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I Miss Enjoying my Own Drink

Old 10-03-2016, 09:59 PM
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I Miss Enjoying my Own Drink

Before my Abf fell into a year long (and counting) relapse cycle, I enjoyed my occasional drink, as I met him during a period he had of 6 months of sobriety. At the time I knew nothing of addiction so when he encouraged me to drink as usual when we met and that it didn't bother him though he was sober, I went right ahead. I avoided being drunk in front of him and usually limited it to two drinks. I didn't leave booze out or let a bottle sit right in front of him pouring casually, but I did have it most times when the desire hit. Out to dinner, at a special event, etc.
I should mention I am not an alcoholic but was a regular drinker when we met. Always had beer in the fridge and bottles of wine I enjoyed with my dinner.

Fast forward and in the last year my Abf has been through a hell of a time, severely relapsing almost every couple of months. Each time he comes out of it he encourages me not to stop drinking just because he happened to have a setback. As much as I want to have a cold beer or glass of wine after work, I can't bring myself to flaunt the poison that has hurt us so badly.

He says he has no desire to drink for pleasure as I do, and I should feel free to do it. But well, how do you?? I miss it as a non-A, and know I would never allow it in my home any longer since he is here all the time. That said, I have days during the week where I don't see him and can drink. Should I just be satisfied and drink when we aren't together? We spend most weekends together and a good 5 days of the week or so, so I supposed I just miss a Saturday night cocktail or having some vino when we cook together.

Is this just part of the world we are in and have to accept? How have you drinking partners of A's handled this? Did you sacrifice and stop?
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:35 AM
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I am not the type to care about drinking one way or the other. But to support my exes recovery I assured her there would be no problem with me not drinking.

In my mind, I thought if there wasn't alcohol around, she wouldn't be tempted.

But like you, an ice cold beer is really nice on occasion.

While she assured me that I should drink whenever I wanted, in the end, whether we drink or not, won't really make a difference to them. They will drink, or they wont, it has nothing to do with us.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Hangnbyathread View Post
IWhile she assured me that I should drink whenever I wanted, in the end, whether we drink or not, won't really make a difference to them. They will drink, or they wont, it has nothing to do with us.
This is so true. I am basically a non-drinker (a few sips of wine gives me headaches) and never had any at home. He drank anyway, when he wanted. So while I understand it may not be a good idea to have an open bar at home when you live with an A, at the end of the day, they either will or won't.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:32 AM
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When I first stopped drinking, my husband, in solidarity, stopped as well. Like you, he was a "normal" drinker. Could put it down with no trouble. Unlike me. I shall be forever grateful for this show of support. I think I would be okay with it if he decided to have a drink once in a while, but I'm kinda glad he doesn't. Who needs the temptation?
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:24 AM
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Thanks, I was just curious. I am trying to be supportive and let's face it, it's simply awkward to sit there with a cocktail knowing the person opposite of you can't do that. My Abf wants so badly to be normal (a big reason he cannot recover) and by all accounts while he could enjoy a beer with me or two and be fine. It wouldn't stop there. Sure, that evening it would, but then in the days and weeks ahead the floodgates would open.

And like I said, I have days and evenings where we aren't together so can still enjoy it. I've just always wondered how regular drinkers handle their own sobriety for the sake of the A partner. It's just another sacrifice I am willing to make. I make a lot of sacrifices for him so perhaps the reason this feels a bigger issue than maybe it should is because I like so many others, have given so much to the A you start to wonder where it stops.
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hangnbyathread View Post
While she assured me that I should drink whenever I wanted, in the end, whether we drink or not, won't really make a difference to them. They will drink, or they wont, it has nothing to do with us.
RAH has expressed the exact same thought & even reminded me that he was never the drink-at-home kinda guy anyway... and that they sell Bud Light everywhere if he was tempted.

But *I* find it uncomfortable to drink around him a lot of the time. It feels like a wall between us somehow, for no good reason. If we're out to dinner or on vacation & I really just want a drink, I have one... but in those situations there's no spotlight on my drink & it's a very small part of the whole "thing" we're doing. (& honestly I've loved not spending the majority of events walking between the beer tents & bathroom lines, lol) I don't ever drink when we're just hanging at home as a family & I've never been one to drink by myself to begin with.

I still go out with friends at least once per month so if I really feel the need to cut loose & have a couple, it's no biggie. But yes, to answer your question - IMO, this IS part of what we need to accept & set reasonable expectations around when we decide to stay with a partner in recovery.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:51 PM
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I haven't responded because it's been a crazy day. I do have some thoughts about this. First, I think drinking WITH an alcoholic--one who is active in his/her addiction--is a form of enabling. It subtly encourages and gives the alcoholic a stamp of approval, in a way.

But as far as drinking on your own--with friends or at meals, etc.--I think you have every right to do that.

If the alcoholic is trying to stay sober, things are a little different. It's tough to stay away from booze/temptation in the very beginning, especially. And it can be very troublesome, too, to have someone come home from a night out with the boys/girls and kiss you if they smell/taste like alcohol. So personally, I would recommend that people with partners in early recovery avoid drinking if you will be around your partner afterward. And even if the newly-sober partner assures you it won't bother him/her, that might just be a brave front. I wouldn't do it. Nor would I keep any alcohol in the house, even for guests, until the newly-sober partner is (a) on solid ground--preferably sober for a year and (b) honestly assures you that it won't bother him/her.

