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My Partner is an Alcoholic and is Now Living Away From the Family Home. He Wants to Come Home?

My partners drinking came to a head about 6-8 weeks ago, in the run up to that I was finding bottles hidden, he was lying about drinking and he was drunk most of the time.

I never knew what state he was going to be in when I came home any time of the day or night or what mood he would be in. Drink turned him verbally nasty and he became very cold.

The last straw was a night I went to a friends for dinner. He had been texting me all evening, they were fine at first, then began to sound strange and then stopped altogether. I had a bad feeling and went straight home. I found him blind drunk laying on the patio with an empty smashed bottle of wine on the floor and another half drunk bottle on the table. He was in charge of the kids at the time.

I have never been so scared in my life. The kids were fine in their beds but what if they had come down and seen him like that? What if there had been a fire? He couldn't walk or string two sentences together! I asked him to leave the day after.

I think he has stopped drinking. He is waiting for a referral from the GP to help him but in the meantime he says he has stopped by himself. We are seeing each other again and dating but he wants to come home.

I need to be 100% convinced he has stopped drinking and that is going to take more time. Am I right to be cautious? Is there a period of time for them to recover?


You are right to be cautious and in your case especially so because there are kids involved. And don't let him sweet talk you into believing everything is suddenly okay for him.

Alcoholism is an extremely complex illness that requires a lot more to successfully overcoming it, than merely having stopped drinking for a while.

Successful and lasting sobriety may require going for alcoholism addiction treatment in an in-patient or out-patient program with a rehab for example to detox successfully and learn the skills required to staying sober long-term.

Then maintaining that sobriety and ensuring one doesn't relapse into old ways, working an effective alcohol addiction recovery program like the 12 steps taught in AA becomes even more crucial.

Because to truly beat alcoholism requires us to change the destructive mental, emotional and behavioural patterns that led to the addiction in the first place - and that's why having a proper recovery program to aid that is so crucial.

So your partner is a long way off from really overcoming his alcoholism. There's a lot more to it than just quitting drinking for a while, which is also unlikely to last if he doesn't get proper treatment and find a recovery program to work at.

As a rough guideline, a year of sobriety with him actively working his recovery should be achieved before you even think about letting him come live with you again. No one can tell you what to do, but as you say, caution in this instance is the much better option.

And don't let his words sway you, the proof will be in the pudding as they say. His actions and behaviour will tell you everything you need to know.

Best of Luck.

Comments for My Partner is an Alcoholic and is Now Living Away From the Family Home. He Wants to Come Home?

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Oct 12, 2010
since he is out, don't let him back in
by: Anonymous

hi there, i can really feel for you. i have lived with a closet alcoholic for 17 years and he believes he can "cure" himself. trust me when i tell you, he and your husband can not "cure" themselves just as we can not cure them. i have tried to get my husband to leave because he has destroyed my 4 children emotionally and myself. i can not get the courage to divorce him and i wish i could. i am afraid of the financial mess i will be in and my kids will not be able to live the way they are used to. so, since he is already out of your home, DO NOT let him back in until he has completed a treatment program and has stayed sober for at least 3 to 6 months. he will destroy you and your kids. they are never safe when in their care. i can never trust that he will not drink. it is scary. good luck and stay strong.

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