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Just broke up with my alcoholic BF worried he'll hurt himself

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I'm new here and have never been apart of a support site or forum type group but I need some support and don't know where else to turn.


Last night I ended things with my BF who is a 'functioning' alcoholic for 5+years and also a father to a 3 yr old cutie, whom he loves dearly. We haven't been dating for an incredibly long time, but a very intense and for the most part fun and healthy 8 mths. I knew he drank a lot from the beginning and I do as well, but he pursued me from the moment he first saw me and we just fell in love like that. It was instant, and throughout the next 6 mths we were inseperable, not drinking all the time, but a lot of the time and I never gave him s**t about it because I knew what I was getting into and it hadn't affected the way he was treating me, but I knew he wasn't treating himself very well. I also knew that in the past, he had been suicidal but has already gone through overcoming SERIOUS drug addiction problems, so really he was in a great place and doing better than he ever had before, with a girl who he was madly in love with. For him he had never been better, his family and friends agreed.


Long story short, things changed about 2 mths ago and it was sort of sudden, and coincided with a new job in a restaurant. I am also in the industry and within this recent time period his behaviour changed toward me. Less communication, less eye contact, less sex, just....less. I told him that I felt isolated from him and how these things were affecting me and he tried to 'fix' it, but all in all you can imagine how that went. Not well. There were a few nights where he would go completely MIA and call me a day later saying this and that, ended up on the other side of town (where his parents live and old friends still live) and that he just went on a bender. So, I took a break from him and told him that we should take a few days, yada yada, and from this point on up until last night it's just been...bad, and sad, and full of trust issues, what felt like lies, red flags, girls at work, staying overnight elsewhere etc so I talked with friends, talked with moms, and did what I needed to do. Ended it, told him all I needed to tell him, asked him about the possibility of him cheating, if he wanted to, but I said those things for me and when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter if any of these things were true because my heart has been hurting for a month already and I've basically grieved the loss of our relationship on my own time, in my own bed with my own tears. I feel ok today. I'm a strong, smart girl and going through some tough stuff of my own which is a whole other post (haha) but now, NOW is where I'm left feeling unsure of what to do because I know he feels very alone and frustrated and angry and 'sorry that he couldn't be the man I needed him to be and give me the things I deserve' I quote.


I think the no contact idea is a good one and I understand it makes sense, but I find myself worrying about what he'll do to himself or if he'll be able to lean on his friends, like I have done, to get through this.


He may pull the victim or martyr cards out of his deck and I'm scared I won't be able to resist helping him, or jeopordizing myself in the process.


Thanks for reading this if you have and any thoughts you'd like to share would be welcomed warmly.

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You've done everything 100% correct so far, and all you need to do is to continue with NC.


If things are tough for him, he's got friends and family to turn to, so there's no need to seek you out for solace.


Obviously if they were good enough to keep him away from you without notice for the past few months, they should be good enough to provide a shoulder to cry on now.


And if they aren't, it's his fault, not yours. He's a big boy, he made his decision, and he can live with it. End of story.


Stay strong and don't feel guilty - you already did your best for him, now it's time to do your best for YOU.

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He is a big boy...and he chose his behavior. I suspect he already is involved with someone else.

I also suspect he is NOT feeling alone, angry, frustrated or sorry.

He took a cowards way out of ending it.

He is an alcoholic... by definition a master manipulator.


I am glad you had the strength and common sense to get out.

NC is the only way to go.

He will only reach out if he gets kicked to the curb by his new interest.


Don't pity him.

Remember when you are feeling weak the utter disrespect he has shown for you.

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Find an Alanon meeting, and keep attending. He needs to find his own path if he ever wants to recover, and if he doesn't - well, it's a one way street that you really don't want to be joining him on. You are never going to have a healthy relationship with an alcoholic, and are actually likely to enable and prolong his illness.


He may well pull the victim or martyr cards out of the bag and attempt to hook you back into rescuing him; if you decide to do this, it will be to get back onto the merry-go-round. Rather than trying to help someone who clearly doesn't want to be helped (most alcoholics want to find a way to practise their addiction, safely), you need support in handling your own painful feelings, and support in acting in your own best interests.


Anyone in Alanon will be able to empathise with your situation - because they've ALL been there.

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You did the right thing and you do know it even if it's still rough to go through a breakup. If he calls and/or threatens to hurt or kill himself you call the authorities and his family, tell them where he is and what he said, and you let them deal with it. If he's falsely reporting suicide then he'll find that you send authorities and his family and he then has to deal with them and explain why he called wolf. And if he does do something to himself the professionals will get there and be able to undertake actions to save his life and get him counseling. It's a win-win either way provided you step away and simply dial 9-1-1 and let them do their jobs.


