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Dating someone who drinks too much

Dating someone who drinks too much

While our society knows a lot more about the dangers of excessive alcohol use and the disease of alcoholism than we did thirty or even twenty years ago, it can come as a shock when you realize that someone close to you may have a drinking problem. Here are some reactions that many people experience.

I must be imagining it.
How can I have been so stupid?
I’ll make him stop!
If she really loved me.

Unfortunately, none of these responses, natural and normal as they are, will have any impact on the problem. If you’ve already tried confronting your hard-drinking loved one, extracting promises, threatening to leave, taking control of his supply of booze or keeping an eagle eye on her behavior, you know that these measures fail sooner or later.
Why don’t these things work? For one thing, an alcoholic’s drinking is compulsive. Most alcoholics eventually reach a point where once they start, they can’t stop. Don’t conclude, though, that your loved one has no problem if this isn’t so, or if it happens only some of the time. Alcoholism is idiosyncratic: each case is a little different.
Second, the major symptom of alcoholism is denial. This is true not only for alcoholics but for those around them as well. Here’s the conversation you dream of having with your loved one:

“Honey, you’ve been drinking a lot lately, and I’m worried.”
” I’m glad you spoke up. I’ve been worried too, and I’m going to get help.”

And here’s a conversation you’re far more likely to have:

“Honey, you’ve been drinking a lot lately, and I’m worried.”
“That’s ridiculous. So I have a beer or two on the weekend. Don’t you have anything better to do than nag me?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to nag.”
“You know it riles me when you treat me like a kid. You sound just like your mother.”
“I’m sorry. I know my mother can be very controlling, and I’m really trying not to be that way. Do you still love me?”

Then you shove down the voice deep inside you that’s saying:
“What just happened here?”
And you fail to shove down the voice that says:
“Am I going crazy?”
You may even ask your loved one:
“Do you think I’m going crazy?”
“Gee, honey, you have been a little jumpy lately. Have you thought about seeing a therapist?”

Once again, denial on your part and the drinker’s deflects the conversation from the real problem: your loved one’s drinking. And that’s the end of it until the next time she passes out, or embarrasses you in public or turns into someone so different from the person you love–so cold, so sarcastic, or so violent–that you know there must be something wrong. If everything you’ve tried doesn’t work, what can you do?
First, you’ve got to understand the problem well enough to separate yourself from it, no matter how much you love your drinker. In Al-Anon, the self-help program founded 65 years ago by the wives of the men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous–and like AA, still going strong today–they talk about “the three Cs”:

I didn’t CAuse it.
I can’t CUre it.
I can’t COntrol it.

