Blogs


Notices

Dating a recovering alcoholic

Old 11-25-2010, 09:55 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 4
Dating a recovering alcoholic

Hello everyone. I am new to this site and hope to gain some insight for my concern. I know this is a very typical and often spoken of topic that was probably posted before, however this is a first for me.

I began dating my boyfriend about half a year ago. He is thirteen years older than I. When I first met him, he had told me he decided to quite alcohol completely, simply as a New Years resolution and for no other reason.. However I knew in my gut he must of quit alcohol for more reason than that.. But It didn't bother me, and we started a lovely relationship together. He never drank a drop.

As time progressed, I noticed he began to drink occasionally, and I also began to learn more about his past.. As someone who spent most of their life in the bar and food industry, he has been exposed to alcohol and the party scene for quite some time. It then got to the point that he was drinking every night, and I felt a change in him.

The good news is that he decided to quit drinking again, and has not drank in quite some time.. He also decided to quit on his own terms and was not pushed to do so. The reason why my concern is a little peculiar is because he has been able to stop for long periods of time in the past. Serving alcohol and seeing other people drink does not bother him either. There's a part of me that thinks he has all of this under control, but there's also a part of me that feels that maybe this is a bigger problem then I'm led to believe. He doesn't have the behavior of an alcoholic, but at some points he lacks self control and will continue to drink. There has been times in his life where he was drinking constantly, and it even caused him to have a seizure at one point.. This seems to be the pattern of his life that just goes back and forth. He feels he starts drinking out of boredom, and does not use alcohol to self medicate unsolved issues. He does not attend meetings or seek counseling, but claims he has this under control.

What am I to expect in the coming months of his sobriety? He does admit he has a problem, which is good that he is not in denial, I'm just concerned if maybe he is taking it lightly.
How do I support someone in this case? What is your feed back?

Thank you very much for taking the time and consideration to read this.
Selma is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Selma For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (11-25-2010), seekingcalm (11-26-2010)
Old 11-25-2010, 10:04 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
nodaybut2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Quebec
Posts: 2,708
Hi Selma and WELCOME to SR! I'm glad you found this place. There's lots of wisdom and support to be had here.

I am however sad to tell you that by reading your post, your BF isn't in recovery. If he were, he would be following a program, getting counselling and support, and not drinking occasionally, then deciding to quit (rinse, lather, repeat).

Let me post for you the 3 C's of addiction, in case you don't know them already.
You didn't CAUSE it
You can't CURE it
you can't CONTROL it

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. It only gets worse from here on out. Admitting that he has a problem is nice (and easy), but the lifetime journey that is recovery is hard...very hard. I'm sorry to be the bearer of crappy news. Sadly, I and many others have been in your shoes. I would highly recommend deciding right away if you want a life supporting, catering to, arguing with, yelling at an alcoholic who is clearly not in recovery.

I do hope that you keep coming back to SR, and post and read as much as you want.
nodaybut2day is offline  
Old 11-25-2010, 10:10 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
2nd chance at a 1st cl*** life
 
johndelko408's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Jose, Ca
Posts: 492
Blog Entries: 7
Can he have one or two drinks and then stop, or does he continue to drink once he's had one. One of the characteristics of ua alcoholics is that we cannot control our drinking, it controls us. Meaning once we've had one we can't stop. There are other programs if he is hesitant about AA. There is the SMART program that is scientifically based and not God based. I'm an alcoholic and I will never be able to drink normally again, ever. So I can't drink at all. I would make the assessment by mused if I were you. One thingbto remember is that alcoholism is a progressive disease. It never gets better only worse
johndelko408 is offline  
Old 11-25-2010, 01:22 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Babyblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: the moon, milky way
Posts: 1,250
He has a problem. Trust your gut. You wouldn't be posting here if you felt he had it under control or believed what he was telling you. Alcoholism looks different for everyone. There are binge drinkers (which he sounds like) who drink for months at a time then stop but they are still alcoholics.

