Monday, November 23, 2009


Living with an Alcoholic

It’s not easy being in love with a man who can’t ever say no to a drink. Jack is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet…. The problem is he can’t completely stop drinking. This is a man who drank twelve to twenty-four beers in a day at least five days a week sometimes more. He decided to quit drinking for a while, he never said that he would quit forever he did say he was giving his body a break, but he did fantastic for at least two months. He promised himself and me that he would never drink again at work and he has not since. That is incredible, but after about two months we decided to go away and he decided a few beers were a good idea. Did he overdo it? Not at all, but he did tell me that he hoped he could be the kind of person who could just have one or two and not take it any further. He later told me that wasn't in the cards for him.

I am worried for so many different reasons. I am worried for him, I am worried for our relationship and the relationships around him and I am worried for myself. I met Jack when he was a full fledged alcoholic and yet I still fell in love with this man. I was drawn to him for so many reasons but not extremely put off by the drinking till our first real drunken fighting match when I quickly realize this was a huge problem. This is when the nasty came out of him, his anger, his insecurity’s and all the things he hated about woman and people in general. I was instantly taken back to my childhood when my father used to do the exact same thing to my mother.

Many things bother me about Jack drinking. One of the biggest thing is watching him when he is either going to buy the beer or actually has the beer, his mood instantly changes when he knows the beer is close at hand. It’s almost like euphoria he is experiencing knowing that he is about to put the booze into his system. It almost makes me physically ill watching this extreme change in his behavior.
Why I didn't get out of this relationship at the beginning I can only answer with the fact that I loved Jack so much sober that I hoped he would just quit and move on with our lives.

I guess it’s easy for a person who has never had an addiction to drugs or alcohol before in their lives to say. I hope and wish this man can clean up and I do know that he doesn’t want me to leave and keeps the drinking at a minimal to make sure I don’t. The only thing is that it has to be a choice for him not for anyone else. If so then those people that he quit for will be always to blame for why he still consumes his alcohol.

I have already heard the regular excuses as to why he NEEDS to drink. Such as “it’s been a stressful day” or “it’s such a beautiful day to sit on the veranda and have a few beers”, “I need a few beers in order to relax”, and last but not least “my friend is coming over and we have to have a few beers, that is what we have always done”. The excuses for drinking more often or for consuming more than a few are as follows, “when you get that look on your face you make me want to drink more’. “I see how disgusted you are in me and it makes me want to down a beer or two when you are out of the room just so I don’t have to see that look”.

Help me to help him.

I want so much for this man to be sober; he has so much to offer everyone in his life. He is kind gentle and so attentive without the booze, but yet he feels he needs it in order to do many things in life. This saddens me to my very core. It’s so unfortunate that he feels he needs booze in order to come out of his shy self. Why does he have to come out of his shell? I love that about him and what he doesn’t understand is that when you have a room full of people you need to have many different personalities in order to make for an interesting evening. I love the fact that he isn’t like anyone else, he is unique and is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, inside and out.

It has to be the most uncomfortable position to be in watching someone you love sabotage themselves day in and day out. I can't make him stop, I can only tell him how I feel and hope that this man is able to see that this addiction is killing him slowly. I am no idiot yet here I am landed in the middle of a relationship that is going in circles at the present time. Before I met Jack I would often wonder how a woman or men could stay with someone just like Jack. I now have a better understanding of that inquiry. Sometimes when you love someone you overlook things, even when there are huge issues. Many people do it every day.

I had hoped that typing this all out and reading it over and over again would help me to come to some kind of conclusion on where exactly that I want this relationship to go. Sadly the jury is still out on that one. I will always love him and hope that I don’t have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave him over the booze considering that when there is no booze involved he is pretty damn close to being the "perfect mate".



  1. Though not quite the same thing, I watched someone I love dearly not take care of their diabetes and I know it is killing him slowly on the inside. I have watched them abuse food (which I do believe to be addictive) and felt worried. I hope only the best for you and no really good advice to offer.

  2. I think the most important thing would be to get him help, and to have him stay in help for a long time. People get confused about how long to stay in recovery. The hardest part is when they come out of rehab, and they're in an environment that is so disimilar to the rehab, where they not only have no access to their addiction, but one that encourages healthier living. Provide that healthy living, talk to his friends and family, and get him help immediately. I hope this helps. My grandfather ruined many people's lives, and as a result I never knew him. I don't regret that because I doubt I would have been able to see who he was through the alcohol.

