Should I Go Back To My Abusive Alcoholic Cokehead Boyfriend?

Abused Woman

Hi Elsa,

I’m currently living in Costa Rica, Central America, but am originally from Toronto, Canada. I have been in a year long relationship with a Costa Rican man who is 10 yrs older than me, but have recently left him. I am still trying to “make it” in Costa Rica if I can.

The main reason I left was because he got drunk and coked up one night and freaked out on me. I wasn’t in that state as all. I’d had a half a beer and I don’t do cocaine. He is an alcoholic that has been trying to take it easy. He has done cocaine, admits to liking it, but claims that he is not an addict.

The reason he ended up freaking out: he became physically aggressive, grabbing me, cornering me into walls, seeming like he was going to hit me, and spitting on me. He also wrapped his hands around my neck and put a little squeeze on it; he claims it was to “calm me down”. He admitted to all these awful things, and begged and cried for my forgiveness amongst other things.

It wasn’t the first incident with him but not to that degree. I knew getting into the relationship with him that he had issues, but thought that old cliche that our love would fix everything. Now I am in a situation where I am in a foreign country where things are just different then what I am used to. I do love it here and want to try and make a life.

The thing is this: I’ve only had email contact with him and 1 phone conversation over the past 2 weeks. He is doing all that classic textbook stuff, liking begging me to come back, he’ll change, he loves me more then anything. etc. etc. He wants to go to counseling and I am somewhat considering it. My question is this: can men who have drinking issues, anger issues, jealousy issues and have also been physically abusive BUT seem genuinely willing to change… can they change? Really?

I do love him but I’m at a crossroads. Do I just move because he really won’t change? Or do I give it a small go and at the very least try and attend one session with a therapist together, so that he can truly understand that what he did was unacceptable and he ever wants happiness in his life he needs to work on these things? I know that I am not perfect but know I deserve a good man, I feel like he could be in the future if he really works on himself but am confused.

Does any of this make sense?

Abused Woman in a Foreign Land

Dear Woman,

Your man is doing all the classic alcoholic/abuser things and if you go back to him in any capacity, you will be doing all the classic co-dependent/abuse victim things. So is this what you want? I don’t think so. But you need support. Because what you are trying to do is very challenging. And I’ll get to that, but first let me answer your questions…

Yes, it is possible someone can recover from this level of pathology – but I would imagine it might take five years (give or take) of diligent effort consistently applied and the odds this guy is going to do that are virtually ZERO.

You can loop around with him as long as you like. I am sure he will go ’round with you as many times as you will allow but personally, he sounds ultra-dangerous to me. I would urge you not just to stay away from him, but to take any means possible to secure your safety.

Because he’s choking you, okay? And he’s probably in blackout when he does it. Who knows! He’s in an altered state. He’s out of control. And you’re showing up at a session with a therapist is going to do nothing but waste your time. Don’t you have enough problems? I think you do.

We’re talking about a 45 year old man, here. You don’t think he can figure it out? You think it’s your job to figure it out for him? I disagree.

Look. Get yourself hooked up with Al-Anon. Get yourself hooked up with support for battered women. Get yourself this excellent book with a very stupid and misleading title, Getting Them Sober. It’s the best book in the entire world for a woman like you (read the reviews).

Good luck.


Should I Go Back To My Abusive Alcoholic Cokehead Boyfriend? — 11 Comments

  1. I agree with Elsa. Give this guy up.

    I was married to an violent abuser for 5 years in my early 20s. He was 7 years older than me and had had problems in all his previous rel’ps. It was going to be “different with us”. Yeah, right!

    Towards the end of our rel’p I asked him to get help. He wouldn’t as he didn’t realise I was seriously about leaving him. Only after I left did he make the right noises about getting help. I told him it was way too late for us, but that he should definitely get help to give himself some change of ever being happy in the future. Well, he never did go for that counselling.

    My point is, even the going to counselling was FOR HIMSELF. Not for me. When his abuse affected HIM and him alone (ie, he got dumped) then he was interested. But only then.

    He proved my point that he only spoke about counselling as a tool to keep me in that rel’p, not because he ever gave a damn about what he was doing to me.

    You deserve SO MUCH MORE than this guy. You really really don’t need this. This is not love (from either side). Can you imagine having kids with guy?! Get out and don’t look back. My life opened up so much when I got out of my miserable situation. Yeah, I was depressed for a while but now I only wish I’d done it sooner.

    Please look after yourself, cos this guy isn’t going to do it for you.

  2. Oh, and not too sure about the astrology but I am guessing a Taurus Sun is pretty tenancious. That can be used to your advantage, but PLEASE know when to give up. I also have a Leo Moon and there’s a lot of pride and ego in there. It’s hard to admit you’ve made a mistake (by choosing the wrong guy). I know how that feels. But YOU are more important than any of this stuff, okay?

