Tips For Living With An Alcoholic Boyfriend

These tips I am offering can be applied to your relationship with your boyfriend as well as with others who seem to have a drinking problem. The rules are the same when living with any alcoholic.

The first thing that you must realize is that he has his own life and you have yours. Even though you are deeply in love with him, you need to let him live his life. If he chooses to do that by being an alcoholic, well then that is his choice.

The sooner you can let go of his drinking problem-the better off you will be. An alcoholic always has to hit bottom on their own. There’s no amount of persuasion that will cause them to stop consuming alcohol. I honestly do not know of any ways to make an alcoholic quit drinking.

Relationship With Alcoholic BoyfriendI need you to realize something right now, you do not have any control over his alcoholism. As angry as you my get at me with this next statement, it is the truth.

An alcoholic will always choose a drink before you!

Looking to your alcoholic boyfriend to fulfill your need to be loved is a dangerous place to be. He will let down, I can promise you that. You will always be second choice to his alcoholism.

If you don’t believe me, go attend a few AA meetings and see how many alcoholics destroyed relationships with others because of their poor choice to drink alcohol.

I heard it said once that going to a bank for a sandwich is the same as expecting to have your need for intimacy fulfilled by an alcoholic. They just don’t have it in them to give. You will not get a sandwich from your bank and an alcoholic boyfriend will not fulfill your need for intimacy

This is why I believe it is important for you to learn how to love yourself and discover the beauty of who you are on your own. If you base your self-worth on how your alcoholic boyfriend treats you-you are in for some huge disappointments.

The danger of having a relationship with anyone is becoming too effected by their opinions of us. Because alcoholics are not always in the right state of mind, they can often leave us emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually abandoned. If we remain strong in these areas regardless of how the alcoholic boyfriend we are living with treats us, we will be a happier person.

I am not saying in any way that you should allow then to treat you poorly. We have plenty of articles on this site about setting boundaries with an alcoholic.

So, when you are living with an alcoholic boyfriend, you can expect that you will not always be the first priority in their lives.

You are going to have to make sure that you have outstanding friendships outside your relationship with your boyfriend. I do highly suggest that they should be girlfriends. This will keep your integrity in check and help to guard against the possibility of jealousy entering into the relationship. If that happens,  you will need to know how to handle an out of control alcoholic.

Never nag your boyfriend about his drinking problem. Don’t equate your happiness in any way to being related to his drinking problem. Happiness for you is an inside job. No one should ever be responsible for your happiness except you! Humans will always let us down, especially alcoholic boyfriends.

If you want someone to truly be happy to see you when you come home, who will not argue with you and very seldom disappoint you, trade your boyfriend in for a dog.

Men can be extremely difficult to get along with when they are not alcoholics. They are wired differently than you. When you are living with an alcoholic boyfriend, your relational problems are going to be at a very high level. It’s not his fault, it’s just the way things are when you choose to interact with any alcoholic.

10 comments to Tips For Living With An Alcoholic Boyfriend

  • Karrie

    Thank you. I feel I need intense counseling because I cant seem to break this dysfunctional relationship. I’m assuming its because we have a beautiful two year old daughter but his alcoholism is making life tough for everyone in our home, including our kids from previous relationships. This is a very co-dependent based relationship. Hes drinking is turning him into a very mean person and we cant even go hang out as a family because he gets to drunk and does stupid things like fall down and its obvious because he’s drunk. I wish my life to be different.

  • Jaime

    Thank you for this. I moved from western NY to NH to be with my boyfriend and has been a little over a year. I never realized his drinking problem before I moved up here. He drinks over a 6 pack a night. He has 2 kids from a previous marriage and I have none. When we have them if it wasnt for me his kids would never eat as all he does is drink and since he is not hungry we shouldn’t be hungry. Im always yelling at him and arguing with him about his drinking problem, but I get no where. I feel like im stuck, i’m so far away from my family and friends that I have no body to go to. As I read this I thought to myself maybe I should stop harping on him about this, but it is soooo hard! It is ruining our relationship!

  • Pez

    Karrie, It can be! Decide what you want in life and in your future. You will have to make the hard choices if not now, it will come later, believe me as time goes on it get old and you no longer want that life. Better sooner than later!
    I don’t think most people can live with an alcoholic especially if they are abusive in any way verbally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, physically. the only way I would have, maybe stayed with my XAB is if he was a mellow drunk, did not seek a fight, was faithful and non-threatening. Even if you do all that’s suggested above, He still may never change! Staying and not making a fuss give the A a “soft place to land” and I doubt they will ever quit unless the suffer consequenses like loosing a job, DUI, etc…and maybe not even then. The one thing they want is for you to accept it–there alcoholism. And not making a fuss gives them that! So don’t think the suggestions above will get them sober, they are for you to have a more peaceful life if you choose to stay.

