JC: Thanks for sharing your story. I can clearly see how unhealthy this situation has become for you. Since the alcoholic in your life has relapsed it’s possible that he will have a great struggle quitting again. I’ve heard many alcoholics share in AA that once they started drinking again it was very hard to stop. It sounds like you are on the right road by letting go of your boyfriend, detaching and taking care of yourself.
Guest Post By: Nombasa
I’m not sure If you still remember me I am a 28 year old lady, with my 30 year old boyfriend who drank 2 days after coming back from the rehabilitation center and he had an implant to help reduce cravings for alcohol. I got a scare when he had fits 6 times within 30 minutes, I then took him to hospital where he was admitted for a month and was diagnosed with hepatitis B and his liver is damaged. I thought he was gonna die the way he was so sick. He got discharged after that long illness, I almost fainted when I got home and found him drunk a week after he was discharged. I contacted his family to inform them about his drinking, he started abusing me physically (Being Abused By An Alcoholic) and his family started blaming me for his drinking as they said I should be taking care of him and making sure that he doesn’t drink.
That’s when I realized that I have to leave this man cause I’m afraid he’ll die and I will have to take the blame. This is really hurting as everyone is on my case and I’m in debt already cause of his drinking.
I am very much hurt about losing him. I miss him. I keep fighting the urge of taking him back in my life, but I know that I am doing myself a huge favor by getting out of this relationship with an alcoholic. I have realized that I can only wish that he stops drinking, but I cannot make him stop. Thank you so much for your lessons about alcoholism , they gave me a wake up call, as I was obsessed with his drinking. It’s time to move on.
Families and alcoholic friends, believe me he’ll only stop when he wants to not because you wish that he changes because they put their own lives in danger together with ours so they are selfish people.
Sounds to me like you have made the right choice. I’ve had several unhealthy relationships with alcoholics. They all seem to start and end the same way. At first things are blissful, fun and love is in the air. Then, there’s a shift and the alcoholic abandons the love they have for me and clings to their love for alcohol.
You are on the best path, take care of yourself and let go of him.
You are doing the right thing–it is hard as I well know–my divorce just last month. Financially harder and alot of changes but mentally finally starting to “know myself”.
My ex-inlaws also blamed me but it was because they were being fed information from the alcoholic husband. Cut ties with them for it will just drain you.
Take care of yourself. You are doing great already!
I know that it is very hard to make the decision to leave an alcoholic who has other medical conditions. But perhaps it’s time for your boyfriend’s family to “take care of him and make sure he doesn’t drink.”
I just left my husband of 22 years in June. It was nasty at first, but now we can be civil, and even friendly, to each other. I was lucky because it seemed that everyone who knew us was aware of what was going on. Every single person, including his family members, told me I did the right thing and should have done it a long time ago!
You’re only 28 years old. Don’t throw your young life away on someone who will be happy to suck the life right out of you. You may receive support from people you didn’t even anticipate. Now is the time to take care of YOU.
Thank you so much guys for the comments. It’s really good to know that I can count on you. Uncadiane you are right it is hard leaving someone with medical conditions like his but it’s the right thing to do and I am emotionally drained already. I neglected myself a lot and I believe that it’s time for me to enjoy my own life.
I am trying to deal with the lies that he is spreading about me. He tells everyone about how much I abused him showing them the bruises that he got from his drinking and he claims that he got them from me. I have decided to cut ties with our mutual friends as I am tired of hearing all these stories. I will have to go to court very soon as he claims that I took his furniture while he is the one who just decided to move out of our home.
Nombasa, what an unhealthy situation to deal with. The only thing you can be certain of is that you know what the truth is. You have no control over the alcoholic or your friend’s reactions to all of this.
Small statements like, “that’s not true” or “that’s his perception of things” can be very empowering for you. The key to having some serenity in this situation is remembering that alcoholics lie and you CANNOT control him or anyone else for that matter. You are wasting your time if you get caught up in trying to defend yourself or convincing people that he is lying.
I know that when I was going through a separation and divorce, the alcoholic spread tons of lies about me. I just continued to tell the truth no matter what. I had a lot of peace of mind while dealing with the insanity of alcohol addiction because I didn’t try to defend myself when my ex was lying about me.
Find a good attorney and put your trust in what they tell you to do.