Chances are though from what I am seeing from your details he's nowhere near as likely to hurt or kill himself as he is someone else if he doesn't get the drinking under control. If you're having trouble with guilt or other emotions going to an Al-Anon meeting near you will help tremendously as you get contact with others who've been through what you have. And the bottom line is he is the only one who can help himself. You can keep going back to him and letting him manipulate you until you're old and gray and realize you've wasted your entire life and he will never, ever get sober. The only one who can and will do that for him is himself. So let him go. You said everything you need to say and now it's time to focus on your own healing and getting out from under any codependency and enabling behaviors and thought patterns you may have gotten caught up in. And I had a family member who was an alcoholic, so I know how easy that is to do even if you don't think you're there.


Al-anon was a lifesaver for me as a young woman and I did choose later in life to walk away from an addict and alcoholic simply because I understood I would never change him, that was his battle to fight. Your time and energy and life are far better spent on your own issues and getting yourself happy.

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An addict of any kind has increased his own odds of harming himself or someone else, and there's not a thing you can do to change that.


Removing yourself from participating in that movie is not only the smartest thing you can do for both yourself and him, it prevents your from enabling him to escalate and avoid the very necessary dis-illusionment that could someday save him.


I've volunteered in this field for years, and I can tell you plainly that best thing you can do for anyone who's dependent on any substance is to pull your own rug out from under them and stay far away--with zero contact.


The rest is up to them.

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I like that metaphor of pulling your own rug out from under it...but what if he doesn't know that's what I need to do. He called me last night and I didn't know it was him (work number) so I answered. We didn't talk for long but there were 2 parts to the conversation. First, he explained how his day was, spent with his family and his son, telling me funny stories about toboganning etc, and then asked how I was and I told him that I was surprised he called. He said that he still wants to be friends, and he said 'I still want to see you, I miss you and love hanging out, I don't want to just disappear from your life, I want you to know that I'm here'.

Ugh, I told him that it can't happen and that we have to take time. He said he knew that and he wasn't going to call me all the time or anything but he just wanted to hear my voice etc etc. He hasn't told anyone about the breakup and that, to me, is BAD NEWS. He's going to keep it all in and pretend it away without dealing with it and leaning on his friends for support. (they aren't there for me, I can do it on my own, I don't need anyone blah blah blah)

I guess I just realized at that point that he HAS been manipulating me all this time, and I didn't see it. That part of the convo was where I ended it, I said well good luck with that, that I'm glad he did call (because I was, it felt more like closure than the initial breakup, which was quick and sudden), but that I had to go, and hungup.


NC seems very hard at this point especially because we have the same social circle and lots of friends in common, and sometimes take the same bus places, so it worries me that it'll happen accidentally or something and what do I do then??!

this is really starting to sink in..

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I like that metaphor of pulling your own rug out from under it...but what if he doesn't know that's what I need to do.


Stop making his problems yours.


He either knows and is pretending not to understand (more manipulation) or he'll figure it out.


If you cross paths in public, say hello as you move past him, and when he tries to speak with you, tell him it's not a good time and if he pressures you it won't go well for him.


Then get out of there.


It's inconvenient at first, but keep your priorities in order. Cultivate new friendships and see your current ones only without him present. Period.


Head high, you can do this.

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yes I suppose you're right. I think that's exactly what I'd do naturally if I saw him in public, but never could have spelled it out that way. I'm going to have to avoid a few shows that will be hard to pull off, but I think he may do the same. (I live in a very small but big city if you know what I mean, and communities are very tightly knit) but I'll give it a try. Thanks catfeeder : )


Head was definitely high today..

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Head was definitely high today..


Glad to hear this. Ride the wave of relief that comes from getting past the anxiety of the break itself. You're not 'bad' or 'wrong' if it even feels a bit euphoric, because that is the same chemical release people feel when, say, they're leaving a dentist's office.


This doesn't mean you'll face a hard crash, as with coming down from a drug high, but it does mean that when your body normalizes you won't have the same chemical protection from the sentimentality and the part of yourself that still loves this man.


This isn't a bad thing, but it may feel that way. I'm not telling you this as a 'warning,' but rather as a comfort that any grief you feel can be anticipated and is completely normal.


Any breakup is tough enough to go through, no matter which side of it you're on--but walking away from an addict is a particular mix of relief and grief that's like riding inside a blender.


Make the most of every moment you're outside of that feeling, and when you're in it just recognize that it's normal, natural, and not a sign that you've made a mistake.


You're doing the right thing, and you will thank yourself sooner rather than later--and a big part of you knows this already.


Better days ahead.

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