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Dating Recovered Alcoholic who has suddenly shut me out

Old 01-23-2011, 07:25 PM
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Dating Recovered Alcoholic who has suddenly shut me out

i have been dating a recovering alcoholic who has been clean and sober for 5 years. it's the first time i've ever dated anyone with such a background, so the actions he takes are really new to me. the 4 months we've been dating had been absolutely wonderful. he was so attentative and took all initiative, from being the one to call me, plan dates, impulsively set up breakfast out before work, and making all the plans to go on trips together. i noticed he had some trust issues about people so the only ones he was comfortable with were from long time developed relationships - basically, just his best friends, a couple who have known him since recovery. since recovery he has lived his life by working and isolating himself at home. going out only consisted of family engagements that he was absolutely obligated to do, and time spent with his best friends (the couple). his last relationship/commitment before me was 3 years ago and the story i got from him was that he was an a$$hole and she left him for it. he's dated 2 girls since then, and both were instantly put off by him once he let them see who he was and so it never went past a couple dates. when we first started hanging out, i got the whole story too - im a recovering alcoholic, im an a$$hole, etc. i heard all the "horrible" stories he chose to share and wasnt put off by them. i didnt see an a$$hole i saw a guy who just had a thick sarcastic sense of humor and was somewhat tactless, blunt, and what others would say is crude. but i am just the same. we are a walking seinfeld episode x10 when it comes to how we interact with the public. when i didnt bolt after hearing his "horror" stories, he started to really open up to me. it even surprised his friends how he was letting me into his life. he has this really bad issue about having people in his home, even his best friends have rarely been allowed in. so you could imagine their surprise when he instantly invited me over on our first hang out and had since been really comfortable with me around. i learned from his friends that he has never even brought a girl he was dating to his home. he told me he couldnt explain it but that he just felt extremely comfortable with me for some reason and it was suddenly not an issue when it was me. our relationship continued to progress, and the last week he seemed to have changed. there was even more opening up and he was really acting like he was falling head over heels for me. then in a matter of one day, he completely closed off and told me that he was leaving me to get back with his ex. but there is no ex. and so for the last 2 weeks since the break up, he's just gone back to his routine. wake, go to work, come home and isolate with the tv. the only time he's not home is when he's at work or when his best friends swing by to take him to dinner. i know this because he lives down the lake from me and it's not hard to miss. so im wondering if this is something that addicts with trust issues do?
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:56 PM
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I don't think it has much to do with his being an alcoholic, per se. It sounds like he has some other emotional/psychological baggage going on.

He sounds like pretty lousy relationship material, though.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:20 PM
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If someone says directly that they are an a**hole then that is as red of a flag as you will get. It means he knows how his behaviors affect others and doesn't really care.

Also if they tell you other relationship 'horror' stories, that means relationship baggage.

I'm sorry how he is treating you. I don't think it has anything to do with recovery. He sounds like guy with issues. Sorry
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:49 PM
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Sounds like your friend described himself well enough. I'd take him at his word and move on.

Alcoholics, recovering or active, always have issues.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
If someone says directly that they are an a**hole then that is as red of a flag as you will get. It means he knows how his behaviors affect others and doesn't really care.

Also if they tell you other relationship 'horror' stories, that means relationship baggage.

I'm sorry how he is treating you. I don't think it has anything to do with recovery. He sounds like guy with issues. Sorry
I'm sorry too, but I agree with Babyblue.

This is almost exactly how my 14 year relationship with the A started. I wanted to be the one who could break through those walls and I loved the initial attention. It was 'yanked away' from me - just like it has been, from you. If I'd known then what I do now - I would have let it go. He'd call me occasionally and I pursued. I thought he just needed to be in touch with his feelings for me and I went the extra mile to bring him 'around'. It was the worst mistake of my life, and if I could go back to that time where you are right now, I would have let him walk away.

I chose not to see those RED FLAGS for the very reason you may be. Because when he WAS attentive, it blew me away, and when he shut me out I was sure that he really didn't want to do that. Please heed those red flags. You could be saving yourself unimaginable grief.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:54 AM
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HI,

I agree with the other posters. He is NEGATIVE relationship material. Some people canbe charming and lovely and then poof, they are gone. He has a history of poor relationship skills, so he is just being consistent. Imagine if you stayed with him, it would be MORE of this.

