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Is AA enough, or does he need rehab first

Old 12-27-2011, 09:58 AM
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For some it seems AA is enough and for others it seems rehab and AA is needed. Your boundary could be as simple as saying that you will not continue with him unless he is sober. HOW he gets sober is up to him- whether it's AA or waiting for a bed in rehab or if critical going to the hospital for a medical detox.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:09 PM
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Thanks all for the great posts. Thanks gerryP, ur post really helped me to understand.
And yes, I know that is not the kinda relationship I want. Nobody wants that, with a normal head on, I think.
But I kinda slided into that dilemma, kinda blind of love i guess. Happy to have a partner in my life. And he did great the first few month, as a boyfriend. He was still in the Army, drinking yes, but at that time it doesn't bother me, to go out together on the weekends, with all his Army buddies and so on. I mean I had a blast. And otherwise he was romantic and charming, all what a girl wants. I still remember to this date, that when I drove home, from one of our dates :" that thing is so perfect, its almost to perfect to be true, I just hope its not a dream or it turns in to a nightmare " !
After a while all the dilemma started and then slowly but surely i realized what was going on, but by then I went already to far with him. And then sure u think, u can help, fix etc.
Took me almost a year to learn, that I am powerless over his addiction, what Alcoholism is in detail, etc. In that whole process I kinda lost myself, and what I want, my goals I had in life.
Altogether I think I am on a good way for myself. Like an Alcoholic needs to recover, so do I. Still have to deal with letting go. I mean those things can be heartbreaking, even if I would have a relationship with an Non Alcoholic. Since I am alone in this world, because there is just my fostermom overseas, and we don't have the best relationship, its hard, to constantly say good bye to people u love, u know what I mean.
My whole life is about loosing people. And I get sick and tiered of it. Maybe that explains why it is so hard for me, to just let him go. All I want to have someday a family and people who love me for what I am, just because. I'm 33 now, and its just not happening, for some strange reason with no guy.
I don't know. Either way thanks for all those posts. Lots of help, and new things to think about.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:28 PM
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Go to Alanon. You are too involved in this. You can't make him do anything, or make anything mandatory for him. You are flying blind without Alanon. If a relationship with an alcoholic is possible, it's only possible if you are going to Alanon IMHO.

Either way, as hard as this may be to hear, his recovery or lack thereof is none of your business.

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Old 12-27-2011, 06:48 PM
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I go to Al Alanon. Because this town is so small here a basically just 2 meetings a week. One I can go to, because its fits in my schedule. The others is at noon, and I work. So once a week is all what I can do.
I don`t agree, that his recovery is none of my business at all. Sorry to say so. I know I can`t pressure him into anything and I stopped all those talks with him, already a while ago. But I also don`t have to put up with him when he is drunk. Still if I want to keep the relationship, then it is my business, if he starts AA again, how he is doing. Relationships with an addict or not, are about sharing. Thats my opinion. If his life woudn`t be my business at all, then I wouldn`t need a relationship. Would be same, if i would be with a non alcoholic and he wouldn`t work and lives with me. Makes no money etc. I would kick him out sooner or later as well. I`m not a homelessshelter. I would even set then an ultimatum.
With him i didn`t set an ultimatum, i just told him in order to be with me, he has to be sober and go to AA. I think that`s clear. If he doesn`t want to, he can feel free to move on. I know he wouldn`t come far, since he really would sooner or later be on the street. I would guess in around 2 month. And then he has to make a choice anyways. Because no money, no booze, no job no apartment etc. In his case it is just that simple.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
And otherwise he was romantic and charming, all what a girl wants.

