New to this. Trying to let go.

Old 03-27-2011, 02:27 PM
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Unhappy New to this. Trying to let go.

I came across this website recently and identified with so much of what I saw written. I wanted to put my story out there to see what you all have to say...I am just feeling so lost and sad as I am trying to let go.

So, here's the Cliff's Notes version.

I was in a relationship for four years with an alcoholic. (We lived together). We had, what I thought, was a good, strong relationship. The only thing that ever came between us was his drinking. There was never any denial about that; he just didn't want to change. Well, he finally decided to go to rehab a couple of months ago and recently completed the program. I thought, "FINALLY! He will get sober, and we'll live happily ever after."

Shortly after entering the rehab facility, he became very distant from me. I was supposed to be part of the family counseling sessions/visitations, but he did not invite me. Instead of making changes together, he pushed me away. Finally, he said he could not live together anymore or be in a relationship. I understood that he felt he needed to move out. I wasn't sure I was ready for him to come back home as it was quite peaceful/stable not having to worry about his drinking. But I had not wanted to end the relationship as it seemed we had a real shot at making things work since he is committed to sobriety.

He told me he just needs to start his life completely over (yet he still sees the same friends) and learn to be independent. He needs to find a new job, place to live, go to meetings/counseling, etc. and he just doesn't have the time or energy to devote to a relationship. He said he knows he loves me, but he's been living lies for the past several years to himself and others, and he doesn't know what he wants. He said he doesn't know if we have a future or not, but that he hopes to find me again when he gets better.

I wish I knew what he was thinking. Why does he not want to include me in his new life? Why did he make such a rash decision to throw away a 4-year-relationship in his first two months of sobriety? I just don't get it. I know I need to let go, but I'm so confused and hurt. I wish I could be angry at him, but I just can't.

I feel such a loss...of parts of myself; of my boyfriend; my roommate; my best friend.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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I'd take him at his word, unless you have some reason to believe he's lying to you.

Early recovery is a rollercoaster. Your emotions are all screwed up, you're basically trying to rearrange your entire life, inside and out. He probably thinks this will be easier on both of you for right now, and he could be right. He probably DOESN'T know what he wants.

Sounds to me like he's made it pretty clear that he wants to let go of the relationship, at least for now, though.

I think it's just one of those things you are going to have to accept.

Have you been to Al-Anon? It might help you work through your feelings.

Hugs, sorry you're hurting,
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:53 PM
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You know, I think I have read about three other stories almost like yours exactly. Where the guy gets into recovery, and then feels the need to start over, and distance his self. I read one here yesterday. he has all these things to think about, and probably had to be a bit self centered right now. not sure, but that makes sense to me. Maybe maintaining a relationship while trying to stay sober is an added pressure. maybe some feel the need to dive into meetings, studies, and socializing with others who know what they are facing.

Like Lexie said, He is probably in a big emotional upheaval, and I would guess almost everything needs changing in his life. That is big for someone who has been looking at life through the bottom of a bottle.

Find an alanon group. You will find understanding there and a great support system. You have to take care of you, and let him take care of him. This has to be very hard for you, and I am sorry for your pain. If you should ever work things out, alanon would be quite useful in teaching you what is healthy for you.

stick around, there is an awesome group here. and more than you can imagine have been in your very shoes.

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Old 03-27-2011, 05:03 PM
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do whats best for u now...and al anon is a good place to start...he is starting his recovery for himself and have to respect that he does want to get now...what about U?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:23 PM
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Hi Tigerlilly.. and welcome, you're in a good place. I'm sorry you're hurting. Alcoholics early in recovery need to focus in order to stay sober. In fact, AA advises no intimate relationships for the first year of sobriety. Perhaps that's why he's trying to end his relationship with you. I know that doesn't make it hurt any less. You're strong to not be angry with him, and that's good.

I've spent 2 years in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic and found much comfort in Al-Anon, as the other have recommended. It's not only a good place to learn about the disease of alcoholism, it's a great place to learn about yourself and how you relate to the alcoholic(s) in your life. I've been attending meetings off and on for a year and a half. Sometimes when I walk into an Al-Anon meeting, I feel bad. But I always feel better when I leave.

Good luck to you. Stick around and share. It helps!
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for all of your support. I know you are probably right -- he's just so overwhelmed he can't do it all. It's just hard because I was waiting and waiting and waiting for him to go to rehab, he went, and I thought it would be the cure to our relationship problems. I just keep telling myself that if nothing comes out of "us" other than him getting healthy, then it was all worth it. Life couldn't have continued with him drinking anyway. It's just strange that he's had this life-changing experience, and I just haven't caught up emotionally.

I've tried Al-Anon a couple of times but didn't relate to the people who happened to be at those meetings. I should probably keep trying.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:55 PM
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imho what he could be thinking: Sometimes it is easier to wipe the slate clean than to clean up the mess you have made.

and yes, keep trying different meetings. All 3 different ones I went to were very different and I only clicked with the last one that I went to. It pays to keep going and going to different ones in other places.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:46 PM
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The truth is he doesn't know much about himself sober so he needs to figure that part out. Living his life and meeting his responsibilities as a sober person will be very hard for him for some time. If you do have a future, him being able to be independent and sober would be the best thing.

All you can do is respect where he is at right now but something tells me it may shift and change so just take care of yourself until he figures out his life.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tigerlilly4 View Post
I just keep telling myself that if nothing comes out of "us" other than him getting healthy, then it was all worth it.
The other side of this equation is that YOU could get healthy, and then it would TOTALLY be worth it...

I really feel for you though, it is so sad to wait and wait for somebody else to change, only to have it not work out as you had hoped.

One part of you getting healthy, however, could be learning that you have the power to change yourself, and you don't have to wait for anyone else.
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