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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.

Comments for My Partner is an Alcoholic. What do I do?

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Apr 03, 2011
What to do?

I am hearing you all thats for sure. I didnt realise until i came on this site and others, that there are different types of now ex partner of 13 years is a controlled alcoholic, and thats why he says he doesnt havea problem because he still goes to work and brought home the money, and rarely gets hangovers.
I fell in love with him 13 years ago, but there were clear signs the early days in our relationship. He was caring, cute and took on my young boys.
The first encounter he stayed at my unit, he was so drunk, that he urinated on my floor in the middle of the night, but because i had just met him and was so attracted to another side of him, i just cleaned it up before he woe so i didnt embarass him.
As the years have gone on, he cannot commit in the relationship he has moved out, moved back in,and i have been waiting for him to grow out of it and v=become a man. We had a daughter together 7 years ago.....we split for 3.5 years and he spent $95,000 fighting a fit mother for custody, then he wanted me back to be a family again and try for our daughters sae. Because i loved the sober side of him, i always wanted him back! adays, i am convinced he is too far gone and has a split personality, and all he does is blame me for the relationship not woring!!!!! I used to just try and get him to slow dopwn, cut back thats all i wanted, i understand men lie a beer after work, but he couldnt have just 2, it started after work at 4.30pm until bedtime. If the beer ran out he would go to bed, he didnt want to stay up and chat or anything, it was all about the beer. In 13 years he has probably had a day off here and there but thats absolutely rare.
He left again 14 months ago, but still doesnt want to part totally, so he wants sex, and then nothing again.....i think deep down he knows he has a problem but will never admit it. Im the fool in this relationship i know, but i was hoping for change, and i really believed that it was only temporarily, and because i met him at 21, i thought well everyone was drinking in our younger years, now he is 34, well it has only got worse, he hardly has a sense of humour, he is bitter, and cold hearted, and just a numb person. He fights and abuses me in front of my ids, he has no respect what so ever. So now im at the point where i need to get some sort of professional help in regards to contact with his daughter...I believe that day contact is the only answer, as from evening or late afternoons on a weekend the drinking begins....and he wont stop for no one. Im worried about my daughter being in his care as she tells me he falls asleep alot, and she basically just keeps playing around him and puts herself to bed (sometimes). I feel i need to be cruel to be ind, so mediation will begin, as i cannot readon with him, he sees no wrong in him that he is a wonderful father...pffft.

Nov 30, 2010
Changes if they happen
by: Louise

Writing on this site as me given an opportunity to write about my partners drinking for the first time.
It has helped me to step away and focus on my life too. It is easy to be drawn into the alcoholic’s world where I'm constantly thinking about our situation, his drinking and all the what if’s’ when actually I can’t do anything about it. I know from the support at Al-Anon that I should look to move my energy, towards evaluating my own life and try not to judge him for his actions. After all no one is perfect, so who am I to judge another?
I don't get angry with him any more I just feel an overwhelming sadness, for someone who is basically a kind person but one who has suffered as a child, has now developed coping behaviours and is unable to control a disease that could shorten his life. I feel sad because I finally found someone I really love but he isn’t alone, he has alcohol as a friend.
I know that if life continues as it is now, I won't be able to live like this forever. It's a lonely place knowing that your partner is not in control of their own life and is therefore, unable to offer any support to those they love. He is so wrapped up in his own world, he hasn’t got the ability to see or give anything to anyone else.
I feel that I’m always the sensible one, working out and planning what we should do about the various ups and downs of life. I'm always the one trying to live in a responsible way, but my partner has a cavalier approach to life and pushes away in any negatives, saying if it hasn’t happened yet don’t worry. Is this the alcoholic person speaking or is this the real person? Who is the person I live with? I have only ever known him as an alcoholic, who is the person under beneath and would I like him?
My partner works very hard in a physical job and works six days a week, but other than going to the pub he has little interest in anything else. Getting him to do anything at home is a nightmare. If something needs doing, I have to do it myself or (as he puts it) nag him until the job is done. Why does he have no focus for his life at home? He tells me he loves me dearly and he loves our home, but he puts little effort into making nice. He takes no pride in our garden, but he is a landscape gardener.
Is this the alcohol drawing all of his attention or is this just him? If he wasn’t drinking would he have more energy for those around him? I know that I have to be prepared not like the real person (if he ever shows himself) and that it may not be the alcohol.
If I make the decision to leave it will be with the knowledge that the alcohol may win. If he decides to seek help will it be because he wants to, or because he is scared he might lose everything he has ever wanted.
I found my tall dark handsome prince, but he came with a curse. Do leave him to protect myself and my daughter or do I stay and fight on? I pray my god will show me the way..........

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