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Am I doing the right thing?

Old 09-30-2010, 09:16 PM
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Am I doing the right thing?

I just signed up for this forum because I'm going through so much not knowing if I'm doing the right thing.

I've been with my fiance for over 2 years now. We started living together pretty much since we met each other. Just this weekend I told him I couldn't live with him anymore and he had to move out. I warned him several times when he was sober that I could reach this point and he told me he knew his behavior towards me wasn't right but he still acted out when he drank and took his anger out on me.

I was able to handle his tantrums when it was just the two of us but we both love to camp and socialize with friends that we did allot of things together over the weekends and drinking would be involved. Most times he could handle it but every now and again he would belittle and degrade me in front of our friends. Some of my friends see why I asked him to leave and others (the one's who have similar drinking problems) think I should have loved him enough to forgive him.

When he is not drinking he is the man I am so in love with. I still can't see myself being with anyone but him. I just can't live with the drinking when he isn't able to contain his anger.

He moved into a house that is quite far from where I live and took a year lease. I still want to see him occationally and I've been praying that he will have the strength to fight his problem and realize he wants to be with me more than the drinking.

Am I being unrealistic? Can I continue to see him and hope that he kicks his habit on his own or am I supposed to give him his space to figure things out all on his own?

Hopefully someone on here has some good advice for me. I feel completely lost without him.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:31 AM
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Is he still drinking azkatz? If so, then he hasn't yet decided that you are more important than the bottle.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:41 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. It's nice to meet you! You will find information and support for yourself here.

Are you doing the right thing?

Did you remove the chaos of active alcoholism from your home? Yes? Good on you!
Are you taking the focus off alcohol and putting it back on your own life? Yes? Good on you!

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed. I am always finding wisdom in the sticky (permanent) posts at the top of the forum.

This is from a sticky post and contains steps that have worked for us:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:40 AM
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Am I being unrealistic?

Honestly? yes. Real change is slow, takes weeks, months, years... moreover it takes consistent actions so trust can be rebuilt...


Can I continue to see him and hope that he kicks his habit on his own or am I supposed to give him his space to figure things out all on his own?


"You are supposed" to give YOU your space and figure out what you really want out of your life, out of a partner, out of your weekends, etc etc.



Are you going to a therapist? they rule and can help much. Many times i am afraid to go and want to chicken out but once i am there i feel much better, and always leave hopeful for myself. They also help to make transitions smoother, she gave me the encouragement to live alone - I already feel i actually BREATHE again...
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:46 AM
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Your forgiving him has nothing to do with whether you want to live with him while he is actively drinking.

Alcoholism is progressive and it gets worse if untreated. You have a right not to be subject to random "tantrums" even if it's just the two of you, and you certainly don't need to be belittled and put down in front of others.

Sounds like you made the right decision for you to get some peace in your life. The two alcoholics I was married to were nice people, too, when they weren't drinking. I eventually had to get space from both of them. One got well, and hasn't had a drink in thirty years (we divorced for other reasons). The other is still drinking, so far as I know. The point is that I didn't CAUSE the drinking, I couldn't CONTROL it, and I couldn't CURE it.

Whether your "fiance" (are you still engaged?) gets well or not is up to him. If you see him on an occasional basis, he may be able to hold it together while he is with you, but still be someone you don't want to spend time with, much of the time. You might want to tell him (but this is up to you) that you don't want to see him until he's gone six months without a drink. Or you may just choose to move on with your life, and if he gets well, you can revisit the relationship.

At least this way, you have some breathing room to decide what you want for yourself. I would suggest some Al-Anon meetings. They can be very helpful in sorting out your thoughts about where this might be headed and what you want for yourself.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:53 AM
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Hi and WELCOME to SR. This place is awesome for finding support. I hope you keep coming back.

First off, let me repost the 3 C's of addiction that lexiecat mentioned:
You didn't CAUSE the drinking
You can't CONTROL the drinking
You can't CURE the drinking

It's an illusion to believe that you have the power to change him and his addiction. Only he can do that, and only if he darn well wants to.

