Post # 1
I got engaged in September to my then boyfriend of 5 years. We’ve lived together for 4 years, have a dog together, hundreds of mutual friends, great families. The problem is, I think he’s an alcoholic. He will do well for a week at a time, but after that, it’s a shit show. He’ll go to band practice and not come home for hours. When I call he’ll say he had to stop by work (he manages a bar) and he’ll be home in a little bit. When I call 2 hours later to see when he’s coming home I can hear it in his voice that he’s plastered. We’ve done this for years; I get super mad at him because he gets so drunk and doesn’t seem to care that I’ve been waiting at home all day for him, then the next day he apologizes and promises he is going to stop and that he never means to hurt my feelings and that he’s so ashamed of himself. Two weeks later, the same thing happens. Over and over.
This sounds horrible, but I am afraid to call off the wedding because I feel bad for everyone else. My parent’s have already shelled out a ton of money for the 2 venues, my dress/tailoring. We’ve sent out the Save the Dates, our friends are freaking out with excitement. We have lived together for years and the same places and people I go to and know are the same places and people he goes to and knows. I can’t afford to live on my own and everyone else is in a relationship. Do I move back in with my parents?! Sell my house?! Ugh. I feel like it is too hard at this point to break it off. In fact, I’m not really sure if I should break it off or keep trying to salvage our relationship.
I love him dearly when he’s sober. He’s wonderful. He has never been even remotely abusive even when he’s drinking but the slight annoyance I felt in the beginning has given way to a near hatred when he’s drunk.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Is this a giant red flag that I’m refusing to see? Am I more in love with the idea of getting married than actually getting married? Am I just being impatient?
Post # 3
@wretchedforest: I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think you need to have an honest, blunt conversation with your FI about this and explain the extent to which it bothers you, that you think it’s a serious problem and that it’s even pushed you to think about possibly ending things. He needs to wake up and make a change if you’re going to move forward because things aren’t healthy the way they are. I hope you get some resolution soon.
Post # 4
It might be worth it to call off the wedding until you two have a chance to very address this problem. Having a partner who abuses alcohol is really hard, but it’s not the death sentence of the relationship. If he is willing to admit that he has a problem and he wants to change, it will be a long, hard road ahead for him, and for you. He may relapse, the drinking may be covering up other things that will come to light, he may question his friends and his life, but he will be healthier for it all.
I know from experience how the annoyance can turn into hatred. I let my BFs drinking control me until I was obsessing about how much he was drinking, hating myself for
being too controlling”, and just worrying myself sick constantly while he was out having a good time at the bar. He, too, would apologize and regret everything but if you’re not in control, it’s only a matter of time until it repeats itself. I don’t see this as a red flag, because a red flag to me is something that tells you to run the heck away as fast as you can, and if he’s willing, you can work on this. Alcoholism is a family disease so you also need to take care of yourself. Please consider going to Al Anon, for family and friends of people who abuse alcohol. I don’t doubt that you are confused and could use some help dealing with the fact that you love this man and hate his disease.
Post # 5
If you feel like calling it off but feel bad for everyone else – CALL IT OFF. I went through this. I was engaged and had the entire wedding planned – I’m talking, all details set, vendors booked. I knew I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, but felt bad calling it off for the same reasons you do. My parents had spent a lot of money and I felt incredibly guilty. I got to the point where I couldn’t go through with the wedding and ended up calling it off one month before the date. Trust me – you will be surprised how many people will tell you that they are proud of you for making the decision. It’s a tough one to make – much easier than deciding to go through with the wedding because it’s already booked and paid for.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Post # 6
@wretchedforest: that doesn’t sound like alcoholism… immaturity perhaps but definitely not the same as someone being an alcoholic.
Also, you seem a bit needy. Why does it bother you when he has a night out with his band/at a bar drinking? I think I need more insight into why your feelings are intensifying so much lately.
Post # 7
@wretchedforest: I’ve read a bunch of studies that say that couples who have the same drinking habits are more likely to succeed and those with different drinking habits are more likely to divorce. (http://news.health.com/2013/02/06/drinking-imbalance-could-put-marriage-on-the-rocks/)
So I’d say call the wedding off now if you can’t work through this. People might be angry but it’s better to do it now than when everything is already paid for and you’re married.
Post # 8
@subtlebee: I appreciate your comment, however, I refuse to be called needy. I do this at least once a week (some weeks are worse than others). I’m not upset that he’s out having a “good time with some friends.” I’m upset that he’s so drunk he passes out at the bar. I’m upset that he drives home afterward. I’m upset that he doesn’t call to say where he is or at least give me a heads up. I will have dinner cooked and waiting and he is out until 4am. I don’t think this is immature or normal behavior. He’s 38! It’s not like we’re 21. We’ve spoken about this before and every time he says it was stupid and he’s sorry. I would love to at least be invited out with him so maybe I can keep everything a little bit under control. This isn’t just social drinking. This is getting hammered to the point he can’t speak. I’m just sick of being the made to feel like I come second to alcohol – like my feeling about his heavy drinking dont matter. I don’t think that makes me needy. If I’m going to start a family with this man, how can I be sure this isn’t a repeated action when he constantly tells me he’s going to change and then doesnt?
Post # 9
@wretchedforest: If you re-read my first post I just said he doesn’t sound like and alcoholic just immature.I did not call you immature.
