I told her my story but I think she misunderstood

Old 03-09-2011, 08:27 AM
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I told her my story but I think she misunderstood

Hi All,

Day 47 and all is well. Feel good.

Looking for some guidance. I met a wonderful woman about a month ago. I agonized over how to tell her about my situation. I was very nervous but at dinner early on told her I had something important to tell her and I wasn't sure how she would take it. I explained that I had a problem with drinking in the past. That I had fought quitting on and off. That I had finally succeeded a few weeks earlier. And that I was one of the fortunate ones who did not have a life-destroying experience/loss of job/money/etc., my issue was physical self-destruction.

She asked a couple of questions about how recently it happened and if I was done for good and said she was fine with it.

I was incredibly relieved.

A couple of dates later she offered me wine. I said I don't do that anymore. And she asked if I was a teetotaller or two weeks on/two weeks off. I thought that a little odd.

This weekend we were together and I commented that I was surprised that in all our conversations she never asked me about my drinking. She responded with an unexpectedly emotional response that she would have a big problem if I was an alcoholic or an addict. I taken aback and said there's nothing I haven't told her.

It's become apparent she didn't absorb everything I told her at that early dinner. My dilemma now is do I offer clarifying information or just leave it alone?

My habit was secret so there is no one who would say anything to her. I would just hate for a later casual comment to somehow trigger a world of mistrust between us.

Any thoughts are much appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:36 AM
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Hi reddy..

Firstly, congrats on your 47 days

she asked if I was a teetotaller or two weeks on/two weeks off
Sounds like she didn't quite 'get' it. Kinda like she heard that you were a heavy drinker but have cut down rather than you had a problem with alcohol and now you have quit. Not sure whether that means you didn't make it clear or she is minimising.. but either way, it sounds like she doesn't grasp what it all means.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably clarify.

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Old 03-09-2011, 08:38 AM
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Perhaps she doesn't understand what it really means to be an alcoholic. If she did, she would have never offered you wine. It sounds like maybe she thinks an alcoholic can control their drinking. Maybe an explanation of what alcoholism truly is would help her to understand. After that, you'll just have to wait and see how she handles that information. Good luck.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:46 AM
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I've often wondered how I would have responded if my RAH had told me early on he was a heavy drinker and trying to quit. Honestly - I think I may have run for the hills. Why? Because it has taken me a long time to understand alcoholism in its entirety and much I still don't "get". It is so easy to go with the usual stereotype of thinking this person can "just quit", right? Just quit drinking, jeesh! I can, why can't you? But now I know differently, it's not like that at all.

She didn't understand and may not understand and I recognize now what this kind of life means to me - no drinking around my husband. Ever again. No champagne toasts on our anniversary or at the weddings of my daughters. No beer after work or after a hot day working in the yard. No wine with dinner. No gin & tonic after a hard day at the office. I am still struggling with what it means for me. But I am still trying. She may decide not to. I am not sure I could blame her for that, knowing what I know now. Sorry if that comes across as depressing - just MHO.

Congratulations on your sobriety! That's awesome!
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:47 AM
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Congratulations on your 47 days!

Originally Posted by reddy2quit View Post
She responded with an unexpectedly emotional response that she would have a big problem if I was an alcoholic or an addict.
She does not understand, no.
If I were in your shoes, I would clarify. You don't have to do it immediately, but if you intend to turn serious, she has a right to know, soon.
I would also start examining other things in the relationship. Based upon some statements you say she made, she might not be a match for someone who is still in early sobriety. I might just be reading into things, though.

Take what you like, and leave the rest.
Also, congratulations again on your sobriety!
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:53 AM
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Congrats on 47!

It def sounds like she didn't get it. I don't know how to get through to her without scaring the hell out of her, but the offer of wine speaks volumes. You do need to have that conversation with her, and it may well be that she has history with alcoholism/addiction (strange how we seem to find one another, none of my gf were alcoholics, but all but one had it in their families).

If it's a non-starter for her, the sooner you both know where the other is coming from, the better.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:12 AM
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I have a feeling that she "DID" understand and in a roundabout way try to test you when offering you wine to see your reaction.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:16 PM
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On my second date with now recognized "A"BF, he openly told me of his history with alcohol, DUIs.. etc. I am a nurse, and I have a degree in psychology. My first question was, are you an alcoholic? His response... "I don't think so..." and that was honest. I let it go. I didn't question it, I didn't GET it. If I had truly understood alcoholism for what it truly is, I wouldn't be on SR today. The truth is, it took me 10 months to truly see, truly understand, and he is mild in comparison to a lot of what I read here... you can clarify some of that for her if she is willing to listen.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:40 PM
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Are you sure it's a good idea for you to be getting into a relationship with only 47 days sober? I ask that as a fellow alcoholic.

I've seen an awful lot of people go south as a result of relationship complications, even when both people are in recovery.

It isn't a hard-and-fast rule, but it's generally recommended that you be sober for a year before you venture into those waters.

So far as your lady friend goes, she obviously hasn't a clue what is going on, and it seems a little unfair to subject her to that when you have barely started your recovery (not to diminish 47 days--that's a great start).
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:48 PM
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Congratulations on 47 days

Lexie said it best; hope you give yourself the time and space to stay on your path of recovery. I believe future healthy relationships will make it worth the wait.
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