Go Back  SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Friends and Family > Friends and Family of Alcoholics
Reload this Page >

My alcoholic fiance just broke up with me, will Al-Anon be helpful?

Blogs


Notices

My alcoholic fiance just broke up with me, will Al-Anon be helpful?

Old 12-22-2010, 10:09 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2
My alcoholic fiance just broke up with me, will Al-Anon be helpful?

I've lurked here for a long time, but now that I'm no longer technically a friend or family member of an alcoholic I know this is a poor time to post.

In a nutshell, before meeting my fiance nearly three years ago ago I had no real intimate experience with people who were alcoholic or substance dependant. He told me at the very outset that he had been an alcoholic since a teenager, and had decided upon meeting me to stop drinking. He attended some AA meetings and saw a therapist and a psychologist at different points during the relationship, for different periods of time, but ultimately felt that AA wasn't for him.

He fell off the wagon several times during our relationship. At first because I was naive and inexperienced and he was sneaky I didn't notice the signs until he broke down and told me and began the recovery process all over again.

We got engaged earlier this year, to be married mid next year. Three days ago I came home from work and he told me he realised he didn't love me enough to marry me. Apart from feeling absolutely devastated and as though my life is over (rationally I know it isn't) I also feel like this wouldn't have happened, and he would have had an easier time not drinking, if I had somehow been more supportive and a better girlfriend.

I know from reading a LOT of stuff on the internet, and this forum, that that's a common feeling. But the thoughts keep going around and around my head, and I can't fight the feeling that clearly I've failed him, and didn't understand him or his problem well enough to support him, and the responsibility is as much mine as it is his.

I have heard of Al-Anon before, and do have access to meetings in my city. Even though our relationship is now, in fact, over and I am not technically a family member of a alcoholic, would it be helpful for me to go to a meeting? Would my presence be offensive and unhelpful to other people who are in fact actually still having to live with an alcoholic?

I am feeling absolutely shattered and don't know anybody with similar experiences I can talk to. I rationally know I shouldn't be blaming myself for this, but it's all very raw still and I can't stop.

My ex fiance's older sister is also an alcoholic who has also at various points attempted to stop drinking, but the attempts were very half-hearted, and she is currently an extremely non-functioning alcoholic who has been in and out of rehab programs. I want to talk to my ex fiance's mother, as we have a good relationship, but he hasn't told her that he's dumped me yet and she has her daughter to deal with over Christmas.
raisingirl is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to raisingirl For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), Live (12-22-2010), Phoenixthebird (12-22-2010), RollTide (12-22-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-22-2010, 10:45 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Rising from the Ashes
 
Phoenixthebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 451
raisingirl, you certainly are welcomed to the club of people whose lives have been influenced by alcoholism. Unfortunately you are feeling the after-effects of alcoholism.

You trusted and loved your alcoholic boyfriend and your heart is broken. Your emotions are normal for losing your hopes and dreams of a fulfilling life with your exABF. It will take time for you to heal your open wounds from this relationship.

I think it's a good idea to start attending Al-Anon meetings in your city. You will certainly be welcomed there. You don't have to share your experiences until you feel comfortable to do so. You will find support through Al-Anon and SR. Like someone posts, SR is open 7/24 hours 365 days a year.

My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Phoenix
Phoenixthebird is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Phoenixthebird For This Useful Post:
Floss (12-24-2010), Live (12-22-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), RollTide (12-22-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-22-2010, 11:59 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Babyblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: the moon, milky way
Posts: 1,250
Definately check out Al-anon because although he broke off the engagement, something tells me he will be back wanting the relationship. It is kind of how many alcoholic bf's are. Not sure why. Maybe because they figure out soon enough that it takes a very patient and understanding person to put up with the craziness that surrounds loving an alcoholic.

I'm sorry he won't stick with recovery but what you did or didn't do has no bearing on why he is drinking or not taking recovery seriously. Relationships all have their ups and downs; unfortunately alcoholics cope with those ups and downs with alcohol while the rest of us don't.

I am a pretty supportive and understanding gf, I am also work with mom's who have substance abuse issues but my RABF still relapsed. He didn't manage his recovery well, stopped going to meetings, etc and thats usually what happens, they take a drink.

