update on alchohol abuse

finedreamsNovember 12, 2007

I shared previously about my relationship with a great man who has drinking problem.

I ended up (permanently or temporarilly-it depends) my relationship with him due to the fact that he did not stop drinking. He started to hide it better, but no quitting.

I frankly hoped that he would immidiatelly stop drinking or at least seek help right away knowing how badly it effected our otherwise beatiful relationship. But he did not. In a way i feel he chose alchohol over me...

I love this man dearly and am in a lot of emotional pain right now. But i hope i made the right choice...

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My previous thread was "substance abuse issue", if anyone wants to know what was the issue...I would appreciate any help in regards to my decision, I hope it was the right one no matter how much pain i had to endure...
thank you everybody for support

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:36AM
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Alcoholism doesn't destroy just the drinker;
it sucks his/her entire family into its whirlpool & down the drain, taking over their lives, dominating everything they do, reducing their quality of life, hobbling them so that they cannot escape, using them up.

You did the right thing.

As far as loving or caring for him...

Men are like drugs to us women:
even when our brains know better, our hearts, or our hormones, still tell us we love him, & we still want him.

The cure for this drug is the same as for so many others;
do not partake of it.

Stay away from him for at least a month, no dates, no lunches, no phone calls, no emails, no contact at all.

Congratulations on your wise decision.

I wish you well.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:26AM
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thank you for your support. Unfortunatelly he did not see it the way i did (or simply denied it), for him if a person maintains his job and does not get into any trouble alchohol is just a minor habbit, not a serious issue. I know that even if he promises a moon and a sun to me, he won't deliver. I don't believe he can quit now and it is heart breaking for me to be a part of it. But oh boy, isn't it tough...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Yes, very very difficult to let go when there's always that 'what if' hanging -

The good news is, that this will boost your self esteem in ways that you can't imagine. You just bought (the price being the sadness) yourself the best gift you could ever give to yourself, that being respect for your own value system.

Good for you. You did the right thing, in that you put up boundaries, healthy ones. Maybe not everyone would do the same thing, but you honored your own value system. With that, comes self respect and esteem - a lesson for all of us today.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 3:35PM
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"if a person maintains his job and does not get into any trouble alchohol is just a minor habbit, not a serious issue."

one of the top 10 rationalizations alcoholics use, right up there along with "I can stop any time I want to, I don't *have* to drink, I just *like* to drink"

Stop up your ears if you have to;
do not listen to this nonsense.

A cop once told me this (my apologies to anyone who has read it wherever I posted it before!)

Did you ever notice how all old alcoholics seem like the same person?

In a very real sense, they *are* the same person.

Once alcohol or another addictive substance comes into the picture, nothing else matters to the user.

not family, not education, not background, not social stigma.


The person will say anything, do anything, sell anything including himself/herself, to get the drug.

The person you used to know is not talking;
the addiction is talking, & it's entirely amoral & self-serving.

Stay close for any length of time & you'll become part of the asset system the addiction is exploiting.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 3:47PM
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thank you so much. Yes, it is tough, but unless he would get professional help and quit 100%, there is no way back. My dad told me yesterday that every alchoholic he ever knew said the same thing: I drink because my wife is bad,my job is hard etc It is funny because my now ex-boyfriend used to do this, I started to drink because of my ex-wife. Well it does not matter why...

Such a good man though, such a good connection between us, that is why so hard to let go because of alchohol...

thanks again, this forum really helps, otherwise I don't know what i would do...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Actually, the choice was his. That he was willing to let you go in order to continue what he has already confessed to be a foolish excess tells you everything you need to know. What a pity.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 6:03PM
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Yes,I agree with asolo...He in essence chose alcohol over you.
Dont say you'd hate to give him up "just because of alcohol" though. I know so many alcoholics it isnt funny.And what Sylviatexas wrote is so true.
I know it hurts now,but in the long run you have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble.
My stepdad was an alcoholic.He used the same excuses your Bf did. Too many bad things happend because of the alcohol~events being ruined,cops being called,things getting broken,letting down my child time and again...
Oh how I wished my mom would leave him!!! He always went to work and stuff too though so he still to this day doesnt think he has a problem.
You deserve better believe me.Better to hurt now then to have wasted years of your life on someone like this.I commend you for having the guts to do it.
And...if you have any kids all the better to get them away from this guy.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 3:36AM
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thanks again.
Yes most alchoholics do not think there is a big problem. My daughter is in college, so she is not at home but at some point she will have to find this out and see him drunk. She does not need this.

He keeps saying he is in a process of healing and quitting and simply needs more time but I see no result, I see no serious effort such as seeking professional help or even admitting seriousness of the problem.

