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My new boyfriend of 5 months

Old 01-26-2011, 11:41 AM
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My new boyfriend of 5 months

In recovery for 2 years. I am his first relationship. Never relapsed. God took the taste away. He attends meetings, talks to people currently in the program and many of his freinds are in recovery. Not comfortable with this. Not sure why, maybe because I would have nothing common.

He takes meds for depression. He was in an abussive relationship where she emotionally attacked him daily. I just have to be careful to never say anything critical. Always say it in love.

We are an older couple and want to have a child. They maybe difficult at my age, but not impossible. We discuss this often because is really important. I want to get married before we conceive. His unsure if he wants to be married. We are Christains so we are trying to the right thing. This is stressing him too.

He is working on his BA degree, attending classes Mon-Fri. This stressing him too. He has a low wage job that he goes to right after school. Low wages another streesor. He needs a better paying job. I have asked him to fill out applications. Suppose my pregancy requires me to be on bed rest. He can not support us right now. He lives over 2 hours away. Shacking up is out. I always make the trip to see him, so he can study.

There are at least 4 things I have sited that causes him stress. He wants to walk away from everything, except me to reduce the stress.Run not drink. It is my understanding that he is not suppose to have all this stress, but i don't want to walk away because I love him.

He says i don't really understand a person in recovery. Maybe I don't really see him in recovery. He never relapse so i think he is normal. He says he is not. Does this mean that he will never be able to handle more then one stressful situtation? How many years of recovery will he need before he can handle more then one stressor? Am I suppose to wait and just love him, over look my feelings? I don't know how to help him. Should I stay with him? Do I take marriage off the table? Give in and have a child? Do we wait?


I know I have said alot here, but I really can not talk to my family or friends. They have no experience in this situation. Sometimes family and friends will hold things against your mate, out of love for you. So I choose not to talk about this. I am glad i found this forum.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:55 AM
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Hi. Welcome to SR. Please read up on this forum and the A forum.

Since you asked:
1. Please, please, please don't conceive a child.
2. don't get married or pressure him to marry.
3. Acting on feelings is a very poor (even disastrous) strategy.

Your boyfriend is telling you he isn't ready to be in a serious relationship or have a baby. Start with accepting that reality. Then decide if that's what YOU want for your life - an alcoholic H who doesn't want a baby and can't afford one.

That's a lot for you to process, so start there.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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Thanks Stelle
He is the one pressuring me to have the baby. He really thinks he is ready. I will follow you advice.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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Welcome to SR!
My counselor told me an old joke once that pretty much summed up my marriage: Women marry men hoping they'll change; men marry women hoping they won't.

I think Stella's advice is a very good starting point: See things for what they are, not for what you would like them to be.

Your posts says a lot about him, and his needs, and his life, and his stressors. What about you? What do you want from your life?
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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Welcome, I am sorry you are going through a difficult time, but glad you have found us.

Reading your post, it seems clear that you want things you cannot have with your boyfriend right now. And he is struggling with his own issues. Recovering alcoholics are not necessarily stressed by so many things, so it's hard to answer your question. My exabf is much calmer about everything currently after 1 year in a program of recovery.

Having said that, you are the most important one here. Take care of yourself and think carefully about what you need and want in a relationship today. Tomorrow is an unkown. Please don't plan a future on tomorrow, for you or for your unborn child.

My best to you. Keep reading and posting. This is a wonderful, supportive place to be.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:10 PM
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I guess my thoughts are this:

A 5 month NEW relationship and you are planning children and the rest of your life with this man, why? What’s your hurry? Why are you rushing and ignoring all the red flags????

His red flags:

He’s in recovery for 2 years from addiction.
He takes meds for depression.
He blamed his ex for abuse and relationship failure
He’s not sure he wants to marry


Your red flags:

You are not comfortable with HIS life of recovery which includes meetings and friends in the program.
You already feel the need to “walk on egg shells” when communicating your feelings.
You want to marry, religion aspect of marriage is important to you.
You want him to get a better paying job.
You can’t talk to your family or close friends about HIS issues.
You are not listening to what he is actually telling you
You want a baby rather soon.

Sounds like he is working a pretty good recovery program and doing things to improve his life, school and maybe that is about all he can have on his plate right now.

You sound like you need to lock this relationship down, insure it will become exactly what you want it to become sooner rather then later……….that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone fairly new to recovery.

I think he is right, you don’t understand someone in recovery………..you both want your own needs met and that doesn’t seem possible for either one of you right now. And the pressure of when that may be………may just be too much.

