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Old 05-29-2008, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Possibility of Successful relationships with Recovering Alcoholics

I want to be a bit blunt at this point. Is it possible for a recovering alcoholic to have a somewhat "normal" relationship?

I don't like to generalize or make excuses for things but am looking for some sort of answers. I was seeing a recovering alcoholic for 1.5 years. He has been sober for 15 years.

He was still, admittedly, selfish and could not commit. Felt like he basically used me for 1.5 years which was somewhat my fault for allowing it to go on so long. At times I just felt he may give commitment a shot.

Any success stories out there? Why would this case be different than someone who is not an alcoholic? I'm sure there are people out there who "string along" who are not alcoholics or recovering alcoholics. This was just the first time this has happened to me so I'm relating it to alcoholism. He's still very active in AA. Was married for two years and has been divorced for three.

He ended things last a few weeks ago. I called him and he said he "met someone". But I thought he couldn't "give" and was selfish. hmmmmm . . . . maybe with the right one he can? Although after he told me he "met someone" he said she was away for the weekend and said I could go over to his place. That upset me a lot, kept my calm on the phone, and said no. He had the nerve to end things then asked me to go over?

Why do I still think about him all the time?
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Many recovering alcoholics have quality long term relationships, marriages, etc. When we are just getting sober, we are complete train wrecks. In AA, if you follow the steps in recovery you can be able to do everything (drinking aside of course), and anything.

We are all individuals. The actions of one alcoholic does not define the behavior of the "typical" or average behavior of a recovering alcoholic.

I know guys that have done things that you are describing, that are not alcoholics. I did notice that at least he was honest. In my drinking days, I would of just stopped calling a woman when I didn't want to be with them anymore. The honesty shows that he is using the tools AA has given him.

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Old 05-29-2008, 03:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I need to agree with Tom here, when I was drinking I was the worst kind of womanizer, what ever you wanted or needed to hear. The last thing I would ever do when I was drinking was to dump a woman when I hooked up with another woman, I kept as many women as would let me on the line.

When I was in my bottle it was all about me, I did not give a hoot who I hurt, I would lie through the skin of my teeth to keep a woman on the hook just in case one of the other women I was playing dumped me.

I was a dog and have a lot of amends to make yet due to the way I treated women in the past, some of these amends I am willing to make, but at this point in time I would cause more pain and harm in making amends in some cases.

Is he capable of a normal relationship? Hard to tell, if he was honest enough to break things off rather then string you along, he may be, but it simply may not be with you. He was honest and broke it off so I would call that a plus and being honest is an integral part of a good program.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are any human being's capable of a "normal" relationship?

YES

I have been where you are with both sober and non sober alchoholics and non alcoholics. What is important to me today is to not write off a whole segment of the human race just based on the actions of a few...or even alot!

When I suffer from unrequited love (sp?) I have learned to pray that we can walk skillfully through our karma (god's will) and I "pray" each day that "insert name" will find and follow their spiritual path. Mostly I look to the people who are in my life and try to put into their lives and see how they are doing. Even the praying can become just another form of obsession if I'm not careful.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He ended things last a few weeks ago. I called him and he said he "met someone". But I thought he couldn't "give" and was selfish. hmmmmm . . . . maybe with the right one he can?
Why do I still think about him all the time?

Hahahhaha. Not laughing at you, just the thought of seeing that written out, my codependent fantasy. If only I did this or that my so would give me the love that I need, would stop drinking, whatever. I finally realized that mine wasn't capable of giving, and it didn't matter who I was or what I did, she would still treat me the same way.

Don't know about you, but I would obsess about her to avoid having to deal with my pain.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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but what about Step 4

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Originally Posted by Tazman53 View Post
Is he capable of a normal relationship? Hard to tell, if he was honest enough to break things off rather then string you along, he may be, but it simply may not be with you. He was honest and broke it off so I would call that a plus and being honest is an integral part of a good program.

Thank you for all of the replies.

Perhaps I'm analyzing this a bit too much, but what about Step 4? I've read about step 4, where one lists actions they've done and whom those actions have affected, etc.

In this case, he told me he "met someone", which obviously hurt but I didn't show it over the phone, and in the next breath he wanted me to go to his place and basically sleep with him because the person he met was away for the weekend. Sorry for the bluntness. They had just met a couple weeks before. I called him initially that evening but that doesn't make it ok.

Back to Step 4.

Asking me over after telling me he found someone is not the classiest thing one can do. After knowing me over a year. I personally never had someone do that to me before. He had no regard for my feelings. He always knew I wanted something more than something physical.

This would obviously be listed in Step 4.

Is Step 4 a work in progress at all times? Does making amends mean going back to those people to apologize? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I don't know.

He has come back before to try a committed relationship but it only lasted a few weeks before he ended that too. I just have this gut feeling that he can be caring to someone and not so hurtful.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I too will be blunt....at this point
he wants you for an occassional sex partner.

Move on and find someone who will cherish you.
You deserve more than he has to offer.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Although after he told me he "met someone" he said she was away for the weekend and said I could go over to his place. That upset me a lot, kept my calm on the phone, and said no. He had the nerve to end things then asked me to go over?

Why do I still think about him all the time?

