A young woman doesn't know how to approach a situation involving her boyfriend after a disastrous night filled with drinking.
I have a situation that needs some advice. My concern is my boyfriend's sudden change in personality and attitude when he drinks. I have been with my boyfriend for just over 3 years. Last week, I got Saturday evening off for his birthday. Even though I protested a bit, we went camping with his friends.
When we arrived at the campsite, the drinking began.... I am always anxious about it, because every single time it is always the same scene. His friends were all drowning in vodka and beer! I try to let this go without much worrying, as these are the only friends my bf has and he does not see them often. Then they got out of hand, refused to quiet down all night, so I ended up walking to the car to sleep by myself.
When I returned in the morning, he was just going to bed! Then I confronted him about everything. He turned disgusting. I didn’t recognize him in this state. He could not put two words together. He was so nasty to me. I told him he treated me like a doormat, instead of a woman he cared for. He said I didn't make any sense. All the while, his whole persona, his whole look, his voice, his energy, was the most negative feeling I can describe. All of the romantic feelings I ever felt for him disappeared in that moment. I then left immediately and took a taxi home.
Before I left, I wrote him a short letter and put it in his car. In the letter it stated how deeply hurt I am. I also mentioned that his drinking and his aftermath state really worried me, and this behavior is making me feel very little when he talks to me while drunk. For now, I don’t want to see him. I need a few days to think of what I’m going to do.
Please advise me on how to act in this situation. Should I be worried about his mental change of mind? How can I tell him this behavior is unacceptable?
Thank you in advance,
Tired of Taxis
Dear Tired of Taxis,
You have every right to be pissed and worried. Your boyfriend behaved like a jackass. Though he was extremely drunk, he remains somewhat responsible for whatever verbal lashings cascaded from his sound hole. Being drunk does not extricate anyone from personal responsibility. It only represses their inhibitions and allows a somewhat more realistic personality to emerge and flaunt their inner workings and problems. In short, if your boyfriend transforms into a fascist gorilla after few drinks, you may have a problem on your hands.
If a mistake was made during that evening besides the tenth vodka shot, it was attempting to converse with an angry drunk. If your boyfriend is teetering between the whiskey screams and a morning bath in his own urine, leave him alone. Nothing good will come of critiquing him in that state. Wait until he’s sober. It’s impossible to have this conversation in two word spurts.
As for your plan of action, you have a few options.
Firstly, you can leave him. If his drinking immensely bothers you, you have every right to hit the road. No one deserves to be berated every time his or her significant other sucks down too hard on the tequila teet. If this behavior is recurrent and unlikely to change, you should dump him. People who do this sort of thing regularly will not make you happy. They will likely make you miserable.
Secondly, you can sit him down and unleash a classic line: “It’s either me or the booze, buckwheat.” As I said before, make sure he’s sober and you both have adequate time for a lengthy discussion. If you take this route, explain to him all of the things you value about him and your relationship, then proceed into an objective (yes, this will be difficult, kid) discussion of the specific ways in which his drinking is shooting what you value down the shitter. At the risk of sounding like a crusty English professor, I suggest making sure you include specific examples. This approach leaves less room for argument.
If you choose the second approach, stand your ground. Imagine you are Stonewall Jackson, a skyscraper, or a two-ton hunk of lead: anything that will not budge. Mimic these behemoths when the sob stories or shit storm fly your way. If you give in, you buy yourself a one-way ticket to Bobby Brown town. Unless you want a life filled with similar, and possibly worsening, episodes, remain firm.
Thirdly, you can do nothing. Don’t take this option. It sucks.
Lastly, you can tell him he can only drink in moderation. However, if you suspect your boyfriend is an alcoholic, DO NOT choose this option. Alcoholics find it extremely difficult to hit the brakes and should not drink at all. From what you’ve described, this option seems risky as I assume you’re describing a situation that has happened more than once. If so, go with door number one or two. It’s not the end of the world to be single nor is it out of line to ask an angry-drunk boyfriend to lay off the sauce. Don’t be afraid to do so.
These are my words: abide.
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