5 month NEW relationship shouldn’t be filled with marriage and kids and cementing the future, 5 months new relationship is exactly that new and should be enjoyed one day at a time while you continue to get to know each to see if you’re even a good fit.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:12 PM
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As the mother of a 2 year old I had with an alcoholic, I beg you to stay on the pill, use condoms or whatever form of contraception necessary. Things are NOT stable for the moment and it is not a good environment to bring up a child in. We're not talking about having too small a house or something...we're talking about someone who is clearly unready for parenthood, which if I may say so, is a HUGE STRESS (as in, many many months of sleepless nights, colics, nursing issues, various health issues, financial stress, etc etc).

If you have doubts, LISTEN to your instinct. That's something I learned through SR...when in doubt, do nothing and more will be revealed.

Keep posting! SR is a great place to find support.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:33 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

I hope you'll heed what's been said so far.

I think your first priority is to educate yourself.
About recovery.
About alcoholism.
About codependency.

I see several markers in your opening post
that are flags for what we are taught codependency is.

Make yourself an agreement with yourself
and that's to do nothing out of the ordinary
until you've read every stickie here
and in the alcoholism forums.

(that's those link looking thingies up at the top of this list that don't change)

Your bf is in a program of recovery.
You aren't.
That means - he's committed to grow and change
and do whatever it takes to remain sober.

that's real - permanent change if he does it completely.

So what about you?

I have a feeling that you're depending on recovery to turn him into who you really want.

And I think
with some recovery of your own
dealing with those expectations
I think you might find
yourself in a far more realistic place
to be deciding on bringing another being into
this already troubled world.

Were I to be making that decision
it would be based on my self-knowledge
as a competent parent
and my clear understanding of the reality
surrounding me.

Not because time is running out.

There's thousands of children already here in this world
that are daily cast aside and abandonded
who are in need of a true parent.

I hope you'll stick around and continue to post and make friends here
And I hope you'll make the committment to self-education
and to recovery-education
before making such a life changing radical permanent decision.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:01 PM
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My new boyfriend of 5 months

Wow thankyou all for the advice. You all have given me something to think about. I have some studying to do. I need to know who I am really dating. Everything happens for a reason. God sent me here to hear from all of you. You have been where I am going and I will not make any life changing decisions now.

Yes do need to examine myself and get to why I am putting some much pressure to move faster then we both can handle. I don't want to hurt him or myself. I guess in my head are 2 couples that met, fell in love and married after 6 months. From what they tell me they are happily married for over 10 years. My cousin and a friend. Both are younger couples with kids. I thought we were like them, met fell in love and we would get married soon. My fantasy land stuff. What is real neither women married a man in recovery. So I am not them. Reality check.

Sometimes you need confirmation from wise counsel. God bless you all and again thank you. I will keep posting. I am crying tears of joy.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM
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Welcome to SR.
Some very savvy things have been suggested to you.

I suspect you're concerned about your age and how that may impact your ability to have a child. For the sake of the potential child, give it time. Slow down. Things can become far more complicated than you can even imagine.

My son is 20 months old and born to an Alcoholic mother. She also felt the need to have a child immediately because she was getting "old". The allure, fantasy, and excitement of having a family in some dreamy short lived relationship is a gamble I wish I never took. She drank more than what I thought was normal before we got married but I had not idea how deep the rabbit hole went. Please don't misunderstand me. I love my son more than I can describe. I just wish he had a different mother.

If I had the chance to do things differently, would I? It's difficult to say because I have a kid now but I sure would have slowed down. If the writing is on the wall, it's on the wall. Read it and understand it before you proceed.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:48 PM
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Like you, I didn't really understand a person in recovery and when he relapsed, it was a horrible feeling and thing to witness. GO SLOW! Why hurry?

Two years is good for recovery but he has lots of stressors and is struggling to manage those. A new baby IS stress in a diaper. I know it is hard that AA requires lots of time but if it means he won't drink then don't take it personally or that you don't have that in common.

And like everyone else said, 5 months and planning a baby is just insanity! I don't understand the urgency to sort out your life with him in such short a time. You are still getting to know one another really.

I also don't get a sense that you are enjoying the relationship at all.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:06 PM
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I guess in my head are 2 couples that met, fell in love and married after 6 months. From what they tell me they are happily married for over 10 years. My cousin and a friend. Both are younger couples with kids. I thought we were like them, met fell in love and we would get married soon. My fantasy land stuff. What is real neither women married a man in recovery. So I am not them. Reality check.
'
That's some very good insight right there. (((hugs)))
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:35 PM
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Oh noo don't think that I am not enjoying the relationship. I think I enjoy it too much. Hence my need to rush him to the altar before some other women steals him away. He is truly a wonderful, compassionate, loving, genrous and strong man. We have so much in common, and there is really tight bond there. Sometimes there is the feeling like we have known each other for years instead of months. He is a friend first. We talk about everything, the recovery journey is being revealed to me slowly so not to scare me. I told him I am scared, but I am staying with him.

