Blogs


Notices

Man I'm dating just informed me he's an alcoholic; help!

Old 10-12-2010, 08:47 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bliss, VA
Posts: 4
Exclamation Man I'm dating just informed me he's an alcoholic; help!

Hello from a newcomer. I have been dating a very nice man for about a month, and he amazed me this weekend by saying he's an alcoholic. We've been considering moving ahead into a serious relationship. Now I'm wondering how to understand some of the things he told me. I want to make sure I can handle this before we go further.

He told me that:

** He hasn't had a drink for 25 years.
** But he has alcohol "all over the place"; hadn't I noticed the wine and hard stuff in the kitchen? (No. Duh.)
** He rinses his mouth with Listerine each morning, even though it contains ethanol just like hard liquor. (I can't vouch for the accuracy of this.)
** He started drinking as "self-medication" for depression. Yes, he's now aware that alcohol is a CNS depressant...I think he started drinking in college.
** When drunk, he used to just sleep a lot for two or three days. He didn't become unpleasant.
** "I have an addictive-type personality."

And, when asked, he confirmed that he is depressed. He's unable to take the antidepressants such as Zoloft, due to side effects. Is taking some other Rx now but it's not helping. He'll look into a couple of new drugs.
** When his depression gets severe, he sleeps a lot for two or three days. He claims that is not a problem for a significant other.

I am struggling to take this all in, and make the right decision. Does it make sense that he's a sober alcoholic yet has alcohol in his house? Should I be wary of his claim of sobriety for 25 years? Worried about his addictive personality? Skeptical of his sleeping as a sign of depression, rather than of drinking?

Thank you for being there, and for reading such a long message.

Kaaawa
Kaaawa is offline  
Old 10-13-2010, 12:00 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: where the streets have no name
Posts: 1,073
Unusual for a 25 year sober alc to have lots of alcohol at home. usually thats the last thing they are interested in.

They are very good at lying.
steve11694 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to steve11694 For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 03:10 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
peaceful seabird
 
Pelican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: floating
Posts: 4,822
Welcome to SR!

It's hard to judge your friend based on one post.

Immediate questions like:
Are there other room mates in his house that explain alcohol?

What steps is he taking to address his addictive personality?

Why should you accept his word that he was a sleepy drunk and not a reactive drunk?

You clearly have red flags and unanswered questions of your own about this man's history. Listen to your inner voice, follow your gut.

You don't have to indulge in a deepening of this relationship by 3 p.m. today, right?
Be patient, more will be revealed.
Pelican is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Pelican For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 03:14 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 545
Blog Entries: 1
Kaaawa, welcome to SR. Good for you for seeking information at this very crucial stage of your relationship. That is a very healthy thing to do.

There are a few alarms bells in your post, but for me the relavation that he hasn't had a drink for 25 years isn't one of them, apart from no mention of any recovery-type work (like AA, therapy, SMART, church programs etc). There is nothing wrong with not drinking alcohol. One alarm bell for me is that he recognized that he suffered from depression all those years ago and his sole method of dealing with it is by sleeping for days. Has he had therapy? Does he manage his diet? Does he exercise? Does he have any insight into why he has depression?

The addictive-type personality revelation, though, is the key for me. He is telling you who is with that quote and also with the sleeping thing. It could be a test to see where your boundaries lie. A fait accompli - I am going to do things that aren't healthy for me or for you and I have told you, so it is your fault if you stay wth me and the poop hits the fan as a result of some addiction related incident (drinking, gambling, pain pills, whatever).

I may be wrong, but I would advise proceeding with extreme caution and at a very slow speed. (I actualy, I would say run away because life's too short, but I know it's not always as simple as that.) You need to keep an eye on his actions, not his words, whilst making sure you don't give more than you have to lose until you have more information of just who he is. I would also be interested in his reaction to you stating that you need to take things slowly.

