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  1. #1
    teacup's Avatar
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    what's it like being in a relationship with a alcoholic?

    i just thought i would ask. the guy i liked....he's got alcohol issues for sure. i cant ignore it or shake it off, he's got a weird relationship with beer. he's said and done some mean disrespectful things to me. he said i seemed weird, crazy....and since i feel this way a lot of times, i agreed with it. but then....someone who cares for me would never treat me the way he does. someone who cares for me would never tell me that.

    im afraid of him. im scared. i feel dirty and used at times. but at other times i miss him, like him and want to see him and hug him. im afraid of being alone. but i think i have to tear myself away from him because he's bad for me. i dont think he's a nice or good person anymore. i think he makes too many excuses and lies too much. i cant trust him.

    and i have been told so often that alcoholics are bad news. but can someone tell me, describe to me, really make me see what it is like being in a relationship with an alcoholic? mabe this will be the final point i need to break it off. sometimes i cant tell if he's emotionally unavailable or just not that into me or probably both. either way......

    relationship with alcoholic?? personal stories are good too.

  2. #2
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    My ex had a problem with alcohol...but I mean, I came to realize that alcohol wasn't really his problem, he just didn't know how to deal with life, and thought drinking was the only way. Anyway, we ended up breaking up because his behavior was really getting me down about myself...I REALLY wanted to stick by him. Being in a relationship with someone who is dependent on drugs, alcohol, you, anything...is soo frustrating. If I were you, I would break up with him - he is a negative factor in your life and no matter what, you comes first, right? It may sound a little unsympathetic towards a person who obviously has a problem - but if he is treating you badly, why should you be obliged to yanno? Maybe losing you would be a wake up call to him and he would get his act together...but being in this relationship now, and even later in life with him, will be a constant battle - and you have to decide whether it is worth it.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    I think you should contact Shes2smart or look at some posts she's made. She dated and lived with an alcoholic for many years. I'm pretty sure that she'll tell you to run in the other direction from this man right away.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1.



  4. #4
    Platinum Member shes2smart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie24
    I think you should contact Shes2smart or look at some posts she's made. She dated and lived with an alcoholic for many years. I'm pretty sure that she'll tell you to run in the other direction from this man right away.
    Oh, now, it wasn't all THAT many.....it just seemed like it.

    In hindsight, once I figured out he had an addiction problem, I shoulda booted his pretty butt out the door and never let him back in. Instead, I went back and forth with the drunk boy for nearly 5 years...we lived together for one year of the time we were involved.

    teacup, lemme tell ya something...I learned the hard way* about people with addiction problems -- they're NOT CAPABLE OF HAVING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP. Their addiction (in this case alcoholism) is so all-consuming that there is NO ROOM for anything or anyone else.

    *Learning the hard way = here are some scenes out of my life during that time:

    >when I initially suggested I'd like him to move out of my apartment, he didn't like what I was saying and threw a hiking boot in the general direction of my head.

    >while arguing about something else, he punched a hole in a closet door (later I heard from his brother this was an improvement -- he had actually pushed an ex-gf through a wall when he was arguing with her)

    >though unable to hold a job (minimum-wage, low or no skills job) for more than 3 months, he gladly spent MY money freely on booze & pot...and when he didn't get to buy his substances, he got verbally abusive. for a while, it was easier for me to be broke all the time and go without stuff I wanted in order to keep him a little buzzed all the time because he was easier to get along with then

    >when I met him, he was 32 years old and living with his parents (HUGE, HUGE red flag...which I stupidly ignored because he was pretty), not making enough money to support himself, and had very little idea how to go about living an adult life (working, obtaining a place to live, having transportation, having insurance and so forth)...when I finally removed him from my life, he was 36 years old, living with his parents, and still woefully lacking in life skills.

    >I was taking horseback riding lessons while he was living with me. During a class, I took a bad jump and went headfirst into a cement block wall. Cracked my riding hat in two, blacked out for a minute or so, and found it difficult to move when I got up. He wouldn't come to the stable to come get me...I had to drive myself home, pick him up, THEN go to the ER. When we got to the ER, he was useless...it was like bringing a child with me, not a partner. He wouldn't even call my boss to tell him I couldn't go to work the next day.

