Am I finally ready to leave my alcoholic?

alcohol
ask-a-professional
relationship

#1

It’s happened, again. My partner has begun sneaking and lying about his drinking for the millionth time. We’ve been together 3 years and his alcohol abuse has been the main issue from the start. He’s battled with severe alcoholism for 15+ years, in and out of detox/rehab, lost a lot including jobs, driving privileges etc. I’ve seen him struggle for years, he’s been unfaithful to me in the throes of the darkest days, seen him have seizures from withdrawals, just everything awful you can imagine… we’ve been through. Our 3 year anniversary is next month, and out of these past 33 months he’s been sober for less than 10 in spurts his longest being just under 7 months. Might I also mention, I do not drink. He got a good paying evening job in October of 2019, ever since he’s had money and freedom he’s been drinking again off and on but still lying and hiding it until I smell it on him and eventually, after an interrogation I get a confession and then an argument ensues.
When he’s clear headed, he knows he cannot control himself with alcohol but, he doesn’t like AA meetings and hasn’t made recovery an active part of his lifestyle like he so willingly accepts his drinking.
Today he told me he wants me to “pretend like the world isn’t ending, just turn a blind eye and let me drink. I only want to do it every other day, every other week maybe.”
He was/is a monster when he drinks, he knows he can’t control himself, I know, his family knows, him and alcohol do not mix. But here we are again.
I am firm in my position of not wanting to go back to that disgusting, toxic place we were in for so long.
He chose to not dump his remaining alcohol out to hangout with me for the rest of the evening, so I left. Again, he’s choosing a toxic substance over real love and emotional substance from his partner. His birthday is also Monday and I don’t think I’ll be speaking to him or seeing him this week. For what feels like the millionth time, I am not a priority or an option to him. At least not with alcohol in his system or around him and while is brain and body have been twisted/altered by it. My heart is breaking as I write this and realize that I’m slowly breaking down because of this emotional abuse.
I am sick of the lying, I want a family and a future. I want a life without alcohol, he’s admitted he doesn’t know if he can live without it (even though we all know it will be the death of him).
I’m finding it really hard right now to find the strength to leave once and for all, even after everything horrible he’s out himself and myself through…


#2

Oh beautiful, I feel this so hard. My husband has been using alcohol on and off for our entire relationship, and is just coming off a little over 30 days sober, but I can tell he’s drinking again. Our experience isn’t as severe as yours sounds, but I relate to what you are saying, and I don’t have all the answers, but I want you to know I’m standing with you.

I think sticking to your boundaries in this situation are so so important. Think of it not as “what do I need him to do right now,” but more as “what can I do to honour myself and being a bit of joy back into my life?” And taking space sounds like a good place to start. Your heart will figure out the answer for you, in time. Just trust your inner wisdom without judgement. You are not alone. :heart:


#3

I know exactly what you are going through. You are not alone. Stick to your bottom lines and keep your boundaries. Your relationship sounds exactly like mine. After a crazy 2019, my partner is finally in rehab. It’s so early in the game, but there’s always hope.


#4

Ugh. My heart is breaking for you on this. And “me too” sister. “Me too”. My husband just relapsed terribly after what I thought was his 15 years clean… as it turns out he’s been lying about his recovery and on/off using since mid 2012. (!!!) The emotional rollercoaster is nauseating. Our holidays were part magic and part terrible. Magic only with with kids though, lol. And I too just had a birthday on the 1/1 so happy birthday fellow Capricorn!

For me, at this particular point I know I’m not willing to walk away from my marriage and split the family up. For me, right now at least, I have to learn to pull on my Alanon panties and armor up against his disease. I too do not know what the future holds, however I do know that this icky feeling of being unsafe, unloved and in perpetual fear is all too familiar from my past. And I don’t like it one bit.

You have been with your partner for 3 years. Do you live together? Any children between you? I agree 100% with the other writers when they said that time apart would be beneficial. And listening to your instincts… they will not deceive you. You will be ok. This road may be long, but there is light awaiting you at the end of this tunnel.

Ask yourself what this relationship does for you. It sounds like it’s been a tough go throughout almost your entire time together? Is it love based…something that has built you into a better version of yourself? Or something perhaps based more on fear and hope? If it’s based on fear and the hope of what it “could be one day” you may want to pause and consider where you see things going. Not making any big decisions yet… just pausing. And in doing so… you may also be saving his life. Why would he ever stop what he’s doing when he’s certain his actions don’t have substantial consequences? You walk. At least for a bit, but 100% don’t tell him that. And maybe… just maybe he reconsiders his own path. And you in turn find yours. And perhaps your paths are meant to be together… they may very well be… but if nothing changes, then nothing changes.

Everyday, starting now:
Do one good thing for yourself…
Call a girlfriend, get a pedicure, bake a cake (just don’t eat it all in one sitting;), get a massage, go a daytime movie…etc.

Also every day… Do one positive thing for someone else.
Call your parents, babysit a friends child for an hour, be extra kind to the kid bagging your groceries, buy the coffee for the old man standing behind you, throw some good luck pennies on the sidewalk for kids to pick up…

You’ve got this. You are stronger then this disease. Every day you will feel lighter. Just for today… pause on the partner, turn into you.

And regarding your birthday… please do not wait for him to plan anything!! Make a dinner & movie date for yourself with a girlfriend(s)… like right now!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


#5

Oh love, I’m so very sorry to read this. I feel like I could have written this myself - I am 25 in April and have been with my boyfriend for three and a half years, and after multiple relapses in 2019 I just can’t do it anymore. I am good at separating “him” from “the addict” but I am exhausted and my own mental health is atrocious at the moment.

You have made an enormous step in reaching this point where you recognise that you need to put boundaries in place. You must look after yourself first and foremost - it is so easy to lose track of ourselves when we are caring for somebody with an addiction. You are strong and capable.

You are not alone in this. There are so many posts like this on this forum in exactly the same vein. Surround yourself with the love of family and friends if possible. Put boundaries in place with them - if you don’t want to hear them calling him or you don’t want to talk about him, state that clearly. Get into therapy if you can - I am starting EMDR therapy next week in combination with antidepressants. My messages are always open for you. Sending love and strength to you. x