Last night he called and cried so hard on the phone that I felt devastated.

Like I said if he quits and i am still available, I will consider it, I did not burn the bridges but if he continues drinking it will lead me to a heart attack and i don't need it.
thanks for your support

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:53AM
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"...I see no serious effort such as seeking professional help or even admitting seriousness of the problem."

In the end, it all boils down to personal will. Smoking, drinking, eating problems...its all the same in that regard. If one has problems, they have to stop it. "Help" is often as not just a dodge. It's a matter of will. Period.

If he's as distraught as you described, perhaps this may be his wake-up call. Really a shame if his other attributes are so admirable. However, you have described a deal-breaking flaw. I think you've done right.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Don't get your hopes up about him having a wake up call with your leaving. My father lost his job, wife, 3 kids, and home within 1 year and never gave up drinking. It's sad because alcohilism is a disease, there is treatment, but alcoholics rarely take advantage of the help that is out there.

You did the right thing. The only one you can save is yourself.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Sad about your dad, M -
I have thoughts about alcoholism that rumble in my mind from time to time:
I often wonder - who came up with the idea that alcoholism is a disease? I think it's a misnomer. Measles is a disease you get without contribution. You can't choose one day to dump measles.

Also, to say alcoholism is a disease is to discount the possibility of true change. I don't like the idea that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Why not, I was once an alcoholic, but I overcame, and now I choose not to be one. I would say that my neighbor who gave up alcoholism is no more alcoholic than I am. I've never tasted alcohol. If I have a predisposition to alcoholism, does anyone consider me an alcoholic? No, they don't. I am seen simply as someone who doesn't drink. By the way, when you have a true disease and you are cured, you dont' spend the rest of your life claiming you are a recovered measled guy.

Just a rant, but also to keep finedreams thinking for herself. The ex-boyfriend is in fact CHOOSING alcohol over a relationship. It would be any relationship, no matter how wonderful the potential partner would be. Sad. Finedreams, I bet you are a catch -

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 5:41PM
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"....alcoholism is a disease? I think it's a misnomer."

I feel the same about most "addictive" behaviors...as so many are currently identified. Alcohol, tobacco, grass, food, porn, sex...if our bad behaviors are "diseases" then they're not our fault. A "cure" must be imposed from the outside. I think they are -- all of them -- very much up to us to handle.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:19PM
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I think it is considered a disease because alcoholics or drug addicts have a specific "GENE" for the addictive behavior that someone else may not have.In which case,it can be very hard to go against your genetic make up.Perhaps the same way obese people who may not really eat much more then the next person get fatter because they have that gene.I dont know,but it sounds logical.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 4:56AM
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Alcoholics' livers cannot handle alcohol the way other people's livers can, & people with that genetic characteristic, American Indians for example, are more susceptible to alcohol.

Even if such a person is not drinking, the susceptibility is there & will be there for his/her entire life.

Saying that a dry alcoholic is not an alcoholic would be like saying that a sexually abstinent person is asexual.

Much obesity is caused by our diets today, but I've worked with enough people & watched how they eat to know that diet or willpower aren't the answer to every weight problem.

Hypo-thyroid or a sluggish metabolism can't be overcome with "willpower" any more than diabetes can be overcome with willpower.

Nicotine is a powerful addictive substance, but once someone is hooked, I don't see any point in villifying him/her.

Alcohol, nicotine, & certain narcotics are *physically* addictive;
the body becomes dependent on the drug.

(I don't know if it's a misnomer to call porn or grass...or the internet!..addictions, just don't have enough knowledge.)

It's very easy for us to demand willpower from someone with a problem if we don't have the problem ourselves.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:34AM
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thanks everybody for such smart and thoughful replies....
I think that it does become a disease even if it started as a bad habit, but it does not mean one cannot stop.

My therapist said that most alchoholics drink because they do not have any other coping mechanisms to deal with life's ups and downs. They are often depressed or suffer from anxiety...But then their job is to go and see a professional, do something about it...Depression does not go away when one drinks.

As about quitting bad habits, I was a smoker and quit and don't go back. My mother quit after heavy smoking for 40 years. Does it mean that i never ever want to smoke? Of course i want here and there, but I make decision not to smoke. So it does require will power, nothing more nothing less.

Same with alchohol first you have to make a commitment to not drink, then you can seek help or whatever but if you prefer to deal with any emotional frustrations in life with alchohol then you don't make a commitment ever.

My BF, or rather ex BF, keeps talking about how his ex drove him into drinking. He even said it next day after i left him, cried and complained how she drove him into it and now he has hard time stopping. Give me a break...In a way it might be true she drove him into it.