Have you heard the old joke? Question: How can you tell if an alcoholic is telling a lie? Answer? Their lips are moving.
That’s pretty much how it is, too. I agree that short comments, such as, “That’s not really the truth,” are the best way to go.
If you really have friends, they will not believe what the alcoholic tells them about you. And the people who believe his lies weren’t really your friends anyway. Make some new, true friends, Nombasa. Get involved in Al-Anon, if you haven’t already. That’s where I met my current best friend; I call her my “sister by choice.”
And, finally, if he has moved out of your home, HOORAY FOR YOU! It’s often impossible to get them out. In my situation, I’m the one who moved, even though the house is only in my name. An attorney told me, “A house is only a house. We’re talking about your life here. How long are you going to continue dragging that house around, keeping you from moving on with your life?” It was the best thing anyone ever said to me.
So, move forward with your life, Nombasa. Just address one issue at a time, and eventually they will be worked out.
All I can confirm is that when my AH was drinking everything was exaggerated to the hilt and the lies came out of his mouth like lava from a volcano; now that he is sober he’s not a braggert and I am finally hearing the truth about many things he lied about in the past – I’m sorry your boyfriend relapsed, I’m scared as hell that my 4 month sober AH is going to relapse as well, he goes to AA hit or miss most of the time but does have a sponsor he is close too thank God – just be thankful yours is out of your home; and as long as you remember what he says about you isn’t true that is all that really matters – your true friends will know the truth too so keep that in mind . . if they aren’t supporting you they probably aren’t good for you either . . you will get through this, God does not bring us anything that we aren’t strong enough to handle; you will be in my prayers . .
Yes that is just so stressful and they are blaming you! I have a big problem for 4 years with my bf but this weekend I am moving to another town. He took hundreds of dollars from me and he gives a lot of money to his dad as he lives with his dad and his dad wants to boot him out. He cant find other housing here. I am down to 150 and the move cost me 100 and he has not given me a cent of the money he owes me. I cant find work n ow for 1 year. His father is even more selfish than he is- his sister is an alcoholic and she has done nasty things to me as well as his dad and him over 4 years but my bf paints a picture that it’s mE with the issues to his coworkers. I even lived with one of his coworkers, a guy and god knows what is being said, but my boyfriend is trying to control me through this guy, but if I want to discuss me and my boyfriend to rick he said he WONT GO THERE its private yet i know for a fact they talk about me. So now its a real mess as rick is moving too and his girlfriend of 4 months is beaning mean to me- looking her nose down for no reason. They are packing and taking things that are mine and not giving them back! They are doing this all so with my other roommate who is also on low income. I will be glad to be out of this city I hate this city of Ottawa. I don’t have work there in Roland but at least I’ll be happier and people wont abuse me. His family is the most selfish family I’ve ever met-get this, his mom died in March. He has a rich brother who said he would pay for the funeral which cost $3000. So 2 months later he calls up saying he wants his MONEY BACK and their mother is still sitting in a box of ashes in their living-room as they do not have the money to bury her. They are too busy drinking away hundreds of dollars and his dad is an alcoholic too…and blame, they never blame themselves if they are in the wrong it’s YOU, always YOU-its a pretty sad situation that I am so glad to be away from now… my boyfriend also won’t divorce nor will his ex-wife. It’s been 14 years since they separated and they talk all the time on their phones and give advise etc. I don’t care anymore, for 4 yrs it really hurts my feelings. I used to get very angry but now I don’t.. she’s with a man for 5 years now but they called HER up when the mom died and she came to take them to hospital and I was told to stay there!! Can u imagine that!! I was told later that “she is not immediate family”…
There are so many things that make these relationships unhealthy. As I was reading through the comments, I noticed things like lying, abuse, mistrust and stealing.
Like several people have said already, we have to keep the focus on ourselves. Alcoholics do what alcoholics do. We cannot stop them from being dysfunctional, but we can choose to not participate in the insanity.
