Someone I recently met decided to ask me if we could make things official.
One problem: he admitted to having an alcohol problem. Although he says he is getting counseling for this from alcohol rehabs, I’m afraid what impact this could mean for a relationship.
It’s one thing to be a friend to help someone out, but as a girlfriend I wouldn’t even know how to handle this if he were to relapse and am not sure I want to stick around to find out.
I can say this much: When you date someone, you date all of them.
In the beginning, when it’s all sunshine and sweetness it’s easy to fall for them and expect things to always be that way.
But after a few months, you end up seeing other sides of each other. Some you like, some you don’t. That is true of all relationships.
In terms of dating an alcoholic, you at least know upfront that he has had a problem with alcohol and he’s taking steps to deal with it.
That’s a good sign at least, but there’s still plenty you don’t know about him. You don’t know what triggers his drinking or what his follow-through is like in general.
You said you’ve met recently, so I would imagine there’s plenty that you don’t know about each other.
I am all for seeing the best in people and believing that people can improve, but you said it yourself: You’re not sure if you would want to stick around if he relapses.
Unfortunately, as with many addictions, not all recovery attempts have a happy ending attached. If you’re uncertain at this point whether or not you would want to be there in the worst case scenario, this might be a good point to decide against being in a relationship with him before things get deeper.
I feel kind of heartless writing that, but I’m thinking in terms of what I would tell my closest female friends or my sister if they asked me what you asked me.
There’s nothing wrong with being a supportive friend to him while he figures out his alcohol addiction. I am fortunate to say that I have never battled with an alcohol addiction, but I have to imagine that truly addressing that issue is very emotionally, psychologically and mentally intense.
If he has that on his plate to deal with, I don’t think that this is the right time for him to start a new relationship either. It just seems that he would be better off figuring out his own issues first before he starts a new relationship. All-to-often a new relationship can be used to delay or cover-up dealing with our problems.
If you had been dating him for a while or were in a long, loving relationship, my answer would have been to help him see it through, learn about what it’s like for an alcoholic to recover from alcohol addiction and be as supportive as possible.
But you’re at a crossroads and from what you said in your question, it sounds like the best thing for both of you would be to not start up a relationship. At least, not until he’s really worked out his issue and has had it under control for a while.
People certainly can recover from being alcoholics – I have seen it and I can tell you that it’s entirely possible he’ll handle it too. In the meantime, I’d say hold off on starting an “official” relationship for both your sakes.
Hope it helps,