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Question
Posted by: KR | 2011-05-15

Do I Need to Get Out of This Relationship

I could write a book describing this situation. What I didn''''t say before is I didn''''t know he had an alcohol problem until almost two years into our relationship because he travel all the time for his work. He hid it very well. All couples fight, and it was normal in the beginning. He had an ex-wife, who even his family says "  put him through the ringer"  . He treated her fairly through the divorce, and I thought he was a "  stand-up kind of man"  . He was more of a father to my boys than my ex. I guess I was blind or too trusting. I opened up to a few members of his family, and they admitted they suspected his drinking problem. I decided to speak to my fiance and sugest behavioral/couples counseling for us. He was prescribed some meds., but he didn''''t put in the effort for very long. Our counselor dropped us. I guess I am asking the opinion of my peers because "  how much is too much when you love someone?"  I can''''t leave someone because they have cancer, or a bought of depression from loss of parent etc. When I commit. I commit. My problem is, how do I give up? I left my husband after 17 years, so I know I am capable. The problem is, I see alcoholism as a disease. My ex-brother-in-law stopped drinking and my fiance''''s brother stopped drinking. Both men are good husbands today. I guess somewhere inside I was hoping for the same thing. Do I give up? And how do I let go?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Most alcoholics are skilled at hiding their drinking problems from others, and even more skilled at hiding them from themselves. Meds alone are USELESS in dealing with a drinking problem. SOME can be of use, but ONLY when part of a program of skilled counselling and support. If your counsellor "dropped" you, he/she doesn't sound like much of a counsellor !
Its not a question of dropping someone because they have a problem they can't control, but of being very cautious about investing too heavily in someone who doesn't choose to control a probelm they COULD control. And especially in this sort of situation where you absolutely cannot do it for them, and where your attempts may actually unwittingly encourage them not to try hard enough themselves.
I have never seen any great benefit in voluntarily deciding to declare alcoholism to be a disease - that approach too easily removes the crucial personal responsibility of the person who needs to, and can, change their behaviour. As in the family examples you quote - alcoholics can and do stiop drinking. It is possible.
Its not a question of YOu not giving up - but of him not havving truly taken on the tasks which only he can do

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-05-16

Most alcoholics are skilled at hiding their drinking problems from others, and even more skilled at hiding them from themselves. Meds alone are USELESS in dealing with a drinking problem. SOME can be of use, but ONLY when part of a program of skilled counselling and support. If your counsellor "dropped" you, he/she doesn't sound like much of a counsellor !
Its not a question of dropping someone because they have a problem they can't control, but of being very cautious about investing too heavily in someone who doesn't choose to control a probelm they COULD control. And especially in this sort of situation where you absolutely cannot do it for them, and where your attempts may actually unwittingly encourage them not to try hard enough themselves.
I have never seen any great benefit in voluntarily deciding to declare alcoholism to be a disease - that approach too easily removes the crucial personal responsibility of the person who needs to, and can, change their behaviour. As in the family examples you quote - alcoholics can and do stiop drinking. It is possible.
Its not a question of YOu not giving up - but of him not havving truly taken on the tasks which only he can do

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