(Closed) My Fiance is an Alcoholic

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 62
Member
4304 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

You need more information, but still have enough to call someone needy & an alcoholic?  Mmkay.

OP – want to know what’s more expensive than cancelling a wedding?  A DWI (here in the D they are around 10k now, and that’s probably w/o a lawyer).  Vehicular manslaughter.  Spending money on usless alcohol to get you there.

The only reason you are not calling off your wedding is because of money and what people will think?  Well what will they think when a 40 year old t-bones a car with a family in it because he just got wasted at the bar?

At the very LEAST he needs to go to some type of behavioral counseling for a YEAR before you even consider marrying this guy.  What he is doing is DANGEROUS even if he’s not an alcoholic.  It’s irresponsible and STUPID.

Post # 63
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2013

WretchedForest, I’m so sorry you’re going through this.  I too recommend Al-Anon, as someone who’s been through some similar stuff. 

But I’m going to go further than some of the other Bees and say: It actually doesn’t matter whether he’s an alcoholic or not. It may make it feel easier to make an absolute decision, and if you stay in the relationship, it will help you look at both your relationship patterns from the context of things like AA and Al-Anon.

But the real issue is simpler and deeper than that. If you aren’t happy together, that’s all that matters. If you are happy together, that’s all that matters. Circumstances that might be fine for one person might be totally not OK for someone else, and vice versa. Believe in yourself and your right to have what you want and need in a relationship, and try if you can to make decisions from there. To simply say: “This isn’t working for me,”and to let go a little, if you can, of absolute judgements about right or wrong and shoulds or should nots. (Trust me – – this also happens to be a BIG pattern with folks who tend to end up with addicts of any stripe, but in the end it’s about a bigger life pattern than being with an addict – – it’s about allowing yourself to just want and need what you want and need, and to recognize you don’t need the approval of others, and to recognize you don’t have to put up with unhappiness and misery if it isn’t working for you.)

I will also say as some others have, that if you do stay in the relationship / marriage, tools like Al-anon will help you find a lot more stability and peace regardless of whether or how your guy’s behavior changes.

Best of luck and good wishes from me.

 

Post # 64
Member
6036 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

I believe there are two main issues here that need to be addressed.

 The first and main one is the drinking problem. I refer to it as a drinking problem on purpose. I won’t say alcoholism because I don’t feel like I know enough to go that far but it is in fact, at the very least, a big problem. drinking til you pass out every week and disrupting your home life because of it is a problem and it needs to be handled by seeking proffessional help. Unfortunately, in my opinion its not as simple as “well if he loves me he will stop”. He might have the desire to stop because he loves you but actually being able to maintain it long term is going to be an issue that requires outside help so that he can learn some coping mechanisms for when the urge to binge drink comes up. Just like a drug addict, he will need ways to get himself through the tough moments and to be honest, counseling will help him to deal with any possible feelings of resentment that arise. I only say that because when a change is forced upon you, and it gets super hard and you get angry about how hard it is, its only natural to be angry at the person that demanded you make the change in the first place. It has nothing to do with not knowing that the change needed to happen or that a real problem needed to be addressed, but it is a feeling that may arise. This is why in an ideal situation, it shouldn’t come down to ultimatums it should come from him and his own desire to change his lifestyle. But any catalyst will work, including if he starts making changes for you, in time he will see that it was not just for you but for his own well being. No matter what, counselng and medical help is absolutely necessary.

