12 Things to Remember If You Love an Alcoholic

There’ve been plenty of times in my life where I wished I’d been born into a different family. My longing had nothing to do with not getting the brand-new car I wanted for my 16th birthday or for being the only kid I knew that hadn’t been to Disney World. But it had everything to do with the unfortunate fact that my parents were alcoholics.

Growing up, I didn’t have access to many sane or sober people to be able to understand and process my parents’ addiction. There are many things that I wish I’d known back then, that I only have access to now as an adult. I can’t help but imagine that if I’d had the support I needed, that maybe my relationship with my family wouldn’t be as compromised as it is today.

Whether you were born to alcoholic parents, married an alcoholic, are a parent to or a best friend of, loving an alcoholic can be challenging and feel, at times, impossible. Here are 12 things, I wish I’d known about loving an alcoholic.

It’s Not Your Fault

As a kid raised by alcoholic parents, I believed that their addictions were completely my fault. I believed that if I was smarter, prettier or quicker at memorizing the multiplication table, that they wouldn’t have a reason to drink and their problems would fade away. I carried this ridiculous belief with me well into my adulthood and my self-esteem took quite a beating because of it.

It wasn’t until I realized that their problems were firmly in play long before I was even born, that I was able to see that my parents were responsible for their life choices. It wasn’t until I honestly believed that their addictions weren’t my fault or my responsibility to fix, that my own recovery could begin.

You’re Not Alone

12 Things to Remember If You Love an AlcoholicLearning that your daughter, husband, cousin, brother or best friend is an alcoholic can leave you feeling isolated. And the newfound shame and embarrassment that you experience as a result can prevent you and your family from reaching out for the support you need.

According to NCADD, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States; 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.” So when you consider that 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse and then you think about the number of people, just like you and me, who are negatively affected by that abuse, you have to ask yourself, how alone in the world of addiction can I really be?

Education Is Key

The more you know about addiction, the more confident and empowered you will be when dealing with your loved one. Knowing the right questions to ask when considering the best course of treatment, dealing with your insurance company or taking care of your own needs can bring order and balance to a situation that feels chaotic and out-of-control. The more you know, the better. 

You May Not Be Ready to Forgive and That’s Okay

Addiction wreaks the most havoc on the relationships it destroys. Even though you may desperately want your loved one to get sober, sobriety doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will be healed and all the bad will be forgotten.

Even if your loved one is sober, you may not be ready to forgive them for lying to you, possibly stealing and for breaking promises that at the time felt genuine and sincere. The important thing to remember is that it’s okay if you’re not ready to forgive. All you can do is try to remain open to the idea of forgiveness, express your disappointment, be honest with what you’re feeling and in your own time, in your own way, you’ll find it.

You May Be Angry and That’s Okay, Too

Don’t beat yourself up if you feel anger towards your newly sober (or still using/drinking) someone. It’s only natural, as you work towards mending your relationship, to feel conflicted over what happened in the past and all that’s waiting to be discovered in the future.

Stuffing away your anger or shaming yourself for how you feel only delays your recovery. If your anger becomes too overwhelming you can always work through it with a therapist or someone you trust. But whatever you do, don’t deny it and don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to feel it.

Learn the Difference Between Enabling and Detaching With Love

One of the most difficult challenges we face as loved ones of alcoholics is knowing the difference between enabling and detaching with love. When we enable the addict in our lives we become obsessed, at the cost of our sanity, with cleaning up our loved one’s messes. No one wants to watch someone they love drown their potential and their future in a bottle of booze. But when we consistently step in and shield someone from the consequences of their actions, we delay their progression towards recovery. When we detach with love, though, we create boundaries that respect our own emotional and mental well-being, while allowing the alcoholic to continue to make their own choices, whatever they may be.

Boundaries Are Necessary; Get Help Creating Them

One of the best ways to keep your enabling reflexes in check is to learn how to create boundaries with your loved one. Boundaries, although challenging to enforce, will aid you in defining exactly the behaviors you are willing to tolerate as well as what you’re not willing to put up with. If you’re having difficulty with the idea of establishing boundaries with someone you love, reach out and get help in figuring out what yours should be and how to set them up.

