I need help.

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    Jul 05, 2010 7:57 AM GMT
    What's the best way to tell an alcoholic, "You're an alcoholic. Get your shit together or I'm gone."

    If you've been with an alcoholic, you'll understand. I love him, but I'm just drained.
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:10 AM GMT
    Sorry bro... Best way IMHO is just come right out and say it just as you did here with the addition of a timeline. I hate to say it, but odds are he's never going to get his shit together, and if he does, it likely won't last so be prepared to walk.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Jul 05, 2010 11:13 AM GMT
    Voltaire saidSorry bro... Best way IMHO is just come right out and say it just as you did here with the addition of a timeline. I hate to say it, but odds are he's never going to get his shit together, and if he does, it likely won't last so be prepared to walk.



    He's right.

    And I'm really sorry that you're gonna have to walk icon_cry.gif
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    Jul 05, 2010 12:06 PM GMT
    An alcoholic loves his booze better than any thing or any one. That, unfortunately, includes you. For your own health and well-being be prepared to walk.
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    Jul 05, 2010 12:31 PM GMT
    A comment like "odds are he'll never get his shit together," could not be farther from the truth. Out of all the addictions out there, alcoholism can be one of the easiest to help somebody overcome, but only if the alcoholic admits that there's a problem, and is willing to get the necessary help.

    Lay down the law; you love him so much that you cannot sit idly by while he slowly destroys himself.

    The last thing you want to do is enable his drinking. Besides, the minute he associates his relationship with you to his drinking ... well, don't let that happen.

    I've been through this with a couple of friends. It's not easy, but it's far from an impossible hurdle to overcome.

    Good luck, and hang in there.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 05, 2010 12:35 PM GMT
    128340160283906250iiznotalcohol.jpg
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    Jul 05, 2010 12:57 PM GMT
    reppaT saidA comment like "odds are he'll never get his shit together," could not be farther from the truth. Out of all the addictions out there, alcoholism can be one of the easiest to help somebody overcome, but only if the alcoholic admits that there's a problem, and is willing to get the necessary help.

    Lay down the law; you love him so much that you cannot sit idly by while he slowly destroys himself.

    The last thing you want to do is enable his drinking. Besides, the minute he associates his relationship with you to his drinking ... well, don't let that happen.

    I've been through this with a couple of friends. It's not easy, but it's far from an impossible hurdle to overcome.

    Good luck, and hang in there.


    I concur with this completely. Like any problem, whether it is a minor problem or a life altering one, there's virtually no way to solve the problem without acknowledging it first.

    Saying "You're an alcoholic." may be good for you, but unless he admits it (as stated above) he won't be able to address it. You only need to address your own life and your decisions. State what your requirements are and stick to them. This can and should be done with care and compassion, but it has to be firm. If you don't know how to deal with it, I'd suggest Alanon where there are people who know, through experience, how to deal with your side of the issue; particularly the "what to do and what not to do" aspects.

    If he's going to stop drinking, he needs to do it for himself and not you. Hopefully, he'll realize this before he reaches a 'crash and burn' point.
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    Jul 05, 2010 1:23 PM GMT
    Epiphany77 said What's the best way to tell an alcoholic, "You're an alcoholic. Get your shit together or I'm gone."

    If you've been with an alcoholic, you'll understand. I love him, but I'm just drained.


    "You're an alcoholic. Get your shit together or I'm gone." Like most things, directness is key to keeping low drama. Way too many folks are caught up in false politeness. That's stupid, and helps no one.

    Same with fat asses, smokers, child abusers, spouse abusers, and so on. They're all engaging in behavior that endangers themselves, and / or others, but, whether they'll accept that is whole 'nuther matter.

    The thing is, if you don't mean it, there's no point in saying it.

    The point also is unless he's hit bottom, with whatever bad behavior it is, then, he probably isn't willing to make a change. Understand, that's NOT in your control. You can manipulate if you want, but, it really won't change things. He WILL NOT change his ways for you. He MAY change his ways to keep you, but, likely not, if you've already broached the subject, he's almost certainly made his choice for now.

    Your choice is deciding whether or not to deal with it, and being prepared to get away and move on in your life.