Neither medicine nor psychology nor any other discipline, with all its scientific knowledge and its continuing controversies about alcoholism and addictions in general, disputes these simple statements. The causes of alcoholism include genetic factors, upbringing, psychological makeup and culture–but not the fact that you didn’t love or please or bully someone enough.
So far, there is no cure for alcoholism. The proponents of abstinence-based treatment, including AA, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and most professional addiction specialists, believe that alcoholism can be arrested on a daily basis, as long as the alcoholic abstains from drinking. Those who disagree promote a philosophy of harm reduction, believing not only that there is no cure but that lifelong abstinence is an impossibly ambitious goal for certain alcoholics. And, as you know if you’ve tried everything, your efforts to control someone else’s drinking behavior are futile in the long run.
Is there anything you can do? Luckily, there is. Here are some actions you can take.
Don’t enable. In the world of addiction treatment, enabling means inadvertently helping to keep the drinking going. We do this by our efforts to rescue and control, so our love and concern itself is twisted to serve the disease. Denial is only one of the alcoholic’s defenses. The others include rationalization, minimization and rage, so the alcoholic can lay the blame for his continued drinking on you–your nagging, your tears, your exaggeration, your anxiety–instead of taking responsibility and admitting there’s a problem. The way not to enable is to do nothing to change the alcoholic or help her escape the consequences of the excessive drinking. Contrary to what those who wear the tee shirt believe, “I drink, I get drunk, I fall down” is not “no problem”–unless an enabler covers up or takes away the problem so the alcoholic can continue to deny it
Take good care of yourself. Living well, sometimes called the best revenge, is also the best treatment for excessive preoccupation with someone else’s drinking. In your desire to help the alcoholic, you have probably been neglecting yourself and your needs until it’s hard to say what gives you pleasure or what you as an individual want out of life. You’ll be helping both the alcoholic and yourself by getting, or getting back, a life.
Have a Plan B. How many times have you made a plan, only to have it shattered because your alcoholic didn’t call, didn’t arrive, didn’t keep a promise or follow through on a responsibility? How many times have you made yet another plan, hoping in vain that this time would be different? Instead of basing your actions on what someone else should do, you can take charge by deciding beforehand on an alternative course of action in case the alcoholic lets you down. If you’re stood up on Plan A, go to Plan B–a movie, the company of friends, a luxurious bubble bath-and enjoy it.
Go to an Al-Anon meeting. Seek out the support of people who understand both your pain and your anger, because they’ve been there too. Learn some simple but powerfully effective tools for living, not only with an alcoholic, but with yourself.
Get professional help. Find a therapist who understands addictions and get help, not for the alcoholic, but for yourself. When one person in a system–a group or family–changes, everybody has to change. Many alcoholics have gotten sober when those who loved them best stopped enabling and started taking care of themselves.
Not every alcoholic will get sober, no matter what you do. And sobriety is only the beginning of the journey toward physical, emotional and spiritual health for a recovering alcoholic. But whether you leave or stay, whether your alcoholic’s story ends in tragedy or happily ever after, your story can be one of personal growth, fulfillment and, yes, happiness.

©2001 Elizabeth Zelvin. This article first appeared on Here2listen. com.

See Articles menu for more by Liz on relationships, drinking & alcoholism, or eating disorders.

Love/Relationship Columnist
Guys Suffer More than Women After a Break Up
By
Jul 12, 2010 – 7:03:00 AM

(HealthNewsDigest. com) – You cannot always trust the media to tell or show the truth. Most movies depict a heart broken woman who is depressed, crying, and losing sleep. They make the guy look like nothing happened. He is out with his buddies, drinking, partying, and dating someone new within the first 24 hours after the break up. According to the latest research, maybe the media is showing us what a broken heart looks like in a guy, but not how he really feels. The Journal of Health and Social Behavior confirmed that after a break up guys suffer more than women. Not only do they seem to react more medically with changes from having their heart broken, but they suffer more emotionally too. The hypothesis is that women have more support people that they confide in and men use aids such as alcohol and or other forms of coping that aren’t as healthy. Most of the guys reported that it was difficult for guys to support other guys emotionally after a breakup. The buddies were often the ones suggesting drinking, or finding a woman for the night. Both of these forms of working through a break up are not healthy nor are they helpful in grieving a broken heart (the guy usually feels worse about himself the next day).

A study from Wake Forest University showed that overall men do better than women when the relationship is going well. When the relationship is bumpy women usually get depressed, and guys turn to alcohol or drug abuse. The guys have a significant worse time than women when the relationship is chaotic or not going well. They are the extremes of both. This is so clear to observe when counseling a couple. The woman usually is the one who brings the couple in when it is going badly. The man will many times deny there are issues that need to be explored. Women on the other hand are depressed. When the couple begins working together the guy is usually much more positive than the woman. He presents as being much happier than her.

I am thinking how much easier it would be if both men and women could be honest with each other instead of drawing assumptions from what they see. A guy partying after a break up is neither happy nor doing well. A woman crying and losing sleep after a break up is neither the victim nor experiencing pain any more significant than his. If men felt more comfortable talking about how they felt they probably wouldn’t turn to drugs, alcohol or women to medicate them when they are grieving. I like to think we can change our relationships in a more positive direction so men are able to maintain their masculinity while sharing with a friend how hurt they are. This sort of grieving would save men heart attacks, black outs, and STDs. If guys are going to change women then society must also. If you decide to try a healthier tactic for grieving a heat break, here are a few ideas that will get you started.

