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Trying to leave my alcoholic boyfriend...why is it so hard?


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I'm in a complicated situation right now, and I'm feeling like it wold be a good thing to get some advice from people who don't know me in real life and aren't emotionally attached to me. Does that make any sense? I dunno...either way I need as much advice as I can get.


So...I've been with my boyfriend for four and a half years. We started dating when I was 17 (I'm 21 now), moved in together after being together for a year, and have lived together ever since. For the most part, pur relationship has been WONDERFUL. We have a lot of the same interests, he's been great to me. I have been sooo happy. Of course, I figured I'd be with this guy forever.


But, starting about probably about 6-8 months ago, things started to slowly go downhill. As can be expected with people who started a relationship so young, we're starting to change. Basically, I've been wanting to grow up a little and he's not ready to. (He just turned 23...fyi) This has caused a few arguments and problems the past little while. And besides that, we have a much bigger problem going on...he's become out of control with his drinking.


My bf has drank ever since I met him, but he's always been very in control about it except for about the past year. Now, he drinks A LOT...doesn't stop until his beligerantly drunk, and drinks almost every weekend. And he's become a MEAN drunk. He'll lie, say awful things to me, and has even gotten violent with me on a few occasions. It got to the point that I was begging him to stop drinking, and that if he ever did drink, even if we didn't have any drama when he did drink, I would still be having a panic attack the whole time because I was afraid of what he was going to do.


After he was sober, he would always appologize, make things better, and make promises to cut back on his drinking. And he never did. I'm not really sure if he even has control of himself anymore.


So finally, this past weekend was the last straw. Monday I packed up whatever was most important (including my zoo of animals...which has been a pain) and moved to my parent's house. We haven't offically "broken up"...I've just told him that until he's sober, I can't go on living with him. And he's making things really really difficult...keeps appologizing, saying how awful he was, that he's going to change and be the best ever from now on. I keep telling him that I've heard it before, but he says that this time is different, that he hasn't really wanted to change before. He says he's never going to touch a drop of alcohol again, but he needs me with him to be able to get sober. But I can't go back to him, I'm too afraid of him and it took too much to get brave enough to move out. I don't think it would help anyway...if he couldn't get sober when I was there before, why would he now? I think he needs PROFESSIONAL help to get sober, and have told him so.


And besides that things are sooo hard in every other aspect right now...we've shared everything (life experiences and material possesions) for so long, it's almost like we're getting a divorce. I still love him of course, and am so heartbroken that things have ended up so badly. This is sooo sooooo hard.


So...though I hate to admit it...I'm feeling like this relationship is doomed. Even if he does get sober, he's hurt me so much. And besides that, I've realized that I'm so young, and don't really want to be tied down anymore. But of course, ending things is easier said than done, even if he's been awful. I feel so badly right now..I don't know what to do next. Should I be supportive and stick around atleast as a friend so he can get sober, or should I just work on cutting all ties with him? And how do I get it thru his head that I can't come back to him? What should I do...how do I start healing?

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Run as fast as you can. You're too young for this type of drama and responsibility. He's a liar and he's abusive. even if he gets off the alcohol, he's got some issues to deal with. if he really changes, he can call you in a year. but, you already sound like you're ready to move on and have a real life....drama free....ahhh....and it's so nice! i've been with drinkers and every time we went out it was a disaster....they always drink too much. and they're always sorry. you were not put on this earth to enable him and let him get away with this behavior.


the more you read this board, you'll see....we all get over it. we all move on... and most of us are extremely happy when we do....after the shock has worn off.

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Anyone who tells you they need you to stop their addiction is still living in the problem, don't believe it for a minute. The most supportive thing you can do is to take care of yourself thus setting a good example. He is incapable at this time of being your friend so save yourself the heartache and get some distance emotionally.

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I can answer just from reading the title of this thread. You're struggling to leave him because of who he is when he isn't drinking. Alcoholism creates a dichotomy in someone's personality. You love who he is when he isn't drunk, but you hate who he becomes when he is out of control. Unfortunately, this dichotomy is the whole of him and that is all you are left with, which is not easy and likely not worth it. Best of luck.

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If he can't get under control with his drinking with you there begging him, asking him to remain in control, then the only way he's going to wise up is to lose you, at least for a time.


It's your choice if you go back to him, but I wouldn't do so until he's proved to you through being clean that he won't go back to it. Further, I would suggest he seek anger management counseling since he became violent with you, even if it was just while drinking.


