In terms of dating an alcoholic, you at least know upfront that he has had a problem with alcohol and he’s taking steps to deal with it. That’s a good sign at least, but there’s still plenty you don’t know about him. You don’t know what triggers his drinking or what his follow-through is like in general. You said you’ve met recently, so I would imagine there’s plenty that you don’t know about each other But you’re at a crossroads and from what you said in your question, it sounds like the best thing for both of you would be to not start up a relationship. At least, not until he’s really worked out his issue and has had it under control for a while. People certainly can recover from being alcoholics – I have seen it and I can tell you that it’s entirely possible he’ll handle it too.
Being in a relationship with an alcoholic is perhaps the second worst thing after being an alcoholic yourself. It seems you are dealing with a person with two faces, who when sober, seems genuinely repentant but when under the influence of alcohol, is a stranger giving way to self-pity, denial or even aggression. So if you have just found out that the person you are dating is an alcoholic or your partner has become one, here are a few things to keep in mind. Proceed with caution The first thing to be said about dating an alcoholic is that don’t start if you are not doing it now.
You may think that there is a difference between living with an alcoholic partner and merely dating one casually. But even the latter is full of difficulties and once the charm of novelty has worn off, you will find yourself reeling with the confusion, embarrassment and stress of being with a girl or guy who has no control over his/her drinking habits.
You might think you can handle your lover's alcoholic nature in a casual relationship, but after a period of time, you'll realize that it will only bring you down. Above all don’t be moved by pity or a missionary feeling for the alcoholic, thinking that he/she only needs your love and care to kick the bottle.
There is nothing to be done about a person who simply doesn't want to change. And, even if your partner does want to change, it's going to take a big handle on maturity and determination for this to even happen in the first place.
Meet millionaire men at Identify the problem However in order to know whether your date is indeed an alcoholic, you will have to be able to identify the symptoms. There is a distinct difference between someone who just enjoys his/her drinks and someone who is addicted to alcohol. The former likes to party, even party hard but does not lose control of his/her sense.
The latter on the other hand will drink so much that he/she is likely to pass out, throw up or fall into a stupor. Among the earliest signs which indicate that you might be dating an alcoholic is that you always seem to meet in a bar and there is a lot of alcohol involved in your dates. Another indicator that someone has a problem with alcohol is if they can't just have a drink or two.
If they have to actually keep drinking until the point of inebriation and beyond. If you're in a relationship with someone who's always drinking, drunk or drained from drinking the night before, chances are they have a problem with alcohol. If you are living with such partner, you will be able to identify definite behavioral changes at home and at the workplace. Going through unexplained mood swings and becoming too boisterous or argumentative when your partner’s personality is actually the opposite are some of the obvious signs of alcoholism.
At the workplace your partner’s co-workers may express wonder at his or her increasing tardiness and absenteeism while on road your spouse may get arrested for driving offences. Decide what to do Once you have recognized the symptoms that confirm that your date has a drinking problem, there are two things you can do. If you have just started seeing this person, you can move away. However if you have been dating him/her for some time and this problem has emerged during your relationship, you may not want to end it immediately.
If you love this person and want to help him/her as much as your relationship, realize that you are taking on a very big challenge. Educate yourself Read up as much as you can about alcoholism. This will not only help you understand better the causes and circumstances which draw people to alcoholism but also make you aware about the various ways to help your partner conquer his or her addiction. Even if your attempts are not successful, you would know where to seek help for yourself as well as for your partner.
Talk to him/her If you are lucky enough to diagnose your partner’s drinking problem in the earlier stages, then you have a fair chance of making him/her realize of where he/she is headed for. Choose a time when your partner is sober and talk about how their alcoholism is affecting you and your relationship.
Tell your partner how you feel when he or she loses control over their behavior and how the addiction has consequences for the relationship as a whole. If your partner still has some control over his or her drinking habit, this may act as a wakeup call and motivate them to combat the problem.
However make sure that your partner is sober when you speak to him or her, so that they register the significance of your words. Be careful how you speak It is extremely important to adopt the right tone of voice and the right kind of words when talking to your partner about his/her drinking problem.
