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Suggestion and advice on relationship

Old 01-13-2011, 01:28 PM
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Suggestion and advice on relationship

It's taken me awhile to get on here and write. I have been lurking for awhile, reading lots of the posts; some helpful, some not. So here is my situation:

I am here to talk about my relationship with my boyfriend, of which we are having a long distance relationship that has been going on for over four months. We have seen each other quite a few times, and talk all day and into the night(no exaggeration). One thing that you also need to know is that I have also known him for a very long time----we grew up together, and we were even in the same daycare as babies. He was one of my younger(and only) sisters best friends, as well as knowing each others families. We reconnected over Facebook very early of 2010, and stayed in contact throughout the year. He was one of the few people that was there for me during my divorce, and made it SO much better by making me think about it objectively. The divorce thankfully has been over for quite some time, and my ex and I have a mostly drama free custody agreement with our three year old daughter.

A little more background on him: He has three college degrees, and one of his goals is to pursue a Masters and Phd within the next year. His family is a little goofy; his mother left him with his dad when he was three years old to pursue--lol--a PhD in Psychology with her focus being Family studies. They have a relationship, but I don't think that is just something you 'just get over'. Anyway...to the story of why I am here.

A little over a month ago, he got into some trouble with the law. A misdemeanor(doesn't matter what it is, but it was from alcohol) Before this happened, we had planned on him moving up to MN to be with me and my daughter(who I share legal and physical custody with my ex) sometime in the near future. At this point, he decided that he needed to stop drinking. Saying that if he looked back at his life any drama or negative thing that had happened was directly or indirectly caused by alcohol. He said he had hit his bottom, and as far as I knew he was just a regular drinker like myself(we didn't live together, so what would I know). All I knew is that he had a job, a nice apartment, a car. In addition, he had several close people die of cancer in the last year---which I don't think he ever dealt with. Anyway...so he starts going to AA, twice a day for a whole month. He was sober, and I know he was because I was also friends with his roomate who was keeping an eye on him as well. His attitude completely changed, his personality changed---not for the worse, but just different. In the meantime, he wants to(with the suggestion from his mother) that he go into rehab. He got into a facility about a week ago, for a 60 day treatment program. Apparantly it was worse than I thought. He repeatedly told me that he was doing it for himself, but in addition he didn't want to move to MN the way he was previously. He wants a life with my daughter and I; that all he has ever wanted was a family to take care of.

So, I guess my question is; what should I do next? He is currently in rehab, but when he gets out do I let him move up here? My thought was that we needed to slow it down a little bit, take our time, let him heal and work out his past issues. I support him 100%, but I also have to think about myself, and my daughter(MOST IMPORTANT). I haven't talked to him about this at all, because of the communication blocks they have at the rehab. I can write letters, but I don't think that really was an appropriate forum to discuss such things. I don't mind at all if he moves to MN, but depending on how much time has passed after his release; I'm not sure if it is the best idea for him to move in directly.

I know that I have some qualities of a co-dependant---mostly in the past. It has been something I have worked on, especially with this relationship. There was no enabling happening, but the 'saving' part came out a little in the beginning when this all started. At this point I have backed off quite a bit, and have thought a lot about setting up boundaries with him. There are just so many unanswered questions right now, that I'm not sure what even to think. Anyone?
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:38 PM
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I am sorry that you are disappointed with all these new things you are learning about him. I agree that you should slow yourself down mentally and take the relationship slowly before you allow him full access to your life and your daughter's.

You should probably take some time to read the sticky notes at the top of this page about alcoholism. It's not something I would willingly take on again, and at a minimum, you must learn about the condition. You can't make accurate decisions about your life as far as he is concerned without a full working knowledge of what to expect.

It bears mention that you haven't had access to all of his life due to the distance involved and the parts of his existence that you didn't know about - including his excessive drinking. If he and his mom agreed that he needed rehab, then he must be relatively advanced.

I advise you to stay here with us, read, learn, and put some boundaries in place (as you should in any relationship - not just one with an alcoholic). You will learn a lot more with time.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:39 PM
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Sinful, if I were you I'd go to AlAnon. I also would not let this guy move in.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:02 PM
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There's no rush on love, is there?
If he's the one, then the relationship will continue to work with him living wherever he is for awhile.
There's a huge transition in thinking post drinking. I might ask this question on the alcoholism forum--how much they changed their lives. Many people completely rearrange their lives and find dissatisfaction with their current SO's and breakup relationships. I wouldn't want this to happen to you while he was living with you. I also wouldn't want him to relapse in your daughter's presence, and the danger of relapse is highest in the first year of sobriety.
I would first want a stable home for my child. She's already been through one major upheaval in the last year.
You can put it all on you if you want to postpone living together. You can say that you need more time alone before you are ready for cohabitation.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:38 PM
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really, brokenheartedfool, says it best.

keep you and your daugher's peace. let him work his program.

chances of relapse are high, as well as dry drunk syndrome.

best to step back, let him find his own feet, and not have him living with you.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:26 PM
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As you can read here in many many posts, getting out of a live-in situation, whether married, or not, with an A is hard, beyond hard, and very painful.

Take your time, hold on to your peace and serenity with all your might. You have no idea at this time what you would be getting yourself and your child into.

He should be clean and sober, and living on his own, and a productive member of society (whether working, or volunteering or going to school, whatever it is) for a long period of time before you even think of moving in together.

I moved in with my ex abf after 3 1/2 years of an amazing love affair. It only took four months for me to be out on my A** with my clothes in garbage bags, and no place to live. I had no idea until we lived under the same roof what alcoholism could do to not only the alcoholic but everyone close to them.

Wait...Wait...and then Wait some more. If it is meant to be, it will be. More will be revealed....
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:57 PM
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I can only speak for myself. But, four months in a long distance relationship isn't my idea of a long term relationship. You can't see body language over the phone.