I am always disgusted by people who can't control themselves while drinking. If I ever, EVER did something truly regrettable while drinking, I would stop the next day. I couldn't stand to go near a bottle again if I hurt someone because I got out of hand under the influence.


You're 21. You have a lot of life ahead of you, and plenty of time to find another man who will treat you right, who is mature, and will love you. If you need to move on from your current boyfriend, do so, and if things were meant to work between you two you'll come back together at a future time. If not, there will be a good man who will make you happy. For now, do right by yourself and take care of yourself and you'll be okay.

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You are sending yourself conflicting messages - you 'can't stay' but 'it's difficult to leave because he...'


Don't give him the chance to say ANYthing. Practise ignoring him. Imagine him coming out with that script you know so well by now. And just keep saying, "It's too late, I'm leaving. You need help.' That is a 'broken record phrase' - they are wonderful for when you are tempted to get drawn into conversations which you know you shouldn't be having.


"I love you Baby!"

"It's too late. I'm leaving. You need help."

"But I NEED you to BEAT this thing!"

"It's too late. I'm leaving. You need help."

"I can't make it without you!"

"It's too late. I'm leaving. You need help."


Get it? The value of it is, it stops you having to think about what to say, you hear yourself talking sense, you hear it over and over, and so does he.


You have already decided what to do.


His drinking is wrecking one life. Don't let it wreck two.

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I agree with Taikero, you must tell him to choose between you and alcohol. If he can't make the choice and just keeps begging you, go. And if he chooses you, see if he has any action after that. If he continues to drink, you must leave.


I was dumped by my ex-girlfriend. And thanks to that dump, I see how immature I was and I could not be a great husband who she always want. I know I need to grow. (im 22) So breaking up with him does you guys a favor. You can stop being hurt by him, and he may get a chance to have his butt kicked. Honestly, do you want to marry an alcoholic? If you dont, then don't prolong the pain of keeping this dysfunctional relationship.


You will have a rough time being away from him. You will miss him a lot. But unless he has shown himself a better guy, dont give in. You deserve a better man. He needs the lesson to grow up. If you care about him, give him some pain and make him grow up. If he choose you over alcohol, then it will be the best case.

Take care of yourself!

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After he was sober, he would always appologize, make things better, and make promises to cut back on his drinking. And he never did. I'm not really sure if he even has control of himself anymore.



- sounds like typical drunk behaviour


give him one last alternative...get sober of you're leaving. If it doesn't work then it's time to leave hun

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give him one last alternative...get sober of you're leaving. If it doesn't work then it's time to leave hun


I gave him that option time and time again. I finally got the guts to leave.


I'm having a really tough time right now though. This morning I woke up and started having an awful anxiety attack...it was so bad that I couldn't get myself to go to work. I went to the doc today because I couldn't stand feeling so down anymore and got a perscription for antidepressants. (I've been on them before, but stopped taking them for a couple years. I'd been consdiering getting back on them even before this happened with my bf and this was just the last straw)


I feel so sad, hurt, confused, and scared right now. I hate feeling like this...I hate it so much I just want to give up and go back to him. I want to believe him that he's going to change for sure this time, and that we can go back to being happy together. I hate living at my parents' house. I'm in a different town than my friends are right now, and it's going to be awhile before I can afford to move back. I miss having my own place, and I miss my dog that is staying with my boyfriend, and I MISS MY BOYFRIEND. I miss all the good times. But at the same time...I can't forgive and forget the bad times. And I want to try and move on and not be tied down. Be free for awhile. It's just so hard right now and I don't know how I'm going to get thru it. What do I do?

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Sorry about the double post...but I'm just having such a hard time deciding what to do right now. Whenever I try to talk to my BF about this, he tends to interrupt, or make me mad so I just start yelling and not doing the conversation any good. So I was thinking maybe writing him a letter and giving it to him to read and then talking about it might be a good way to tell him everything I'm feeling, and help us make the right decision. Here's my letter (fyi, Ani, Austin, and Navi are names of our pets):


I am so confused right now, and I need to get some thoughts out of my head. I'm not sure yet if I'm writing this e-mail to actually send to you, or if I just need to write it to try and feel better.


I am feeling such a mixture of missing you and being angry at you. I feel like such **** right now...I've never felt this bad in my life and I so badly just want to do the easy thing and go back to you. I keep thinking of all the great times we've had, all the inside jokes and times you've made me smile. And also of all the bad times that we've helped eachother get thru. We've gone thru SOOO much together. I thought nothing could ever tear us apart, I loved you too much.


