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Really struggling with BF's sobriety

Old 03-25-2011, 09:18 PM
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Angry Really struggling with BF's sobriety

My ABF has been sober for 7 days now. And I finally understand what everyone means about alcohol disappearing, but the problems staying the same.

I am frustrated by the fact that he is sober, but not "in recovery"...not doing AA or working a program, which gives me little hope for long-term sobriety. I even heard him on the phone with a friend, saying that being sober was his plan "for the next month or so." He has been seeing a psychiatrist, but just revealed that they don't do talk therapy, only medications. (He told me before that they were doing both). He has gone to a couple of AA meetings, but says it's not for him.

In the meantime, I was with him the weekend of his detox at home. I guess that is the codie in me. I wanted to be with him, I wanted to support him, etc. He, unfortunately, fell and bruised his ribs, and has been in a lot of pain since. I feel bad for him, I really do, but I am also finding it so frustrating to be his babysitter. He has been acting unbelievably selfish and entitled, and Im ready to jump ship. The person that has always said that I should prioritize myself now wants me at his beck and call. And it is weird, it feels like all the times when he was drinking, and I refused to enable him (give him rides, cook food, take care of him, etc.) are rearing up and now I'm putting his socks on for him!

I am also feeling sad that I feel like I am falling out of love with this person I thought was the love of my life. We are both in our late 20s, and there is so much good going on in my life. I have a good job, good friends, and was just accepted to the top graduate program in a highly competitive field. I have been self-supporting since I was 17. He is borrowing money from his parents for rent, legal fees (DUI in February), has $100k of debt, and NOT looking for jobs. As much as we have a romantic connection, it feels like the practical aspects of the relationship are so painfully lacking. He is a beautiful soul and has become a best friend, but I don't want a kid, I want a boyfriend. He even asked me why I was in love with him, or how I could be because he's so depressed. He told me that he thinks about killing himself. Doesn't make plans, but has passing thoughts about ending his life, and has had them for over ten years.

I am wondering if things will get better? It's only been seven days, and I knew this would be a hard road, but didn't imagine that things would fall apart so fast and so hard. Maybe I really was blinded by the alcohol. His not working a program seems to be the epitome of his aimlessness. I feel sad that I don't feel love for him right now. I don't even want to talk to him or see him anymore. His birthday is next week, and we are taking a trip, and I don't even want to go, and I don't want to do anything for his birthday either. His selfishness is honestly infuriating me, and I want to run run run away, as everyone told me when I FIRST started dating an alcoholic. His sobriety seems to have made everything worse.

Thanks for letting me vent. Your thoughts and experience are much appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:29 PM
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From someone who spent 20 years of her life married to someone who had great potential, I ask you......

Are you in love with him as he is? Do you want to spend your life with the person you are with RIGHT NOW? That is the only person you can count on him to be. Not who you think he could be, not who you wish he was, but who he IS. Is that the person you are willing to dedicate your life to? Because, if you don't love him exactly the way he is, right here, right now, then you are only kidding yourself. This may be the best it ever gets. Is that good enough for you? No? Then get out. It's not fair to him or you to make your love conditional on his improvement. How would you feel if he told you he would love you, but only if you met certain criteria which he laid out. You are possibly okay the way you are, but if you want his everlasting love, you have to do X, Y, and Z. Not very nice, is it? That's what you are saying if you love him for what he could be.

Either you love him for what he is, or not.

L
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:45 PM
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Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe things will get better? Are you willing to see things as they are, not as you want them to be? Would you advise somebody you love to maintain a relationship with a man exactly like your ABF? Do you love you?

Cyranoak
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:43 AM
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Hi corageous

Remember our biological clock is tickling.... I am 29 and had an ex like that. We are not going to be young forever. This is the time to have FUN and meet a lot of different people! to think about us first.

Breakups suck but XABF is exactly the same person, drinks the same or more, 2 years later has not changed a bit. But I have changed and I no longer find anything attractive or anything useful in a person like that. At least not useful or interesting to me.

Today I was walking alone feeling a little bit lonely, then I remembered how it has been like with XABF or others -drunk as hell almost daily, taking me for granted, being just plain BORING, and/or abusive towards me- and I thought - being by myself is much better - my own company is much better. What do I need? Nothing.

