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My Boyfriend's an Amazing Person & Very Good to Me, But He Drinks TOO much.

by L
(Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada)

Hello, I will call myself L and my boyfriend is K. I have known K for almost 7 years now. We've known each other since I was 16 and he was 18, we are now 23 and 25. We were friends at first but now have been dating for 11 months almost.

We have a very good solid relationship. We are 100% honest with each other. We are completely loyal and treat each other very well. K is a great guy and a very good boyfriend. I have a 3 year old son as well, and he is an excellent father figure. However, his drinking bothers me.

I knew he drank when I met him, but it seems like ever since I started talking to him again {we hadn't talked in four years} he had changed. Not in his personality or who he was, but he drank way more. Now, sometimes he will go a few days without anything ... one time it was a whole week. And now it's started again.

He will drink at least 6 or 7 beers at a time, sometimes more. On average I'd say we're looking at 12 a day. Now, he is a hard-working guy. He makes good money and normally works 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, building houses. Even if he was drinking the night before till 2am, he will still get up and go to work for 6/7 am - that has never been a problem, and still isn't.

I don't know if I am too worried about the money he spends on it, cause mostly his friends split it, and he makes a lot of money but it should be going to other things since he has bills he is late on and taxes to pay that he owes from years ago. He also never drinks hard liquor. But now the drinking is affecting our relationship, at least it is for me.

I find his neighbour to be disgusting. He is drunk 24/7 and constantly pressures him into drinking. And my boyfriend sometimes has a hard time saying no. His excuse is that his rubber arm is being bent. Also I think he does it to escape his problems, meanwhile he says he just likes to drink and likes the taste of it and being drunk.

But sometimes he gets this really cocky, I don't give a crap attitude. It's not ALL the time, it's usually when he's had more than 6 beers. And if I challenge him, that's when he gets pissed. And I am a good girlfriend. I do everything for him, I treat him good. But if he maybe says something smart in front of his friends, I will stick up for myself. Here is an example ...

Tonight I was out all night at my mom's because I am getting my radiator on the car fixed. But tonight the mechanic wasn't there so I just ended up spending time with my mom at her house. Now me & K always call each other every day. We don't live together, we used to for a few months that's a different story ... but we always are in touch. And we usually see each other every single day.

But we like it, we enjoy it and we don't get sick of each other at all. So tonight I got home kinda late. It was 9:30 I was trying to get my son to bed but he was all sugared up cause my mom gave him too many ice cream bars. So I call him and he jokingly goes "where were you bitch?" But it's the type of humor we have. He goes hey bitch, and I go, Yeah jerk? It's just the way we play sometimes. We really do have a good relationship so don't let something small like that cloud your judgement about him.

Anyways, I replied "nothin just got home I was at my moms, I didn't get the car fixed" and we were talking and I could tell he was drunk. Then he kept going on with the bitch thing and calling me it after almost every sentence. Now he's with his one buddy right now who I kinda don't like. He's disrespectful towards woman and can think of nothing but getting laid.

So I am thinking when my boyfriend is around this guy, he rubs off on him in a bad way. So I tell him to stop calling me that. Cause a few times is enough. I understand it's a joke, but now he was pushing it. And I won't take that kind of disrespect from anyone. Especially someone who says he loves me so much, who I plan to marry.

So I told him to stop. He started going off and called me it again. Now I was getting irritated and upset. I told him if he said it one more time that I didn't want to deal with it and just hang up. So he did and I hung up and a few seconds later he calls back - he always calls back. And another thing, we NEVER hang up on each other. So I was livid and he asks why I got so mad and I told him he was disrespecting me in front of his friends.

Alone it would have been okay, but it seemed like he was showing off. He took offence to this and then things just got more heated and aggressive past there to the point where he just said "fine, F**K it." Meaning ef you, ef everything, ef life. And I don't like when he gets like this cause there is no reasoning and he is normally when sober a VERY rational person.



So I got upset cause I knew he had at least 10 beers and he admitted he had 14 or more. Now he is not one to puke or do stupid things really, he just might say stupid stuff or go places I don't like him going - like the strip club for example cause he is influenced by his one womanizer friend I don't like.

So he agrees to go to bed and the conversation cools down and his friend I don't like starts bugging him to go to the strip. And he's telling his friend he doesn't wanna go and he's too drunk and that he wants to go to bed. And I hear his friend just bugging him to no end. Telling him to drink more, get up and stop being such a loser.

Like, this is the people he hangs out with. It sickens me. So I hear his friend bugging him and I go "don't get me wrong, he's a cool guy but he shouldn't be bugging you to go out past your curfew {Yes he has a 10pm curfew} and making you go somewhere when you're completely hammered." and so my boyfriend tells me to go ef myself.

I get pissed and start crying and tell him to ef off and hang up. He must have passed out because I haven't got a call back. It really upset me and it's not just this. He drinks all the time and it's really worrying me to the point where I know it will affect his health and eventually our relationship.

Not to mention he gets such a big ego and is so cocky and has an ef you attitude when he's drunk. He has never physically hurt me or cheated or anything like that, I am just so concerned for him. I don't know what to do. I will never leave him cause I don't think that's worth it or the right thing to do. Please help.







Answer



Hi L

12 Beers a day is a lot. Eventually it's going to catch up with him in a serious way, whether it be his health, work or whatever. It sounds like your boyfriend is a functional alcoholic - he can handle most of his important responsibilities, still does a good job at work etc. but that cracks are starting to appear, most notably in your relationship.

You need to understand that alcoholism is a progressive illness, in that it passes through very distinct what we call stages of alcoholism - so even though on the surface a person like your boyfriend is leading a productive and successful life, if he keeps drinking the way he does, it'll get worse and he'll crash and burn in a major way.

