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My Boyfriend has a Problem with Drinking.

by Aspen
(Maroon Bells, Colorado)

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. He is so sweet and good to me. This isn't where I say until he gets drunk. He's actually very sweet when he is drunk too. Almost annoyingly sweet, just saying I love you, guess what? I love you ... over and over and over again.

I guess it's the lack of responsibility that I worry about. When sober, we text and talk all day long, as soon as he meets up with one of his buddies, he falls off the face of the planet. I will only hear from him hours later when he is 3 sheets to the wind ... and he will deny being drunk.

We occasionally like to 'go out' together and have a great time. He never seems to get 'too drunk' when its just me and him or even me, him and his buddies. Why does he get so wasted when I am not there? It's not like I am a 'fun police' or even act like his drinking is an issue.

I think people can have fun with alcohol to unwind, and not have a problem with it. My guy is almost 30 and sometimes I think he doesn't know his own limits - but only when I am not there.

Sometimes he seems goal-less and lazy. He is a carpenter and will drag jobs out 3 times longer than they should take, always finding some excuse. I don't buy it. I am a doer and raised by doers and I know the difference between working hard and pretending to work hard.

The only time I have brought up his drinking he got embarrassed and offended, and shut me out. When I ask him about work, he makes excuses. He is smart, and never finished college, when I suggest going back to school, it's just more excuses, he can't afford it, he's in debt. Well, I am broke and in debt and I am going to school!

Where there is a will there is a way. He has plenty of things to do, debts to pay, projects to finish. Why is it that he continuously goes out and gets drunk? Yesterday he had a "day off" and was wasted by 9:00 pm! And he's broke! Why are his friends enabling him - literally by buying him drinks all day long?

What do I do? I love this guy. I need to decide if I can be with him for the rest of my life. How do I approach this obviously sensitive subject without alienating myself from him? I know I can't change him, he's not abusive. I want to own my own home someday. Is it ever going to happen with him?


Hi Apsen

You said it - you can't change him. No one we meet is ever going to tick all the boxes. We have to make compromises - but its a question of whether those things we have to compromise on are big enough to be deal breakers as far as a relationship goes. And only you can answer that.

Some people just are like that. Don't have a lot of ambition and like to get drunk with their mates when the opportunity allows. Does that make your boyfriend an alcoholic or mean he has a drinking problem? Not necessarily.

The fact that he never goes overboard when with you or when you're around with his group of friends, shows that he can control his drinking when he wants to. So it seems like when he's with the boys, a large part of their 'fun' is about getting drunk. It's doesn't make it right, but that's unfortunately what happens sometimes when you put a bunch of guys together.

So there's no way for you to approach this other than with total honesty. You have to tell your boyfriend how you feel and that his behavior bothers you, and see where that leads. Maybe he is prepared to change if he realises how you really feel about his drinking etc.

But at the same time maybe he's happy with who he is and doesn't want to change because he doesn't see the need for it. And then you have to be really honest with yourself and decide if he's the person you want to commit to spending the rest of your life with? Sometimes we fall in love with people we're just not compatible with.

This isn't an easy thing to handle, but if you're both really honest with each other, the solution will reveal itself to you.

Best of Luck

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Aug 20, 2012
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure if mine does. I honestly can't even tell if he's drunk but I have noticed when he goes out, we get into tiffs. I work nights and sleep in the day, we've gotten into arguments over it being too early for me to have fallen asleep and my being asleep wasn't why I did not answer his texts. Or my being at work and under the impression he's asleep so I don't text him and I end up with an angry phone call about why I didn't talk to him. How am I suppose to know this supposedly exhausted man took his last bit of energy to meet his coworker and their wife at a bar? We went on vacation to an all inclusive resort, he needed to stock our fridge with beer and every night before bed drink some more. Maybe were on vacation and he just wanted to enjoy himself or maybe he just has a problem? It's at a point now that everytime I hear a beer can pop open I cringe. And talking to him about it is pointless because help say no and it will only create dent in his interpreting how I see his character.

Feb 24, 2011
Same problem, 3 years later...
by: Anonymous

I read this post with interest because I have the same situation, only I've invested over 6 years into the relationship.

I, too am a driven person. After my divorce I met my current boyfriend and he was perfect for me at the time. He was my escape from life as a single Mom every Friday night, we drank, we laughed, the sex was great. He drank every day when I met him and that hasn't changed. Let's call him Mr. Goodtimes. He is a waiter with no particular ambitions but he earns good money and he's a happy drunk, and has never been abusive. Over the years I have gone from earning next to nothing to making 100k a year through hard work and perseverence. He is still waiting on tables in the same restaurant as the day I met him.

I bought a house and he helped so very little with the down payment and moved in with me and my 2 boys.

Nowadays, I work hard, I look after my boys, do all the shopping, and he does the bare minimum to stay out of the doghouse. He's just along for the ride and I've been losing interest in him steadily. I have kidded myself over the years that he will make a move to achieve something when he's ready... buy his own restaurant, start a new career. Pipe dreams. It will never happen. I am the doer. He is the drinker. Now that I don't drink much (couple times a week) we are drifting even further apart because that basis in drunken fun is a pretty shallow base.

Just yesterday, Mr. Goodtimes decided that he will stop drinking Mon-Thurs but if he doubles the pace on the weekends, that won't change much, will it?

Anyway, I guess my two cents worth to the previous poster is "get out while you still can".

Believe me, it beats trying to figure out a way to extricate yourself financially once you find out beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Goodtimes eventually turns into Mr. Lazy Loser.

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