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Dating a recovering alcoholic

Old 01-14-2011, 09:16 PM
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Dating a recovering alcoholic

my boyfriend and i have been together for about a year now. this past summer he went to rehab for the first time after a dui and is now a recovering alcoholic. unlike him, i havent had a problem with alcohol and enjoy to drink once in a while with dinner, etc. we have briefly talked about what it would be like if we lived together and hes said that hes not cool with alcohol in the house. i dont know how to feel about that. to me having a bottle of wine around the house and the idea of drinking has never been a big deal to me. i also feel like if he is really going to take his recovery seriously then he needs to be able to and learn how to resist any temptation to drink, even if there is alcohol in the house. he gets mad when i tell him things like that and just responds that i dont understand. so i came here to see if anyone has advice? is it a big deal to have a bottle of wine or two in the house? is that a dealbreaker in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic? thanks a lot in advance
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:24 PM
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I think AA tries to teach those guys that they may eventually be in social situations where there is alcohol, but there is no time limit, and they certainly don't expect it right away.

For your guy's perspective: In his recovery, his path, he has discovered that a living situation is uncomfortable with alcohol in it, then by all means, he should have a booze-free house.

However, you are most comfortable having something around the house, and you have no problem with it whatsoever. You should be allowed to have that.

Therefore, I do not recommend cohabitation for you two at this time, if ever.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:12 AM
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If you love him you will do what ever it takes to support him in his recovery. I quit having alcohol in the house a long time before my AW went to recovery the first time. I will have an ocassional drink but never around her. It's the least I can do to support her. So it's time for you to be an adult. Decide whats more important to you. Your BF's sobriety or having a drink yourself.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bruingirl View Post
i dont know how to feel about that. to me having a bottle of wine around the house and the idea of drinking has never been a big deal to me.
Apparently it is a big deal to not have alcohol in the house. For you, that is.

I can understand where your bf is coming from, you used to drink with him, right?

In time, he should feel a little steadier and not have a problem being around alcohol in a non-alcoholic setting, but as the previous poster mentioned, if you want to support his recovery now, don't drink around him.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:53 AM
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I would ask you to ask yourself why it is so important to you to be able to have alcohol in your home with a recovering A? Perhaps it isn't important. Then, what is the big deal? You can drink at other venues. Your boyfriend's home should be a safe haven free from temptations & triggers. I would side with your boyfriend on this. Recovery takes serious commitment. It affects family & friends of the A as well. I commend your boyfriend. Alcoholism can lead to insanity and death. Your boyfriend not drinking is about him saving his mind, body & soul! It doesn't seem you are ready to live together, if ever.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:37 AM
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If he had a peanut allergy, would you question not having peanuts in the house? I mean, eating peanuts is no big deal if you don't have an allergy to it.

I'm with the other posters, what's the big deal about not having alcohol in the house? Lots of people don't keep alcohol in their houses. If it is just a beverage, then drink a different beverage.

I quit drinking 8 years ago. I don't want to keep alcohol in the house. I doubt I will ever want to keep it in the house. I would be seriously concerned about being in a relationship with someone who thought alcohol was so important that they would push me to loosen up my stance on this.

Kudos to him for taking his recovery seriously. Kudos to you for posting and asking the question.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:47 AM
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As a recovering alcoholic myself and one who is going to start dating again soon (I took some time off so I could concentrate on my recovery), this is very interesting to me.

You're not an alcoholic. It's ok for you to drink.

He is an alcoholic. It's not ok for him to drink.

You're not a bad person for wanting to have alcohol in your home. He's not a bad person for not wanting it there either.

I would look at the big picture here. It's his responsability to not drink, not yours. However, in order to have a healthy, lasting relationship with him, you're going to need to respect his disease and that may take some work and sacrifice on your part.

Are you willing to do the work and make the sacrifice to be with him?

