Affair with an alcoholic

Old 06-24-2010, 05:23 PM
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:33 PM
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:44 PM
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Ms. Anon,

You asked a very direct question at the beginning, albeit prefacing it with the information about your affair, and some of the people here have answered that question either partly or fully, but Im afraid that their answers might have gotten lost in the broader discussion about the affair itself.

You asked "what can I expect when my boyfriend/partner gets sober?" I will therefore give you a very direct answer, in language as clear and concise as possible.

Is your boyfriend an alcoholic? You have in fact spent very little time discussing his drinking, but I do believe that he is one because you mentioned that he is 'home detoxing' and regular drinkers never have to home detox, in fact the very word does not even enter their vocabulary unless it is in reference to someone, else, so I do believe that he is alcoholic, for sure. If that is the case, my direct answer to you is that you cannot know for sure what to expect, but I can give you a general idea.

Most alcoholics never stop drinking for good - they will die drunk. That is a common axiom heard in the rooms of AA and Al-Anon and is an unfortunate truth of this disease. Although it is impossible to put actual numbers on it, I would estimate that if you walk into any rehab or detox and look at the people who are there, at least 95% of them have not had their last drink or taken their last drug.

Most alcoholics and addicts are never able to quit, period. Many will stop for a short amount of time, and then go back out to drinking and/or using, sober up again, go back to using, rinse lather and repeat. You get the picture.

Some get sober once, go back to using, and never get sober again. Many even get sober and stay sober for years or even decades, and then start drinking again, and those ones almost never come back.

I say it again, it is extremely rare that an active alcoholic who is just sobering up, as your boyfriend is, will sober up for good. The odds are stacked WAY against you.

You also mentioned almost reflexively that he does not believe in god and therefore by extension that the 12 steps are not for him. I cannot say that there is anything wrong with not believing in God, or at least it is certainly not in my position to judge him one way or another. Let me say this much though. Plenty of people who do not believe in God have gone through the AA program and gotten sober.

In fact the two men that started AA even inserted a mechanism into the 12 steps of AA by stating that it is only necessary to find a God "of one's own understanding," which can be almost any conceivable higher power. And on the flip side I know plenty of people who have been devoutly religious who were totally incapable of getting sober. The only point is he has to learn that he himself is not god, that his thinking is not infallible, and that his actions can and will have consequences, particularly if he continues to drink.

The fact that your boyfriend appears to be so close-minded however, and will likely use his agnosticism/atheism to refuse to work any kind of meaningful program of recovery indicates that his chances of actually getting sober and staying that way are even slimmer than your average fellow.

Let's just say for the sake of argument though that he is one of the ones who gets sober. Let me tell you then that the first eighteen months to two years of his sobriety or going to be wilder than anything you can possibly imagine. Alcoholics in early sobriety (which is anything less than two years) are often extremely moody, irritable, restless, impatient, whimsical, whiny, demanding, manipulative, etc. If I had a dictionary I could continue to pull out adjectives but I do not and I think you get the point.

These character defects might be mitigated if the alcoholic works an active program of recovery in AA or another 12 step program, but as I mentioned above it does not seem like your boyfriend is willing to do that.

There is a hard and fast rule in AA that alcoholics in early recovery avoid relationships for the first year of their sobriety, bare minimum. Of course many alcoholics come into AA already married or at the very least in a committed relationship, so it is not feasible for them to follow that rule. That is too bad for them, because I can tell you that nothing will torture two people in a relationship as quickly and mercilessly as one of them being in early recovery.

This is why it is advised that the Recovering Alcoholic commit him/her-self to an intensive program of AA, and that the partner commit him/her-self to an intensive program of Al-Anon. In addition it is recommended that they each seek personal counseling, as well as couples counseling together, preferably with a counselor who has experiences dealing with addicted/co-dependent couples.

Even then, I can tell you from personal experience because I have witnessed it countless times, a lot of those relationships still do not work out. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a woman (or occasionally a man) say in the rooms of Al-Anon "I preferred my husband (or wife) when he (or she) was drinking," I personally would be a rich man.

