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My Relationship Issue: Boyfriend Drinks

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I have been in a relationship with a lovely man for 2.5 years. We are engaged and have booked our wedding. Last week, we went to a party and he got way too drunk. I had asked him to stop drinking sprits in May as he once became aggressive towards me (threw keys at me, verbally abused me). However, he drank spirits last week which he hadn’t since May, and when we got home, I was subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse for several hours. He is not addicted to alcohol, and neither am I. He has promised to stop drinking altogether, and so have I. We have started relationship counseling with a view to amend this issue, but some things about his co-dependent relationship with his mother have come up. She is a lovely woman with whom I have always got on, but I fear that he has been talking to her more about his problems than to me. I’m now also afraid that his turbulent childhood will impact upon my life. My friends think that I shouldn’t marry him as he became so aggressive when drunk, and in London everyone drinks a LOT all the time. I am trying to make the wisest decision possible. It’s been a terrible week and would be grateful for any input.

My Relationship Issue: Boyfriend Drinks

Answered by on -

A.

There may be people in London who drink “a lot” but certainly there are people in London who don’t drink at all. In fact, according to the National Health Service (NHS) statistics, there is less drinking done by Londoners than anywhere else in the country.

How much other people drink, relative to how much your boyfriend drinks, has no bearing on your relationship. The heart of the matter is this: your boyfriend has a drinking problem. It is clear that he shouldn’t drink. When he drinks he becomes abusive.

When people drink, their inhibitions decrease. They may do or say things that they would not normally do or say. You can’t teach him to drink and not become abusive; it is simply impossible. When he drinks he becomes abusive, which is precisely why he should not drink.

It’s good that you and he are in counseling. It is a very positive sign. It’s also a good sign that he was able to abstain from drinking since May. It may mean that he’s amenable to change. I would encourage you to continue counseling, for as long as it is needed, to come to a resolution about his drinking and the relationship.

Ultimately, if he is unwilling to stop drinking, then you may want to consider ending the relationship. If not, when he drinks you will be subjected to verbal abuse. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

My Relationship Issue: Boyfriend Drinks

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). My Relationship Issue: Boyfriend Drinks. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/11/03/my-relationship-issue-boyfriend-drinks/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 3 Nov 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.