You sound independent and strong! follow your gut as it never lies. No one knows if those guys are going to change. Why not meet others, who are already healthy and bring good stuff to the table? we deserve it.

I struggle with the idea of feeling lonely - then I realize I have been lonely all this time and even more so next to someone so selfish!

I realize the changes I am doing WILL bring people to my life, with whom I don't feel lonely anymore... people who are truly there, in mind, body and spirit, who know what love & companionship look like, who appreciate me -who actually see me.

All the best, its a rocky road but its worth it, therapy has helped me and also the "sticky" section on top of the page. I also know many people here have benefited from Alanon.

Hugs!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:04 AM
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What LTD said.

This may be as good as it gets.

You have what sounds like a very promising future. How far do you think you will get in your life and career with an anchor around your neck?
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:20 AM
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Unfortunately, this disease is progressive and if you do not like what you have right now in this realtionship and decide to stay, buckle up, it is a rough ride. I have been with someone for 25 years that has the disease and am now leaving because it is very unhealthy. I am finally taking a look at myself because I am the only one I CAN change.

I need to find out why I did not take care of myself and was always trying to help him "see the light" and get help. I am the one who needs help because I put someone else before my own life and happiness. Please think long and hard before you continue with him. You are young and there are wonderful men in this world that you can be in a happy and satisfying relationship with.

Wish you the best and keep coming back, it really helps!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:43 PM
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When an alcoholic is white-knuckling sobriety rather than doing the hard work of dedicating themselves to a program of recovery at the same level, or greater, than they dedicated themselves to drinking, what I hear is this:

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick...
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post
He is borrowing money from his parents for rent, legal fees (DUI in February), has $100k of debt, and NOT looking for jobs.
Beyond the alcoholism, this should be a BIG red flag. This person sounds like they have a lot of work to do to become a functioning adult. Perhaps you should find someone who more closely shares your ambition to be successful and matches your maturity level.

I know it is hard when there are romantic feelings clouding the issue, but it sure seems like you aren't "settling for less" in the other areas of your life...
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:52 PM
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Cyranoak said it the best - if he is already acknowledging to his friends that sobriety is only a short term goal, if he is not attending AA or getting any kind of professional help other than asking a Dr for pills, then his drinking days are NOT behind him.

I know it is tough to leave someone you have feelings for, but imagine how tough it will be to stay with him and let him drag you down even further? Lexie said it the best - he will be nothing short of an anchor around your neck
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:55 PM
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exactly.....100K of debt???? at his age??? and not looking for a job???? why not?I don't think he appreciates you...please don't settle for someone not even willing to meet you 1/2way.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:21 AM
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Thanks to all for the words and experience. I guess you are confirming my worst beliefs. This is so hard to go through, and I feel incredibly sad and alone.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:05 AM
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Everyone else had good thoughts. I just want to scream Go-run-fast! After almost 6 years and 2 kids later, I wish someone would have told me this a loooong time ago. The only good thing that I got out of the relationship was my kids! But in reality do you want to spend the rest of your life with this craziness? Your obviously a smart girl, you deserve better.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:27 AM
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I have a good job, good friends, and was just accepted to the top graduate program in a highly competitive field. I have been self-supporting since I was 17. He is borrowing money from his parents for rent, legal fees (DUI in February), has $100k of debt, and NOT looking for jobs.
I think even without alcoholism, I would see trouble there. This might be as good as it will ever get.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:58 AM
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Reading your post, it seems you already know what you should do. It's hard, but if you stay with him, your life will only become worse.

If you let go of him, you will begin to feel so much better. It's the transition that is the hardest.

Let go or be dragged. If you already do not feel in love with this man, that's all you need to know. You have such a bright future ahead of you. He will only bring you down.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post
Thanks to all for the words and experience. I guess you are confirming my worst beliefs. This is so hard to go through, and I feel incredibly sad and alone.
Al-Anon can help you with these feelings. This forum also helps. You are not alone...that's the point. You are one of many who have had to make the same sucky decisions. I am right here with you. Divorce papers filled out, feeling pretty lousy, having to come to terms with the fact that I love the potential that he could be, not the mean, nasty, vengeful man he is today. I can't accept that in my life...I deserve better than that.

