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Old 04-11-2017, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Guidance on handling of relapse.


My 44-year old significant other has been an alcoholic since he was 12 years old, the last 10-15 years being the worst. We've known each other for 9 years but only started a relationship 2 1/2 years ago when he didn't want this life anymore. I personally don't drink, never liked it, but I have been in the world addiction for a long time and understand it quite well. I knew that I couldn't make the decision to quit for him, he couldn't make it for me, it was all his. I could only try to get him to a place where he would want to. He finally quit on his own a year ago (his brain was shrinking, he started having neuropathy in feet, losing eye sight, was diagnosed with alcohol liver disease and was not given a positive outlook for the short term future, and everyone around him started to distance themselves), but refused any type of help because "he is different, he knows more, he understands it better than anybody else" bla bla bla. He relapsed a week ago. A beer here, a couple there but his poison of choice is white wine. Started drinking a bit here and there but he hasn't gone out of control yet....next week might be a different story. I can tell he is trying hard to control but I know better.... I think. He was the textbook dry drunk throughout last year. He quit the actual drinking but never the habits associated with his drinking. He drunk N/A beers and wine like he drunk his regular booze. He was still very self-centered/absorbed with the superiority complex and of course the emotional issues (no intimacy, no affection, refusal to discuss any topics relating to feelings, emotions, life....). Now, when sober we found out (no one had ever seen him sober) he was a nice, even tempered, a bit shy, very pleasant reliable, trustworthy guy (if you exclude the alkie behaviors) vs. Mr. Hyde, the angry mean lying manipulative etc...ahole. His brother and I saw the relapse warning signs so didn't come as a surprise. He enjoyed his sober life, I don't think he wants to go back to drunk but my guess is he hasn't fully admitted yet that he will never be able to handle moderation because he is an alcoholic. My question is....how do we handle this? I personally haven't expressed any anger or aggression towards him but have made it clear that I had a taste of some sane life and I will keep going forward, either with him sober or alone but going backwards to the insanity, the hurt, chaos and drama is no longer an option for me. I will no longer accept the unacceptable. I believe the experiences and the knowledge of the people on this site can offer me some valuable insights. After all, we can never assume we know everything and lots of you certainly know way more than I do. Any feedback or guidance will be appreciated.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So sorry for what brings you here. Loving an alcoholic brings with it so much grief.

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Originally Posted by Ocean35000 View Post
I will keep going forward, either with him sober or alone but going backwards to the insanity, the hurt, chaos and drama is no longer an option for me. I will no longer accept the unacceptable
I think your decision to move forward--either with him sober, or on your own--is certainly within your rights and probably the only wise decision you can make.

The thing about ultimatums, they are only as powerful as your ability to follow through with it.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is a common thing for many to think they can moderate their drinking, and might be able to do so for a short time, but it will escalate back into the full blown alcoholic drinking again in no time.
Only he can do the right thing to stay clean and get his act together with a sobriety plan, and it sounds like the two of you have had it with his alcoholism. Moving on to give yourselves some peace in your own lives likely will be the best plan of action if this keeps up.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Ocean and sorry to hear you are going through this with your SO. I think you actually answered your own question in the first sentence when you said

"I knew that I couldn't make the decision to quit for him, he couldn't make it for me, it was all his."

In the case of his recent return to drinking, pretty much the exact same rules apply. You can certainly offer support, and it seems like you've made it clear that you don't accept what he's doing or the possible repercussions of his drinking. But there's really not much you can do to "handle" the relapse, that's 100% up to him.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My question is....how do we handle this?

I personally haven't expressed any anger or aggression towards him but have made it clear that I had a taste of some sane life and I will keep going forward, either with him sober or alone but going backwards to the insanity, the hurt, chaos and drama is no longer an option for me. I will no longer accept the unacceptable.


well either you mean it when you say you can't deal with him drinking or you don't.

he's drinking. even when given a fatal diagnosis he never fully seized recovery like a dying man would. he gutted it out and now with sober time under his belt and with a sober mind, chose to pick up. that is the insanity of addiction. a drink is worth the risk.

the merry go round is starting to spin faster and faster. might be best to get off now?
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't realize this much time had gone by since my original post and I haven't been good at using the resources and the amazing support that this site provides. As expected, situation hasn't gotten better. Detoxed twice, held on for a week and right back....to wine for breakfast. This time around I can see some real personality changes....egomania, delusions, verbal abuse, anger....and he's dumbing down. It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love deteriorate or slowly disappear and feel powerless. I can no longer get thru to him. I haven't changed my mind. I have put my plan B in place. My exit is planned for the fall (financial restrictions until then). There is a lot of love between us but there is no relationship. Will never work. And it's going to be really hard but I know in the end it's the right thing to do.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sorry Ocean, I am glad that you are taking measures to care for yourself.
Do you have any other possible ways to get out before fall? Like stay with family or friends? If not I hope you have safety plans for yourself.
I have faith you will be ok, and I hope you have some good support in place.
Have you visited the Friends & Family forum on SR? On top of posting here, you will get even more support as you walk your path.
I hope you stay safe and well.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sorry it's come to this, but I think you're making a good decision based on your own welfare Ocean.

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Old 07-20-2017, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am so sorry, it is heartbreaking. You are wise to look after yourself, as you say, there is little you can do if he himself is not willing to make that change. Please do stick around here for support, you will need it and you deserve it.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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@Delizadee....I cannot unfortunately. My mom is overseas and coming for 5 weeks (was planned before he relapsed) to be with me and get some time away. She has health issues and I support her financially....reasons why I need to wait. The fact that she will be here is huge support. She knows the situation well and takes the position that it's about her and I being together for now. She ignores his non sense.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've always said, it's a lot tougher on those who love the addict than it is for the addict themselves. Yes, our self-loathing is very real, and very painful, but we have the "luxury" of escape in oblivion, if we choose it; those who love and care about us only have the pain and the frustration, without a chemical buffer. They want desperately to help, and the bitter truth is, they can't. They can only help themselves, and hope we'll someday get better. I wish you peace, very glad you have supportive family...
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the support. i know I am a codependent, I know denial comes easy but I also know one needs to understand when powerless and accept to surrender. He passed out drunk last night on couch, woke up at 6am and was passed out again by 9am....and keeps going. Later in a conversation he says "when I was an alcoholic". I look at him not saying a word....just thinking I love you but I can no longer help you.
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