This is because the way you bring up the matter of his/her alcoholism is going to determine their response. No amount of nagging and complaining will make them realize that what they are doing is affecting their well-being and yours as well. Rather approach the matter in a calm and even manner and hope that your partner can appreciate your point. Set boundaries If you have decided to stick it out with your alcoholic partner, it is extremely important that you set boundaries for his/her behavior.
Talk to your partner when he/she is sober and gently but firmly tell them that there are certain behaviors that you will not simply tolerate. Anything that embarrasses you, puts you in danger or potential trouble with the law is strictly off-limits.
The easiest way alcoholics get away time and again with their addiction is to make others, particularly their partners, feel sorry for them. In end it is upto your partner to want to change for the better.
No amount of love or tears on your part will convince a confirmed alcoholic to give up the addiction. Trying to help an unwilling alcoholic will only enable them to fall further into their alcoholic abyss.
What you can do at the most is to gather information about de-addiction treatment and resources and then leave them to decide what they want to do with it.
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It is easy to recognize as alcoholics the homeless person in the gutter or the wino begging for change to buy a bottle. But, they did not always display all the obvious symptoms. They were alcoholics long before they lost everything and ended up in the street. Their drinking problems developed over a long period of time. They did not wake up one day and suddenly "become" an alcoholic. He only attends events where alcohol is available or allowed.
He hangs out with others who drink and shuns those who do not. He won't go to a Little League game, but he will definitely go to a college game where there will be tailgating.
He may take you to an occasional movie, but he can't wait to get out of there and go to a bar. She drinks when she's happy and when she's mad. She drinks when she celebrating (and she will celebrate anything!) and drinks when she's depressed. She uses alcohol to cope with life, whether life brings ups or downs. For her, alcohol is a crutch.
She relies on it to deal with her emotions. Alcohol simply means more to her than it does other people. He can "hold his liquor." He can have several drinks and not exhibit any signs of being intoxicated.
He has , which means it takes more alcohol to make him feel the way one or two drinks used to make him feel. If you try to drink along with him, you will feel the effects long before he even thinks about slowing down.
Although she may not appear intoxicated after a few drinks, her mood or personality may change. She may go from being a kind, sweet person to being mean and verbally abusive after just a couple of drinks. Or, she could change from being shy and quiet to being loud and aggressive. Or, she could become overly emotional while she is drinking, when sober she rarely expresses any emotions.
He's fine when he has a drink in his hand, but if he's in a situation in which he cannot drink for any significant period of time, he can become irritable. He may become angry with the slightest provocation, or no provocation at all. When he's sober he becomes more unpredictable and difficult to communicate with. She may say that she is not going to drink today, but as soon as she gets around others who are drinking, she changes her mind. Or, she may tell you that she is only going to drink one or two, but ends up having much more.
She may start out not drinking during the evening but soon creates a situation, like starting an argument, that gives her an excuse to start drinking. Most social drinkers have a type of alcohol or a brand that they prefer and they stick to drinking their preferred beverage. If their brand is unavailable, they will simply decline to drink. Alcoholics will drink whatever they can get their hands on. When they have plenty of money, they may drink the finer spirits, but if they are low on money, they will drink the cheapest beer.
The type and brands may change, but the drinking will not stop. She may have lost a job over missing work due to her drinking habits. Or, she may have had while drinking. Many people whose drinking has caused them problems, or who have simply embarrassed themselves while intoxicated, will simply swear off and never drink again. But, she continues to drink in spite of the continued problems. He may not have enough money to take you out, but he's always got enough to buy alcohol. He may even put off buying something he needs for himself if it means he can't buy his alcohol also.
He'll put off other financial obligations, to make sure he can get alcohol. If he's out of money entirely, he'll go to a friend's house and drink their booze. Those who have a have a much higher risk of becoming alcoholics, compared to the general population. Get to know her family. If she has any blood relatives—parents, siblings, aunts or uncles—who have drinking problems, and she is beginning to show signs of developing alcohol use disorders, it could be a sign she "will become" an alcoholic herself.
There was a time—during college and afterward—when you’d drink on weekends (usually too much) and maybe one or two evenings during the week. But you also took nights off. For a lot of men, that kind of “weekend warrior” drinking eventually mellows into a more consistent, every-evening pattern of consumption. You drink less but with more regularity, and you may notice skipping alcohol altogether isn’t as easy as it once was.