Kjell
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:15 AM
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I think it is reasonable for you to support your boyfriend in his recovery journey by not having alcohol in the house if you live together. Its not stopping you drink, you can go out with friends and drink but being in a relationship with an alcoholic (whether active or recovery) is different to other people. There are and always will be areas that you need to be more sensitive to. For me, when I was with my ex, I was going to take that one extra step and go teetotal with him to show my full support - but that was my personal choice.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:46 PM
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Thumbs up

Sorry about the multiple posts! Not sure how that happened. I agree that it's great that you posted here to get various responses. I feel my post came across a bit too strong.

Trapeze, I like the peanut allergy analogy (more than the analogies to cancer or other diseases). For some reason with alcohol & mind-altering substances (even those of us who have really examined this issue thoroughly, there is a kind of "morality" spin that creeps in, sometimes unconsciously. Kjell, thank you for your post. Both Bruingirl and her boyfriend are not bad people. In fact, Bruingirl, was inquiring & trying to gain more insight.

Thank you for the question & allowing me to learn (about myself too) as well.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:46 PM
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I disagree very much that...

"...if you love him you will do whatever it takes to support him in his recovery." I'm equally offended by the "time to be an adult" crap too. Totally out of line and, in my opinion, it is passive-aggressive co-dependant high-level BS. Probably a little transference happening as well. No offense intended.

Love, hope, and romance are the big three ******** things I constantly see on the board as reasons and/or excuses we do or do not make the decisions we need to make when we need to make them. Hope is not a strategy, romance is not real except in movies and is certainly not something you should make life-changing decisions around, and love is just the key that starts the car, it doesn't drive it. Forget all three.

Loving him does not obligate you to not have alcohol in the house. It's your house. It goes to this-- he has a need to not have alcohol in the house. You, as somebody who does not have a problem with alcohol and enjoy your lifestyle want to keep a bottle of wine around. You are both reasonable in your needs/wants here. BOTH.

One of you will have to give, and if neither of you can do so freely, then living together would be a very bad idea. In my opinion it was also a bad idea to begin dating an alcoholic to begin with, and it's a bad idea to move in with and/or marry an alcoholic.

You are correct that his recovery is fully and completely his responsibility. He is correct that early in recovery it is probably best to avoid alcohol in your own home.

My wife has asked there be no alcohol in the house. I have respected that because it is not important to me to have alcohol in the house. I drink out with friends, and I have some beer in the garage and will have one or more while out there working (she knows about this).

Perhaps, over time, she will come to a place where alcohol in the house does not bother her. Now is not that time.

Take what you want and leave the rest,

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by Hayfmr View Post
If you love him you will do what ever it takes to support him in his recovery. I quit having alcohol in the house a long time before my AW went to recovery the first time. I will have an ocassional drink but never around her. It's the least I can do to support her. So it's time for you to be an adult. Decide whats more important to you. Your BF's sobriety or having a drink yourself.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:00 PM
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Yes it's a deal breaker because this is a life/death disease. If it bothers you to be around someone who doesn't drink, to live in an alcohol-free house, this isn't the person for you.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:09 PM
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I agree with doglvr.

If I was trying to lose weight
(hang on I already am)
then I wouldn't want
my favorite 'sin food'
right there in the kitchen with me either.

Andif I wanted to help someone I loved
lose weight
I wouldn't have it in the house
because they didn't want to be tempted.

