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Old 12-09-2010, 09:26 AM
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Question Holidays and parties

My ABF of 10 years just moved out. He's staying at his mom's for a 'temporary separation'. He's an active alcoholic. He is not working a program. I've attended several Al-anon meetings, and I'm going to be looking for a sponsor soon. I'm trying to find a balance of life with the alcoholic who no longer lives with me. My child and he are very close. I love this man with all my heart. I want to approach our relationship in a loving way and keep my sanity.

So, my son and I are leaving town for a couple of weeks for Christmas, spending the time with my family. ABF is staying back and spending time with his side of the family, especially since this is the first Christmas since his father's death.

We planned to return by New Year's, have our gift exchange and go to a New Year's Eve Party at his aunt's house. She is aware that ABF has been struggling to quit drinking. They usually have a full bar at her NYE party.

This just sounds like an awful Perfect Storm to me. Thing is, I don't want to miss the party and miss being with all these wonderful people whom I love!

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:36 AM
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hi-

well, you say he's an active alcholic, not in recovery but you want to continue your relationship with him.

so, it appears your decision is to maintain the relationship, even though he's drinking.

in that case, i'm not sure that i see the issue with the new year's party. you accept his drinking, you both want to go, so why not go?

if it was me, i would arrange to take my own car or organize a ride home. i also would also be clear that i was going home alone and he was going to his mother's house.

that way, you can go to the party but you don't have to deal with the drunk at the end of the night. you leave alone and leave him to deal with the consequences of his drinking and how he's going to get home.

naive
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:12 PM
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I do not accept his drinking. That is why he no longer lives with us. I do not want him drinking around me or my son.

His aunt always prepares for everyone to spend the night so that no one has to be on the roads with idiots that night, so we would be spending the night at her house.

I don't drink, so I *could* drive home, but I don't really want to be driving 30 miles at night by myself with my son in the car on New Year's.

Are there any other options anyone can think of?
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:22 PM
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"This just sounds like an awful Perfect Storm to me."

If you listen and pay attention to your intuitions, I have a feeling, you already have the answers.

Should you decide to meet up with him, exchange gifts & go to the party, I am totally with Naive. You should have a back-up plan (to leave early & on your own, if need be).

New Year's is still a ways away. I hope you & your son enjoy your time together.

Best to you. I hope your holiday turns out wonderfully (regardless of what your A does or does not do).
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:43 PM
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I would pre-arrange a ride if you know anyone else coming back to your area from the party. Not sure if you have a budget for it but stay at a cheap roadside motel just for the night would be something to consider.

One question I have to ask is, are you really going to have a great time though seeing him drink all night if you don't want him drinking around you or your son? Won't you all be in the same location? Are you going to avoid him all night? That would be sorta stressful if I were trying to have a good time. Just something to think about.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:20 AM
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by yorkiegirl View Post
"This just sounds like an awful Perfect Storm to me."

If you listen and pay attention to your intuitions, I have a feeling, you already have the answers.

Should you decide to meet up with him, exchange gifts & go to the party, I am totally with Naive. You should have a back-up plan (to leave early & on your own, if need be).

New Year's is still a ways away. I hope you & your son enjoy your time together.

Best to you. I hope your holiday turns out wonderfully (regardless of what your A does or does not do).



I apologize. I should not have posted any "You should" statements. I was trying to delete this message and repost but I can't figure out how to, once I've edited my post. Babyblue's statement beginning, "I would" is much better.

Sorry about that. I'll work on not posting, "You should" statements! One of the things I'm working on for myself is to *not* give advice (and therefore offer others "you should" statements. That's probably the "codie" in me.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:36 AM
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Are there any other options anyone can think of?


Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I spent a wonderful New Year's Eve once with my younger A bro. There was no tension or turning these kinds of questions over and over in my mind because we just did something totally different - instead of meeting at one of the many usual NY's Eve parties thrown every year by family & friends we went and did First Night in Boston. It was freezing, we bundled up, brought big thermoses of hot chocolate and coffee and we walked around the city and saw all the celebrations.

Had we done the same old things, well, then the same old things and feelings would have surfaced for me.

