Suffering relationship with alcoholic partner
KAT123 - Jun 2 2018 at 23:36
I want to leave my relationship, even though I love my partner dearly. He is a sweet, kind, soul, no abuse when hes drinking. Just that the drinking is excessive, and dominates any normality I hoped to have in this relationship. Plus his health and business is suffering from the excess. I need some way to do it without killing him. I can't carry on with this lifestyle, he neglects me for his booze, no companionship conversation when hes drinking. Hes just not himself, and I don't like him this way. EVERY DAY!
If he's not looking to address his addiction, you have no choice but to leave. As long as alcohol is running his life, you are not going to be a priority, and it will continue to affect every area of your relationship. And your whole life. Have you talked to him about it at all? If so, having an idea how he feels would be helpful in advising re: the kindest way to end it. I was an enabler for too many years. You don't want that kind of regret. Kudos to you for knowing you can't win against addiction.
Good for you for having the courage to address this issue. I am not sure what you mean by saying you “need some way to do it without killing him”. Doing nothing will probably kill him, so your options may be limited. Loving someone with an addiction can be very difficult and challenging when trying to confront them. Let’s explore the options.
We already decided doing nothing is not a viable option. Another option is to include professional help. Addictions normally need professional intervention to be effective. Any help that is implemented needs to be monitored for compliance. Perhaps the most effective option (with professional help) is to create a behavior expectation with your partner. Communicate with him (not at him) and list in writing, what is necessary in your relationship with him, that is currently absent and is leading you to consider leaving him. This can appear to be a negotiation with him but it is not. This must be about what is needed in a healthy, loving, trusting, and long term relationship. You can share that you are in this with him for the long run provide he is effective in his compliance with these expectations and progress is being made. If you have a hard time identifying these attributes necessary to save the relationship, please respond to this post and we will review those characteristics. Good luck!
Hi Mamabear, thank you for your response. I have spoken to him about it in a firm but kind manner many times. I will keep your advice close to my heart.
8TWENTY8, some good advice there: "Communicate with him (not at him) and list in writing, what is necessary in your relationship with him, that is currently absent and is leading you to consider leaving him. This can appear to be a negotiation with him but it is not. This must be about what is needed in a healthy, loving, trusting, and long term relationship."
Not to be naggy and braggy, but I do write a decent love note to him, telling him what I need. Unfortunately they never get read. But sometimes I eventually sit him down and read out the points of my notes when hes not too fragile.
"need some way to leave without killing him" is referring to his extreme sensitivity; he doesn't take rejection well. Hence the drinking problem; he relies on it to numb negative emotions.
I would love to go for counselling with him, and separate as well for each of us: only problem is psychologists in South Africa are incredibly expensive, and the government psychiatry practioners are actually ineffective. ( I will not go into that debate here)
The initial reason why I reached out on this site is out of pure frustration, and lack of open family members to talk to.
I really like the phrase "what is currently absent in our relationship is leading me to consider leaving him".
Let me go one further, that I believe the problem lies in his upbringing. (isn't it always?) His parents are the type that will sit in the kitchen occasionally watching tv every night, but drinking to the point of drunkenness. Yes, alcohol was a strong point in his raising. So what normality he KNOWS is that this is how families are. My upbringing was a mixture of family tv time for entertainment, mixed with sitting at the dining table playing board games, drawing, puzzles, or just being in the presence of family members. Alcohol did not play a strong part. And that is how I have attempted to raise my own adult children with my ex husband.
So, in a nutshell, what I am subconsciously trying to do in my later years with my partner, is retrain him to be "normal". Trying to undo the decades of an inappropriate way of life is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
As a final note, I guess the answer to my post is this, does my wanting his essence in my life outweigh the wanting and needing a normal home life? I cannot say at this moment in time...