and therein lies the myth, the hook.....romance and charm....these are not lasting attributes, they are shiny sparkly empty gestures...what is by far more meaningful, long lasting and telling is the CORE of the person, beliefs, values, ethics. how their history translates to their present.... did they leave a lot of wreckage? or did they steadfastly remain constant throughout their story? if you take away the flowers, and the compliments and the sex, are they still someone you could just hang with, no makeup, ratty ass t-shirt, watching some b-movie on the couch, eating pizza? when you disassemble all the artifice and affect, is there anything left?
With my ABF now u mean? Oh sure, there is. That loving charming thing, is over long time ago. Like in every realtionship, those things don't last forever. It made me fall for him in the beginning for sure, because I never had a boyfriend before, who would do all that for me. And he did.
No he has lots a good things, what makes me still love him. We have also lots in common, kinda same childhood as well. Which kinda made as bond as well. There is something between us.
To see lots of it right now, because everything is in the shadow of his addiction, and lots of things changed the last half year. Since he got kicked out of the Army to the bad.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:14 PM
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I might just stop writing on this post here. I got a bit the feeling, as more i write, as more I get missunderstood. I mean just for this post, i was asking for what is needed AA or rehab. And I found my answer in a few posts from members who answered me.
Thank so much for the help.
Overtalking doesn't make it easier and its more confusing for readers and me.
Don't know how to express myself right maybe. Sorry
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:25 PM
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sprman24, I understand because I've been where you are at too. All the love in the world I tried to give my husband wasn't enough and so I ran like a crazy person trying to find the answer to fix him, detox, AA, rehab, experimental drugs (2 at that), therapists, family doctors and I could go on and on but I ran out of ideas and resources, ugh, then I realized unless he wanted to stop all the love in the world would not make a difference that I was chasing a hope and all he wanted was to drink which was more powerful than all the help I could find for him. I still do love my X but I came to the point I couldn't make him want to stop drinking.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:44 PM
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Just want to see you happy and free Sper and ultimately in the kind of relationship you described in your last post. It is possible, but I'm just not seeing it happening with this guy.

Hope 2012 is a great year for you.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:09 PM
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sprman24,

I am involved in a lot of interventions and do a lot of referrals for detox and rehabs and can help you a bit on general information. Detox's are short term... anywhere from a few days to a week up to a 28 day stay. Some consider a 28 day stay a rehab when it really is just a start!

The longer the toughest cases can stay in a QUALITY long term rehab facility followed by a serious and diligent program of outpatient treatment the better their odds are for staying sober.

Being physically seperated from the drug of choice has the benefit of the brain being able to heal and better able to think rationally and make responsible decisions about their life's choices.

Quality treatment... good therapists, groups, AA 12 step etc... over time forms new habits and new thinking on subjects long twisted by abuse of substances.

Another book you might like and find helpful is No More Letting Go ... it is how you can raise the bottom for the addict while still creating healthy boundaries for yourself.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:45 AM
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Thanks very much, for the last 3 posts again.
No, I am not stoping to post in general. I ment for this posting, because the answers went so far from the questions I asked sometimes, and harsh is not what I need right now. I had harsh people around me, criticizing me for what I do or not do. So I will take the advise and read them, but leave them. Doesn't mean I don't appriciate all of the input. Is just sometimes they way, people answer, that I think they are maybe bitter or simple didn't understand what I meant.
I will see what the future brings, and just take it day by day. I am fully aware, that him and I maybe never will be happy and that he maybe never get sober. So be it. I know I am strong enough to handle my life alone. But like I said, loosing a loved one is always hard, seeing they destroy their life, even harder.

Thanks for the advise with the different books, u guys mentioned.
I did read a book the last time "Healing the Addicted Brain" which I personally really enjoyed reading. Its a Science-Based Book. And because it doesn't put feelings in, like other books often do, I found it helpful to understand Addiction much better. It aslo explains the recovery process based on Science, so the post from Hopeworks, could relate to that pretty well.
When I thought about rehab, I was acutally thinking about a 90 day program, instead of a 30 day program as well. Its gonna be up to him and not to me anyways.
But sometimes, he asks me for advise. What i think it would be better. So thats why I started asking that question, to actually have the right answer. He is a free man, he makes the choice.

Thanks everybody!!!
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:06 PM
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But sometimes, he asks me for advise. What i think it would be better. So thats why I started asking that question, to actually have the right answer. He is a free man, he makes the choice.
Having been at one time in my life where your ABF is now, I can tell you he is asking your advice, so when you give it, and he half azz tries it and it doesn't work, then it is YOUR FAULT.

I would suggest that when he asks for advice to say to him "you do the research and you figure out what will work best for you."


Love and hugs,


It is another way of manipulation to keep you involved in his 'drama'.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:30 PM
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Agreeing with Laurie. I have never been in the addicts shoes but I'm very familiar with the concept. My xah and I would a have such meaningful (ha) conversations and he'd ask such reasonable questions (boy did that feed into my co-dependent nature) and it would blow up in my face - at best. After a time it was thrown in my face.