But then there's the angry parts, and they're not just from the alcohol. I think of all the times you've lied to me, and how long some of your lies lasted. All the times you left me when I wanted to be with you, and I would be lonely and worry and you wouldn't even answer your phone. I'd sit at home and have panic attacks and wonder why you didn't care. All the times you hurt me, physically and emotionally. All the times you scared me. All the times I'd beg you to please not drink tonight, or when I'd try to tell you that you had enough. Maybe it wasn't my place to be telling you not to drink, but it still hurt that you wouldn't listen. And I'm tryng hard to tell myself that the fact that you never wanted to try and be sober until now isn't anything personal, but it makes me so angry that all the awful things you did to me weren't reason enough for you to quit. You told me long before this that you knew you had a problem...why didn't you stop before it was too late?


I don't know what to do. I want to come home SO ****ING BAD right now. I hate being at this house. I hate having to drive to work, and being away from my friends, and I miss having my own place. I miss Ani, and I know Austin and Navi miss her too. And all of the pets here miss their Daddy. I miss having you to cuddle, and waking up to you every day. I miss having you to fall back on when I'm upset or when things go wrong. I don't know if I can live without you...I'm too scared.


So why can't I just go back? Did you finally just hurt me too much? Have we grown apart? We started our relationship so young, and we're still both so young. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better for us to try and move on. We seem to want different things right now...I want to be boring and focus on my job, start budgeting better so I don't always have so many financial worries. I want to figure out how to have fun without being drunk or high so I don't risk going back to jail. I've had fun partying...but I think I'm done. Maybe it has to do with girls growing up faster than boys or some bull****. And I know I've kept you from things to. I keep you from going to school and making more friends than you have because I get so jealous. I have such a trust issue and I don't know if I'll ever be able to get over that. I'm naggy and whiney, and I don't think I've got things going on very clearly in my head right now. I keep telling you to get some professional help, but I think I need some too. Maybe I was even the one to drive you to becoming so dependant on alcohol. I was never good at making you happy when you were sad, but the alcohol was. Are you sure I'm even someone you want back?


So what do we do...get back together and hope it works out, and risk going thru this awful time again if it doesn't? I don't think I could handle going thru this again. Also if we stay together we'll be risking missing out on life experiences that we could only have being single, and I don't know how long I'll be living in fear if I come back to you. I'm worried I'll never be able to get over that fear. Also people will think I'm crazy to give you another chance...I feel crazy that I want to give you another chance. I'd never hear the end of it.


But if we spilt up...how will I ever manage to go on? How will I learn to ever take care of myself, and how will I ever stop missing you? How will I get over the heartbreak?


I wish "taking a break" ever actually worked. You could get some sober time under your belt so I could start trusting you again, and I could try to figure out how to be more self reliant so I'm not so crazy and obnoxious at you all the time. I don't feel like coming back you to you would be the best thing for us in the long run, but I just cannot stand the thought of letting this go. We've built so much together.


There's so much more I could say, but I don't know how. And I don't think this is helping me feel any better anyway...so I guess that's it. I love you, I always will, no matter what happens. I hope you know that.

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This is where tough love has to really come in. He has an addiction problem that is only going to bring you down even more if you go back to him. It maybe just a matter of few days even if he sweet talks you to go back to his old habits.

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Oh honey. I've been there. Leave.


I was with a man like this for 9 years, from 21-30 even married him. He was mean, he was violent and he was a total liar. It was a nightmare. He left several times and promised to change and I kept taking him back. Now 10 years later, I have no idea why.


My guy even quit drinking, but you know what he was still mean.


It's gonna hurt, it's gonna suck, but you know what if he has been violent with you now, he's gonna keep doing it. And it's gonna get worse.


I don't want to be mean, but you have an out, so please take it.


It took me many years to get my self esteem back, and it's not worth it. It's really hard and scary to leave someone you know and love, but at the end of the day you will be glad you did Don't waste your twenties with a guy like that.


Lots of hugs!

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Every time you think of a good time, remind yourself of two bad times.


Don't communicate with him.


If you get this far and then go back this whole difficult time has been a waste of effort, whereas it could be the first few days of the rest of your life.


LISTEN to those who've been there, listen, believe them and learn from their mistakes. I think you probably DO need professional help, but NEVER tell yourself that you are the reason he's a drunk. That's his choice entirely.


Please. Listen to those who've been there. xx

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