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How do you support someone who is an alcoholic?
My fiance decided to stop drinking after new year's. He quit for 2 months early last year, but has been drinking heavily for about 20 years. He made it through January, then in February started talking about how much he wanted to drink. He had a couple drinks over the last few days, and then on Saturday, didnt come home until 6am. I hate this (and he knows that) because when it happens he never answers his phone and I have no idea where he is. He came home so drunk he spent a few hours sleeping on the floor.

He says he really wants to quit, but whenever he talks about having a drink and I say I dont want him to, he gets mad at me. He says he doesnt need me on his case about it all the time. But if I dont say anything, he drinks and then usually regrets it. He says he needs my help but I dont know how to help him.

How do I support him without being "on his case" about it? I dont understand. I either say something and he gets angry, or I say nothing, he drinks, and *I* get angry.
Additional Details
He was the one who said he wanted to quit, and cited all of the damage it had done in his life as his reasons. I never suggested it, I just told him I was happy that he wanted to quit, and that I would like for him to as well.

He always apologizes the next day, but when he's drinking we have terrible, ridiculous, 6-in-the-morning fights. He talks about going to AA every so often but never does. He quit for 2 months last year and said he was happier when he wasn't drinking.

Thanks for all the advice. I will look into al-anon.

Butterfly Babe
1. show him what he is doing to youand to himself... you get really drunk in front of him and see hoiw he likes that.
2. leave him until he rfemains sober... if he loves you more than beer, he will quit.

You can only support him for so long, if he wants to really quit he should be checked into a rehab center untill he gets some control over the drinking. My father is an alcoholic. I grew up with him being abusive to my mother. He needs professional help, but he has to want it you can't make him. I wish you the best.

jus' my luck
Try to talk him into going to an AA meeting. Go with him if he wants you too and if you can. Try to talk about it at the right time so he doesn't feel you on his case about it. Maybe try talking to him when he is asking for help or when he is regretting what he's done. Before you talk to him try to do some research so you can be informative. And find out the times and place of the meetings so you have that ready and are prepared to start as soon as possible. You don't want to get him to agree and then change his mind while waiting to set it up. And remember to keep supporting him through the whole process, habits can be difficult to break.

It would be great if he were to go to AA. Unfortunately you cant force him. Well you could give him some sort of choice like, "Go to AA or I'm leaving you" but the thing is his heart wont be in it. People with drug and alcohol addiction quit when THEY are ready. You need to take care of you. Al-anon would be very helpful to you. It teaches you about the best way to support him. As far as the communication goes, it's really tough to communicate with an active alcoholic. The guilt and anger they have about themselves and their behavior really distorts things that loved ones can sometimes say to try to help. There are AA meetings that he could go to if he was willing. Take care of you, that needs to be your focus. Taking care of him should be his focus. good luck to you


Kristi C
Talk to him about his health, and that though he gets angry, he might want to try rehab, or maybe a counselor of some sort once in a while, so that uu wont b talking to him about it necessarily, and maybe he thinks that you dont understand his problem as well as he does at all, which you probably dont. If you two are going to get married, and he keeps on drinking, it probably wont work out. Tell him this and it may give him a reality check. Do you think you might have kids? Tell him about that too. You just want him to be healthy and live long. If he drinks like this, maybe hes trying to drown out some emotional pain or stress he has. Discuss all of this with him. Hope I helped! Good luck.

there is not one word you can say that will change an alcholics ways. alcoholics forget all reason and decision making skills. they will lose their home, children, fiance, gf, or wife and still not stop drinking. it is a blinding addiction that is hard to compete with. no matter how much he loves you, it all boils down to self control. he has an addictive personality and that is the problem. an alcoholic can stay sober for years. and then drink again like in this case. an alcoholic can win the battle but not the overall war so to speak. there is treatment for this condition such as aa meetings, which i highly recommend. i have attended these meeting although i am not an alcoholic and i adore the meetings. there is also meetings for family who are suffering the affects of a loved one that is using drugs/alcohol. tell him that you understand what he's going through within a limit. but ask him if he needs someone to talk to other than you if he doesn't want to open up to you. tell him it is his decision to decide what comes first in his life. he needs to get his priorties straight. instead of pointing your fingers at him and getting him defensive. write him a letter and leave it on his night stand or on the computer. if he reads it he will feel less defensive. tell him you will do whatever it takes to get him the right help he needs when he is ready. if nothing else tell him you need some times apart and when he is ready to put you first, and stop drinking, then he can come around until then you need your space. thats if the letter and talking to him don't work. just don't be mean, that won't work. remember this is a disease and it hurts him too. good luck.

i think currlyn has you' best answer

You don't support him. ( through money, accepting the drinking, saying it's okay, making excuses, etc....) It's called tough love. You are being his enabler. He's not angry at you, he's angry at himself. He need Alcoholics Anonymous and you need Ala-Non. Both are support groups. One for the abuser the other for the enabler. It will really help.

Good luck and be strong.

happyandsingle2 h

That's rough. There isn't anything you can do. Besides sit him down and calmly tell him that he needs to quit and go to rehab or you're leaving him. He won't pick the second one. But if by some chance he does, then it's way beyond your control and staying with him would be detremental to your health, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

What can you do?

Knowing that more than one and a half million problem drinkers have attained sobriety in A.A., you may be impatient to "do something" for the alcoholic in your life. You may want to explain that alcoholism is an illness and urge the alcoholic to read A.A. literature and head straight for the nearest A.A. meeting.

