relapsing alcoholic and I broke up

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2011
relapsing alcoholic and I broke up
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 10:39am

I had to finally leave my alcoholic boyfriend. When we first met he drank heavily, but quit cold turkey because he didn't want to ruin what he had. We were together 1 1/2 years. He and I were going to get married next month. Things were great. We had our usual fights, but nothing bad. He loved me and I loved him. I have two kids from a previous relationship and he has two from other girls. I have my kids all the time. I wasn't working, but that was fine with him. I took care of the kids and house. Well a few weeks ago, he started drinking again and wanting to party. He was trying to blame me that the relationship was ending because I don't trust him. Actions speak louder than words I told him. I knew he had relapsed back into alcohol. He acted so different towards me. Just like he didn't give a damn at all about his family! He told me I could stay at the house and I did for awhile. Then I saw that he was cheating on me and I couldn't take it anymore. He was stayin out all night and not coming home until the next morning. I seriously have no idea what the hell happened. I knew he was/is under a lot of stress from work, but I didn't think it would end like this. I moved most my things out, but still have plenty there. I have no home, no job, and two kids that I am raising all by myself. I am staying with my sister for the time being. My ex told me he is sorry for causing me so much pain, but drinking is how he handles things. I cannot believe this. This man totally changed on me overnight!!!!! His daughter was like my own and I am going to miss her terribly!! I just wish I could understand why this has happened to me and my kids. They loved him like he was their dad. Now another relationship ends and I am so confused and hurt. My kids as well. Any advice or support please...

Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 3:04pm

You did the right thing - you have to put your kid's well being first and no matter how much they'll miss him and might be confused and hurt over this, raising them in a house with an alcoholic is not healthy. 

He said that "drinking is how he handles things". What things? What has happened recently that he hasn't had to "handle" in the last 1.5 years while you've been together? Not that this is an excuse - but understanding his triggers might help you get some closure.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2012
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 9:24pm

