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Old 07-09-2019, 07:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Boyfriend Distant Now That Heís Sober


Hi everyone! My name is Autumn and my boyfriend is just recently sober. For some background: heís been an alcoholic for about 2ish years but drank nearly everyday or every other day for 7 years from my understanding. Weíve only been together a little under a year. So Iíve only know the drunk version of himself.

The man I knew during this time was extremely affectionate. He was loud and funny and was always ďup my buttĒ. Though i Ioved that part cause I felt we were just as equally in love. We had plans to get married eventually and even picked out kids names. The last two to three weeks before he got sober were hell. Thatís when the drinking got extremely bad (2 bottles a day) and he eventually broke his foot which ironically saved his life. He stayed in the hospital for 8 days and got sober and now really wants his life to stay sober. Iím so proud.

My problem is, itís almost uncomfortable the different. Heís soft in tone, barely talks. We donít talk about the future anymore. Heís distant. Not as touchy at all. I initiate almost all the I love yous and almost every time Iím the one calling him. I know I should understand that this is someone going through recovery and give it time but I almost feel unloved and betrayed? Like I have this anger of Iím the only one who was by his side through it all and went through hell and I guess I had a misconception that once he was sober that I got to keep the loving part and the angry drunk part would be gone.

Is this normal? Do recovering alcoholics usually act like this?

And please donít judge for the anger and feelings I have. Iím already battling myself on that.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's quite a psychological shift from always drunk to always sober and his life may very well depend on him staying sober.

The fun loving guy may still be in there somewhere but it will be awkward for him to try to feel "normal" when he is going through this phase.

I'm glad you are here and hope you can take good care of yourself and lots of time before you plan any kind of a future with a man who needs to focus on one day at a time.

Good luck, prayers out that he can stay sober.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Autumn, this is a very common reaction to sobriety judging from the thread on the F&F forums, in fact it's a good sign for his recovery.
His mind has been used to alcohol to filter out normal life. It's going to take a while for him to cope without it. As an A with a long term recovery, I'd say it took around a year for me.
I suggest you step back, give him plenty of space, and work on other aspects of your life like hobbies or family. Hopefully he'll return mentally when he's ready.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It is quite normal to feel shock, anger and grief (and maybe other things) in a situation like this. Your world has turned upside down.

It is also common for people to think that when their loved one stops drinking , everything will be great.

The challenge as mentioned above is that when someone who is addicted to alcohol stops drinking, the work is just beginning.

Staying sober is very tricky and rehab is one way people learn the skills to avoid falling back into the pattern. It is a lot of work and takes time and energy. Drugs and alcohol are one way people sometimes cope with emotional issues and the stress of life, and a lot of the rehab work is looking at that and building new skills. That alone will change your relationship.

There is also the physical recovery and skills to avoid triggers. So in a way, expecting your boyfriend to be available to you now is like expecting that of someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Their attention is necessarily shifted.

FeelingGreat gives good advice - learn what you can about recovery so you know what is going on. He will need to focus on his recovery and simply may not have the bandwidth to provide you the love and affection you want right now.

To focus on creating a satisfying life for yourself and allow events to unfold you will be strengthening yourself and giving him space to do the same.

If you can do that and if your relationship survives this, you'll both be in a stronger place to have a satisfying relationship.

Prayers for your growth and happiness.
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