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In need of some advice

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok here's the story I have been with my boyfriend Brian for 4 years and I love him very much. We have a wonderful relationship together and have 6 beautiful babies(Furry babies that is) and any problems we have we work through them.

He works very long hours 6 days a week and when he comes home he drinks. I don't mind since that is his way of relaxing after a long day but he drinks 5-6 beers a night and on his one day off he drinks even more than that since he is able to start earlier in the day.

It bothered me a little before, I was concerned about long term health effects and he gained a bit of weight but I never thought of it as a problem until Monday night. He came home Monday evening at 8:00pm and I was worried sick because he usually works until 5:30 sometimes till 7 at the lastest. When he came in he was drunk as a skunk but I didn't get mad since he never really does anything with his friends. He said he stayed at the pit(He works at an excavating compan) and drank with a couple of the guys and they did doughnuts in the parking lot.

So he was fine at first, just being affectionate drunk Brian then he started asking me if I was mad. I told him no and he kept asking and asking and wouldn't let up on it. Well after a while of saying no no no no no I got irritated and it all went down hill from there. He called me a few inepropreate names, started acting carelessly and knocking things over, said a few hurtful things and after he said one particular mean thing I got in my car and left.

The next morning I told him how he acted he was shocked. He didn't remember anything and apologuised and I forgave him. This whole situation worries me since he has never treated me in this manner and even though I know he was drunk it still bothers me because it was totally out of charactor.

Of course when he was hung over he said he wasn't going to drink for a while but he resumed as soon as he got home. I know he doesn't have a problem yet but I am concerned it will esculate into one. I've tried telling him drinking so much isn't healthy but he doesn't care. I know he enjoys it a lot and he says it's the one thing he can look forward to when he gets off of work and I feel guilty for trying to take that away from him.

At the same time I am very familar with alcoholism(Practically my whole family has or had a problem with it at some point) and I can see the begining stages of it. I hate to nag him about it but he doesn't see the problem and I am wondering if it's just me. Am I taking the wrong approach? Or am I overreacting?
post #2 of 18
If he is drinking to the point ofd not being able to recall events whilst drunk, then he HAS a problem. Im speaking from experience here, and regardless of how affecionate a drunk he may be, the will probably come a time when he will be the exact oppopsite and it will take very little to set him off.
The hard part is that all you can do is try and bring the problem up and try and discuss it as best you can, but he probably wont listen. HE has to be the one that realizes that he has a problem.
post #3 of 18
I guess it would really depend on your lifestyle and your beliefs.There are people who consider even one drink too many.
I grew up in a family where they both had a few drinks in the evening and on on the weekends. Of course, all my dad would drink is beer. They had an occasional fight when they were both drinking, but other than that it never really caused any problems. Neither of them would get into a car either.
Without knowing either of you, it's really hard to give advice. Yes, when people drink, they say things that would NEVER come out of thier mouths otherwise. I think I would have been upset that he didn't call to let you know he was going to be late. I would also be upset if he drove himself home. It's very possible that this little episode was a one time thing. If it became frequent, I would really think about getting him some help.
post #4 of 18
Maybe talking to a drug and alcohol counselor about your boyfriend's drinking behavior and about what happened Monday night will help you know how to deal with the situation. Good luck!!
post #5 of 18
Jess~

