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Old 12-28-2008, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alcohol and infidelity

I would like to know about your feelings about infidelity and how alcohol influences it or if it is simply a character issue.

I'm divorced now. I go to Alanon to help me. However, I still have this burning question. Is infidelity something that is OK with alcoholics?

I tend to think it's a combination of bad character and alcohol.

My ex drank during our 30 + years of marriage. In the beginning 1-2 6 packs of beer daily, then the last 15 years or so, 1 - 2 bottles of wine daily and then in addition to this, more recently, a generous glass of cognac every night!

I never knew about alcoholism. There wasn't any drinking in my family when I grew up....other problems, but there was never alcohol in the house!

Now my ex is with his "buddy" of 20 years. It's a relationship I never knew about! Looking back, now I see what a charming liar he was. He had to be in control and could get away with it with his charm. He also held, and still holds, a rather good job. I guess you could say, he was a great actor and compulsive liar.

When I accidently found out about his "buddy" our marriage was over.

He has had a DWI three years ago....was forced to go for detox...but after that, still drank....but had it under better control....

Again, did I marry a man without character right from the beginning or did the alcohol change him????

I know, forget about him, move on....I am, but I still would like to hear from you about this question.....

THANKS
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not necessarily.

My drinking truly escalated after my partner-at-the-time engaged in an indiscretion with an ex-girlfriend. I was on my way down, for sure, but he wasn't the alcoholic, I was. Since he lied about this indiscretion for over a month before finally coming clean, and being that it happened a mere 3 days after we flew across the country in the name of his asking my mother and father for my hand in marriage, I guess we both felt really lost.

I think people who are checked out on or of anything can potentially compartmentalize and act out without considering the consequences. We can deny that there will be consequences, by sweeping whatever under the rug and living in the moment of, 'hey, I'll pretend it didn't happen, and I will believe the lie until it is the truth'. I know that alcohol really messed with my sexual behavior, and that's been on my mind a lot today.

Some people just don't see infidelity as a form of betrayal. I do. Having unknowingly been 'the other woman' more than once and turning into a mega-witch upon finding out, I've had to work on choosing partners who are emotionally, physically and mentally available to me.

Not all alcoholics are bad apples that lack character. A lot of us just don't know how to cope with pain, discomfort or a lack of reciprocity in relationships.

Heck, you don't even have to be an addict to engage in these behaviors. You might be an addict on another spectrum.

Take care of yourself, though. We're here for you.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YaySartre View Post

Not all alcoholics are bad apples that lack character. A lot of us just don't know how to cope with pain, discomfort or a lack of reciprocity in relationships.
I agree with everything YaySartre said, especially the part I quoted above. I'm also coming out of a relationship that was frequently peppered with infidelity on his part, not mine. (I'm the alcoholic, not him.) In my situation, neither one of us was blameless yet neither one of us was soley responsible for the split, either.

To answer your question directly, infidelity is most certainly NOT ok with this alcoholic. I've never strayed in any relationship. Not even close. I think that both drinking and infidelity can be ways that one "copes" or, more accurately, doesn't cope with life... but I don't think that alcoholics are anymore likely to cheat than normal drinkers.

Take care of yourself -- I know how gut-wrenching it can be.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, it really is comforting to be able to have someone say, "Take care of yourself." People do care here and I thank you for taking the time to give me your perspective. I hurt even now, but Alanon has helped me take care of me. I even had a great Christmas and I was alone. I have come a long way.

Again thanks for your responses. (This is the first time I've posted!)
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think alcoholism 'causes' infidelity. I had an abusive bf years ago. He always blamed his physical and emotional abuse of me on being drunk. But that was just an excuse, as if he wasn't responsible for his actions cause of being drunk. That's a load of BS and I finally was able to see him as he really was: selfish and abusive, drunk or not.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This topic comes up fairly regularly. Enough so that perhaps it should be a sticky either here or on the Friends and Family Board. BTW, have you checked that board out? It's a good way to get support for you.

Alcoholism and infidelity are NOT mutually exclusive. You can have someone who is not alcoholic who is a DOG (bigtime cheater). You have alcoholics who would never dream of cheating. I happen to be one of those. My husband is another and I know others.

Some people use their drinking to condone bad behavior. I call BS on that. It's more like their lack of caring, their selfishness and selfcenteredness.

Can an alcoholic be a cheater? Sure. Can a sober person be a cheater? Sure.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. Try to take the focus off of him and onto you. Work on your own recovery and life will become better for you.

Big hugs,
Kellye
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jewels
sorry to hear of your delimna but I am glad to see you are in ala non.
I used sex,drugs and booze to try and fix what was going on inside me.
When the pain of life got to me I was off for a fix,without regard of my wife.I am a alcoholic also,and I know I lacked morals.I was a dishonest,selfish,self centered drunk.Today I would not run around on my wife.She is a blessing from God,always has been,I just could not/would not see it before.She is in ala non and I am in AA.

She has shown a lot of forgiveness to me.I know I am responsible for what I did and I am making amends daily to her.
Best wishes Jewel,and Happy New Year!
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Tommy, for your response. My husband's infidelity almost destoyed me and Alanon was what helped me the most to get back on my feet. Three years later I'm stronger, but there are still scars. Betrayal cuts deeply. The other person must be hurting so badly inside to become so self-centered and to hurt someone who really cares for them.

I have learned that I am a pretty special person, in spite of my husband's rejection, and I have now many new hobbies. I have found out what my interests are, reading and music, and found new friends who perhaps have more of my interests. I have had to make decisions and tackle problems that came along in my life on my own. From these challenges, I have experienced mostly successes and thereby earned respect for myself. Self respect is so important. I really can say that I like myself for trying and not giving up on me....and having my higher power guide me.

I have also been able to truly thank a higher power who had to have been there through some of the life challenges that I successfully mastered pretty well these past years. Again, I could never have done them myself without the higher power. For example, I believe in miracles. A miracle can be as simple as having new friends and situations simply appear out of nowhere that help guide one through the darkness and help one see the sun again. You can't see that higher power but it's out there.....your soul feels the higher power guiding you...sending you help in various means.

I think that alcohol is like the devil.....it tempts us all. Some people just get hooked faster than others and then slowly the body, the spirit and then, if it isn't too late, something happens and some get a second chance at life and crawl out ot their hole. I guess that's called reaching their bottom.

I'm not a religious freak....I'm not a fanatic. I really don't talk much about my inner yearnings and hurts. However, I am opening up here because I think that if you are trying to recover, do the AA 12 steps. You can get better and will get better, but go to your meetings, every day if you have to, and slowly, it may take a year, two years or even more, but you will get out of your deep hole that you spiraled into!

Good luck to all of you....Alanon helped me and without them and their 12 steps (AA has same steps) I would have crawled in a hole and died.....spiritually and physically.

Thank you for all your advice and thoughts on infidelity and alcohol. I would still welcome comments from others on the subject.
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