Guest post: This post was submitted by one of our readers who is seeking advice on how to handle dating an alcoholic. Please feel free to leave a comment that could possibly help her during this uncertain time.
Last year I came in contact with my high school sweetheart. It had been 30 years since graduation. We are both divorced and started to talk, one thing led to another and we are now dating.
We live in neighboring states, so our main communication was via phone. After a few weeks of talking, I realized, that he drank everynight. He would call everynight and it was not always a full on drunk but I would say the weekends were bad and maybe a day during the week.
I did confront him about his drinking and he admitted that he drinks everyday and this is how his life has been. I started to talk to him to see if he would go into a facility but no go…just does not want to hear it.
He holds down a full time job and runs his house well but when he drinks heavily, I tell him not to call me because I am not dealing with it. He is not very nice when he drinks and I have a horrible temper, when dealing with addicts.
He has a friend, who is also a miserable drinker and when the two of them get together, it is a mess.
Recently, I told him that our relationship can go no further until he decides to address his situation and mostly get away from the rotten friends. I know he makes his own choices but hanging around the same crowd just makes it worse.
He was pretty put out by my request and has been doing better but without him seeking help, I know it will just end up back at square one.
My temper and personality will not tolerate a liar and his lies are plentiful, when he needs to cover up.
Please advise if I am handling this correctly or not. I am a no nonsense type of individual but I do care about his well being. I just wish that he would…
Response to article: First off, thanks for sharing a small portion of your situation with us. I’ve read through your article several times and do see some very positive things that you have been doing. I’ve linked articles that can help you with a few of the things you are encountering while dating an alcoholic.
It appears that you are setting boundaries with the alcoholic very well by saying thing like: “I tell him not to call me because I am not dealing with it.” My encouragement to you would be to set them with a loving attitude. This could be challenging because you have admitted that your temperament is a little on the hot side at times. This is an area that usually requires learning how to do this and then practicing the various techniques until they become second nature.
There was one place where I noticed you gave him an ultimatum when you said:”I told him that our relationship can go no further until he decides to address his situation. “I feel it is really important to only do this sort of thing when we are certain that we will be able to stick to our guns.
As far as the lying goes, the sad truth of this situation is that he will continue to lie. As crazy as this may sound, the sooner you can just accept that lying is apart of his alcoholic personality right now-the more peaceful your emotions will be. As long as he continues to drink and you remain dating one another, this will be a recurring problem.
Only you can decide what is right for you in your life. It appears that you understand well what you are up against. We can be in love with an alcoholic and learn how to stay in these relationships for a lifetime. It’s very possible to learn how to love an alcoholic unconditionally.
Perhaps you could make a list of the positives and negatives as they relate to dating an alcoholic.
I would also encourage you to start keeping a journal that is specific to the events happening in this relationship.
Finally, it’s important that we take care of ourselves while being in relationships with alcoholics. If we are not careful we can become so obsessed with an alcoholic that we totally lose sight of the beautiful person that we are.