Can an alcoholic live with a normal drinker?

Old 11-05-2016, 08:46 PM
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Can an alcoholic live with a normal drinker?

I have a little over 100 days sober. I met my boyfriend a year ago while on a relapse after 2 years sobriety. The first few months of our relationship i was still controlling my drinking pretty well but by 6 months in i had to quit AGAIN. It took me a few months and he was supportive through it all. In fact he hasn't had a drink around me since i quit almost 4 months ago.
However every year.... once a year he and his dad go to this Pints for Paws event which last year at this time was our first date. Of-course this year i didn't go and he did. We moved in together 3 months ago and tonight when he came home he was pretty well lit.
It really bothered me. I havent been in the best place in my own sobriety the last month or so and have been fighting my beast weekly.... especially on weekends.
When he got home he just said he had fun and went to bed. He may not drink again for another month and just have a beer then. However, is this going to work.... does this ever work?
Hes a great boyfriend he just isnt alcoholic. Will I just feel resentment toward him everytime he has a beer? We are talking marriage and i just need opinion.... i know the first year is hell but, should i dump the most sensitive amazing guy i have ever met and look for a fellow alcoholic?
Thanks in advance for the responses....
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:31 PM
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Hi Jess,

I am just over ten months sober, I was a nightly wine drinker. My husband still drinks beer every night. Sometimes 1-2, sometimes more. It used to be something we both did when the kids were asleep. It bothered me more in the beginning, and every now and then it really does bug me. However, I needed to just step back and remember getting sober wasn't thing, and I need to worry about me. I hate to admit that every now and then when we go to bed I think " I am going to feel so much better than you when the alarm goes off in the morning."

Keep focusing on you!:-)
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:00 AM
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All my partners including my wife of over 20 years have been normal drinkers, though none of them drank that much. It is just not an issue for me and never has been. Other people's drinking has nothing to do with my drinking.

You said that the first year would be hell. I wasn't sure if you were talking about marriage or sobriety, but in my experience the first year of both was absolutely wonderful. The first year of sobriety was pretty amazing as that was when all the big changes began to happen. It was really cool to lose the obsession to drink and the awful lonliness, to feel good about myself, to be able to look the world in the eye, to have a host of friends, to have real feeling that I was on the right track and a sense of anticipation about what the next miracle would be. Far from hell, it was the best thing I ever did.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:47 AM
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Yes I think people do it. Especially if he is willing to not drink around you and not have alcohol in the house. But really, its up to you.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:54 AM
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Can an alcoholic live with a normal drinker?

My wife drinks a little. She didn't much when I first quit, but now that I'm solid in my recovery, she's comfortable have her one drink in the evening, and I am too.

But the question isn't can I live with a drinker. The question is, can you? and right now it seems to be a struggle. Resentment is a recovery killer. What if the next time he comes home lit up, you decide to drink at him.

You said you are talking marriage. I hope you will give it time to for your recovery to mature. You bf deserves a sober partner.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JustFine View Post
We moved in together 3 months ago and tonight when he came home he was pretty well lit.
It really bothered me. I havent been in the best place in my own sobriety the last month or so and have been fighting my beast weekly....
I know from your posts that you were using AVRT, so consider that it was not you, but rather your Beast, that felt bothered by its own deprivation staring it in the face. It -- not you -- is jealous of others who drink.

Maintain that crucial separation. It is the essence of AVRT, and it is what will keep you from fighting with your Beast unnecessarily.

Originally Posted by JustFine View Post
He may not drink again for another month and just have a beer then. However, is this going to work.... does this ever work?
It can and does, but you seem to have internalized the idea that you are 'an alcoholic', different from 'normal drinkers', and therefore somehow abnormal, in need of segregation. This is not the case, because people who never drink are not dependent on alcohol.

They are simply common teetotalers (non-drinkers), like more than a quarter of the US population. It is perfectly normal to never drink.

Originally Posted by JustFine View Post
Hes a great boyfriend he just isnt alcoholic... We are talking marriage and i just need opinion.... i know the first year is hell but, should i dump the most sensitive amazing guy i have ever met and look for a fellow alcoholic?
If you are never going to drink again, why would you want to marry back into addiction? That is essentially what you are considering, and what you are asking about. Limiting your choice of partners to people who define themselves by their addiction to alcohol.

I could certainly be wrong, but I think the problem here is that you are allowing the uncertainty principles of tentative abstinence to dictate your life. If your addiction is over, AVRT-style, those principles need not apply.

The first year, or any other year, is hell only for your Beast. Perhaps your Beast is the one that is actually looking for a mate, in the form of another Beast to bond with?
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:12 AM
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Some thoughts, because you are asking for thoughts from other alcoholics. Please keep in mind, I am not in a relationship, I have 78 days sober, and am in a place where I'm not fighting the urge to drink.. I am still fixing my life and adjusting to a life without alcohol, and do not know what the future holds for me...

I got some really good advice here on the forum, when I said being around a particular person, because they were an alcoholic, he was a trigger. This actually isn't true at all. He's doing his life, he's not doing anything to me. His alcoholism is none of my business, and the feelings that I have or choose to have in his presence are none of his business.

