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My ABF who is in Rehab thinks he will be able to drink "normally" again

Old 05-12-2012, 06:07 PM
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My ABF who is in Rehab thinks he will be able to drink "normally" again

My Abf decided himself to go to rehab after having severe health problems the last couple months (really bad anxiety attacks, shaky hands, depression). he literally could not have gone one more day living at home, he was in terrible shape. He's been there for 2 weeks now. He is doing really good emotionally and mentally. And has had no health problems. The only thing is he doesn't like the 12 step program they use because he says its too religious. So he doesnt really take it too seriously. He thinks that after being in rehab for 30 days his body is rid of the alcohol and its like a fresh start. he knows hes an alcoholic but is in denial that this will be a life long battle. He thinks (and I know his intentions are good) that he will be able to have a few drinks on "special occasions" only. I have done research and know this is a disease in the brain and it is not as simple as that. I'd love if he could do that, but I am so scared he will relapse and wont be able to stop once he has a sip. I dont want to boss him around/ tell him what to do, I am not his mom. But what do I do if he wants to "try" drinking again when he gets out?

does anyone have experience with an A being able to drink normally again? I know every person is different, but Id love to hear some feedback/opinions on how to handle this topic when he is out of rehab
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:15 PM
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If he starts drinking again when he gets out, it's time for you to get out. With alcoholics, there is no normal drinking.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:19 PM
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Hmmm...no, won't happen.

Nothing you can do except set your bounderies and work on you.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:40 PM
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I can't tell you how many times over the past two years that my AX thought he could "drink socially". I will tell you that it rapidly spiraled into binge drinking with very serious consequences every single time.

If your BF thinks he can drink again safely, he's not in recovery. He's still in denial. My AX went to rehab twice last year. He was going to AA daily. But eventually, he always felt he could go back to drinking and "control" his drinking, and he always relapsed into binge drinking and benders of several days in length. With all of the financial and work problems, and the drunk driving, that went along with it. Not to mention his depression, anxiety, and frightening temper.

I truly believe that an alcholic's brain chemistry is different than a non-alcoholic's. I can have a couple of drinks and then stop when I start to feel sleepy from it. I can leave a glass of wine unfinished, or have a few sips from a beer and then decide I don't want anymore and throw the rest away. My XA simply could not do that. I never once in two years saw him leave a drink unfinished. Even if he could go a couple weeks drinking "socially", eventually it was clear that he was obsessed with when he could really go on a bender, and it always happened.

I feel that it was a terrible mistake to let my XA try to drink socially in my house/around me. I felt, well, he is an adult, it's his life, etc. But I was wrong. The inevitable downward spiral, over and over, into alcoholic chaos, caused enormous damage to my life.

An alcoholic committed to recovery knows that they can never drink again. Anything less is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm 22 and he is 23. I live with my dad and my bf had been living with me 99% of the time. when he gets out it will NOT be like that. I am going to be very strong and let him sleep over at my house MAX 2 times a week. and he is not to come in my house with ANY alcohol at all. I cannot live like I was before. the past 6 months have been hell for me. I am trying so hard to be there for him, and support him through this time, but he is in total denial still. and his poor parents have spent $25,000 on rehab. he wants so badly to be "normal", but i know he cant. he has 2 weeks left. i went to visit him today and he is still saying he "knows" he will be able to control it when hes out. then he will talk about how hes learning it is a disease in the brain. I dont know... I have 2 weeks to figure everything out. he is so emotionally dependent on me- i want him to have confidence in himself and be ok if he is alone. I always feel like im walking on eggshells- i dont want to do or say something to upset him. and i do want to set boundaries when he comes out- just not sure how to approach it without hurting his feelings or making him feel like i dont want him around.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:53 PM
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My partner who is in rehab for the 2nd time in 5 months thought that she could have " one more drink"

Just so happens she did it when I had ten people over some of who thought she wasnt worth a 2nd chance. I'll im saying is that if he drinks again he will do it again and again - It took me ages to realise but I really think my AH partner is selfish and self centered with or without the booze.

It will destroy you as no sane person can compete with a addict.. If I were you one more drink means its over - and he will.

Sorry to be so bleak but you deserve better

Take care
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:06 AM
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I suppose there are some people who drink casually after having been addicted. I really don't know. Stranger things have happened.

But when you sort of take a bird's-eye view of this scenario:

The man's in REHAB. That is a big deal. And now instead of thinking: "Damn, how can I rebuild my life? How can I repair the damage I've done to my reputation and my relationships?" his chief concern is "WHEN CAN I START DRINKING AGAIN?"

Yeah, no.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:12 AM
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My AH has gone from drinking bourbon and beer daily to drinking low-alcohol beer only. He has even cut back on that. The decision to do this was his. I never gave him "the ultimatum". I did let him know that I had a problem with his binges, and he let me know that he would be the one to make a decision on his drinking. I decided to work on ME. I set a couple of boundaries, and stuck by them while making healthy decisions for myself, and finding things to do that bring joy to my days.

Now bear with me, these changes have only been going on for a few months, and I have not fooled myself into believing there will never be another binge. But I no longer walk around on eggshells waiting for it to happen. He knows that if he gets drunk, I will not interact with him.