Sometimes, this kind of approach works. After reading A.A. pamphlets or books, many problem drinkers call their local A.A. office, begin attending A.A. meetings, and put their drinking days squarely behind them. But, in fact, most active alcoholics are not eager and ready to turn to A.A. simply because a loved one suggests it. Drinking habits are firmly rooted in one's personality, and the alcoholic's compulsion to drink often creates stubborn resistance against help. To admit to being an alcoholic, simple and evident as it may seem, implies committing oneself to doing something about one's drinking. And the alcoholic may not be ready for this. A frequent component of the disease is the alcoholic's belief that drinking is necessary to cope with life. In an alcoholic's confused mind, the need to drink may literally seem like a matter of life or death

My mom had the same problem about 2 1/2 years ago, I was 11 and in 6th grade. It really affected my schoolwork because she was always sleeping when I got home and my dad didn't get home until 6. It got so bad that eventually my dad sent my mom to a recovery center called Silver Hill in CT and she had meetings and she wrote in a journal every day. She stayed there for about 1 1/2 months and my dad's sister came down and helped around the house. It really helped her and now she's been sober since. She went to AA (alcoholics anonymous) meetings for about a year every morning after she left Silver Hill and she has coped with her problem. It was hard for our family but we got through it and she still goes to meetings when ever she feels pressured to drink, and she doesn't. I hope this helps!!!

Please, please get him some help... I watched my father (alcoholic) ruin not only my mother's life, but OUR life, his children's lives.. because of his drinking problem. It IS hard. It DOES take time.. My father got sober, and fell back into drinking, loads of times. HE has to want to get better and quit relying so heavily on alcohol. The first thing I'd suggest, is going to some local meetings with other people dealing with the same thing.. alcoholic in the family. If he gets angry, so be it, you are trying to help him, and save your relationship. It's nothing to play around with... and he if he cared as much about you as he should, he'll agree to get help and slow on the drinking, if not stop at all.

local book stores sell a book that recovery programs use they call it the *big book* but the title is actually (alcoholics anonymous) there a few volumes. and i also recommend go to A.A. meetings.

the HEART of Music
Why do you want to saddle yourself with someone like this for the rest of your life? You will ALWAYS be wondering what he's doing, always worrying FOREVER.....wake up, is this the way you really want to live....
He's in for it for the rest of his life...it has to be his decision...but, if it's not alcohol what next? Do you want to hang around that to find out?
Don't you deserve a good life with a normal person?
Will he go to AAA meetings? Will he commit to anything? And stop making excuses for falling off the wagon?
There is no life here....look in the mirror and ask yourself is this the way you want to live for the rest of your life.

Turn it around and set a date for his demise. Maybe in ten years . Set up the insurance and any property for that date for you to takeover. Then help him to get his drink and help yourself to find his replacement. He may be of a mind in life that that is how he sees his life. Not an issue to find out if you can prepare.

My name's Kim and I'm a recovering alcoholic. I've been sober 2 years, one month. My family had watched me destroy my life for 20 years. I finally had to HIT BOTTOM. I had a panic attack that put me in the hospital where it was discovered I had pancreatitis. My doctor said the next drink will be my last. I went to an outpatient program 4 days a week coupled with AA meetings. I was psyched up to start an awesome new life. Threatening to leave him until he straightens up-----maybe that's HIS bottom. Everyone is different. Unless he makes a committment to save HIS OWN LIFE, you can't do anything. Of course, when he gets with a sponsor and starts doing the steps it will get better. I found that it was tough keeping busy until I discovered how much I love to bake and do puzzles. It's also great not stinking of booze, which is never attractive for a woman. My self-esteem got better and better and I made a lot of friends (and actually helped other alcoholics!) AA is great. Unconditional love and support. Al-anon would be great for you, or you can go to open meetings (non-alkies welcome) and just sit next to him. You don't have to raise your hand. Just be there.

tell him how much you enjoy his company will he is sober. Do not tell him you do not enjoy his company when he drinks. Focus on the positive no negatives.

Chrissy #1
It's his problem. Not yours. stop enabling him. You can't help him. Leave if your so miserable. Tell him when he straightens himself out to come find you.

Get him to a doctor who will test him for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If he is hypoglycemic, then that would explain his dependence on alcohol (sugar). A diet with a balanced amount of protein, including in between meal snacks, can help level blood sugar - making it easier for him not to take the first drink - without you saying anything. So, check out Alcoholics Anonymous as they have support groups for friends of alcoholics for you - to keep you strong, and feed him the right foods, to make him strong.

Doc Hollywood
Unless you are willing to spend the rest of your life with an "alchy" dump him

If he wants to quit he should go to an AA meeting. 'Guaranteed or your misery back'. It worked for me.

-sober 20+ years

L Mae
You should really find an al anon meeting to go to in your area. Al anon is for family and friends of alcoholics to get support and help with dealing with an alcoholic. Loving an alcoholic is hard - I know personally, and they're behavior really wears you down. It's nice to have other people in your situation to talk to and get advice from.

read a million little pieces by james frey. someone close to me was addicted to many drugs and before she went to rehab it is was hard to cope. eventually she got help and now she is turning her life around.

You can't say anything or ***** at him....that won't do any good. HE is the only one that can choose to drink or not drink. Leave him alone about it. Now, you DO have the option of "dealing" with it -- staying or leaving. But honestly, you can't "change" him -- only he can change him.....would you rather him stay home and drink or disappear and drink? Is he mean? Weigh the pros and cons of the whole relationship and you decide what YOU need to do about YOU -- not what you need to do about him.

Wild Horses
Check into Alanon. It is a program for the family of the alcoholic. It has helped millions of people in the very situation in which you find yourself. You can start by going to their website on the internet. You will find much useful information there. Good luck.

Rachel M
al-anon, al-anon, al-anon. If you seriously want help for yourself and your relationship, you will go.

You need Al-Anon.
It will help you find the answers you need.
Good luck!

try to get them to go to AA or see a physician who is trained in addicting behavior.

You buy him a beer. That should cheer him up.

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