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alcoholic partner

(24 Posts)
jenjen98 Thu 16-Jul-09 14:18:54

Hi i am new to this so forgive me if i ramble on a bit. i was wondering if anyone had some advice, i have been with my partner for five years and have two children from a previous relationship, he also has two. i knew he liked a drink when i met him,so did i every now and then, but it has now gone toofar. he is a lovely man( when sober)but he drinks every night apart from his monday "dry night". when he is drunk he becomes impossible to talk to so i have learnt not to speak after 8 at night. he falls asleep on the sofa and starts snoring loudly, when i try to wake him he becomes aggressive and does not know who i am, if he does he then calls me names. i started to drink more and more just to be on the same level as him and that worked for a while but then realised i could not be a big drinker. my kids are getting older and are now up later and are seeing him swaying and slurring, which upsets me alot. we have not had a physical relationship for a long time as i find a man that wets himself very unattractive. i tried to pretend evrything was ok but he kept saying i had a mental health problem because i did not want to go to bed with him.i was put on anti depressants hoping that that would help but it made things worse as i started seeing things for what they were, a mess. i know it is a disease and i know that he needs support but he has told me that he would have to be near death to stop drinking( i dont think he is that far from it his eyes are becoming more yellow). unfortunately the stress of realising what my life is like and living in a dual relationship,looking after 2 children working full time and also looking after his children when they are here at weekends has put me in hospital with severe headaches. i did not realise that life had all got too much, i broke down when the doctor asked how i was and EVERYTHING came out. i am now on beta blockers at 32 continually on pain killers and scared that i could lose my promotion and the kids because i am so ill. i have lost alot feeling for him and i know that i have a great future ahead for myself but i could lose it all if he continues to drink. tried most things wiht him but he refuses to go to gp which was my condition if we were to stay together. HELP!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 16-Jul-09 14:43:03


Have you talked to Al-anon; they can help family members of problem drinkers.

You are all being profoundly affected by the drinker; its all about him and you all are secondary to his life and drinking. His primary relationship is with drink. Everything else is not a priority to him.

You saw the warning signs and chose to ignore them. You have two children by him. Perhaps you subconsciously thought that you could change him and make him stop drinking. Short answer to that is no.

BTW drinking with him is a huge no as this is enabling behaviour on your part. You are also part of the problem here as there are no consequences for his actions. There should be no alcohol in the house. You have also enabled him by pretending that everything was okay when it clearly was not and is not.

What do you want to do ultimately - he has made his choice and it looks like he will continue to drink. You cannot make him seek help if he does not want it. So the choice is yours ultimately. Your lives would undoubtedly be happier without him in it on a day to day basis.

You're 32; no age really and you could move on. What do you want your life to be like in a year's time?.

You are not ultimately responsible for him (although you likely feel that you are), only you and your children. I feel for them as well as they've suffered here as well and have been through a hell of a lot. Is this really what you want for them and your own self?.

Overmydeadbody Thu 16-Jul-09 14:48:04

jenjen you have to leave this man.

His alcoholism is not your problem and you shouldn't have to suffer as a result.

Leave him.

I agree with everything atillathemeerkat has said.

jenjen98 Thu 16-Jul-09 15:00:52

Thank you for the quick response! your points are very good, i know i have been enabling him by pretending that everything is ok, a sense of i will make this work took over after my last relationship.
I have not had a drink for over a year when i realised that things had gone beyond having a glass of wine at the end of busy day. i now have a strong dislike for alcohol even he smell! and try to keep it out of house but i find empty bottles and cans in the bin.

i am only 32 but feel that this "game" we have played for so long has aged me much more. by game i mean he stops drinking and things are fine then gradually things get worse, quite insidious really. i know that i dont need him as i am mortagae free, good career, good support from childrens father and family and mine, but feel terrible that i cant make it work and that if he left he would get worse and here he at least has to make a bit of an effort. but whhat scares me now is that i don't want him and how do i try to get out of this relationship without making him sink even deeper.

trixiethepixie Thu 16-Jul-09 15:09:41

Leave him.

You cannot change him, only he can when he faces up to his problem.

He is dragging your life and the lives of your children down with him.

I wouldn't feel terrible about it as he is the one who has caused this relationship to end.

You have been trying to make it work but there ultimately comes a time when you have put so much in and it's not working that you have to take a step back and he has to help himself.

ginnny Thu 16-Jul-09 15:16:42

Jenjen - I was in a similar position to you with my DP until last year when we split up and I threw him out.
Since then he has got his own place and we have got back together on the understanding that I don't see him when he's drunk. We still live apart and he has dramatically cut down his drinking, but he still has the odd binge, then I don't see him at all until he is sober again. I know its not an ideal situation but I feel a lot more in control now that I have my house back to myself again and don't have to worry about what he drinks anymore.
You say that you don't need him financially and your dc are not his so you have no reason to stay in this destructive situation.
Do go to an Alanon meeting - they are really helpful and supportive. They have done wonders for me and lots of others on here.