Practice Getting Comfortable With the Unknown

Life with an alcoholic can be disruptive and unsettling. You just never know what kind of drama will be waiting for you on the other side of your front door or on the other end of your phone. And this constant anticipation of what may or may not happen next can leave you mentally and emotionally exhausted. That’s why it’s worth it to practice getting comfortable with the unknown. Accepting that you can’t control or predict what might happen next will free up your mind and create time for you to sort out your own recovery.

Your Recovery Is Just as Important

With so much attention placed on the alcoholic, we can easily forget that we have our own recovery to tend to. Whether you join forces with a therapist or raid the list of self-help books on Amazon, it really doesn’t matter. Just find some form of recovery that works for you. And never forget that your needs are just as important as the alcoholic’s.

There Will Be People Who Just Don’t Get It

Friends and family who have never been directly touched by addiction may not be able to understand or relate to what you’re going through. Although some may want to offer their support, they may be hesitant to bring it up or just not know how to approach the subject with you. And then there might be an unfortunate few whose knowledge of addiction is guided entirely by stigma, myth and misconception. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do for people who aren’t willing to open up their minds to new ideas about addiction. But what you can do is find people through community groups, 12-step meetings and even on social media, that do get it and lean on them for support when you need it. 

Don’t Let Stigma Keep You Silent

It’s unfortunate, but there’s no denying that addiction comes loaded with stigma. Stigma triggers shame and shame leads to silence. And silence keeps us trapped in our darkest secrets.

If you find yourself buckling under the weight of stigma or the fear of what people may think about you if they find out that your husband, daughter or mother is an alcoholic, remember that stigmas are nothing more than old, worn-out ideas about addiction. There will be people who judge you unfairly; there’s no dodging it. But their judgment says more about how little they know about addiction than it does about you and your situation.

There’s Always Hope

Finally, it’s time to talk about your most consistent ally in the world of addiction and that ally is hope. Depending on what’s unraveling in your life, you may not feel hopeful 100% of the time and that’s okay. Look for inspiration from your support group, connect with people and listen to their stories. It can be very therapeutic to realize that you’re not alone in what you’re going through. And for the times when you really just can’t shake that hopeless feeling, simply try to roll with it. The feeling will pass and when you’re ready to come back to it, hope will be there waiting for you.

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    30 Responses to 12 Things to Remember If You Love an Alcoholic

    1. Avatar
      Regis Spirk August 17, 2015 at 12:55 am #

      thank You ,for all that you do!

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      Amanda January 18, 2016 at 5:51 am #

      Thank you

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      Terri March 14, 2016 at 6:48 am #

      Thank you for sharing
      My mother is an alcoholic and its like no one cares but me. She is the fun aunt, life of the party and it drives me insane. I am learning to see it as an illness and how can I love her better. I can be distant when she inebriated because I don’t like her character when she is drunk. I am thirty and I’m just realizing this issue.

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        Luisa May 9, 2016 at 3:05 am #

        My mom is an alcoholic as well and I feel the same way. I hate that no ones sees the actual problem than me. She is the only one that has fun on a party because she can’t realize how everyones is laughing at her and not with her. She gets attention the wrong way without realizing she is making a fool of her self. Besides, no one realizes she is my mother and they making fun of her hurts me because they don’t understand how hard it is to deal with it.

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        Tanya October 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