    You can tell a fat ass you're fat. You're killing yourself. You're a burden to society. You're going to die young. They'll still keep eating. Until they decide they've had enough (many never do), they'll just keep doing it. Many behaviors are like that.

    There's many times an underlying disorder: religious guilt / brainwashing (probably the single most destructive force around today), bad parenting, despair, etc. For long term success, those underlying issues need dug through. Physical addiction is a factor, too.

    You can threaten all you want. You can also intervene and drag someone off to treatment. Unless that person is READY for change it will not happen.

    The best way to tell a person they stink is to say it. You stink. If they piss you off, tell them, you're pissing me off.

    Now, if you say he's an alcoholic, he may well say he's just enjoys himself, and that it's none of your business. He may, or may not, be an alcoholic. Impossible to tell from here.

    You might to a bit better by saying. I'm tried of the way things are, and, if they don't change, I'm ready to move on. Leave the "alcoholic" label aside, because it encourages a denial / rebuttal.

    It's like the drunken guy at the bar telling that he's "good" to drive home when he can't stand up straight. It's like the 400 40% fat person saying they're slightly over-weight.

    You're 21, and, shouldn't be taking on challenges of dealing with stuff like this. Cut the guy loose; move on. If he cleans up, he'll let you know, otherwise, cut your losses, be smart, bet on a different horse.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jul 05, 2010 2:23 PM GMT
    "It is very difficult to say this because I love you. Your drinking is putting too much stress on me and it is hurting you. Until you decide to control it, we can't be friends."

    If the person is living with you, you can add "This is my home and I will not allow this here. You have to move out now."
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    Jul 05, 2010 2:31 PM GMT
    Ehm, pls message me, I know this situation, but there is no way I can give you my thoughts in one post...
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    Jul 05, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear!! Addiction issues are so difficult to tackle as a partner. If you've been with him and are currently living with him and allowing this, you have probably inadvertently slipped in to a co-addictive role that has enabled this to go on. At the point you are now, you're probably both sick within this relationship. This isn't just HIS problem anymore.

    The unfortunate part of this is you can't really control someone elses behavior and most likely your efforts will be ignored. To really be there for him, you probably need to start going to Al-anon meetings or something of that nature. They should be able to help you gain some clarity and help you to set healthy boundaries. You will also gain support from people that are living similar lives.

    I've been where you are, different addiction, but the destruction is the same. Sending some love your way......take care of yourself.
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    Jul 05, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    Yep. It's like the mother who continues to feed her fat ass kid. She's the enabler.

    Folks often have to be forced to bottom out. Some never do. Others are smarter.

    My parents put my brother through treatment, not once, but TWICE, at great financial expense. He's grossly overweight, lost his first wife over it, has 6 children out of wedlock, has alcohol induced glaucoma, and has lost two thriving bar businesses (which I figured was a danger to him), and he continues to STILL drink like a fish 3 decades from the first treatment later. He's gone to jail over it (writing hot checks at bars). He's lost his vision over it. He's a fat ass in part because of it. Still, has he bottomed out? Nope. Will he? Hard telling. Likely not. Does he consider it a problem? Nope. From his perspective he's just a fun-loving guy.

    You need to make sure of one thing: don't try to save the world. You're in for a lot of hurt if you believe that you change someone. You almost always can't. They have to want change for themselves.

    If your buddy doesn't consider it a problem, which he clearly doesn't, then, he's not going to change. Perhaps you're wrong in your assessment.

    Folks say gay sex is wrong. Is it? Well, it depends who you ask. Same thing with drugs, food, and other behaviors from working to much, to spending to much time at the gym. It's all perspective.

    One guy's idea of being a fun guy may be another guy's idea of being a lush.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jul 05, 2010 3:51 PM GMT
    So far most guys are on the same train of thought here - which is a good one: Set firm limits and stand by them.
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    Jul 05, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
    cowboyathlete saidSo far most guys are on the same train of thought here - which is a good one: Set firm limits and stand by them.


    Manipulation only gets a person so far. It almost certainly won't change the underlying behavior (especially in a young man). The kid is going to do what he wants, when he wants. Setting limits may well serve as a way of discouraging honesty. It typically doesn't work, as any parent of teenagers can tell you.