    >A few months after that equestrian accident, I had another bad fall and hurt my arm pretty bad. I didn't even bother getting him involved initially. After I got my horse taken care of, I drove myself to the ER. I *did* hurt my arm pretty bad -- I had snapped the top 1.5" of my radius off (one of the bones in your forearm...I broke off the end by my elbow). This required surgery to fix. At this point, he wasn't living with me anymore, but we were still seeing each other. Here's a short list of the things he WOULD NOT do during the broken elbow incident:

    -He wouldn't take me to the hospital and wait while I was having the surgery.
    -He wouldn't stay at home with me after the surgery
    -After a week of trying to function one-armed, I begged him to come help me. He did, but he was no help whatsoever. Again, it was like having a child around.

    By that time, I'd been involved with him for so long that even this didn't seem that bad. Until my best friend (we've known each other since 7th grade) came to town to visit while I was still in a cast after the elbow surgery. She & I went to a restaurant for dinner. I, not thinking, ordered a steak. When our dinners got there, I didn't even have time to realize I was going to need help...she had already grabbed my knife & fork and started cutting up my steak for me. I lost it and started bawling my fool head off...because it dawned on me then...that's the sort of thing the alcoholic should have been doing...and I never should've had to beg him for that.

    That got me to kick him out of my apartment (again) but not out of my life. A year later he had himself convinced that he took me to the hospital, waited for me while I was in surgery and waited on me hand & foot while I was recovering.

    Anyone with an active addiction has to put so much time, effort and energy into keeping that beast sated that they cannot think of anyone or anything else. If they can get you to help them feed that addiction, they will. If you let them, they will take everything you have in order to feed their addiction and they will believe they entitled to ALL of it. That means your money, your time, your attention, your effort....whatever you have to give.

    On some level, I guess I thought I could fix him...or at least help him get his life on track. What I didn't understand then was that HE was the ONLY one who could do that for him. Unless and until he chose to get his life together, no one else could do any of it for him. And this is true for anyone with addiction issues -- they have to first want to get their life in order, then they have to do the work to get their life in order.

    I don't like to dwell on what's gone "wrong" with my life. I learned a number of lessons from my time with the alcoholic, for those I am thankful. But those lessons came at a high price and they were some extremely hard lessons. The experiences I had with the alcholic made me rather bitter toward all men for quite some time...that took a lot of therapy to wash outta my brain. It's a good thing I had insurance, otherwise I'd probably still be trying to pay off my shrink.

    You don't have to be as stubborn and thick-headed about it as I was. You have the opportunity to avoid going through this particular level of hell by completely terminating or severely limiting your involvement with this person now.

    One more surgery story, and I'll wrap this up:

    Here's how someone who really loves you acts when you have to have surgery:

    Had foot surgery a few years back. My husband took a couple days off work so he could drive me to the hospital, wait for me during the surgery, drive me home & help me with my casted foot & crutches get up the stairs to our apartment. Once we were there, he made sure I was comfortable, then he went out and got my prescriptions filled, and over the next week he did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, made sure I took my meds, helped me get around the apartment, took care of keeping my boss updated on when I'd be back to work, took me to the doc's office, and never once complained or made a big deal about taking care of me.

    It was like day and night between that and my elbow surgery.

    It saddens me that I ever settled for less.
    "And all I can think is that it must be a kind of rebellion
    to arm your fears like soldiers and to slay them...." -The Airborne Toxic Event

    "All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong." - Weird Al Yankovic

  5. #5
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    By that time, I'd been involved with him for so long that even this didn't seem that bad. Until my best friend (we've known each other since 7th grade) came to town to visit while I was still in a cast after the elbow surgery. She & I went to a restaurant for dinner. I, not thinking, ordered a steak. When our dinners got there, I didn't even have time to realize I was going to need help...she had already grabbed my knife & fork and started cutting up my steak for me. I lost it and started bawling my fool head off...because it dawned on me then...that's the sort of thing the alcoholic should have been doing...and I never should've had to beg him for that.
    Wow - this is all so heartbreaking. Especially when you finally realize how much crap you've been putting up with. It's the "moment of realization."

    I am glad you ditched the alcoholic and found a man 1000x better.

