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Addiction to Alcohol/Fell off the wagon...once


My alcoholic BF has been sober for the last 14 months.  We have been together for 4 years and the night he finally quit was after he knocked me around for two hours and scared himself (and me).  We broke up for 2 months and I supported him while he got clean,then we decided to try it again. I felt everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance (I still believe that).  Well last weekend we had my company Christmas party and my BF arrived drunk.  It is the first time I have seen or suspected him drinking.  He blows it off as a mistake and says it wont happen again.  I took it seriously because he said (while drunk) if I ever left him he would kill me, smash me flat.  I spent Sunday boarding up my windows and planning ahead.  It is 2 days later and he hasn't drank anymore that I know of.  Is it possible for an alcoholic to fall off the wagon for one night or should I prepare for more and leave him  now while he is sober and rational?  I have never dealt with addiction or abuse in my life, I don't want to kick someone while they are down but I don't want a lifetime of pain either. :0(  

Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Hi Laurie

First of all, apologies for my delay in replying to your enquiry – I have been away and due to unforseen circumstances could not access my emails.

I agree that everyone makes mistakes and caring as you do for your boyfriend it is quite reasonable to give him a second chance.  It really depends how many times you are willing to give him a “second chance”.

Alcohol is a mind altering substance and as you have experienced, when people drink too much they often display uncharacteristic behavior which for some, is associated with aggression and violence.

Alcoholism is a powerful disease which is progressive and eventually fatal if the affected person continues to drink. Relapse is common, even when people have been sober for long periods of time and you need to be aware of this if you want to remain in this relationship.

There are many alcoholics living fulfilling and happy lives of sobriety yet no matter how determined they are in the desire to stay sober there is always the risk of relapse. If this occurs, a vigilant alcoholic will get quickly back on track and take the necessary steps to the road of recovery but sadly there are many who do not heed the warning signs and fall back into their old ways. This can be disastrous if they do not seek help and stop drinking.

I would support you to learn as much as you can about the disease of alcoholism so that you can make an informed choice as to your way ahead. You need to be clear of what you are prepared to accept or not to accept.

Set some boundaries around this, with consequences if these are broken and most importantly, if they are broken you must be prepared to follow through. That’s the hard part when you love someone. Be wary of promises as most alcoholics know how difficult it is to follow through with promises to themselves let alone promises to others.

Finally, nobody has to accept violence of any kind and you need to be honest with yourself as to the likelihood of this behavior happening again regardless of whether your boyfriend is drinking or not.

I strongly support to go to my website for more information on the disease of alcoholism, the way it affects the family and friends and ways in which you can not only help the alcoholic but also get help for yourself.

I wish you well.

Di English

Addiction to Alcohol

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Di English


I can answer questions on aspects related to alcoholism and drug addiction and in particular, questions from families and friends who are suffering from the behavior and consequences of someone’s drinking or drug abuse. My aim is to help these family members and friends gain a better understanding of the disease of addiction and to gain a greater awareness around the choices available to them. I can answer many of the "nuts and bolts" questions that people frequently ask when living with alcoholics or drug abusers. I prefer not to answer questions related to pharmacology or in depth physical effects of drug and alcohol abuse which are better answered by medical doctors and psychiatrists.


I am a registered nurse with 45 years experience, the last ten of which have been in mental health, particularly in the area of drugs and alcohol. I have worked consistently with people suffering from alcohol and drug addiction helping them to deal with their day to day problems and assisting them on the road to recovery. Much of this time has been spent facilitating their group therapy sessions and for the last seven years I have also run a family support group on a bi-monthly basis. I also have a close family member who is an alcoholic and my involvement with both the affected person and their families has allowed me to have a balanced perspective on the problems and issues involved for all concerned.

Al-Anon associate

E book for families - "The Key to Recovery - The Family and the Alcoholic"

Registered Nurse, NLP practitioner skills qualified.

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