Regarding what's next...don't focus on what you're "supposed to" do....this is about what is best for you. Trust your already awesome instinct: you felt the need for space. Go with that. Give No Contact a try and see what comes of it for you.

Most of us come to SR looking for answers about our loved ones, thinking that if we could just convince them of x,y,z, our relationships would magically be better. After a time, it becomes obvious that the issue here is OURSELVES and how we relate to others. So we begin our journey of recovery alongside, but most of the time independently from that of our loved ones.

Definitely look into Al-Anon...and keep coming back to SR. We're always here.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:36 AM
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Hi Azkatz and Welcome to SR,

When he is not drinking he is the man I am so in love with. I still can't see myself being with anyone but him. I just can't live with the drinking when he isn't able to contain his anger.
I struggle with this one too and I have been married to my AH for 22 years. I wish I had the same insight as you that early on in my relationship, to know that you cant live with the anger and outbursts and protect yourself from what could be years of the same. I say good for you, respecting yourself enough to protect yourself.

I can tell you that I didnt have this insight and during the first few years of marriage, when i was in my early 20's, I can still remember the times my AH would come home from a night drinking and start emotionally verbally abusing me whilst I lay next to him in bed crying myself to sleep. My self esteem suffered and it is only now after 22 years of this, that I have finally said enough is enough.

There are two famous quotes I think of sometimes, the first (One Flew Over Film) is where the man says 'she makes me want to be a better person'. I love that and wouldnt that be great, a dream. My husband recently told me that he was chosing alcohol over our 22 year marriage, what a kick to the old self esteem is that. The other quote which is much more suitable to me is from Lady Dianna when she said 'there were 3 of us in the marriage, so it got a bit crowded'. Much more suitable!

You are doing well, just wanted to let you know.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by azkatz View Post
Am I being unrealistic? Can I continue to see him and hope that he kicks his habit on his own or am I supposed to give him his space to figure things out all on his own?
Maybe he has a 'habit', and maybe he's an alcoholic. There's a huge difference.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. It only gets worse, never better, if left untreated.

The drinking is only a symptom of alcoholism.

You see, my disease is threefold-physical, emotional/mental, and spiritual.

If I don't address all three areas, I will not maintain sobriety on a long-term basis.

I know this because I relapsed after four years in recovery.

I also have a 32 year old daughter active in alcoholism/addiction, and that is her choice.

I no longer take a front seat to her insanity.

Her choices have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her disease. I don't take it personally anymore.

I'd highly recommend educating yourself on the disease of alcoholism. See if you can't get your hands on a copy of the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Check into Alanon meetings in your area so you can find face-to-face support as well as posting here at SR.

I was also married to an active alcoholic/addict, and I had to walk away from that marriage in order to save my own sanity, and for my safety.

That man is dead now. As I said before, it's a progressive disease.

I hope you continue to post, and know that you are among friends.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post
Trust your already awesome instinct: you felt the need for space. Go with that. Give No Contact a try and see what comes of it for you.
My instinct is not that keen. I feel like I'm suffocating not being with him. I'm crying constantly and can't stop wishing he were here holding me. My head starts thinking "if this is the right thing to do then why does it hurt so much!".

I know my father was an alcoholic and had to drink every day. When he didn't drink he got the shakes. Never saw him drunk but always saw him with a beer in his hand.

My fiance's drinking was more social. What I observed his stress from day to day was building and things that were out of his control would get to him and by the time the weekend came he would have a few drinks thinking it would relax him but if the stress level he built up was too much for him the drinking would create a timebomb inside him and he would say/do things that were very embarrassing - in front of our friends too! The next day after doing something that embarrassed me I would confide in him how I felt and he would say he was just joking that he didn't mean anything by it.

Would my fiance be considered an alcoholic then if he doesn't drink daily?

