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Advice please

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
Mr Dee
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Advice please

Post by Mr Dee » 19 Apr 2011 15:44

Can anyone on here who is in a relationship with a problem drinker please tell me how you cope, because there are times it gets too much for me and its making me depressed. I love her, and don't want to leave her, but I don't think I can spend the rest of my life with a problem drinker.

She has admitted she has a problem, and has vowed to sort herself out (albeit cut down). But Im struggling to trust her - we don't live together, and at the moment I only see her at weekends, so its difficult for me to gauge how much she is drinking when Im not there.

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Sheila
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Re: Advice please

Post by Sheila » 19 Apr 2011 16:27

Hi Mr Dee
We have various topics about people and relationships with drinkers/alcoholics. You're already in the right place with this board, so take a good look around, I'm sure you'll find others in a similar situation as you.
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Neal
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Re: Advice please

Post by Neal » 19 Apr 2011 16:48

What Sheila says ;)?

I'd be really honest with her. Tell her you're concerned (I take it you already have) and that you're worried enough to have joined this Support Forum. I don't know - it could let her know the depth of your concern for her or it might scare her a bit - or it might help if she reads some of the content on here. That's what I would do... that's just me. I'm sure you can gauge how well that would go down.

Neal
"...all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it... and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

Mr Dee
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Re: Advice please

Post by Mr Dee » 19 Apr 2011 17:14

thanks Neil, thanks Sheila

I have pointed her towards this site, but I don't think she has taken much interest. I think she has other problems which she sees as more pressing (debt and being a single parent) which I can understand, but that doesnt mean the drinking should be ignored. Im now on anti-depressants, because I believed at one point she was on the verge of losing her house and that i may have to move in to help her - and the thought of giving up my own house (my sanctuary at times) and moving in with a problem drinker shocked me. And that made me feel very guilty. Because I do genuinely love her. I just hate her drinking.

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Re: Advice please

Post by Mr Dee » 19 Apr 2011 17:15

sorry, that should have been 'thanks Neal' :oops:

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damson
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Re: Advice please

Post by damson » 19 Apr 2011 17:39

Hi again Mr Dee, this is a huge worry for you and I wish that we could make it go away - but as we all know this just isn't going to happen.

Could it be that your partner doesn't see it the same way as you? Perhaps she thinks that she has done whats necessary now by cutting down.

If the idea of her drinking is so troublesome to you I really feel that you need to explain it to her - spell it out - tell her that you love her but you hate the drinking.

perhaps you could suggest that you both give up alcohol?

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Re: Advice please

Post by Mr Dee » 19 Apr 2011 17:49

Hello again Damson

I do enjoy a drink, but know when Ive had enough. I don't mind her drinking as such, I just don't like her drinking to excess. Sometimes she doesn't know when she has had enough.

We've spoken at length and she admitted she had a problem which she has never done before, but I just feel she needs to earn my trust again, if ever I can trust her. Perhaps its as much a problem with me – am I being too intolerant to her?

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marie-claire
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Re: Advice please

Post by marie-claire » 21 Apr 2011 11:34

Hi Mr Dee

Would it sound harsh if I said that you should either accept her as she is or walk away? Because you won't change her no matter how much you want to, you know. You can try, but until such time as she decides for herself to tackle her drinking, you'll only succeed in upsetting and frustrating yourself. It's an addiction you see. Like all addicts she both wants to cut down and drink more at the same time. Madness, but that's what we're like. Alcohol is a powerful drug for some people.

I know because I was like that for years - 41 of them. I met my husband 20 years ago and it took him two or three years to realise what a big drinker I was. I was careful to conceal the evidence - we're clever like that. In the early stages of our relationship if I'd been asked to choose between him and my long-term lover (the booze), it would have been no contest and a sad goodbye to my man. In recent years, he'd sometimes hint or have serious chats with me about "it". I would agree I should cut down, try for a few days - to keep him happy - then be back to square one. Always. Year after year. Until the day I decided enough was enough and joined BE. I didn't even tell him for 2 weeks - wasn't sure what he'd say. But he has been wonderfully and silently supportive, even stopping drinking at home himself when I mentioned that was sometimes difficult for me.