        I completely understand. I’m 37 years old. And my mom was the same way. I spent most of my adult life trying to get her help and to change.when I felt like I was fighting a losing battle I gave up (something I regret). I told my mom I had done all I could and that I couldn’t continue to hurt myself. I told her on a regular basis that my fear was that phone call that she had died of alcohol poisoning or fell and cracked her . She always responded with I know honey and I’m truly sorry I have put you through this.but she continued. I started distancing myself from her. In my mind it was the only way I could protect myself.so I thought. I thought if I wasn’t around her and only talked on the phone then all the bad that happened wouldn’t effect me and that I could prepare myself for that phone call I knew would come one day. And I have to say I was wrong on how I dealt with this.i went to my mom’s on mother’s day of 2013.took her a gift hung out for a bit.then left. I talked to her everyday on the phone whether she was drunk or not.and she would often say I’ve not seen you please come by. I would respond by saying i will one day.. July 18th was her bday. I didn’t go because she was drunk.i had never missed one birthday until this point.i did talk to her on the phone. Then on Monday July 22,2013 she called sober saying there was something’s she needed to talk to me about.so I listened.she talked about death,about how she wanted certain things,about how she was so tired of this addiction. I got frustrated,this wasn’t the first time I had heard all this.but however I did listen.we talked for 3 hours. The rest of the week we talked off and on. Then on July 25th I thought maybe I should go see her.i went by a fast food place grabbed some food and headed to her house unannounced. She wasn’t home nor could I reach her on her phone.so I ended up taking the food and going to my dad’s. I went home later. She called at 8:00pm said she had walked all the way into town and was at a cousins house (who is also an alcoholic) she said she was tired and going to just stay there. She was sober at that point and I even had the thought of going to pick her up seeing she was only 5 mins from my house.but I didn’t say anything. She said I love you and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. That night I could not sleep I stayed awake all night. At 5:00am that morning ( July 26,2013) my dad called ,asked if I was awake and said he needed me to come to his house and bring my husband.i didn’t ask why I just left. My dad also lived 5 mins from me and he and my mom where divorced.i make it to the red light and tell my husband something bad has happened. He says I’m overreacting. When I pull into my dad’s there’s 2 cop cars. My husband says oh wow what has your dad done. I step out of my car and police officer ask my name ask if I’m the daughter of my mother and informs me that she has passed away. Everything went black.came to with my dad,husband,and police over me and cracked head from the pavement that I had hit. Then a few hours later I had the task of planning the funeral.in which I knew what she wanted but she had no life insurance. But the point of my story is never give up,never walk away. I have regretted that for the last 3 years.no matter how much you try you can’t prepare yourself or make yourself not care. All it ends up doing is hurting yourself more.i know my mother’s death was not my fault but I wish I had spent more time with her drunk or not. Now I wouldn’t care how drunk she was if I could just see and talk to her. I do have regrets. I mean I hadn’t laid eyes on my mom since mother’s day. I had never went that long not seeing her and I have to live with that decision.my advice would to be try to get the person help if they are willing.if not try to spend as much time as possible.try doing things with the person where they can’t drink. And do this as often as possible.n not only will get to spend time but you will also be helping keep the person sober for a bit. If you are an alcoholic please for the sake of your family please get help. You may think you are not hurting nobody but yourself and this isn’t true. I grew up with both parents as alcoholic’s. My dad got sober,my mom did for awhile then she relapsed and this time was the worst.if you continue death is the ultimate result then if you have kids or other family you will hurt them. I mean the death hurts family regardless. But it’s a little easier to deal with when it comes from old age and so forth. But when it come from alcohol it’s worse because it could have been helped and you leave your family thinking you didn’t care enough to about them to get sober and stay alive in they’re lives.then they go through the blaming they’re selves because they couldn’t deal with you drunk all the time.the pain that is caused is so deep and not even time can heal it because in the back of the child or family members mind they are always thinking what could they have done differently.what did they do wrong. Why didn’t you care enough about them to change and alot more. Many people may not agree with me and that’s ok. Every situation is different but every outcome is usually the same. Thanks for reading my long post

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      elli March 25, 2016 at 12:42 am #

      I am in a 5 month relationship with an alchoholic who is in and out of recovery. He lasts two or three weeks sober between a binge. He lies. He tries. I get angry. He begs forgiveness. And the cycle goes on. I love this man and i can’t seem to leave him. Dispute his addiction, he’s a precious person. So sweet and loving. Oh God help! How should I handle this? Its been so long since ive been in love. Im now in my fifties, not easy to find love at this age. My heart says hang in there, hes trying so hard to change.

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        Diane April 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

        My best advice: find an Al-Anon meeting and go IMMEDIATELY.