Now, here’s the other part of the issue (in my opinion), take some credit for your part in this problem. By not having any real consequences much earlier on in the relationship, you have set a pattern that he has learned. he messes up, you get angry, but after a few apologies and some guilt you forgive him and things go back to normal. You have sent the message that thats all it takes to make things right again. So in his mind, I would bet he thinks “yea she’s gonna be mad, but she’ll forgive me so im gonna do it anyway”. If a clear message of “this is unacceptable” had been sent, he may have realized how serious of a problem this is for you. Its never too late to set standards for yourself, planned wedding or not, I just think its unfair to set this kind of pattern and then all of a sudden say “well im leaving because you didn’t change” he hasnt had a reason to because there were no consequences and since he was always forgiven (or so it seemed) he probably doesn’t realize how far gone this has gotten. Make it clear that this is not just about his health and your relationship  (mainly) but bout him and everyone he could possibly affect as well whether it be from drunk driving, or god forbid something happens to him and all the people who love him would be crushed, its a problem that is much bigger than just him not coming home on time or having one too many drinks every now and then. I won’t say “leave him” because I don’t think that is fair either considering that you were going to marry this man and that means for better or for worse. So in my opinion I would give this a shot to be resolved and if over time you don’t see a change then start weighing your options and let him in on the whole process so he knows from day one what’s at stake.

Ill finish by saying that this is a very hard thing to be faced with, being with someone who has such an attachment to a substance is one of the most challenging things to deal with. I do hope that things will change for both of you and that you find some resolution for yourself. Good luck.

Post # 65
Member
3088 posts
Sugar bee

WHO CARES how this man is labeled.

FACT: His Fiance is having a problem with it

FACT: He drives when he is drunk

FACT: He passes out when he is drunk and doesn’t communicate for hours and noone knows where he is

Who cares what level of an alcoholic he is.  The POINT is, this is a serious problem for the fiance and if she cannot live with who he is now, she needs to at least postpone the wedding.

And I agree with SecondTimeAround: You cannot make someone do anything.  Yes, you can suggest.  Yes, you can encourage but if the desire for help does not come from the person, it matters not what you do.  Jeez.

 

Post # 67
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO

View original reply
@Butterfly6:  Thank you !!

As stated she needs to…

* Postpone the Wedding (tell him it is OFF or UNDER REVIEW whatever)

But most importantly…

* She needs to reach out and get HERSELF some help, because she can only deal with WHAT SHE NEEDS in life

THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS NOW

— — —

As I have been down this road… sadly, it is true… naively many think they can somehow help the one with the problem (I certainly did… “Can’t YOU help him?  If only he’d get help… we could be better”) but in actuality ONLY the person with the issue can help themselves.  Just like the OP can only help herself.  And as much as she may LOVE him and want to care for him… she cannot be any good to him, if she doesn’t help herself first.

Al-Anon or Counselling for Families / Loved Ones living with Addicts (even if he isn’t a full blown one yet)… will help her to SEE the whole spectrum of what this is all about and help her to understand that it is out of her control.  And that she can either live with the problem, or move on from the problem.  But without her getting help then she is contributing to the issue at hand by enabling his behaviour.

Things in this relationship will not get better without counselling.  And the place to start is with herself.

 

Post # 68
Member
2093 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@wretchedforest:  I grew up with alcoholics and dated them prior to Fiance. I went through serious therapy to break myself of dating them and other sketchy folk.

It doesn’t matter if he’s an official “alcoholic”, calls himself that or whatever…what matters is his drinking bothers you. I want to tell you to please don’t do this to yourself, but the truth is, you have your path and you will do what you want. Not because you are dumb, clueless, etc. but because you will do what you think is best and for you, right now, that would be going through with the wedding.

Except that this is getting old for you and its wearing on you. And that’s because it’s not okay that your partner goes away and drinks, forgetting about you. And on some level you know this.

So since we can’t stop his drinking and I wouldn’t even suggest you try, I can only offer you my experience, strength and hope. And encouragement to seek a counselor for your concerns because they ARE valid.

 

Feel free to PM me with any questions. I wish you the best.

Post # 69
Member
2093 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

View original reply
@This Time Round:  LOL. Read my advice in my post, right below your last one.

 

I have so been here and still have “problem drinkers” in my family. It’s a family disease…alcoholism. Many don’t get that until they get it.

Post # 70
Member
2564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Gah, I so want to show this thread to a friend of mine whose SO is an alcoholic and they got engaged last year.  Thing is, if I were to do that she’d get mad at me. 

OP, like I tell my friend, you know what you need to do.  Other people here have had very good insights, etc.  Postpone or cancel now and save yourself the heartache later.

