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Readers Respond: Have You Been Playing a Role in the Life of an Alcoholic?

Responses: 472

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Updated September 22, 2012

Still not over it

Six years ago I got involved with a man who said he had been sober for 4-1/2 years. Ten months later he started talking about wanting to have a beer again. I had no idea what I was in for. Once he started, I didn't even know who he was anymore. I stayed because I loved him and could not forget who he had been. I finally had enough because I refused to live my life waiting for a man to come home from a bar. I moved out and made the second mistake of continuing to be in his life. I dated others, but he continued to call late at night. "It's a quarter after one and I need you now" he would sing into my voice mail. Finally a year later his new girlfriend got hold of his phone and called me, crying her eyes out about him. I heard myself in the pain in her voice and I finally changed my number that day. It's almost two years with no contact. He wrecked something inside me, it still hurts and I'm still reading about alcoholism still trying to get over the most painful time of my life. Lesson learned the hard way unfortunately.
—Guest Marianne

Alcoholic father

Very useful article. Moving back to my hometown as an adult I have been confronted with the truth about my father . I used to think he drank a little too much but he was usually jovial and just fell asleep on the couch. This year when I spent the night I've been woken up on multiple accounts hearing him hurling, and then back to the bottle the next day. It's tearing me apart. I feel that I don't really have a father. I've been working through these feelings with the support of my church, but how do I deal with my father? We aren't very open with each other. When I was younger I told him it upset me when he got drunk and angry, he would quite for a while only to be back to the bottle. I don't honestly believe he will change. I don't know what to do. Should I try to tell him how I feel ? We have a lot of affinity for each other but I am considering cutting him out of my life because It hurts to see distroy himself.
—Guest Brie

Lost But Not Defeated

Hello Dear Friends and Comrades in the Battle with Alcoholism! My brother has a history of substance abuse which began about 14 years ago. He is now 28. He has never had a girlfriend and feels bad about it. He has basically never had a job, dropped out of 8th grade. We lost a lot of family members at a young age and some people have suggested that is why he behaves the way he does. There was a time that I really wished he would die. I truly believed it would make things better in my life and my mother's life. But I now know better. His death would really take a heavy toll on me, especially if I didn't feel like I did my best to allow him to get the help that he needs. Basically he is still killing himself slowly day by day even though we just lost a mutual friend to alcoholism last week (31 yrs. old). Worst of all is the effect that my brother's substance abuse has on my mother. I feel she is also dying slowly as a result of their torturous relationship. Maybe Al-Anon?
—Guest Soul Brother

The sickness is pervasive

Tonight I finally had almost a straight answer to the question "Have you had alcohol?" I consider any amount of truth a sign of progress. Frankly, after 26 years, I always know the answer before I ask. My husband is a functional alcoholic that was extremely good at hiding his drinking and though I knew the truth he would lie. Even now I want to say what a good man he is and be sure no one thinks ill of him. Three years ago I made a decision to take a picture of him drunk and keep it as proof to myself and him. I grew to hate him for lying and whenever that hate started to ease up I looked at that picture. That is when I should have left. Instead I had affairs. Not love affairs. I wasn't in love. I was out for vengeance. I disgraced myself. Guilt ridden I told him I needed to have a separation and asked him to read an online book about why women cheat on their spouses. After a brief separation and attempt at reconciliation followed by more drinking and lies I filed for divorce.
—Guest just as sick

It's my33 year old daughter,

I am enabling her but I dont know what to do. She is with someone now that is a drunk too. no job, no nothing. she used to use heroin 10 years ago. 6 weeks in jail fixed that. she has always drank and partied, but now after some setbacks, her drinking is out of control. help me please, I am afraid she is going to end up dead.
—Guest teri

I feel like I am reading about my life

Reading all these stories it is as though I wrote most of them. Been married 23 years. My husband was fine at first but the drinking got heavier and heavier, especially after my son was born, 9 years ago. My marriage is filled with empty promises and lies. I want him to leave but he won't. My kids don't need to see him when he is drunk. I states he wants to stop. He will stop for a day or so, go to a counseling session and the hit the alcohol hard. He becomes verbally abusive towards me. I have had enough. I explain to him when he is sober that he loves the alcohol more than myself and the kids. He now uses the term, addiction is stronger than love. (He learned this from his counselor). So he uses these as an excuse when he is mean. Until I decide to file for a divorce, I am going to seek counseling for myself. I have already started it for my children. God Bless everyone who is having to deal with this disease.
—Guest JenRD94

Get Out

I was with a binge drinker boyfriend for way too long – 7.5 years. For the last 4 years being just friends – no intimacy. I used to wonder for a long time why it got to that sorry state. Was it my fault or was it him taking up the poisonous hair pill Propecia or was it just the alcohol consumption that caused it? At the end I just couldn’t take his drunken bla hoopla anymore. I didn’t want to have anxiety over his drunk driving (he had 2 DUI’s). He will continue to drink and drive until he kills someone or be thrown himself into prison. He was cheap to use taxi service and hated the inconvenience of not having his car the next morning after a party. He said that I was the best girlfriend he’s ever had and I naively believed him. I now know that alcoholics usually are skilled communicators and have leach like quality – they tightly attach themselves to the only people who can put up with them. After I broke up with him, I found that alcoholics would suffer from health ailments.
—Guest Rascal99