    Teacup - I know that you have an addiction to this man, but read shes2smart's post, and then read it again. i think that there are plenty of other men out there for you, that you would be just as attracted to and would give you a lot less heartache than the alcoholic you are seeing now.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1.



  6. #6
    Platinum Member shes2smart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie24
    Wow - this is all so heartbreaking. Especially when you finally realize how much crap you've been putting up with. It's the "moment of realization."
    Y'know, I still have a very difficult time trying to read my journal entries from August 95 when that elbow surgery happened....and that's 10 and a half years after the fact. It's incredibly painful to see what I put up with back then.

    Quote Originally Posted by annie24
    I am glad you ditched the alcoholic and found a man 1000x better.
    You and me both That only happened because I made the effort to get my head screwed on straight about relationships and what a healthy & functional relationship looked like...starting with the relationship I had with myself. Spent lots of "quality time" with a really good shrink, and busted my butt changing my thoughts & behaviors so I could have a better life for myself. It was worth every penny and then some.
    "And all I can think is that it must be a kind of rebellion
    to arm your fears like soldiers and to slay them...." -The Airborne Toxic Event

    "All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong." - Weird Al Yankovic

  7. #7
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    I was dating a guy who was a jerk - not an alcoholic, just a garden variety jerk. I kept making excuses for him, until I was watching an episode of 90210. On the episode, some guy stood up his girl. When the girl saw the guy again, she told him the he was a jerk and slammed the door on his face.

    I realized that my dude did that to me over and over and over, and on the show, the guy did it once, and the girl got rightfully pissed!!! I know it's lame - it's a TV show, but at that moment, I saw how poorly he was treating me and how much I put up with.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1.



  8. #8
    teacup's Avatar
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    on some level i wonder if it was my fault. i just finished reading the book "why men love *****es" and i noticed that i was doing everything the nice girl does. everything that a girl isnt supposed to do.....i did. and i wonder if that's what turned him off and made him so distant.

    sometimes when im with him in person, he is affectionate and i miss that. but that doesn't account for how he never asks much questions about me or how im doing, how he spends so much time talking about himself and answering my questions about him and his opinions or watever, how he makes me feel like he doesnt care or value me, how he's always pushing me away from him, acting like he's god's gift to women and that i want him so badly, blowing me off for dates, talking to me disrespectfully when he gets angry, hurting my feelings and then acting like nothing ever happened the next time i talk to him...etc. it hurts so much.

    the thing is i was with an abuser for 6 long painful years. i swore i would never let that happen to myself again. i really wanted a good guy, a kind, loving, caring guy this time. how could this have happened?? why did i let this happen to me again? i blame myself. what did i do wrong?

    my loneliness and fear of loneliness...im scared.
    Last edited by teacup; 01-28-2006 at 09:05 PM.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member shes2smart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teacup
    on some level i wonder if it was my fault. i just finished reading the book "why men love *****es" and i noticed that i was doing everything the nice girl does. everything that a girl isnt supposed to do.....i did. and i wonder if that's what turned him off and made him so distant.
    He's distant because he's an alcoholic. He's not capable of having an intimate relationship with ANYONE. While you have some issues of your own to work on, don't blame yourself for his inability to form a healthy relationship -- he'd wouldn't be able to do that with ANY woman.

    This is where your actions (and in the past, my actions) differ from a mentally healthy woman with decent self-esteem -- a woman who had her @*#& together would realize the boy had more problems than she could (or even wanted to) deal with and she'd move on with no regrets, no blaming herself and no looking back. All the better to be single & available when she did meet a man who was capable of creating a healthy relationship with her. (IF she wanted to be in a relationship at that point at all, of course.)

    If taking care of yourself and making a decision to NOT become involved with someone who can't create a healthy relationship with you is "being a b****" then be a b**** and be proud of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by teacup
    sometimes when im with him in person, he is affectionate and i miss that. but that doesn't account for how he never asks much questions about me or how im doing, how he spends so much time talking about himself and answering my questions about him and his opinions or watever, how he makes me feel like he doesnt care or value me, how he's always pushing me away from him, acting like he's god's gift to women and that i want him so badly, blowing me off for dates, talking to me disrespectfully when he gets angry, hurting my feelings and then acting like nothing ever happened the next time i talk to him...etc. it hurts so much.
    You think a good relationship feels like that? It doesn't. Maybe you ought to look at your own ideas and expectations about what a relationship actually is/should be. This can be a difficult process because it makes you look at things you probably don't want to look at. However, it is only in looking at those things that you can change the patterns you keep finding yourself in.