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      Vicki May 3, 2016 at 5:59 am #

      Educate yourself on addiction and alcoholics. Al non is a great start. he needs help you cant help him he has to really really want it. Do for yourself. The worst thing you can do is enable an alcoholic. Trust me I’m a pro at that learn the difference between enabling and love. I to am deeply in love with an alcoholic. I focused my entire being to trying to help him. In the mean time I lost myself. I went to counseling with him. Went to AA meetings took him to church. Supported him in rehab. Dont get into the trap of his self destruction he will destroy you. . The lies the manipulation the self pity party are all a mask. If he truly loves you he will get the help he needs. He has to love himself first. You have to put it in Gods hands. Most of all he has to put it in Gods hands and pray for himself. Its difficult to love someone who doesn’t love himself. He has to hit absolute rock bottom.In the meantime dont let yourself hit bottom. Let him go. Let him fall. The most difficult thing to do is to let him figure it out for himself. Its a sad sad thing to have to deal with. My most important advise to you is to take care of YOU and Pray… If it gets to the point were hes abusive then get away. He will be fine. Think of Your health your well being your sanity God Bless I feel for you.

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        Fool4love June 5, 2016 at 12:40 am #

        I just got back with my ex husband last week after bouts of recovery and bingeing since December. Sober he tells me he understands I can’t take the drinking and says he wants me and our kids and knows it has to stop to have us, yet each week he relapses one day that generally turns into two days thanks to the intense hangover and the fact that he doesn’t stop until he passes out and then he’s riddled with guilt and a new conviction for another 7 days. I feel like such a fool!! After last week’s fiasco is when we decided to be together together. He didn’t drink this week even on a day I knew he was struggling. But tonight he just called me up and surprise! He’s drunk. We haven’t lived together since the divorce and have two kids together and a a third that’s mine from a previous relationship so they are no longer exposed to him during these late night binges. I just don’t think I can go through with it. I texted him after he got off of work and no response. Started getting worried so I called, straight to vm but then he calls back hours later drunk and saying hurtful things and it breaks my heart. Last night we spent the night together, no drinking, just us, and it was so nice I hated to go home and now today, THIS! I’ve already experienced the full capacity of his addiction and I’m not willing to go down that path with him again. I am only interested in pursuing a relationship because I thought that sobriety is what he wanted, obviously he doesn’t. I’m not sure when I’ll speak to him again but I have to let him know, maybe this isn’t what he wants and if that’s true it is what it is. I’ve survived without him after the divorce. I just don’t want to get any deeper in the relationship seeing this has been a weekly occurrence after him being sober 1 month. I just can’t. My heart is breaking again because I truly love him and know I can’t save him and because I can’t, I have to save myself and my kids. Wtf was I thinking?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          suzi July 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

          This is a terrible illness (it must be an illness..how could someone decide to live this way?) I am in the same place, although we never married and don’t have kids..I wanted to marry him and I would have gladly had his child. You think you know who they are..the sweetest, sanest, wonderful-est person sober (mine could even have a couple of glasses of wine and still be sweet)..but then comes the binge: you no longer exist, whatever you shared the day before is no longer relevant, whatever you planned together is now cancelled..whoever you thought they were has now evaporated; you are now completely alone..your partner now essentially dead…….only to return a few days later as if nothing happened, with no understanding as to why you are filled with grief, despair and rage. You eventually become depressed and ill from the anxiety caused by these binges, never knowing when the person you love will evaporate into thin air. With time your own understandable depression and illness compounds the problem, leads to more binges because you cannot be so consistent because of your own illness. Eventually you have to leave them to save yourself. One year on I am still raw, still in love with someone I cannot be with and exhausted. Unable to move forward and unable to go back. I just hope with time I will heal and move on.

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            Gail September 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

