What to do When Your Find Out Your Boyfriend is an Alcoholic
Being in a loving, committed relationship is an amazing thing. Your boyfriend may seem like the perfect guy, perhaps even be the “one.” Remember that no one is perfect and that everyone has some sort of flaw in their character. Some flaws are more serious than others and can carry heavy consequences. If your boyfriend drinks more than he should, he may be an alcoholic. This can be a scary realization, but it must be taken seriously for both of your well-beings.
There are several warning signs that can be noted when trying to determine if someone is an alcoholic. The inability to stop drinking once that person has started is one sign that you should look for. They may be an alcoholic if they are missing work or other responsibilities because of their drinking habit. If they try to hide their drinking, drink alone, or make excuses for their drinking, then they could be an alcoholic. Pay attention for these behaviors or other red flags when trying to determine if your partner needs help.
It is easy to be in denial when it is discovered that someone close to you may be an alcoholic. You may believe that your boyfriend is simply having a good time and can stop whenever he wants to. You may want to believe that he is too smart, too successful, or too nice to be an alcoholic. But the truth is that addiction can affect anyone at anytime. There is no one “type” of person that becomes an alcoholic; people from all different walks of life can succumb to this disease.
Once it has been determined that your boyfriend is an alcoholic, it is vital that you keep a few things in mind. The most important thing to remember is that your partner’s excessive drinking is not your fault. There is nothing that you could have done or said that would have led him to become an alcoholic. Also remember that his disease is his and his alone, but you can be supportive in getting him the help he needs. You can try to encourage him to seek help, but ultimately it will be his decision. The best things you can do are to be encouraging, and maintain your own personal boundaries.
If you do decide to intervene in your partner’s drinking, you will want to enlist the help of others close to him. If you have a positive relationship with your boyfriend’s family, it may be beneficial to involve them in the process. It may be difficult to discuss these matters with them and there could be potential resistance or denial. Remember that they may be going through the same thoughts and feelings that you are. Stick together as a team if you can and seek out the guidance of a trained addiction professional that will help you plan a course of action. They may suggest an intervention, detox, or treatment for the alcoholic.
In the meantime, make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Having a loved one that is struggling with being an alcoholic is difficult and can be quite painful. There are many support groups that offer help in processing your emotions. One-on-one counseling may also be appropriate to help deal with any residual feelings of guilt or shame that may have overcome you during this time.
Having the strength to admit that your significant other is an alcoholic takes courage. No one wants to see their loved one struggling with a disease, especially one as profound as addiction. Realizing that your partner needs help can have a huge affect on both of your lives. Make sure to do what is best for both of you, as you both deserve to be happy and healthy.
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