    Folks need to take a lesson from history here, when limits were set by The 18'th Amendment, which started organized crime, and built a whole new country with huge underground, and lawless, enterprise. The country realized its error and corrected it with The 21'st Amendment, but, current drug policy reflects no realization of a failed policy nor prior history.

    Folks do what they feel like.

    Teens have sex; especially the preacher's daughters.

    Forbidding stuff rarely works as a deterrent, especially to the addicted.

    Punitive actions don't work very well, either.

    You need to be able to walk away, and UNDERSTAND, you cannot change those around you (very, very, very rarely can you change folks) and can only decide what you want YOUR life to be like.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Jul 05, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
    I grew up with an alcoholic father, and Chucky and others are right -- until THEY acknowledge to themselves and are willing to admit to others that they have a problem, and are willing to seek and accept help for it, it will be a constant problem in their life and those around them. The only thing you can really do is HAVE THE TALK -- laying your cards on the table and basically telling them it's "The Relationship" or "The Booze". Of course, given the choice, most alcoholics will pick the booze. You have to be prepared for that, and be ready to act accordingly as to what is best for YOU. Until he hits his own personal bottom (...uh, you know what I mean guys lol) he will likely keep repeating the addictive behavior that fuels the disease of addiction. Tough love hurts, but it can be effective, but only if you are willing to stick to your guns and not accept anything less than a total commitment from the alcoholic to seek and get help.
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    Jul 05, 2010 4:12 PM GMT
    The original poster may very well need to upgrade to a new, better, happier, relationship with someone else.

    So often, in life, things change, and...they change for the better.

    At 21, if you have a shit head for a boy friend, shame on you.

    The saying goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Start making plans to move forward; to upgrade your life.

    There's lots of fish in the ocean that don't have a booze habit, or that aren't fat, or don't smoke, or whatever selection you care to make. It's o.k. to put the rotten fruit back on the shelf. You very much disrespect yourself by continuing to engage in dysfunctional relationship. If you deserve better, upgrade to someone new.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jul 05, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    You obviously need to be firm, specific about how his sickness has affected you, and that he needs to seek help or it's over.
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    Jul 05, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    Having had the experience before, I hate to give this advice just broadly, but people that are prone to addiction will drain you, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. It is not their fault, it is their nature, but that does not mean that you need to sacrifice yourself. Walk. If he wants to change and be with you, then he will. If not, then...it may be your life that he ruins.

    I have had this handy since it was given to me almost 20 years ago.

    AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
    by Portia Nelson

    I

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
    I fall in.
    I am lost ... I am helpless.
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes me forever to find a way out.

    II

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can't believe I am in the same place
    but, it isn't my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    III

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in ... it's a habit.
    my eyes are open
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    IV

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    V

    I walk down another street.

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    Jul 05, 2010 4:28 PM GMT
    I work in a rehab hospital... so not only do I see the first hand the effects alcohol on the body, but also on relationships as well. I would suggest going to Al-Anon meetings (kind of like AA meetings, but for those whose families are affected by alcoholics).

    But as others have said here, people will only change if (1) they accept their behavior and (2) have the desire to change for themselves (not "for" anyone else).

    I hope everything goes well!

    - max
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    Jul 05, 2010 6:09 PM GMT
    xuaerb saidHaving had the experience before, I hate to give this advice just broadly, but people that are prone to addiction will drain you, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. It is not their fault, it is their nature, but that does not mean that you need to sacrifice yourself. Walk. If he wants to change and be with you, then he will. If not, then...it may be your life that he ruins.



    ".it may be your life that he ruins."

    Actually, this is quite wrong. You, meaning the original poster, has a choice, to ruin his life by staying with that person, or to save his own life by moving on.

    It's like the battered housewife who keeps making excuses. Nope. Hubby ain't changing.

    You have to cut your losses. You can only change YOUR life. You HAVE to be judgmental; you have to set lines that you're willing to live inside or outside of. That person will not ruin your life, but, you will likely choose to ruin your own life by staying with them. The important thing is that you DO have control of your life, but, not of his. The important thing is accepting that, and, do what's best for yourself. It doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a SMART, rational, person.
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    Jul 05, 2010 7:30 PM GMT
    Epiphany77 said What's the best way to tell an alcoholic, "You're an alcoholic. Get your shit together or I'm gone."

