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Thoughts Please?

Old 08-09-2015, 10:14 AM
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Thoughts Please?

Hi, I'm new here and just seeking the wisdom and counsel of those who have been where I am. My ex boyfriend is beginning his AA journey and has been trying for the past year to get help for his addiction to alcohol. We have been broken up for 4 months and a month and a half ago I started dating a really nice, great guy. Naturally, during our break up period my ex got sober for over a month and had a relapse a few weeks ago. He decided to do AA and wants me back. He's a great person and has been talking about being sober pretty much since we started dating over 2 years ago. It's only in the past year that he's slowly been taking steps toward an actual recovery journey.

The new man is wonderful and we have a lot in common. He doesn't drink at all by choice and has all the qualities any "smart" girl could ask for. What he lacks is the excitement my ex gives me, the ability to make me laugh the way my ex does, the ability to give me butterflies. Seriously, this guy is tall, handsome, educated, attentive, economically stable. My ex is all those things as well, except he's an alcoholic and has made me more miserable at times than I ever though humanly possible. I guess what I'm seeking here is to know I'm' not crazy for being so torn and confused. I want to do the right thing and choose the good guy, but my heart is not in it.

I also fear that if I choose neither I'll just end up back with my ex. I want his recovery to be successful and the best way for that to happen is for me not to be in the way. He feels differently, he wants to be a team and feels like I give his life purpose. Other than me he really doesn't have family and friends that support his recovery and I learned from a previous relationship not to force the issue. He's done this all on his own aside from asking me to be with him at his first AA meeting. Other than that, he's done all the work. Sorry this is so darn long. I'm lost!
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:58 AM
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Your ex is perfectly capable of getting sober and staying that way without your "help." Nothing you've posted suggests you are on the verge of marrying this other guy. Maybe the best thing is to just date other people and avoid making any commitments to anybody for a while. These two are not the last two available or attractive men on earth. Let your own head get a little clearer. Recovery isn't a "team effort."

What are you doing for your OWN recovery? Dating isn't a recovery program.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:29 AM
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Unless u r in alcoholic, u will not be welcome at the aa meetings. They do offer open aa meetings that u can attend with him. I agree with lexi, he needs to fly solo to really grasp sobriety and work a program. Can't help him anymore..
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:52 AM
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I would choose neither. Why would you end up back with your ex if you choose neither? There's no chemistry with new guy. And your ex needs to focus on his recovery and not a relationship if he's being honest about being in recovery for the right reasons. Why are you so bent on needing a man in your life right now anyway? Maybe that would be a good start to figure out?
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:12 PM
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I told him it wasn't appropriate for me to go and he insisted. Everyone there was really nice and I think they could tell I was uneasy about being there. My dad is a recovering alcoholic and goes to AA so I know the rules and go to Alanon. I haven't been back to AA since and I told him after the meeting it's all you now and he's been going on his own since.

On your last point, my intent was date casually and given all the commonalities between myself and the other guy it kind of progressed faster than I intended. When my ex came around it hit me that my feelings for him are still way more than they should be for me to have a successful relationship. In short, I wasn't as ready as I thought I was.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:17 PM
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I am attending Alanon again and the other guy and I have only been dating a month and a half so you're right. Definitely marriage isn't in the near future. I'm ok being single and apparently casual dating doesn't work for me. I'm 28, have a successful career, keep fit, no kids, live alone, pretty. I'm not complaining at all, but the men I've gone out with tend to want to snatch me up pretty quickly. On the surface I'm great, but inside these men don't know I'm a mess. My dad says it's the price I pay for beauty, lol.

I'm going to push the breaks on both and focus on my own recovery. Thanks for your words.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:51 PM
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Other than me he really doesn't have family and friends that support his recovery.
He actually has a HUGE family and TONS of friends to support his recovery--he has all of AA, worldwide, to back him up. No matter where he goes, he's almost certain to find a meeting and people who "get" him in a way a non-A never can.

My ex got sober for over a month and had a relapse a few weeks ago.
He's done this all on his own.
Please don't take this wrong, but getting sober for a short period and then relapsing doesn't really count as "all this", at least in my opinion. What it sounds like to me is that he made a token effort at "recovery" in order to keep you on the hook. Now he is insisting he "can't do it w/o you." If you give in and go back to him, every time he slips in the future, it will be b/c of something you did or didn't do--obviously you didn't support his recovery correctly, or he would have been successful, right? If you really had the power to make him be sober, I somehow think you'd have used it before now...

Here's my story: My A drank secretly for years and years--really secretly, spending our savings w/o my knowledge. I was clueless, but when I found out 6-1/2 years ago, he immediately said he'd go to AA. He pretended to go to meetings for 4 more years, and I believed him. Then 2-1/2 years ago, I caught him clearly drunk again--he'd never stopped drinking, hiding it, lying about it or spending our joint savings. This time, he actually went to meetings, got a sponsor, etc., but things were still not better. Last fall I filed for divorce but converted it to legal separation (I needed to stay on his health insurance) which went thru in March. In late June, he came downstairs clearly drunk and confessed that he'd never stopped drinking this time either. I filed to change the separation to a divorce, which is now final.

