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It just gets more confusing and frustrating...

Old 12-20-2010, 08:01 AM
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It just gets more confusing and frustrating...

Hello all...

I simply don't know what to do. You all have been so amazing with your help and suggestions and I hope there is some great wisdom and advice out there. So here is the latest, I saw him last weekend on Sunday. We were celebrating another month of sobriety and went to a show and dinner. Everything seemed to go along just fine. No talk about a relationship or dating. Just the two of us hanging out celebrating his success.

Then came Monday...he called me Monday night and seemed very confused and concerned. The conversation turned into us and our future and what he wanted. This is where the confusion comes in. So he is telling me that he wants me in his life and wants to hang out, go to dinner, go shopping, go to the theater, etc. But it has to be as friends, not dating or as a couple. I am fine with that. I reminded him that we had already had this conversation weeks ago, so I wasn't sure what was really going on. He told me that if we go to dinner or hang out that it is too intimate and feels like a date. And he does not want us to go on dates. I told him that to me, it was not a date and that if he needed to step back and not hang out that I would understand and when he was ready he could reach out to me and that I would be there. This upset him and he started talking about wanting us to hang out and do things. So now I'm totally confused as to how to proceed with him. If we hang out, he percieves it as a date. If we don't, he gets upset that we aren't spending time together. Either way, it causes a problem. He said he would just take things one day at a time and see what happens.

Then this past weekend, he called me and we chatted briefly. No deep conversation, just seeing how each other was doing. I was heading to a holiday party that night and told him I had to get going to the party. He told me that he was tired and heading to bed and told me to have fun. Then at midnight he started texting me to make sure I was okay and wanted to make sure I had made it home okay. Here is how the text conversation went:

Him: Are you ok? Did you make it home okay?
Me: Still at party. Can't sleep?
Him: Was on the phone with a friend and now going to bed but wanted to check on you first.
Me: I'm fine, heading home soon. Thanks for checking on me.
Him: I care a lot about you. I just wish I were complete enough to be more for you.
Me: I understand. Take one day at a time. One day you will be complete. Sleep well.

I haven't heard from him since and I am trying to just leave him alone and let him figure things out and focus on himself. But the situation is so confusing now. I'm just not sure what to do. He is such a wonderful person and I know that he is doing the right thing and I have so much respect for his honesty and understanding that he needs to make himself better. The problem is that this makes me care for him even more. It hurts me to know that he is going through this and that there really isn't anything I can do to help him. Any words of wisdom?

Thanks to everyone for listening and advising.

-Poohfan
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:44 AM
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What I get from your description of his actions and words is that...he has no clue what he really wants and is giving you ridiculously mixed signals. I also get the "backburner" feeling...as in, he wants to keep you around for later.

IMO, it's time to take a little step back.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post
What I get from your description of his actions and words is that...he has no clue what he really wants and is giving you ridiculously mixed signals. I also get the "backburner" feeling...as in, he wants to keep you around for later.

IMO, it's time to take a little step back.
Unfortunately I agree. I've seen it too many times.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:13 PM
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I'm an alcoholic in recovery, married now. But in the past I dated a fair bit. When the book 'he's just not that into you' came out it was quite the revelation to me. I think you can and will do better than this.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:30 PM
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Okay, so things became a little clearer this past week. He confessed to me that he "fell off the wagon." He got really upset one night last week and drank. He told me that he felt embarassed and ashamed and that he let everyone down.

So, I have taken a step back. I told him that he needed to focus on himself and I reminded him that I would always be there if he needed me. We haven't talked since. He did call me last night and I was out walking my dog so didn't answer...then he texted me asking why I didn't take his call.

I feel that I am doing the right thing by taking a step back for myself, but just wondering how to handle or what to do about him drinking. I know I didn't cause it and I can't fix it. I have been a strong cheerleader and supporter of his recovery, but this is new territory for me and was wondering if there is anything I should be doing for him.

Thank you all for your responses...they have been so helpful to me!!!
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:42 PM
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From what you've explained it sounds like you're allowing him too much space in your head and too much control over you in that you'll be there when he wants you and not when he doesn't...it's quite dangerous to just hand over the reigns to your life and tell them "when you're ready".

It's less about he wants and more about what YOU want and need. Less HIM, MORE you.

If he's confusing you and keeping you dangling then you have the power to stop it and put some boundaries into place to protect your feelings and well being.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:45 PM
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just wondering how to handle or what to do about him drinking
Nothing.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:30 PM
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We help them by doing nothing but taking care of ourselves and living our lives. They are putting themselves through this and will pull themselves out of it when they are ready.

The more we try to help, the longer it takes for them to do what they need to do which is get back to AA or get help some other way.

The RABF pushed me a way but for good reason. I would have tried to help. And he was also very ashamed. He had hoped I'd still be there when he recovered (and I was) but that was the extent of my involvement during his binge.

His slip (which turned into a full blown relapse) reminded me just why going slow was so important for both of us. It was a real eye opener and taught me so much about the disease.

I was supportive from a distance. And I mean distance. I didn't visit him (he lives in another town and I was supposed to go down there but he relapsed). I'd 'check in' once in a while but he was mostly MIA. Which was actually better because I wasn't drawn into the 'what can I do for him' thoughts.

Boundaries are really important at this stage and everyone is different. It was like watching a car wreck and standing there not able to do anything or risk being hurt myself. When I felt strong, I'd talk to him. When it was too hard, I didn't. Everyone is different. I couldn't go NC but for some that is the best.

I had to let go of all my hopes for us because there wasn't going to be an us if he stayed in that state.

Let him do what he needs to do by himself. If you want to talk to him and be supportive, then have a good talk to yourself about your own limits. Maybe going NC is better. If not then you risk being in that car wreck if you don't have good boundaries for yourself.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:53 PM
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this is why they say no relationships in the 1st year of soberity...its too much...never mind for the recovering A but for the alanon'er.....

are you in alanon? please go....and stick around...they will give you good tools on how to deal with stuff...


please dont worry to much on how he thinks...think about you for a change..he has alot of HONEST program work to do....
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:55 PM
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It seems many of us share the caretaking tendencies with our partners/friends/etc.
I remind myself that my AH is an adult man. He is intelligent and capable. He is FULLY capable of caring for himself.
I don't need to worry about what i need to do for him, and what's more, it is disrespectful of HIM to think along those lines. He can care for himself as an adult.
Now, whether he chooses to or not is not my business, but he CAN.
Trust him to take care of himself (on his timeline) and instead ask yourself, "What do I need and how can I take care of ME?"
Hugs
peace
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