So my situation is as follows... I'm 22 and currently attending a college in nyc. My boyfriend has problems with Alcohol, Adderall, and Marijuana. In the past I have had my own problems with drinking, but not to the degree of alcoholism. Most of my drinking triggers revolved around being unhappy and lonely and not feeling like anyone ever wants to be with me.
I guess that's why when I met my boyfriend (lets call him Joe to make this easier) I was so willing to ignore what people told me. To start off I met him at a bar a friend of mine works at. But I thought "well, I was in the bar and I'm okay." He was so eager to be with me, but he continuously messed up over and over again. Flaking out on plans etc. So I told him forget it, and miraculously he appeared to get his **** together.
I never meant to commit to Joe and be his girlfriend, it was just nice to have someone there. I know this seems stupid too. I was so willing to overlook all these signs because I'd never had a boyfriend before. God, how great... I've really screwed myself over now letting my first boyfriend be an alcoholic. As if I wasn't a mess before.
Anyway, the thing is that Joe has the ability to be so convincing when he talks about his life to other people. He "lost his phone charger," when really I think they shut his phone off because he hasn't paid the bill. He "orchestrated his firing from Tiffany & Co," which now I'm thinking is because he was showing up drunk or hungover or something. I mean- he even told me he was married once for 6 weeks. Joe says they broke up because she was a lesbian, but I'm betting that he just made that up. All these things are so easy to believe, especially when I was looking for someone to be with so desperately.
But there have been times when I know Joe is sober, and he is so different. This is the person I fell in love with. but how do you tell someone your love for them is conditional? I guess you say "I only love you when your sober."
He came with me on a trip to visit some friends in Boston, and he was straight for most of it (exceptions being when everyone else was having a couple drinks too). Then after we came back from our trip he didn't answer his phone one night. The next day he called me to say he was sleeping, and that if he ever doesn't answer I should just come over. So when the same thing happened the next night I did. I found him laying in his bed crying. He said he was emotional because he hadn't been drinking, smoking, or doing adderall. He said he knew these things were keeping him in the poor financial and emotional state he is in. I was thrilled. Not that he was upset, but that he understood and accepted and wanted to change. Then the next day I called him up excited because I didn't have to go to work... and he immediately started a defensive rant about how he had a couple drinks, was high, and was smoking cigarettes. I left his apartment and sent him a message about how he was going against all the things he said the night before.
You see, this happens all the time. He says he wants things to be different, he wants to change- and then it gets too hard. He doesn't like how he feels, so he goes right back to drinking etc and gets defensive.
Since that day he's been drinking all the time. I was at his apartment with a pack of cigarettes and he will just take them from me. I said something about asking and he screamed at me about how if they're in his apartment they are his cigarettes. I got upset and he left in a snit to go to the store and buy a pack. When he came back he tried to act like nothing happened.
Anyway, I could go on forever about all of this. Basically, if you have had the patience to read this all... here is my real question:
I knew I had to break up with him. I did last night, but he was so drunk who knows if he's figured it out. I can't just fully walk away, I want to help him. I know me being around cant help, that I just enable him. The problem is that currently the government, his landlord, and his neighbors all do. its funny how it seems like the people who love him the most have decided to cut him off, but these virtual strangers support his addictions. He's on unemployment, and he blows it on booze, pot, and cigarettes. At his worst he drinks chocolate milk with rum in it if he's hungry, rather than buying groceries. He yells at me and says "this is what I need to function." Only he isn't functioning, not in a healthy way. The ladies at the liquor store, the guys at the bodega, his landlord, and the girl next door who sells pot all let him run up tabs and IOUs. Of coarse he pays them back eventually, but then immediately puts something else on "his tab."
My question is: do I go to these people and ask them to stop enabling him too? Some of them have known him longer than I have, so I'm worried they wont take me seriously. Should I contact the people at the Unemployment center and tell them hes an addict and they are enabling him by giving him $425 a week to spend on booze and drugs?
or do I completely walk away?
Last edited by anonymous22; 09-07-2010 at 11:16 AM.
I not only dated an alcoholic, I married one. I really can't recommend the experience. I too thought I could help him but it wasn't possible. I truly loved him but I didn't really like the person he became when drinking. He's dead now, through alcohol, and my life hasn't been right since.
Only you can make the decision, but if I had my time over I'd have walked away.
I'm sorry to say this but I think you should get away from him as fast as you can. You are very young so you may not realize or even be thinking about the long term effects of this.
I married an alcoholic because I denied he was one and let me tell you a few things.
He WILL NOT change for you.
He WILL NOT change because you have a family.
Relationships are stressful, marriage is stressful, even having children puts stress on a marriage/relationship - suddenly priorities change and sacrifices must be made. When you have children you always put them first.
Stress will make him drink more.
You say he can't hold a job so all of the bills will be your responsibility and that's not all - Everything will be your responsibility because he will be either drunk or too hungover or high etc. My husband does work and is now trying to stop the drinking etc. but it's really not going great and is extremely difficult on everyone involved - honestly I feel I don't even know him anymore and yet I'm still with him. Why? Because now I feel trapped - I feel like it would be extremely detrimental to his POSSIBLE recovery to walk away now and take his son with me. So now instead of waiting for him to get help I'm waiting for it to WORK. It's an awful way to live.
Also if you stay with this man and he continues this way and you get married and have children - be prepared to be a single parent - he won't be able to help you with the simplest things such as driving the child to a bday party or doctors appt. and just imagine if you get sick and need him? Trust me - he won't be there for you. Too stressful so he'll maybe stay home with you and pretend to be supportive but he'll probobly also be drunk so you won't want him home anyway.
I have just given you a glimpse into my life - not something I like to do because I know I will be judged but please - look at the big picture. You're young - you have your whole life ahead of you - don't waste it.