Best advice from me is to cut your emotions away from their actions. Dissect the situation and come up with a ‘rule’ that will work for you such as, if they lie about something say to yourself ‘ok that’s a lie. I know it. I don’t care for it and I don’t give it any more of myself, my emotion to it’. Cut it away from yourself to relieve yourself of the negative impact. Same goes for their misbehaviour. If the ex-wife gets rung up about a sensitive local issue to you and your alcoholic, don’t allow yourself to give in the negative emotions of frustration, anger, contempt for their action. Take charge of what you feel and say this is no good for me and release the bad emotion, physically let out a huge breath and say its gone now and think of something lovely to distract you. You are letting their emotions and behaviour rule your life. See that and do something about it by not giving in to a negative response. It’s going to take a lot of practice on your behalf but you’ll feel better for it.
Don’t let the alcoholics and their support crew rule your life. We are all in charge, accountable and responsible for ourselves. Remember that. Walk away from any bad negative situation and have some ‘time out’ to refuel your soul with positive energy and come up with a rule and solution for yourself to deal with it. You’ll find peace within by doing this. Sounds like it’s what you need. It’s what everybody needs. Serenity and calm in their lives not chaos, drama and soul destroying negative emotions from others that spills over on to you. Leave them with their bad environment they have created for themselves. You deserve better.
I’m marrying my alcoholic in two months. I am doing it after much deliberation and soul searching. I have some firm rules set up and if we waiver from my acceptable, I have an action plan I am not afraid to follow through with. Not all alcoholic relationships are soul destroying, but if they are or they are heading in that direction you need to take accountability for yourself and where you are and do something about it for yourself. Plans, actions and firm rules are the necessity of coping with an active alcoholic in your life.
Wishing you luck in your decision making. You’re the only one that can come up with what’s best FOR YOU. Also remember that this here website is THE BEST place for venting your inner turmoil and we are all here to help you the best way we know or have worked out for ourselves. From our advice, wisdom and knowledge you should be able to work out a doable outcome for you.
Caitlyn, we are so grateful for the wisdom that you share with us all. If we can learn how to not be overly effected by the alcoholic’s behaviors we can live more serene lives. With proper guidance, it’s possible to live with and love an alcoholic unconditionally. Just because the addict is unhealthy doesn’t mean we have to be that way too. We can find peace in any situation with the proper training for dealing with alcoholics.
God bless you Caitlyn for such wisdom as you have to share with all of us. You are so very on point with your comment because I am struggling so terribly with my emotions in this alcoholic marriage. My husband actually finds pleasure in purposefully saying and doing things that he knows will upset me. He even told me just last night that he hoped that he was getting on my nerves and then he laughed about it. I have found that the more upset and emotional I become about his behavior, the more he continues in that behavior. Getting angry and arguing and even expressing your feelings to an alcoholic does not help at all. Lord knows that I do my best NOT to react to the things he says to me, but it is so very hard and physically draining for me anymore, and I already can see where this is heading for me. I have been with this man for seven years and I have been miserable all this time. Some of us simply don’t have the temperament for being married to an alcoholic as I DO NOT! So for me, I need to leave this marriage and I am. He is a good man and a sweet man when he is not drinking which is what I was attracted to in the beginning, and I really believed that I could handle it, and I did try my best! In the beginning of our marriage, I was a quiet, non-nagging, and hard working wife who wanted to be loved and enjoy her own husband. Now, over the years, I have become an angry, frustrated, nagging, depressed, and irritable person that I don’t like. I am very withdrawn and I feel all alone anymore. But I yet have the Lord, and He is TRULY the only person who keeps me going! Most of the people my husband hangs around take his side. I have even had words with one of his so called friends because of his behavior. It is amazing to me how other people seem to think alcoholism is amusing and not to be taken seriously. I find nothing funny about it! I have even found myself feeling terribly guilty and ashamed all the time, not so much because of his behavior, but because of my own. I know that these are things that I need to work out on my own, and with God’s help, I will get it together and finally move on to my next journey in life, but I will always love him and pray for him. I have come to the understanding that we all have to accept one another for who we are and keep the love flowing! God bless all of you!!
I feel the same way almost all the time. I too feel guilty for the few times I lashed out at him (sometimes for no reason). I have a difficult time with my guilt and trying to understand why if I knew his behavior was wrong why was I starting to act just like him.
I am now at a crossroads–divorced but still trying to get assets and paperwork transferred & he is still causing problems (refusing to sign deeds & titles) and I immediately want to lash out. So I keep reminding myself–wait 24 hours before I respond to anything he does, pray and then make my decision. So I know I am doing the honest, and right thing for me and everyone concerned.