That, in a nutshell, is what you can expect, since you asked. It is not a pretty picture. Alcoholism is an absolutely insidious disease, a veritable social plague, that has destroyed more lives then anyone will ever be able to estimate. If you do not believe me then you can step over to your nearest medical school and consult the medical literature in the library which will document what physicians have observed about alcoholism in the 100+ years that they have been studying it, and it will corroborate almost verbatim what I have just outlined.

In the likely event that you are thinking "that won't happen to him, he has ME, his ultimate support system to depend on that will keep him from turning into one of those nasty people that this guy has just described," I can also tell you from personal experience that I know plenty of people who have lives that I can only dream about - money, cars, nice houses, exciting jobs, loving spouses, loving children, everything that any reasonable person could ever want, who are still fall down drunks of the worst kind.

None of that stuff, particularly a loving partner, is going to keep your boyfriend sober, period. You ought to know that before you make any long-range plans around him.

I find it particularly alarming that you mentioned that 1) you can control him, that you can make sure that you provide the necessary 'variety' in his life that he does not have to cheat again, and that 2) even if he did cheat that would be acceptable because you deserve it.

Let me shatter the illusion right now by telling you that under no circumstance can you control your boyfriend, which includes keeping him from returning to the likely scenario whereby he starts drinking again, and I don't think there is anyone on this board who would argue otherwise. And furthermore, if you allow yourself to be a doormat or at the very least rationalize it by saying that you did some bad things yourself early in the relationship (like enabling him to cheat) then he is going to walk all over you, no questions asked.

If he goes back to drinking, what are you going to do? If he wrecks your car because he was driving drunk, what are you going to do? If he comes home drunk one night and vomits on the kitchen floor, what are you going to do? If he gets drunk and hits you, what are you going to do? If he empties your savings account to buy liquor, what are you going to do? Just stand there and take it, and say that it is obviously an acceptable consequence of being involved with this otherwise 'perfect' guy?

I know that you think that you were somehow cosmically destined to be with this man since the day that you were born, but let me shatter that illusion as well. What you are experiencing is INFATUATION, and believe me when I say it does not last. It is utterly naive of you to think otherwise, and it is equally naive to assume that once you two are together that all of your problems are going to be solved and that you two are going to be some wonderful happy couple for the rest of your lives.

I think that other people have already talked about the affair long enough, but let me add this much - regardless of whether he loves the woman he is with or not, regardless of what he is doing for his children by staying with her, regardless of what his mother thinks about you or her, your relationship with this man is based on duplicity, plain and simple.

Even if he does not cheat on you, ever (that is if you two do in fact stay together in the first place), do you want to be in a relationship whose very foundation was built on him cheating on the current mother of his children to be with you?

Let me also say this much - his decision to keep living at his home for the sake of his children is admirable, but there is a flip side to that coin. If he chooses to make the commitment to live at home, then that means he also must make the commitment to not fooling around with other women, emotionally or sexually. He does not get to have it both ways. The fact that you think that he does is absolutely outrageous thinking on your part.

And allow me to ask - what kind of message does that send to his children anyway, particularly about acceptable domestic living arrangements, when he is living in some shed out back of his house? I hate to break this to you, but children are extremely perceptive, if for no other reason that they have not built up the necessary defense mechanisms yet that we adults frequently need to employ in order to go about the business of our daily lives. I think someone else on this site said it best - it is better to come from a broken home than be a part of one.

I don't think there is much more I can say. At the risk of you perceiving this as some kind of attack against your person, I can honestly say that I am having a hard time remembering any newcomer on this board being as close-minded as you are. A lot of people have tried to give you a lot of good advice, and it seems that you are not WILLING to accept any of it because it runs contrary to preconceived notions that you already have and that you cannot imagine having to do away with.

All I can say is, denial is a textbook symptom of both those in active addiction and those that are co-dependent on them, which would include you. If things do not work out with this guy, you ought to know that there is a program called Al-Anon, which is available in the UK, and in fact meets in every city and even most small towns, where there are people who have been in your shoes and have learned through brutal, hard experience what the people on this board have been trying to tell you.

They will freely help you by sharing their own experience, strength and hope, but their help will be of no use if you remain as close-minded as you currently are. And I hate to say it, but they are not going to have much patience for you if you continue trying to rationalize infidelity and the like.