I do not want him drinking around me or my son.

But that doesn't mean he won't drink. You're separated because he is drinking - yet you're going to a NY Eve party w/ a full bar? Accept that he will drink there. Accept that alcoholics get drunk! Because that's the most likely outcome right? I sometimes struggle with sabotaging my own peace of mind by creating resentments. For me, this scenario is a a huge resentment waiting to happen.

Will it mean something to you if he only gets tipsy? iI he doesn't drink at all? I mean, are you monitoring his intake and then reacting?? Like will you take it as a positive sign for the relationship if he only gets tipsy or barely drinks or doesn't drink, on this one public night?

That's a whole slippery slope for me! Cuz I would be putting all the cards in the As hands, and yet anxiously expecting to be dealt a royal flush! If I was strong enough in my codie recovery to go to the party and let myself have a have a good time, regardless of his drinking or not drinking, then I would go.

Peace-
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:59 AM
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This is an annual party that we had not attended before, but I've always wanted to go. I've become closer to his aunt since his dad (her brother) passed away earlier this year. What we 'usually' do is sit at home. I didn't want to do what we usually do, and we hadn't been asked to anyplace else that we could go without driving home and take my son. I really did want to go.

I actually never monitor his drinking. I never have. I just notice it when he's been drinking because I can smell it on him and then I notice his behavior. I'm not looking for it, it's just there.

I don't look at his drinking as a test or gauge to our relationship or how I feel about him. I love him. There is no doubt about it. He's just non-functional in regular, everyday life. He gets upset about paying bills or any responsibility. He is irrational about normal life. He's basically agoraphobic and antisocial when he drinks. Not the 'party' kind of guy. So, it may be that he won't even go to the party.

The party itself...I don't know what I'm worried about. I see that it's still 3 weeks away and a lot can happen in that time. I get anxious about the changes I've made and what it means.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:17 AM
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I do not want him drinking around me or my son.
Then I would suggest not going with him and your son to places where there is alcohol.

I don't drink, so I *could* drive home, but I don't really want to be driving 30 miles at night by myself with my son in the car on New Year's.
Good work skippernlilg; you know what you do NOT want. Try now to think of what you DO want. Try to keep it generic; don't hyperfocus on the aunt's party because the aunt's party is a place with alcohol and I agree, driving on new year's eve is a bad idea, especially with your child in the car--you are rightfully worried about what could happen.

Great thread.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by skippernlilg View Post
I do not accept his drinking. That is why he no longer lives with us. I do not want him drinking around me or my son.
Then why go with him to a party where he'll be drinking?

Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
I spent a wonderful New Year's Eve once with my younger A bro. There was no tension or turning these kinds of questions over and over in my mind because we just did something totally different - instead of meeting at one of the many usual NY's Eve parties thrown every year by family & friends we went and did First Night in Boston. It was freezing, we bundled up, brought big thermoses of hot chocolate and coffee and we walked around the city and saw all the celebrations.
This, or something like it, is such an awesome idea! If you want to spend the holiday with him thinking along these lines would greatly increase the chances of great memories.

It kind of sounds like it is more that you want to spend time with the aunt and the rest of the family and not necessarily him though? If that is the case you'll have to just think about what you can accept. Is it worth being with him while he is drinking? Is there going to be high drama and awkwardness being with him and his family when you are no longer living together? Would going earlier in the day and bringing a brunch with you and leave before the actually party work for you?

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer as long as you think it all the way through and expect the expected.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:28 PM
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I like the idea of arriving there early and spending some time with his aunt and family and maybe coming home earlier in the evening. Having a child makes it easy to bow out early from all sorts of events.

Yes, you got it, I do want to spend time with his family. They've been great about making my son and me a part of the family, and that's important since we live so far away from my own core family.

The family is aware of the separation and the real reason. There are no secrets, which is a great relief to me. I refused to enable anymore by telling lies, even if by omission. I don't air our laundry either, it's just that I have made it a policy to live my life with integrity.

I do expect that he'd be drinking if New Year's was today. One day at a time, but I should be realistic here.

Thank you again, SR. I figured if I could talk it out here, we could come up with something workable.
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