Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => Romantic Relationship | Bettering a Relationship or Reversing a Breakup => Topic started by: Cjais on March 02, 2021, 05:23:49 PM

Title: Can he stop drinking?
Post by: Cjais on March 02, 2021, 05:23:49 PM
I’ve posted a couple of times before, but wanted to start a new thread for this specific topic so that I could keep track of the advice.

I recently had to walk away from my BPD partner. I do love him and do want to try to make things work with us, but for know, I know I need to take some time to heal and give him some space to reflect. Whether the breakup will be reversed is unknown. That all depends on him and whether he will put the effort in to work on himself. I for one know that I am willing to help him, but not at the cost of my own sanity and health.

One of the problems he has is his drinking. He drink a large amount of alcohol every weekend. Although he doesn’t usually drink during the week, he will do it there is a football game on.

As we all know, alcohol and a personality disorder don’t mix! He would often either become severely emotional over losing his Mum 8 years ago, or he would get a bee in his bonnet about someone and go on texting rampages and sending loads of abuse to people who had upset him  if he was home alone, or if I was there, he would become verbally abusive towards me.

I did originally manage to encourage him not to buy large amounts of alcohol for the entire weekend. He did start to manage doing this. He used to go out on a Friday and buy alcohol for the entire weekend. However, he wouldn’t restrict himself. Once he had one drink, he’d have another and another until he passed out.  If by the Sunday he had run out of drink, he would get more. What I managed to encourage him to do, was just buy a certain amount each night. That way, by the time he had finished those, the shops would be closed and he couldn’t get more, not easily anyway. This did help, especially if he had made sure he had eaten before he started drinking, which he did get into a good habit too. However, it isn’t always the case now and even with buying a smaller amount of alcohol, he still becomes out of control and pushes his own boundaries with wanting to drink more.

He feels he needs to drink to try and numb his mind from the torment of his illness, but also knows that it just makes it a million times worse.  What would the best course of action be to help him to completely cut down or to help him make that decision that cutting out the alcohol would in fact help him?

I guess overall, my question is, how can he be encouraged to actually want to work on himself in order to overcome as much of his BPD traits as he possibly can? I know this can’t be forced, but it’s just so awful and hurtful seeing him be so destructive to himself and others when deep down, he has some wonderful parts to him. I didn’t manage to encourage him to have therapy, whether he is continuing with this, I just don’t know, but I don’t think he’s really taking it all that seriously and feel he was just doing it to make me happy.  What usually prompts someone with BPD to really work on themselves and take their recovery and treatment seriously?

Title: Re: Can he stop drinking?
Post by: Cat Familiar on March 04, 2021, 02:34:58 PM
With alcohol abuse, you have the psychological habit and the physiological addiction, very hard for anyone to overcome, especially someone with BPD who doesn’t have good self soothing habits.

He has to decide he wants to do it, then push through the difficulty of maintaining a new habit. Does he have any history of being able to make similar changes?

Title: Re: Can he stop drinking?
Post by: ThanksForPlaying on March 05, 2021, 12:56:12 AM
My BPD partner amazingly checked herself into inpatient rehab 6 months ago. She set up care for her pets, read the intake procedures, arranged custody schedules, packed a bag, and lasted 2 days before voluntarily checking out. 6 months later she's worse than ever just drinking bottles and talking nonsense most of the time. It's a hard road. And she actually says she liked rehab because the classes made her feel better. I think it was supposed to be a 5 day medical detox and then two or three weeks of inpatient. She was still on the meds when she left. Sorry, I think I started off trying to write an encouraging post. I DO believe some BPDs can get sober, and some can even even minimize the harmful BPD traits. Hang in there.

Title: Re: Can he stop drinking?
Post by: Cjais on March 05, 2021, 04:29:57 AM
He did at one point say that he didn’t want to keep drinking as he knew it made his condition worse and he would end up hurting people, he made efforts to cut down, make sure he eats beforehand in order to not get as drunk, but he seems to have slipped back again.

I’m thinking that it’s about having his feelings validated. If he feels that he is more understood and doesn’t have as much pain inside, then his need to reach for the drink won’t be as strong. That’s what I’m thinking anyway.

I read that if you imagine being covered in 3rd degree burns all over your body. Everything that touches you, even something soft, will cause you immense pain. This is what it feels like internally for someone with BPD. I think he’s trying to numb that pain with alcohol, but all it does is cause him to over analyse and lash out more as he’s feeling that pain more.  It actually made me cry my heart out when I read that analogy of BPD. The thought of him being in so much pain broke my heart

Title: Re: Can he stop drinking?
Post by: Kistra713 on April 12, 2021, 03:13:12 PM
I know this is a late response, but I came across your thread when searching for what to do regarding my uBPDbf's drinking.

Like your SO, my partner only drinks on the weekends. Mostly Fridays, but if we have an event on Saturday/Sunday, he will drink those days too. He used to binge drink only occasionally, but now it's every week. Now that the pandemic is dying down, he's busier and believes he has the right to go get blasted every Friday night. When he drinks, he drinks until the bar closes down, he has no one left to drink with, or there's no more alcohol left at home. He's even complained that there's a curfew on the bars closing - "What is this N*zi sh*t where the bars close at 11??" And when he drinks to excess, he gets paranoid, angry, overthinks everything, starts accusing me of cheating, rages, and then breakup threats follow soon after the verbal and emotional abuse. Then it's followed by days of depression and him not being able to do anything suffering from a brutal hangover.

I also believe he drinks to drown out his pain, his fears of abandonment, and to forget about his chronic medical condition that makes him even more insecure. I've seen him chain-smoke cigarettes, do hard drugs, and drive drunk/high. It's all very painful for me to watch, and he has no intention of stopping. He does do a sober month every year, and last year, that month was great - it was the best I'd seen him. He also knows how he gets when he's drunk, but he still insists on doing it and hasn't learned his lesson, even after getting a DUI. 

Like you, I know he's in pain and I can't do anything about it if he won't help himself. So to answer your question, the only way they will stop drinking is if they decide to. Maybe for non-BPD alcoholics, the threat of loss might prompt them to change. I'm not sure how it works for BPD though :(