Saturday Errands

Old 01-28-2017, 01:40 PM
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Saturday Errands

While I had posted this in the Newcomers section, I was redirected here. By way of brief background, I was married to someone who had issues with binge drinking, resulting in a DWI, an affair, and an eventual divorce. I have primary custody of our two small children. Fourteen months ago, a mutual friend introduced me to a man that I quickly fell in love with.

On Thursday night, while having the "where is this going?" conversation, he told me that he's been hesitant to move things forward because he is an alcoholic. I had my suspicions, but it was kind of like one of those "a-ha" moments when everything suddenly falls into place. Right now, I am struggling with what to do. I love him. Very much. And I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Obviously, this recent development is a deal breaker. He's not a mean drunk - he's not aggressive or abusive - and (other than the alcoholism, obviously) has all of the traits that I'd look for in a life partner.

I know that he doesn't want this, but I don't know if he's ready to really accept treatment and go through the life altering process of getting sober. I don't know if I'll love him after that either - or if he'll still love me. And, what I struggle with more than anything - how can I leave him? How can I leave him now as he wrestles with this? How could I leave him in the future if he gets sober and I realize that we're unhappy?

So, he dropped this bomb on Thursday night and left yesterday to go ice fishing with his buddies for the weekend. And we all know what that means. He called and texted me last night, and I could tell he was really trying to show me that he was acting responsibly. Whatever that means. Then, this morning, I ran my errands, which included a trip to the liquor store. I didn't even realize what I was doing until I reached down to grab a bottle of whiskey for him when it hit me - what the hell was I doing? I must have stood there for five minutes, just staring at the bottle in my hand and wrestling with myself. Is this my battle to fight? Do I even want to fight this battle? What kind of message am I sending? Isn't this just pushing it under the rug and pretending he's not an alcoholic? Isn't this his choice? What the hell am I going to do? Ultimately, I put the bottle down and walked out of the store, deciding that it was his choice to drink the poison, but it didn't mean I had to hand him the bottle.

I guess it didn't really hit me until I logged on today - things are only going to get worse for him if he doesn't stop drinking. If I choose to stay with him, that means things are going to go that route for me too. But here's my greatest fear - let's say he tells me he's unwilling to go to treatment and I leave him. I know you'll all tell me that can't be the reason I stay, but this man is a good person. Genuinely. And if I leave, there will be no one else to hold him accountable or keep him from drinking himself to death. Basically, I feel like I'm in a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" situation.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:04 PM
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Nightingale77.....correction....
Damned if you do--but NOT damned if you don't)....

Please, please, study the "stickies"...the articles that are j ust above the threads of this forum. It is abootcamp of learning about alcoholism and co-dependency....
There is a lot to learn!!

Thankfully...you recognized that you have been enabling him.
You can't save him. You don't have the power..no matter how hard you try....
You have been with him for 14months and it hasn't stopped him....
(not drinking is not the same as recovery, by the way).

If he wants recovery, he will go to AA and work a strong and diligent program...on his own volition.....
If he doesn't...he isn't ready.....
(he may make some weak verbal promises...but watch his ACTIONS....not his words....Words can be very cheap, sometimes.....

good for you on not buying that bottle!
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightingale77 View Post
And if I leave, there will be no one else to hold him accountable or keep him from drinking himself to death.
My friend, even if you STAY, there will be no one to hold him accountable or keep him from drinking himself to death. You can't do that for him, and I believe deep down you probably know that.

Something, however, draws you to him. And it drew you to your ex. After a lifetime of codependency and a series of bad relationships I had to eventually ask myself why I kept choosing people who were, for whatever reason--addiction being one of them--emotionally unavailable. What was I trying to fix? What was I trying to prove?

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and know exactly what you can expect from a relationship with an addict. You won't be able to save him from himself, but you can save you, before it's too late.

