My boyfriend’s drinking is becoming a problem

My boyfriend’s drinking is becoming a problem

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year now. There’s one problem that never seems to go away. It’s his drinking. He drinks every weekend without fail. I’ve been trying to talk to him and find a way out of this habit but every time I do so, he gets defensive and tells me he doesn’t care about whether I like it or not. He always insists that it’s going to happen regardless of how I feel about it.

He once told me that his dad is an alcoholic and I’m scared he could be heading down that road but he insists that it won’t and that he doesn’t drink too much. I ask him to reduce and to cut down but he says he doesn’t need to. I’m scared for our future. I don’t want an alcoholic boyfriend or husband. How do I make him see what can happen? How do I ask him to reduce his alcohol intake? Please help me. Sue

We answered a very similar question to yours a couple of years ago, Sue, and I guess the short answer to your question is you can’t ‘make’ him see or realise anything, especially if he’s young and all his friends drink like maniacs. The trouble with trying to get heavy drinkers to change is they just have zero idea how they look, act or sound when they’re messed up. They had a blast, and even if they did get in a fight, abused their girlfriend, pissed their pants (or their bed), threw up everywhere, sustained an injury or ended up in emergency it becomes just another funny drinking story to tell at the pub, right? Problem drinkers live with a staggering amount of denial.

Given his complete disregard for your feelings, I doubt he’d be receptive to anything like Hello Sunday Morning, an initiative developed to help people change their drinking habits – but you might find some good info there. You could also try giving him a wake-up call. Online resources like the Booze Counter, Drinking Diary and Drink Smarter can help you keep track of his drinking, just for a month or so, to get a picture if how bad it is really. If you wanted, show him the results. He might take it on board and be shocked, or he may feel you’ve massively crossed the line. Only you know if this is a good idea, but if you’re halfway out the door I figure you haven’t got much to lose.

Ultimately, none of it matters if he doesn’t care enough to make changes. And if it’s bothering you this much after a year, and you don’t want to be with (or worse, married to) someone who’s a slave to the bottle, you need to consider whether you really want a life that looks like this. When a relationship’s not quite right, there’s often more relief than sadness when you pull the plug.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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