    If you want to take responsibility for something here, make sure it's something you really have responsibility for. His behavior is not your responsibility -- not allowing him to treat you badly IS your responsibility. If his behavior toward you is less than it should be (and it IS), then it's your responsibility to 1. remove yourself from the situation and 2. figure out what ideas and thoughts you had that led to the choices you made to get involved with someone who treats you like that.

    He is what he is. You can't do anything about that no matter how sweet, nice, kind, loving, etc. you are. The thing you need to focus on is this -- once you realized what he is, why did you decide to continue being sweet, nice, kind, and loving toward HIM?

    Quote Originally Posted by teacup
    the thing is i was with an abuser for 6 long painful years. i swore i would never let that happen to myself again. i really wanted a good guy, a kind, loving, caring guy this time. how could this have happened?? why did i let this happen to me again? i blame myself. what did i do wrong?

    my loneliness and fear of loneliness...im scared.
    You can blame yourself as much as you want and it still doesn't change anything. Assuming a victim role will only keep you creating the same situation over and over again. You want your life to be different, then you have to do things differently. Wanting things to be different is only a start and that's the easy part -- doing things differently is difficult, but that's the part that's going to bring about the changes you desire.

    You recognize you're getting into a bad situation (if you didn't you wouldn't be posting here). That's good. Now here's your opportunity to do something different before another year or 2 or 6 go by...cut your losses and get this person out of your life NOW. It's not always easy to spot people who are not capable of creating a healthy relationship. We need to get to know people a bit before they're going to trot their issues out for us to see and evaluate. The key thing is to get better at spotting them as quickly as you can BEFORE you end up wasting your time, and not continuing to stay aboard the Titanic once you realize you've gotten on it.

    If I'm brutally honest with myself, I have to say that I knew within 2 weeks of starting to see the alcoholic that he had a serious problem. I knew the "explanations" he had for living with his parents, for having no real work history, and for the general state of his life were a load of crap. But I was so down on myself at that time in my life and he was so pretty, I made all kinds of excuses for him...I couldn't believe he was interested in me. I chose to believe his justifications instead of what my own good sense was telling me, and I paid for that bad decision.

    At the beginning he was all attentive and affectionate, too. They have to have some sort of charm to their personality otherwise we'd never have gotten involved with them in the first place. Several months after that -- when he knew he was "in", all that attention and affection stopped. When we'd go out, he wouldn't walk beside me, hold hands, put his arm around me & so forth. He'd wind up walking a few steps in front of me...sometimes you couldn't tell we were even together. I was so screwed up at the time, I started thinking he was embarassed to be seen with me because I wasn't as physically attractive as he was.

    It took me literally years of therapy to realize I could've been Miss America and he'd STILL behave that way....because it had everything to do with his inability to connect with another person (due to his addiction) and nothing to do with my appearance at all.

    How is your relationship with yourself? I cannot begin to express how firmly I believe that the relationship you have with yourself is the basis for every other relationship you have in your life. Every other one -- romantic, friendships, work relationships, family -- EVERY OTHER ONE. If your relationship with yourself is not healthy, loving, kind, respectful and so forth, you can't expect to be able to create healthy, loving, etc. relationships with others.

    You say you were with an abusive partner for 6 years. Even if you went into that relationship a strong, healthy, secure soul, 6 years of that kind of treatment would chip away at that. The fact that you have become involved with someone who's not capable of creating a good relationship tells me you haven't completely dealt with the fallout of 6 years with an abusive partner. The fact that you're recognizing things aren't right with the curent guy tells me that you are making some progress.

    Your next step is to go from recognition & blaming yourself to healthy action. It is hard. It will feel weird and uncomfortable because you're not used to behaving in a way a woman with a healthy level of self-esteem (a so-called "b****") would behave, but you are at the point where that is your next step.

