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New to all this...need advice

Old 03-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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New to all this...need advice

Hello. My BF is a newly recovering alcoholic < 1 month. He is doing it on his own, will not get help with rehab or AA or therapy. However, he has become so distant to me. He is unaffectionate, seems uncaring, doesn't call me, doesn't anwer his phone when I call. The only contact we have is once a day or so by a Skype chat line. Even then, he is very curt, short, just doesn't seem like he likes me anymore. What's going on?
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:49 PM
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He sounds Charlie Sheen.

I mean do you really want a BF in your life who is not sober.

He has to do this himself. And you have to take care of yourself. I would set the boundary that if he is in your life that he needs to sober. That means basically that you cut off communication from him firmly if he is not sober, and emphasize that you will talk to him when he is sober.

And do not feel like you have to go out of your way to keep up your relationship. It is a two way street.

Alcoholics are notorious for lack of emotion and lack of caring. I would not hear from husband for days when he was relapsing when we were separated (it was hard, I had to focus on other things and just wait for him to call when he was sober enough). And when we were together he was so out of it that he could not communicate, so I just shut the door and slept in the other room with the baby--eventually his father came and picked him up and dried him out at my inlaw's house.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM
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Hi Firstmate and welcome to SR

There is a huge bunch of friendly people on this site with loads of experience with problem drinkers/alcoholics in one form or another.

It sounds to me that your BF is 'white nuckling'. He has given up drinking but is not getting help, so is desperately fighting with himself and mind to not drink. Can you imagine the kind of brain functioning that would have to take place to do this, its not surprising he has become distant with you. He can only concentrate on one thing and being sober is huge for him at the moment.

It is great that he is trying to get sober, he obviously realises that he has a problem, which is a good thing as many alcoholics are in complete denial. I am not too sure how long he will last though, as he does sound as if he is struggling a lot.

In the meantime perhaps you can look into Al-anon which is a programme for family and friends of alcoholic which will help you to make some sense of your feelings of rejection. Keep coming to this site too!
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I tried to set the boundary about being sober a few months ago. He got so upset with me about giving him ultimatums, that he started dating other 'high-risk' women. Then he hit bottom, came back and begged me to give him a second chance. He was sweet, loving, affectionate, needy. So I gave him the second chance and he has now been sober for ~ 1 month. But, now he is not sweet, loving, afffectionate anymore. It is like he doesn't like me when he is sober and I am not sure if he even wants to continue out relationship. I am so upset that I was resolved to move on, until he begged me for another chance. Now, I am back in that vicious cyle and am all-consumed with thinking of him and wanting him. Help!
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:52 PM
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Welcome to SR!
What boundary did you set? If you drink I will...?
Maybe there is a boundary to set about how you are treated, since how he is treating you isn't working.
Perhaps you will get to the point that setting boundaries around people that are treating you crappy is a no win.
As I read somewhere, if you have to explain basic decency to someone, you can save your breath.
Another thing I learned here is that when someone is TRULY in recovery, you can see it from a mile away. They are making changes. They are working on stuff.
Is your man TRULY in recovery?
And if not, maybe it wasn't just the drinking that was the problem. Maybe there was more than that.

Keep reading. Stick around.
Hugs,
peace
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:47 PM
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He's not recovering. He's restraining. Without actual recovery he is, in my opinion, a ticking time bomb (AA, Counseling, or both).

I'm sorry to say this, but I believe it.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

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Old 03-18-2011, 02:28 AM
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Hi,

I must echo Cyranoak 100%. “Recovery” is a totally different think from “abstention”.

From what I have seen first hand, read and heard. The addicted person cannot recover their inner self, as it were, without some kind of program.

My wife tried the abstemious life for a month last year and it was hell for all of us. Now working a 12 step program hard, she is transforming, as am I.

Your BF in his own time may seek this for himself. If you try to force it on him, however, you are surely bound to inner turmoil as communicating with an active alcoholic is maddeningly pointless.

Everyone here will say do Al-Anon and I do and it is awsome. I would also recommend doing a Friends & family or concerned persons programme often offered by treatment centres if you live near one.

It is intensive and eductational. Al-Anon, wonderful as it is, is slow and soaks into you like osmosis.

Take care and look after yourself.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:01 AM
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marriage = commitment

Boyfriend = experimenting, trying on for size, seeing if you might have a future together. And most important, no strings. No commitment.

Alcoholics seem to behave in a very predictable fashion. Staying with him equates to an enormous amount of work, hurt, money spent, disappointment, frustration, and confusion. And statistically, he has a very, very low probability of real, honest, long term sobriety. But it could happen. It is just unlikely.

You have options. And one of those is opting to let this one go.

The alcoholic gravitates to people like "us". We tend to over look all the faults and focus too intently on the good. They are so selfish and narcissistic they can only be with someone like us. And, they are really good at finding another "sucker". Ask around the board here, and read some posts. Many of our alcoholics find another partner before the divorces are even final. You don't need to worry about what will happen to him without you. He'll be fine. They always are.

Think about yourself and how you want to spend the next 20 years. He can no more make you stay or leave than you can make him stop drinking and be "normal". You each have a choice to make.

Choose wisely.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:58 PM
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Thank you all for your heartfelt responses. I am not quite ready to let this one go, but moving in that direction. It does sound like I need to join Alanon.. I will look into it. Thanks again.
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