However if your situation becomes desperate enough, remember that that resource is there.

I wish you the best of luck with your life choices. Trust me when I say you will need EVERY ounce of it with this guy.

Marshall Zhukov
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:16 PM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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I feel the need to defend, only because my words were misconstrued. Unless I'm skipping over the part where I said.. "you shouldn't be here".

I said: "Why did you even join this site? It's about support - and with support comes the ability to actively accept criticism, or let alone SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION. "

I'm only stating that she came here for feedback, and she is becoming very agressive and not accepting what others think or feel.. so why post, if you don't really want the feedback?

I'm sorry that I came across the wrong way. I agree anyone is entitled to post here, read here, share here, etc. Man, I'm coming across in all the wrong ways. I'm sorry.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:31 PM
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I have been reading this site for many months, only actually joined last month. And I am so very disappointed that a group of people who have been through what we have all been through can be so very judgemental about someone's life and choices.
You are not here to pass judgement or to tell anyone what to do with their lives. Clearly none of us is in a position to tell anyone else the correct way to make choices about their lives. Shame on you, all of you who have felt the pain of this disease.
Anon, all you can do is be true to yourself and your heart, and if you really love this man, and believe you can have a life together...get yourself clear and healthy. Let him do the same. Everything will work out.
I spent years wanting to be with a man I believed was the only answer to my long-term happiness. And we were both married, and he is an alcoholic, and we both got divorced, and we moved in together, and I left shortly after, and I live alone now, and I like it. And he is in recovery, working really hard, and I still love him for all the reasons I ever have. I am much older, I have had my children, so I have the luxury of taking my time.
Please just take time for you. If your love is real, it will stand the test of time. Don't be afraid to lose him. If you can lose him that never really had him. If you believe in your love, you should believe that time will not diminish it. Take that leap of faith...I promise you, no matter will not be disappointed.
And the rest of you...Do not pass GO, Do not collect 200 dollars...judgement against others has no place in our recovery.

For those of you who suggested Al-anon, and offered Anon encouragement to take care of are the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:34 PM
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"....hence him needing to sort his head out to find out what he wants which I truly believe is me."

Well then Anon, you can't possibly know what he thinks or wants because clearly, he doesn't know what he thinks or wants. If he needs to sort out his thinking, I wouldn't bet my last buck on believing everything he has told you.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:35 PM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:36 PM
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Wanting thanks for a giggle.

Everything is so pure until reality hits. Haha.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:40 PM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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I will say one last thing then I am also leaving this thread alone as well.

To me it seemed the OP was looking for justification, and/or approval for the "unique" affair she was having with this guy. If not then why bother mentioning the affair at all?

Why not just ask her question about if someones feelings or emotions change when sobering up?

Just there seems to be a majority of women on this board coming to seek support because they have an alcoholic for a husband, and in some of those cases the husband is also running around cheating while giving in to his addiction. Just seemed to be a slap in the face type of post to me, then again I am a guy so yeah what should I know...If I was to harsh sorry. But there really isn't any way to sugar coat a turd.

I mean the title says it all "Affair with an alcoholic."
Why not just "wondering if sobering up effects a persons feelings." IT is called opening up a can of worms...

my 2 cents, I will leave it alone now.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:45 PM
  # 90 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Anon1972 View Post
I hope you fall in love with a married man then you may get just a slight idea of the other side!! I didn't ask for it to happen!

I am 38. When I was 16 I had a two year affair with a married man who was 28. I had his baby at age 18.

You have NO IDEA what this is doing, or GOING to do to that family.

Oh, he told me he loved me and I was stupid enough to believe it. He told me a lot of things.

My blood is boiling right now, I'd better stop.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:06 PM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Anon1972 View Post
Fine, you're crossed off our wedding list lmfao
Where is that dang ignore button?

This thread has me pissed off. I'd like to say more but don't want to get banned because I like it here.

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:14 PM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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ok peeps, go walk around the block. Breathe some air. Call your sponsor / shrink / pastor / whatever. Come back tomorrow after you have let off some steam and see if you can sit on your hands a little more often

In the meantime, this thread is closed.

Moderator, SR
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