In the meantime, growing up in a home with addiction is simply terrible for children. I speak from experience. You will think that they are fine and that they have no idea idea what's going on, but they aren't, and they do; they will find their way into the dance of alcoholism and codependency based on what they see you do and the choices you make. And those things will have long-lasting affects, following them from relationship to relationship, long after they've left your nest. You have a choice to stay and deal with his addiction however you wish. They do not.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:30 PM
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he was drinking before you came along and was apparantly alive and well when you met. why do you think now that YOU can somehow alter the course of his chosen path? '

you JUST went down this road. and you now must make a choice, knowing what you know.

it doesn't sound like he is "wrestling" with this at all! he told you straight up he's an alcoholic. and then goes off with the boys for the weekend. and there you were in the liquor store............

live in WHAT IS......not in WHAT IF
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:34 PM
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You've received good feedback above. It kind of sounds to me as if he sort of doesn't want a serious commitment at this point. I say that because, in addition to admitting his problem, he (a) used it to explain why he didn't want things to "move forward" and (b) expressed no interest in recovery. So it kind of sounds to me as if he's telling you, straight up, "what you see is what you get." Not gonna change, and, BTW, for your own good I'm not comfortable with making a commitment.

I think he's perfectly happy to have things remain as they are, but as pointed out above, this is not a good situation for you OR your kids. And it's likely to get a whole lot worse, regardless of whether you stay or go.

Doesn't sound like a promising future if you stay with him. I'd be thinking about moving on.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:38 PM
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Oh, and one other thing. I don't observe any "wrestling" going on--except on your part.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:29 PM
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Nightingale -

Now you are in exactly the right forum!

There is an extraordinary wealth of experience here, solid & dedicated community, and very direct & powerful feedback! Glad to have you here...
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightingale77 View Post
And if I leave, there will be no one else to hold him accountable or keep him from drinking himself to death. Basically, I feel like I'm in a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" situation.
Unless you've taken on divine powers you won't keep him from drinking himself to death if you stay. You're giving yourself a lot of power in your mind as his 'saviour'. You will do this by 'holding him accountable'.

It's absolutely true that As only recover by holding themselves accountable. I wrestled with drinking for years, and as a single person there was no-body telling me I had to quit or holding me accountable. Finally my internal feelings about myself gave me the motivation to stop.

He does sound like a good guy because he's telling you his alcoholism is stopping him from taking your relationship to the next level. You better believe he's not seeking treatment or intending to stop. As heartbreaking as it is, step away.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:28 AM
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Nightingale... A year from now you can be saying whew...dodged a bullet. Or you can still be here asking for support. The choice is yours. You can only control you. Listen to what he told you. You sound like you want to be the catalyst that will help him change. But he told you he is happy the way he is. Listen to him.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:50 AM
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On Thursday night, while having the "where is this going?" conversation, he told me that he's been hesitant to move things forward because he is an alcoholic
I agree, he told you exactly who and how he is. Then he went off with his buddies, this is his life and alcohol plays a big part in it.

Unless the conversation entailed him telling you he was going to stop drinking, attend AA or work some other kind of a program, then he has no intention of giving it up. And for you to stay knowing what he’s told you and seeing he’s not wanting to quit, you are moving forward with your eyes wide open and shouldn’t be surprised when it gets worse or expect it to be any different then exactly how it is today.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:33 PM
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My brother is alcohol-dependent, Nightingale. Has been all of his adult life. He has lost jobs, lost money, lost a wife, lost everything really, because of the drink. It is a progressive condition. It only gets worse unless the drinker embraces sobriety and recovery.
I have posted this before, and no doubt will again. Life with an addict is a hard, hard road. Once you are in, it is very difficult to get out. They are the most manipulative group of people on the planet.
I would run like a scalded dog away from this man. Though he seems kind and caring now, that will change. Bet on it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:27 AM
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Having been down this road once, take that as your lesson to not walk it again.

Alcoholics are masters of hiding who they really are. You don't know who this person really is to live with, you only know what he is showing you. You can peruse these forms for days and see what living with active alcoholism is like. Of course, you know what it is like because you have already done it once with a binge drinker (who might have also been an alcoholic).

I'm a firm believer that our purpose here on Earth is a series of lessons to improve ourselves and overcome the challenges we each have to go on to a successful, and happy life. Think long and hard about what you are considering here - willingly deciding to go forward into a relationship with an active alcoholic is akin to jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. Recovery is very difficult, if he chose to go that route. For many it is harder than living with the drunk.

Lastly, you have two children that deserve to have a good life sans someone else's addiction. It is not your job to hold this man "accountable", and you cannot anyway. There is no accountability here from you to him, do you really think you can stop him from drinking? Do you think because he called you on his ice fishing trip that because he sounded sober that means ANYTHING at all? He will drink if he wants to whether you are around, or not.

I'd skip this adventure if I were you.
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