I observed his ex-wife's ridicilous interractions with her daughters-very uninvolved mother, plus other things like cheating multiple times with very young partners (like she was almost 50 and a guy was 20) and then telling her husband to forgive her, using family computer to look for dates while still married, now when they are duivorced she still does weird things that i am a witness to.

But! Nobody can drive nobody into nothing. I had a share of bad relationships but somehow I did not become an alchoholic. I used smoking to deal with stress, but I decided not to! So my BF can stop drinking despite whatever happens in his life. It is his decision to quit or not. Unfortunatelly I have very little hope he will quit ever. What a shame...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:46AM
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I do agree with you, sylviatexas, that it is not a simple process to quit. And a will power is not enough. But it takes power to first admit the problem (which most addicts do not want to do), then people have to make decsions to stop and then seek professional help or some support if it is necessary. Whatever it is they got to do something about it!
On my part i offered and suggested every possible help available. In fact if I would see him making concious effort to stop alchohol rulling his lfe, i would not leave. But concious effort was not there, saying "I need more time, give me more time" was not enough. I saw no imporvement. And my life in a meanwhile started to go downhill. My life evolved around rinking now: does he drink, is he drunk, is he sobber today, how much is going to drink today, what can we do so he does not drink etc. What kind of life is that???

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:54AM
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WHAT THE...????? What do you think about all this?

Since I left my BF he has been calling me every other day devastated that he misses me.

Frankly I thought that he called today to say that he made some kind of decision.

No, after a half an hour of telling how much he misses me he asked : "Do you still have a problem with my drinking?" What the..???? What a moron! I bet you he expected that I would just say like I used to: no, you quit when you want, I don't have a problem.

Of course I have a problem, that's why i left!!! Did he forget in 3 days? As soon as I nicely said "Yes, I do have a problem with excessive drinking because it prevents true intimacy between people". His voice immidiatelly changed!

So he expected me to miss him enough to take him back while he still drinks! In fact he sounded on the phone like he had something to drink. What is all this??? I will be very stupid to ever take him back!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 9:12PM
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Each and every condition/circumstance you described is overcome via will. Everyone I know (including myself) has something to deal with that they wish they didn't have to. Whether or not they do deal with it affects much about their lives....and with whom they have relationships and what kind of relationships. Your description makes it sound like everything is hopeless. It isn't. Each and every one of us has to deal with what he have. Some of us do. Some don't.

For all I know finedreams' friend has a genetic predisposition. So what? He still has the choice of controlling it or not. I'd even call it an obligation.

In finedreams' stead, I wouldn't say he's a bad person. I would say, I'm not willing to build a life around him. I think that's what she's decided.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:51AM
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No, I wasn't trying to convey hopelessness;
I was trying to convey the uselessness & the insensitivity of making judgments about people whose resources are at low ebb, whose mental functions are compromised by powerful addictive substances, whose boots we never have had to even try on.

Obviously, one has to exercise willpower to get anything done.

I tell myself that every morning when the cat is sleeping on my head & I do not want to move...
but I get up, partly because I am confidant that I *can* get up, & partly because there's not an addictive substance in that pillow that has made my body dependent upon it.

Addictive substances are potent, & combined with genetic or metabolic predispositions, they're devastating.

Alcoholism is a physical addiction;
withdrawal has terrible physical consequences & some dangers.

A registered nurse who worked at the Dallas County jail once told me that part of her job was to interview people who were going to jail, & she had to ask them about alcohol & drugs.

She said that alcoholics had to be more closely monitored than people who habitually used cocaine;

they might be called cocaine "addicts", but that addiction was mental, while alcoholism is a physical addiction:

Withdrawing cold-turkey from cocaine might not make you happy, but withdrawing cold-turkey from alcohol could kill you.

Something that can kill you is not something that "willpower" alone can overcome.

Again, it's like telling a diabetic to just get over it;
there's no more insulin, they need to exercise their willpower to keep going & functioning.

An addicted person's willpower is at a very low ebb anyway, since they are at the mercy of their drug;
expecting or demanding someone in that position to just break the habit (or saying it's an "obligation") is unproductive & uncompassionate at best, counter-productive & mean-spirited at worst.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 3:08PM
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forgot to say, OP's last post is a classic example of the way alcohol changes a person's outlook & perspective (makes a smart person stupid):

This man,that OP described as a fine person, thinks her problem with his drinking is...
her problem.

He thinks that their relationship would be fine if she would just get realistic & adjust her attitude.

As someone said above, all you can do is save yourself.

If you stay in a relationship with someone who is the slave of alcohol (or, I guess, any addictive substance), you'll become its slave as well, not physically addicted but your entire life will be at the service of the drug.