I know he will never understand why I can't just cut down - "normal drinkers" never can, but that's because his brain has an "off switch" for alcohol and mine obviously doesn't. Your gf is the same as me - as most of us on here. When there's no off-switch it requires continuous exertion of will-power, and after a couple of drinks that just evaporates. Does that make sense? She truly can't help it. Like most of us on here, she probably can't cut down. It's all or none.

So love her or leave her. No harm in putting a few thoughts of recovery into her head though. With the help of BE and himself, I'm sober 6 months now and the world is a wonderful place. I wish I'd done it twenty years ago but there you go!

Wishing you both a happy life
MC x
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The most massive characters are seared with scars.
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Topcat
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Re: Advice please

Post by Topcat » 18 May 2013 15:39

Jos, I'm diving in early here as something struck me straight away as an outsider looking in. You and your family have been through a lot lately, of that there is no doubt, but so has Mr. Jos.

My immediate reaction was why don't you and Mr. Jos have a holiday together? Why do you need to have a big family holiday where you and Mr. Jos probably won't get a chance to say more than a few words to each other? It sounds to me like the two of you need a "second honeymoon" type of holiday <:)> <:)>

I'll get back to reading your post again later <:)>
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Hereagain
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Re: Advice please

Post by Hereagain » 18 May 2013 16:17

Jos - firstly thank you for the lovely pm you sent me. I tried to reply but it won t let me at the moment. Just wanted you you to know how much it meant. <:)> <:)>

Regarding your situation with Mr Jos - I don t really have advice but from what you ve said on here I can see things from both perspectives. As the others have said maybe you could come to a compromise? You could probably both do with some time alone together as you have been through so much lately. <:)> <:)>
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Mark.
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Re: Advice please

Post by Mark. » 18 May 2013 16:31

Sorry to hear of this, Jos <:)> <:)> <:)>

Ordinarily, I go along with the idea that it's best never to leave the house while there is still an unresolved argument going on.

However, in this case I hope that a week apart gives both you and Mr Jos time to think.

As SB says, please think about what you need as much as about what might be worrying Mr J. I think that when the words "our marriage is in trouble" are spoken, it's tempting to panic and perhaps think purely in terms of keeping the other party happy, in order to "save" things. It's tempting to stay shtum and not mention things that might be causing us dissatisfaction.

But the conversation should be about hearing both sides fairly, or I don't think any reconciliation can last.

The truth might turn out to be that there may be areas in which you both need to compromise/change/whatever, if you are to begin moving closer again.

From what you write, it sounds as though Mr J may need to demonstrate this in a more concrete way than he has in the past. I think you have to stick to your guns here: like I say, if you don't both meet one another fairly, in the middle, you are likely to resent the flawed compromise at some point in the future - which is no good for you!

I sincerely hope the week gives you both new and more positive perspectives on your relationship together. As the others say, perhaps you could both go away together at another point?

<:)> <:)> <:)>
Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca.

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Ladysnoops
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Re: Advice please

Post by Ladysnoops » 18 May 2013 17:04

Jos, You have gotten so much good advice, can't add much to what has already been said. I do like the idea of a holiday for just you and Mr. Jos. ;)? I have been through hell and back with my marriage. Partially due to my drinking, but not entirely. I will state the obvious...communications is key!!! One mistake I made in the bad old days was insisting that hubby talk to me when I wanted him to. I was never willing to give him time to get his thoughts together and come back a bit later and talk. All I was doing was making him angry our talks were almost never productive (leading me back to the bottle :oops: ). Although I know it will be hard to be away from Mr. Jos this week after the parting discussion, it is probably a very good thing for you both to have some time alone to think about things.

I know you will be fine Hun. <:)> You have the most level head of anyone I know. Your written communications are perfect. Just try and make your verbal communications as good as your written and I'm betting things will work out just fine.

