I think my boyfriend is an alcoholic and I don’t know what to do.
I think he would be called a high functioning alcoholic, he has a good job, a nice house and a car. Drink really doesn’t interfere with work.But he drinks nearly every day. I’m getting a bit fed up of it, I can’t drink any more, I get drunk fast and get awful hangovers. Whenever I go to his he buys big bottles of cider for us to drink.This weekend he asked if I wanted to go over his house, I said I would have to wait for my daughter to come back from her friends first. He didn’t want to wait around to drive us because he wanted to start drinking. So now he’s sat in his house all alone getting drunk. Not just a few beers but vodka.Basically he preferred to sit alone getting drunk than to spend time with anybody.Every weekend he drinks whole bottles of gin or vodka. Every night after work it’s lager or cider. Do I have the right to be upset with him for probably being an alcoholic even though he still functions and is doing well in life? I get that maybe he just wanted to relax and not drive round this weekend but drinking to get drunk on his own is quite bad in my opinion.What can I do?
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A female reader, Honeypie + ♥, writes (25 November 2018):
Accept that this is NOT something you can FIX or CHANGE for him.THAT is the first.Secondly, it’s not about whether you have toe “right” to be upset. You obviously ARE upset that he drinks so much. For NOW he is a high functioning alcoholic but at some point the alcohol will take over. He will either drive drunk and get caught, he will have health issues due to large alcohol consumption, fall down and get hurt, get performance problems in bed (alcohol is not really a great thing to mix with sex…)The fact that HIS priority was to drive HOME so he could start drinking rather than spend time with you, while waiting on your daughter… should tell you that drinking IS more important than you are in that sense. Alcohol is the your BF’s best friend and it is hard for anyone to compete with that “relationship”. How well do you think he can actual INVEST emotionally in you and maybe later on with your daughter, if he is always trying to get a little buzz going? And especially if he RATHER drink alone. It’s not going to be easy to even bring it up. Most high functioning alcoholics are in denial about their consumption. They think (like you mention too) that because they can be successful in work, has a nice house and car (and a GF) that HE doesn’t have ANY problems.One thing I’d like to point out is that you mention is:”Whenever I go to his he buys big bottles of cider for us to drink.”There is NOTHING saying you HAVE to drink it. If you are no interested in alcohol, either BRING something non-alcoholic or just decline the cider and drink water/juice/soda. I would NOT try and talk to him about this when he has been drinking, but when he is sober. I’d mention how it makes you FEEL and how it actually affects YOU. How you feel it’s coming between you two.I would also NOT give ultimatums or demand he stops drinking and accept he is an alcoholic. Because if he is in denial, he isn’t going to want to hear it or do anything about it anytime soon.I would suggest you check out :Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Breaking the Cycle and Finding Hope – by Sarah Allen BentonLastly, I would also consider the future here. IS this really a guy you see yourself with long term? Also when he no longer has a job, isn’t high functioning but pissing the bed because of being too drunk. Losing the ability to give a single F about anyone BUT his bottle.My father was a high Functioning Alcoholic. He wouldn’t admit it at all. What was worse was that he sort of expected my mom to keep up, which of course she couldn’t and when she realized where it was going SHE stopped totally drinking ANY alcohol in hopes to show him that it is possible. Twice he didn’t want to go on the family holiday because he didn’t feel he could drink enough there. I think it took him a good 5-6 years after my mom brought it up, before he stopped drinking heavily. He still had a glass of wine here and there, and not always did he have full control in JUST one glass (even though he claimed he could). Long story short, He was in denial for decades. It really wasn’t until my mom passed away and his new GF (who is a non-functioning alcoholic/seasonal drinker/binge drinker) that he realized the EFFECT he had on others due to drinking. My bother and I, both don’t drink alcohol. I think for the same reason more or less. We both know alcoholism runs in the family and neither of us wants to do to others what we saw my dad do to my mom and us. He wasn’t an angry drunk or anything, he just would ignore us, isolate himself.Looking back, I think my mom deserved SO much better.And I think so do you. AND your daughter.
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