How did the conversation come up, just out of interest? And why does he have alcohol in the house if he doesn't drink it? Why the mention of Listerine? He's right that it contains alcohol - my ex used to drink it for the buzz and the smell-covering properties. Actually, there's another test for you - he's laying the ground for you smelling alcohol or Listerine on his breath.

Just my thoughts based on the few hundred words you have written. I may be very far wide of the mark, but I hope to have given a little food for thought. There are some great sticky posts at the top of the forum if you want to read some more.
Bolina is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bolina For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), kudzujean (10-13-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 03:38 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
I'm no angel!
 
dollydo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: tampa, fl
Posts: 6,728
Welcome, if it were me, I'd trust my gut and just go slow.
dollydo is offline  
Old 10-13-2010, 03:40 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
catlovermi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,294
Gaslighting, already.

There is completely, absolutely, unequivocally NO REASON for an alcoholic to have alcohol around their place or to use products that contain alcohol when alternatives that do not are available. He is likely active, still, (and lying straight to your face through innocent "see how transparent I am" expresssions that addicts are famous for) but setting you up to get sucked in when you're hooked into the relationship and he has his first "relapse" in 25 years (cough, cough)...

And then blames it on his depression...

If you're still involved with him in six months, make note of this thread and come back and read it, then.

That you are generating red flags is appropriate.

CLMI
catlovermi is offline  
The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to catlovermi For This Useful Post:
bluebelle (10-13-2010), CatLover1234 (10-13-2010), coyote21 (10-13-2010), HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), Jazzman (10-13-2010), Learn2Live (10-30-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), PurpleWilder (10-13-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), steve11694 (10-21-2010), Still Waters (10-13-2010), wicked (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 03:45 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Being Silent so I can Hear
 
Still Waters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,521
Dump him, and I'm very serious. You'll save yourself mountains of pain.
Still Waters is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Still Waters For This Useful Post:
CatLover1234 (10-13-2010), HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), kia (10-30-2010), kudzujean (10-13-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 03:59 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
A jug fills drop by drop
 
TakingCharge999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,783
Run away ASAP! trust your gut.
TakingCharge999 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to TakingCharge999 For This Useful Post:
CatLover1234 (10-13-2010), HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), kudzujean (10-13-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 04:23 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: ft. lauderdale florida
Posts: 275
Run, run, run, with love from me.
wow1323 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to wow1323 For This Useful Post:
MissFixit (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 04:43 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Jadmack25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wizard Land Downunder
Posts: 2,615
Wow some flags flying there. One of those would be bad enough, but altogether they'd be too much for me.

Hear the advice from those who have been with A's thru hell and sometimes years of it.

Jadmack25 is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Jadmack25 For This Useful Post:
HoopNinja (11-01-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010), wicked (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 05:11 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Awakening
 
coyote21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Beautiful Texas hillcountry
Posts: 1,272
I'm a recovered alcoholic, sober 4 1/2 years, no relapses. About a year ago I decided to add mouth wash to my daily routine.

After about a week or so I noticed myself becoming moody and irritable for no apparent reason. One night it dawned on me as I lay awake trying to ponder what had changed in my life to be causing me this discomfort.

I read the label on the mouth wash, I might as well have been gargling with Jack Daniels, I tossed it out. Oh, and I have this many, "0", beers, bottles of wine/booze around my house.

I'd bet instead of BEING sober for 25 years, he's been TRYING to be sober for 25 years. A subtle variation of the truth to an alcoholic.

Run Forrest.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
coyote21 is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to coyote21 For This Useful Post:
HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), kudzujean (10-13-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010), wicked (10-13-2010), wow1323 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 05:21 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Belgian Sheepdog Adictee
 
laurie6781's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In Today
Posts: 6,101
First, I will say there are some 'red flags' but not the alcohol in his home.

I have had alcohol in my home for years now, as I do entertain, and some of my friends do drink occasionally. No big deal for me. I know of others in the program with longevity that also have alcohol in their homes. My sponsor and her hubby (both sober many years in AA, also kept alcohol in their house for the same reason).