We were going to counseling and the therapist recommended him take Welbutrin that he's been taking for about 2 months now. Doesn't seem to do anything when he drinks though.

Thanks to you all for sharing your stories and the reading advice I'm going to research now. Just being able to talk about what I'm going through with neutral people instead of my friends who all seem so judgemental is very comforting. Thanks again!
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:32 PM
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The amount being drank, the frequency, or what is drank doesn't matter.

I was a binge drinker. I never drank daily. I never got a DUI. I never ended up in jail.

I'm still an alcoholic, albeit a sober one today.

We learn things in childhood that often repeat well into our adult years.

Your father was an alcoholic, so in comparing your fiance's drinking to your father's, you felt you made a better choice in a man, yes?

I know that pattern well myself.

Although there was no active alcoholism in the home when I was growing up, alcoholism had affected the family, on both sides.

My father is an adult child of two alcoholics, and has never sought any recovery for himself in regards to the effects his parents' alcoholism had on him.

So, he is a workaholic, a very rigid man. My mother is an untreated codependent who hinges her reality off of others. She is completely dependent on my father.

I have had a past history of engaging in dysfunctional marriages/relationships.

I finally hit a bottom in my own codependency in 1999 when my ex-fiance walked out on us. Looking back now I can see he was a dry drunk.

I don't care to repeat that pattern anymore. I've had enough pain.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:34 PM
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I also wanted to add that taking antidepressants is a moot point when active in alcoholism. Alcohol is a depressant, so it counteracts the medication.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Freedom1990 View Post
My mother is an untreated codependent who hinges her reality off of others.
Sorry to butt in, but this was beautifully said.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:39 PM
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just out of curiousity cause I'm confused on what an alcoholic is and just a social drinker...
since my fiance mainly drinks socially but the alcohol affects him negatively at times - would that consider him an alcoholic? I believe he does use alcohol as a way to suppress negative feelings; work overload, ex-wife issues, finanical, etc.

if he is truely considered an alcoholic should he not drink at all? I never asked him to quit completely because I never felt it was my place to tell him what to do. My ultimate wish would be that he be able to control his temper when he drinks but not sure if that is something that is even possible to do - if the alcohol trips some switch and he has no real control over his actions once he takes a sip...

I am reading the different threads on here but haven't found any that define what an alcoholic really is so please forgive my ignorance.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:48 PM
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Alcoholics come in all ages, colors, social backgrounds, etc.

The point is, his drinking has affected your life, and profoundly.

He is the only one who can decide if he's an alcoholic for sure, and unfortunately, one of the main characteristics of active alcoholism is denial.

I cannot drink, period.

I am not a social drinker, though I always drank in social situations.

I also did not address my alcoholism until I hit a bottom and became willing.

I highly encourage you to start digging into your own recovery. Get the focus off of him, and back onto you.

The best help I can be to anyone, including both of my adult daughters, is to be emotionally healthy and working my program of recovery.

I give them the dignity to make their own choices, regardless of how poor those choices may be.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:53 PM
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Maybe I am a bit too harsh, but it doesn't matter to me, if he is a social drinker or a full blown alcoholic. If he is offensive and abusive to me, or makes stupid comments when out in public which upset me....I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT.

He tells you hewas "only joking", well boy, he does have a weird sense of humour.

You do not like it, OK unless he has a problem, if he loves you he will listen, learn and not do this c**p stuff. If he has a problem then trust me, you will also have problems coming out of your ears, should you end up marrying him.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:42 PM
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My perspective is if you have to ask whether or not he is an alcoholic, there is your answer.

If he were not, the idea of posting here wouldn't have entered your mind. Your concerns are valid as are your feelings. Until he decides he has an issue and wants help, I'd see it as huge red flag in terms of the issues that will crop up in marriage.

When I feel confused about the behavior of my ABF and how it affects me, I pretend that a friend of mine is in my situation: What advice would I give her?

I will be honest though and tell you that it is a long road for him to get to where he acknowledges he has a problem and an even longer road to recovery.
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