When I moved out, I told my RAH I was going to find my self-respect. Time to stand up for myself.

This may be an opportunity, a blessing in disguise. Think of all the other great guys out there that you are missing out on because you have settled for this.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:44 PM
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Sad, yes. You are feeling what you are feeling. Alone, no. You are not alone. Almost every alcoholic in the world, and there are thousands upon thousands of them, leave in their wakes the carnage and sadness you, I, and the others on this forum have or are experiencing.

You are most definitely not alone.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post
I feel sad that I don't feel love for him right now. I don't even want to talk to him or see him anymore. His birthday is next week, and we are taking a trip, and I don't even want to go, and I don't want to do anything for his birthday either. His selfishness is honestly infuriating me, and I want to run run run away.
These are your words and to me it doesn't really matter if he is drinking, in recovery, white knuckling it, good soul, or an evil jerk. If the above is true it makes no sense to continue to date him. Set your self, and him, free to be happy and be available for a relationship that works for you.

Dating is not a commitment for life. Dating is a commitment to not see other people while you get to know someone and decide if you want to spend more time, or a life time, together. If you do not want to spend more time with them, stop dating and move on.

I know it is sad...all endings are sad but without endings, there are not new beginnings.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post
I feel sad that I don't feel love for him right now. I don't even want to talk to him or see him anymore. His birthday is next week, and we are taking a trip, and I don't even want to go, and I don't want to do anything for his birthday either. His selfishness is honestly infuriating me, and I want to run run run away.

HOW can he afford to take a trip to celebrate his birthday if he is 100K in debt and borrowing $$$ from his parents just to live???? Are you footing the bill for this too?

really stop and think about investing anymore time and energy into someone who is so selfish, they do not consider any part of your feelings and take advantage of you.

i know how hard it is, but you can't meet other people if this person keeps dragging you into their personal drama and you are catering to them.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:09 PM
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Thanks again to all

I guess everyone is telling me what I don't want to hear. The idea that people revert to the age they were when they started drinking keeps popping back into my head. BF is at times ecstatic and happy, at times depressed, and at times downright obnoxiously immature. In line with a sixteen year old, which is around when he started drinking. (Though it didn't become a "problem" until his 20s.)

I guess I keep hoping, since it's only been a week and some days since he quit drinking, that because I loved him so much, and have stuck through so much crud, that he will become the person I loved. He has been incredibly good to me. Which is interesting, because he's become a jerk since he has been sober...he is irritable and critical all the time. I am trying to be patient, and understand that he is just a few days into sobriety, but he seems to have NO awareness around his volatility. But I guess all the stuff that didn't get taken care of when he was drinking is coming out in full force now. And that's several years worth.

I feel defensive about the idea that I'm supporting him; I have never given him money, and we've always split everything 50/50, the trip included. We're traveling because a good friend is getting married, so I guess it is sort of a "necessity." But I guess the truth is that anyone in a relationship with an alcoholic is "enabling" them in some way, whether financially, emotionally, physically, etc. This is an idea I am really struggling with right now, because as much as I went out of my way to avoid enabling behavior when he was drinking, I feel like I fall right into it now that he's sober. Sure, I'll pick you up. Sure, I'll make you dinner. I want to be supportive of his sobriety, but I feel like I am instead supportive of his erratic mood swings. It was a lot easier when alcohol was there to blame, and I could just walk out when he got on my nerves or he was drunk. Now he alternates between Jekyll and Hyde every ten minutes, and I guess I can still blame alcohol, but I can't communicate it to him. How do you tell someone you love that they are a complete wacko, and have ten years of issues to deal with that they've just been drinking away?

I am so grateful for this board, because it really does make me feel less alone. I haven't gotten up the nerve to go to Alanon yet, but I am feeling I need it now more than ever. Hopefully after this trip I can go.

Thank you again to all
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:55 PM
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(((hugs)))

Mute the movie... see his actions... those reflect reality- not words, promises, a bunch of guilt-ridden flowers, some sweet words here and there......

To me it was very difficult and painful to go through this process.. please stay safe during your trip. Just observing how you feel is a huge step forward.
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