Old 09-02-2010, 01:45 PM
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Question advice

Hi all,
My partner is an alcoholic, I love her dearly.

I've known her since we were children however lost touch for many years, after I went through a bitter divorce I found out she was living round the corner from where I was now living.
We met up as old friends and she admitted to me the first outside her family her issue. As a friend I said I would support her.
She had had the problem for a year or so at this stage or at least admitted it for that long and had had one home detox but had fallen off the wagon.
We saw a lot of each other and it grew into a relationship. She asked me to move in and as I was living with my parents at the time agreed.
The house we were in belongs to her father and I was to pay the rent to him via her in cash (big mistake).
Things were great and the relationship was strong, I councelled her and helped keep the fact she was still drinking a secret.
After about 8 months of happiness and taking her through another home detox and always being there for her things went wrong.
At work I received a text message from her dad calling me a thief and liar and to move out and never see his daughter again!!!
I spoke to her and it turns out she had never handed the rent over and had drank it!!
I asked her to put things right, she said she would but I don't think she ever has as her whole family don't have the time of day for me. It should be the other way round pat on the back for looking after her.
Not long after this due to circumstances beyond my control my 11yr old daughter came to live with us. She had issues of her own such as rejection by her mother to deal with.
So with what happened before and my daughters interest at heart I got a flat myself close by.
Our relationship continued in secret so to speak so she wouldn't "upset" her family by seeing me!!!
This went on for a few months and during this time I lost two jobs due to the time I was having to take off to look after her!!
I got to the end of my tether, tired and exhausted looking after her my daughter and two homes. Enough was enough and I finally persuaded her to come clean with her family and get more help.
I must point out at this stage her family are all big drinkers ad I belive in some ways everyone of hem has a problem of their own to admit.
I took a call at work (another job) to say she had told them, I had asked to be involved when she did but she went ahead without me and that she was moving in with her mother for the forseeable future.
The relationship continued and we still saw a lot of each other and things eased up for me with her family, but for some reason this made me worse.

I wasn't involved in the care anymore, she became distant and I felt my nose had been pushed out. I can see that now but at the time all I was was frustrated and angry.
On two occasions I really lost my temper with her and locked her in the house so she would talk to me, to listen to how I feel that I love her and feel like i'm losing her.
It backfired as all I did was scare her and she ran to her family and only said the bad that I was locking her in the house and shouting at her, not why I was. Truth is they have done the same with her for the same reasons as me at times.
She said she needed a break which I accepted part of me thinks that was her families decision not hers.
We still talked every day on the phone. I love her so much and was missing her so much and her refusal to see me hurt, I had a breakdown. Ended up on tablets myself but also discovered alon on.
She heard from a mutual friend about my breakdown and agreed to see me. We met for about an hour 3 times a week going for a walk and chatting.

Now to recent history, she has just completed a residential detox for 7 days and is sober, now she attends a day centre to aid the recovery, she says she loves me but always is distant about it.
Today the day centre have advised her she is not to see me during the recovery time with them as I am a distraction, she can thou still call and text me.
Part of me says yes this is right put her recovery first and worry about us later. If that's the case and she does say she still wants me after it all but to me it doesn't sound convincing the distance is still there.
Part of me says it's her controlling family sticking their noses in.

Is that normal in recovery to advise to distance your relationships. I will wait for her to go through this but god it's going to be tough.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:48 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

You will find lots of information, support and wisdom here.
I recommend the permanent posts (stickies) at the top of this forum. Some of our stories are in those posts. I always find nuggets of wisdom when I read there.

I'm glad you have checked out Alanon meetings. Those have been a great help to me in taking my focus off the A (alcoholic) in my life and putting the focus back onto the only life I have control over: Mine.

As a parent, I also have control over my children's lives. I need to take care of them as well as myself. As the sober parent, I am their protection and support. I had spent so much time obsessing over another adult's behavior (my A) - instead of focusing on their lives. Ugh! That is when I started to realize that I was co-dependent.

I had allowed another persons behavior (an adult) to affect my life, and I had become obsessed with controlling that other person (an adult). I was as crazy as my alcoholic.

I began studying codependency. I highly recommend Melodie Beatty's book "Codependent No More".

You asked: Is that normal in recovery to advise to distance your relationships.

yes, that is a normal recommendation.
An alcoholic gets sober, but their body has a long road of recovery from active addiction. Every cell in their body has become addicted to alcohol and it takes time for the body to learn to process regular food and nutrients again.