What Ken and Sandie said is essentially what I would say, except for the fact that since he already does at least a 6-pack a day, he is already well on his way to a problem. I, too, am concerned that he drives while he has been drinking. I know a guy who got 2 DUIs that way, with the every-day- after-work 6 pack. I think you have some tough decisions ahead of you.
post #6 of 18
In order to help Brian he has to want help. Those black-outs and fuge type sessions are pretty normal for heavy out-of-control drinkers. My ex-husband was a bad alcoholic and he would typically have these black-out periods where we would have a terrible row and he would say hurtful hateful things, and remember none of it the next morning. I tried several times to help him, but quite literally he had to get down to that last hole in life before he would see the reality of his life and do something about it. He went into a program many years after we divorced and he was in it for 2 years before he got straight. I would say, that you should distance yourself away from Brian when he drinks and just let him know by your actions that what he is doing distresses you. I would hate for anyone to go through the type of hell Don used to put me through all for the sake of a beer and a joint.
post #7 of 18
I agree with what every else has said and only have 1 thing to add. You stated that he feels that it is the one thing he has to look forward to when he goes home. If you can find something else he would enjoy (eg a walk together, a movie, etc) it might help to reduce his drinking. My uncle was the same way, he would go home and drink and smoke. He died at age 45 from lung cancer and my aunt feels if she had gotten him to do more that might not have happened. Let him know how you feel, but address the issue when he is sober. Maybe tape him when he gets drunk like that again and play it back the next day. If he doesn't want help, get help for yourself - maybe Alanon meetings. I hope that he can come to undersatnd what he is doing to you and his health.
post #8 of 18
It started like you say, with beer after work. He was a friendly, benign drunk also. I finally left (4 years later) when I felt I was being cheated on with alcohol. Alcohol had actually become like another entity living in the house that he cared for more than me. I couldn't have been more hurt if he had actually moved another woman in with us.
I did a lot of nagging in the time we lived together. A lot of crying, and praying, and begging, and bargaining. It doesn't help. You will become very familiar with and dread the sound of several phrases. "Just one beer", "need to relax", "I'm only having a good time" come to mind for me. They were all clues that he would not be home for me. For us, actually.
I objected for several reasons. Firstly, the cats. He is careless when drunk, and I several times found him passed out with the stove on. Or the front door open. I knew that if something happened, not only would I have the cats to care for, but him also. And in case of a prowler/rapist/killer he could not protect me, and I would have trouble protecting both of us.
In short, everyone is right. You will not be able to convince him he has a problem. Talk about it once (while he's completely sober), and if he says "I don't have a problem" let it go. Stay until you need to leave, then leave. And if you find yourself lying to friends and family about where he is or what he's like, pay attention. You know things you don't admit to yourself.
Let us know how it goes. And you might want to go to an AA meeting or two also. I went to Alanon, but found the AA meetings more helpful, with their insights into WHY he was doing what he was doing.
Also, read the book "Codependent No More". You might be helping him drink rather than helping him stop.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I want to thank all of you who responded to my post. I appreciate it very much.

Let me say first that his drunken episode was the first in an extremely long time, probably more than a year. I know it may sound as though I am making excuses but I just wanted to clear up that he does not drink that heavily very often. Just seeing him act so out of charactor scared me and got me thinking...

Ady, I've tried suggesting things we can do together(that's a whole other arguement with us) but after a 10 hour shift all he wants to do is have a beer(or 5) and play computer games. I feel guilty because he works so hard and I feel like I am taking away his reward(so to speak).

I've told him how I feel but he has nothing to say. Both my grandfathers, my mom and dad and several other family members of mine had or have drinking problems and I've expressed my concern for him ending up like them or going through what they went through. He never has anything to say.

And you all are right... If he doesn't feel it's a problem so he feels he doesn't need to stop or slow down at the least.

My main concern is that maybe I am not approaching this the right way and I need another way of going about this. I hate to nag him but simply telling him how it makes me feel and my fears do not seem to be enough.

Thanks again guys!!
post #10 of 18
Jessica - your safety and well being are the most important here. His drinking is NOT your fault - it is owned soley by your boyfriend!
Stay safe and find your happiness. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Deb
post #11 of 18
Jessica~

I am sorry in advance if you find this post offensive, but if the only way the boyfriend can "reward" himself when he comes home is to down a 6-pack, then he already has a problem. There are plenty of people that work hard every day, and not all of them drink every single night. The bottom line is that you will have to make some decisions about the course of your relationship with him at some point. And you are right, nagging will get you nowhere. He has to decide for himself that there is a problem, but that may be long after you decide not to hang around any longer.

Last year I taught with a girl who finally ditched her boyfriend because of all the constant drinking. Three months later, she found out she was pregnant. So she went back to him and they got married. He swore he would stop drinking. When I caught up with her a couple of months ago, she finally had to sneak out of the house with the baby one night, drive up the coast of Florida to Jacksonville, meet her mother who had flown in from out of state, and go with her. The drinking didn't stop. He just concealed it. Even got fired fom his job for being drunk there as well. As she told me, "Everyone saw the truth but me. I was too busy not wanting to see it."
post #12 of 18
Jessica,

This is such a delicate subject. I feel for you because in all honesty, when a person absolutely needs to drink on a daily basis in order to relax, the problem is evident. What would his reaction be if there was no beer in the house when he got home at night? If he just shrugs it off and decides to unwind and relax by kicking up his feet or taking an hour long nap, then maybe the solution would be not too have the beer so readily available. If he is aggressive and his personality changes when there is none in the house, then you have yourself a problem.

