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Alcoholic Boyfriend. A bad Role Model for Kids?

answered 11:43 AM EST, Sun August 07, 2011
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My boyfriend is an alcoholic. He drinks everyday but he is a pretty nice guy and he doesn’t get violent and he works a full time custodian job and pays his share of the bills. I love him and care for him and I have given up trying to change him. He is who he is and trying to get that bottle out of his hands after work is a waste of time and energy.

I have 2 sons from a previous relationship. They are now aged 5 and 7. How bad is it for them to be watching their live in male role model get drunk every night? I think that if it is just me and him and I am OK with our relationship. But I worry about what affect he might have on them. I do not want them to get into trouble because I let them see a bad example in their own house.

Loren Gelberg-Goff Says...

It sounds like you already know that your boyfriend's behavior is not a good example for your sons.  What does this tell you about your decision to accept this behavior?  Are your emotional needs really being met in this relationship?  I agree that "he is who he is" and you cannot change him.  Is what you have with him enough for your?  I do not see how your relationship with him, however, responsible he is, can be fulfilling if he is drinking every night.  Is this behavior OK with you?  I don't know how long you have been together, but you have to assume that this is what you will have going forward in your relationship for years to come.  Is this what you want?  I know that these may be difficult questions to answer for yourself honestly, because we get used to  the status quo and become fearful of changing, and facing new and different circumstances... While the truth, as they say, may set you free, no one ever said it would make you feel good. You have to decide what is in your best interest, and what is in the best interest of your children.  This does not mean that your boyfriend is a bad guy... simply whose needs and feelings you are paying attention to. 

You only wrote in because something about his behavior is disturbing to you... Pay attention to that... You must first and foremost take care of your needs and those of your children.  If deep inside you feel believe &/or know that your boyfriend's drinking is NOT good for your sons, then I believe you have your answer. How you want to handle this is up to you. 

I would recommend the following...

  1. Seek family counseling for you and your sons.
  2. Attend al-anon meetings
  3. seek counseling for you, and possibly your boyfriend so that you can work on making sure your emotional needs are being addressed, and your communication is open, healthy and respectful.
  4. Do not rationalize or justify behavior that you know in your heart is NOT acceptable to you.  As painful as it may be, please face your truths so that you can live authentically, and openly... not making excuses for yourself or anyone else.  I am offering a free teleseminar on Wed. night which is all about family relationships... you are welcome to register and call in... perhaps hearing some of the issues that we'll address that night will be further help for you to make the decisions that will enhance and empower you in your life.  The link to register is


I wish you all the best, and absolutely, love and respect in your life.  Loren

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Page last updated Aug 08, 2011

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