I am in love with a man that is a functioning alcoholic. The most wonderful, affectionate, giving man a woman could ask for when he is sober. BUT He starts drinking bud as soon as he wakes up...6:00 a.m. (days off and he works for himself so they are frequent) and come 3:00 I have to avoid his calls as he becomes mean. Not physically. Just verbally. Very needy and will straighten up for a few days because he wants to see me then binges again. He has never been married, no children but loves kids, has a wonderful family (mom, dad, brother, etc..) I am almost 50, married twice with 5 children...all grown with the xception of my 16 yo son. He got on his knees with a ring and asked me to marry him at Christmas, something he has never done. He is handsome, very outgoing and was basically a player all these years because he could be. He is ready to settle down, says he has never loved a woman before and I believe him.. but growing up with an alcoholic father..also functioning...I just can't do it. He has shown me that he CAN save his beer...and just a few.. for evenings and swears that if I move in, marry him, he will live just like that. That he drinks all day when he is not working, misses me as I obviously have work obligations and do not spend the night..nor does he, here, because of my son...unless my son is guaranteed to be spending the night with a friend and then I will spend the night with him at his house and, honestly, have never been happier than when I am with him and he is clean. My first marriage was to my childhood sweetheart at a very young age...doomed from the start...second one to a man I adored , lasted 16 years and in the course of our child custody battle his psych eval revealed he was a sociopath, incapable of love and I basically spent 16 years trying to show this man that I wasn't as bad as he thought I was and he didn't/couldn't have cared less anyway. no affection, became celibate after my last child was born for reasons unknown ( I thought it was me..and it wasn't which ultimately led to our divorce) I am afraid of losing an opportunity..perhaps the only opportunity due to my age.. to be truly loved unconditionally as this man does but the reality is that I am afraid if I make the move he is asking that the drinking will eventually reappear and here I go again. Any advice? Or am I moron for even having to ask.
You know the h e l l you will go thru by your dad's example. The part that scares me for you is that he gets mean when he drinks. I am afraid if you get married he will not feel he needs to try anymore and it will actually get worse. My husband was a functioning alcoholic until he could not do it anymore and has not worked in 15 years. We have been married for 35 and his drinking has caused me more grief than I can state. He is a sweet, hard working man who has damaged his brain with alcohol. His was due to self medication caused partly by the bipolar we did not get diagnosed until he was 50. Men ( and some women) hide the stress from the mental illness that they do not understand or even knew they had.
You have options. He gets help for the drinking with either rehab and/or AA and you start going to Alanon meetings to learn how to handle this. You cannot change him, but you can change how you deal with him.
You have a hard decision and I hope you do what will protect you.
Our lives seem to be on the same line...alcoholic father, first marriage too young, second for 16 years...and now the alcoholic in our lives.
As I was reading your post, I thought perhaps that I had written it in my sleep, as the stories are SO alike.
My fiance' is not at the functioning stage...YET...however, I know it may come.
The funny part ( not ha ha funny ) is that he also proposed to me this past Christmas...and since doing so his beer consumption has dropped considerably. Like your's, he's never been married but we do have a young son together.
The night he asked me he was drunk as a skunk. I waited until his head cleared before asking him if he meant it.
He said yes. He had asked only one other woman in his 47 years...she had thrown the ring in his face and walked out on him a week later...at Christmas time...he never bothered to try again. I was the first person he had reached out to in over 17 years after that.
He was terrified to ask me...but once the question was asked, the drinking slowed to a standstill.
For the three weeks prior to Christmas his drinking had increased to the point where we were arguing on a daily basis.
Before his near death experience in April ( see earlier posts ) he would get very nasty when drinking. After the April of last year incident he only gets stupid. Being without oxygen for 23 minutes and surviving seems to alter one's brain. Luckily.
He had quit drinking for 3 months at that point...and smoking. Then, on the 3 month anniversary he snapped and needed a smoke...which led to a beer. Ugh.
He still drinks, but not like he had been. He CAN go months without drinking, but as soon as the stress hits...look out.
There is no shame in loving an alcoholic...but you have to protect yourself...your heart and mind from what may come.
I wish you all the best in your journey to find your answer.
As for me? This may be the world's longest engagement...but we'll see.
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