Try to learn as much as you can about alcoholism for YOUR benefit but there is nothing you can do to make him change his pattern. He needs assistance, AA or some type of program to deal with this issue successfully.
Babyblue is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Babyblue For This Useful Post:
Leise (11-25-2010), seekingcalm (11-26-2010), TakingCharge999 (11-25-2010)
Old 11-25-2010, 01:57 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,059
hi selma and welcome!

i would render a bet that if you dug around in his past, you might uncover a lot more problems that alcohol caused in his life than the one seizure.

i think it's a red flag that he downplayed his drinking problem and abstinence as a new year's resolution.

i think it's a red flag that he said it was under control and then started drinking again.

i think it's a red flag that he is not seeking any help with his drinking.

i think it's a red flag that he is around drinking as his job.

i think it's a red flag that he started drinking everyday and you noticed a change in him.

i think it's a red flag that you feel it's a bigger problem than he's admitting.

let's ignore what he is saying for a minute, and look at what has actually HAPPENED:

since you asked what you can expect in the future, i would render a guess that you could expect much more of the same as has already occurred. as in he gets some sober time under his belt, thinks he has it under control and then starts drinking again. when he starts drinking again, he will change as he did before.

if i was you, i would get to the bottom of this and determine how big a problem drink really is. here are some things for you to look for:

1. does he have a valid driving license?
2. is he always borrowing money from you?
3. what happened in his previous relationship? why did they split?
4. does he get angry when you bring up his drinking?
5. have there been periods of time when you haven't heard from him for days?
naive is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to naive For This Useful Post:
Leise (11-25-2010), seekingcalm (11-26-2010), TakingCharge999 (11-25-2010)
Old 11-25-2010, 03:40 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 4
Thank you all for your honest and wise advice.

I cannot believe how blind I am.

When we first met, he hid my problem from me probably out of insecurity and the fact that he did not know me too well. However, after we started to become closer, he has been extremely open and honest about everything. He has a valid license, a great and responsible worker, he never ever borrows money from anyone, he never disappears without telling me where he's going.. I know he isn't hiding anymore secrets from me, but that does not make the truth any easier. I think that there is a huge part of himself that is in denial perhaps.. but then again, I cannot know for certain. The fact that I've only known him for six months is important for me to realize.

I seen those red flags like a shining alarm, but there was a part of me that refused to take notice... Even now, I'm having trouble digesting the fact that this may be an extremely difficult issue. I've seen him have a couple of drinks and stop, but on the other hand I've witnessed him take it too far.. It's continuously back and forth, and that is why I was confused.

I know I cannot solve this. He must seek help for himself and until he does that, I've painfully come to realize that this may not work after all.

I will continue to research more about this, and I still welcome any input. Thank you again.
Selma is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Selma For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (11-25-2010), Learn2Live (11-25-2010), Leise (11-25-2010), Live (11-25-2010), naive (11-26-2010), seekingcalm (11-26-2010), wicked (11-25-2010)
Old 11-25-2010, 06:16 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
Hi Selma. to SR. Please keep posting and reading.

Regarding this:
"I've seen him have a couple of drinks and stop, but on the other hand I've witnessed him take it too far.. It's continuously back and forth, and that is why I was confused"
IMO this back and forth that is confusing you is how this man lives his life. Do not let it confuse you. So many of us who are dealing with alcoholics report that they are like two different people. But they aren't. He is not likely to stay one way or another permanently, but will likely continue to do what he has been doing. Many of us want the A in our life to stay the sober person and believe that the A will, "If only he or she would fill-in-the-blank." and many of us have lost ourselves in the process of "supporting" an A in their efforts to choose one way over the other.

What really stands out for me in your story is that this man is having seizures and still thinks he can handle his problem on his own. IMO if you have reached the point of having such serious medical issues, you need to get help. But, many alcoholics remain in denial and continue to try to go it alone. My Dad is this type and he is almost 75 years old, very sick, still drinking, and still thinks he does not need any help from anyone.

