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Addiction & Recovery Recognizing, conquering, and coping with addictions, substance abuse & dependence.

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Old 15th March 2017, 11:00 PM   #1
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How best to

I've been dating a man for about 5 months now. We have a great time together and I am very happy with him. He is a wonderful boyfriend: thoughtful, considerate, sweet, loving. No desire to end the relationship.

he is a complicated person, however, and there are some issues. Mainly, he is a self-admitted high-functioning alcoholic. He is also addicted to nicotine (chewing tobacco), which he says he doesn't even enjoy and describes as a monkey on his back. He doesn't chew when I'm around (because he knows it's not appealing) but I know that he does it at other times.

He expresses a desire to quit both things, and to exercise more. His diet is healthy, so that's not an issue. But he tells me there are signs of health consequences from his drinking/chew and he wants to fix that.

I have seen him drink very moderately, or not at all. I've also seen him drink a lot and he can get loud. He is a sweet drunk, never angry. I never feel frightened or threatened when he's drunk. He actually opens up a lot when he's been drinking, and we have very personal conversations where he reveals things about his past. He doesn't drive drunk. He doesn't drink when his kids are around. But when it's just the two of us, we will start out with wine and then he moves to harder stuff as the night goes on.

He has some lingering issues with depression. Both of his parents died suddenly, and he lost a child to SIDS at two months of age. This is such a heartbreaking thing, it's hard to even talk about it with him, so I understand why it hurts him still.

Anyway, not sure what I'm asking for here. Maybe just some advice on what I can do to help him get healthy. Just be supportive of his journey? Encourage him to get into a program? I don't believe in ultimatums, and I'm not interested in being his warden.
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Old 16th March 2017, 2:32 PM   #2
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The first thing you learn when you realize your loved one is an alcoholic is that you can't help them do anything. You can't encourage them to get help, you can't make deals, you can't ask them to moderate. He has to do it on his own. He can talk about wanting to change all day long. We call that "quacking".

My husband started out as a sweet drunk too. Now I pray that he'll punch me in the face so that I can have a reason to leave. Be very careful, when a loved one is addicted, we often lose so much of ourselves trying to fix them. You might wake up in five years not knowing who you are anymore.

SoberRecovery.com has some really great information for family and friends of alcoholics. The site works similarly to this one, so just go to the forums section and there will be a section for friends and family.

Good luck love.
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Old 7th April 2017, 9:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveYourHeart View Post
The first thing you learn when you realize your loved one is an alcoholic is that you can't help them do anything. You can't encourage them to get help, you can't make deals, you can't ask them to moderate. He has to do it on his own. He can talk about wanting to change all day long. We call that "quacking".

My husband started out as a sweet drunk too. Now I pray that he'll punch me in the face so that I can have a reason to leave. Be very careful, when a loved one is addicted, we often lose so much of ourselves trying to fix them. You might wake up in five years not knowing who you are anymore.

SoberRecovery.com has some really great information for family and friends of alcoholics. The site works similarly to this one, so just go to the forums section and there will be a section for friends and family.

Good luck love.
You have a reason to leave.


Op, it sounds like he uses alcohol to cope. I'd suggest buying him a fancy journal as a gift and not saying why.
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