Let it go. The first step is to give it space and let it go. Break-ups mean something within the relationship was broken. Don’t cling; don’t tell her you will change to win her back. Give it space and have cool-off time to think (about two weeks).

Don’t blame yourself and beat yourself up. If it was something you did that hurt her tell her you are sorry, but don’t force her. Blaming yourself will make you feel worse about yourself and also for it to have stayed together you must have been doing a lot right.

This is a good time to take up writing. Write down the feelings that come to mind, anger, sadness, loneliness, etc. These feelings won’t kill anyone and although uncomfortable you won’t die for feeling. Nor does feeling these things mean you are a girly guy. It means you really cared about her, and the fact you have the capacity to feel bad is a good sign.

Take care of yourself. Do something for yourself that you put off, or felt like you didn’t have time to do. Whether it’s going to the gym, or shooting hoops with the guys. Just don’t let these guys talk you into doing something stupid. This is not a time when you have to fit in with the guys. It is a time to be with other people, but only so far as their suggestions don’t go against what you are feeling.

This is a great time to hang out with your dad. He is older, wiser, and God knows he has been through break-ups. Your dad will have your best interests at heart, and so his suggestions may be worthwhile for you.

Forget revenge, partying, sex, or anything else. Getting revenge will only make you feel immature, and it won’t win her back.

Texting your ex just to see if she is okay is always a sweet gesture if it is done only as a check-in. You may tell her how sad you are feeling, but it is also wise to say maybe we needed a break (this is especially good if you are thinking of trying to work it out).

Remind yourself that this too will pass. Guys need women with whom to be emotional, and when a guy suffers a break-up, he misses his ability to be open and talk with someone he trusts. Women are easy to get, but finding one with whom to be truly you and to be intimate takes a lot of work. It is worth the work though, and if you protect yourself from becoming cynical or jaded you will find someone who wants you to be the love of her life. –Mary Jo Rapini

For more information go to: www. maryjorapini. com
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is featured on TLC’s new series, Big Medicine which completed season one and two. She is also a contributing expert for Cosmopolitan magazine, Women’s Health, First, and Seventeen magazine. Mary Jo has a syndicated column (Note to Self) in the Houston Chronicle, is a Love/Relationships columnist to HealthNewsDigest. com and “Ask Mary Jo” in Houston Family Magazine. She is an intimacy and sex counselor, and specializes in empowering relationships. She has worked with the Pelvic restorative center at Methodist Hospital since 2007.

Mary Jo is a popular speaker across the nation, with multiple repeat requests to serve as key-note speaker for national conferences. Her dynamic style is particularly engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges, or those simply hanging on to unasked questions about sex in relationships. She was recently a major participant in a symposium for young girls dealing with body image and helping girls become strong women. Rapini is the author of Is God Pink? Dying to Heal and co-author of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever. She has appeared on television programs including Montel, Fox Morning News and various Houston television and radio programs. Keep up with the latest advice at Mary Jo Rapini

To twitter Mary Jo: @maryjorapini

Subscribe to our FREE Ezine and receive current Health News, be eligible for discounted products/services and coupons related to your Health. We publish 24/7.
HealthNewsDigest. com

For advertising/promotion, email: [email protected] Or call toll free: 877- 634-9180

It seems that women all over the world (at least on the Internet) are desperate to know how they can tell when a guy likes them. The irony of this situation is that women are frequently not looking for the signs when a guy likes them too much. Rejection is one thing. Being stalked is quite another. And while most guys who end up liking a woman too much aren’t stalkers, it is a disheartening thing to have to tell a guy to get lost. It’s kind of like kicking a starving puppy. Fortunately, by reading this article, you can become familiar with the signs that let you know when a guy likes you too much and end it before things become uncomfortable.