I am so sorry!!  Just be happy you weren't already married and dealing with a divorce on top of the emotional side.  My brother has struggled with addiction and it is a struggle... he can go a long time and be fine and then something just causes a relapse.  I don't understand why and neither does he except to say he regrets it after each relapse... but so far there has alway been another one on the horizon.  Staying with him would be a life of instability, he clearly does not have control of his addiction and it would be unfare to your children if they had to deal with ups and downs that go with having an addict as a parent.  You did the right thing, you are a good mom for putting your children in front of your love for this man.  It is painful, but it is what it is.  You can either accept his addiction and know that you are in for a roller coaster for a life (and it could and will get worse) or you move on.  You are a mom... if you wouldn't approve of your daughter dating a guy like him then he isn't good enough for you either... would you want your daughters dating selfish, unstable, alcoholics?  It is painful but just keep your head up and remember who you are really making this decision for.  Good for you for being strong enough to leave.  I am sorry you are going through all of this pain... just remember the pain is temporary, there are better days in your near future. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2011
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 12:00pm
hi. I am really sorry for that you are going through. I can relate. you say he is an alcoholic and he stopped for you. that is good, but that is not enough. he needs to get therapy. there is only one thing you can do: let him go. and concentrate on yourself. Do not chase him. you might be better off without him. yes, alcoholics change *over night* -when they get their drug back. give up on him unless you want to be his therapist for years. what you should do for yourself is try to find another job- yes, i know that is hard, but possible! Do anything, even if it is unpaid. Go out and live a fuller life it will make you richer inside. concentrate on yourself! do sports, work out, go to a fitness club ( that helps you get the break up stress out of your system and makes you feel better.) if you have little money : go for a run each day, that is a great way to recover from a heartbreak. I know this sounds hard but this works. he sounds like a looser if he just gave up on his family (you , the kids (his and yours)) just like that but that is what drug addicts do. Unless he has not been in therapy for a couple of years- forget him. that is my 2 cents. and i know that this is not easy.. I can relate . I lost a relationship too because of his drug habit. I demanded he would stop and he freaked ;) and ended the relationship rather than giving up drinking… and all his drinking buddies (i.e. his “friends” ) told him that if I demand of him to stop getting wasted every week (sometimes 2 times a week;)) so much that he is laying drunk in some corner of some bar ( I kid you not :( ) I would be possessive and limiting his freedoms and keeping him from his real life.. ha ha ha... oh well, ok. His loss . in reality an alcoholic (drug addict) knows he/she has a problem and is ashamed. That is why they behave even crazier after they used the drug. It is some vicious circle. They love you and they do not want to screw up, but they need their drug more then they need you (at this time without therapy) so they take the drug and than they feel guilty for having taken the drug and start changing their behaviour when they are sober too… it is a guilt thing. So can a drug addict change over night , even after 1.5 years? -Absolutely. well, alcohol (drugs), cheating and all that sort of stupid behaviour all goes hand in hand. You need to know that the problem here is not you! you could be the most beautiful, intelligent, lovely woman on this planet. It would not make a difference to how a drug addict behaves towards you. The problem here is him. He needs therapy. Unless you really want to live with an alcoholic and his problems give up on him. Also you are doing your kids a lot of good if you keep drug addicts away from them. No matter how sweet, charming, lovely, etc.. that man is. kids need reliable parents. If one is a drug addict they will end up with some sort of deficiency. ( sorry this sounds hard but it is that way. ) Also keep in mind that drug addicts have a way of blaming you for the break up, their life-mess ups, everything is someone else’s fault, because they never take responsibility for their own actions. If they would start taking responsibility they would stop using drugs. So stay strong no matter what he may push at you! Realise that it is his drug speaking. It is not you. it is not the reality of what you had 1.5 years. Have you seen dr. jeckl and mr hide? It is an old-time classic movie. You should watch it. It is not that hard in real life ;) But watch it.. it kind of portrays what happens when people mess with stuff that damages the brain. :( So he tried for 1,5 years without alcohol for you. That is nice. That is good. That is an achievement. He must have loved you a lot. But drug habits can not be broken long term without long therapy. And I am sorry to say it but the chemicals in his brain have already changed once he started drinking again. Alcoholics (drug addicts) work differently than other people. Once they get their drug back their brains chemicals change. Yes, it is how he deals with problems/stress/etc… and you can not change it. Only a therapist can. sorry, that is the way it is. You can not change him by yourself. But what you can change is yourself! You should concentrate on working on yourself Make yourself a better person, love yourself, pamper yourself, give yourself what you need! And realise that there are a couple thousand men somewhere on this planet that would be happy to be with you as a partner and that are not alcoholics. I am not saying you need to give up on him completely. But you need to realise that you do not need him, you do not depend on him! You have lived most of your life without him! You can do this. I would contact the guy in a non-aggressive way, tell him it is ok that it is over and you need to concentrate on yourself. Do not get into an argument if he is trying to pull you into one. It is not your fault. Drinking is no way to handle stress. If you really like his daughter: stay friends with her- nobody can keep you two from doing so. The way it sounds he is just falling back into his drugs at this time being. I would guess that soon he will be back at your doorstep, asking you to try it again. you need to decide if you would take him back than or not. Meanwhile concentrate on yourself and your kids and your life. Be thankful that you have your sister, she sounds like a cool person. :o) Go out, meet friends/make friends, have fun! And as for another relationship gone bad.. I am sorry you are going through this. But maybe this is not such a bad thing. Maybe he will come back , maybe he will go into therapy, - both are things you can discuss when he has become reasonable again, but you can not force any of this. Yet there is one future prediction I can make for you with 100% : you will meet someone else. If you want to or not. That is the law of nature. You can choose than if you want to stay stuck in your break up mood, get over your ex, or wait for you ex.. You can choose what you want But one more thing of small advice: I would not move in with a man , with your two kids , unless you are married- that is just my humble opinion. Maybe you moved together too fast? Don’t worry your kid will be fine. They might miss him but if you explain to them that he is not healthy they will understand. It is not like they lived with him for 5 years or such. They will recover. Do a lot of fun things with them! :) Make sure you try to keep a smile on their face each day- even if it is hard for you because you feel not happy, try to make them smile… what will happen is that you will feel better too! You are blessed to have two kids. Count your blessings and treat them well.. You have a full life…let him go… and concentrate on yourself! Good luck and I send you a lot of strength.
Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 7:53am

Unfortunately, I have also lived through relapses of an alcoholic, and there is so much more that you just don't know in 1.5 years. Not only has the drinking and the lying hurt me, but the alcohol has affected his physical intimacy, and that, too, has had a horrible effect on me and my self-esteem. While I don't believe he's actually cheated on me, I know that there's a question in his mind if finding some else, younger, prettier, might help him get his physical drive back--that is so hurtful to me. I haven't changed, but the alcohol has changed him time and again. It's hard not to take his actions personally, but I know I have to keep reminding myself that my part in this only goes so far as my choosing to stay.

I'm glad you left--you did the right thing, for yourself, your kids, and for him. He has to keep learning that his actions will hurt himself, too. I feel horribly about his children, but at least you got yours away from him. They, and you, don't deserve the craziness that alcoholics put others through.

Good luck and keep focusing on being healthy for your kids. I'm glad you made a good decision.


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