I want him to stop getting drunk

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I have been with my boyfriend for about 4 months, we have both said we loved eachother, and that we would do anything for eachother. I know I would do anything for him, but when it comes to asking him to cut back on his drinking he thinks I am trying to change the person he is. I don't like the way he acts when he is drunk, he is way to friendly and even more socialble then when sober.

I haven't asked him to completely stop just to not get completely drunk. He doesn't do it often but I don't like him getting drunk at all for fear something will happen and tear us apart, only because I know alcohol affects decision making. What should I do, I love him to much to let it come between us!

RomanceClass.com Advice
I know it won't help much, but most of us have been in a relationship exactly like yours. You know that your partner is doing something harmful to himself. You care about him and want him to stop - not for YOUR good but for HIS good. In your case it's getting drunk, in other cases it's doing drugs. And the guy resists because "I know what I'm doing!" A lot of times the guy is doing this thing because it somehow makes him feel "adult", doing something forbidden that his parents and other elders told him not to do. So to have you come along and say "Don't do xxx" makes him feel like a kid, and if he gives in to you it would feel like he's doing what "mommy told me to do". Which is of course completely untrue.

It's completely true that if he purposefully puts himself into a situation where he has lost control, that who knows what could happen. People write in all the time because they kissed someone or did something else while drunk and "now what do I do". Well you know, if you maintained control over yourself in the first place this wouldn't have happened, so it's your own fault you deliberately let yourself lose control. Which is the point here. Your boyfriend is deliberately losing control because he thinks it's a "fun adult way to do things". When actually most adults I know actively avoid getting drunk because it's childish to lose control. The ones that get drunk are usually the teenagers and college kids who are out to do things they're told not to do.

A person in a relationship has a responsibility - to the other person, to himself. Your boyfriend has a responsibility to take care of himself, to take care of you. If he for example took off to the Hedonism II resort for the entire summer and spent it giving massages to every bikini-clad woman he saw, and then said "oops I cheated on you", that would be completely his fault. He chose to abandon you, to put himself into a highly sexual situation and then to go around touching women. It wasn't an "accident", it was him showing poor judgement. In the same way, if he goes around getting drunk and deliberately injesting enough alcohol to lose control, it is HIS fault whatever happens after that, because he knew that was an inherently risky state to be in. What if he crashes his car and now you are dating a hospital-bound person for 2 years? What if he crashes into ANOTHER car and kills innocent people? What if he starts flirting with another girl and they go off together? For him to put himself into an "out of control" condition when he has a responsibility to you is not mature. He owes it to you and to the relationship to maintain control over what he does so that he can minimize any risks that might occur.

There's no way for you to force him to change. He has to want to change. He might actually realize this and listen if a third party told him this. I would find an adult he trusts or a therapist to go to, and help him understand the difference between "fun drinking" and "getting drunk". Lots of people drink for fun. Very, very few people "get drunk" for fun. The ones that do are usually ones that have problems with controlling their lives - and therefore enjoy not having to "worry about it". If you get someone to talk to him about what he is running away from, maybe he'll stop running.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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