Reading the comments of eveyone and doing my home work will help me to be better prepared for what lies ahead.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 2be1maybe View Post
Oh noo don't think that I am not enjoying the relationship. I think I enjoy it too much. Hence my need to rush him to the altar before some other women steals him away. He is truly a wonderful, compassionate, loving, genrous and strong man. We have so much in common, and there is really tight bond there. Sometimes there is the feeling like we have known each other for years instead of months. He is a friend first. We talk about everything, the recovery journey is being revealed to me slowly so not to scare me. I told him I am scared, but I am staying with him.

Reading the comments of eveyone and doing my home work will help me to be better prepared for what lies ahead.
"so no one else steals him away" is not a good reason to marry someone or have a child with them.

One of the first things I had to do was learn to evaluate my own actions and reasons behind my behaviors. Not doing that has caused me a lot of heartache in my life.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:52 PM
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Nothing could have prepared me for his relapse (and I thought I was!). But also, nothing taught me more than his relapse.

What I learned was: listen when he says he needs to go slow..... and his recovery will always come before me because without it, there is no us.

Recovery is so individualized but your friend seems to be doing well. Let him continue to do well and be confident in his ability to get through life's stressors without drinking. That may take a while.

The longer things take to come together, the longer it takes them to fall apart.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:43 PM
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This week we talked and we will go as slow as he needs to. We are going to take it one day at a time. We both realize there are still more things to discover about each other. Last night he attended a meeting. The first one in months. He felt better for going. He will attend more. He will soon meet with his counselor. I told him if they really advise him to stop seeing me, i will do that if it is best for him. I feel if we are meant to be together then that separation will not change how I feel about him nor him about me. It just means a break while he works the program.

I know it's so early in our relationship, and we are not close to marriage, but I wonder how the married people handle it? Do the married people have to separate too once the in-house recovery time is over. How long are the married people suppose to stay apart. I can't imagine how they deal with it or do they make allowances for married couples and long term committed couples? Just curious.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:02 AM
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My A was honest with me early on about his alcoholism and was in recovery, attending AA etc. I knew nothing whatsoever about the disease and had no frame of reference regarding how to be the partner of an alcoholic/recovering alcoholic.

My A relapsed approximately 3 months into our relationship. I have no idea why (but of course he kinda blamed me). It was crazy and he behaved crazily. I remember thinking I should get out of this thing, but I didn't. I should have started arming myself with information about the disease right there and then, I probably would have saved myself alot of heartache and trouble, but I didn't. I had my eyes wide shut.

If there was one piece of advice I would give it is this.. read, talk, learn about the disease/recovery etc. Make informed decisions. If I could go back to the earlier me, that is what I would tell me.

Tx
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:18 AM
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"He really thinks he is ready."

For what? Because having a baby is a major, major stressor. If he can't financially support a child is he saying that he would stay home while you earn enough for the three of you? Please read these forums - worst case scenario is that you end up having to care for two children - and alcoholic who isn't in real recovery or relapses and goes back out again can make a baby look like a walk in the park. Many, many women on here have chosen to parent alone rather than put themselves and their child through the hell of living with an alcoholic. And if two years into recovery he is still sensitive to multiple stressors to the point that he's worried his sobriety is in jeopardy (it's a major red flag that he isn't working a program right now) then adding a baby into the mix is not a great idea.

On your part, you're willing to rely on someone you've known for 20 weeks, and to put your future and the future of your possible offspring into his hands when he's giving you every possible reason for pause. If I'd known someone 20 weeks and they were leaning on me to apply for better paying jobs to prepare for something that hadn't even happened yet and may not ever happen, I would see that as a major red flag.

I know this all may sound quite blunt - and I don't mean for it to. I just hate to think of a child being born into a situation that you haven't even gotten a handle on yet. It takes about 18 months for the honeymoon stage to wear off even in a healthy relationship. That whole 18 months you're learning about someone and getting a clear eyed view of them. After a year and a half you have a pretty good idea of who someone is. You haven't even really left the starting blocks yet and you're in such a hurry to make permanent, lifelong decisions for both yourself and a child. Don't you owe it to yourself and that child to make sure that both you and this man are in a sound enough place to do the best that you can for it?

SL.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:50 PM
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Hello everyone that gave me addvice. I took it. My boyfriend and I are not having a baby now. 8 moths we are still dating and he is still sober. He has had some financial ups and downs and he came through great. I have learned some much more about him. He is getting to know himself sober. So the world is so new to him. It is nice to see things through his eyes. He is attending meetings and his therapy sessions. He is still in school too and doing well. He has been asked to sponsor a new guy in the program. He has handled the stressful things of life like a trouper. I am really proud of him. Thank you all again for the advice. I may not write often, but I have heeded all your words. Thank God a this forum. :ghug3
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:56 AM
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Thank you for coming back and letting us know how you're doing!
I'm glad to hear things are going well so far.
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