            I have been six years with my boyfriend, Horrible things have happened while he is under the influence of alcohol, he will seem fine for a while and then a binge. He managed to get into a Veterans Home, and I thought since he had to have documentation that he was an alcoholic they would do something more than provide him with a place to live while he goes back to killing himself. He stayed with me three months, He was with me in the morning until I went to work, as soon as I got off we were together. Two weeks before he left he was supposed to spend the day with his mom and dad, but manipulated it to be at the library which is right next door to the liquor store. I got home that night, and he yelled about my daughter, he yelled that I would be old and lonely, He yelled that he knew I would go crazy because I can’t control him anymore and he is allowed to drink, and “I like Drinking” He has been a chronic alcoholic for over 24 years. He also told me as I was dropping him off on Monday, he would make no promises on trying to cut back, or drinking just beer. He loves me, I am his best friend, but he doesn’t want me preaching to him. Since Monday I know he has gone on a heavy binge, He will message me, his phone is turned off. He said, “Yes for you I will drink only low octane beer.” while I am sure he is under the influence of Vodka. I have loved this man, but the fact that I cannot talk to him about his drinking without him raging about my adult daughter with Aspergers, she holds a job, and he has not for over six years. and now free housing for him because he was a vet. He got kicked out for drinking of course. I don’t feel loved, I cannot talk to him when he is drinking, yeah, I suppose I am going to die alone either way. At least I have my animals, I have my job, I have my daughter. I just don’t know why drinking is everything to him, he has no respect from his family when he drinks, but when he was here for three months they were all communicating with him. They will be disappointed when he is slurring his words and making no sense. I guess I just take day by day, I don’t want to see him die, I would rather be alone. I miss him, But I know he has decided to do what he wants, he is not longer alive in that body, I miss the man I loved, pretty sure he is gone forever. RIP Randy, I loved you, and hoped you would want a better life, you claimed you were happy with me. Only to put the Liquid Goddess Vodka before everything. Sober he is the sweetest man, Drunk he is the biggest *ss

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              Blair October 12, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

              I am in a similar situation. I have been in a 2 year relationship with a man who loves his whisky more than me. I am divorced with children and sober, he promises the sun, moon and stars. He promised a good life with a lot of positive changes. So far, he’s been without work for 7 years, claiming he has been taking care of his family but I hear now that he was just drinking so much he decided not to work. He goes on these binges, 2 bottles of whisky a night. Passes out, pukes and doesn’t shower for days at a time. He’s never been physically violent but he is emotionally abusive and draining. He is a master manipulator. It’s always my fault, I’m the pushy one. Meanwhile, he’s falling down drunk, pissing in containers in bed so he doesn’t have to get up. I don’t know what to do. I fell in love with a totally different person. He is a demon now. No soul.

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              Terri Liles October 17, 2016 at 9:52 am #

              Hello, ladies, I have been down the same road with my boyfriend of four years. He was actually incarcerated for fifteen months for arrest and conviction of his third DUI. I had ended the relationship when he received his third DUI in two years and had no contact for the first year of his incarceration. After he was transferred to prison, he reached out to me and said that sober he realized everything that he had, and that his classes and imprisonment had turned out to be the best thing that had ever happened. He wrote and called several times each week and we talked as we had never talked before. The beautiful man that I had fallen in love with was there, and I was learning more about him that I ever had without the cloud of alcohol and erratic behavior that it caused in him. I remained skeptical, and sent no money, nor did I visit. I just listened, was there, and after about six months of prison communication I started to think that we could maybe have a life together. He was released on parole two weeks ago, and I told him that after he was settled, checked in with his parole officer, and was getting back on his feet, I would agree to see him for lunch. He was paroled to his family home, and given a job with his family. He has so much support. He seemed to do ok his first week out, we texted and talked every day, so I finally agreed to meet for lunch last Friday. His parole conditions were that he was to drive ONLY to and from work, no drinking, certainly no drinking and driving. He said that he would have someone drop him off at the restaurant, and I would take him back to work. When I arrive at the restaurant, he is drinking a margarita! Since that is not his choice of drink, he said it was just socially. I felt punched in the gut. His personality had already changed, and he divulged that he had driven to the restaurant (violation #1) and had been drinking since the night of his release because he said that he “had learned how to control it” (violation #2) . I just sat through the lunch, stunned, my heart breaking, as I watched him drink three drinks then order a shot! I insisted on driving him back to his job, and went to the ladies’ room to fix my tears. When I came back he was gone, and had driven back to work after three drinks and a shot of tequila. My heart was broken, my world shattered, but, deep down, I was also relieved. I am truly done now, and have done all that I could do to make this work. All of his declarations of love, of being changed, of the things he would do to prove his love once out of prison, were lies. Now that the numbness has passed, I am not sure if I should contact his parole officer, for I don’t want him to drink and drive and kill someone this time. I fear retaliation from his family if I intervene in this way,. Nothing has changed, and he is doomed. Do I intervene legally or do I just let it go and let him self destruct alone? This is the most disappointing and hardest thing that has ever happened to me.

