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Me or the bottle?

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  • #388856
    Dougaldog
    Participant

    I’ve been with my lovely inspiring energetic partner for many years now. I do love them and we’ve had some fantastic inspiring memorable times together. I have had long term mental health problems, and during the time with her, I have kept on top of them. Sadly though, there has been a third member of our relationship, the bottle. I have always hated it, or more accurately, really don’t like being with the changed person they become after, always, going what to my mind is over the top. Carried through the door, can’t stand up or speak straight etc etc. If there’s more than than one bottle, the second will always get opened. I’ve shared my concerns quite a few times, but they refuse to change, things get very heated, and I am accused of trying to be controlling. Further complicated, in that I am presently dependant on that person for the roof over my head, as I can’t afford to move away. ‘Going out’ always involves getting seriously drunk, and I hate every minute of it, looking forward to them going to sleep, or becoming unconscious.  They are a wonderful person, but I feel sick and highly anxious every night at about 6pm, when the drinking will start. I love them to bits, and massively value what we have shared, and what we could share in the future. But I can’t stand being with the drinking.  It’s just about every night. I’ve tried asking myself if it’s just me ((I don’t drink) but the nagging doubts never go away. I fear that given the choice, the bottle would win as a more reliable and desirable  long term partner.  Most of their friend’s idea of a dream night out is to get smashed too. It’s all hideous!

    Any words of wisdom?

    #388859
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dougaldog:

    I’ve tried asking myself if it’s just me ((I don’t drink) but the nagging doubts never go away. I fear that given the choice, the bottle would win as a more reliable and desirable  long term partner.  Most of their friend’s idea of a dream night out is to get smashed too. It’s all hideous! Any words of wisdom?

    – I am guessing that your partner, like anyone’s partner who drinks heavily and/ or daily, will drink for as long as she wants to drink regardless of your feelings about her drinking, and regardless of what you say or not say about her drinking. For habitual drinkers who drink every day, or every night- it is not a matter of a competition between drinking and their romantic partner. The competition (“Me or the bottle?“) exists only in the mind of the non-drinker, not in the mind of the habitual drinker.

    And so, if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t suggest to my partner to choose between me or her drinking, and I wouldn’t further complain to her about her drinking. Instead, I will (1) See to it that she doesn’t drive when under the influence, and that none of her friends drives a car when under the influence, (2) When you are present with her when she is out and about, drinking, see to it that there is plenty of water at the table. At home, always place a glass of  water by your partner’s side of the bed. Alcohol is diuretic, which causes falls and injuries when not enough of a blood flow reaches the brain. Falls and other injuries when drunk under are common and cause lots of mild and severe injuries and deaths.

    Other than that, consider doing what it takes for you to move out of your partner’s place, and in so doing, living your life on your own terms when it comes to drinking and otherwise.

    anita

     

    #388912
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dougaldog,

    I feel for you, it’s not an easy situation. Since you have stayed with your partner, who is an alcohol addict, for quite a few years, I am wondering if you have experienced something similar in your childhood – perhaps one of your parents was an addict, or unavailable/unreliable for other reasons? You’re welcome to share some more, if you feel comfortable…

    I agree with anita that your partner most probably won’t change just for you. Since she isn’t even willing to admit that she has a problem, it’s likely that she’ll keep doing it until she can. Your love cannot convince her, unfortunately, as it is usually the case with all people suffering from addiction.

    So you would need to find the strength and courage to let go of her, which I know isn’t easy, not only because you love her and have hopes for the future, but also you don’t have anywhere to go at the moment. I believe you’d need to work on both lessening your emotional attachment to her, and also empowering yourself to be less financially dependent on her. Neither is easy, but can be done… If you’d like to talk some more about your situation, specially your childhood and upbringing, you are more than welcome.

     

    #388920
    Dougaldog
    Participant

    Thank you both.

    #388921
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Dougaldog!

    anita

    #388923
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dougaldog,

    you are welcome. Wishing you well!

    #389216
    Chrissie
    Participant

    Wise folks here and you have insights already Dougaldog that took me a long time to realize about my partner and me.  Things will only change when you decide enough is enough.  Your partner may change or they may not.  You can be supportive of them but it cannot be at the sake of your own physical or mental health.  I think if you feel dread at 6pm everyday, your physical body is giving you warning signs that it does not like your situation.  Eventually your health will be jeopardy or your partner’s actions will hurt you badly in someway.  Peace and good health are worth any sacrifice or suffering you have to go through.  I left my established comfortable life a few years ago and uprooted everything to go a new city to be near people who supported me and help me recover.  There are probably more people that you realize that will help you.  It was not easy to start over (I’m in my 50s) but I grew and learned a lot.  I worked on my spiritual life, got counseling, went to support groups, took lots of walks outside, talked to my sister a lot, and tried new things and opened myself to new possibilities.  Life went on and I became healthier.  My partner is in recovery now and we share a better love, 2.0, ha!  Blessings and peace to you on your journey.

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