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My Alcoholic Boyfriend Crossed The Line Last Night

by Kim
(Tulsa, OK)

I've finally accepted that my boyfriend of 6 years is an alcoholic.(but he won't admit or even address it.) He's sober more than he's drunk but he drinks every single evening (vodka/soda mostly). He must have a drink in his hand no matter what.

I think they call this a "functioning" alcoholic. We're both in our 50's and have, for the most part, had a good relationship. We're compatible and have fun together. It all goes south though when he drinks too much. Last night was the worst in all 6 years. He was fine one minute - and within 20 minutes he was drunk.

We were already at the restaurant and he was loud, obnoxious, and mean. Finally when he started bringing up my family - I asked him to take me home and he said - "who's gonna do that?" So I picked up my purse and walked out - went to a nearby restaurant and called my girlfriend for a ride home.

It has never escalated to that level before and I will never put myself in that situation again. It's a loss for sure - I've invested 6 years into this relationship. No need for an ultimatum - he's already made his choice. Please give me your opinion of this mess.
Thank you!
Kim Answer

Hi Kim

You did absolutely the right thing by walking out of the restaurant, because in doing so, you were effectively telling your boyfriend his behavior was out of line - and that if he's going to drink like that and act like a jerk - there will be serious consequences.

Because until your boyfriend is held accountable for his behavior by you creating consequences - there is no motivation for him to face up to his alcoholism, or do anything about it. And nagging or complaining or getting upset doesn't count, because they don't carry consequences ... and so an alcoholic quickly realises threats/complaints carry no weight whatsoever.

You say you've left, but have you really? What if he phones and apologises and says all the right things? Because more often than not, that's what happens, and most people go running back. And so the cycle simply continues ...

That's why it's so important to put expectations, boundaries and consequences in place - so that you both know where the line is and what will happen if he crosses it. You either accept him and his alcoholism - or you give him the choices, 'he addresses his drinking problem now, or you're out for good.' No negotiation, no excuses.

But if you are committed to moving on, good for you. Remember, alcoholism (functional or not), doesn't get better with time, it gets progressively worse. And is that the kind of relationship you really want? You can't control your boyfriend and his drinking, but you can take control of your future and make decisions that will empower you to be the best, happiest person you can be.

Hopefully your boyfriend does at some point realise he has a problem and gets the necessary help to overcome it. But if and when that happens is something you can't control. And do you really want to give up your life waiting and hoping that will one day happen? It's takes courage to move on and leave someone you love behind (even when you know they're bad for you), but know that in time it gets easier, and that you'll be a better person for having gone through this.

Good Luck and Take Care

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You are braver than I...
by: ALC

I fear this is the same path my current relationship is taking. My boyfriend seems to be able to hold his liquor for the most part, but at times he gets very close to that line, often when drinking alone and then shuts me out for hours or even days at a time. I have also noticed that when he drinks certain liquors his mood is altered and he will lash out in his sleep, yelling and cursing like he would never to when awake and once I feared he was going to he hit me. I love him and while he has admitted he needs to get help, he hasn't done so yet and I only see the times he shuts me out grower more frequent.

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