I am so happy to have found this forum and am hoping that with your experience, you can give me some advice on the situation I am currently in.
I was dating my boyfriend for 7 years, with the last 2 years plagued with issues from his alcohol dependency. He was drinking in private and sneaking around. When his family and I found out, he went to outpatient rehab, then seemed to do better, then eventually relapsed, then seemed to do better, then relapse again...the pattern continued.
Though there were obviously things I could have done differently, I stood by him and really tried to help him work past his issues (he started drinking after his parents got divorced and he hated his job). About a year ago I was offered a job out of state. After a lot of discussion between the 2 of us, we decided it was a good idea if I took the job, and he would follow. Things didn't really work out the way we planned and we continued a long distance relationship. One night he called me drunk, thinking he was in another state, and ended up going to the hospital. Afterwards he said he needed a break. Just a few weeks ago I saw him and he told me that couldn't be with me and needed to be alone to work on his issues.
I am having a severely hard time with this break up. I regret moving and am continuously analyzing every single thing I did. I love him so much, want to help him work through his problem, and spend the rest of our lives together. However, he is firm on his stance and doesn't even want to talk. From what I hear he seems content, but I'm worried about him getting the help he needs (his parents sometimes brush it under the rug) and getting healthy.
Has anyone has experience with a situation like this? Is it best for him to try and work through everything on his own? How can I move past this relationship if I am truly making things worse?
I'm so lost so any insight would be so helpful.
Thank you so much!!
Hi, CL. I am sorry that you're dealing with this. This forum is very helpful and there are many people who have experienced what you are feeling. You came to the right place! Also, the stickies and past posts are very helpful to read.
All I can offer right now is that you shouldn't feel regret. It sounds like things were heading south regardless because of the sneaking of alcohol. Your move and new job didn't cause that behavior and you staying would not have ended it. People make their own choices.
Your new job and location could be the fresh start you need. Take care of yourself and don't worry about him.
Are you happy with your new job and location?
Hello CL - i was thinking to myself tonight, while worrying about my daughter and trying to come up with solutions for the mess she's made,
"What would happen if I put this energy into my life, my career?"
I think the same applies to your situation. It's his mess to fix.
Every pot sits on it's own bottom. (This is helping me stay on my side of the street!)
Breaking up with someone you love is horribly painful and I know all about the thoughts that constantly run through your head, wondering what you could have said or done differently. If your obsessive thoughts continue for more than a few months, and are interfering with your normal life, consider talking to a counsellor to get it all out there.
Your EXBF may or may not recover, but often when an A is really serious about recovery there's no room for relationships. Breaking off with you, painful as it is, may be encouraging for his future.
You will feel better eventually but for now hunker down, be kind to yourself and don't be afraid to talk to friends and family.
Hi, CL, and welcome to SR. I hope you can spend some time here reading and learning. Don't miss the stickies at the top of the page--there is a lot to learn about alcoholism and how it affects our lives even when we are not the one who drinks. I think as you read thru the stories on this forum you'll see that there is a lot in common, from one to the next, and this might help you to not take your XABF's actions so personally--he is doing what A's do, and that is to protect their drinking above all else. "Work thru his issues", my eye--he wants to "work on his drinking" in peace, is more like it!
The first thing I want to say to you is that IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO GET HIM SOBER. He is an adult, presumably competent and intelligent, and he gets to make his own decisions, however stupid or ill-considered someone else may find them. He is obviously aware of various paths to recovery but has repeatedly relapsed, snuck around, lied--all the things an active A does.
There is a saying here, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." He has told you pretty clearly what his priorities are, it seems. Again, and I can't state this strongly enough, it is NOT up to you to "support" his recovery. When (and IF, and it is a big IF) he decides he is ready to get sober, he will do it himself. No one can do it for him.
Threads you may find useful include:
You might find some help for yourself at Alanon (don't confuse it w/AA--AA is for the alcoholic, while Alanon is for anyone who's been affected by someone else's drinking), and you also might benefit from reading a book called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. There are daily postings from a book of hers called "The Language of Letting Go" here on the forum, too: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-part-1-a.html
Again, glad you found us here at SR. Read around the forums as much as you can and post as much as you like. In time, I think you'll come to feel that you've dodged a bullet, but now, while you're feeling sad, know that everyone here "gets it."
Thank You! One last question
Hi all, thank you so much for your responses! I am happy with my location- I am much closer to my family. I am sometimes happy with this job but I feel like you have ups and downs anywhere.
I will absolutely keep everything you all said in mind when I'm feeling down- it's nice to know that other people understand.
I have one last question for you all. I would appreciate you opinion and insight:
I was talking to my friend yesterday (she is engaged to my ex-BF's friend) just to see how she was doing. Anyway, we got on the subject of him and she said she hadn't seen him but probably would as they were all going to a superbowl party. She texted me while she was at the party and said that he wasn't drinking and was just being super mellow.
I was so happy to hear that but then I started worrying- was I doing something wrong while we were together that he continued to drink? Is he truly better off without me? It just really really hurts and is so CONFUSING that he kept drinking while I was out there, trying to love and support him, and even after I moved away it continues. Now that he broke up with me he seems to have better control.
I also texted his parents just to see how they were (we are close as my exBF and I dated for 7 years) and i did ask how he was doing. They were both a little rude and now I'm wondering if they blame me?
I'm just really confused and upset and was hoping for a little insight.
Thank you so much!
I'm sorry you're hurting...but it's time to let him go. Nothing you did or didn't do, were or weren't, are or aren't could fix his alcohol addiction. If he's on his way out of the grip of it, great...wish him well from a distance and move on.
I think that sometimes we as women are biologically programmed to nurture and stay the course. After all, what happens to the species if we abandon our children when they're demanding or difficult? That nurturing instinct doesn't always serve us well if we get focused on "fixing" other adults who need to be responsible for themselves.
But I do think it makes it harder to walk away.
Wish him well and and move on. It's not your responsibility.
Hi, CL--glad to see you came back to post again. Two suggestions:
1) First and foremost, cut ALL contact with or about XABF. Ask your friends to please NOT update you on his doings. Don't check his Facebook page. I would also expand that advice to include his parents--are you really texting them to see how they're doing or is it a sideways method of checking up on XABF? The saying around here is "No new contact = no new hurt." There is no purpose served by you keeping track of what he's up to and how he seems to be doing (and it is ONLY seeming; you will never get the full picture).
2) Again, read as much as you can here. The questions you have about how he seems to have magically recovered and become the wonderful guy you always knew he could be are very, very common. You'll see many other posts on this topic and find a lot of helpful info.
Like Aries said, his alcoholism is completely independent of you. It existed before you came on the scene and it will go on after you've gotten out. It sounds as if you've been spending a lot of time and energy on him and his problems. Imagine what you can accomplish if you use that time and energy for your own progress!
I agree. It's time to let go and cut all contact, including his parents and hearing about him through friends. Whether he drinks or not has nothing to do with you.
When dealing with alcoholism, love doesn't change anything and you've seen there's nothing you can do or say that will affect his drinking. I recommend Alanon, which saved my sanity when a relationship with an alcoholic caused me a great deal of pain. It was the loving support of others who had been in the same situation. A big hug.
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