Yeah, I can relate to that. EGO. First, what is "Normal?" Second, people can have successful relationships inside or outside of AA. I have only had one relationship with another AA, she has left me twice without any warning or reason. First time, it was after about 9 months, broke it off then 3 months later came back. Six month later, she up and dissapears on me again. Such is life. Did it hurt? Hell yeah. Can I do anything about it? Nope. My life is completely unmanageable and the areas that I am most unmanageable are the areas that I think I can handle it on my own and that i know best. One being relationships with females and the other my money. Truth be told, I suck all the way around in relationships, I have been in many and have learned a lot. However, this past one has showed me that its better to let my higher power handle it from the start and no matter what, just stay on that path. Lord knows I always pick the worst for me. I have been single for a long time and it sucks, but at this point, the negative aspects of a relationship weigh more than the good stuff. That and my lack of options.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks CarolD and Slowbriety - I like just cutting to the chase : )

I guess I thought I was maybe more than an occasional sex partner since he once came back to try to have a committed relationship.

And yes, I do have an Ego which is probably why this is taking me a bit of time to get over.

This helped a lot from above: "this past one has showed me that its better to let my higher power handle it from the start and no matter what, just stay on that path." The negative really does outweigh the good . . .

On a side note - I don't think women can "have someone on the side" as easily as men
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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maybe you meant he has an ego. I thought maybe you meant I have an ego which is why it's taking me a bit to get over it . . . not sure : ) both i'm sure
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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His ego.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would of just stopped calling a woman when I didn't want to be with them anymore. The honesty shows that he is using the tools AA has given him.
As I understand it the OP called him - not much honesty there. I guess he could have lied.....
But there's not much spirituality in evidence in calling the OP over for a dirty weekend either.

I wouldn't use this guy as a poster boy for AA
Just sayin'

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Old 05-30-2008, 03:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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On a side note - I don't think women can "have someone on the side" as easily as men
Actually even though mentally there are more men that would like a woman on the side, to actually have someone on the side if wanted a woman has a far easier time finding someone on the side. When I was out there most of the women I was playing were married or living with a guy.

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I wouldn't use this guy as a poster boy for AA
No kidding Dee, he sure is not living the steps. Carol nailed it, he is simply looking for some on the side and that is it right now.

SS I would suggest that you go to Alanon or some group like that and learn how to take care of your self better. You are so much better then what this guy is, you really need to just move on.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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SS, First off, relationships between men and women have been a mystery since the dawn of time. No matter how hard you try you may never figure this guy out. You state he has been sober 15 years, that would indicate to me that his not wanting a committed relationship has nothing to do with his sobriety, it is just who he is. I don't feel any of this has to do with alcoholism so I wouldn't expect any step 4 work coming your way. I know you are hurt...breakups suck. Be kind to yourself...move forward with grace...don't concern yourself with what he is thinking, it serves no purpose.

Also, Don't allow yourself to be the booty call when his new GF is away, you are better than that. Remember some guys...alcoholic aside...are just dogs!
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Listen to the ladies, as Bugs demonstrated by her post a lady tells another lady far straighter then most men can!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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After 2 seperate posts it appears the answer from all of is is that he is just not worth it. Move on and send your affections in another direction. If he is like this now know that he will only get worse as time goes on. Like the woman who thinks her man will stop hitting her, or drinking, or womanizing or gambling after they get married! Fat chance! A loser is a loser. You can ask the question anyway you want and you will get the same answer. Maybe you should go to some Alanon meetings.
Also sorry to be so blunt!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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A good friend of mine says of AA and dating....
"The odds are good......but the goods are odd"
funny AND true

:rof
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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two thoughts on the title of this thread:

better possiblility than with a non- recovering alchoholic (although in recovery we are harder to manipulate, less guilt driven, and know who we are)


I sure hope so...since I am one! I sure have a lot of friends for someone who cant do relationships if thats the case!

:ghug3
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Listen to the ladies, as Bugs demonstrated by her post a lady tells another lady far straighter then most men can!
We are still human and Male....
We cannot help it,
Its not our fault its genetic,
We just start losing our ability to think with the correct part of our anatomy.


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Old 05-30-2008, 06:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes, "normal" relationships are most definitely possible in sobriety. I met my husband in the rooms of AA and was friends with him for almost 2 years before we ever started dating. It is a little more intense because when you are both working a program then you can see the BS as it is coming and call them on it.

A dog is a dog, drunk or sober. A commitmentphobe is a commitmentphobe drunk or sober. Sober up someone who acts like a jack*ss and what do you have? A sober jack*ss!

My best advice is to run, don't walk, away from this relationship and spend some time working on you to find out why you put up with this for so long and figure out that you deserve way better than being a sloppy second when the girlfriend is away. I have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt when I was a baby in recovery. I spent the first year and a half of my sobriety with someone who supposedly had 17 years sober but who was a very sick individual. I found out about his lies several times in sobriety and would get mad, refuse to speak with him etc. until he would apologize and I would stupidly believe that things were going to be different. They weren't. Finally I caught him yet again and ended it for good. This time I walked away and didn't look back. I hope you can find it within yourself to do the same.

In addition to the Al-Anon meetings suggested for you I would like to suggest that you check out Melody Beattie's books on co-dependency and possibly the book "He's Just Not That Into You" I haven't read it but have heard it suggested a lot for people in similar situations.

Take care, hold your head up high and know that you are better off now. Learn about who you are, what you want and while you are waiting take care of #1 which is you!

Kellye
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Last edited by Kellye C; 05-30-2008 at 06:22 AM. Reason: Many typos due to lack of sleep and caffeine.
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