I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years. We lived together and are in love. When he would drink, he would become verbally abusive. The last time this happened, I called my parents and they came to my house. He was so drunk and angry with me that he sad horrible things to my parents. I made him move out and we didn't talk for almost 3 weeks. We finally talked today and we both realized that we love each other and still want to be together. We just don't know how after everything that has happened that we can make our parents see that we are committed to each other. And my boyfriend doesn't know what to say to my parents and to be honest, neither do I. We want to make our relationship work, but we know we are going to have confrontation from our family members. How can we make ammends with everyone involved and make this relationship work?


Answers




Hi

I would think one of the first things that needs to happen is that your boyfriend needs to get his drinking under control, both for your sake and to let your parents see that your he is sorry and realizes how wrong he was.

If his drinking was that out of control, he needs help, or else next time he is drunk it will just be a repeat performance. Alcohol excess is one of the most destructive elements in a relationship.

I think he needs to go to see your parents and sincerely apologize, not just for how he treated them but also for how he treated you in front of them.

I really dont see how they will accept that he means it tho without him making the effort to bring his drinking under control





Hi Susie,

over the period of four years you must have got to see many aspects of your boyfriend. Verbal abuse is very serious, and I wonder how many times he was verbally abusive towards you during that four years. Also verbal abuse often escalates to physical abuse.

It is not just his drinking that causes him to be abusive, but that certainly adds fuel to the fire. Its just that the drinking makes it easier for him to do. Any domestic abuse program will tell him that.

Your parents are wise to be concerned about you. Men who abuse their partners do not stop until they get help, and even then their is a chance of them repeating the behavior.

You might be in love with each other, but that is not solid grounds to continue on in an abusive relationship. Nor is it solid ground to start a relationship.

It doesn't appear during the four years that your boyfriend was willing to accept responsibility for his abusive behavior and seek help. If he was committed to the relationship this is what he would be doing.

I think it is important for your boyfriend to take responsibility for his abuse and also his drinking behavior. There are reasons that he is abusive and there are reasons that he drinks to excess. These need to be sorted out, regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not.

It is difficult to know whether your relationship is going to work as we don't really have enough information about the relationship. We also don't know enough about how much of a danger your boyfriend is or potentially could be.

I think it is wise that you keep your distance from your boyfriend. Tell him he needs to get help for his verbal abuse, and drinking problem. There is never any excuse for someone to abuse their partner either verbally or physically. Wait and see whether he gets help and how that is progessing before you make any further commitments towards him.

You are in a better position now to be able to leave the relationship than you would further down the track if you decide to get financially involved with him, or marry him and have children. Only to find he hasn't changed and your in no position to leave.

Focus less on how much in love your are, and more on whether he is capable of having a healthy relationship with someone.





Right now, getting your parents to see that you're 'in love' is the least of your problems... you are in love with a man who has serious problems. Has he acknowledged that they even exist? Is he willing to face his demons and to work on becoming an emotionally healthier human being? Before you can work on your relationship, he has to work on his alcohol and anger problems. Your parents love you and they only want the best for you, and the best way to show them that you are serious about this is for him to demonstrate real change to them and more importantly, to you... and this isn't going to happen overnight.





The main thing is that you need to get his drinking back to nothing, or at least under control. He needs to face his demons and see a therapist to help him take charge.

You need to also explain to your parents that he is trying to seek help, and make sure he follows through with it.

Your parents do seem to be trying to care and help you, so lean on them for support, dont think so much of them as thorns and bristles.

Best,

Clyde