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My Boyfriend is an Alcoholic. What Do I Do?

by ~M~
(Michigan)

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 4 months (yes very new) and it wasn't very long into the relationship that he told me he used to have a drinking problem and told me what I can only assume is the whole story (2 DUIs and 4 years sober).

This immediately threw up a red flag for me as alcoholism is something that runs in both sides of my family on my dads side the most. Since he was so open about his "previous" issue I was honest in return and explained how alcohol had affected the family already and how my father (never took up alcohol) had stopped the cycle and I had no intentions of picking it back up by subjecting myself or future children to it.

After this, his character changed and I realized he had been drinking. After a weekend with his friends it became very clear that his drinking problem was not a thing of the past and we had another very serious discussion about it and he told me he didn't realize what alcohol made him like and that he would stop.

After that conversation, he did not have anything to drink when seeing me. Alcohol makes him very aggressive and demanding for lack of a better word. He also hides his drinking from his parents (we both live at home).

Just yesterday we had another conversation (I had stopped by with little notice earlier in the week and he had been drinking) where he admitted he had a problem and I suggested that he seek out a support group.

He also admitted that his father had figured out that he was drinking but he doesn't think that his mother knows. I am not really sure what to do. I would really like to get to know the sober him better (he's a pretty awesome and spectacular guy when he is sober and I have told him so … he doesn’t think that much of himself) but I don't want to get sucked into a relationship with an alcoholic who would likely get abusive as the disease progresses.

I also feel like he, his parents and I should sit down and have a conversation about it as he needs support from them as they are around him more frequently. I feel as though that meeting should be called by him though ... would I be correct in that?



The only problem is that I am unsure whether his mother would help or make the situation worse. She has a tendency to use guilt and God to get results as opposed to being open, accepting, and supportive.

How should I proceed? Or should I just leave and let the chips fall where they may?

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



Ideally any open and honest discussion, or an intervention of sorts, should be lead by his family. But if they're in denial or simply refuse to believe he has a serious problem, it makes it very difficult.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to have a conversation with them, but manage your expectations in that it might not lead to the kind of outcome you hope for.

The most important person though that you need to be talking to is your boyfriend - about how his drinking effects you and the impact it will have on your relationship if you ever hope to commit to each other in the long term.

Because you need to make it clear that there is no long-term future for you if he doesn't address his alcoholism and quit drinking for good. But make it okay for him to accept he has a problem and that professional help and treatment isn't something he needs to fear or be ashamed in seeking out.

Then it literally is in his hands and will boil down to how serious he is about getting sober and making the changes in his life he needs to make. You don't want to be hanging around if things don't change because you only have to read some of the other stories on this site to realise that a successful relationship with someone in active addiction simply doesn't work.

You can't change your boyfriend. You can try and facilitate him getting into a program and seeking out professional help, but the rest is really all up to him. So while you naturally want to help him, there is only so much you can do, and you need to be prepared to walk away if things don't change. Best of Luck

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Run for the hills......
by: Adina K, Israel

My heartfelt suggestion is - run for the hills!

Please, I implore you to google - 'Alcoholism:The Wreckage In Its Wake'. It is one of several published op-eds I wrote on this damaging subject.

Even though you know what happens in alcoholic families, I believe seeing something like this in print will resonate.

Trust me on this, even if it is not the answer you are hoping for.

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