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This gets to the nub of it. Good on you for working towards this.
They could not understand what I saw in him, and I could not really explain to them what I saw in him, but the answer was embarrassingly specific: Really Good Sex + Enough Drama To Fascinate.
I dated the female version...it is amazing how much one will endure for that combo!
Girl? It's called enabling.
Girrrrll? It's called the honeymoon cycle.
Girlfriend? It's called an abusive man beating you down emotionally until you see yourself in the precise negative terms he's created for you to control you.
And, Girlfriend (ugh), it's you thinking that if you just fix the sex (or get a dog, or stop hanging out with your friends so much, or stop talking to your family about him, or have a kid, or any other ultimatum he gives to blame you for his inability to deal with his own failings), and then, "poof," he'll stop drinking.
This is textbook abuser/enabler dynamic bullshit.
Wait a sec. Now that I think about it, this LW is essentially saying, "Can you help sex stop hurting for me so that I can cure my boyfriend's alcoholism?" Maybe I should have tried my hand at "Bitch, please."
I know people they've worked for, and I know people, several relatives included, who suffered as a result of an association with AA. I've been to alateen and al-anon, and to say I am not persuaded that it's an entirely benevolent pastime is to put it mildly. The fear they put into you of your own frailty, even if you're not an alcoholic; and the intolerance of even a healthy drinking habit is enough to start with. That attitude makes it hard to even have friends who drink.
It is one among many programs and methods one could choose. This guy needs to try SOMETHING, ANYTHING. AA may be a good place to start. It may also not be a good place to stop.
Overall, Dude. Chill.
But you might gain from reading "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft. It's a really good book that, sadly, is probably pertinent to your situation.
In the meantime, big Internet *hugs*
My dad was an alcoholic, but he was sober for my entire life. My mom got together with him while he was still drinking, so it is possible to stay in a relationship with an alcoholic and have them get sober. However, my dad was very different from your boyfriend in a few extremely key ways:
1) My dad was NEVER mean when drunk. He was either cheerful or depressed. His drinking was a problem not because of ruining relationships with people, but because he drank to avoid dealing with problems in his life, which would compound themselves because he was avoiding them instead of dealing with them.
2) He tried to get sober. He started out trying on his own, then some AA, then rehab, twice. The first time, his detox didn't last. The second time, it worked, because of my last point...
3) My mom married him while he was still sober from the first rehab; he started drinking again after my brother was born. My mother told him she would leave with my brother and never let my father see his son if he didn't get sober again. This is an incredible amount of leverage.
You, letter writer, do not have this level of leverage, and your boyfriend is an asshole, and while you say that he's trying to quit, you don't provide evidence. You have a little leverage, and in a last ditch effort, it might work. You can either tel him straight out that you're breaking up with him if he doesn't get treatment, or you can refuse to see him when he's drunk. If he loves you more than he loves booze, both of those options should lead to more sobriety. If he doesn't love you more than he loves booze, you need to dump him anyway because don't you want to be with someone who loves you more than that?
If the LW reads these comments, she may well ignore the 80+ comments telling her to DTMFA and zero in only on yours, as the validation she needs to stay in this shitty, shitty relationship with this shitty partner.
Hey Vag, he might have more reason to get sober if you dumped him. As it is, you're enabling him. Ever considered looking into Al-Anon or some help group? Your situation can be so lonely, finding others in your situation (including the same situation a few years down the road, plus a kid or two) might help.
I pray you're using birth control. You might not want to DTMFA, but at least you CAN. Have a kid and you'll wish you had.
A few years ago I met a sweet little old lady who was part of a discussion group I was participating in. Over the course of the discussions, it came out that her husband of many many years was an alcoholic who treated her the same way this guy is treating VAG. She's still dealing with the challenges of that relationship about 30 years after she was able to leave him.
So don't walk, run to the nearest exit.
I want to be better and I deserve better.
At first it seems worse than a joke, but as you figure out "how to grow towards the sun" it can become a comfort and a motive for change. It can help to consider your change to be for other's sake if that's what you need to get going.
Also, I think what's off-putting about your posts is not that you attend AA and that it has helped you. That's a blessing. What's troublesome are statements like this:
He needs to go to a detox, then a treatment program and then to meetings. He needs to stay sober, find a sponsor and work the steps.That is the only way he will get better.
AA is not the only way addicts get better, and people would be less annoyed with you if you'd admit as much.