I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years, my boyfriend and I have a son together. I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar, and recently have started taking medication. About 4 months ago I started drinking almost every day, to the point of memory loss, passing out. Alcoholism runs in the family. And I knew I needed help – I just didn’t seek it soon enough. Last month (on a drunken’ stupor), my boyfriend walked in on me and one of his friend having sex. I don’t remember how it started, I don’t remember the act of having sex, all I remember of that evening is my boyfriend walking in. After that is even a blur. Looking back, I realize my boyfriend and I had a lot of problems with our relationship, actually ‘we’ had no relationship, we were just being together. But regardless of the problems, the cheating is not my typical behavior. I’ve never cheated on him, never even had a desire to. After that ‘incident’ I took 2 weeks off work and went to my parents for one week and did a lot of thinking. When I got back, he and I talked and talked and talked. We agreed about how we had lost ‘our’ relationship somewhere and that perhaps we could start all over and try to get to know each other again and such. So, now we have our good days and bad days. But the bad days are bad. Twice now when he comes home and been drinking he yells screams, hits me and basically will torment me till he falls asleep. But, last night I had to leave. When I went home this morning to get ready for work, he apologized and wanted me to hold him. That was so hard. I know I hurt him, I know he is so confused about what to do. He wants to break up, then he doesn’t want to. I see him struggling with all of this and it hurts so bad. As strange as it may seem, because I don’t recall ‘that incident’ it doesn’t ‘feel’ like I’ve done anything. I know I have. He doesn’t believe the memory loss, he wants to know exactly what happened, who instigated and I don’t remember any of it. I guess my question is – is it possible for this relationship to overcome what I have done???
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You and your boyfriend have got several problems going on at once. You have your relationship problems, you’ve got your substance abuse problems, and you’ve got your psychiatric problems. In order to get any one of these problems better you will have to make some progress on all of them I think. Recognize that you are an alcoholic and seek help as soon as you can. As coming off of alcohol can be dangerous, please work with your physician to get sober safely. Take your medication as prescribed! Go to alcoholics anonymous meetings. In short, get your addiction and your psychiatric conditions under control so that you can have a chance at being clear-headed enough to work on your relationship. When you are ready to work on the relationship I would suggest you and he seek the help of an experienced marital/relationship counselor. In the meantime, get out of the house immediately if your boyfriend may harm you physically (go to a sober friends’ house so that you won’t drink while out). Do these things or watch your life and chances for real happiness continue to slide downhill towards zero. Good Luck! – Anne