1. Your first date lasts an eternity– we’ve all heard from somebody about the first date that took all afternoon and included hiking and dinner and late night making out and was the most wonderful experience in the history of the universe, but these experiences are few and far between. What we don’t hear much about is the second date where the woman realizes she’s hanging out with a loser. I’m talking true first dates here, like the first time you’ve ever met the guy. Do you really want to hang out all day with somebody you’ve never met, no matter how great they sound on the phone or through email? Guys who know what they’re doing don’t let a first date last more than 90 minutes and usually not more than an hour. Why? Because they don’t want to agree to hang out with somebody they don’t know for longer than that. And what if it’s going well? Well, maybe you extend it a little, but not more than 30 minutes. Now, I know there are women reading this who think this is crazy talk, but please think carefully about it. A guy who just let’s a date go on and on is utterly lacking in self-control. He also reeks of desperation. He’s thinking to himself, mistakenly, that if he just lets the date go on and on, the woman will like him more and more. In fact, most women, whether they realize it or not, are liking a guy less and less when a date goes on too long. Trust me, ladies, if your date lasts more than a few hours, you’re going out with a guy who doesn’t understand women, is lacking in self-control, and is going to exhibit more questionable behaviors very, very soon.

2. He contacts you within an hour of your first date– Let’s just take the first scenario very quickly. You’ve just gone out on a three hour date, which should raise a red flag, but you had a good time and you’re not too worried. Then you’re less than an hour out from the date and you receive a text: “I had a great time. Hope you did too. Let’s do it again.” Or worse, the guy actually calls you before you go to bed or something to chat. This screams desperation. It screams clingy. You should be seriously concerned now. Here’s a guy that needs so much validation that he can’t even wait twenty-four hours to call you. Can you say “needy”? Get ready to go out with a guy so clingy you’ll barely be able to breathe. As an aside, there’s a lot of debate about how long a guy should wait to call a girl for a second date. Certainly an hour isn’t enough time. Neither is twenty-four hours. Two to three days is a good rule of thumb. This shows that a guy isn’t desperate or needy. It gives a girl the time to develop a little desire and to wonder whether he’s going to call back at all, making that eventual call back very satisfying. Ditch a guy who calls you in an hour. Be concerned with one who calls you back the next day. He’s not doing it to be courteous. He’s doing it because he needs validation that you’ll go out with him again. That spells trouble.

3. He shows up at your house unannounced– You know, it was a really great scene in “Say Anything” when John Cusack shows up outside Ione Skye’s house holding the boom box over his head. If this is a picture of your life involving some guy you just met, you better run. Better yet, call the cops with a noise disturbance complaint. Guys who show up unannounced, no matter what the reason, are big trouble. I don’t care if he’s holding flowers or claiming his car broke down. Sure, you can lay down the law and tell him never to come by unless he calls first, but why bother? This is a guy without common sense or self-control. He’s one step short of stalking you. Move on.

4. He calls you more than once for every time you call him– There are probably some exceptions to this rule, but keep track. Despite how it might seem, contacting each other via phone really isn’t that difficult. He calls you. You answer. You guys talk and make plans. Done. Where things get sticky is when he calls you and you don’t answer and he leaves a message. This is the situation I’m talking about. If he calls you again before you get back to him, that’s a sign of trouble. That’s a guy with no patience and no confidence that you have not, in fact, been in some terrible accident. If he calls you twice before you get back to him, it should be pretty clear he’s a loser. Three times? He’s probably crazy. That’s a guy who has got gremlins running around inside his head telling him what to do.

5. He buys you stuff without any reason– Unless he’s rich and has nothing better to do with his time, you might as well enjoy it. And if you’re a gold digger anyway, don’t worry. Still, a guy who just starts buying you things out of the blue thinks that you’re going to like him more because he buys you stuff or maybe because he knows how to shop for hand bags. Whatever the reason, he’s trying to buy your affection because he has no confidence that his winning personality is enough. If you want that kind of relationship, go for it. If not, cut him loose.