Snorbs Thu 16-Jul-09 15:24:52

The roller-coaster of emotions that comes from being in a relationship with an alcoholic is one that will drain the very life out of you if you let it.

If you leave, yes, he might drink more. But that's not your fault (unless you're holding him down and forcing the booze down his throat). Or, he might stop for a while to try to convince you to take him back, and then start drinking more. Or he might just say sod you and carry on drinking much the same as he is now. You can't say for sure because it's nothing to do with you. His choice to drink, and the excuses he'll tell himself and others to justify that drinking, are entirely his business.

The problem here isn't that you're not making it work, it's that once alcoholism enters a relationship then that relationship is fundamentally broken. It's like trying to ride a bike that's got a bent frame and twisted wheels - sure, you can lurch along on it for a while, but it's uncomfortable and exhausting. You're having to put so much effort in to just get the pedals to turn that you can't even look up to see where it is you're heading.

Al-Anon can really help. Alternatively, one-on-one counselling really helped me when I was leaving my alcoholic ex.

MIFLAW Fri 17-Jul-09 00:13:49

Here's what I posted on a similar thread - your circs are a bit different but I still think the advice holds good ...

I am a (male) recovering alcoholic myself.

PLEASE get away from this man, and stay away, until he:

1) accepts he has a problem AND
2) stops drinking AND
3) seeks ongoing help with living his life drink-free.

Apologies, pledges, good intentions are all great - but until he ticks all three boxes, keep him at arm's length, for everyone's sake.

For me, (3) was AA and I have yet to find anything else which I imagine working for me, but all power to him if he does - the point being, though, that whatever he chooses, stopping drinking is the beginning, not the end. All the problems he drinks to "deal with" will still be there, unanaesthetised, when he stops.

On the plus side, I can confirm that my life is now fantastic as a non-drinker and, although not drinking is not something I am complacent about, it is NOT, as someone cautions above, a "challenge." My life is SO much easier and more pleasant these days!

That said, I'm not at all anti-him, in fact I both empathise and sympathise. Please let him know that he is welcome to contact me if he would like to hear more of my story.

MIFLAW Fri 17-Jul-09 00:15:29

PS one of the things that initially brought me to AA was a partner leaving me. She is 32 ish now. Thank God for her (and me!) that she did leave when she did.

jenjen98 Fri 17-Jul-09 07:57:51

HI, THANK YOU again for the replies, very interesting and his given me much food for thought. unfortunately i think it is very unlikely that he willl seek help and support from a gp or an organisation as he feels that he can do it on his own and does not see how big the problem is. i have decided that i want him to leave and get on with my life and my family. my children are on holiday next weekend with grand parents so i think this ideal to sort things out. i am happy for him to stay until he finds somewhere else, is this wise? i know he wont want to be here if i don't want him too. i am going to go counselling, this was arranged a few months ago, the appointment has come through, hopefully this will help me manage the situation so i don't go back to hospital. thankyou miflaw for your kind offer but he is not the best talker or listener when it comes to issues that are not "happy". i wish he would realise that so many people want him to be ok.

NotPlayingAnyMore Fri 17-Jul-09 09:52:56

MIFLAW - incredibly honest post - just felt the need to thank you for that.

jenjen - thank goodness you can still see how much you still have going for you without him dragging you down

mrsboogie Fri 17-Jul-09 11:55:44

I don't mean to sound trite but in a sense he is making this situation easy for you; he is in total denial and has neither the intention nor the desire to seek help or stop. Therefore there is only one option open to you -LEAVE. Every day you stay with him is a day of your own life thrown away.

If his eyes are yellow his liver is damaged and he is probably, not to put too fine a point on it, already dying. He certainly will if he doesn't stop. He has a future in front of him of disgusting medical problems, emergency hospital visits and early death.Do you want to share this future?

You must leave him immediately - there is absolutely nothing on this earth that you or anyone else can do to make him stop. You are only helping him to continue by lending his life the appearance of normality.

If he decides he loves you or even himself more than the drink he might seek help. If he is successful and you still have a future together then that is something to aim for. However you are doing no-one, least of all the children, any favours by staying with this man.

Get out.

MIFLAW Fri 17-Jul-09 12:12:17


"he is not the best talker or listener when it comes to issues that are not "happy"."

You don't surprise me at all. When it gets bad enough for him, he might be, though. That point might come when you chuck him out ...

Anyway, it's his decision, but the offer stands.


jeminthepark Fri 17-Jul-09 12:17:33

MiFLAW- loved your posts.

