Woman can­not com­pete with al­co­holic boyfriend’s ‘mis­tress’

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

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.

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