We have been married nearly 19 years, and I enabled him for all of those. Now I refuse to buy his beer for him, and I finally got up the courage to tell him that he is rude, obnoxious, loud, stinky, and no good in bed when he's drunk. It feels so good to understand the three C's. So I've told him, "get drunk if you choose, but leave me out of it."

Take care of yourself and let others do the same.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:47 AM
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I agree: there are biochemical reasons he cannot drink socially (read Under the Influence).

I always thought that it was fairly common knowledge that alcoholics cannot drink moderately, but one thing that always surprises me and hinders me actually when trying to set boundaries are family members who just don't get that. One time after a horrific experience at my brother's (who grew up with me in an alcoholic home), I said to my brother, "Yeah, he just can't drink." To which my brother said, "Or he should just cut down." This same brother also accused me of not being a good "governor" of AH's drinking.

My kids also have seen AH when he's sober (haha, sometimes!) and they have a tendency to feel bad for him if he has to live life completely sober! When sober he's distant and uncommunicative. They love him when he's had 2-3 drinks. That's when he's friendly, warm, fun, open. But of course, then that turns to sloppy, nasty, and a real PIA. They want that "Stage 2" dad--not the Stage 1 or Stage 3. But I tell them they can't get the Stage 2 without the Stage 3.

In answer to your question, I have NEVER seen a real alcoholic that can just have one or two drinks.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 112408forever View Post
I am going to be very strong and let him sleep over at my house MAX 2 times a week. and he is not to come in my house with ANY alcohol at all.
Can you explain this to me?

Which two nights per week will he sleep over?
What determines these two nights?

What if he wants to sleep over, doesn't bring ANY alcohol, but has had a social drink prior to coming over?

What if he wants to sleep over a third night and promises he will stay sober that day? Will you reward his sobriety with a sleep over night?

A healthy boundary might look like this:
I am going to focus on what I want out of my one precious life. I am going to give you the opportunity to focus on your life.
I am going to work on my recovery from living with active alcoholism by attending as many Alanon meetings as I can in 90 days. I am going to give you the opportunity to work on your recovery by finding your own program and working it 90 days.
After 90 days of working our own recovery programs, we can go on a date.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for your feedback Pelican

Well, I say 2 days max because ever since 2010 we have spent literally every day/night together (besides when we are at work) up until he left for Rehab. But I am loving my time alone- to sleep in my own bed by myself (and not have my room smell disgusting which I realized after he left and looked into was him). I work out everyday and a few weeks before he left I started a very healthy eating routine so I am feeling pretty good about myself lately. My life with him before he left consisted of work and coming home to sit in bed and watch tv while he stood in the room and drank. It was so boring and we lost all of any "spark" left and did not have a very good sex life. When he comes out I don't plan to EVER be at home. When we do see eachother it will be out of the house- going to movies/dinner, and spending ALOT of time outside this summer- walking, hiking, biking, mini golf, picnics, the beach, etc. I am open to try anything new so hopefully we can find some hobbies we both enjoy- together and apart and have a good balanced active life.

Right now I believe he is under the impression he will still be sleeping at my house most of the time. I think it would crush him to say that he can never spend a night at my house. I guess it wouldn't be a set schedule of nights- whenever we feel like it. I just don't know how to handle this. I've never dealt with anything like this before. I know I am a "codie". And I do not want to be one. i am ready to be strong and say "no go home". I'm so confused- about my feelings for him (right now I feel more sorry/pity for him than "in love" feelings). I don't know if we can ever get that spark back. I should probably get some therapy but I don't have any insurance, I will have to look into any options I have where I live. sorry for the rant, I am just so so confused....
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 112408forever View Post
Thanks for your feedback Pelican

When we do see eachother it will be out of the house- going to movies/dinner, and spending ALOT of time outside this summer- walking, hiking, biking, mini golf, picnics, the beach, etc. I am open to try anything new so hopefully we can find some hobbies we both enjoy- together and apart and have a good balanced active life.

How does one go about doing that exactly? No wonder we didn't make it. Who will be paying for these wonderful dates and hobbies?
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:26 PM
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When I say we, I meant me and my XABF.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:47 PM
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I second the suggestion that you attend Al-Anon meetings. The first thing you will probably discover is that 12 step programs are not particularly religious unless placing one's faith in a "Power greater than ourselves" or turning one's life and will over to a "God as we understood Him" is "too religious." It isn't as if your ABF has been a stellar success at playing God for himself. Do you really want to keep doing the substitute-God job for him with no thanks or appreciation for your efforts? Welcome the relief!

Sometimes it helps to put aside the religion one was brought up in and just decide what and who God is to you. I believe the A.A. Big Book devotes some focus to finding one's comfortable concept of God/a Higher Power, and it also offers a chapter for agnostics. There are other 12 step materials that do this as well.

I feel closest to my HP when I'm out and active doing things like you want to do this summer - hiking, biking, camping. LOTS of people like healthy activities. Don't just limit yourself to enjoying them with your bf. I enjoyed some of these activities with my abf in the past, but be very careful. Just as many of my good plans were not been realized because of abf's next drama or crisis. That's him trying to be the center of the universe instead of letting go and letting God. Other long time friends share my interests, so my world no longer stops because of abf.

Best wishes!
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