Thanks for sharing your story. Most alcoholics cannot control their drinking by cutting back. AA suggests total abstinence. No alcoholic I’ve ever known has been able to cut back and then succeeded at maintaining a disciplined level of drinking. The thing that concerns me the most about your story is the abuse you mentioned. Even if he is cutting back there is still an underlying current there of an abusive personality.
Guest Post By: Francesca
Hello and bless you for having such a website and for being so helpful. Straight to the point: I’m challenged to determine whether my boyfriend of 1 year is, in fact, an alcoholic or a problem drinker that can get control on his own. I raise the question because I do love and care for him and would like to be in a relationship with the person he is when he isn’t drinking or has only had 1 or 2 drinks.
Essentially, our first 9 months were verbally abusive and all of the descriptions of that I’ve read from others. The uncontrollable drinking daily, passing out, physical ailments starting from drinking. He has been a heavy drinker for almost 20 years, is fully functional in his career, and has had many failed relationships largely due to drinking.
I broke it off with him because I felt we simply wanted different lifestyles. I had practiced detachment. I chose not to blame his drinking or lifestyle – rather it didn’t align with mine. He came to me 6 weeks later, said he wanted to change his lifestyle, get control of his drinking, and would see a therapist to seek help for this and other matters of the heart and past (that we all have).
The bottom line now: He makes progress, has cut back, but is still drinking each day – sometimes 2 glasses of wine and sometimes 4 and a cocktail. I’m concerned I’ve convinced myself that this is “not an alcoholic”, but yet find I’m on edge and struggling to detach again as I keep coming to the same conclusion. We have no children, do not live together, and I’m a successful and very spiritually oriented woman. How can I determine if I’m the one in denial that his drinking will get under control or is that even possible?
Thank you so very much.
JC: I would strongly recommend that you start keeping a journal. This will really help you see the big picture of what you are dealing with here. You may be able to identify negative emotions going on inside of you due to being in this relationship. Here are a few good articles to check out:
If you are getting abused by an alcoholic there are some ways that you can avoid letting these behaviors continue to affect you…
Avoid Being Abused By An Alcoholic
This is about the 6th time in the last four years that I have been right where I am. Its so exhausting. My partner is at it again…
When an alcoholic gets sober what are the chances of them relapsing? It’s said in AA meetings that if someone who has a drinking problem, quits and decides to drink again, they will go right back to where they started…