Woman cannot compete with alcoholic boyfriend’s ‘mistress’
Question: “Roy” and I dated for four months, often going out to dinner or cooking at my house and sharing a bottle of wine. Six months ago he moved in, and he quickly changed.
Instead of being lively and charming, he withdraws every night and drinks a bottle of wine by himself, either passing out in the chair or staggering to bed. Roy rarely talks to me, and our romantic life evaporated.
I’m worried that I’ve done something wrong to provoke this change. I take good care of myself and him, but I do work and can’t always get things done when they should be, like the laundry. I’m also sometimes too tired to cook. What can I do differently to bring back the man I once knew?
Answer: The man you “once knew” is someone you didn’t’ know at all. Roy is an alcoholic who was on his “good behavior” during those dating months. He was charming and engaging in order to entice you into his web, but he couldn’t keep up the charade once under the same roof with you. Roy has a mistress with which you cannot compete: alcohol.
Alcohol expects nothing of him, is always available, seeks no attention and makes him feel instantly better. It’s typical for partners of alcoholics to blame themselves for the other’s drinking, but I can assure you, you didn’t cause this. If he won’t seek treatment or join a 12-step program, please get him out of your life. Find an Al Anon group where you can get support for moving on with your life.
Gwen Carden has a master’s degree in mental health counseling. For advice on resolving a problem, e-mail happyhome@ cardencreative.com or write to Residences/ Happy Home, 2751 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.