It takes at least 30 days of sobriety for the liver to even begin to recover from active drinking. It can take months before the "brain fog" begins to lift. There are all these physical and mental changes happening in the first 6 months. The emotional and spiritual changes start later. Throwing in the needs of another adult (relationship) on top of all those changes is risky to the alcoholics sobriety.

Isn't the recovery of your A partner the priority?

I recommend focusing on your own recovery from addiction to an addict, possible codependency and mostly on the life of an 11 year old girl that needs you.

Let us know how we can help. We are here to support you.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:53 PM
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:37 AM
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Hi Geordie!

Wow. Well whether it is her family, or her rehab counselors, or her, YOU are feeling there is a distance in her affection. I would trust my gut on that. And anyway, all that stuff- her family, her rehab, her feelings - they are just that: hers. All of it is hers - so it doesn't matter actually where you think it is coming is the reality.

If you were helping to hide her drinking and yet also in your mind the relationship was wonderful then you may have some of the common codependent distortions of mind! I'm really glad you found AlAnon - that helped me turn my head around and learn what denial and enabling actually are and learn how to let go completely of the alcoholic and focus on my own problems, my own shortcomings, my own goals and dreams.

That's the only way I can stay sane and serene, regardless of whether the alcoholic chooses to drink again or to recover! That's the only way I can become a whole and healthy person who attracts healthy fulfilling relationships!

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Old 09-04-2010, 07:40 AM
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Thanks people your words have wisdom and that of others outside here and some research have made me realise I have a problem.
I am co dependant and now I'm going to seek more help
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:10 AM
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Been to the dr's to get more help, he recommended I carry on with Alon On and look at Coda as well as prescribing fluoxetine.
No Coda meetings in my area so ordered some literature.

My partner still rings every day that is positive but she seems distant, I imagine shes too wrapped up in her own issue.

I know I have to take it one day at a time but it's tough, I know I love her dearly and the truth will come out one day about how she really feels about me and she'll resolve the issues she created with her family but it seems so far off.....
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:26 AM
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Thanks for the update on you!

Good on you for checking with you doctor and taking steps forward in your recovery. You are doing great.

Please feel free to post your concerns, feelings, emotions, hurts and anger. We are here to support you.

There is also a daily support thread on SR for Codependents. It was started two years ago. They post a daily reading from "Learning to Let Go". You are also welcome to post your thoughts and concerns there.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:09 AM
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Smile update

For the last 4 days since I realised I had became co dependant I have been trying to practice detachment and get AGF out of my head a little.

I've stopped trying to contact her and let her do what she needs to do for her recovery, she knows where I am and where to find me if needs be but I have set my boundary and that is I won't enable.

She rings me at least once a day to let me know how she's getting on and I tell her about my life too. Which I see as a positive affirmation I was looking for in my co dependancy I wasn't getting before.

Feel like I'm making slow progress, she's still firmly in my head but slowly not causing my head as much pain.

One day at a time, little by little, those slogans work for me at the moment.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:32 AM
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Ok finding it tough today, always do on run up to the weekend and at the weekend.

She rings tells me what she's up too and it makes me miss her more, too much thinking time at weekends I think, need to find something to take my mind off.

Know I'm doing the right thing allowing her space for her recovery her way but god sometimes it's hard
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:20 AM
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Y'know Geordie - these are things within your control. It may feel awkward, and as codies we are so overly concerned with other people's feelings that we continue to suffer pain and problems to avoid standing up for OUR feelings and our suffering!

If it is tough for you to hear from her leading up to the weekend than maybe go no contact from Thurs - Sun.

I had to practice saying what I mean and meaning what I say - but not saying it mean (see those slogans stick with me!!) in order to truly be taking care of ME!

Like it's Ok to say to someone - "I get anxious for some reason when I hear about your plans for the weekend. I'd prefer if we talked about something else or maybe refrained from talking until after the weekends."

I mean - that's just how you feel, and it is legitimate and honest. True friendships can handle honesty. True friendships do not involve one half suffering in silence or afraid to speak.

I found that I made all kinds of excuses to myself (not unlike an addict!) in order to avoid changing myself. My codie habits of mind were very strong and it took real practice to change them, as well as working the steps in AlAnon, learning to let go, and keep an open mind.

It sounds like you are doing great-- it's always a little bit two steps forward one step back - these are hard habits of mind to break, and their reason for existing runs deep....keep at it Geordie!

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