It is very tough to love these guys. You see the good in them and you also see the pain they put themselves through but it really is their journey to go on. They have to find their way. For some it takes several attempts to get it right. Regardless, it can be draining so take care of yourself, esp now. You may find al-anon helpful and definately post to us!
Babyblue is offline  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Babyblue For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), Live (12-23-2010), Phoenixthebird (12-23-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), SteppingUp (12-23-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), vujade (12-24-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-23-2010, 12:00 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
While I have only been able to escape to attend three Al-Anon meetings, I remember the experience of attending with longing. (It has been forever, but I am hoping to sneak out tonight to attend another one.) Don't be afraid to attend several different Al-Anon groups before choosing which one/ones to continue attending - each group is different, and you will feel more comfortable with some than with others.

I remember sitting in my second Al-Anon meeting, finally pouring my heart out to people who could understand what I was talking about, when suddenly every single person in the room grinned and started laughing. At first I was upset - were they laughing at me? - until I realized that I was finally comfortable enough talking to real human beings again that I had actually told a joke.

At Al-Anon you will find a very accepting, non-judgmental group of people who have been through similar experiences, and by listening to them and sharing your own stories you can gain a better appreciation of your situation, which parts are within your control, and which parts are outside your control. There are some women who are still going to Al-Anon after their "qualifier" has moved on - due to divorce or separation or death. You may not have constant interaction with your ex-fiance anymore, but he has certainly left his mark upon your life, and just because he's not there anymore doesn't mean that you're no longer eligible to seek help for yourself.

Just remember - Al-Anon is about helping YOU. It's not about helping the alcoholic or his family or winning anyone back. It's about picking up your own pieces and putting your own life back on track, surrounded by other people who are striving towards the same goal. You are only responsible for yourself, and your own actions, and Al-Anon will help you realize that, and keep reminding you when you forget. It's about learning from your mistakes, even the kind that you'll keep making, and understanding and accepting that other people's mistakes are NOT your fault.
StarCat is offline  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), kia (12-23-2010), Live (12-23-2010), nowinsituation (12-26-2010), Phoenixthebird (12-23-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-23-2010, 02:07 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
kia
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: southport merseyside
Posts: 536
yes do join al anon i did when my exA first broke up with me by cheating i remember my first meeting all too well they will be very supportive and its helped me immensley i cant recommend them highly enough and u do find not everyone is still with the A now some are some arent and even just listening u will so much better and welcome to SR btw id aslo recommend doing alot of reading on here also its helpful and theres usually someone else having gone through it or going through it xxxx
kia is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to kia For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), Live (12-23-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-23-2010, 11:38 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,047
What a great gift from your higher power...

There is a video on youtube of a man taking video of a train as another train approaches at high speed unbeknownst to him as he is, literally, standing right next to the tracks. He is completely unaware that he is about to die. The train misses him, no kidding, by inches.

That is what just happenned to you.

There are other vidoes of people, equally unaware, being hit by that train. That is what happenned to many of us here at SR, including me. I haven't died yet, and I've been trying to recover for seven years.

Having said all that, I'm in Al-Anon and believe there is much to be learned there, whether you are currently dating an alcoholic or not. You can find a meeting here: How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

Lastly, you said, "I also feel like this wouldn't have happened, and he would have had an easier time not drinking, if I had somehow been more supportive and a better girlfriend." You also said, "I can't fight the feeling that clearly I've failed him, and didn't understand him or his problem well enough to support him, and the responsibility is as much mine as it is his."

Not only are these thoughts and feelings exactly the reason to go to several Al-Anon meetings to see if it can be helpful to you, it is also exactly the opposite of the truth. You being supportive and a better girlfriend made it easier for him to drink, not harder, but he nevertheless is 100 percent responsible for his problem. He is an adult alcoholic. You are zero percent responsible. We marry to have life partners and/or to raise children together, not to be married to a child. You were about to marry a child, and would have had to care for him in that way.

Take what you want and leave the rest,

Cyranoak
Cyranoak is offline  
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Cyranoak For This Useful Post:
alwaysthinking2 (12-27-2010), Carol Star (12-26-2010), coffeedrinker (12-24-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), naive (12-24-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), RollTide (12-23-2010), theuncertainty (12-26-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), vujade (12-24-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-23-2010, 05:04 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
RollTide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: seeking sanity
Posts: 645
This is about HIM and not about you. Cryanoak is 100% correct...you were given a Christmas gift. You can't understand unless you have been through what most of us here have but we would not wish it on anyone. Take time to grieve the loss and then move on with your life. I tried to love someone who did not love himself. It didn't work and it left me half crazy from trying.