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      Marcus June 3, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

      My wife is a very high functioning alcoholic. She is a nurse. She drinks a 6 pack or more every day. While doing this she never missed work. We went out with family to sing karaoke the other night. She got drunk had over 10 beers. I closed her tab early and asked her to please not have another beer. Something to know. I don’t drink. I had 3 diet cokes. Anyway buy asking her to not have another beer,she got mad and went and got another beer. Then told other people she was going to cuss me out and f__k me up. This is my wife saying this. I’m 6ft3 290 lbs and she scares me with her temper when she is drinking. Any way we fought. Words from me. She hit me. What can I do

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        Vicki Darkow October 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

        Leave her, you are too good to put up with that. My boyfriend is alcoholic too, but if he ever hit me, that would finalize things. You need to go to Al-Anon, or get support somewhere. I know you love her, but she is destroying you…

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      Gabriel July 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      I want to apologize to all the victims of alchaholics. I am so sorry for the pain and suffering we have inflicted on the ones we love the most. That was never are goal. But we were so selfish. The ones we love the most, we hurt so much. After ten years of drinking, I finally got sober through the grace of God and the tools of AA and therapy. We have six beautiful children. The damage is immense and I am broken hearted for all of you. It’s a terrible disease. My wife wants a divorce. I got sober but not soon enough. She told me she doesn’t love me anymore and wants to be free of the liability of me. That was a few days ago. Yesterday she agreed to counseling. I am letting go and letting God. I am all in on sobriety of mind, heart, and soul. I have love. That’s what will heal everything. We alchaholics are broken and full of self loathing and self centered behavior. We have no excuse for are actions. The disease did not make us do anything. Are unwillingness to get help from someone else is what kept us drinking. Pride and arrogant thoughts sustained us. We alchaholics for what ever reason could not love ourselves. This condition usually predates are drinking. I personally was abused sexually at a young age. My ability to be vulnerable and to trust others was shattered. This did not manifest until in marriage I was required to trust and be honest. Then many years of drinking and pain finished the job. I can not change the past or no the future. But I can thoughtfully move through each day and be present for my loved ones. I am learning to listen without judgement and to speak with out manipulation. There is hope for the most sad cases. But you must let us fall. You can not save us. We must ask for that grace from the depths of are souls. He have to fully understand through the pain our powerless situation. I will be okay no matter what. I am becoming the best father that I can be for my children. I am going to try my best to be a friend to my wife. I never expect to be her lover again, but just to be allowed to be truthful and honest with her for the rest of my days would be enough. I can’t fathom the idea of hurting those I love anymore. I am so broken hearted for all the pain I have caused and feel it deeply. Just know that hurting you is not what we set out to do. We are sick and suffering. We weep far more than you know. Again, from the depths of my soul. I am so sorry for your pain .God bless all of you.

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        Jenni Locke August 10, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

        Wow your email touched me so much ! You show great humility and I hope in time you wil get your wife and family back . I will pray for you.
        I left my husband 7 months ago as his drinking was intolarable – we had been married 28 years . He has been horrid to me and still denies he has a prob . It’s nice to know some men realise and get help.
        Jenni

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        JB September 10, 2016 at 3:33 am #

        Thanks for sharing your story.

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        Heidi October 2, 2016 at 12:43 am #

        Thank you for this, Gabriel. I needed it tonight. God bless.