I do think that your constant track-him-down behavior is a bit needy. Perhaps if you’d put your foot down years ago this could have been fixed. Now you should. Let him know that at his age you no longer find this immature and reckless behavior acceptable.
I personally agree with the pp who said that it is difficult to make a relationship work with different drinking style. So maybe he isn’t for you and you need more of a sober homebody.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@wretchedforest: If this is something you are not willing to deal with until death do you part then it’s time for an intervention to see if he is willing to get professional help. You also need to consider postponing your wedding until this issue is resolved. I can tell you that your friends and family want to see you happy and a cancelled wedding is cheaper and less stressful than a crappy marriage and the nightmare known as divorce.
I wouldn’t want to start a family with an alcoholic either.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@wretchedforest: Hi there. I am SO sorry, this sounds horrible. As someone who is basically a high-fucntioning alcoholic by technical terms, and also marrying a high-functioning alcoholic, I want to assure you that your FI definitely has a serious drinking problem. Ignore any advice to the contrary. (Btw, we are both working on quitting.)
I can guarantee that if my FI told me that my drinking was enough of a problem that he was going to end our relationship over it, I would QUIT! We too have shared a life together for many years, and I can’t imagine trying to extricate myself from him. I would hope and suspect that your guy would do the same? It sounds as if he knows there is a problem (as evidenced by his horrible guilt and promises to behave after these incidents). This might be the motivation he really needs to finally shape up.
His managing a bar is not going to help matters. However, it can still be done – my FI’s brother is a recovering alcholic and kept his job as a bartender for several years after he quit drinking. He’s now a professional musician in New Orleans, which of course has a lot of drinking culture associated with it as well. He’s remained sober for 7 or 8 years now.
If you do really love him, I hope that you explore this option before deciding to end things! He sounds like a great guy with a horrible disease. Hopefully you are important enough to him for him to be serious about getting sober.
Good luck love! xox
PS – I would be pissed too if my guy didn’t come home for hours and hours and didn’t call, regularly. And was shit-faced when he did. Not to mention the drunk driving! Repeat after me, YOU ARE NOT BEING NEEDY!
Post # 12
I am so sorry that you are in this situation, and I do not want to sound hurtful, but unless you pull the plug on your wedding plans now, you are setting yourself up for an absolutely miserable future.
Please do not go through with this wedding. There is NO amount of money that you have spent or anyone else has spent on this wedding that is worth ruining your future. None.
I can only imagine how overwhelming the idea of not getting married must be. However, truly, you will be in for a lifetime of tears, pain, grief, and misery if you go through with your wedding.
I can think of one bee in particular who has been down this road, and her first marriage ended in a very painful divorce — with children involved, and I hope she sees your post and comments on it.
Do. Not. Get. Married.
Post # 13
@wretchedforest: Don’t let subtlebee upset you. Her posts are often weird and she never admits she is wrong so don’t even bother trying with her. Anyway I do think your FI has a problem with alcohol and take it from me…it is a LONG HARD road to recover from it, and he has to be ready and want it for himself. I do think it is worth calling off or postponing the wedding until this gets addressed properly (not by the same old song and dance of him apologizing and it repeating itself all over again). I strongly suggest you attend some Al-Anon meetings in your area. You will meet many many others like you….who are struggling to come to terms with loved ones alcoholism.
Please don’t marry him in these circumstances just because you feel obligated to. Alcoholism and recovery from it is a lifelong battle. It is filled with chaos and heartbreak for both the alcoholic and their loved ones, and many who suffer dont make it out. Recovery is without a doubt the hardest and most terrifying thing I have ever done in my life. You should have a good, solid understanding of exactly what it is you may be signing up for if you marry him. It is no cakewalk. Can you enlist his family members and friends to stage an intervention? It might help him see how bad things have really gotten, because when he is caught up in the crazy cycle he just can’t see it for himself. Seek support for yourself as well. You are not alone in this…many other families are facing this exact same thing and they will welcome you and will help in any way possible.
A life with an alcoholic who won’t try to help himself is a life of misery. I am quite sure your family and friends would rather you spare yourself from that than go ahead with the wedding just because.
Post # 14
As someone who lost her sister to alcohol, I would seriously call the wedding off until he can address his drinking problem. If not, your life is going to be hard and the alcohol will change him (I am sure it has some already). My sister died from liver failure after struggling with alcoholism for about 10 years. Her doctor had never seen someone so young die after only only 10 years of heavy drinking (but she had other health problems as well that may have contributed). Also, do you want a family? If you want children, I strongly suggest not marrying him. He will never be the father your children deserve. My sister left behind 3 beautiful children who will never have a mother because of alcoholism.
Post # 15
Drinking to the point of not being able to speak and passing out at a bar on a rare occasion would concern me, let alone every other week. First I think you need to find out if he’s willing to seek treatment for alcoholism. If so, are you willing to put the time in and get through that mess together and be by his side? That is your choice alone. It’s hard and there’s no shame in walking away.
A breakup may seem impossibly hard now but people get through it evey single day. Don’t worry about money and plans. If you think you need to call it off, do it. The people who love you will support you.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t have a problem so much with the drinking, I’d have a BIG problem with the drunk driving, staying out until all hours, passing out at the bar? Could there be something else going on (affair?) it seems weird to be out at a bar until 4am?
Anyways, it doesn’t sound like alcoholism to me.. It sounds like he’s immature and doesn’t understand limits.
Anyway, if the biggest thing you’re worried about is hurting other peoples feelings by calling off the wedding, that should tell you something.