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Problem drinking in the family

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14 years 5 months ago #47719 by Laramisa
I think this advice from Mya is excellent. You are not married yet. Don't get married with the hope that he will change later.

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14 years 5 months ago #47720 by Gene Queen
This is a serious thing, I agree. But I can't just leave the relationship over this one thing. Everything else is good. He is smart, resourceful, good at his job, a wonderful father (has a daughter from a previous relationship), and hey, I love him!

Trust me, I've thought about leaving. It just doesn't make sense to me to throw away the five years we've spent together. I'm really struggling with this... when do you say enough is enough? I fear the worst with his drinking, but are my fears realistic? I know you can't answer this. I've been accused of trying to change people (namely, past boyfriends) before, maybe I'm just trying to make him perfect?

I don't know... I appreciate all the opinions and stories though.

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14 years 5 months ago #47721 by Someday
Gene Queen,

Mya gave you some excellent advice. This issue breaks my heart as I have been there too. There will come a day when you say "enough". Unfortunately, in my case, we were together for nine years. It started with a little cocaine on the weekends, and eventually he graduated to crack. The cocaine he did every Thurs, Fri, and Sat night. It made him feel smart and sociable. When he started the crack, he did that maybe once or twice a month but it was so much worse. The high would only last minutes and he would have to smoke more. He would go through $500 a night. He would be a wreck for days afterward.

I thought I could change him if only I loved him enough, was supportive enough. He begged me for help and forgiveness after every episode. But like Popcorn's spouse, the *only* admitted a problem after an episode. You are NOT trying to make him perfect. You are rightly concerned about his health and safety.

I spent this weekend, as usual, with my fiance (we live in different cities right now). Friday night we got in a big fight about drinking. He was having a beer, and I simply asked him how many he'd had tonight. He got so angry at me! He said I nag too much about it and there's nothing wrong with having a couple of beer on a Friday night. He wasn't drunk or anything. He said he was just "fed up" with hearing about it. It ended with me going to bed in tears, and him sleeping on the couch. In the morning we just ignored it and got on with things.

This just brought tears to my eyes reading it. Please do not do this to yourself. I did it for so many years and suffered greatly in the process. It is SO hard when between the bad times there are really good times. When you are convinced that this person is your mate for life and because of that you become so willing to bend over backwards. I stuck with it for so long because we had four years of a *fantastic* relationship before it all started. And because he felt so badly about himself, he shredded my self-esteem and made me believe that I was too stupid to go to med school.

He has to admit that he has a problem. And then he has to fix it for *himself*. Whether or not you are willing to wait for that is up to you. Good luck.

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14 years 5 months ago #47722 by MTaylor

This is a serious thing, I agree. But I can't just leave the relationship over this one thing.

Of course you can. There are lots of serious "single" events or issues that can rightfully end even the most sacred of friendships and marriages. Drug abuse is right up there at the top of the list.

Everything else is good. He is smart, resourceful, good at his job, a wonderful father (has a daughter from a previous relationship), and hey, I love him!

Unfortunately this matters little when the flip side is something so serious. He could be a saint monday - thursday, but what he does with his friday thru sunday is just as important (and maybe even moreso). You cannot excuse "bad behavior" because "he's smart, resourceful, good at his job, or a wonderful father." Nor should you force yourself to tolerate intolerable behavior "because you love him." Unfortunately, this fact matters the least.

Let's think of an example that's a bit more obvious. Say he was physically abusive, and despite communications and conversations, he doesn't acknowledge there's a problem. Do you leave? But, you love him...

There are lots of women who are beat up royally by lovers, and they stay because of the excuses you named above. One day they're getting the crap beat out of them, and the next day they're getting roses by candlelight. Are the roses/dinner justification for the beatings? Obviously not. What's not so obvious is the situation you find yourself involved in. Is it time to leave...maybe not yet. It's fair to give him (and the relationship) time. But don't make excuses for him...or justify his behavior. It doesn't matter that you've been together 5 years. It wouldn't matter if you'd been with him for 20. Today is what matters...today is what you base your decision on.

I'll repeat, I'm not saying to end the relationship...you'll do that in your own time. It takes all of us young women to reach our threshold before having the courage to make the difficult decision to leave (if it comes to that). But use common sense (and not just emotions), and wait to get married until these (major) issues are resolved. In time, things will become clear for you. In the meantime, sit tight.

I fear the worst with his drinking, but are my fears realistic?

When it comes to addictive substances, fearing the worst is indeed realistic. Many time people don't realize their problem until things get bad. When their lover leaves them...when they get a DUI...when they kill someone. And even then, that may not deter some.

I've been accused of trying to change people (namely, past boyfriends) before, maybe I'm just trying to make him perfect?

I think most of us are guilty of this. But life has a way of teaching us to stop. And you can learn this lesson by listening to the whispers in your heart....or you can wait until Life knocks you over the head with a hammer.

<a href=" www.coilyembrace.com " rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> www.coilyembrace.com </a>

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14 years 5 months ago #47723 by Gene Queen
I bought a book - called "Marriage on the Rocks - Learning to live with Yourself and an Alcoholic." It was really good. Surprisingly, it didn't advocate leaving - or staying, for that matter. It did encourage the spouse of an alcoholic to take care of herself - financially, emotionally, physically - that might mean leaving, but it might not.

My fiance is not abusive. If he was, I'd be out of there... when it comes to abuse, I certainly can and would stand up for myself. Women who stay in abusive relationships infuriate me. I don't have low self-esteem. I am financially and socially independent from my fiance. I don't fear that if I leave him, I won't find anyone else. I'm not afraid of being alone, I enjoy my own company. There is nothing stopping me from leaving - except the fact that I don't want to.

I'm very grateful for your advice... it's difficult to advise someone when you don't know the whole story. Popcorn - have you considered leaving your husband? What stopped you? Would you have not married him if you knew then what you know now?

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14 years 4 months ago #47724 by M-A
Boy, do I ever empathise with you! I am in a very similar situation. I live with my boyfriend of 4 years who is also an alcoholic. I am so torn. Like you were saying, he is a wonderful person; creative, gentle, kind, generous, funny. But, he's an alcoholic. He has blackouts and passes out very easlily when drinking. For example, he passes out on the bus when on his way home from drinking. I am seeing a therapist right now and we're discussing what's going on. I haven't made any decisions, but I am thinking about this a lot more seriously than I was. My therapist put it well when he said "you have chosen to live with an alcoholic". Those words are still haunting me. Any way, just my own story sorry there's no advice!

M-A

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