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        Karen October 12, 2016 at 2:39 am #

        This made me weep,,,my Husband is a drinker and made my life a misery and we only Wed December last year.
        My hearts broken into a million pieces but I can’t go on with seeing him dominated by alcohol.
        He blames everyone else,it’s never his fault and the chaos that he has brought into the home you can only imagine,,,I’ve lived it and it’s a sad picture.
        Like all alcoholics,when he doesn’t drink he is the man I fell in love with and that’s what makes it so hard to stay strong and stay away but I must try.
        He has been vile to me and my 18 year old son and then claims he remembers nothing & to ignore the rantings of a drunk,that’s impossible as I always remember every damaging word said,if he doesn’t remember what he does and says then in that case he is the lucky as cuts deeps.
        I wish you all strength and love as know how hard and painful loving a drinker is.
        It destroys the Mind,Body & Soul xx
        Thank you for opening up to all of us as very brave of you and honourable to hold your hands up to the misery alcohol brings on a relationship

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      Santos July 12, 2016 at 4:45 am #

      Best advise is to run away from a relationship with an alcoholic. I dated a girl for 3 years who even tho she was perfect sober (12-14 days per month) things will never work out, unless they decided to recover, if they have not been sober for 1-2 years, you will never know what things will be like, they simply get worst. Alcoholics like to find flaws on everything, the relationship, your life, your family, everything will have flaws and you will be blame for a none existent problem, is the mind of the alcoholic. The only relationship an apologia can have and can love is alcohol, I you love and can’t enable you are the enemy.

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        Cheryl August 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

        I appreciate your comments. I have had an on again, off again, relationship with an alcoholic. He is so critical, so finding fault with things that occur, but hardly ever taking responsibility. I love this man, but know I can not save him and so must save myself from a life filled with misery if he continues to drink.

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      Crystal July 25, 2016 at 11:03 am #

      I was in a relationship with an alcoholic for a year on and off. I knew he drank but I didn’t know how bad the ups and downs would hurt me being with him. And I had been pulling away from the relationship as soon as his mask started falling off and I realized how he really was but he wouldn’t let me go. Even now I don’t feel free of him he calls everyday and even though I have blocked his number he gets friends to call and text me. I have been abused physically and emotionally and lied to and harassed. He says he won’t let me go because he loves me but I think it’s because he doesn’t want to give up on himself he knows he can get better but I don’t think it will be any time soon and so I had to breakup, but I feel my life is never going to be the same I will never fully heal .

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      Gail August 12, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

      My 30 year old daughter is an alcoholic. She has gotten worse and worse. No job; fired for walking out (she drank earlier that day), lives with me and I am feel like I’m slowly dying. I am a widow, high stress job. She calls me a workaholic but she doesn’t realize that I have to work hard to support us. She has gone to college many times, quitting after a few weeks. Guess who got the bills. A DWI a few years back. She has alcoholic delivered to our house during the night when I’m asleep. I haven’t seen her sober in 5 days. I plan to look for an al-anon group, I can’t go on like this.

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      Marie August 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

      I’ve been in a relationship with an alcoholic for nearly 3years last week he was binge drinking for a week and for the last 6 months he drinks at least 4 nights a week. He suffers with anxiety and depression and stress. Alcohol removes all of that but after 3 drinks he is very aggressive and angry and everything is everyone elses fault and I’m making him unhappy etc etc. Then once he is sober he is full of apologies and Promises Until he drinks again! It really is soul destroying !!

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      Bryan September 8, 2016 at 6:58 am #

      One of the biggest issues I see as a non-drinking man, who is/was married to an alcoholic, is that NO one sees a 6’1″, 200lb, fit, type “A” personality man as a victim. I left my best friend about eight months ago, after twenty three years of marriage, and two wonderful teenage girls. My girls are sick of the drinking and chose to live with me. I have met another woman who has been very supportive, and because of her I have not gone running back. My wife has painted me as a controlling person, who mentally abused her to friends and family. She is a very high functioning alcoholic, who is the life of the party. On the surface, most people would say, “why would he leave that woman?”. The party never stops, and I was the one always cleaning up. The feeling of, “I must be crazy”, and or, “maybe I am the crazy one, and if so, am I controlling my girls thoughts” has been destroying me inside. I hate my life, and I have so many regrets it has/is becoming overwhelming. I am trying to get help.

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      Kelly Collins September 16, 2016 at 10:43 am #

      After two years of companionship, trust, love, travel, friendship, and exploration, my alcoholic partner told me that he’s been relapsing for several months. We were friends for years before we got involved romantically. I thought we knew each other well. He had a history with alcohol, but it became unmanageable in July 2015. At that time he went to rehab, joined AA, and committed himself to a sober path. He asked for my help and we became closer than ever.

