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My Boyfriend and Alcohol: My Heart Is Saying Don't Leave Him, But My Head Is Saying It Will Never Change.

I'm 21 and my Boyfriend of just over a year is 33. He is an alcoholic. There is a big underlying issue: his dad died when he was 12 and his mum died recently. His drinking has been an issue since the beginning, but as time went on I was starting to think he had a hold on it, and was able to control it.


We are constantly arguing about it when he's drunk, and even argue when he's sober and the anxiety is growing worse.

When he's not drinking he's the best man in the world, he makes me laugh and im so proud of him. When he's drinking I detest him! I can't be around him and he makes me anxious and angry! I can't but help get wound up and upset on a regular basis.

The worst part of all is that I have been through so many different stages with him to try and reduce this. He used to drink on a day to day basis, when he finished work to when he was eventually chucked out of the pub.

- I tried only taking him into the pub a few days
- Reducing his intake to 2/3 pints
- Leaving him to drink and i'd wait at home (trying to build trust)
- Buying cans of beer so that he wouldn't have to go out to the pub and I could keep an eye on it
- Only giving him so much money
- Asking him to be back for a certain time...

All I get is excuses and lies. I know he has been through a lot but I really don't know where else to go with this.

It's driving me insane!! He hasn't drank for 2 weeks and he keeps thinking he deserves a drink as he's been working all week. How to convince an alcoholic they don't NEED drink???? Tonight I had to meet someone and thought ok maybe he's sorted it out? I took him and said please don't have more than 5! He came up to the house drunk again! and said "I'm not being abusive though am i?" "I havent done anything wrong though have I"

ITS NOT THE POINT!! ITS THAT HE PROMISED ME!!! AND HES BROKEN IT AGAIN!! (Sorry about the CAPS but its driving me crazy)

Anyone's advice will be very much appreciated. Thanks. Danielle

Alcoholism-and-Drug-Addiction-Help.com Answer



Hi Danielle

It's not that your boyfriend will never change. Maybe he will at some point, but the thing is you don't when that may/may not happen - and if it does it will only do so because he wants it to and is prepared to put in the work to make it happen.

You can't negotiate with alcoholism. Alcoholics can't drink in moderation or control their drinking - that's why they are alcoholics. So trying to convince your boyfriend to try and do that, or that it's okay to even try, is just wasting your time.

Your bofriend has to commit to a life of sobriety, and make all the necessary changes that encompass dealing with his mental, emotional and behavioural 'issues' in order to make it happen. That takes work and commitment. Plus it then requires committing to a whole new way of life, so only the really determined manage it.

That's why most alcoholics tend to go down the road of going through an intensive treatment program, followed by an ongoing commitment to a lifestyle of recovery from their addiction if they're serious about turning their life around.

So you need to stop negotiating with your boyfriend, and stop allowing him to negotiate with himself, around his drinking. There can be no grey areas. It's either he quits drinking and commits to a new way of life, with the appropriate professional help ... or you have to question whether your relationship has a future.

Because if you don't - things are just going to continue as they are, and is that what you really want? Only you can answer that question so you have some serious thinking to do.

Good Luck with whatever you decide

Comments for My Boyfriend and Alcohol: My Heart Is Saying Don't Leave Him, But My Head Is Saying It Will Never Change.

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i know how u feel...
by: Anonymous

I am in the dame sort of situation ads you, but im that sad and desperate that i just cant leave him.
My boyfriend is now 34 and i am 21. I have been with him 4 years and his drinking, and the amount of money he spends on it is the only thing wE ever argue about.
Its not like he drinks at home, but if he goes to the pub he eill not leave. Most days he goes even if its just for a couple of hours. He fails to buy food etc and cobstantly borrows money for beer without even thinking to buy anything else when we have nothing.
I admit i have been nieve, and perhaps believed his excuses that because he doesnt drink at home he is not an alcholic.. But although thingd have got better since we moved towns, he still does it almost everyday and is constantly lying.
He has in the past also got violent when hes drunk but i just dont know hoe to move on. I now hate him but still love with him, with a padsion and venacity that i did not know existed within me. I would so much like to hurt him for all the pain he has caused me when he himself says i have never done anything to hurt him... But yet i cant leave. I feel like im going ineane and scitzo and i have absoloytely no control because ehat i have wabted and tried for just isnt going to happen. I do realise that but i just dont see or have thE strength to walk away. Pathetic i know!!!!!!!

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Get on with it
by: Anonymous

You can complain and feel sorry for yourself all you like - that isn't going to change the situation, or address your boyfriend's alcoholism. If you think he's going to change for you, you're being naive. And if you think you can change him, even more so. Alcoholics live life on their own terms, where their needs come first. So you either give your boyfriend the choice - you or the alcohol - or live with things as they are. You're powerless over your boyfriend's drinking problem, but you're certainly not powerless over your own choices. You have the power to change your own life - so start taking responsibility for doing so. Because no one else is going to do it for you.

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Do yourself a favor and leave him.
by: David

I was engaged when I was about 24, and I am a non practicing alcoholic. I put her through hell. The real problem here is the emotional attachment you have to him. If you break that, then you won't care about letting him go. You'll most likely kick him out of your life. He could change, but why wait on him when you have your own life to live. I am 32 now and am staying sober without AA(good riddance, now I just practice Nichiren Buddhism). I can tell you this much, the further I get into my 30's, the more set in my ways I am. Just kick him to the curb and enjoy your youth. Maybe even go out and find someone closer to your own age who doesn't have his issues.

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Your life!
by: Anonymous

Sweetheart, You are 21!!! Such an important time in life. A scary time too. Leaving childhood and not quite knowing exactly what the future holds.... I wonder what you would be spending your time doing or thinking if you didn't have this man and his issues in your life. Sometimes we focus on others' problems because we want to avoid our own. Co-dependency. I am sure you feel that you live him...but I would really have to question why an emotionally healthy 33 year old man would want to date a 21 year old. When you picture yourself at 33, do you think you would want to be w a 21 year old boy? I doubt it...you aren't even now. :)
Easier said than done, but get out of this man's life and discover your own!!! It is all ahead of you!!

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