Pregnant and Dating an Alcoholic

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 20 years old, and 7 months pregnant. I’m dating a guy whom I met in the party lifestyle when I was 19. We fell in love… The day I got pregnant, he told me he would quit all his habits with me to make everything work out for our new family. It lasted about 6 months. He’s drinking again, and doing cocaine as well. I used to be the same way before I was pregnant. A partier. But I’m ready to change all of that for this baby.

But my boyfriend keeps drinking and doing drugs and saying he’s sorry and that he doesn’t want to be that person. It’s really hard on me emotionally and I’m worried he won’t change once the baby is born. I do not want my baby surrounded in that lifestyle. But I’m scared to leave my boyfriend because I do really care for him. He also tells me he’s a great family man and wants to make it work but doesn’t seem to be showing me and effort. And when I get upset about our problems, he gets really mad at me and says I’m just hormonal and emo!
tional and walks away without talking about anything. Help… Am I the crazy one? Or am I being treated unfair? Should I leave?

A: Yes. Pack up and go. Get yourself settled somewhere before your baby comes. Your boyfriend couldn’t keep a promise for six months, even knowing he’s about to be a dad. Why do you believe him now? He’s not taking responsibility for his own choices and behavior. Instead of blaming you for being emo, he should be taking a long hard look at himself in the mirror. A “great family man” doesn’t stop talking to his partner because he doesn’t like what he hears. He should be doing all he can to make a stable, loving home to bring a baby home to.

Once you show him that you really, really mean it that he has to shape up to be a family with you, he might (just maybe) make a meaningful commitment to change. But please don’t go on promises alone. Give him a good long time to show himself and you that he can make good on his promises.

Get in touch with a local women’s center or therapist to give yourself the support you are going to need. Leaving will be hard. Staying will be even harder.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 May 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Pregnant and Dating an Alcoholic. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/28/pregnant-and-dating-an-alcoholic/

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