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Strength28 12-28-2020 04:25 PM

120 Days
So I really need to get out my thoughts and worries tonight...sorry if this ends up being a long post!

My Alcoholic Fiancé just celebrated 120 days sober and is really doing great with his program. After a few inpatient rehab stays, he has been at a Sober Living Facility for the past four months. He's very active with the guys in the house and attends at least one AA meeting a day. I am SO proud of his dedication and progress. Somewhere along the way, he mentioned that he committed to himself to stay there through Christmas, and then reevaluate what to do next at that time. Since about Thanksgiving time, he has talked about being ready to come home shortly after Christmas - which was great news to me and I am comfortable with this plan. Looking forward to it actually! So here we are. No plan yet, but I am anticipating the conversation.

Throughout this journey, we have still maintained a strong, healthy, supportive relationship, even with the challenges and struggles. His sober house is literally right up the road from our apartment, so we see each other pretty regularly. However, I have been personally struggling lately with feeling a distance and lack of connection between us. He's still very loving, caring, and I am never worried about how much he loves me and wants us to be together, but the only way I can explain my concern is a "disconnect." I assume this is normal as he goes through his process and change in lifestyle??

The best example I can give is time spent together I guess. When he started the program through the sober house, he had group therapy daily, all day (PHP). After some time, they moved him to IOP, which was still daily, but just in the mornings. Then, he was moved to 3 days a week, and recently 2 days a week. So weaning him down as he's made great progress. He also worked the steps with a sponsor, and he sees his primary therapist almost weekly one to one. He does some bio-feedback neuro thing several times a week too. Once he did not have group therapy each day, he stared volunteering at the local food bank a few times a week to practice service and stay constructively busy. All great things, right???

I'm a teacher and have been working 100% remotely this whole time, we don't have children, and my schedule is very free obviously due to the pandemic! I guess it was surprising to me that even when he didn't have daily group therapy anymore, and he doesn't have a new job yet, we didn't start spending more time together. But I haven't pushed him because I know this is HIS battle. It's hard going from having a life together for 3 years, then having it fall apart due to his addiction, and now as it's coming back together, I feel increasingly alone and waiting. We've had discussions about this, but I try to leave it up to him as not to put any added pressure on him.

I'm also concerned that he hasn't been more aggressive with job searching now that he has more free time. Again, haven't pushed him. The loss of his previous career and finding a new job was a HUGE source of anxiety and depression for him prior to starting his recovery, so it makes sense to me, but it's still surprising and concerning. It's like that is the last piece of the puzzle for him to really get back to the real world. Deep down, I'm worried that he's avoiding it (and possibly time spent with me at the apartment) since that means fully being on his own again?

I'm sure I need to be more patient. Right? What's realistic at this point?
We have a couples therapy session on Friday with his therapist so I wanted to get all of this out on here first so I am in a better mindset.

As always, thanks for any insight friends :)

dandylion 12-28-2020 05:04 PM

Strength.......If you have any co-dependency tendencies, yourself....then I would imagine that it does feel weird or uncomfortable, to you when you are separated or he shows signs of being more independent of the relationship. Or, feeling uncomfortable that he may not "need" you as much, any more. for the co-dependent, the other person can become the nidus--the central focus of their daily living, and occupy the majority of efforts, thought, etc. If there is any change in this---it can feel like a void.
On the job search part----I think that this would be a valid concern and majpr issue in any relationship----addiction, or not.I can imagine how this could easily become a source of very realistic, and practical conflict.
I can see where this would be a major life adjustment for him, and, probably very worrisome and anxiety producing for him.
If I were in your shoes----and, I am aware that I am not----I would be very reluctant to resume living together in the same house until he has his work life worked out and stabilized. I would not pressure him---but, I would not go back into a situation that could easily spiral into major conflict for the BOTH of you. that would be fodder for relapse, since he is so early into recovery. Missing him is one thing---but you do get to see him very often. but, is missing him enough reason to go back into a fragile living situation when the stakes are so high---high----high?
You will do whatever you decide to do, of course---lol. I an just saying what I would do, given my experience with this kind of situation.

trailmix 12-29-2020 11:16 AM

I went and had a look back at some of your other threads.

Whatever he was doing/thinking before was not working for him at all, in terms of staying sober. He has tripped through detox and rehab all year. If he is reluctant to get back in to the same lifestyle that he had, I think that's completely understandable and actually a good thing. He has only been sober for 120 days, that's a tiny drop in the bucket.

It's possible he is not in a correct mindset to go back to work, perhaps he has real reservations about that. Perhaps that is something that can be discussed at therapy with you. There has to be a reason.

If that is the case, well it is and until he is ready to work it is probably very risky to have him move back in. He will be there all day, idle time, with you working and no where to go, due to covid. Perhaps he realizes this also.

Also, if you have a boundary that he needs to be working again before coming home, you should let him know at some point (don't want him to be blindsided).

There are no promises that this will "stick" this time, just a hope that he will do his utmost to make sure he is in a good place before he makes any changes, hopefully that's what he is doing.

I know it's hard with all the restrictions now to keep busy yourself, but I would really recommend focusing more on yourself. I know you have a lot riding on how his recovery turns out, so it's hard to switch off from it but it will do you no good. So more focus on your needs and happiness. What do you like to do? Do more of that. Make plans for yourself, connect with friends however you can.

And post here of course! : )

Strength28 12-30-2020 12:41 PM

Thank you both for your helpful words. I needed to hear them.
We haven’t had a conversation yet about his plan to come back home, but I am sure it is coming soon. Reading your post above really help me get into the correct mindset!
Ironically, he “graduated” from his group therapy yesterday. So now, he has no obligations other than attending meetings and doing his volunteer work!
I am happy to hear that he will be continuing his one on one therapy with his primary counselor. I am ready to bring up that if there is a reason he’s not ready to find a job again, hopefully he is willing to address it and figure it out.

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