& the alcoholic won't see anything wrong with that.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 3:22PM
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Yeap, sylviatexas. He does want to quit but he wants to do it in his own time frame without my pushing and I should just stick around. At the same time although he wants to stop, he says he does not see it as a problem. But then why would he want to stop if he does not see it as a problem? You see a disconnect?

Funny: my parents who are very much against alchohol and do not drink asked me if he drinks a bottle of hard liqor a day? I said of course not, he has to go to work next day. He drinks less than that. Then their reply was: well, it might be still too much, but it really is not serious drinking if it is less than a bottle.

What is too much then? I am confused

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 4:05PM
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No problem if under a bottle a day? Your parents have no clue! In addition to the physical/behavioral issues, a bottle per day would be more than $300.00 per month even it's cheap booze. If it's better quality, double or triple it. I think you can confidently disregard your parents opinions on this topic.

What you've described is a frequent, regular habit. You've described alcohol as being a part of who he is. You've described your discomfort with whatever that level may be and whatever it brings to you vis-a-vis his behavior. You've described his strong expectation that this should be acceptable to you and his disappointment that it isn't. I'm sorry for both of your disappointments but I see nothing positive in pretending it doesn't matter when it clearly does. This isn't your problem. It's his. There's no fault to be found in your refusing to accept the characteristic.

Don't be confused. What you've observed has been a problem for you...if I've understood you correctly. Your opinions about the kind of habits/behaviors in a person you're considering for relational closeness are quite valid. If others disagree, so what? This is your time and your life, therefore your choice. Your man disagrees? Tough. Others may regard the situation differently. Let them.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 4:59PM
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Your poor parents, they're trying to help, but they just don't know the weights & measures.

If a person drank a bottle of hard liquor a day, he wouldn't be able to stand up, much less go to work.

If he's drinking more than about 2 drinks some days & 3 drinks some days, or if he's drinking *every* day, no matter how much/little, it's too much.

(There's a saying about alcohol-

"One's too many & a hundred isn't enough.")

& you're just going to confuse yourself if you're trying to make sense of his "theories"-

they don't make sense,
they don't have to make sense,
they're self-serving rationalizations,
same as anybody would use to justify doing whatever they want to do.

An alcohol *habit* means future liver damage, it means brain damage, it means physical deterioration.

For you, it means that, after you put in about 20-30 years in a disfunctional lifestyle, you'll have a chronically ill person who doesn't make sense on your hands.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:51PM
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Gosh,all of this is really hitting home with me,as alcoholism runs in my family big time (my grand dad was an alcohol salesman for about 30 years)
My grand parents both drink everyday.My grandmom had a surgery,and even though it was very dangerous for her to drink afterwards,the doctors allowed her to because since she drinks so much it would have been more dangerous not to let her because of withdrawls.

I avoid my family because I'am always pushed to drink when I'am around them. I have always been very aware that I have that "alcoholic" gene,and have tried hard to avoid going down that path.
Finedreams,I also think your parents are wrong.Even a few drinks a day can become addicting to the point where the person feels they NEED it. Maybe they are just like my grand parents who grew up in a age where alcohol was very accepted (I dont know how old your parents are).
I also think you did the right thing by not running back to him just cuz he shed a few tears.
I think society really doesnt take alcoholism serious enough.It is not viewed as the dangerous drug it is,but as a right of passage.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 7:34PM
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My parents do not drink and do not endorse alchohol or drugs.

Especially my dad, but for whatever reason they really like my BF (my dad could not stand my ex-husband and did not like any of my BFs for no particular reason, but they just all fell in love with this BF. Go figure...) so they try to come up with something. Like suggesting I try harder to pursue him to quit or make an appt for him. Like it's up to me!!! My mom even came up with the excuse that my grandpa used to have two drinks almsot daily at a dinner table and wasn't an alchoholic. So what?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:34PM
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Some people are just charismatic;
people *do* fall in love with them.

but a likeable person isn't always a nice person.

Kick this guy to the curb & tell your parents he had a dark side that killed your love for him.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:45AM
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Exactly sylviatexas,
my eX Husband is the most easy to get along, fun to be around person. Cheated on every single woman, has no consideration for anybody else's feelings. Cheated on his 2nd wife with his best friend's wife under his own roof, left two families already. But what a likeable person!

Well my BF is a nice person but is an alchoholic. You can be nice and yet detsroyed everybody's happiness because of your addiction

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:52PM
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finedreams - It sounds like you may be, however unintentionally, enabling him by taking his phone calls; you haven't completely let him go and he's hanging on to the fact that you listen, no matter what you say. He only hears what he wants to hear (IMHO).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 4:59PM
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