Take care of yourself. Lovingly detach. I finally came up with a stock phrase "I know you can work this out. Only you can find the best solutions for you." He didn't like it but that was well past the time that our relationship went south so I'm not sure I was able to deliver that with the intent I wanted. To much resentment and water under the bridge at that point.

Also, and I think this was key for my personal experience (not saying it applies to you) I had unintentionally robbed him of feeling like he could make a decent decision. I had created this dynamic that said he was unable to handle things and we lived in that space for such a long time that he bought it. It snowballed until I hated it, he hated it, and it was an unmanageble hot mess. He has his own pool of resentments to work though I'm sure. That was the ever so destructive piece I brought to my marriage. It was absolutely toxic for him personally and for our relationship and I deeply regret it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:12 PM
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In a way it is difficult to answer your question directly since he has already done both rehab and AA.FYI, I come at this from both sides - as someone who is recovery for alcoholism (18 years); a history of being in relationships with people who for a variety of reasons can't/won't get there and many years of working with people who can and do get there. I went to rehab,followed by years of involvement in AA. I don't know which one worked the most....I do know that so I wanted to be free of my addiction that I would do whatever it took,whatever other people who had been there and found a way to get and stay sober told me to do. I decided to get out of my own way because my way got me precisely nowhere.

I went to rehab and was told by my counselor there that she thought I would be one of the one's who would make it because I did what I was told to do,whether or not it made sense to me. Most adults don't like to be told what to do. Addicts REALLY don't like to be told what to do!! Most of us are very emotionally immature. We are the definition of wanting what we want when we want it!! and we want it NOW! like a 2 year old.

I believe that statistically one's best shot is to go to rehab followed by deep involvement in AA (rehab buys you time away to get some clarity but it's also all about starting in AA and being told to continue once you get out). In lots of ways they are the same thing.....in the end it is about a person's individual desire and commitment to get and stay sober. It isn't rocket science and there isn't any magic to it. It is really very simple,though far from easy. As they say in 'the rooms' "it works if you WORK it" and believe me it IS hard work,especially the first couple of years. Most things worth having are.

For someone like this person who has already been in rehab-more than once-treats AA like it has a revolving door etc. the problem isn't the program.The problem is the person. He already knows what to do. He has been told 8 zillion times. Basically he either hasn't wanted to do what he has been told to do or perhaps is not capable of the kind of 'rigorous honesty' that is necessary to succeed. Maybe he needs more pain. Who knows? I do know that asking a nonalcoholic (like you) what you think he should do would be like me asking my manicurist how to treat my stage 4 cancer (also known as going to the hardware store to buy milk). Think about it ...... if you are not an alcoholic or someone trained in addictions how would you know what he should do? He knows perfectly well that he can go to an AA meeting ,ask for phone numbers and call and ask recovering alcoholics what to do/what they did. That is how the whole thing works. Problem is that we recovering alcoholics are not nearly so 'understanding' as the kindhearted non-alcoholic that a active alcoholic is inevitably manipulating. We might say some stuff he doesn't want to hear because we see right through all the BS!
Better to chat with you about it than make THAT call!

I honestly don't think that repeat stays in rehab are of much use. It is my observation that people who do multiple rehab things do so to convince the people around them that they are 'serious' THIS time. They are the most annoying of the other patients in rehab...because they haven't learned to 'walk the walk' but have learned to 'talk the talk'. They haven't learned in their previous stays how stay sober...they've learned how to 'do rehab'. As in all things,I am sure there are exceptions. I can tell you that when I come across someone like this in AA (and there are more than a few) I do not go out of my way to help them until I see them really committed to shut up,listen,follow suggestions and start working hard.

IMHO the best thing you can do is step back, get some help for yourself to understand this disease and observe what he chooses to do. What to do about his addiction and where to go to get help is HIS problem to solve. He knows what to do. Now he just has to do it. Recovery is Nike time "Just DO it."

I go to both AA and Al-anon. I find dealing with other people's addictions far harder than dealing with my own. I have control over my own choices. None over other people's. Addictions are horrible and heartbreaking. The person with the addiction gets to 'check out'....we get to feel all the pain. I feel for you. Been there. More than once.

I have no answers.Only observations/opinions/suggestions based on my own life's journey.TWYWLR
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:17 PM
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Correction: (of something that was probably obvious in the alcoholics and maturity department)

"Most of us areN"T very emotionally immature. We are the definition of wanting what we want when we want it!! and we want it NOW! like a 2 year old".
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