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Supporting Recovery vs Walking Away

Old 06-12-2015, 04:15 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Praying, I did not k now the details about the circumstances with the kids.
I absolutely understand why this makes your decision making very difficult. You care about the children.
I want to say a very loud GOOD FOR YOU.

I don't fanatically advocate the attitude of "My personal concerns, only, and Screw the rest of the whole world"
I believe that it takes a village to care for each one of us....and this is why we have mandated reporting and welfare laws, etc. A society needs to care for their young and vulnerable.
I support that it is very important that y ou weight very carefully what would be the best action for the children's welfare in the long run. (while considering yours, also).

I, also, don't see it as a crime to go to AA meetings with another person in the beginning, if they are really scared to go. I have heard more than one AA member say to "get them in the door any way you can"....in the assumption that something might "stick".....

I just don't want you to make the m i stake of signing on for the BIG VOYAGE....and, later, have everyone concerned pay the price......
Don't ever forget that alcoholism, unchecked by abstainence, takes no prisoners......(I think you know that already....yes?)

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Old 06-12-2015, 08:20 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Oh boy, Praying.

This sentence you initially wrote is really bothering me:
"He is a kind, generous man, and a good father to his kids (when sober, of course)."

(when sober, of course) WHAT????? How is he when NOT sober?

Praying, I am an ACOA. Married and divorced an alkie. As a child my life was HeLL growing up with an alcoholic dad and a rageaholic (possibly alkie) mom. My kid's lives were not great either, although I did my best to give them a better "childhood". Still, they suffered because my ex-alkie was an on-again/off-again alkie. (periodic) One child is doing okay in life - is more like me, a nice easy going, co-dependent. The other child has been smoking pot steadily since he was 16 and he is now in his 30's, with no motivation to quit - and quite frankly; no motivation to do anything else. As hard as I tried as a non-alcoholic, my batting average for raising happy, healthy, non-addicted kids is 50%.

You have fallen for a Charming, kind on-again/off-again Alkie. He has problems taking care of himself; Evidence: he asked you to go to AA with him.

Be careful with the decision(s) you make.

It sounds like you may end up taking care of and worrying about 5 children:

His 4 Children
Plus Him
= 5 Children !!!!

(I have added your Charming Alkie - oh yes, they can be so very very charming - because from what you have written here, (example again: he asked you to go to AA with him), your Charming Alkie is dependent and immature. (Characteristics of children.)

You are not responsible for him or his 4 children - (5 children in my eyes) - yet.

Good luck and I hope you receive the wisdom you are seeking. And the courage the make the right decision - for you.

Hugs, and Praying, I am praying for you.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:36 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Oops double post.

Last edited by AlcSis; 06-12-2015 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Double post
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:22 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Hi Praying... So, your post really resonates with me. I can totally relate. My xabf also has no mean bones in his body. In fact, he is quite a kind man, and has been a positive influence in the lives of my daughters. I too found it a little difficult to relate here on SR because the majority of those posting have experienced abuses, and there are innumerous accounts of partners who steadily changed and morphed into abusive people as the disease progressed. However, as you well know, there are still heavy consequences related to active alcoholism even when there is no abuse. For instance, my step-dad... He was really a gem of a human being to know. Honestly. But, he was an alcoholic. Yes, there were many times that his behavior should have been unacceptable, such as having me as a designated driver at 16 so that he and my mom could get sloshed at the fair grounds, only to get home and be so inebriated that he couldn't get out of the car on his own; as a teenager, I should never have had to do that. But there was NEVER any abuse, nor meanness, or moodiness, or missed worked, etc.... But just a little over two years ago he passed away from cancer of the liver at 59. And now? My mom is drinking more than she has ever drank and is an alcoholic in her own sense... and she uses that tremendous grief as her excuse. Everyone that he left behind has had to struggle with this loss. Because of alcoholism.

I left my xabf with the knowledge that alcoholism is progressive and that even if it doesn't morph him into an abusive, mean, angry man, it still has the potential to kill him, or screw up his judgment behind the wheel or around the kids, or mess with his mojo when it comes to performing in the bedroom. I too have done a ton of self work over the years, and this man... my xabf, is actually a step up from the jerks I have dated over the years. I left him with the knowledge that his disease is NOT what I signed up for when I felt that he and I had found a truly loving relationship. And well, even though I love him terribly, and yes, it is soul-mate status in my mind... there are far too many serendipitous coincidences, things in common, shared values and experiences, interests in common, and the fact that our three daughters combined get along so well.... even though all of this is there, I, like you, am unwilling to sign up for a life with someone who cannot control drinking.