The man is in alcohol rehab. There's no way I'd move someone like that into my home. What does he have to offer you and especially your daughter?

My AH has a degree in physics and engineering. He's worked for some of the most prestigious companies in the United States. He's well educated and articulate. He's also sucks down an excessive amount of beer everyday.

Okay, I guess you could say my husband is a smart drunk? So what?

As my husband's drinking increased, it took me quite a while to understand that when I was talking to my AH, I was really talking to a man with a brain compromised by alcohol. The man I'd married was gone. The alcoholic in his place would say anything to justify his drinking. He'd say anything he thought I needed to hear.

Be careful.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:10 PM
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Welcome and thanks for deciding to join us in the forum!

My inner voice says there's a lot more you haven't been told.

Protect your child first and above any lonliness you are feeling.
There's time to be told (and apparently verify) the truth.

If you can't manage to be strong for yourself
then put your child first and do it for her.
And keep her there.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:23 PM
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I can really relate to your post. I am also in a relationship with someone from my past and it is a distance one too (but same state). I agree that 4 months is not very long to know someone and then have them move to where you are. Even if you knew him as a child, you are now dealing with the adult with a drinking past that I suspect he has not revealed completely to you.

Relationships are very stressful, if he is in rehab he is going to come out with a different perspective. Not saying he won't be in the relationship but going to rehab isn't like going to get your appendix out and then you are ok. It is about transitioning to a sober life.

Going to AA twice a day tells me he probably was pretty severe and it is usually much worse than they lead you to believe. It took a good 6 months before I started to see the extent the RABF's drinking issue. It was very severe but initially I thought he was doing great; he was actually very fragile but wanted me to think he was stronger than he really was.

It is hard to be in the situation you are in (and I am as well) but the reality is when they are in rehab, for me it is like putting everything on hold. You already notice he is a different person and if you've not seen the sober person ever, you have to in essence start over.

What is or isn't best for him isn't something you can decide, that will (and should) be up to him. It is a huge change if he does and if he is early in recovery after rehab, big life changes are something that is discouraged because of how it can trigger drinking again.

I guess what I am saying is, it isn't in your control at this point. Recovery takes precedence and it is up to him to tell you what he can manage so that he won't risk his recovery. He is still getting adjusted to his sober self and it is a pretty emotional rollarcoaster ride to be on with them. Be prepared.

Why not step back and let him do his recovery while you focus on your daughter for the time being? You don't have to 'end' things or give up but slowing things down IS a great idea for both your sakes. I have a feeling you are just seeing the tip of the iceburg. I know I was completely naive about how much alcohol takes over their lives and how much work it is to put their lives back on track. If you are going to stay in this, buckle up.

But if you are backing off (which is the best thing I think) then let him do his work and you do yours. He will be better for you and your daughter in the long run if he really focuses on his sobriety.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:00 PM
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Wonderful advice above.
Think about your daughter.
Alcoholics are a lot of drama and not very stable.
Many of us were not concious of what we were getting into, but you have the gift of foresight.
Use it.
I'm not saying you have to end it, but protect her as much as you can.
I'd say wait wait wait and see.
More will be revealed, as they say.

Hugs,
peace
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:20 PM
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I liken the situation to a treble hook. If you know any fishermen, they'll tell you, those suckers are easy getting in , but are very hard to get out, and they leave one heckuva mess on the fish when you're forcing them out.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:41 PM
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Please listen to the wise words here. They all come from direct experience.

I had a boyfriend like that, very short story, no kids, nothing really, yet 2 years out from that I am still recovering.

Please don't put the kid in danger. Verbena said what my therapist says, "what does he bring to the table?" now, I would say, confusion and tension.

Also anyone who starts recovery is advised to stay away from relationships at least a year. If he rushes, he is not following advice. He has to give you your space (recovering or not). It has been a long road for him already, it will be a while for him to come back to the real world, it won't happen overnight.

Hugs!
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sinful
My thought was that we needed to slow it down a little bit, take our time, let him heal and work out his past issues.
^^^this
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:26 AM
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My $0.02: Run. Run like the wind.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:51 PM
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He's got a lot going for him, in a lot of ways. He may do great with his recovery, be better than ever, and you might have a wonderful future with him. It sounds like he's motivated.

Still, as the others have pointed out, early sobriety, even when it's going "well", can be difficult for the alcoholic and for those nearest and dearest. I second the idea of going to Al-Anon--and some AA meetings too, while you're at it. It's best if you have some idea of what can be involved in a relationship like this.

I don't want to discourage you too much, because many people do achieve good, lasting sobriety. It's just that this is a difficult time and there doesn't seem to be any reason to rush things.

Best of luck! I was married for a long time to a guy who has now been sober 31 years, and he is still my closest friend. I'm in AA myself, now--sober two and a half years, and I'm enjoying my life.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:09 AM
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Listen to your inner voice telling you to step back and see how things go. It just may save you and your daughter from a whole lot of pain.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:19 PM
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Take heed...

I did a similar maneuver (only I didn't really know he was an alcoholic until AFTER I married him). My daughters are still reeling from the chaos and emotional roller coaster ride. It sucks you in, before you know it, and as other posters said, getting unstuck is very painful and difficult.

Alcoholics can we very successful, highly educated, charming, wonderful people for a while. Especially at a distance!

Do the right thing for your child. You both deserve better than what he has to give right now.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:32 PM
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Alcoholics can we very successful, highly educated, charming, wonderful people for a while. Especially at a distance!
Yep, I know I was. In the beginning, maybe.

Wait, and then wait some more.
More will be revealed and you will be at a safe distance with no financial ties to him.
Then wait some more.

Beth
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