  • Amy

    Jamie, that is the same thing I went through. He has a child and I had a child. I worked 5 days a week, clean the house, did all the laundry, all the cooking and helped both boys with there homework. He did pay the bills, but I did ALOT of work to the house and spent alot on may other things. His contribution was getting drunk and laying it all on me. I fought with mine too, in all honesty how could someone not get upset and frustrated living like that. To me that isn’t a relationship that is a nightmare.I even went to alanon. but living with a mean, useless, irresponsible drunk was more than I could handle.My life was in constant unheaval, and the longer I stayed the worse it got.
    Pez, you are so right, sometimes on here someone just says something and a light goes off for me. It is the truth, they want you to accept there drinking,Some thing I just couldn’t do. I felt like a mother taking care of an out of control teenager who needed to grow up, I honestly don’t think even if mine wasn’t mean I could of put up with it, I would of still been stuck doing everything by myself, while this person who told me they loved me was drunk all the time, not much of a relationship if you ask me, I’d rather be alone…

  • Rae

    I am an Al-anon Member I am living with a chronic we are common in law He is moving in with his son shortly I am OK with this but he is a little thrown off I am hoping he works through it
    I am learning the Step s please go to Al-anon and learn this program and stay with it as much as you can I am only one yr and have been going thru the steps very slowly I am lucky to be alive after all the substance abusers I have been with
    I know this is God separating us temp . we don’t really conceive of it as a break up
    I feel we need this time apart I really will miss him but not the drinking part no no no I hate him for that part and I hate what the drinking does to him on a daily basis
    I am not lonely I have my son living with me I am not with out I am working on my career
    He is a back slid ing AA member he knows the program well he is not abusive I am trying not to be I grew up in an drinking home I did not know about other life styles for a straight person like me
    I am learning to put myself first it takes awhile but you can do it

  • Liz

    It is horrible living with an alcoholic. It is like living with a lazy, out of control, idiotic teenager at times. I too, do all the work in the house; even the few little jobs he has eg. taking the rubbish out, is way to demanding for him. He only grooms himself eg. shaving, cutting nails, after I nag him to death. I have begged, pleaded, left notes, sent txts etc, etc, etc. Threatened to leave him repeatedly. Nothing to date has worked. Last night, another usual night that I make dinner and he disappears as I am about to serve dinner and he’s collapsed into bed.

    Our lease is up in a few months and I am looking forward to some peace and solitude. I just hope I won’t have to be single for too long but being single is much better than being in a relationship with a selfish and sick alcoholic.

    All I think, is don’t hang around. Very very few alcoholics embark on a recovery journey.

  • Jenn

    OMG! I can relate to all these stories. My ABF almost died because of his alcoholism and he went to jail-yet he still drinks i guess he likes being sick

  • Juanita

    Wow, all this makes so much sense to me now! I have been around alcoholics all my life and yes, my Dad was an alcoholic AND my (2) ex-husbands. The last one killed someone as a result of his driving and drinking. After all that you’d think I’d learn to recognize the symptoms of an alcoholic, but now I’m struggling with leaving another one. Yes, of course, this one appeared to be “different”,at first…a well respected man, polite, enjoyed being with me, etc. Then he retired from a very high stress job of 30 years and that’s when this one started to slowly drowned himself in a bottle. I simply need to stop giving, giving, giving and start living MY life. Thank you for putting into words, what has helped me realize I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT I CAN CHANGE! Thank you.

  • Thank you for this forum. I have been dating what I thought was a wonderful man for over two years, we do not live together, but he visits often. Last October he suffered a stroke, his family did all they could to break us up, but somehow we managed to stay connected. He is driving again now and back to work.
    What concerns me is his sudden need to drink alcohol, he gave it up (well now I wonder!) all the time I was with him on weekends before his stroke.
    He told me last week that it is okay to drink again. All this despite the fact he knows I have asked him not to. This man was a very heavy drinker before he met me. He became angry when I told him he could choose the bottle or me, this man professes to love me dearly, but he did not reply.
    I told him good luck as he will need it. He has had fairly recent heart surgery, is diabetic who eats sweets, had a stroke last October and wears a defibrillator monitor, he is also on blood thinners. To my mind he is courting disaster … But he will no longer be courting me ……sad.

  • Laura

    I moved in with my boyfriend in 2012. He works for a wine company and drinks their wine samples. He drinks every night starting at 6:30pm and drinks until he goes to sleep. He has to finish the last drop. He’s sneaky! He only pours a little in his glass when I’m around and then you hear him sneaking to pour more when I’m not in the room. He drinks a whole bottle each night. Some nights it’s more. He starts with white and and then goes to red. So 2 bottles are open. We say a prayer before dinner each night and I noticed his hands were shaking last night. Body withdrawing… It has effected my relationship with him. We have had NO intimacy from the beginning, 3 years now. At first, he blamed his ex-wife. Now I know why. The drinking! I don’t drink due to a sensitive digestion. It bothers him. You’re right, you can’t stop them from drinking. I miss the closeness. I do know someone who has Al-anon classes. He so happens the be this guys best friend. He lives in another state and I asked him for advice. You’re right, my boyfriend will have to hit rock bottom. I’m disabled at the moment. Needing my knees replaced, so I’m not working. I’m stuck here in the meantime and grateful I have a roof over my head. So I’m just going to stick it out for now. I do get lonely because I don’t have any family to support me mentally. They all have issues I can’t go into here. I will work on myself and get better and get out of my situation and move onto a better life. Thank you for writing this page. It’s been very helpful.

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