So I just waited my 24 hours and finally decided that since he returned to home 2 times after moving out & is stealing I can no longer over look this. So I decided now to file restraining orders & criminal complaints against the thefts. But I feel better that I did not rush into a decision and hopefully this will keep the guilt “at bay”.
Remind yourself–You have the right to get angry. It’s how we respond to that anger that we later feel guilt about.
Good luck & God Bless!
I remember when the alcoholic I was married to relapsed. It was aweful how angry I got with her. Talk about feeling guilt and shame, I had to apologize for exhibiting very unhealthy behaviors.
Debbie, I am going to remember what you have shared about waiting 24 hours before responding to things that are upsetting me. I love that idea!
JoJo, my biggest struggle has always been keeping a handle on the things that I say when I’m frustrated or angry. I have lived with so much shame because of the things I’ve said or done in anger. One of the things I love about working a 12-Step program is that I’ve learned to make amends quickly for the times when I lose my self-control. I’ve also learned to forgive myself.
Alcoholics can sure bring out the worst in us…if we let them.
I love what Caitlyn said: “Don’t let the alcoholics and their support crew rule your life. We are all in charge, accountable and responsible for ourselves. Remember that. Walk away from any bad negative situation and have some ‘time out’ to refuel your soul with positive energy and come up with a rule and solution for yourself to deal with it”
WOW, try to have a “rule” that helps me be more self-controlled, what an amazing suggestion.
JoJo, my heart hurts for you. I’ve been where you are and I, too, wasn’t who I’d been before becoming involved with the drunk I had in my life. Eventually, the pain of staying became greater than the pain at the thought of going. I’ve been gone since early January, and I am only now beginning to come back to the person I was before giving 5 years of my life to a drunk. It’s been a hard journey, but it has been worth the pain to get where I am now.
I read something tonight that I won’t ever forget: a break-up always looks worse before than it does after. Getting to “gone” seems to take forever, but once gone happens, the wonder is why there was any hesitation to go.
I understand what you mean about not being built in a way that is ok living with a drunk. Mine offered to stop drinking altogether, but by the time he made the offer, there was nothing he could have said that I would have believed. I told him I wasn’t willing to take the risk. Two weeks later I was gone. I still occasionally hear from his grown children, and visit them from time to time, but there’s no talk of him. His daughters respect me for having the strength to walk away. His son, his tailor-made drinking buddy, not so much.
Keep doing what you have to do for yourself, and don’t let your drunk push your buttons and make you react to suit him. Never let him drag you down to his level. It’s what they live for. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
“Do not be ‘Owned’ by your circumstances.” (Philipians 4:12)
This 1 statement has changed my way of thinking. Not only with dealing with an alcoholic, but with everyday life.
Thank you John, Sally, Debbi and Nancy for your words of encouragement which I do take to heart! It has been hard, but with every hardship, I have learned many valuable lessons that I can apply to my life in positive ways that will improve me as a human being. It is all about what we ourselves chose to do with our own lives that matters the most which can go either way. Thanks again guys, and as always my prayers are with you all!
JoJo . . your post spoke mountains to me in that you married someone based on their potential but now realize that may not be who they are and you have decided to leave. I knew my husband had a drinking problem when we married, but I hoped for the best – now he’s even quit drinking but I’m still seeing sides of him that I don’t care for; I do wonder if my expectations are too high this early in his recovery, but he’s been drinking for 30 years, how likely is it that all the bad behaviors he’s learned are going to leave . . not very . . somedays we get along great and I’m hopeful; but . . if I’m being honest . . I’m still not happy . . I’m reading a book called Women Who Love Too Much and it is so about me, and now I’m wondering if I’m not happy because the drama and chaos has stopped . . maybe I’m so used to that that I can’t be happy without it . . reall Catch 22 . . just taking it 1 day at a time; he’s already relapsed once but got right back on the wagon; who knows what the future holds . . but I agree, God is the only one we can count on and he is right beside us . . take care . .
P.S. to my resent post after reading the rest of the ones I had missed – I too am not the person I was when I married my AH, I can turn into a raging lunatic when he pushes my buttons and I’ve told him that I don’t like who I am when I engage and fight with him; but even though he denies it he seems to thrive on it . . even when sober . . the old dance starts . . some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth makes me wonder who I’ve become while trying to deal with his disease . . it really does take a toll and harm everyone involved . .