I've been sober eight years, and I wouldn't be comfortable having alcohol IN my home, even today. It doesn't bother me to be around other people who are drinking (now--it would have in the beginning), and since I haven't been dating since I got sober I can only guess that I'd prefer not to be kissing someone who smells/tastes like alcohol. But I like the fact that if I ever had an attack of complete insanity and wanted to drink, I would have to get my keys, get into my car, and drive to the liquor store. During which time I would hopefully come to my senses before I did something really stupid.

Everyone is different, though, once they get past that first year or so. It's best to have an honest conversation about how you both feel about it and to let basic consideration for one's partner be your guide.

I have to just throw out there, though--if you "miss" having your drinks, are you sure you aren't maybe treading on dangerous ground? Before my alcoholism started to take off about 20 years ago, I didn't miss drinking when we kept it out of the house for the sake of my first husband's sobriety (incidentally, he often tells me, now that he's been sober for over 36 years, how helpful it was to him that I didn't keep booze in the house or drink around him in the beginning).

I'm not saying you're an alcoholic or necessarily headed for trouble, just throwing out something for you maybe to think about.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:32 PM
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Hi Smarie78. I hope your Abf truly recognizes and is grateful for your continued love and support. I know it is very tough to stick with an alcoholic or addict. But I also know they can be wonderful, incredibly lovable people who are truly ill. Overcoming addiction most certainly CAN be done as countless people have proven

I am an alcoholic and have been battling my addiction for 10 years. I am also very, very newly sober and I've had this scenario pop up countless times with my ex(es) and I thought I might offer my own experience and views

Being newly sober and having reached a serious (yet positive!) cornerstone in my Recovery I myself could not be with anyone who would casually drink in front of me regularly. It just simply isn't worth the risk. I can't have it in the house and I refuse to be around someone who is drinking (right now while I know I am fragile). In the past I have tried so hard to be normal and brave and supportive and I really honestly wanted my partner to be able to have a few without issue. But the truth is it made it harder for me every single time my xbf drank around me. And being newly sober I just simply can't afford that ... addiction is life or death.

That said, I totally understand your right to drink and have that freedom and option in your life. Which is exactly why for so long I would lie and just say I was ok with it when I really wasn't. Maybe your bf really honestly is ok with it ... I obviously don't know him but I would guess it bothers him to at least some extent. I know folks have various opinions on the allergy theory but I am going to use it here anyway. I think that no matter what your opinion on this topic everyone can agree that alcohol is a huge issue and danger to your Abf, just like it is to every alcoholic. The argument was often used to me that my partner wanted to have alcohol around because that was his right and freedom (which it is) and he wanted to be able to offer a nice, expensive Scotch to his father when he came over. Now, what if it was a deadly shellfish allergy we were talking about here? I don't think many partners would even consider insisting that it is acceptable to have shellfish around to endanger their spouse. I think this is especially important for folks in early recovery though I think many won't admit it. When they have some solid sober time under their belt and have proven to have a successful recovery plan over time and were a lot stronger I would perhaps revisit this issue. But for now , for me, I just can't go there. I am really sorry if that causes issues for others and I am sorry it caused issues for my ex. If I could push a button so booze was no longer an issue for me (and my friends and family around me) I certainly would ... but I can't. It is what it is.

If you feel you must have a couple I would suggest doing it when he isn't around and when you won't be seeing him after. It sounds like you are a wonderful gf to your bf and have probably sacrificed a LOT in the name of Recovery for him. I certainly don't think you must absolutely quit alcohol for him, though many do and it helps. I just wouldn't do it anywhere near him. Honestly supporting him in this way is probably one of the most loving and supportive things you could do for him.

Just my experience and opinion. I wish the best for both of you.

~Blessings~
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:43 PM
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So I guess in a long winded rambling form I am agreeing with LexieCat
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:49 PM
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So DS has an allergy to nuts. AH went to a bar that serves nuts at the table. I asked the waitress to take away the nuts. AH went to the empty table and took the nuts for our table. My DS was so worried throughout dinner. I didn't want to make a scene infront of my brother. So yes, unfortunately, some people would keep shellfish in the house.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:28 AM
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When my soon to be EXAW went to treatment the first time I quit drinking around her. A cold beer tastes good on occasion but I always figured that if I couldn't give up drinking around her to show support I had a problem too. In the end it didn't matter because she went back to drinking. I would sometimes have a drink but never around her and she never knew about it.

You don't have to give up drinking around an A that you care about but its the right thing to do if you truly care about them.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:45 AM
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I think this is is something you could talk to your ABF about and find out what his thoughts are. Just be transparent and honest. His problem is his problem and his to own. But, if you want to be supportive and express that to him, find out from him what that would look like.

Everyone's recovery is different. Some can handle watching others drink and wouldn't want the other person to put themselves in a position of loss or sacrifice. While others may actually expect that level of support.

I found that when my XAH was trying his hand at recovery and going to AA, I would only drink when I was out with friends or if my XAH was traveling for work I might buy myself a bottle of wine and have a glass with dinner. But, it really seemed counterintuitive to me. I am not an alcoholic but I saw the damage my XAH's behavior had on our family so I really didn't drink much at all and I didn't feel that it was such a big loss.

Today, though, is a different story. I'm in a relationship with someone who has a healthy relationship with alcohol like myself and we often drink together. Usually just one after dinner or sometimes we split a bottle of wine if it's the weekend and we are home relaxing together. I couldn't tell you the last time I had more than that, though. I don't think either one of us have seen the other actually 'drunk' or unstable or slurring words or whatever. And, neither one of us will have more than 1 drink if we're out and going to be behind the wheel if we drink at all.

Anyway, it's all perspective. Hang in there and just keep the lines of communication open!
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