I recommend not moving in as well.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:23 PM
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hey all! thanks so much for the advice thus far. my boyfriend and i arent planning on moving in together anytime soon no worries, its just been more general talk about what would happen in the future. actually, i will probably be moving out of state for graduate school for the next four years. i wanted to add though that i think the reason not having alcohol around is such a big commitment for me because we are still quite young. im 22 and he is 24. its kind of odd because in terms of the way we perceive alcohol im finding myself to be in a different place now than what we started at. meaning to say that he had never really discovered that he had a problem until during our relationship...and that to be so young and told not to be drinking too much is a little difficult because its not really what i thought would happen in the first place, like it wasnt knowingly that this happened
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bruingirl View Post
my boyfriend and i have been together for about a year now. this past summer he went to rehab for the first time after a dui and is now a recovering alcoholic. unlike him, i havent had a problem with alcohol and enjoy to drink once in a while with dinner, etc. we have briefly talked about what it would be like if we lived together and hes said that hes not cool with alcohol in the house. i dont know how to feel about that. to me having a bottle of wine around the house and the idea of drinking has never been a big deal to me. i also feel like if he is really going to take his recovery seriously then he needs to be able to and learn how to resist any temptation to drink, even if there is alcohol in the house. he gets mad when i tell him things like that and just responds that i dont understand. so i came here to see if anyone has advice? is it a big deal to have a bottle of wine or two in the house? is that a dealbreaker in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic? thanks a lot in advance
He will/may learn how to avoid temptation in time but newly sober and in recovery he will be pretty fragile and at risk for relapse. It isn't a 'big deal' but a real temptation and trigger so what if you had it but kept it in a place where he didn't have to see it or know where it was 'just in case'.

I agree that you shouldn't have to remake your whole life around him but if he is asking you to do this, and he is living there, relationships are about give and take so would it be a huge deal to not have the alcohol? Or is this more of a power struggle. I personally would support what he is saying and NOT have any alcohol anywhere near my RABF. He would be too tempted to think he was feeling ok enough to drink and would relapse quickly.

I think you can reach some type of agreement hopefully.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:01 AM
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bruingirl,

first of all, WELCOME to sober recovery! i hope you come around this board, as it offers much in the way of wisdom and experience. you may post as often as you like, and we are always here.

i think for the most part, you have gotten great advice. i too side with the "alcohol-free zone" household, for (probably) as long as he feels that is a good idea.

i would not be upset that he said he'd make that demand; i'd be thrilled that he was taking his recovery seriously.

i'm a wine drinker, and when my xah was newly sober i only drank when out with friends or family, but not in his presence. i just thought it was the respectful thing to do. i am now dating a recovering alcoholic, and he tells me he cares not whether i drink, so i have one glass of wine when we dine out. it's just apparently not an issue for him. i think they need to know where their potential slippery places are, and it sounds like your guy does.

i clearly remember lamenting my husband's alcoholism. i did the "why me?" "why this?" thing for awhile. i did not want to change my lifestyle because of his issue.
i was just being selfish. i didn't yet know all the gifts that would come my way because of his alcoholism.

but i do now.

i wish you the best.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:48 AM
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I was married for fourteen years to a guy who got sober a year before we got married. For the first several years we kept NO alcohol in the house. After several years, I asked whether he would mind if I bought a bottle of brandy for the holidays. By then, he said it wouldn't bother him as long as it didn't hang around AFTER the holidays. He still preferred not having it in the house as a regular thing. He never objected to my having a few drinks at a party (that was back when I could have a few drinks--my own alcoholism didn't develop until we had divorced--and who knows, maybe it would have manifested sooner if I could have booze whenever I wanted when we were married).

The way I see it, people have a right to feel safe and comfortable in their own homes. If not having booze around staring him in the face all the time is important to that, then I think that's his right. You don't have to go along with it, of course, but it would probably strain your relationship at the very least.

Good that you are having these discussions now, though, while there isn't any pressure or tension about it. Most non-alcoholics can adjust rather easily to not having alcohol in their homes.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:11 AM
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Suicide

People who are siucidal often are not able to kill themselves unless drunk. Alcohol is a horrible drug that has ungodly effects on some people. Psychics tell me they can see the demons from the alcohol talking to people...believe it or not. It is true that alcohol and suicide are related. So take this question a step further if your household member is an alcoholic and suicidal should you leave alcohol in the house? No. And you should not leave suicidal people alone. If you want alcohol in your house then don't let alcoholics live there. Period. The results can be tragic.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:55 AM
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Dealbreaker.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:03 AM
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I agree with it being a bad idea dating an alcoholic. The issue of whether or not to have booze in your house is merely the tip of a potential iceberg of issues you might have to deal with in the future. You are both so young..Why compromise now?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:43 AM
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Guys, this is a thread from 2011.

Doubt the OP (and many other posters) are around to read it.
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