Alcoholism and denial of it by both

My role is a little different. I am a family member who the husband in this situation refuses to accept he too has problem and as far as i see he has bred and fed this into my lil sister to now the point of her dependency so much so that she blacks out. They have 2 kids 1 in school yet the other is now adult both still live at home. The husband insists I have to come take her (my sis) away from there home in KY for a while (dry-out vacation). He doesn't like to hear my suggestion of getting her into detox program and wants to then just call a friend of a friend counselor. Won't work! psych 4 bipolar and regardless the alcohol must be dealt with first. He is mad that we tell him this is his problem. (it is - they are married therefore it is his but he doesn't want to deal with it.) I am afraid she will die in her sleep it is so bad now and being pulled by my sisterly obligation and the other to want to go out and rearrange his face for this. At wits end - she will need forced.
—oldsoulwise

May have to cut your losses

I had a man in my life that kept his alcoholism from me for a good year. Within the year he moved in and soon thereafter is when the problems started. I fell for the "passing out" as working long hours. It wasn't until I found vodka bottles in the garage, no beer in the frig (ever) for company and our vacation money missing, that I got the message. To top this off, his mother and her husband decided he would do well as a bar/restaurant owner in a different city and purchased the property. Talk about a family in denial. When he moved there, I attended counseling for family's of alcoholics. Thinking I could help in his new endeavor I worked at his bar/restaurant weekends, holidays for the entire tourism season. I saved my payroll checks and when I went to cash them, they had closed the acct. I worked for nothing. They closed the business. He moved back and I ended up asking him to leave. Take some advise, cut off any relationship with an alcoholic. You can't fix them.
—Guest I was there

Hitting my limit

My brother will be 30 this year. He was a drunk by 15 and has been dieing for the last few years. His brain floats in ammonia and he goes insane. Sees things is violent and says any horrible thing he can think of. His Gf left him so he is now home with my parents and killing them slowly. He's relapsing but because he's trying to get on the donor list my parents are helping to hide him. If he gets caught drinking he will be booted from the program. I think that is what he wants. I have 2 young children who love him. I told him months ago if you drink you can't know them they can't watch you kill yourself. He chooses to drink and lie anyway. Which in turn makes it so my mother & father has to stay and baby sit him while he verbally abuses them. It's destroying my family and I feel helpless
—Guest lost.in.the.mess

Enough

I would like to respond about the guy said his family ignored him and he was alone. Most families try to talk, keep husband part of the family, but after several yrs of passing out , peeing on his self, throwing up all over the house , abusive when sober or drunk, because we would try to talk help him, he terrorizes me, and our kids. I can't say that nobody that has alcoholic in their family does that, the family dis associates from the abuse, screaming, tearing the house up because someone didn't put toilet paper on the roll.........come on.
—Guest k

I Can't Give Up On Him

My heart and head are in conflict. My head says to run as fast as I can, but my heart won't let me. I have a fiance that I found out recently has a Alcohol problem. When we first got together he never drank...Then life through him some curve balls and that is when it all started. I have never been around anyone who drinks...I would have one socially but that was about it. When this man that stolen my heart away turned into someone I didn't know. At first he was a happy drunk...but that didn't last for long then the accusing, mean, vicious drunk showed his face. I have put up with his verbal and physical abuse, and yes I have been an enabler...didn't realize it but that is what I have been. He is jail right now and I am doing everything in my power to get him. Everyone thinks I am a fool and tells me to kick him to the curb....that I deserve better then that. But what they don't know is that my man...the man I fell in love with is in there and I can not just leave.
—HelplessinPA

Sick of the lies my brother demand thing

I now am finding myself wishing he was dead he has a lovely girlfriend that threw her ex out after putting up with his drunkenness for 30 years and gets involved with my brother that is also an also, he threatens to throw himself in the shannon when she doesn't answer the phone he threatens to go to her house break all her windows the woman has had enough and so have i.
—caseyharry

My boyfriend is an alcoholic

My boyfriend is an alcoholic. We've been together over 2 years and have a daughter together. His drinking was terrible when we first got together. He'd drink enough to pass out everyday and would drink more when he woke up, just to function. He cut way back as time passed, and had quit completely for 6 months, starting the month before our daughter was born. He has only recently started drinking again. My stepmother told me that he told her he wants to quit drinking and make me and the baby his #1 priority. But within a week, he was drunk for 3 days straight. The most recent incident was yesterday. His work was having a pool party. He went, and promised not to drink if I let him have my van. When he got home I could tell he was intoxicated, but he kept insisting he hadn't drank. He couldn't find his wallet this morning. I told him I'd look for it while he was at work. Got home, checked his backpack, and found several bottles of whiskey. It's hard to love someone you can't trust.
—Guest SE

Feeling stuck

My husband of 12 yrs is definitely an alcohol abuser, he mainly binge drinks and thinks he has no problem at all. Im so tired of working a 12 hr shift and come home to an obnoxious intoxicated husband, especially when my 12 & 16 yr old have to witness it. If I could change him I would, but in reality I know I cant. He doesn't want to change, but why should I put up with it? There has got to be more in this life and I am tired and worn. I worry about him, my daughters, the finances, my stressful job, and the list goes on and on. The only thing that concerns him is himself. I feel cheated, angry and lost that he is so selfish!! Does he realize how good our life could be without him drinking? He refuses to acknowledge a problem even though he is seeing a counselor once a week for PTSD issues. My girls and I have sacrificed a lot, and I feel like its time to really stand my ground and put a halt to this. But how do I stay strong and be true to myself? I need help.
—Guest alone

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Have You Been Playing a Role in the Life of an Alcoholic?

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