JenJen I hope you find the strengh.

jenjen98 Fri 17-Jul-09 19:55:45

thank you again miflaw, i have the greatest of respect for you and what you have acheived.
i do understand the medical issues as i work in a hospital and it scares me. everyday i see,mostly men iam afraid, coming in with various complications from alcohol, because i see it and i do love him i guess that has made me want to try and sort it. unfortunately i know that i can't. just so so so hard to send someone away to die (had a patient die a few months ago his age from drink!)i think this is the hardest thing about it all to come to terms with because he is the loveliest man sober.

mrsboogie Fri 17-Jul-09 20:59:52

the only person who can help him is himself - you know that. You might give him something to fight for if you leave but if not he will die in front of you and take the best years of your life to do it.

let him go.

jenjen98 Sat 18-Jul-09 00:08:05

Thank you everyone i think your replies relay the same message to which i have not had the courage to admit too, but deep down knew was an inevitability. he has to leave. how i am going to do this i have no idea, but i usually find that i am more determined when things are spontaneous so i don't talk myself out of it.
as the kids are away i have planned a night out with my much neglected but very supportive friends as that is something i have not been able to do for a long time! Can't wait!
your messages have allowed me some perspective and to touch base with reality, i have never talked about this before and so many things get so distorted in your head that reality becomes just a distant memory.
may sound silly but all the anger i had in me has just gone smile.

HolyGuacamole Sat 18-Jul-09 00:08:18

32 is so young. Honestly, you have your whole life ahead of you. Don't wait and wait. You don't want to be maybe 50 or 60 and still in the same boat. Sometimes you have to put yourself first. He won't do it, in fact he won't even put himself first so that only leaves you to do it for yourself.

You only live once.

lowrib Sat 18-Jul-09 00:40:39

jenjen98 you have to get away from this man - but you know that yourself.

He is NOT the loveliest man sober as he is sober when he starts drinking, and does not care enough to not inflict his drunken self on you.

You say "may sound silly but all the anger I had in me has just gone"

I've had two relationships with alcoholics, I can really relate to this, I expect you are exhausted.

STOP trying to help him, you have done enough, he has had enough chances. And anyway, putting up with this behaviour isn't actually helping him, by the sounds of it he'll only get worse if the status quo continues anyway.

jenjen98 Sat 18-Jul-09 01:02:04

oh my god lowrib i have never thought of like that, thank you, you are so right he is sober when he starts so scrub my comment about being lovely.

tonight he has not had a drink at all, i think this is just another manipulative tool as he knows i have had enough.

lowrib Sat 18-Jul-09 01:59:21

From years of experience of the alcoholic mind unfortunately.

IMO alcoholics will do as much as they feel they can get away with - they just bloody PUSH it all the time. It's really wearing. And if you're too bloody soft (that's me) or caring, they can push you really far. It's not surprising he's not drinking tonight if he feels you are at the edge of your tether.

But has he moved out for the sake of the you and the kids until he's sorted himself out? Or signed up for counselling? Or agreed to stay away from you until he's better? No he hasn't.

I wasted too many years on men who said they needed me. And have they changed? No.

Did they do any of the things they threatened when I left? No.

However I have changed, I'll no longer suffer fools gladly. I've stopped trying to rescue useless arseholes, no matter how charming they are or in love with me or good in bed or whatever.

I'm looking after me, instead.
I'm a much nicer person than them, and deserve a bit of looking after myself I think, as do you!

It's late, I'm rambling, I'm going to go to bed!

Hope that helps.

MIFLAW Sun 19-Jul-09 14:01:54

A lot of people in AA (and, presumably, elsewhere) make a distinction between being dry and being sober.

Being dry means not drinking. It is obviously a prerequisite to being sober, and is a bloody good start in many households, but it is not the same. Being sober means not acting like a drunk - ie not drinking, but also not being manipulative, not being self-pitying, not thinking about me me me all the time, being a decent, tolerant, human being ...

It's a tall order, and we all have dry days among our sober days ... But maybe that's why, even when he's dry, he starts drinking again?

If he wants to be sober rather than dry, AA may be able to help. Alternatively, counselling works for some.

Hope things get better soon.

jenjen98 Mon 20-Jul-09 01:04:12

thanks again miflaw your distinction is spot on. he has told me tonight that he cant see what the problem is with having a few cans every other night. but i know that this will only last a few weeks until he thinks i am "happy" again. he swears blind that this won't happen and that i am being totally unreasonable. he has said this far too many times before to know that he is just spinning me a line. what has really surprised me is his ability to forget what i have said about how i feel and then go beserk because it is all a surprise to him and says he is not a mind reader. he is always sober when i talk to him about stuff so not sure if he is really forgetting or playing dumb or really trying to stick the knife in.

Any way end result is i told him it is over. He just stormed off and i went to bed woke up to him getting into bed with me as though nothing has happened! cant find any more than 4 empty cans so can't understand how he is behaving the way he is.

MIFLAW Mon 20-Jul-09 14:33:44

Whether or not he can see what the problem is is neither here nor there. You could wait a LONG time for him to see that.

Start putting yourself first and get out until he changes into someone you want to be with.

If he's like me, he isn't necessarily playing dumb, sticking the knife in or even forgetting - he may honestly not see the link between him drinking and bad things happening. Until he does, leave him to it. You might even be doing him a favour and you'll certainly be doing yourself one.

As for only finding four cans - he might not be eating enough, which means that 4 cans will hit hard - but, if not, all drunks are experts at hiding the amount they drink, including from themselves.

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