6. He won’t leave– This is something you should start noticing in all situations, be it when you’re out on a date or hanging out at home or whatever. If you’re always the one saying goodbye first; if you’re always the one having to push him out the door, be wary. In general, people who linger are annoying. We hate them everywhere else. You know that guy who hangs around your desk at work, right? You always wish he would go away, right? Well, now you’re going to date him? Kick him to the curb and tell him to get a life.

7. He tries inappropriate romantic stuff on the first few dates– You know how I know all this stuff? It isn’t because I saw it in a book. It’s because I was probably guilty of trying it all at some time, except for #9. I was never that dumb. And I probably had my hands in my pockets coincidentally. Anyway, I’ve blown it with this move. And I’m not talking about a kiss or something. A kiss is expected. Going in for a kiss is a sign of confidence. What is not attractive is when some guy assumes you’re his girlfriend way, way, way before it’s appropriate. He might be so stupid as to actually introduce you as his girlfriend. He might simply make it look that way. Let’s say you just met the guy and you’re at an art gallery and suddenly he tries to hold your hand. Whoa! Who the hell does he think he is? I tell you who he thinks he is, he’s a guy who wants everyone else to think you’re a couple. A couple! Take a step back for a minute. This is a guy whose mind is so far down the road that he’s completely lost sight of what’s going on. You hold his hand for too long and he’s going to tell you he loves you and wants you to have his children in a few hours. Get out of there.

8. He invites you to meet his parents on the first three dates– This is related to lots of other points, but unless this is an arranged marriage or something, a guy who wants the approval of his parents that early has got some kind of a problem.

9. He tells you he loves you before your third date– It may, in fact, be the case that a guy falls in love with you at first sight. Great! However, the guy with self-control knows not to say anything. The guy with self-control knows that only time will really tell whether or not that feeling holds up. The guy with self-confidence has dated enough to know that weird things can happen to derail a relationship. The guy with no self-confidence blurts out “I love you” because he thinks it’ll make a difference. He doesn’t realize that the difference it’s likely to make is that it scares you stiff. That’s a guy who’s just dumb or needs a life coach or something.

10. One of his hands is always in his pocket – Gross. Isn’t that what the Internet is for? Boy, up until now I was just talking about regular, average guys who are a little slow when it comes to women, but you seem to have bagged yourself a grade A sleezebag. Nice job. If he’s playing pocket billiards while you’re out in public, you probably don’t even want to know what he does at home. Tell him you’re going to the bathroom and then slip out the back.

Love/Relationship Columnist
Guys Suffer More than Women After a Break Up
By
Jul 12, 2010 – 7:03:00 AM

(HealthNewsDigest. com) – You cannot always trust the media to tell or show the truth. Most movies depict a heart broken woman who is depressed, crying, and losing sleep. They make the guy look like nothing happened. He is out with his buddies, drinking, partying, and dating someone new within the first 24 hours after the break up. According to the latest research, maybe the media is showing us what a broken heart looks like in a guy, but not how he really feels. The Journal of Health and Social Behavior confirmed that after a break up guys suffer more than women. Not only do they seem to react more medically with changes from having their heart broken, but they suffer more emotionally too. The hypothesis is that women have more support people that they confide in and men use aids such as alcohol and or other forms of coping that aren’t as healthy. Most of the guys reported that it was difficult for guys to support other guys emotionally after a breakup. The buddies were often the ones suggesting drinking, or finding a woman for the night. Both of these forms of working through a break up are not healthy nor are they helpful in grieving a broken heart (the guy usually feels worse about himself the next day).

A study from Wake Forest University showed that overall men do better than women when the relationship is going well. When the relationship is bumpy women usually get depressed, and guys turn to alcohol or drug abuse. The guys have a significant worse time than women when the relationship is chaotic or not going well. They are the extremes of both. This is so clear to observe when counseling a couple. The woman usually is the one who brings the couple in when it is going badly. The man will many times deny there are issues that need to be explored. Women on the other hand are depressed. When the couple begins working together the guy is usually much more positive than the woman. He presents as being much happier than her.