The point of all this to you? That even though my XAH was/is going thru all the right motions (meetings, sponsor), he still wasn't doing the right actions (he told me that he had never once actually reached out to a fellow AA when he felt the desire to drink; he just picked up the bottle and drank). There is a saying about how simply going to meetings won't make you sober any more than standing in a garage will make you a car. It's true, and I think at best your A is standing in that garage, hoping you'll think he's a shiny red Alfa Romeo...

As others have said, please continue to take care of you, and put both these guys on the back burner for a good long while until you sort things out for yourself. I think with some time, some distance, and some attention to YOU, things will become a lot clearer and you'll know the right way to go.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
He actually has a HUGE family and TONS of friends to support his recovery--he has all of AA, worldwide, to back him up. No matter where he goes, he's almost certain to find a meeting and people who "get" him in a way a non-A never can.





Please don't take this wrong, but getting sober for a short period and then relapsing doesn't really count as "all this", at least in my opinion. What it sounds like to me is that he made a token effort at "recovery" in order to keep you on the hook. Now he is insisting he "can't do it w/o you." If you give in and go back to him, every time he slips in the future, it will be b/c of something you did or didn't do--obviously you didn't support his recovery correctly, or he would have been successful, right? If you really had the power to make him be sober, I somehow think you'd have used it before now...

Here's my story: My A drank secretly for years and years--really secretly, spending our savings w/o my knowledge. I was clueless, but when I found out 6-1/2 years ago, he immediately said he'd go to AA. He pretended to go to meetings for 4 more years, and I believed him. Then 2-1/2 years ago, I caught him clearly drunk again--he'd never stopped drinking, hiding it, lying about it or spending our joint savings. This time, he actually went to meetings, got a sponsor, etc., but things were still not better. Last fall I filed for divorce but converted it to legal separation (I needed to stay on his health insurance) which went thru in March. In late June, he came downstairs clearly drunk and confessed that he'd never stopped drinking this time either. I filed to change the separation to a divorce, which is now final.

The point of all this to you? That even though my XAH was/is going thru all the right motions (meetings, sponsor), he still wasn't doing the right actions (he told me that he had never once actually reached out to a fellow AA when he felt the desire to drink; he just picked up the bottle and drank). There is a saying about how simply going to meetings won't make you sober any more than standing in a garage will make you a car. It's true, and I think at best your A is standing in that garage, hoping you'll think he's a shiny red Alfa Romeo...

As others have said, please continue to take care of you, and put both these guys on the back burner for a good long while until you sort things out for yourself. I think with some time, some distance, and some attention to YOU, things will become a lot clearer and you'll know the right way to go.
If you really had the power to make him be sober, I somehow think you'd have used it before now...

This is something I have thought about a lot. His sobriety is not my responsibility.

I know he's sober right now, but I also know that he's one bad day away from picking up a six pack and falling back into old habits and that's not a cycle I want any part in. He hasn't been in recovery even close to long enough to be trusted. His addiction, his recovery. It's not easy to walk away. It wasn't easy to stay away for over 3 months, but I did it and I'll do it again. Thanks so much everyone!
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by luvbugnat View Post
What he lacks is the excitement my ex gives me, the ability to make me laugh the way my ex does, the ability to give me butterflies. Seriously, this guy is tall, handsome, educated, attentive, economically stable.
After all that I've been through and learned with regard to alcoholism, NPD, and ASPD, if I were given a choice between one woman who is exciting/charming and another woman who is relaxed/stable, I would go for the relaxed/stable one every single time.

I know I'm generalizing here, but more often than not it's the ones who are highly charming and give you that 'swept off your feet' feeling that will give you problems down the road. Being charming isn't just something that people are born with, it's also a learned trait. People who have learned this trait will use it to their benefit to draw people close to them to fulfill their own desires, and two of the warning signs for a sociopath are: 1) can be highly charming, and 2) seek constant stimulation or excitement.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:35 PM
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^^^^^reading the book "sociopath next door" and just got a big HUGE DUH!!
When considering a relationship of any kind, practice the rule of THREE'S
" one lie, broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But THREE lies says you're dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin to conciousless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it might be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:46 PM
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I like that "rule of 3", involved. I wish I'd heard it (and if I'd heard it, had the wisdom to ACT on it...) many years ago!
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by involved View Post
^^^^^reading the book "sociopath next door" and just got a big HUGE DUH!!
When considering a relationship of any kind, practice the rule of THREE'S
" one lie, broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But THREE lies says you're dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin to conciousless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it might be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly.
I have that book sitting on my shelf, it is EXTREMELY insightful. I highly recommend it to anybody who has been in a relationship where they feel they are the only one contributing or being responsible to a relationship.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas45 View Post
I know I'm generalizing here, but more often than not it's the ones who are highly charming and give you that 'swept off your feet' feeling that will give you problems down the road.
I've heard it said that alcoholics are excellent manipulators and it's the cold hard truth. My dad is very charismatic, people always want to be around here and he's always cutting up. My ex has a very similar personality, my dad is an alcoholic. He's been sober 5 years now, but I know the similarities is one of the reasons I was drawn to my ex. Maybe it's part of why I have a hard time giving up hope. Anywho, I had a tough talk with my ex and told him now is his time and I won't be involved.

Despite my best judgement, I did go out with him last night and had the best time with him I've had in over two years (alcohol free). I know it wasn't the right thing to do, but beating myself up over it won't change anything. We didn't have sex, I at least kept that boundary. I'm backing away from both men and going to carry on with fixing myself. Que sera, sera.
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