Please get a boyfriend who is not an alcoholic and investigate for yourself why you may have involved yourself "romantically" with an alcoholic. I suggest giving AlAnon a try.
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
Live (11-25-2010)
Old 11-26-2010, 05:25 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 4
I've experienced alcoholism in my family, but this binge drinking pattern is something that I am not familiar with. Perhaps my boyfriend and I are concentrating on the sober periods throughout his life rather than taking into perspective his entire life as a whole.. which makes it easier to live in denial... "He isn't an alcoholic" I would tell myself.. "Only someone who dips in the sauce once in a while.." I know now it is more than that.

Excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject, everyone. I do not mean to be naive in any way.. but it seems to me that everyone is telling me he will indefinitely be this way for the rest of his life. If he were to seek counseling I believe he can control this. He always works hard and is extremely ambitious when it comes to other areas in his life.

On the other hand, now that I have just typed this all out, I have to admit that I'm perhaps disparately trying to hold on. I know I haven't known him for very long, but everyone finds that one person in their life that just sticks. It's such a terrible shame it has to be this way.

My father always drank since I could remember, however I never really thought about it as a problem. I will look into AlAnon for further information. Thank you
Selma is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Selma For This Useful Post:
nodaybut2day (11-26-2010), seekingcalm (11-26-2010)
Old 11-26-2010, 08:48 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
nodaybut2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Quebec
Posts: 2,708
If he were to seek counseling I believe he can control this. He always works hard and is extremely ambitious when it comes to other areas in his life.

This isn't mean to demean him or you, but we're talking about an addiction here, not a new job or a exercise regiment. This is a chemical/psychological/emotional issue. Forgive me if I'm highly skeptical that anyone can just "control" the desire to binge drink til one passes out or has seizures.

Also, he didn't agree to go to counselling. You're supposing that you can somehow convince him to do this. This, to me, speaks of a need to control him. Stop right now...you simply cannot control, influence, coddle, beg, manipulate, or convince him of anything. You don't have that power.

I heartily support you in finding an Al-Anon meeting near you and attending a few meetings before you decide that it isn't for you.

FTR, I too tried to hang on desperately...I thought that the "passion" and "depth of feeling" I felt for him meant that he was THE ONE for me, and I let it blind me to everything. I did that for 5 years. 1 marriage and 1 baby later, and I am forever tied to an alcoholic/addict who is still deep in denial about his addiction AND his psychological disturbances.

I know that these words are just words on a screen that you may or may not read. I do hope however that you'll really think about whether or not you want the life I and countless others on SR have lived. It may have brought us together here, but it sure ain't pretty.
nodaybut2day is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to nodaybut2day For This Useful Post:
anvilhead (11-26-2010), bookwyrm (11-27-2010), naive (11-26-2010), Redheadsusie (11-30-2010), wicked (11-26-2010)
Old 11-26-2010, 09:11 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Freedom1990's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,182
Originally Posted by Selma View Post
I seen those red flags like a shining alarm, but there was a part of me that refused to take notice... Even now, I'm having trouble digesting the fact that this may be an extremely difficult issue. I've seen him have a couple of drinks and stop, but on the other hand I've witnessed him take it too far.. It's continuously back and forth, and that is why I was confused.
Alcoholism has nothing to do with the frequency/amount of drinking, or what anyone drinks for that matter.

I was a binge drinker. Does that exclude me as an alcoholic? Not hardly. I used to think an alcoholic was the skid row bum, homeless and drinking cheap wine out of a brown paper bag. That's just one type of alcoholic.

My disease is threefold-physical, mental, and spiritual. If I don't don't address all three issues, the drinking will commence at some point, guaranteed.

Abstinence only is not recovery.

Those red flags are there for a reason. Don't ignore them.
Freedom1990 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Freedom1990 For This Useful Post:
nodaybut2day (11-26-2010), wicked (11-26-2010)
Old 11-30-2010, 04:35 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 4
I appreciate the warm welcome and honest advice I received here. Your words will not go unheeded.

As you know, I have a lot to think about and have some decisions to make. I do not have the power to influence or manipulate my boyfriends choices, but I do have the power to change mine.. and I hope I do so wisely.
Selma is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Selma For This Useful Post:
Thumper (11-30-2010), wicked (11-30-2010)

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 09:40 AM.