I am thinking how much easier it would be if both men and women could be honest with each other instead of drawing assumptions from what they see. A guy partying after a break up is neither happy nor doing well. A woman crying and losing sleep after a break up is neither the victim nor experiencing pain any more significant than his. If men felt more comfortable talking about how they felt they probably wouldn’t turn to drugs, alcohol or women to medicate them when they are grieving. I like to think we can change our relationships in a more positive direction so men are able to maintain their masculinity while sharing with a friend how hurt they are. This sort of grieving would save men heart attacks, black outs, and STDs. If guys are going to change women then society must also. If you decide to try a healthier tactic for grieving a heat break, here are a few ideas that will get you started.

Let it go. The first step is to give it space and let it go. Break-ups mean something within the relationship was broken. Don’t cling; don’t tell her you will change to win her back. Give it space and have cool-off time to think (about two weeks).

Don’t blame yourself and beat yourself up. If it was something you did that hurt her tell her you are sorry, but don’t force her. Blaming yourself will make you feel worse about yourself and also for it to have stayed together you must have been doing a lot right.

This is a good time to take up writing. Write down the feelings that come to mind, anger, sadness, loneliness, etc. These feelings won’t kill anyone and although uncomfortable you won’t die for feeling. Nor does feeling these things mean you are a girly guy. It means you really cared about her, and the fact you have the capacity to feel bad is a good sign.

Take care of yourself. Do something for yourself that you put off, or felt like you didn’t have time to do. Whether it’s going to the gym, or shooting hoops with the guys. Just don’t let these guys talk you into doing something stupid. This is not a time when you have to fit in with the guys. It is a time to be with other people, but only so far as their suggestions don’t go against what you are feeling.

This is a great time to hang out with your dad. He is older, wiser, and God knows he has been through break-ups. Your dad will have your best interests at heart, and so his suggestions may be worthwhile for you.

Forget revenge, partying, sex, or anything else. Getting revenge will only make you feel immature, and it won’t win her back.

Texting your ex just to see if she is okay is always a sweet gesture if it is done only as a check-in. You may tell her how sad you are feeling, but it is also wise to say maybe we needed a break (this is especially good if you are thinking of trying to work it out).

Remind yourself that this too will pass. Guys need women with whom to be emotional, and when a guy suffers a break-up, he misses his ability to be open and talk with someone he trusts. Women are easy to get, but finding one with whom to be truly you and to be intimate takes a lot of work. It is worth the work though, and if you protect yourself from becoming cynical or jaded you will find someone who wants you to be the love of her life. –Mary Jo Rapini

For more information go to: www. maryjorapini. com
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is featured on TLC’s new series, Big Medicine which completed season one and two. She is also a contributing expert for Cosmopolitan magazine, Women’s Health, First, and Seventeen magazine. Mary Jo has a syndicated column (Note to Self) in the Houston Chronicle, is a Love/Relationships columnist to HealthNewsDigest. com and “Ask Mary Jo” in Houston Family Magazine. She is an intimacy and sex counselor, and specializes in empowering relationships. She has worked with the Pelvic restorative center at Methodist Hospital since 2007.

Mary Jo is a popular speaker across the nation, with multiple repeat requests to serve as key-note speaker for national conferences. Her dynamic style is particularly engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges, or those simply hanging on to unasked questions about sex in relationships. She was recently a major participant in a symposium for young girls dealing with body image and helping girls become strong women. Rapini is the author of Is God Pink? Dying to Heal and co-author of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever. She has appeared on television programs including Montel, Fox Morning News and various Houston television and radio programs. Keep up with the latest advice at Mary Jo Rapini

To twitter Mary Jo: @maryjorapini

Subscribe to our FREE Ezine and receive current Health News, be eligible for discounted products/services and coupons related to your Health. We publish 24/7.
HealthNewsDigest. com

For advertising/promotion, email: [email protected] Or call toll free: 877- 634-9180

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