CASE STUDY: Danuta in Bournemouth
“I met my ex-partner through an online dating website. His profile said that he ‘craved love’. What I didn’t know then was that he also craved alcohol, ALL THE TIME.”
Danuta, a 29-year-old Hotel Banqueting and Conference Manager in Bournemouth, came to the UK from Katowice in Poland in 2007, To find a better quality of life, and to improve my English.
After settling on the south coast, Danuta decided to try internet dating, and found Harry (also based in Bournemouth) within six weeks of registering and uploading a profile and photos.
“Within a year of meeting Harry for the first time, I was depressed and also deep in debt. He did not have a job and was always asking me for money, to buy alcohol, and lots of it. I didn’t mind at first I have never really cared about money but what did become more and more difficult was living with an alcoholic, or, as you say here in the UK, a ‘binge drinker’.”
“I ended the relationship because Harry continually refused to look for help for alcohol abuse; I’m still struggling to pay off my overdraft from that time, to be honest.”
Danuta is of course not alone in reflecting upon such an ordeal. If you recognise yourself in her, then you’ll also be familiar with this typical behavioural pattern in your partner, ex-partner, or a person you cohabitate with who drinks heavily but perhaps denies they have a problem:
- A general disinterest in life
- Less care taken over their dress and grooming
- Unpredictable irritability and sudden bursts of anger
- Unusually long periods of moodiness
- A particular lack of enthusiasm whenever a conversation turns to plans for the future
- Strained interpersonal relationships overall, and frequent problems at work (if they work at all, that is)
“Being around Harry became so difficult to handle,” Danuta continues. “It was a nightmare to be in his company. He basically rejected me for a drug, a stimulant. My own self-esteem was affected because of him prioritising alcohol it made me feel second best. I was upset all the time because I felt completely irrelevant to him, to his life; unless he wanted money, that is.”
What to do if you are in a similar position
If you live with an alcoholic, and their alcohol abuse is basically ruining your life, convincing them to tackle their addiction can feel impossible, can’t it? Even gently broaching the subject can result in World War Three behind the front door.