    There was a saying I heard when I was involved in 12 step programs in regard to adopting new, healthy behaviors..."Fake it til you make it." You do what you know are the healthy behaviors even though they feel weird, uncomfortable, mean and so forth...so at first you've got the behavior but not the feeling behind it ("faking it"). When you see the results of adopting healthy behavior, it reinforces that behavior until it becomes second nature ("making it").

    Finally, I've been single, alone and lonely....I've also been in a relationship, alone and lonely. By far it is worse to be in a relationship, alone and lonely than single, alone and lonely. There are simply going to be times in life that you're going to be lonely no matter what. Being in a relationship with someone else is no guarantee against having those times. The only relationship that can guarantee you safe passage through those lonely times is the relationship you have with yourself.
    "And all I can think is that it must be a kind of rebellion
    to arm your fears like soldiers and to slay them...." -The Airborne Toxic Event

    "All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong." - Weird Al Yankovic

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Hope75's Avatar
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    shes2smart's comments really hit home for me too. I lived with and was engaged to an alcoholic for 5 years, we dated a total of almost 6 years.

    Everything that shes2smart said, I could relate to. I too felt responsible for him and it was more like having a big child around than a partner.

    He too punched walls when angry, we had an apartment full of holes (and a non refundable security deposit). Unfortunately, he punched me too.

    One time, he broke his hand while punching a wall. Cried like a baby and I had to take off work to bring him to the ER. Did I mention that he didn't have a lisence or a car? (probably best, given how much he drank and smoked pot.) So, he took 6 weeks off of work for that injury, and then right before he was supposed to go back, he was drunk and walking downtown and he tripped in a manhole divot and broke his ankle. I had to take of work AGAIN to bring him to the ER, he now had two casts on, needed another 6 weeks, lost his job (what else was new?)

    He never could hold a job more than a few months at a time. He had "trouble with authority" (as in: listening to instruction, showing up on time, being reprimanded for too many smoke breaks, too many sick days, etc). So I worked 6 days a week 10 hours a day at a drycleaners to make ends meet. We didn't have a washer and dryer so on the 7th day I went to the laundrymat and washed our clothes (alone) did the grocery shopping, cleaned the house. etc etc.

    I paid all the bills, he didn't have a checking account. Sometimes he gave me some money, not often. All the "adult" functions of a relationship, I did. (oh, he cooked, I forgot he was a good cook).

    The times he wasn't verbally abusing me or physically abusing me or drinking or getting stoned, he was harming himself. He cut himself often and there was more than a few times I came home from work to find him sitting on the floor in the bedroom or bathroom, bleeding and holding a piece of a broken plate or a razor in his hand. It was awful.

    There was one night I had to bring him to the ER for cutting himself. He lost control once we got there and assaulted a security gaurd. They called the police, he broke a few signs, kicked over some chairs, punched a glass door and ran around until he found an exit, and the police chased him around the neighborhood until they found him crouched in a bush nearby and arrested him. Brought him back and put him in 4 point restraints in the ER.

    Meanwhile, the hospital called my dad (I was 21 or 22 at the time and lived with my fiance, but the doctor didn't want me to go home- didn't think it was safe). My dad came at 3 am to collect me... I was so humiliated. I wouldn't leave my fiance for over 2 hours, while he was cussing and spitting and in restriants....I'll never forget how embarrassed I was that my dad had to see that. I was afraid of him, so I wouldn't leave. I stayed the night with my parents and I went back the next day.

    I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I finally left two weeks after he hurled a bowling bowl at my head after an attack and it missed my skull by about 3", went right through the door I was leaning on.

    I saw a talk show about women who stayed with men who drank and abused them, and I saw those women and I cried, it was me!

    Anyway, it's grim, and it's sad, it's pathetic and it's embarrassing to share, but it's an honest picture of what it's like to live with an alcoholic.

    The most important thing you can take from this is that what he did or does is not your fault.

    Your main responsibility is to your own well being. Don't forget that. If you don't take care of YOU... who will?
    Mama to a beautiful baby girl born 6-25-09. :) AND a beautiful baby boy born 6-14-11. :)

    Baby # 2 forever missed lost 6-3-10.

    "An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth.
    Then whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth".
    ~author unknown

    "Victory is sweetest when you have known defeat"
    ~ Malcolm Forbes

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