And as a codependent, it IS extremely difficult to know where to draw the line between what is support, and what is control. So, here is what I have done so far.....

I broke up with him. He said he wanted to get sober and have a sober life with me and our girls. I was surprised. I told him that he can't do it for me, but that if he is really ready that I am here. And then the list of excuses began. Those excuses went on for about 4 months. He is now working a program and as far as I know he has about 22 days of sobriety. Over time, I have had to block his number, block him from facebook, and learn to NOT reach out to him for my own needs. It isn't perfect. We still email. The reason for my distance is for my own emotional needs. I am taking care of myself so that I am not a mess. Most days, I am fine. I miss him like crazy! I am still truckin along with my life and goals and I have not waivered. What I figure is that whatever it is, I will take the necessary precautions to protect myself and take care of myself as time progresses and as this situation continues. I am not ready to close this door, and that IS OKAY!!!!! No-one else can set that boundary but you. I don't feel like I am wasting my time because I am actively working on things that I want in place before I get serious anyway... And, I DO believe that it is OKAY and normal... completely human and caring and empathetic and compassionate to want to be there for someone and support them. I do believe that in a healthy relationship, couples support one another. But we cannot be in unbalance relationships; codies tend to do all the "work". The longer he chose to drink over those 4 months, the more space I put between us...
What I have been concerned with is making sure that I don't lose myself... As long as I am still caring for myself and am waking up with a smile, then I know that continuing to talk with him is not a bad thing. I have no illusions about my ability to influence his drinking or his sobriety. I do encourage what he is doing. I think that in SMART recovery, that type of encouragement is suggested....?

Ultimately, you have to decide what your boundaries are through this. It will be unique to who you are and where you are at, and where he is at. None of us can predict or accurately guess if he is telling the truth about his resolve to not drink anymore, and his choice in recovery is really none of our business... If, after time, you find that his choices aren't conducive to your needs, then adjust from there. I hope the best for you!!!! And I am really sorry for the extra long reply!!!! Yikes!
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:44 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I have a long history of dating alcoholics and addicts. For a long time, many of the men I chose were also incapable of commitment. They would string me along with morsels of affection and claims that they just weren't capable of being in love at the moment, and I would stick by them and hope that eventually they'd change their mind. In my mid 30s, I met a man who I thought was different. Yes, he had addiction issues, but this guy told me that he loved me. He seemed really devoted. We talked about marriage. I was convinced that I was finally doing something different, that if I could just work through his addiction issues with him I would have the partner I needed. It didn't work out. His addiction destroyed the relationship, and eventually I had to accept that he wasn't going to change. I realize now that I'd just traded one kind of addict for another. Instead of a standoffish emotionally cold addict, I'd found myself a clingy, emotionally dependent addict. Turns out I hadn't really traded up.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:52 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Lemongirl, thank you for posting! I was off the boards for a while and missed your story. That's very helpful.

SIGH on the BIG VOYAGE. I find myself in that familiar exhausted state already.

And yes, the "powerlessness" topic made me grin due to it's overarching applicability.

He neglects the kids when he drinks due to physical and emotional absence. While that's awful, courts don't seem to care about kids unless there are bruises. I saw that it's my prior life. It's not "horrible". Just creates ACOAs.

Emotionally dependent, overall dependent...yes. I agree.

He has stopped drinking. That's what feels "wrong" about my position. I still think since he doesn't really accept the magnitude of the past and his path here, and is still in denial over it, I don't CARE that he quit. I don't believe it's lasting unless there's more. I feel it in my heart.

He fails to see why I'm so hung up on that.

His family thinks it's great that he quit, and if anyone could quit without a program, he could. And he doesn't want to lose you, Praying!!! I sit quietly over here, saying to myself...not enough. Hasn't worked before. These are the same people who have done two interventions resulting in him quitting over the last few years.

My best friend said today-- you don't have enough years of "good" under your belt with him. When this happened it slammed your trust and everything down, but there might just not be enough left for you to rely on. The bank is empty.

That might be the most accurate statement of why I feel so "out".