Post # 71
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

My Fiance has had a drinking problem in the past.  Once he knew that our relationship was at stake, he shaped up.  He still drinks, but does not get hammered.  Maybe if your Fiance knows that the relationship is going down, he’ll be more understanding about how you feel about his drinking.  Good luck in whatever you decide.

Post # 72
Member
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@wretchedforest:  

I’m the 30 year old daughter of a lifelong alcoholic mother who just in January celebrated 1 year of sobriety. Alcoholism is an all-consuming monster! Mother’s/father’s will not quit for their children, children will not quit for their parents, and SO’s will not quit for their SO. They will only quit for themselves and it is the only way.

AA for a vast majority of abusers is the only long term effective road to sobriety. AA and AL anon have been a part of my life since I can remember.

Alcoholism has torn my life, my mother’s life, and our family apart for years. There is no “wake up one morning and promise to quit”.

Please, I implore you, do not let yourself be convinced it is that easy. My very experienced opinion to you is to look up local AL anon meetings, which are for the families and loved ones of alcoholics, and go to one. Listen to their stories, ask questions, and then see if anything you are hearing sounds familiar. I’m certain you’ll find many similar experiences. 

Take this very seriously; life with an alcoholic is a burden I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Good luck.

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

Post # 73
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

View original reply
@crayfish: Reply # 58  —> THIS

View original reply
@MissMfutureMrsB:  Reply # 59 —> THIS

View original reply
@deetroitwhat:  Reply # 61 —> THIS

View original reply
@stardustintheeyes:  Reply # 63 —> THIS

View original reply
@Coral99: Reply # 67 —> THIS

And of course my own story found in this topic (Reply # 106) for a previous Bee

Having Marriage Problems and not even a year in… feeling alone and confused  = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/having-marriage-problems-not-even-a-year-in-feeling-alone-and-confused#axzz2O2Jmd5E4

 These are the many faces of this issue… those that understand the true impact of this problem and the potential it has to get worse, long before it will ever get better.

OP… I hope you take these words to heart and go get the help you need… the LOVE & CARE you deserve to guide you thru this mess.

And as always, you can always send me a PM if you’d prefer to chat in private (get that… not everyone wants their personal dealings with this heartache necessarily out in the open for all to see).

(( HUGS ))

 

Post # 74
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

EDIT TO ADD TO MY POST ABOVE

View original reply
@NikkiKillpretty: —> THIS

Another face.

Interestingly she uses the same sentiment as myself… a Burden I would not wish on my worst enemy !!

(I actually have called it a LIVING H#LL… especially if there are children involved)

 

 

Post # 75
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@wretchedforest:  I haven’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if this has been said but I felt I needed to chime in because I was in a very similar situation. My boyfriend and I were together for 10 years and he’s an alcoholic. Now I should have run sooner coming from a home with an alcoholic father who now no longer speaks to me but that’s another story. Anyway, we got engaged, it seemed the next logical step. I bought a dress, booked the hall, photographer, DJ and had an engagement party all before I woke up and realized what life would be with him. I finally had enough after a drunk that had him say something nasty about my baby nephew. Then I felt stupid calling it off, how do I do this, what will people think, etc. But I asked my brother to help me make calls and did it. I had to move out, leave our 2 cats behind and go back home to my father. It was not easy and I felt more embarassed than ever in my life. I wound up sueing the caterer because they rebooked the room for the wedding date. I won and got everything but my initial deposit back. The rest of the deposits I lost. I figured I would have lost that much in a divorce anyway so I never let it bother me. I can tell you it was a very hard time but I got through it and never regretted it. Now here I am more than 10 years later and 1 month away from marrying the most wonderful man I’ve ever met. He’s my soul mate which is a term I would have never in my life used but I can say we’re meant for each other. Please don’t go through with a wedding because you feel you’re in too deep. And if you want to talk to someone who’s been there, done that please message me. I have to add that after what I went through I had 3 other friends in similar situations call off their weddings and 2 are very happily married for years and 1 getting married a month after me. There’s a silver lining!

Post # 76
Member
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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.

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