So unless your boyfriend gets his drinking under control, things are just going to get progressively worse with time. Some people who drink heavily for a period are then able to stop when they realise things are getting out of control.

That's what separates an alcoholic from someone who just abuses alcohol regularly. An alcoholic can't control their drinking - once they start, they can't stop. And it seems like your boyfriend falls into that category - a beer or two (with the occasional heavy session) isn't enough for him.

The question is - what do you do about it? First off, there is no easy or gentle way to deal with it effectively. You have to be straight and say that his drinking (how much he drinks) is becoming a problem for you and that it's affecting your relationship. And let's say if he's drunk more than 2-3 beers, you don't want to talk to him/spend time with him because you don't like it when he's like that.

But it's a conversation you can't have with him when he's had anything to drink. It has to be when he's sober - and when you know he'll be listening. So you're then going to have to create the opportunity to do that.

Because when dealing with a situation like this, you the only way your boyfriend is going to take what you say seriously and consider changing, is if he stands to lose something significant, e.g. you not prepared to spend time with him/talk to him when he's had too much to drink.

But you have to mean it when you say that and be prepared to follow through. It can't be an empty threat. You have to create that boundary and if he crosses it, you have to make sure you follow through - because if you don't he'll see you're not serious and he can keep on the way he is. It's using a kind of tough love approach.

Because if he values your relationship enough, he'll make the effort to change. And if what you do doesn't work, it's a pretty sure sign he is an alcoholic and will likely need to get professional help and go through some kind of alcoholism treatment program to overcome his drinking problem.

You must understand that by not taking a firm stand against his drinking and making your feelings clear about it, you just further enable his behavior and things will just get progressively worse. So now is the time to try and address this. Hopefully it'll be enough, but there are no guarantees because if someone doesn't want to change, nothing we say/do can make them.

So Good Luck and let us know how you get on.

Comments for My Boyfriend's an Amazing Person & Very Good to Me, But He Drinks TOO much.

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Sep 21, 2012
Understanding
by: Anonymous

I am going through this exact situation right now. My boyfriend is a great guy, works construction building houses and makes very good money, but drinks way too much. Hes tried to stop before when I've asked him to, because when he drinks he becomes a different person that I cannot trust. I'm at a point now where its either he changes or he has to go. Its such a hard thing to go through.

Sep 05, 2012
My alcoholic boyfriend
by: Anonymous

I am going through this exact same thing and am supporting my boyfriend getting help but now he's finding every excuse to not do it because it's 3 days/week classes that takes time away from his kids, the financial aspect of it and he doesn't want to spend the $ for it. So, I told him our relationship is on the line and it's dependent on him getting the help he needs or this is NO relationship! He knows the deal and what he's about to lose if he doesn't get the professional help he needs as he is not capable as I've told him, of doing it himself. I've told him when he's had too much to drink and he just drinks more so, he doesn't take my comments seriously or to heart and is disrespectful by not doing so. I don't know how much more I can take but his alcoholism will be the demise of our relationship!

May 04, 2011
Tooooooooo looooooooong
by: Anonymous

Hi, I think you should start to write your whole life one day soon. I'm pretty sure you can make a huge biography book:)

Jul 21, 2010
It's hard
by: Anonymous

Dear L

I think I know what you are going through.

My partner seems to exhibit the same habits and I feel I need help to help me know what I'm dealing with.

Part of me thinks that I am oversensitive because I don't drink much at all. I can appreciate people need to have their fun times. It probably doesn't help that he's a shiftworker so his Saturday night may be my Wednesday night.

Anyway I came home from work tonight (Wednesday) and he rung me on the way home and talked. Then phoned back 3 more times and told me the same story each time (just about his day). He's loving and friendly, but I've had a long day and just feel I need my space.

So I guess you and I are in the same boat and having to face what we do next.

I kind of don't want to do anything because I love what I have and don't want to lose it. But it's hard dealing with the drunk times.

I don't really believe in asking a person change for me, and this is his choice. But I don't want to leave a mostly good thing.

Nights like tonight though do my head in. Luckily for me though a friend of his turned up who whilst his drinking buddy, seems to appreciate I find this hard without me having to voice it.

I'm kind of hoping he goes to sleep soon and so I don't need to deal with anything i.e sometimes when he's drunk if he makes a move on me and I turn him down he doesn't take it so well. Nothing physical mind, but he has broken up with me in that state a couple of times and apologised in the morning.

I kind of feel that maybe I need counselling and that this is my problem and now I'll stop cause I feel I'm rambling.


Jun 24, 2010
alcoholic
by: Anonymous

my boyfriend is also a functioning alcoholic and i can tell you ive been knocked down thrown around and verbally abused beyond believe . i have told him i hate who he is when hes drinking he says if i dont like it i can leave but i never do. just because they function daily they dont they are alcoholics. i am telling you dont marry this man he will never change and the reason i tell you this is because hes not my boyfriend anymore hes my husband it doesnt get better you just get stuck in a bad relationship thats hard to leave

May 24, 2010
Put your foot down
by: Anonymous

Unless you take a stand, nothing is going to change. If you insist that you're not prepared to put up with his drinking as much as he is - and he continues, that means he doesn't value your relationship as much as you hope/think he does. Or it means his problem is a lot worse that you imagine (it's pretty bad anyway if he drinks that much every day) - and he's going to need some serious help if he's going to sort his life out. Best address this now before you marry him or else you could be letting yourself in for a real nightmare - you just have to read some of the other comments/stories to see how others have really suffered in relationships with someone with a serious drinking problem. Hope it all works out for you.

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