Need Advice about contacting boyfriend who relapsed

Old 06-18-2015, 08:34 AM
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Question Need Advice about contacting boyfriend who relapsed

Hi there....I have recently started dating a man who was in long term recovery for 20 years, relapsed about a year or two ago, and just got his 1-year chip last month. We started talking in April and he was upfront with me about his recovery and past. We hit it off and things were going great. For the last several weeks, his counselor has been telling him not to be in a relationship when he is still new in recovery. So, although he didn't want to, he decides he needs to not see me so that he can focus on him . Although I was really upset, I figured maybe this was positive---he loves me so much he wants to be the best person he can be.

Well, that was Sunday. We talked briefly Monday and then I hadn't heard from him, until he called me yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon to tell me he was in the hospital because he drank, took whatever pills he had in his house, and almost blacked out. I told him I wasn't sure what to say to him, but that I was thinking of him and hoping he gets better, and that him drinking because he missed me wasn't how we were going to get to be together (not guilting, but I was processing a lot).

I'm not sure if I reach out and be supportive or what. I'm new at this and want to be there for him, but not sure how or when to do that.

Any advice?
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:50 AM
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Hi and Welcome,

I'm glad your boyfriend is in the hospital and I hope he gets the care and help that he needs. There is not a lot you can do to help him. Hopefully he will make the decision to live a sober life.

Check out our forum for Friends & Families, if you like:

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:51 AM
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I'm sorry for what brought you here. This is a new relationship. Sounds like it got pretty intense, pretty quickly. One thing to know, you, and this relationship, are in no way responsible for his drinking and hospital visit.

At this point, I'd suggest backing way off. Tell him you wish him well. There are a lot of people out there who are advised to not enter into relationships because they are too new in recovery and they ignore the advice and do it anyway. Honestly, if he's telling you that he doesn't want to be in a relationship, I'd take that at face value.

Hugs. It's tough. Maybe check out the family and friends forum for more support.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:11 AM
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Welcome to SR
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:37 PM
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If it were me, I'd back off and not be in contact with someone who just blew his one-year sobriety and ended up in the hospital because of it.

He has bigger fish to fry.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:55 PM
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he loves me so much he wants to be the best person he can be

well that's one way to spin it. except you've only known each other for what, 10 weeks or so?

obviously, considering he would up in the HOSPITAL he needs to take his recovery VERY seriously...and that means backing out of your short term dating relationship so he does not get distracted. and getting fully recommitted to his recovery program. people who get considerable sober time under the belts and then relapse cna have a VERY hard time making it back, getting sober again and staying sober. the thing is, even while HE was not drinking, his disease continued. he's been struggling for a while now and hopefully he GETS IT now.

probably best to just leave things alone.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:58 PM
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Here is my advice honey, RUN NOW while you still have a chance! It's relatively new so you'll bounce back soon enough, I promise the pain and disappointment of ending it now is WAY easier than the pain and disappointment you’ll likely endure if you continue this relationship in ANY way!

I am coming out of a relationship with an alcoholic that lasted over 3 years. If I would have known then what I know now, I would have walked away the very first time he relapsed. .

His counselor is right, he is definitely not in a place to be ready for a relationship. And you need to realize that YOU didn’t do anything to make him drink. Using the excuse that he misses you, is just that, an excuse! Don’t take this the wrong way, don’t give yourself that much credit, he will not get better because he loves you and wants to be the best for YOU, that won’t happen or last. I have heard every excuse in the book as to why exA relapsed and a million broken promises to get sober for ME and for US. Doesn’t happen….he has to really want it for himself and he obviously needs more time to get his **** together.

Do yourself a favor and move on with your life in a positive way, give him his space and let him know that IF and WHEN he is ready (like after having a year or more of sobriety) , reach out and MAYBE you’ll be ready too. It’s a win, win! Believe me!
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:04 PM
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Give him space. That's what his counselor advised; that's what he told you he needed. And give him space with no expectations for this week, next month, or a year from now.

I'm glad you're here -- and sorry you need to be. I didn't know a lot about alcoholism when I married an alcoholic, and the advice I got from people with experience rubbed me the wrong way. I thought my love and my strength was enough to save him. 20 years later, when I divorced him, I knew I had been so very wrong.

I think one question that's good for us to ask ourselves when we get involved with people with addiction problems is -- why do I find this person more attractive than a person without problems? Finding the answers within myself to that question taught me a lot, and helped me move on to a relationship without dysfunction woven into it.
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cactusflower View Post
I told him I wasn't sure what to say to him, but that I was thinking of him and hoping he gets better, and that him drinking because he missed me wasn't how we were going to get to be!
Wait, whaaat? Did he say this
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:38 PM
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What are your thoughts about all of those big red flags waving at you?
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:45 PM
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20 years?? What's he been doing all that time to then blow it? Lots of deep seeded problems. I don't always hold to the no dating for a year thing. It depends. Seems like addicts find an excuse to focus on themselves no matter what. Using or recovering they are the center of the world. That said, hospitalizing yourself is very serious. In this case, he does need concentrated help, but more importantly YOU don't need to stick around and become ill. If it's meant to be, you guys may come back together when he's well. Love from a distance is still love.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:34 AM
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I hope you know that missing you didn't make him drink. As much as we WANT to have that power over people -- we don't.

You didn't make him drink, a crappy boss didn't make him drink, his childhood didn't make him drink, bad traffic didn't make him drink, his team losing didn't make him drink.

All the reasons/excuses they give for drinking are deflecting the "blame" off themselves.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:07 AM
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Stay away, there is nothing you can say or do that will help him stay sober. Trust me, this is not the person you want to be involved with.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:23 PM
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Nothing helpful to add beyond the "run run run" refrain.

Since others have mentioned hit however just random thinking... I do sometimes wonder about "new to recovery" definitions. To me a year sober if one is actively working their recovery is no longer new. I have seen and met people however that while sober are still very emotionally unstable after a year, and sometimes many years. I do wonder if the therapist meant he wasn't emotionally stable enough to handle a relationship which was born out?

Go live your life and don't look back.
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