In the words of Jerry Maguire...
SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

And for God's sake, please don't show me the kids...
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:12 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I had a somewhat similar experience with my "wonderful guy" with 2 wonderful girls that had been kept from him for years from the "wicked ex-wife" and was one of the reasons he drank (or so he said). When I "helped" him get his visitation I fell in love with those girls and felt so sorry for them. Their mom was emotionally unavailable and they were being raised by a ballet studio (yep... a ballet mom who made sure her girls practiced, practiced, practiced every single day after school in class after class.)

Dad loved his girls and he flourished except about every 4 to 8 months he would relapse and the panic would always be about the girls who truly needed their dad. I stayed for 4 years doing every single thing I could to force sobriety on that guy... after all what about the kids?

Finally he relapsed one time too many and this time I caught him sneak drinking at the bowling alley about 11 am while bowling with his youngest!

That was the end... I took him to rehab and dumped him out on the doorstep and haven't looked back. That was 4 years ago and he has gotten sober and relapsed at least 15 times since them but I only heard about it and stuck with my boundaries.

My boundary was I would go on an international date he pays for to Tahiti after he had been in solid authentic recovery for one year. He NEVER made it more than 8 months! Clock reset every time...

And about those girls.... of course once the drunk was gone all contact was broken as mom despised me for helping him get contact with his kids. THIS was MORE traumatic than the breakup with the XA. They were like my own and I loved them dearly....sigh.

I have kept track of them and send them gifts through the XA's mom and someday once grown I hope I get a chance to see them again. Dad has completely blown it with the girls with his chronic relapsing....they are now busy teenagers and don't have time for his nonsense.

My suggestion? Get the complete history of his addiction from the first drink...what age was he? Get the full bio and with drinking patterns and amounts and sober time periods and how he got sober. If he has been drinking alcoholically and binging and relapsing on a regular basis for decades the prognosis is not good statistically.

If I had a do over I would have put my XA on the shelf after the first relapse until he got a full year and then dialed in the expensive exotic vacation dates...if they have a bunch of money to take you world traveling then they are not drinking! LOL.

I never got the vacation. I never got the see the kids again. I wasted a LOT Of time on this dead end relationship... and yes he is back drinking AGAIN I just heard. Thank the stars and the my HP that I didn't waste the last 4 years too....

Favorite saying: Be careful what you wish for because sometimes you get what you want.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:25 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I like what your friend said, Praying.... Once that trust is gone, sometimes we just don't have enough left "in the bank" to keep going, no matter how beautiful the good things were.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:45 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Last night out of the blue he started telling me he researched how to find a sponsor online and all it said was- go to meetings and pray for one.

He said he's not in that space now- but he's going go go to meetings. So I said, oh, you're not praying?

He said- no, I pray. Just..........

I dropped it.

Then he said you can do e-AA and get an e-sponsor, so he sent an email for that.

I didn't comment.

Time will tell.

I do have a question for anyone who has experienced e-AA...why would you choose this if you're not a celebrity or geographically remote? Can that really be as effective as looking someone in the face and being HONEST and accountable with a flesh and bones person?

Can you tell I think it's a cop-out? I apologize for my cynicism. I said nothing.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:05 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Praying....there are several reasons that a person will avoid going to AA (or any such type of treatment)..... these are a couple that come to mind:

1) Know that all alcoholics (addicts) feel enormous guilt and shame (down deep)....and that plays on their self esteem. It is very hard to walk up to a group of strangers and say---"ok....paste a label on me so that the whole world can know that I am a slacker". The term alcoholic still has a negative connotation to the population at large.
Sort of like---goi ng to the m eet ings makes their worst fear "real".

2) Straight up going to meetings and working the program mean that they will be asked....and, expected....to give up alcohol.
An alcoholic would rather fact the necessity of giving up air.

I just recommended that Bob1 read the posting that can be found in the section called "Classic Readings"...in the stickies at the top of the main page. It is called "10 ways to know that an Addict or Alcoholic is full of crap".

Also, I suggest the articles written by Floyd P. Garrett, M.D.====you can find them by a google search. There are several, but you might expecially benefit from: "Excuses Alcoholics Make" and "Addictions, Lies and Relationships".
I love his articles....as they do as good a job as any that I have ever read in explaining the psychological dynamics of the "alcoholic mind".......

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Old 06-13-2015, 08:06 AM
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IMO it's probably a cop out. He wants to put as little effort in as possible and is most likely just placating you so he doesn't "lose" you.
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