17-Jan-17 10:34:09

Hello, I've never posted on here before but I just needed to get it off my chest.
My partner goes through stages where he is really good and stops drinking for a fair few weeks, and then when he falls off the wagon, he just isn't the same and I hate coming home to him being drunk. He isn't violent or physical, but it's just so upsetting. He knows he is an alcoholic, but obviously doesn't get the right help to stop. He always tries to be smart with me when I've asked him if he has had a drink and driven and he'll say no, and then some kind of smart remark back. We have had our fair share of issues, but he can't always use that as the reason for drinking, I don't hold a gun to his head and tell him to drink. I just don't know what to do, it's making me more upset every time it happens now sad

Nabootique Tue 17-Jan-17 10:52:18

Have you actually told him that he HAS to go and get help? If you have and he doesn't there is not much you can do. They have to want to do it, and they should really want to do it for themselves.

I had an alcoholic DP who kept promising to go and get help just so I wouldn't leave him, which I explained isn't exactly the right reason for doing it, but whatever it took to get him there. He didn't go in the end and I did leave, mostly because of his drinking problem. I had struggled with it myself in the past and didn't want to be with someone who couldn't take responsibility for themselves like that.

Are the issues in the relationship the reason he gives for drinking? How is the relationship? What's it like when he is sober?

StiffenedPleat Tue 17-Jan-17 11:06:01

You have to decide if you accept him as he is and expect it to get worse because he may well never get truly sober. Alcoholics make poor life partners and poor parents. Get some therapy for yourself and try and work out what you want. It's pointless trying to repair/improve him.

mslau Tue 17-Jan-17 11:13:46


He has gone these meetings at the local hospitals and they do generally help him for a few weeks, but then there are times when he just random brings home alcohol (after a few good weeks of being off it) and I ask him why, or if something has happened and the last few times he just tells me that he just wanted to, no hidden reason. I explain to him that it's only going to go back the way it was before yet he tells me it won't.
We have had a rough relationship from the beginning but only got a bit more on the rocks in the last year or two and we have decided to work things out. That's why when we are happy, it's GREAT! But then he goes and drinks and I'm like, what the hell? He is now working ridiculous hours and when he is home he is already half asleep because of being tired and the alcohol on top. sad

mslau Tue 17-Jan-17 11:15:06


He is a pretty decent parent to be honest. Knows where to draw the line and our daughter loves him to bits.

Adora10 Tue 17-Jan-17 11:19:17

Instead of getting upset, give him an ultimatum; what he is doing is wrong, esp if he is driving over the limit; do you really want involved in him getting charged etc? You don't have to accept this.

Nabootique Tue 17-Jan-17 11:28:52

Do you think that after a couple of weeks off it, he's kidding himself into thinking a can handle "just one" or "just a couple"? For many drinkers it's a slippery slope and total abstinence might be the only option for him if he is to stop if from affecting his relationships and life.

I think Adora is right and an ultimatum is the way to go. It is damaging his relationship with you, it will eventually damage his relationship with his daughter, and he is breaking the law.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 17-Jan-17 11:35:59


The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

What do you get out of this relationship now, what is in this for you?. What has kept you together to date?. Alcoholism and codependency in relationships often go hand in hand; are you codependent?

His primary relationship is with drink; its not you and it never has been with you either. Alcohol is truly a cruel mistress.

You mention your daughter who "loves him to bit". Children love a parent anyway no matter how rubbish. He is a terrible role model to your DD: would you want her to have a relationship like yours is going forward or to be in a relationship with an alcoholic?. You are doing your bit here to show her that this treatment of you from him is currently acceptable to you; she is learning a lot of damaging lessons here. He has not decided actually to work anything out; he just wants to keep on drinking. His next thoughts centre on where the next drink is going to come from.

He has to want to seek help for his own self; if anyone else tells him to do it any attempt is doomed to failure. These meetings at hospital are not working out; those are not going to get him alcohol free because he does not at heart want to be alcohol free.

You state yourself its been rocky from the start; it will continue to be so along with more chaotic as time passes. There's only one way this will go and that is down. This is no life for you to live; you will always come a dim and distant second to the drink even if you do figure on his priority list. Currently you are not helping him by being there (you are playing out the roles of enabler and provoker) and he does not want your help or support. You are way under qualified to help him in any case. These types of dysfunctional relationship never end well.

Al-anon are worth talking as they are very helpful in dealing with people affected by another's drinking. You are profoundly affected by this and in turn so is your child.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 17-Jan-17 11:39:28

If you issue an ultimatum it can only be issued the one time (it loses all its power otherwise) and you have to be fully prepared to follow it through. If you cannot do that then do not issue an ultimatum.

Ultimately you need to leave him. Your DD and you deserve a life free from him and his inherent alcoholism. You do realise that this individual could go onto lose everything and everyone around him and he could still choose to drink afterwards. He may never stop drinking.

ThatsPlenty Tue 17-Jan-17 12:00:50

You can't change him. You are responible for your own life. If you leave it will maybe make him re-evaluate his life. You do NOT have to live with this.

mslau Tue 17-Jan-17 12:12:57

That is the reason that I won't give an ultimatum, I know I won't be able to go through with it. He hasn't always been this way. And I understand when you guys say that what he is doing isn't making himself a good role model. I just always feel that I can help him I guess, and I guess I need to realise that I can't, and that he really does need to do it for himself 😞

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 17-Jan-17 12:58:36

He is already showing you that you cannot help him and you need to properly realise that for your own self. That is why I mentioned co-dependency. Stop putting his needs above yours.

You have a choice re this man; your DD does not. He has always been this way; the "good" times that you've now had are becoming fewer and further between. This relationship has always been rocky due to his alcoholism.


He has always had a problem with drink (it likely predates you). You have simply not recognised his alcoholism properly for what it is and how it affects not just the drinker but others like you and your child also.

Is this really the example of a relationship you want to teach your child?. You are actually more powerful than you think you are, you do not have to issue any ultimatum either. You can still walk away and leave him; how does that though grab you?.

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