You are too good for a man to treat you that way.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:50 AM
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thank you all so much for your supportive words and advice. i guess all i really needed was to understand that his behavior was not reflective of what we had shared and that it was part of a condition that i was absolutely foreign to. i have learned from others who had been in similar situations and who have warned me that if i choose to "stick it out" that i would have to be ready and willing to understand that this will always continue to be an issue in the relationship and if it truly is something i feel is worth putting myself through. i never thought once that i would be "the one" who would change this in him, nor did i even consider wanting to change him.

i have heard it described as being a "dry drunk" and that considering his behavior, he has yet to fully treat himself. despite the fact that he has been sober over 5 years, as soon as he was out of recovery, he attended one or two AA meetings and decided he could deal with it himself. he chose to deal with it by cutting himself out of the circle of people he once knew and submerging himself in work. he found his new home right after leaving the recovery house and went on to isolate himself. for the first 3 years, he worked 16 hours a day, sometimes for all 7 days of the week, and then came home and locked himself away. and this has been his routine since. his last committed relationship had ended because he had become such an a$$hole about her demands to "get out into the world" and instead of working it through with her, he chose to be a jerk and do the things he "knew" would drive her away. the "horror" stories he shared were not of his relationships with girls but of the events that occurred while he was an active alcoholic. in a way, i felt as if he told me these things to see how i'd react to knowing what he had been capable of doing while he was in that period of his life. the 2 girls he dated before me left because of those stories and because they could not stand his cynical and sarcastic view of life, and did not want to deal with the need for him to not be in situations that brought those temptations about, i.e., did not want to go to parties or clubs with them. it seemed apparent to me that they felt they could find someone with less baggage to deal with, especially the baggage of being a recovering alcoholic. he had told me, towards the last week of our relationship, that i was the first person to look at him and not appear phased by what i was learning about his past with alcohol; that i was the first to laugh with him about his cynical views on life. and so during that last week, i had noticed that bigger change in terms of how he was opening up more to me. and then at the end of that week he had, within 24 hours, shut me out completely.

it does hurt, extremely. i saw in him a wonderful human being, because i was there to catch the little things, to see the intentions behind his actions when life was not about his alcoholism. but now that he has shut me out, i cannot comprehend the possibility of returning to that relationship, 1) because i did not experience the abandonment well, and 2) because it will not change, as i was warned by friends who have had long-term relationships with alcoholics that this behavior will continue periodically as almost like a test - to justify their own belief that they are some horrible monster and no one could absolutely love them and would eventually leave.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:13 AM
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continue this thread

I am so happy to have found this site. I wish I had last year. I currently met this very nice man. In recovery for 5 years. Works his program very well. Involved at various levels every day. We've chatted, emailed and texted for two weeks. We finally go out. Have a great time. See each other the next day. Get a little "close" not totally intimate. I invited him in after we had spent the bulk of a day together (he took me an open meeting -- I"m familiar with those) I thought he might like to rest after he drove so much. He started getting "touchy-feely" I said "well, we don't have to do that -- let's just sit and talk" he said oh ok. We sat on the couch for about 10 minutes, he decided that he needed to leave and he left with each of us having the understanding that we would still like to see each other. I've barely heard a word from him for two days. I sent him an email, a rather practical one, stating I understood all of his obligations and that I would still like to see him etc. He responded in kind saying that while he enjoyed the time together it he was rather tired and it was "rather draining" but he too would like to continue to call, text, email. So did I "reject" him or am I just reading too much into this? I don't really know how I feel, well I feel rejected and disappointed. We really connected on many levels. I don't have that experience very often. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:04 AM
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OMG. Has my ex moved to Chicago!

I just posted this morning on the forum about scooting back to a moment in time and warning myself... about whispering drive away and don't look back.

This is weird. YOU are kinda me at that moment in time... so I'm whispering to you: run, quickly, do not look back.

Tx
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:35 AM
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Hi, Eliza,

Welcome to SR! No clue about your guy. Couple of possibilities--he just didn't feel a "click" with your (happens to everybody), or maybe he's just not ready for a relationship--got cold feet or whatever.