I benefited greatly from going to AlAnon meetings. You might give them a try. I've learned a lot about myself.
RollTide is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to RollTide For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), seekingcalm (12-24-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), wicked (12-23-2010), yorkiegirl (12-23-2010)
Old 12-24-2010, 03:55 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: ACT
Posts: 17
Give yourself a big hug from me...then give yourself another one from yourself. You're not responsible for anyone other than you.
Get yourself to an Al Anon meeting, you will feel so much better for it.
Scooter77 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Scooter77 For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Floss (12-24-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010)
Old 12-24-2010, 04:15 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by raisingirl View Post
We got engaged earlier this year, to be married mid next year. Three days ago I came home from work and he told me he realised he didn't love me enough to marry me. Apart from feeling absolutely devastated and as though my life is over (rationally I know it isn't) I also feel like this wouldn't have happened, and he would have had an easier time not drinking, if I had somehow been more supportive and a better girlfriend.

I know from reading a LOT of stuff on the internet, and this forum, that that's a common feeling. But the thoughts keep going around and around my head, and I can't fight the feeling that clearly I've failed him, and didn't understand him or his problem well enough to support him, and the responsibility is as much mine as it is his.

I am feeling absolutely shattered and don't know anybody with similar experiences I can talk to. I rationally know I shouldn't be blaming myself for this, but it's all very raw still and I can't stop.

Hi Raisingirl,
Welcome to SR. Firstly, as everyone else has said, you may find Al-Anon very useful. As you have become aware, being in a relationship with an alcoholic is not easy, and the 'after affect' can be devastating. My heart went out to you when I read that he said he "didn't love you enough to marry you". Well, I have heard those EXACT words! My ex alcoholic defacto asked me to marry him 5 years ago...there was no real 'engagement' and it turned into a "ring that shows me he loves me". Then, after our daughter was born, the ex (who was sober at the time) decided he wanted to get engaged again. This time he said he wanted to buy me a big rock and he bought a 2 carat diamond ring and proposed (4 years ago). One month later, he came home and said "I don't love you enough to marry you"...So, I understand what you're going through....Fast track to now, his drinking is so out of control, he's drinking 24/7. We broke up 16 months ago, he's lost his job and is losing what's left of his sanity. Babyblue said she has the feeling he'll be back. I do too. Mine has been in and out of my life for years and now after the heart break, I don't want him back.

Like you, I 'supported', him, thought I could 'support' him better...even now, I fall into the trap sometimes. It's not your fault at all his drank. He was an A when he met you and is still an A now. He is responsible for his sobriety or lack thereof. You, in no way are to blame for his drinking. You are not a failure at all. His faults and failures belong to him. He's a grown man, he can choose to drink or get help to stop. The reason he said he didn't love you enough to marry him, is because he's already married... to the bottle (because it doesn't sound as though he's wanting to commit to recovery....my ex has also gone to AA on and off. He's said it's not for him too). Even though it feels like your "life is over", it's not. Believe me, even though the pain is so bad now, it will get easier in time, it really will. Keep coming back here.....
Floss is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Floss For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), naive (12-24-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010)
Old 12-24-2010, 06:49 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
coffeedrinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: minneapolis, mn
Posts: 2,762
Originally Posted by raisingirl View Post
I also feel like this wouldn't have happened, and he would have had an easier time not drinking, if I had somehow been more supportive and a better girlfriend.
first of all, WELCOME to sober recovery, raisin.

you are welcome, and you belong.

the above quote is why you do belong in the rooms of al-anon, and in this forum. and thank you for your honesty. you know rationally that the statement isn't true, yet a part of you does believe that it is. this irrational and sad belief system is your ticket in. and it's not just about the surface belief that maybe you could have been "better" in order to keep him; it also goes deeper, to the notion that we are in charge of, or that we are supposed to have influence over other people....from what they do in their day to their very way of believing and feeling and acting.

not our role.

you may not feel like it now, but this break-up is a gift. you will one day - hopefully soon - believe that.

peace...
coffeedrinker is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to coffeedrinker For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), raisingirl (12-26-2010)
Old 12-26-2010, 12:41 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2
Thank you, everyone, so much.

Thank you everyone for your kindness and support. I wasn't sure about coming to the internet to talk about this, but as my best friend pointed out, she can tell me things until she's blue in the face, but I'll take it best from people who've gone through all of this themselves, and because they don't know me won't have any particular interest or agenda to push on me.

The shock's still sinking in, and my main feelings are still grief, self-blame and denial, but I've accepted that it's over. We've arranged to meet face to face in a couple of days, and by then I think I'll have gathered my wits enough, and summoned up the courage, to ask the questions I need to ask. I have a horrible feeling he's going to try to minimise the part that his alcoholism has played in all of this - "No!" I hear you say, "Really!?" - and I'm preparing myself for that, by reading a lot of the stuff on here, and other sources on the internet.

