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My Boyfriend's Drinking Breaks My Heart

by Viola

I'm 30 years old and my boyfiend is 37. We have been together for a year and a half despite 2 breakups that were caused as a result of my boyfriend's drinking. We have a very loving relationship.

He is a lovely partner and friend that loves in abundance and never lacked in showing and proving his love to me. I could say he is the perfect partner and the first man I was ready to share my life and future with. I would still like to in a way. I envision a very complete, stimulated, adventerous and fulfilled life yet there is one problem: when he drinks.

His childhood was a bit rough. Parents not fully emotionall available an somewhat rejected by his father to the extent that he had to grow up from a very young age. He is Scandinavian and was shoved around quite a few family members whilst growing up. So I am fully aware of the issue of abandonement and lack of feeling loved. we have both explored these issues together and talked about them at length.

I realised about this need for alcohol during our travels in the first months where he would want to go to a decent hotel to raid te mini bar, or stop at a pub to buy some alcohol. From there on I started to notice a pattern, he needed alcohol every 3 to 4 days. It starts off with a few beers on one day and gets heavier and heavier till he's drinking whisky bottles or vodka with redbull.

If he's down about something he could lock himself away and drink for 3 days in a row, with little sleep. These times killed me and ripped my heart to pieces since he claimed I always played a part to him feeling so down and having to turn to the drinking. There were times where any motive to doing anything related to alcohol. And please note I am the most anti alcohol person on his planet. I usually get as far as a fruity mildly alcoholic cocktail. I dont even like sweets with alcohol in them :).

Anyways, I truly love this guy, more than I've ever loved anyone and I believe he truly loves me. I tried so many gentle / aggressive ways of voicing my concerns. There are times where he totally understands my concerns and is willing to make necessary changes and others where he claims my love is conditional and that I dont accept him and fully love hime for him (which makes things hard seeing his abandonement issues).

He really feels he is ready to do anything for the relationship and claims to 'solely live for me and the relationship' yet he seems to slip into it again and again and then feels shame and guilt. I even feel his alcoholic urges every 3 to 4 days because we're so emotionally close.

I tried to leave him and live apart from him twice but I was so lonely and desperate bacause I miss all the other good days where he doesn't drink and where we're living the perfect relationship.

I'm 30 years old and I really want to do things right. I try my hardest to be the best supportive partner and sometimes feel he is in denial and doesn't realise the affect this is having on me. He claims to do it out of bordem, or when he doesnt feel loved or just coz he enjoyes the taste.

For example last friday we had a good night out and retured home at 4 in the morning, Instead of calling it a night and going to bed together he got the vodka bottle out and drank himself to oblivian. When he's at that state he blabs away for hours about all his fears and thoughts living me extremely confused.

I have an important job and sometimes his drinking and ways inhibit me from sleep. I want to make things right for us yet I'm so scared of an unhappy future. Please help me. I'm desperate Answer

You have to understand Viola that you can't fix someone else. He can only do it for himself. So if he doesn't really want to do anything about his drinking problem, he's not going to. And there is very little you can do that will make him.

Feeling sorry for what happened to him in his past doesn't help either. Yes feel compassion for what he went through, but that doesn't excuse his drinking. Many people have had hardships, but that doesn't mean they have to use alcohol as their crutch.

What you're doing now is enabling your boyfriend's drinking problem even further. Because by accepting his excuses and feeling sorry for him, you're actually giving him permission to drink.

Your message needs to be clear and firm: You love him and want to be with him, but not if he drinks. Because he has a problem and so his drinking leads to conflict and unahappiness in your relationship.

So give him the choice. He gets help and addresses his alcohol problem, in which case you'll be supportive and be there for him - or there is no long-term future for your relationship. Then it's up to him to decide how much he values your relationship and whether he's prepared to do that.

You can't change, control or cure someone who has an alcohol problem. All you can do is be clear you're not prepared to accept that, i.e. establish your boundaries, and then be make sure he understands what the consequences will be if he doesn't change.

All the Best

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