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Forums / Staying well / I think this is MY problem : Coping with non-abusive partner who drinks

Topic: I think this is MY problem : Coping with non-abusive partner who drinks

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Suebris
    Suebris avatar
    2 posts
    11 June 2020
    I have recently moved in with my partner of 3 years and much to my surprise he drinks a bottle of wine most nights. He gets a little bit funny (laughs more easily), and more jovial, and sweet! Most of you would be saying at this point - what is the problem? Well I have come out of a 10 year, abusive DV relationship which was aggravated by alcohol and drugs (8 years ago), and I had to run for my life in the middle of the night. I experienced PTSD and have gradually built my life up again from scratch. 3 years ago I met my partner who was so different to anyone I have ever been in a relationship with - we love each other and everything is fair and equitable. My family and friends love him and everyone says we are good together. We've been on extended holidays together and I had never witnessed excessive alcohol consumption until now... but we didn't see much of each other during the week, only on weekends, so I guess I didn't really notice until I moved in. I have told him that it makes me uncomfortable and he seems concerned about this and apologises, but it completely triggers me and frankly revolts me - makes me not want to go near him. He is a very good man - my adult son passed 2 years ago and he was amazing throughout that period - so supportive and I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through without him... but now I am full of fear that everything is going to collapse around me...and i cant stand seeing him drink wine ( beer doesn't seem to make him intoxicated), but wine makes him drunk and the bedroom smells of alcohol and then he snores. He is in the midst of a marriage separation and has also come out of a very controlling relationship ( he is still very controlled by his ex), so maybe this is his way of dealing with it, but it seems to be becoming a nightly ritual, which scares me. Is this more my problem than his?
    1 person found this helpful
  2. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4561 posts
    11 June 2020 in reply to Suebris

    Dear Suebris

    Welcome to the forums, I'm full of admiration for your strength in leaving a DV relationship of 10y what a mighty feat! Well done. No wonder you're questioning things in your present relationship - you're wise to see red flags IMHO.

    It must have come as quite a shock that your partner drinks so much and you only just found out.
    Do you think he hid this from you?
    I think a bottle of wine per night is way excessive but I'm a non drinker - I've had similar DV ex situation and left both.
    The smell of it revolts me too. I can't stand the bedroom reeking of it. Heavy snoring from it - yep.
    The mere smell of alcohol makes my children heave due to their experiences.

    I wish I had answers for you.

    I do think this becomes your problem.

    I'm sure he's a wonderful person in many ways but no one can blame his ex on his drinking.
    He buys the wine. He pours it. He drinks it. He's fine with this behavior. He apologises to you but keeps on keeping on with it. IDK. We can't blame shift here. It's ALL on him.
    If he doesn't have a problem with it then it does become your problem.
    This may have been a contributor to the demise of his previous marriage anyway. Who knows?

    IF you knew about this, would you have moved in with him?

    I joined Al Anon decades ago on the realization that my previous husband was an alcoholic - and his whole family. They hid it expertly.
    But as sweet as the Al Anon program can be, full of sweet people, I felt strongly that it placed TOTAL responsibility on the non drinker. I was run ragged trying to fulfil the program and hoping to make the marriage work. I left. It was better. I've seen the path of destruction that exH chose since I left. And the next. ALL on them.

    A relationship like this can look very similar to a narcissist / empath dynamic.
    They have the rights - we have the responsibilities.

    I'm developing a theory with a friend psych (one of many theories lol), see what you think....
    Maybe when we spend countless hours trying to figure out what the heck our partners are doing / why / wherefores... in ANY ways.... it's NOT a good relationship for us.

    What do you think? I know the darned hard work you've done in the past and I feel your disappointment, sadness, fear and frustration not knowing what to do now.

    Big hugs.
    Love EM

  3. Suebris
    Suebris avatar
    2 posts
    12 June 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Thanks Em - Yep you’ve hit multiple nails there. I do wonder if he hid the drinking from me. And I def would not have moved in if I’d known this.
    1 person found this helpful
  4. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4561 posts
    12 June 2020 in reply to Suebris


    Do you think you can unring the bell and move back out and have "groundhog day" with dating only?

  5. CK SA
    CK SA avatar
    2 posts
    22 June 2020 in reply to Suebris
    Hi - i have the same problem as you. My partner and I have just been together for 3 years. He also is not abusive when he drinks but they do not understand that they isolate us when they do it.
    I have just recently realised that there is a good chance the same as your partner that they are in a state of depression. I just got advice from beyond blue call line and they explained to me that it has nothing to do with you. It is all on them. It is really hard to understand and live in. I can’t tell the best idea on how to handle this as i am also just trying to understand it. But the first step its not your problem its his.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. CK SA
    CK SA avatar
    2 posts
    22 June 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Thank you for this post. This read has been so helpful for me as well. Kind Regards CK SA
    1 person found this helpful

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