I am emphatically not blaming EVERYTHING on his alcoholism - if he doesn't feel like we're right together then he doesn't feel like we're right together - but it's more a matter of finding the right words to say, so I don't come off as though I'm being vindictive or deliberately hurtful. He is well aware he has a problem. The more I think about it, the more incidences I think of where in retrospect it's clear he had been drinking, but he either lied outright when I asked him, or I didn't ask the right questions to get the right answers.

Fortunately due to our financial and property arrangements, moving out and dividing the assets isn't going to be as horrendous as it could be. I plan to be fair to him, and I know that he will be fair to me.

Also, I am going to see if I can meet with his mother face to face, to say goodbye and answer any questions she may have. She attends Al-Anon meetings because of her daughter, and even though it wouldn't be right to go to the same meeting group as her, I know she'll help me find one.

I obviously feel sorry for myself and my ex that this has happened, but in a way more than that I feel sorry for the poor tenant in a property we own who just renewed her lease and will probably be receiving her 90 days notice soon in 2011, and even more sorry for my ex's mother. She's had to deal with both of her children for so long. Several times when we've had coffee together, and she's talked about dealing with her daughter's alcoholism, she told me about something Al-Anon teaches, which is sometimes when you love someone, you have to detach, and love from a distance. I'm the one who's been detached from, and thrown out of the "circle of trust", but that's starting to make a lot of sense.

Again, thank you for your advice and kindness.
raisingirl is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to raisingirl For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-26-2010), Impurrfect (12-26-2010), Live (12-26-2010), theuncertainty (12-26-2010), ToBeSerene (12-26-2010), wicked (12-26-2010)
Old 12-26-2010, 05:48 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Carol Star's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,334
Blog Entries: 2
You qualify for Alanon because it (the disease) has effected you. I feel like some others that you have dodged a bullet. Right now it feels like surgery with a hacksaw. Down the road it won't. Down the road it will feel like....whew. This is my 3rd year divorced from my XAH and I am grateful for the lessons. I am not afraid anymore. I gave him to God. I couldn't live like that anymore. I was a threat to his drinking. Natural Light was his mistress. I am so much happier now. Good luck.
Carol Star is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Carol Star For This Useful Post:
wicked (12-26-2010)
Old 12-26-2010, 06:06 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,049
Raisin, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry that you are hurting.

I think it hurts as badly whether an alcoholic or non alcoholic breaks an engagement. That is a huge disappointment for anyone and sounds like you were blindsided as well.

No, it had nothing to do with how supportive you were or were not. Was he a supportive partner to you?

Who knows who may come around the corner in 2011. Be ready!
gerryP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gerryP For This Useful Post:
ToBeSerene (12-26-2010)
Old 12-26-2010, 07:00 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 71
RaisinGirl -
Sending you hugs! Two months after celebrating our 20th anniversary my husband suffered near liver failure. 2 weeks in the hospital, followed by 3 weeks of inpatient therapy. Good for about 16 months and now he's been relapsing since Thanksgiving.

Without Alanon - I would have NOT made it or even understood it. I've had to accept that his addiction is stronger than our relationship/love/marriage ... I sure didn't like accepting that. Some meetings are better than others - some days are better than others. But when I finally had the Ah-Ha meeting - it was priceless!! You will have them too -

Buy some of the literature they offer. I had never heard the terms "co-dependent" or enabler" until I went. I wasn't angery then but I thought I was going to learn more about him - more about his healing ... HA! What a blessing Alanon was - it was for me and about me. I'm not sure how your life is right now but when I started to understand Alanon and learn some new life tools - my whole life improved. you will hear that in Alanon too - someone while talk about a crisis they had last night then someone that has not been with their qualifier (alcoholic) for years will relate how they managed a business situation with their Alanon knowledge.

I've referred to the information in Alanon and AA as life skills - everyone benefits from it!

Try a variety of meetings to see how they fit. My hang up was the fear/pressure/guilt of religion. I read some items online that referred to God, Higher Power - I was already crushed ... I couldn't handle the guilt of not having religion too. None of that was true! Some have strong faith and some have their personal "Higher Power" - your God as you know. I was so relieved! AND I'm not as paranoid as I was then!!! lol

I'm a newbie to this site too but have attended Alanon for about 18 months - regularly then irregularly - what ever worked best for me at the time.

It's OK to to focus on you and take care of you!!
ToBeSerene is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ToBeSerene For This Useful Post:
coyote21 (12-26-2010), DesertEyes (12-26-2010)

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 02:37 PM.