How Can I Deal with SO Drinking to Fall Asleep?

Updated on May 09, 2019
D.S. asks from Matthews, NC
8 answers

My 45 year old SO of 6 years, whom I and my tween daughter live with, has chronic pain, anxiety, and ADD. This has been part of his life for years. He has chronic sleep issues for which he takes medication and cannot seem to get on a schedule.
A couple of months ago I found a bag from the liquor store in the car with two large bottles of vodka. I was floored...he has never been a drinker in the entire time we have been together, and literally I have never even seen him get a beer if we go out.
I confronted him. He finally told me he was having a drink at night to get to sleep and that he didn't think there was anything wrong with it. Also said that if it bothers me that bad he would stop. Well since then I have found two receipts for the liquor store. One of the was for over $100 worth of vodka.
I'm a medical professional and know the risks of mixing meds and alcohol which he swears he isn't doing. Over time I have lost trust in him for a myriad of reasons but this is mind blowing. He has been sleeping into the afternoons, not showering regularly... also, I should clarify that I am the home owner...have any of you ever dealt with this? How did you handle it? And how can I get him to leave without the situation affecting my daughter?

What can I do next?

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answers from San Francisco on

You do understand you can't change another person, right? He drinks, he's been hiding it from you, you don't trust him for other (?) reasons. He is probably a closeted alcoholic.
The only way to "handle" this is to either 1) accept his bad and possibly dangerous habit or 2) let him know that what he is doing is unacceptable and that unless he gets professional help you will be moving out.
Having personally been in a family where my mom chose her drunk husband (not my bio father) over the well being of her kids I can tell you this would be a no brainer for me. No dick is worth the financial and emotional toll that addiction has on a family, especially innocent children.

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answers from Washington DC on


Personally - it sounds like he needs to see a psychiatrist.

Dealing with sleep issues and alcoholism is tough work. You don't trust him.

My husband had a stroke in December 2016 - since then he has been dealing with insomnia and restless leg. He drinks beer. He doesn't drink the hard liquor. I don't like it when he does because he becomes nasty - he's not a fun drunk.

Using alcohol to get him to sleep is a bad sign. The other signs are lack of showering and hiding the alcohol from you.

How do you get him to leave? You tell him it's over and have him pack his bags.
You let your daughter know that you've made a decision that is best for you and her. It's YOUR relationship - not hers.

If they are close - your daughter and SO? You can tell her that they can keep in touch. I personally wouldn't allow it - but that's me. A teen doesn't need to be influenced by an alcoholic with other issues.

You can help him leave by helping him find a place to live.
You can help him leave by telling him he MUST seek a therapist and GO. not for YOU but for HIM.

Change the locks.
Put an alarm system in the house.
Ensure he's not on bank accounts and important things like that.
Ensure he can no longer pick your daughter up from school.
Let your daughter know that he can't pick her up from school. Get a code word for the two of you so she knows if you have a problem - the person picking her up knows the word to use.

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answers from Santa Fe on

He is an alcoholic. My dad is one. He will lie to your face and then go sneak his alcohol. If you confront him often he will get really good at hiding it, using cash only (no credit card trail), etc. You and your daughter will be affected either way. If it were me I would give him an ultimatum and then be prepared to move out (or kick him out). He is unlikely to change.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You don’t trust him and are worried about his drinking so you need to do something to protect your daughter and yourself. Personally I would ask him to move out of your house. If he does not move willingly you will have to consult an attorney. Have your daughter out of the home when you tell him and have another place for backup if he does not react well. He is already affecting your daughter with his drinking and untruthfulness and that is what you can change for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I guess my question is why are you still with him based not on the possible alcohol, but rather this statement:

"over time I have lost my trust in him for a myriad of reasons . . ."

So, even if the alcohol wasn't in play, it sounds like the relationship was on it's way to being over anyway, right?

This is a teachable moment for you to show your daughter that strong women do not put a man first, or not hold them accountable for bad behavior, or that it is ok to continue to enable addiction, or that we don't deserve mentally healthy people, or that trust isn't important in a relationship.

Let me ask you this - if this was your daughter talking about the man in her life, what would you want HER to do? Do that. Exactly that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

What's the mystery here?
He's an alcoholic.
Move yourself and your daughter out and away from him.
Join Al-anon - both you and your daughter.
Make him an ex significant other.

He has a problem and he doesn't see it as a problem.
Until he understands that he has a problem he won't do anything to fix it.
If he doesn't think he has a problem then you are beating a dead horse attempting to get him to change.
And mostly - he's a significant other - and even if he were your husband and your daughters father - you need to rescue yourself and your daughter from growing up with an alcoholic.
She'll think that a drunk is normal and she will pattern her adult relationships on what she is seeing right now - you don't want her ending up with an alcoholic.
You don't want YOU ending up with an alcoholic.
He's just a boyfriend - you don't even need a lawyer for this.

So - you don't live with him - he lives with you.
Your wording made it sound like you were living in his house/apartment.
You will need to consult a lawyer in order to legally evict him.
Once he's out change the locks and security codes.
If you have any close relatives, your mom, etc once school is over send your daughter for a vacation with your folks for a few weeks while he moves out - she comes back when he's gone.
Take a break from dating for a long while.
Your 12 yr old will be plenty to center your attention on until she leaves for college.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

red flags all over this.

if you think your tween isn't being affected either way this goes, you are living in a dream world.

accept the fact that you've got damage control to do with your daughter either way. all you have to decide is whether you want to help her learn to live with an alcoholic who is becoming swiftly non-functional, or how to adjust to a new living situation in which it's just you and her.


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answers from Atlanta on

Re-read what D. B and Wild Woman wrote, and act on it. I will particularly emphasize that he clearly has slipped into an alcohol dependency, and you are describing some classic signs of depression too. You need support to deal with how you have been affected, and Al-Anon meetings would be a great place for you to find it. Individual therapy could work too. Most of all, you need an action plan to make the necessary changes. For the sake of yourself and your daughter, you can't keep living in this situation. Develop a firm timeline for him to start dealing with his illnesses or to leave the household. Wishing you lots of strength, clarify, and good luck in the process!

1 mom found this helpful
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