    If you've been with an alcoholic, you'll understand. I love him, but I'm just drained.



    Why in hell would you love someone who emotionally drains you? in the past I have always given my boyfriends the benefit of the doubt so as to give them room for improvement! well not any more! I realize everyone MUST learn to face their unresolved issues on their own. I only date guys give and take ten years younger or older around my age, therefore I expect them to be mature enough to face and handle life's manageable ups and down on their own; I know I had!! and speaking from experience with people who suffer from any kind of addictions, the only cure is one's own willingness to want to change.

    Leandro ♥
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    Jul 05, 2010 7:39 PM GMT
    Truly sucks when unconditional love becomes conditional.
    Not really enough information given to make a sound recommendation.
    People have histories that make objective opinions not so objective and personally I have a problem with someone so young, having to make such decisions.
    The person you are now is not the person you will be in 10 years.
    If your man is around the same age as you I would try everything I could to help him, because I assume it is a road he has recently started down and the percentages of recovery are higher; however, if he has had this behavior for a long period of time the chances of you changing him are decreased exponentially.
    At your age how much are you willing to deal with? I wish you luck in trying to weigh the guilt of abandoning him with the guilt of him abandoning you.
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    Jul 05, 2010 9:26 PM GMT
    Thanks for the feedback so far.
    A little history about us, weve been together for almost 3.5 years now, and hes always been a social drinker. hes 10 years older than i am, and we live together. before, we would go through a small bottle of something within a few days. now, hes reached a point where he alone will drink a whole bottle of something - hard alcohol, mind you - every night. its not something i enable, but at the same time, telling someone with an addiction that they cant do something is the least effective thing you can do. i worked for a church for six years, and even led a 12 step recovery program. my problem is that im not sure how to approach him due to our history and connection. i cant treat him like someone that ive coached because im going to him, hes not coming to me. also, the only time i ever have interaction with him while he is sober, is during the mornings while we are getting ready. the guy that i come home to every afternoon isnt the same guy i fell in love with.
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    Jul 05, 2010 9:32 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear you are going thru this. Obviously you are going thru a dark time. The only way to resolve the situation is to let him know that you cannot continue in this relationship if he is going to abuse alcohol. If he choses not to get help for his addiction, your only choice is to walk and not look back.
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:02 PM GMT
    Epiphany77 saidThanks for the feedback so far.
    A little history about us, weve been together for almost 3.5 years now, and hes always been a social drinker. hes 10 years older than i am, and we live together. before, we would go through a small bottle of something within a few days. now, hes reached a point where he alone will drink a whole bottle of something - hard alcohol, mind you - every night. its not something i enable, but at the same time, telling someone with an addiction that they cant do something is the least effective thing you can do. i worked for a church for six years, and even led a 12 step recovery program. my problem is that im not sure how to approach him due to our history and connection. i cant treat him like someone that ive coached because im going to him, hes not coming to me. also, the only time i ever have interaction with him while he is sober, is during the mornings while we are getting ready. the guy that i come home to every afternoon isnt the same guy i fell in love with.



    First of all congratulations for being so young yet matured enough to be in a long term relationship, my hat off to you, that said tons about your persona!!

    Epiphany all my life I have given my boyfriends the benefit of the doubt, in other others a chance for them to prove themselves whenever they fall. Unfortunately for some strange reason people nowadays don't make enough efforts to improve on their faults, or maybe people just simply take on this "I DON'T CARE, IT IS MY LIFE" attitude. God knows I had my fair of mistakes too, but at least I have been able to ironed them out on my own, well I have to partially thank my success to my upbringing and my willingness to get up every time I fall.

    That said I also very much aware that not everyone is as fortunate to have the common sense or know the difference between the good and bad choices in life. But you know what!? we have to stop playing the role of savior towards those who are not willing to want to change! my friend I have a strong feeling you had done more then enough already by reaching this point of desperation, and believe me I can definitely relate to your frustrations.

    You must understand thou there comes a time in your life where you need to stay away from negative people in order for you to grow! you have a whole life ahead of you! and because you are the proud owner of a good heart, IT IS YOUR RIGHT to put your well being first thus allowing others who will appreciate and love you as you so deserve.


    Leandro ♥