Patricia Redlich

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Boyfriend Is An Alcoholic

I'm a 37 year old mother of three. I had two daughters with my ex-husband and have one 3 year old son with my boyfriend.

My 'boyfriend' is a raging alcoholic and a mean one at that. Two years ago I purchased my first home and I love it. Unfortunately I can't sustain the mortgage payment based on my salary alone, although the house is solely in my name.

During my last pregnancy I put on a significant amount of weight. My mother died last year, which has also left me feeling depressed. Shortly after she died, my boyfriend was caught by police on a drink-driving offence and may yet face a custodial sentence. I feel like my life is spiralling out of control.

I am so overwhelmed I don't know how to get back to a peaceful place. I would really like to keep my house and somehow have the boyfriend leave. I have put up with his drinking for five years now. It's been an emotional roller-coaster and I would like to get off. I think that due to my lack of self-confidence I'm scared to move jobs. Yet I need to earn more.

I would do anything to keep my house and provide a stable environment for my kids. But I'm out of ideas. Some days I just want to pack up and run.

Your lack of self-confidence isn't just stopping you finding a better job. It's stopping you from acting in your own best interest.

I hear you when you say you want rid of your boyfriend. But I also understand that this may not be entirely emotionally true. What is real is your need to be treated properly. And alcoholics, mean or otherwise, don't treat their loved ones properly. Apart from any unhappiness this may cause, the problem is that you can't feel good about yourself if you stay around someone who treats you badly. Your self-esteem stays low. And you fail to make the right decisions.

The bottom line, therefore, is that either your boyfriend cleans up his act, or you have to shift. And maybe you already know that he won't - that's down to you. Either way, I don't mean running away. You have to stand up and fight for what you need, which is a stable home for your kids and some peace of mind for yourself. To do that, you need to clear your mind of any fixed ideas. You have to leave your comfort zone - which includes your lack of self-confidence. Yes, you have to ditch it.

You need a better paying job: Go look for one. Lack of confidence is a luxury you can't afford just now. You're too fat. Forget it. It's not a priority issue right now. You miss your mother. That's a hard one, but your sorrow has to be shelved for now. You have a fight on your hands. You can't be bogged down with side issues, no matter how important. And yes, you have to face it: You may even have to sell the house in order to sever the link with your boyfriend, if that's what it takes.

Believe me, I am not being unsympathetic. Nor am I suggesting that any of your feelings are unreal, or unimportant. What I'm saying is that we never have a clear field for a fight. There are always other considerations. We get ready for battle not by clearing the decks, but by sidelining the issues which stop us from seeing our main goal. You want a civilised space in which to live and rear your children. Do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. And although you don't know it, you're already more than half way there. Change happens if we want it badly enough. And you do.
Irish based professional therapist and journalist. Website By : Deise Design