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Thread: Dating a highly functional alcoholic

  1. #1
    Shorthaired
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    Dating a highly functional alcoholic

    I have realized over time that my boyfriend of a couple of months has a problem with alcohol.

    Every time we hang out, he drinks a whole bottle of wine and few vodka mixers. The very strange thing is that he doesn't appear drunk and has no hangover the next day.
    This also happens when he is by himself. He would often text me at night and mention that he is drinking. When I stay over in the morning, I would often smell alcohol when he kisses me even in early morning (meaning that he probably already had a drink). The only time when I know he is semi-sober is when he is driving and he seems withdrawn and irritable until he is able to have another drink.

    Having said all that, he has a high powered full time job that he has kept for over a decade, a nice house and plenty of friends. His life is not falling apart. He is also not an aggressive drunk, in fact he is more mellow and affectionate. I have realized that I don't even really know his sober personality since when he is with me, he is drunk 80-90% of the time (without appearing obviously drunk as I said).

    Is this amount of drinking going to be a problem down the line if I stay with him? He treats me well and I did mention drinking to him but he said that he knows he likes to drink too much but that he has always been like that and it's under control, that he was never bad enough to seek help. Basically he said that he has never missed a day of work or anything else due to drinking so it doesn't impact his life negatively.

  2. #2
    MrAK
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    How old is he? You can only maintain that level of drinking for so long before it takes its toll on the health.

  3. #3
    DancingFool
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    Have no illusions about it, he is a full blown alcoholic, the bad kind. Driving semi-sober is DRUNK DRIVING, btw.

    His liver isn't going to take much more of this, especially if he has been drinking as long as he claims. Addiction is a gradual process, however, so he didn't become an alcoholic overnight.
    The fact that he gets irritable without it is a huge sign of a serious problem. The fact that he can drink so much and not appear drunk is actually quite typical of an alcoholic who is pretty far down the line of addiction. The fact that he needs to start his day already getting drunk..... I mean come on, don't kid yourself.

    Bottom line is that yes, he is a full blown alcoholic, yes it's a problem and yes, he will continue to slowly get worse until he no longer can hold down his job and then he will lose everything and then.....well maybe then he will actually finally admit that he has a problem and will actually get treatment....assuming that's even possible. Can't reverse the liver damage.

    Telling you that his drinking is not an issue.....typical alcoholic still in denial. Unfortunately, you telling him that it's an issue won't fix him. He knows, but he is not ready to admit he has an issue, let alone fix it. Some people will successfully kick the addiction, but more don't. He has to decide he wants to and most alcoholics won't decide that until they are alone and face down in the mud.

  4. #4
    ManyDates
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    If you are serious about getting answers ask at soberecovery.com - I'll tell you right now, they are going to say bail - and it'll be former drunks that tell you that.

  5. #5
    Matt3939
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    I've seen a lot of this unfortunately. There are people who can do this. I have no idea how but it is definitely possible. I also know this probably will not change and eventually like others have said there bodies will eventually go south. I think it matters to you if you could deal with this willingly.

  6. #6
    Shorthaired
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAK [Register to see the link]
    How old is he? You can only maintain that level of drinking for so long before it takes its toll on the health.
    Mid 40s. He has recently had a routine physical check up and his liver function tests came back elevated. Doctor immediately asked about drinking and he minimized it. Doctor said that he should not have more than 1-2 standard drinks a day - but he continued to drink the same as ever.

    I am turned off that he looks bloated and smells of alcohol most of the time

  7. #7
    j.man
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    I gotta admit, I had a very "eh, to each his own" mentality until I read "semi-sober" driving. That's drunk driving, or simply "driving under the influence" if you feel that's too hyperbolic.

    How do you know he's "semi sober" anyhow? Are you seeing him drink before he gets behind the wheel and getting in the car with him? When he texts you saying he's drinking, is he saying he's "drinking" or having a glass of something? How often are you seeing him when he's drinking bottles of wine?

    Personally, if I'm looking to get gassed, which is often enough, I can very easily clear a bottle of wine in a night. I also generally have a bump or two of whisky after my longer workdays. Right now I'm taking a break from alcohol 'til summer to cut some weight, though.

    But to answer your question, if he's he's downing bottles of wine and vodka mixers throughout the week, he'll at the very least have an adverse effect on is health. And if he's driving under the influence, he's a danger to far more than just that. Two months in, I wouldn't make a point to police his habits aside from when / if you see him getting in a car inebriated or know he's had some drinks. That's when you call the police to do the policing. Otherwise, chalk up his drinking to an incompatibility if it [understandably] concerns you. Two months in is way too early and limited to be throwing yourself into one-on-one interventions.

  8. #8
    IAmFCA
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    He is an alcoholic.

    That word has become a trigger word -- a word that people associate with a variety of other traits and outcomes.

    Here is what it is: the alcohol has a physical impact on his health, which impacts cause a deterioration in the vascular system, organs including liver kidney and brain functions, etc. I am not a doctor: this information is widely available on line. Alcohol is sugar and is poison. The body has to clean itself of the poison.

    When my loved one got cancer, he was largely untreatable because alcohol had so diminished his body's capacity to process the meds - themselves a sort of poison from a biological standpoint.

    This amount of drinking is a problem. Period.

  9. #9
    Shorthaired
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.man [Register to see the link]
    I gotta admit, I had a very "eh, to each his own" mentality until I read "semi-sober" driving. That's drunk driving, or simply "driving under the influence" if you feel that's too hyperbolic.

    How do you know he's "semi sober" anyhow? Are you seeing him drink before he gets behind the wheel and getting in the car with him? When he texts you saying he's drinking, is he saying he's "drinking" or having a glass of something? How often are you seeing him when he's drinking bottles of wine?

    Personally, if I'm looking to get gassed, which is often enough, I can very easily clear a bottle of wine in a night. I also generally have a bump or two of whisky after my longer workdays. Right now I'm taking a break from alcohol 'til summer to cut some weight, though.

    But to answer your question, if he's he's downing bottles of wine and vodka mixers throughout the week, he'll at the very least have an adverse effect on is health. And if he's driving under the influence, he's a danger to far more than just that. Two months in, I wouldn't make a point to police his habits aside from when / if you see him getting in a car inebriated or know he's had some drinks. That's when you call the police to do the policing. Otherwise, chalk up his drinking to an incompatibility if it [understandably] concerns you. Two months in is way too early and limited to be throwing yourself into one-on-one interventions.
    I have appeared non judgemental so he is open about it. He clears at least a bottle of wine on daily basis, often more. The driving incidents were when we were driving long distances. I don't have a license (never got it) so I couldn't help with the driving. A couple of hours into a drive, he was really shaky and irritable and asked to stop at a bottle shop. I only let him have beer and paced the amount I was giving him...but it kind of freaked me out. He claimed that he would still be under the limit if tested so it's fine....We were on deserted roads so he drank freely while driving. The roads were straight, wide and empty so the danger was minimal but still...

    I just don't want to get attached to someone who has a serious alcohol problem. I am unable to tell how serious it is.

  10. #10
    annie24
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    if he's having shots in the morning (eyeopeners) and needs a beer to drive (!!!) because he's getting shaky from withdrawing from alcohol, this guy has a problem. I think you should breakup before you get in deep.

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