If that describes your drinking habit, should you be worried? When it comes to alcohol, there are few hard-and-fast rules. But experts say a nightly drink or two isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
When Nightly Drinking Is OK With exceptions—and we’ll get to those in a minute—having a drink or two every night isn’t in itself a sign of abuse or an indication that you’re heading for trouble, says George Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
“There’s very little data that having one or two drinks has any deleterious health effects in young men or leads to alcohol abuse later,” Koob says. People in many traditional European cultures tend to drink wine with meals. And a New England Journal of Medicine found drinking 7-plus glasses of wine each week is one component of the kind of healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern that lowers a person’s risks for heart disease.
Koob says more research is needed to figure out if alcohol can be considered “healthy.” (For now, he wouldn’t advise a non-drinker or light drinker to up his intake.) But, he adds, there’s nothing to suggest a couple beers or some wine with dinner—or even a cocktail before—is going to grease your slide into mid-life alcoholism. That said, to stay within the “low-risk” zone, you need to be sure your idea of a drink meets . “If your glass of wine is a quart, or your cocktail contains three shots, that’s not one drink,” Koob says.
(Seriously, check your pours. most men overserve themselves.) Also, if you’re slurping four or more drinks a night, or if your total weekly intake exceeds 14 drinks, .
(The NIAAA offers if you’re not sure how to assess your habit.) Separating Dependence and Addiction Even if you find yourself feeling irritable or antsy when you miss your evening drink, that’s not a sign that you’re “addicted,” Koob says. “Dependence often goes hand in hand with addiction, but they’re not the same things,” he explains.
“You can become dependent on almost any substance if it’s part of your daily rhythm, but that doesn’t mean you’re addicted.” Say you have a beer or cocktail every night after work. Your body and brain are going to become accustomed to that evening ritual, and you may be irritable if you don’t have your hooch. But Koob points out the same would be true if you normally eat dinner at seven but pushed your meal to later in the evening.
When it comes to sleep, eating, and any kind of substance, “anything that disrupts your normal routine is going to put you on edge, but that’s not an indication you have a use disorder,” he adds. When You Should Worry If you have a family history of alcoholism, and especially if one or both of your parents has alcohol abuse issues, you need to be wary of booze, and you’re better off restricting your intake, Koob says.
Also, if you’re practically shotgunning that first beer of the day, or you pound your evening cocktail in one or two slugs, that’s more indicative of binge drinking than of a low-risk drinking pattern, he explains. The same goes if you’re combining a few weeknights of light drinking with weekends of hard partying. “Generally, we define binge drinking for men as five drinks in a two-hour period,” he says.
If that describes your Friday and Saturday nights, AND you’re knocking back a couple drinks every night during the week, you’re firmly in the danger zone. Other Times to Cut Back It’s a cliché that men drink when times are tough. But . If you use alcohol to cope, a significant life event like a lost job or having a kid could quickly escalate your drinking into the danger zone, says Paul Lavella Jr., a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor at New Jersey- and Massachusetts-based .
“If one or two drinks is your baseline, but you drink more when you’ve had a rough day or week, that’s something that could become a significant problem when life changes lead to stress,” he explains. If you have nights when you struggle to control your intake, that’s also a red flag. “Maybe you went to a party with the intention of staying a few hours and having a few drinks, and then driving home,” Lavella says.
“If you end up staying all night and drinking so much that you can’t drive, that’s an example of losing control of a drinking situation where you went in with a plan.” If you notice that happening regularly, you need to reassess your drinking.
The same is true if you notice your habit is gaining steam. If you used to have a single beer with dinner, but now you’re having a cocktail before you eat and a couple glasses of wine with your food, that’s a problem. Finally and most importantly, any indication that your social, personal, or professional life is suffering due to alcohol is a sign that you need to make some changes, Lavella says.
That’s true regardless of how much you drink. “There are a lot of genetic and individual factors that change how you feel after a drink,” he says. “But if alcohol is negatively impacting your life or if you’re concerned you may have a problem, you need to take steps to address that.”
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