Many <:)> <:)> <:)> <:)> s

P.S. You do know that most things said in anger are not to be given much credence...i.e. Mr Jos saying he thinks the marriage is in trouble. Sounds like defensive angry words and not truth.

Linda
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Re: Advice please

Post by dhl4 » 18 May 2013 21:13

I'm a bit nervous about doing this, but I don't know who to turn to.

My girlfriend is an alcoholic and can't stop drinking. I'm not a drinker and try to understand but find it difficult to do so. Take tonight: she bought 2 bottles of wine so she 'didn't have to drive to get the second bottle after having drunk the first'. I knew she had bought two, so I took 1 and hid it and told her. At the time, she was grateful I hadn't got cross, she said. During the week, she asks me to keep her cards and cash so she can't buy wine on the way home from work.

When I was in the shower just now, she came up and basically begged me to tell her where the other bottle was. That was when she said she'd bought 2 at once to avoid driving drunk.

So, do I give her the wine?

There's lots more, but that's it in a nutshell.

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smudge
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Re: Advice please

Post by smudge » 18 May 2013 21:45

I would give her the bottle. If she gets desperate and drives for another bottle then the consequences could be disastrous. And I don't mean for her, I mean for anyone she might drive into.

The best advice in my opinion is to not enable your girlfriend's drinking in any way whatsoever and don't get involved. Don't give her money for it, don't buy it, don't make excuses for her if she misses work or a social engagement because of drink. If she lets food go cold don't heat it up. Don't clean up after her. She has to face the consequences of her drinking herself. Another thing to realise is that many alcoholics, when forced to choose between a partner and alcohol, will choose the drink. Sad but true.

I'm sure others on the forum may have different views, and hopefully someone else will chip in.

Read the first post in this thread. It may help you decide how best to deal with your girlfriend's drinking.

Edit : Forgot to say... Welcome to BE. And I hope that things turn out well for you. <:)>
"I would rather be a non-drinker with the occasional desire to drink, than a drinker with the constant desire to quit."

Learn from other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

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dhl4
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Re: Advice please

Post by dhl4 » 18 May 2013 22:16

Thank you, smudge. You're certainly right about the potential consequences.

I'm hoping to get some help for myself from a nearby centre for drug/alcohol addiction. Maybe she'll want some help herself soon.

Any advice or chipping in from anyone is very appreciated; this is all very outside of my sphere of knowledge, as my family are really not drinkers at all (and are American), so the culture is quite foreign to me...makes it much harder for me to understand.

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smudge
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Re: Advice please

Post by smudge » 18 May 2013 22:49

I should have mentioned Al-Anon!

They have a website :

Al-Anon For friends and families of alcoholics

If you want to find non-AA groups you could try this NHS search page :

http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Suppor ... Search/295
"I would rather be a non-drinker with the occasional desire to drink, than a drinker with the constant desire to quit."

Learn from other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

I'm not a doctor!

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Jake.
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Re: Advice please

Post by Jake. » 18 May 2013 22:53

there's always SMART Recovery which I prefer as a secular and sciences based alternative. I don't believe in higher powers but if anyone else does I respect that. Click the web button on my profile for the link

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smudge
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Re: Advice please

Post by smudge » 18 May 2013 22:55

Does Smart Recovery have any meetings for the friends and relatives of drinkers, Jake?
"I would rather be a non-drinker with the occasional desire to drink, than a drinker with the constant desire to quit."

Learn from other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

I'm not a doctor!

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Jake.
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Re: Advice please

Post by Jake. » 18 May 2013 22:59

Yeah some are open meetings and some only for people in recovery.

There are also gay/lesbian ones, community groups, healthcare provider/recovery association run meetings as well as peer run ones

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Jake.
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Re: Advice please

Post by Jake. » 18 May 2013 23:02

Ive done the facilitator training with them and went to the online meetings quite a lot. Dabbled in facilitating but I don't think its for me. The commitment and I think I'd get too involved

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