My Partner is an Alcoholic. What do I do?
by L Dexter
My partner drinks alcohol every day, during the week days he will drink 6-8 tins of larger or two bottles of white wine. On Friday and Sunday afternoons he will go to the pub for 3 to 4 hours and drink approx 8 to 10 pints of larger. Once at home he will then continue to drink more beer or wine until he falls asleep.
He does not believe that he has a problem, because he can get up for work at 5 or 6 am do a full days work (outside)and he doesn't appear to have any side effects like headaches or hang overs. He does suffer with loose bowl movements after a heavy nights drinking and he may need to go several times. Now and again he has been caught short, needing to go urgently to the toilet.
If I try to discuss his drinking, he gets cross and says that he hasn't got a problem. He eats well, takes vitamins and uses a rowing machine for exercise 2-3 times a week. He is very strong and very fit and therefore doesn't see that there is a problem.
I'm at a dead end because nothing changes, if I get cross he will cut down until he thinks I'm okay again then he goes back to the dame level of drinking. I go to Al-Alon, he doesn't like it but it makes no difference. What can I do?
Like I'm sure you're learning at Al Anon, if your partner is in denial about his alcoholism, there is very little you can do. Until he is ready to acknowledge his problem and wants to do something about it, you're always going to be fighting a losing battle.
Remember the 3 C's of addiction/alcoholism in relation to someone you love: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. So you have to learn to let go and detach from what your partner does with his life, and find your own sense of happiness and well-being irrespective of what he does.
Some in your position give their partner's an ultimatum - 'Quit drinking
and turn your life around or I leave.' Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but if you do go that route you really have to mean it. The bottom line is however we can't force someone else to change, and no one really changes unless they want to.
Many people are functional alcoholics like your partner is and because they're still holding things together on most levels they think they don't have a problem. But because alcoholism is progressive, that can all change very quickly.
So rather than focus on your partner's behavior, you need to start spending more time thinking about what you want and how you can achieve happiness irrespective of what your partner decides to do with his life. And if that ultimately means reviewing your relationship, because you needs are not being met, then that's what you have to do.
Best of luck and take care.