Sandy, I’ll never forget the bitter/sweet of the entire situation leading up to when my ex-wife relapsed. I was so happy that she had gone into a 28 day program and made a commitment to change a lifestyle she had lived for over 20 years. I was so disappointed when she refused to follow through with what the recovery program suggested, AA meetings.
She eventually relapsed and her drinking and drug use intensified to about three times what they were before she went into the 28 day program. Oh, the hope, the joy and the fear that accompanies these unhealthy relationships really take our emotions for a wild ride.
When she relapsed, I totally detached from her. I started living my own life in a major way. We stayed married for two years after her relapse. Eventually, she cheated on me and besides that there was nothing really left because she was so in love with her addictions.
I learned a lot during those years…First and foremost, I will NEVER be with an alcoholic/drug addict ever again. I know exactly what they look like now and will steer clear of any woman who so much as peeps a sign of alcoholism.
One of the most effective weapons I have seen alcoholics use is the art blaming everyone else for their own irresponsibility. If they are late for work, it’s because someone else didn’t wake them up. If they lose their jobs, it’s because the boss just doesn’t understand them.
It is exhausting to be with an alcoholic! They will suck the life out of you! As hard as it has been to detach from my daughter, I have had to for her sake as well as for mine. She tells people that I am an evil b**** of a mother and that she has nothing in her heart for me but hatred. This is because CPS was called on her (not by me) and she told people that I was the one who called them. It is really hard to detach from your child because it goes against every maternal instinct there is, but my counselor tells me I have to leave her alone and let her hit rock bottom. I’m still waiting and praying for rock bottom. I believe it’s the only way she will ever pull herself out of the muck.
Janice (B), one of my favorite sayings is “let go or be dragged.”
I also like “let go and let God!”
I am praying for your daughter now!
Thank you so much guys for your comments. Last nite I read John Mason’s “Believe You Can–The Power of a Positive Attitude” and I went to bed with this quote “if you can’t change the direction of the wind,adjust your sails”. It’s my time now,I neglected myself for a long time. I stopped asking myself the “whens and hows”.
OK I have to jump on the bandwagon since we are going down the affirmation road . . my favorite one that has stopped me dead in my tracks numerous times is “if you always do what you’ve done you always get what you got” very similar to the definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result” . . boy does that speak about living with an alcoholic or what? Peace out . .
Ok-I’ll add one:
If it is meant to be – It is up to me!
WOW the title of this post hit me like a ton of bricks this morning . . wondering the same thing myself today . . my AH had been sober over 3 months . . he slipped last night; I came home from work and he was drunk on his ass – why????????????? Luckily he was so drunk he passed out before he got violent . . he went and saw his drinking buddy . . and guess what they did . . they drank . . and I’m furious with his friend too . . I did well . . I didn’t yell or scream at him . . just told him I was extremely disappointed and walked away and am letting him wallow in his guilt . . this is hard . . I feel betrayed . . I almost wish he’d cheated on me with another woman instead of with alcohol . . he’s been doing so well but a few weeks ago I started noticing more old behaviors . . and boy does he have triggers . . I just want to slap him and say “snap out of it” . . this is harder than the active drinking . . what a disappointment to both of us . .
Reading this has been extremely helpful to me. I am married to an alcoholic who treats me so badly and I can’t decided if I want to help or get out. However, he doesn’t think he has a problem. He has 5-6 beers (Mon-Thur) a night to relax – is what he tells me. Fri, Sat, & Sun you can times that by 2 or 3. He has become a total jerk to everyone. I am finding out now that my friends don’t want to invite us to events anymore because he is such an asshole – so I guess it isn’t just to me. It is sad….
I am married to a recovering alcoholic who has stopped physical abuse but the verbal and emotional is still bad; I have come to realize that I end up contributing to the worse situation by engaging him when he starts pushing my buttons; I want to leave but I don’t have the $$ right now so need to make the best of it till I can; we are going to start marriage counseling in a few weeks; not sure how that will go, he’s so narcissistic I’m not feeling to optimistic.
He claims he’ll do whatever he has to to save the marriage; well we’ve all heard that before – actions speak louder than words and my friends will no longer come around because of his behavior so I can totally relate . God is with us, we’ll get through this. take care
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