  3. I too have the experience that only when you leave, the fall off the cliff is so deep that an abusive (in my case: depressed) man gets councelling and help (for real). I am much happier now, without him; and it seems like he did clean up his act, and is happy with someone else. That was a win-win, but only because I had the guts to say: no more of this, no matter your problems -and no matter I love you; and leave.

  4. Get the fuck out of there and don’t look back. I’m telling you this as a codependent woman myself who has wasted just about all of my adult life in destructive relationships.

  5. Taurus woman here who spent years trying to “save” a verbally abusive relationship – get out now. Don’t let your stubbornness and desire to complete your task get in the way of your brain. There are other men out there who will treat you well. You will find love again. You don’t deserve this. You didn’t do anything wrong. Stop the contact completely and if you have to, leave the area. Abusers do not change quickly – and rarely change at all. He is using guilt to control you – GET OUT NOW!!

  6. I agree with just about everyone else’s advice. A tiger rarely changes it’s stripes (especially at that age), in my opinion (& statistically). To continue any kind of involvement with him would be SOOO classically codependent. I think that deep down inside nearly everyone has a basic understanding of right from wrong and that neither you nor a “counselor” can show him a light which he isn’t aware of himself on some level. Try to love yourself more because I think that’ll help any kind of continued feelings of ambivalence which you might have regarding this man. Joining a support group or seeking a counselor could be SOOO helpful for YOU. Best wishes and BE SAFE! 🙂

  7. As a person with experience with cokeheads:

    it is a drug wrapped up in EGO. Cocaine is all about the ego. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

    I totally agree with everything everyone has said…an abusive cokehead is a lost cause. You are ALLOWED to leave people who HURT YOU. There are no RULES.

    Much love xxxx

  8. PS

    Let him work out his shit on his own and talk in 10 years, if you really feel so inclined.

    You do not need to be the counsellor to the man who tried to choke you to death.

  9. Hi: as a recovering alcoholic (thankfully not abusive or a coker) I would encourage you to move on…. quickly. He may get help and it may some day make him happy and clean. It takes a great del of strength fo him to commit to recovery as it will take youto start again but for YOU – DO IT.
    Al-Anon is a wonderful group that will help you in ways you never imagined. It has been very benificial for my family and I thank God for that.
    I wish you good luck, safety and serenity.

  10. Dear Abused Woman in a Foreign Land,

    You do not mention your zodiac, thus I am curious…
    I just got out of a relationship with a Taurus Sun / Leo Moon / Capricorn Rising a little more than two months ago. I am a Virgo Sun / Virgo Moon / Sagittarius Rising. After a 3-4 year relationship, he admitted to cheating on me for quite some time during our relationship and he was a “me, me, me” kind of person (as someone above me has mentioned) Leo pride always wanting attention.. He got jealous at me merely speaking with another guy and felt it was right for him to get a girls number and form a side relationship cause he wasn’t getting all the attention he felt was necessary and somehow thought it was logical and rational for him to have this revenge… that could just be his psychology, the way he was brought up, etc. But he did have a LOT of pride and that Leo ego wasn’t working well with my Virgo moon… He also had a coke problem in the past and is a chronic alcoholic to this day. You cannot change this man, they are stubborn as fuck (Taurus Sun) with an ego they need fed constantly (Leo Moon.)

    Funny thing I realized was that HE was Co-Dependant on me. Everyone above me mentions that you may be co-dependant on him which may not be the case… I cannot give you much advice without knowing your chart but I will say that if he has an attachment to you, it may be because he is mooching off you, being co-dependant.. and perhaps you are like me in the sense that you like to take care of people… Now I am seeing someone, who is a Gemini Sun / Cancer Moon / Aries Rising, who is very giving. It is a shock to me how giving he is and the total opposite of “me, me, me…” We give and take in equal amounts. The Taurus Sun / Leo Moon just took and took… I didn’t mind cause I am giving to everyone and didn’t realize it at the time what was going on.

    I thought at first that if we broke up, I would never be able to bear it. It was hard at first but after a couple weeks I became more assertive rather than scared to speak with people because of the fear and paranoia he instilled in me… I began to search and contact people who are out there in the world instead of focusing on him, feeding his ego and need for attention. I eventually snapped out of it. I don’t even think about him now, strangely, I didn’t realize how easy it would be and that this should have been done sooner (as someone else above me has mentioned as well.) He was holding me back in life rather than progressing, evolving.. I even wrote him a letter about how we are going in circles, that he is only thinking about now and that I would like to go in a direction that we both have a future together… His response was that my letter is disgusting. It was a real waste of helping someone when they didn’t want the help. I don’t regret it or complain about it… It was a lesson to be learned, that is all.

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