      I had sensed that he was drinking again this summer, but when I questioned him he dismissed me as insecure. Part of his confession was also a rejection. He said that he just wants to be alone, and to drink. He won’t get help, saying that AA is a cult and rehab/counseling are rackets. Then he canceled our plans and stopped speaking to me. That was 10 days ago. I have no idea if this is a temporary or permanent break.

      I’ve been looking online for help and support, and found this forum. I want to thank everyone who posted here. More than anything, I need to know that I’m not alone. I hope he decides to return to health and life, but until he chooses all I can do is pray for him and try to keep my face in the sun. Thank you all.

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      Marianne September 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      I’ve been in a relationship and fell in love with an alcoholic…previous husband was alcoholic and died homeless at the age of 48…he was the love of my life. Here I am in love with another alcoholic and I just can’t find the strength in me to go forward with him knowing the years of hurt I will endure. He is not willing to get help but wants me to stand by him and help him. How can I possibly help without meetings or him getting help?

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      Brigitte October 14, 2016 at 9:59 am #

      I have been having a long distance relationship with a successful businessman for five months. He has admitted to a drinking problem but I have never been involved with an alcoholic and did not realize the severity of his disease. In the meantime, I have fallen in love with him and flew across the country to meet the man of my dreams. We had been talking about marriage and spending the rest of our lives together. I could smell alcohol on his breath the night I arrived. I let it go and we went out and had fun. He told me over and over how much he loved me, wanted to marry me, adored me, etc. He had talked about wanting another child. We made tender love.
      By the next day he was a different person. Emotionally and physically. He asked me how I could love someone after just a day. He could barely get out of bed. He vomited. His hand shook so violently that he could not even use his phone. He informed me that he was sorry that he got moody in the mornings and that he NEEDED to drink and that it would be better after lunch. By noon he was drinking three margaritas simply to function. He told me he would begin a taper. That afternoon he described his DREAM woman to me. He certainly was not telling me it was me. He could not understand why I was upset and went to a hotel.
      Later that night he asked if I wanted to go go to dinner (odd since he can barely eat food). I was completely brokenhearted and said no. I was hoping he would come to the horrid hotel and apologize. I then texted him back and he said he was on the phone having a horrible conversation with his ex-wife. He told me he was staying in for the night. I told him to call me back after his call. After an hour he continued to tell me he was on the phone. An hour later I decided he must really be having a hard time, so I decided to get a driver and go be with him. On my way to his house I see him walking toward a bar. He had lied to me again! He got angry at me because I was angry. He left me sitting in his driveway for three hours waiting for him to return. I slept in a different room that night and refused to speak to him. I received no apology.
      My birthday was the next day. This was less than 48 hours after arriving across country to meet him. He was sick in bed with hypertension and sweating. I told him I needed to fly home ( three days early and a $200 airfare penalty). He really didn’t seem to care. He said he no longer wanted to go to the concert we had planned to go to, was suddenly getting his kids the next day, etc.
      I left. He didn’t try to stop me. I texted him that I was going to have to work really hard on forgiveness. He said he was too. I told him I honestly didn’t know what I had done????? I spent my birthday flying home all day in tears. Also praying that I am not pregnant. I haven’t heard from him. I am just devastated. Is this normal???????

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      rb November 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

      I have been married past 4 years, have a 4 year old son, and my wife is an alcoholic. Last night was Halloween and our anniversary, she instead of spending time with me and our son, went over to a friends and did not call, text or come home until 2 or 3 in the morning. I don’t know what to do as this feels like the last straw. She has numerous time gotten drunk and left me at work, constantly takes off for hours with no call or text. When sober she is loving, caring and seems to be a good mom. but those times are very few and far between now. My mother recently passed a couple months ago, and in her drunkenness told me to get over it. When her mom passed 6 years ago, her dad 3 years ago, her brother and other family and friends, and still crys and throws fits about missing them. over the past year I have seen text messages to other guys, I cant confirm if she has cheated, but she has ditch me and my son multiple times. Specifically his birthday and now Halloween/Anniversary. we are so beyond broke and in debt and bad credit I don’t know what to do but I do know I do not want my son growing up like this.

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