  3. Here via retweeted link (from Renee up top). I'm in a similar situation with a parent right now who has been through varying stages of alcoholism and drug use but it's finally breaking his body down and probably killing him. The most difficult part is watching him struggle and alternately resign himself to fate and keep destroying his body seemingly without any concern for himself or the people he's hurting in the process, his family. I read this post tonight and I just felt helpless all over again (I'm away from home right now) and pissed that I have no concrete answers for you or myself. I do agree with candleman589 about getting your loved one help and keeping him with help though, this has worked for us even if we can't keep my father in help for very long. This has been weighing on my mind since I read it and I just wanted to reach out to you.

  4. Thank you everyone for your input. I shall keep you informed on the progress. I will be speaking with him but I know that it will be a lengthy conversation considering he will be in total denial. I think him getting help would be great but I am almost 100% sure that he will not get professional help and would most likely try to do it on his own. If he even really wants to completely stop that is. I am very apprehensive at the thought of that conversation that's for sure.
    Thanks again.

  5. Also here via Renee's link.

    Loving an alcoholic is very sad. There are usually not any happy outcomes. Even if the alcoholic manages to stop drinking they will need to do a lot of work to rehabilitate their life. Most never stop and many who try -- off and on -- will not make the necessary changes.

    This problem is a whole lot bigger than any possibility of your managing it. Love actually can be redemptive but it has to be him finding an idea that compels him from within himself to change.

    You described an alcoholic's decision to drink absolutely spot-on. That is exactly the point at which it is too late. Skipping the odd Monday doesn't mean a thing because his judgement remains under the influence.

    My only advice would be to get your hands on a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It is written in an old fashioned style but it will absolutely help you understand this disease.

    This is advice for you. If he wants to stop drinking, he could check it out. I know some lives it has saved.

  6. I came here from FWD. My father is an alcoholic, so this post really hit home. I don't have any advice to offer, but I just wanted to say that I hope things get better for you and Jack.

  7. Here from Renee's link, too. I have no solutions to offer. I found Al-Anon helpful for learning to sort out what's my side of the problem and what's his. My best wishes for peace for all four of you.

  8. my biological dad is an alcoholic. he's always been that way, since before i was born. he showed up to my custody hearing drunk, which made it all that easier for the judge to award custody to my mom.

    i have spent my entire life loving him, and simultaneously hating what he does. my best memories of him are all before 11am (pre-"cocktail hour") because those are the only times that he's sober. when he's sober, he listens to me. he's a dad. but when he drinks, he's the life of the party and every day is a party. and by life of the party i mean he makes jokes, but they're about all of us present. he'll ridicule everyone, make even his daughter feel worthless to make a joke (and it's all fun, cuz it's jokes, right?). and then there's the sudden anger.

    i try very hard to pinpoint exactly how the anger happens, but i can't. there's no trigger except that he's drunk and prone to anger. and after all the years of trying to get him to realize he has a problem, that it's not okay to choose drinking over going out with friends, or familial relationships, or even romantic ones (he's been divorced more than 17 years, and only dated twice in that time). i can't get him to understand that verbal abuse is still abuse, and his drinking is the root of the problem. i've felt little guilt recently from walking away. i go months without talking to him because i can't handle his moods. i had to walk away for my own mental health. i'm at a point now where i acknowledge that i love my dad but only out of biological obligation. he's never been the dad i needed. he's never realized that his drinking is very selfish because it takes priority over everything. and i feel bad that i just can't care about him anymore because he doesn't care about himself or anyone else, but i've tried for so long to get him to realize it. maybe it's just easier to walk away from a parent. and i think it was easier for my mom to walk away from him because he wasn't sober enough for her to have any kind of "good" day with him. his constant verbal abuse was just too much.

    yeah, it's tough knowing that someone you love loves booze more than you. i don't know if any of this helps beyond knowing that there are others who have some understanding of your dilemma. some people are very capable of changing, and some aren't i suppose.

  9. I can so identify with you, and with Jack. I'm an alcoholic and know my girlfriend sees straight through my excuses, but supports me anyway. Supports me in life, and in my efforts to cut back and eventually quit. Without support we don't deserve, I don't think many alcoholics would make it out. Thank you for being there for the people you love, it's where change starts.

  10. FilthyGrandeur Thanks so much for your reply to my post. Unfortunately my father was an alcoholic too and believe it or not Jack is very much like my father except for the fact that my father did finally beat the addiction when I was around twelve or thirteen. My mother finally put her foot down and told him that is was booze or his family, thank god he made the right choice. Maybe that is why I am attracted to Jack, he has all of the wonderful qualities that my father carried. Hopefully he can also be once that survives this terrible disease.
    RJ. I am hoping that you follow my blog I am very, very interested in what you have to say. I love Jack very much and can see the good inside him. I want so much to be with him for the rest of my life. I am opened to any suggestions you may have.
    Thanks so much to all of you for opening your hearts to me. I will look into all that you have suggested.