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He Isn’t an Alcoholic But He Blacks Out

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: I’ve searched all over the internet for a straight answer on this but can’t find anything. Hoping someone here can give me some insight.

My boyfriend isn’t an alcoholic, but he does drink and blackout. He likes drinking and starts out a happy drunk, but then he can’t stop and things go down hill. When that happens he finds some reason to get angry at me and then leave the party. He always wants to go home and I have to talk him out of driving.

He’s never cheated while drunk but has confessed that when he gets home he has urges to go out to the bar later to pick up on girls (reason why he wants to go home without me.) He called me right away after one night of drinking when he got mad at me, went home and he called his ex, who he says he has no feelings for. He said he had hoped she would come over but I don’t think he told her to directly. I went over to his house right away, we talked all night. He said he didn’t know what to do but to be honest with me and that if i didn’t come over he probably would of went to the bar to find a random girl. The next day he didn’t remember what happened or what he told me that night.

He says the only explanation he can think of is that he might be deliberatley sabotaging the night and relationship, finding a reason to fight so that he can justify cheating later. He reaches a point where he just says F it and doesn’t care about consequences at that state.

Our relationship is fine and he’s told me that the best sex he’s ever had has been with me.

He doesn’t like this about himself and has decided to stop drinking to avoid this. It was his choice, I didn’t ask him to quit. But is quitting drinking just avoiding a deeper issue? Or is this something all men struggle with?

Why don’t you think this man is an alcoholic? He drinks to blacking out! It will be instructive to see if he can quit.

Whether or not he is an alcoholic, he is using drinking as a reason and excuse for his behavior. Alcohol is a disinhibitor, it’s true. But he makes the choice to drink to the point where he can claim that “the alcohol makes me do it” rather than take responsibility for his actions.

Stop kidding yourself. Your relationship is not fine. He loves alcohol and his fantasies at least as much, and maybe more, than he loves you. As long as you tolerate the drama around drinking and threats of cheating, he gets to have both his alcohol and you.

I think you should give up on this guy and make yourself available to someone who can love you and cherish you and make you the most important love of his life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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