I also have used Listerine, with no problems. However (yeah there is that 'but' again) I have also known alkies that would drink Listerine when they couldn't get any alcohol.

Also, I have to say, that by working and then living the 12 steps of AA, the OBSESSION was lifted, for me, and has not returned thus far and I have over 29 continuous years of sobriety now.

I am more concerned with his 'ongoing depression' which might cause more problems than if he were drinking.

I am also very concerned that he did not mention any type of recovery, as the majority of alkies I have known over the years do explain a bit more than just "I am an alcoholic and have been sober 25 years."

I am also going to say this:

All alcoholics are 'problem drinkers' but not all 'problem drinkers' are alcoholics. Thus he may have been a 'problem drinker' that identified himself as an alcoholic (many due) and given enough reason (ie, loss of job, loss of family, etc) just gave up drinking. Problem drinkers can and do that, and yes many of them do say they are alcoholic.

However, the fact that he also said he has an 'addictive type personality' that was a big RED FLAG, that means he can become obsessive about everything, including a relationship (and become controlling).

If you have found that you are starting to really care for this gentlemen, I would suggest,

going slow
stepping back and watching his 'actions'
and
asking questions of him, since he opened the subject up.

I won't say 'run' yet, but I would advise extreme caution.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
laurie6781 is offline  
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to laurie6781 For This Useful Post:
ANEWAUGUST (10-13-2010), bluebelle (10-13-2010), HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Jadmack25 (10-13-2010), Kmber2010 (10-13-2010), LexieCat (10-13-2010), MissFixit (10-14-2010), NoelleR (10-13-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), Still Waters (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010), yeahgr8 (10-30-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 06:26 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Miles from Nowhere
Posts: 396
I have a brother-in-law who suffers from untreated depression. His family has urged him to seek help, but he won't.

He doesn't drink, but he does sleep a lot when he can and he's a downer to be around.

The dynamics of his and my sister's marriage are very like those in a case where there is active alcoholism.

So, even IF this man isn't drinking, the depression isn't going to be much fun to be around either.
kudzujean is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to kudzujean For This Useful Post:
TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 06:56 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Black and Yellow
 
SlvrMag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,359
Originally Posted by Kaaawa View Post
Hello from a newcomer. I have been dating a very nice man for about a month, and he amazed me this weekend by saying he's an alcoholic. We've been considering moving ahead into a serious relationship. Now I'm wondering how to understand some of the things he told me. I want to make sure I can handle this before we go further.

He told me that:

** He hasn't had a drink for 25 years.
** But he has alcohol "all over the place"; hadn't I noticed the wine and hard stuff in the kitchen? (No. Duh.)
** He rinses his mouth with Listerine each morning, even though it contains ethanol just like hard liquor. (I can't vouch for the accuracy of this.)
** He started drinking as "self-medication" for depression. Yes, he's now aware that alcohol is a CNS depressant...I think he started drinking in college.
** When drunk, he used to just sleep a lot for two or three days. He didn't become unpleasant.
** "I have an addictive-type personality."

And, when asked, he confirmed that he is depressed. He's unable to take the antidepressants such as Zoloft, due to side effects. Is taking some other Rx now but it's not helping. He'll look into a couple of new drugs.
** When his depression gets severe, he sleeps a lot for two or three days. He claims that is not a problem for a significant other.

I am struggling to take this all in, and make the right decision. Does it make sense that he's a sober alcoholic yet has alcohol in his house? Should I be wary of his claim of sobriety for 25 years? Worried about his addictive personality? Skeptical of his sleeping as a sign of depression, rather than of drinking?

Thank you for being there, and for reading such a long message.

Kaaawa


Those two statements from him don't sound right. Maybe he is saying those things so that later on, if he's drunk and sleeping, he could just say he's depressed?
SlvrMag is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SlvrMag For This Useful Post:
wicked (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 11:22 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
It is what it is
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 280
Proceed with caution, eyes wide open.

If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it's a duck. I hope he's working a program or that makes him a dry drunk. As another person here said, maybe he is a problem drinker but who needs that mixed with untreated depression. Idk. Follow your gut.