That's easier to see given he was a person I had to put up with but had no personal relationship with. I had to fix my issues and then "OUR" issues disappeared. He wasn't a trigger, no person is a trigger for me UNLESS I AM ACTIVELY SEARCHING FOR SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO VALIDATE MY CHOICE TO DRINK AGAIN.

I wasn't planning to write that, it occurred to me now, and is something that I need to be aware of as I go forward in my life and my relationships. It could resonate with you as well, I don't know that.

Funny thing about drinking and alcoholism, it can't always be observed or detected from the outside. I'll just leave that there.

As far as marrying goes... If that's the person you want to marry, marry him. In my opinion, marriage is "warts and all", til death do we part, unless you hurt my children. But again, I'm single and finding myself.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:10 PM
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:Thank you all for the advice. I think i just needed to vent a bit...especially you Algorrithm but all of what all of you said is true. I got up the next day and did a work out and you know what Delilah1 .... there was a bit of satisfaction that as he was "sleeping it off" ... i felt great....
Thanks again all of you,
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:40 PM
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You are still in very early sobriety. The third and fourth months were the worst in my experience. Hang in there and it will get better.

My wife is a normie. She has had alcohol in our home and had occasional drinks since I got sober. It's no biggie.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:53 PM
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It's not always easy, but yes, it is possible. The trick is to keep your focus on your own sobriety and not let your attention be swayed onto their drinking. And Acceptance is massively importance. Acceptance isn't about whether they are Right or Wrong. There is no value judgement there. It is just an acknowledgement that it is what it is, and that you cannot change other poeple, what they want, or their actions. Only they can do that.

I have found AA invaluable. It means I can always escape and talk to some sobriety poeple who understand me if my partner is being a drunken ass. Esp at the weekends. (Not about him though - the whole point is to NOT let his actions and opinions affect me, so I try not to even give them head space.) Admittedly some times are harder than others, and it's a bit of a head wrestle to Let it Go, but here I am. 2 and a half years sober and never been happier, so it can be done.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:48 PM
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Thank you both. Month 4 is turning out to be tougher than i thought. My head is going crazy. A lot of drink drink drink lately..... focusing on myself is the key. The exercise component is helping. No turning back. Thank you both.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:22 PM
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Keep fighting the good fight JustFine. Exercise can be helpful in a lot of areas of your life, good job on keeping up on that too. SR is always here if you need us!
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:31 PM
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Believe me i spend a lot of time on here lately. This and my workouts keep me sober.
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:04 PM
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I couldn't do it. My previous long term relationship was with a woman who drinks 2-3 glasses of wine or beers every night, and suffers an attitude shift. There were always better in the fridge too. I had a lot of cravings and resentment, and constantly relapsed when I was with her. I had to move out before I could successfully attain long term sobriety. My current gf has maybe 3 glasses of wine a year, and it's so much easier for me.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:21 AM
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There's no single answer here. Some former addicts manage fine, others don't. My wife and I have some agreed boundaries here - no alcohol in the house ever, don't drink around me, and don't come home drunk. If she has a glass of wine with friends at a lunch (which she does, rarely), I don't care. I would not live with a regular heavy drinker or with alcohol in the house, since given how far down the hole I went years ago I wouldn't put up with the risk, but that's me.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:47 AM
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Yep, I'd agree not a single answer , my wife drinks. When I decided to quit I took the 'No matter What clause' to heart , so her drinking doesn't/can't have any more(?) effect on the lack of mine. It may have been easier had I been married to a fellow teetotaler, but then again maybe not.
I don't miss or resent the fact that I no longer get drunk, but I do get annoyed when she drinks enough that it changes her behaviour, mostly because I always find myself thinking about whether or not my reactions are hypocritical, given my history.
Push comes to shove, would I rather she not at all? Sure , but at the same time I can't/don't let it have bearing on my decision, that would be/is by definition Beast talk.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:08 AM
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My wife drinks occasionally.
We've been together 30 years.
I've not had a drink for 12.

My daughter drinks quite often.
She works in a pub.

We have beer and wine in our home.

I have to accept that other people, even loved ones, drink alcohol . . .

Just as I need to accept that I cannot.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:58 PM
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Another thought...Based on just the thread title...

Can an alcoholic live with normal drinkers?

I live with normal drinkers, so yes, a recovering alcoholic can live with normal drinkers. Two things: Not if you're an active alcoholic. And define normal drinking. What that really means is that alcohol is kept in the house and every once in a while can be brought out and enjoyed in moderation. Generally it just sits there. That's normal drinking and that should settle just fine with the recovering alcoholic. It will get underneath the active alcoholic's skin like nothing else will.
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:39 AM
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It's something that you have to decide for yourself.

For me, I can be around normal drinkers. Ones who have a few and still can maintain pleasant conversation and don't step out of themselves. I think you know what I'm talking about. When they begin to laugh louder and talk louder. That's a huge trigger for me because that WAS me. It brings me right back to the monstrosity of what I became.

You said your husband came home lit. Nope, I couldn't tolerate that, not in a million years.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:11 PM
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Met my wife when i was 3 years sober, dated for 4 years, married for 32 years. The only thing that bothers me about her drinking is when she leaves a drink half full. How the hell can anyone waste alcohol?
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