I wouldn't make too much of it. You've only gone out a couple of times. I've had the exact same experience as you with plenty of non-alcoholics. Sometimes things just don't work out.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:24 AM
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I have started seeing a recovering alcoholic of 7 1/2 years and now I wonder if there will be surprises. He's really pushing the emotional intimacy.
So far, so good.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
I have started seeing a recovering alcoholic of 7 1/2 years and now I wonder if there will be surprises. He's really pushing the emotional intimacy.
So far, so good.
I am new to this forum as well, and recently started seeing a recovering alcoholic who came on really strong and initiated everything, and was so attentive and sweet and wonderful...and then all of a sudden he shut it all down and said he needed to focus on the present. Now I don't know where I stand, although I think it's over because we went from speaking everyday to not at all. And he also REALLY pushed the emotional intimacy from the start, and pushed even more towards the end. Is this something that people in recovery have a habit of doing, and why? I am interested in learning about this, because it would certainly make things easier to understand.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:22 PM
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My boyfriend is a recovered alcoholic, 8 years sober. goes to meetings everyday. sponsors 4 people. has not had a relationship in 8 years since separated except me. We have the same birthday. We met online right after our birthday last year. I picked him out of 200 pics not knowing we had the same birthday which was weird. he is 4 hours older. We went out three times..it was great and then he had things to do...so I pulled back too. He kept calling me though and 2 months later we started up again. It was fantastic. He only had one day a week...sort of kept me at arms length. we went out for 2 months. I had to speak to him about an issue(minor) and he bolted. He said he couldnt see me that night...but he stayed away 2 months...but keept calling and promising to go out. Got back together in oct. It was incredible. we agreed we got along so well. laughed and talked and sex was the best ever for both of us. he told me he never loved his wife and didnt think he could love. After a few weeks I told him I loved him. I was fine with saying it...didnt expect a response. a couple of weeks later I asked him if he could love me and he got upset. I dropped it. I thought it was fine but a week later he broke up with me. 2 weeks went by without a word. i stopped by his place and said i didnt mean to push him if that is what it was. he ssaid he wants to be isolated. he thinks i will hate him 2 years down the road. sunday is our mutual birthday...should i text him? we have had no contact for 3 months. i cry everyday. i am sick. he just ran. no talking no discussion. he seemed so emotionless when i came over. is there any hope?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 PM
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gigi,
Every day that you cry over this past relationship, you are giving up today.

Reading Codependent No More, posting and reading here, al-anon, and a wonderful therapist have all taught me to find my happiness inside myself...to take care of myself first and foremost.

I hope you will do the same. 3 months no contact and you are still crying...what are you doing to take care of you?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:54 PM
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I guess I believed him when he told me he wanted to start with just talking...I guess that was to get rid of me. When the phone call never came I think I thought he would wait until our birthday which is sunday...thats why all the anxiety for me...its a deadline. if he doesnt contact me then he never will and it was a lie...I am also going through a divorce, menopause and am out of work. lots of stress and he was the thing I looked forward to.....bad move on my part.....I run everyday that helps..I have wonderful friends and family....I am casually dating and have made some new friends which is great. I keep thinking he is alone and sad and I have to stop that. He created this and is pulling me into it somehow...he also does the poor me thing. When he broke up with me it was all about him...my dog dies..its christmas...he is a 53 year old man! I'm done. This site has been helpful...I knew nothing of alcoholism and thought I was dealing with an honest straighforward man. I see he is really a mess.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:05 PM
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After 3 months of no contact, even if he were to call on your shared birthday, what difference would that make?

Would you get all wrapped up in that relationship again? What you want and what he is offering are two completely different things, don't you think?

For me, letting go of my fantasy was the hardest part. I have learned that I love my own company, I love doing whatever I want to do, and not having someone else's behavior or emotions determine how I feel. Enough of that to last a lifetime, thank you.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:14 PM
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you're so right. he is not up for anything that i need or want out of a relationship...good point..it is a fantasy....I seriously dont know what is up with me. I have always expected a lot and am living some sort of sick notion that I'll be the one to change him. I do like myself very much, that's not it but with all that I've been through in the last few years I guess I just couldn't wait to share with someone again......he was the wrong person though...I see that now...thanks so much for you kind and sensible words.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:47 PM
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Eliza -
I hope you'll take the time to start a thread
and share your experience with everyone.
I wonder if enough people will see it here on this thread?

I think your story is important
because it shows how we tell ourselves
that what we are experiencing
isn't what is really happening.

I hope you'll do that -
and you as well, gigi!

It's an important aspect!
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:50 PM
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we texted today which was our mutual birthday. he said he will call soon and we'll talk. I didn't respond. It has not been 3 months I was wrong it was 2 months since we talked last but still too long for me to be worried what his next move is. i have been dating casually a lot and have 3 dates this week with 3 different men....it is great to meet new people and have new friends. If he calls down the road i hope we can be friends but i will never tolerate him running like that again. grown ups talk about what their needs are and they dont just abandon people...i felt abandoned...no contact nothing...went from great to nothing...i will never go there again with him. if we do remain friends i will make it clear next time he needs a little space fine....but what he did was take off when he gets stressed and that doesn't work for me.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:37 PM
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Gigi, So after 2 months of silence he texted you.
Sounds a little less than satisfying, to put it mildly!
Do you have to wait until your next bday to hear from him again?
This person doesn't have much to give, regardless of being a recovering alcoholic.
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