- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
@wretchedforest: OMG, this is happening to me right now too. It’s almost the exact same story, and I almost posted about it here but then decided not to.
My fiancé and I have been together for 6 years. We’ve lived together for basically all that time too. Our wedding was 7 weeks away when he had what I call “an incident.” It ended with him and me in therapy and the Doctor saying he’s an alcoholic and needs treatment. I pretty much already knew he was an alcoholic, but I was in denial. So was he. He enrolled himself in an out-patient clinic that treats addiction and has been going ever since (it’s an 8-week program and our wedding is now 5 weeks away).
He’s like a new man. Or more precisely, he’s back to the man I fell in love with. I strongly, highly recommend treatment clinics & AA for him. I strongly, highly recommend Al Anon for you. You also need to educate yourself about this disease ASAP and decide if it’s something you can live with for the rest of your life. Because that’s what it is. It’s a disease, an illness, and it’s not curable. It’s treatable and he can arrest the disease (i.e. slow it’s progression down). But it will kill him if he doesn’t get help. Al Anon will recommend great resources for you, but I also recommend “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp and “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.
If he refuses to get treatment, then you have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to marry an active alcoholic. I’m not. I refuse to bring children into a home like that. I will stay with him if he’s a recovering alcoholic because I know I have the strength to do that. I can support him in that. But I absolutely will not stay with an active alcoholic who refuses to get treatment.
Seriously, go read “Drinking: A Love Story” right now. It will give you a window into his mind. There are lots of different kinds of alcoholics. Some drink daily. Some drink sporadically and can go months without touching liquor. Some drink covertly and secretly, while others drink openly. Some get blackout drunk; others can function at high levels while drunk. But it’s all the same disease and it will kill him. It’s a progressive disease, which means it will only get worse over time. It’s a chronic disease, which means it will stay with him forever even if he gets treatment now. Alcoholics place drinking in front of everything else. It’s a subconscious prioritization. He’s not choosing to go against your wishes. He’s not choosing to do things that make you unhappy. His brain is not giving him any other option but to drink. He’ll drink when he’s happy. He’ll drink when he’s sad. He’ll drink when he celebrates something, and he’ll drink when he’s bored. Alcoholics’ brains actually prioritize drinking over eating. It becomes as important to their bodies as breathing, literally. It’s a scientific fact.
Do your research, educate yourself, and then make the best decision FOR YOURSELF. I was on the verge of postponing our wedding before my fiancé decided to enroll in the out-patient clinic. Yes, we’d lose a lot of money. But I didn’t want to get married and then just get divorced a few months later. Keep in mind that divorces are usually more expensive than weddings, not to mention the emotional and psychological repercussions. It’s not just about finances and family backlash. Who you choose to marry is one of the biggest, most important decisions of your life. Don’t just get married because that’s the path you’re on now and it would be easier to just continue on.
If you want to speak more, PM me and I’ll give you my cell phone number. You can call me anytime, day or night. Having a support network who truly understands this disease is crucial to your own health because alcoholism is a family illness. It will affect you physically, emotionally, financially, and psychologically. You need treatment too. Al Anon is one of the best resources you can go to. The meetings are free and happen all the time in tons of locations. Only you can make the decision what to do from here, but I urge you to go to Al Anon and educate yourself. I’m here if you want to talk, and I feel for you more than you know.