If it were me, I'd like to think I could do better and I would throw him back in the pond. Glass half-full.

Peace,
Jen
sunshine321 is offline  
Old 10-13-2010, 11:34 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: OHIO
Posts: 959
The thing that bothers me the most here hun is the fact that he is basically "gone" for 2 or 3 days sleeping or whatever......it could be he binges...and then sleeps it off...how will you handle it when he is mentally and physically "not there" ? He is telling you in plain english just how its going to be and from what I read it aint pretty...ummm I would back off of this relationship or kick it down to a slow crawl until you really see more of what he is all about...the thing with alcoholics is expecially if they are actively drinking even if its behind closed doors is that sooner or later they can't hide what they are doing anymore it will come to the forefront and you must remember that it is a progressive disease and it can suck you dry of finances and energy.

Personally ?? I would RUN and RUN very very very FAST.....There would be no hesitation and no looking back.

Janitw
Janitw is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Janitw For This Useful Post:
TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 12:05 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Occasional poor taste poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,542
I'd say he's good. Very good. He has set the stage of plausible deniability for a pending depression check out. I bet in the near future he goes off grid for a few days and offers you the explanation that he was depressed.

Oh and I would not expect someone with 25 years sobriety to have alcohol "all over the place".
Jazzman is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Jazzman For This Useful Post:
HoopNinja (11-01-2010), seekingcalm (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010), wicked (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 12:56 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 619
I am sure you see as all the responses have the same theme.

Too many red flags...crazy making already. When the things you see do not coincide with the things they say...it's classic, and it will hurt you beyond anything you can imagine.

Get out with your sanity intact. It's not worth it.
seekingcalm is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to seekingcalm For This Useful Post:
CatLover1234 (10-13-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 02:02 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bliss, VA
Posts: 4
I just lost my first attempt to post and will try a quick reconstruction. To all of you who replied, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate it!

I'm considering running.

I like this man very much, we have many of the same interests, and there are some plusses that I didn't mention before. For example, he has worked for the same employer for decades, and has an excellent job. Although I wasn't looking for this, he is very comfortable financially, lives in a peaceful and lovely place, and has taken me to performing arts events that I was happy enough not attending but have really enjoyed with him.

On the down side, he's been married twice and divorced twice. That's not unusual, although combined with the red flags I am noting it. (I've been divorced once and widowed once.)

Originally Posted by Jazzman View Post
I bet in the near future he goes off grid for a few days and offers you the explanation that he was depressed.
He may already be off grid. It's a short week due to the holiday, so we'll see.

To respond to Belina (sorry, I don't know how to use your quote system yet w/o losing my message in process): You asked how the subject came up to begin with. I told him about about a (minor) health problem of mine, and he responded with the story that I've already told you.

Several commented on his "addictive" personailty comment. I'm concerned about sexual addiction, among other things, and what sort of behavior a person with that would display. I told him I was going to go slowly. He didn't react quite the same way that others have in this situation ... another whole story ... it's just a case of my having a hunch that something wasn't quite right, since it fell way short of being abusive.

I agree with all who pointed out that his checking out for a few days of sleep would be awful for me.

Sigh. Feeling I'm among friends here is making all the difference in the world.
Kaaawa is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Kaaawa For This Useful Post:
HoopNinja (11-01-2010), Live (10-14-2010), Pelican (10-13-2010), RollTide (10-14-2010), seekingcalm (10-14-2010), TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010), wicked (10-13-2010)
Old 10-13-2010, 02:09 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
wicked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Waterford MI
Posts: 4,202
Blog Entries: 1
Sigh. Feeling I'm among friends here is making all the difference in the world.
You are among friends. Many friends with many years of experience strength and hope.
I love and agree with jazzman's response.
Plausible deniability, if I didnt know better it would work on me.
But, I know better.
LOL

Beth
wicked is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wicked For This Useful Post:
TakingCharge999 (10-13-2010)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:04 PM.