Good luck to you. I'll keep you in my thoughts.
post #13 of 18
I think everyone here has covered the subject pretty well. I'm sorry I have no additional advice, just good thoughts and prayers. I have been in your position and I know it is very disturbing. I lost my 1st husband to a drunk driving motorcycle crash and left the second one for being a drunken, abusive idiot. Please think long and hard about your situation. If he doesn't love you more than he loves drinking, you may have some hard decisions to make. I wish you well.
post #14 of 18
Having watched just about all of my friends grow up in a household where the dad drank a lot, I have to say that I'm probably a bit hypersensitive about the whole subject. I saw what their parents never saw, the crying, insecurity, worry about their dad and their feeling that THEY needed to be the adult in the household, the one to take care of things when they should have been allowed to be the kids, the ones being taken care of. None of their fathers were abusive when drunk, they all didn't drink so much as to be drunk often, but it was a huge problem anyway. What I would wonder about with your boyfriend, is that if he doesn't alter his behavior, is this the kind of situation you want to live in year after year, maybe even have kids grow up in?

I would also say that it doesn't really say good things about your relationship, if you expressing your fears and feelings about his drinking get no response from him. In my book anyway if the person I love gets anxious and fearful because of something I do, the least I can do is talk about it to make them feel better, better yet, change my behavior. If you've told him how his drinking makes you feel in a calm, non-accusing manner, and he doesn't respond in any way, I would start to seriously wonder what is more important to him, you or the beer. Then again, like Sandie said, different people have different lifestyles, and if you have no problem with him drinking a sixpack everyday, then that's alright. I wouldn't be as concerned about the actual drinking (although I do think it's alarming that he drinks so often), but the fact that he doesn't give credit to your feelings or discuss the situation with you, and you'd think that with your history concerning alcoholism, he'd know it's a sensitive topic with you and be prepared to address it.
post #15 of 18
Sounds to me like he already has a problem. I am not familiar w/ alcoholism in my family, but I have been exposed to it and his behavior seems like its heading right toward a full blown alcoholic. See if you can get him some help if he is willing, or consider moving on. You don't need that in your life.

Deb25 is right, you don't NEED to drink to relax. My husband works 70 hours a week, and never drinks. Its a choice to drink, and obviously he is at the point now where he is addicted to it. I hope you are able to help him out while he is still young.
Good luck to you.
post #16 of 18
I don't know what advice I can give you, sounds like you have gotten alot of really good advice here already.

But, from my own personal experience there may be some underlying problem as to why he drinks so much....
I used to drink quite a bit (BEFORE I was pregnant, of course) I wasn't an alcoholic by any means....and
I didn't drink every single night, but I did have several beers about 3 times a week after work.
It was no problem for me to put away a 6 pack at one time...and sometimes alot more, though I am ashamed to say so.

I never drove anywhere, and I never got drunk to where I couldn't remember things, or passed out or anything like that...I held it pretty well. I told my hubby it was because I needed to relax, etc....but looking back, I realize their were other problems making me want to drink so much....
I'm not saying this is why your boyfriend drinks so much, so often, but my reasons were that I was actually very depressed, I had lost both my parents within 3 years of each other, and my best friend, who turned out to be a way different person than I thought she was...I was very hurt inside, and that is no excuse for drinking alot, but in my case, that is what I did.
My job was really getting to me as well, and I hated going there, and felt I had nothing much to look forward to in life, and hubby and I were having problems too, so it did seem to help me take my mind off of the crappy things going on in my life, and put me in a more relaxed state of mind.
I wonder if maybe your boyfriend is depressed about something, or having problems at work, etc...guys don't always talk about these things like we women do, they tend to keep them inside more.
Maybe you could get him to open up, and find out what the problem is, if thee is one.
After finding out I was pregnant, I of course had to stop drinking, and then I saw things clearer. I worked on my problems instead of drowning them, and things do seem alot better now, and life is brighter....
I am sure after the baby is born, and I am not nursing anymore, I will have days that I come home from work and have 2 or 3 beers, once in awhile, but I will never let it get to the point that it was, ever again!!!!
Hope this helps a little.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Debby, you know I never thought about it but he goes through periods where he hardly drinks anything then he'll go through another period where he drinks up to two 30 racks a week. Right now he's drinking a lot and within the past couple weeks he's been upset with his job and his situation with his dad is bothering him(long story). Maybe if I can peel him away from his computer for 5 minutes I can get him to talk. That's a job in itself.

I think maybe it's a combination of routine and stress??

**sighs** The toughest part about this whole thing is he doesn't seem to think that much beer is a lot. Mamma never said relationships were easy....
post #18 of 18
Well if he is depressed about his job, and other things in his life, that would explain the drinking so much....I know that is what I did, although it was the wrong thing to do. Maybe he will open up to you, and maybe he might consider finding another job as well, if that is possible, that might help bring him out of the depression and then he may not drink so much. I don't know if he would consider talking to someone like a therapist about his depression, I know my hubby would never consider this, so I guess it depends on the person.
I hope things get better for him, and he stops drinking so much. For his sake, and yours. Keep us posted.
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