Carolyn Hax: Partner’s heavy drinking has become impossible to ignore


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Adapted from online discussion.

dear carolyn: I am 57 years old. I met my darling about 4 years ago and have been together for 2 years. I knew he drank too much before we moved in together. He was drunk by 4pm the day he moved in with me. Now he drinks 4-6 strong beers a day. Before I met him, he was drinking about 1-2 cups a month, now he’s drinking about 3 cups a day.

Yes, I’ve tried to ignore all red flags. But I don’t want alcohol to shorten his life or mine.

Believe it or not, we have a pretty good relationship and have spent more happy times with him in 3 years than I have with a completely sober ex in 12 years. we talk about drinking He says he wants to cut back and do better. He’s a pretty high functioning person with a job and family relationships.

I recently got a puppy. she is 7 months old. He took her for her walk last night and came back with her leash but her dog was gone.She was scared of her garden hose and took off her harness. , she did not come when called. He said she needs to learn her lesson. You see, it was “her” fault. Things are usually someone else’s fault. I could have overlooked a lot but I can’t overlook losing our dog almost because he was impatient and not paying attention to her. ran and found her in about five minutes.

I will be attending the first Al-Anon meeting tonight. I am lost and scared and my codependent life is going home and roosting in all its glory. I don’t know what to do with our relationship. I can’t stay like this and I don’t want to break up. I feel really stupid.

Lost and scared: please do not. Please. Feeling stupid and ashamed will hold you back from doing what you know you have to do.

please think about it. You had no idea how serious his problems were or how susceptible you were to them. Now you do. So don’t go to work on what you know now because you’re ashamed of what you didn’t know or didn’t understand.

It just gives a lot of shame to who you will be four years from now that you didn’t deal with today.

Cycle breaks are exhilarating. It’s hard, really hard, but very rewarding. And by seeing uncomfortable emotions as a to-do list and then lining up a trip to Allanon, you’ve already gotten yourself halfway through the hardest thing. Take your lost fears with you because you’ve felt those things.

By the way, there is no “good” relationship in “usually someone else’s fault”. There may be good times, but eventually, inevitably, you will find yourself to blame for the confusion of others.

Labels are difficult to remove, especially if you don’t want them on. But “lifelong love” is a stereotype, people are in flux and update themselves over time. Even if you commit to someone, you can still be open to new information.



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