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Dating someone during sobriety

Old 06-25-2017, 11:43 PM
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Dating someone during sobriety

Hi,

I met a wonderful man 3 months ago. We totally clicked! I fell in love with him pretty quickly. 2 1/2 months in- He confessed to being an alcoholic and he had a slip. I stayed with him for 3 days while weaning himself off his binge. After a week, he was sober. He hates drinking and has been actively involved in A A for many years. Of course it is discouraged to be in a relationship during recovery (which really angers me since I'm 100% supportive and even went to AA with him). Even though we were together before the slip, he feels that we should take it down a notch. Meaning, we still see each other, still have sex and still stay exclusive but without the "bf/gf" title. This way, there is no pressure and he can put sobriety first. I'm confused. I want to see him through this all the way so we can be whole again. Is he using me- or should I see it as a loving gesture that he isn't letting me go? He said he could have let me go to during recovery but didn't want to and we both agreed that we want to be in each other's lives. He is trying to keep his emotions at bay while in recovery mode. Leaving him is not an option for me if we are both willing to work through this. By the way- I went to my first Al Anon meeting tonight and was very discouraged. I need advice and they don't give it and I understand that it's different for everyone, but these are the people that understand this issue the best! Advice is what I need and want. Plus nobody offered a phone number. Somebody- please help with encouraging words. I'm very upset with this sudden change. Thank you!
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:20 AM
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Hi and welcome confusedarewe

I can't really tell you what another alcoholic is thinking. I don't think any of us can.

The no relationships thing is actually no new relationships most of the time I've heard it.

I guess it's down to interpretation whether you guys are new or not.

It's not an official guideline anywhere anyway.

I'm sure many relationships do complicate recovery but many do not.

I'm sure that keeping all the benefits and not the bf/gf nomenclature of the relationship is probably less stressful for someone in recovery...

I see you guys are still exclusive so I'm not really getting what the difference is in real terms beyond what you call each other

if thats ok by you there's no problem...but is that what you want?

My advice is to think about that - what you want.

You're entitled to have expectations

Once you have what you want clear, you can look at the relationship, as it is, and then decide whether it's worth the effort or not?

D
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:56 AM
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Like Dee said, we can't know what another person thinks, but strictly from what you wrote, my BS radar went off. It does indeed sound like he's using you, especially where sex is concerned, so I'm wondering....what if you put sex on hold ? I've never heard of anyone f.....g their way sober. Relationships have to be comfortable for BOTH people in order to be good for both people.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:52 AM
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I'd take it down another notch, no sex, just friends status. Let it re-develop itself as a relationship if it is going to.

Take care of yourself, just as he is.
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:27 AM
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He said he could have let me go to during recovery but didn't want to
Wow, BIG on him! The fact that he said that to you is one HUGE red flag. That's what you call a manipulation. It's meant to make you feel grateful that he didn't just throw you away and that you should feel fortunate that he's still willing to allow you to have sex with him. Like he's doing YOU some kind of favor.

This is your life, not mine, but I would walk away. Maybe down the road when things are healthier it might work.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:20 AM
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Hi, confused. Welcome.
Not sure what to make of your post, but your friend sounds kinda alcoholic-manipulative.
I would guard myself and wait for more to be revealed.
Peace.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:29 AM
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Reading the recent responses, I'd even add that maybe he's not all that wonderful...speaking as a master manipulator, find yourself a nice, non-alcoholic guy. Granted, some in recovery are great, but it sounds like too many strings attached, and when an alcoholic pins responsibility/duty on their partner to keep them sober, they are users, plain and simple and not interested in recovery.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:45 AM
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Hi confused - I can't tell you whats going through his head but I can tell you that I've been in a similar situation - from the bf's perspective. I was 9 months sober when I started a new relationship, and relapsed at 11 months due to some emotional stuff which came up between us which I was not ready to handle. I was very scared of backsliding after all the progress I'd made in recovery so I asked if we could take things down a notch so I could focus more on recovery for awhile (I'd also filled my life with too much other stuff too fast and was overwhelmed by a lot of things in general). Long story short we didn't take things down a notch, I relapsed a couple of more times but got back pretty quickly to 70, 80 days before my next slip. Then after about 6 months of that I relapsed for good 2 years ago, lost my relationship to her and lost my sobriety. I wished I'd had better judgement in general on lots of things (not just the relationship), but I also wish I'd been able to figure out a way to get more focused on recovery and not lose my relationship with her and especially not lose my sobriety. The problem is if we as addicts aren't able to stay sober, its very hard to maintain other things in our lives like healthy relationships, so for many of us its important/imperative to maintain sobriety as kind of the primary goal at all times.

Anyway, I can't say if what happened to us directly applies to what's happening with you, but that was my experience in a similar situation, and my perspective on why I felt like refocusing on recovery for awhile would've been a good idea for the long term health of our relationship, as well as my life in general.

Also I agree with what others have said - the advice is usually no new relationships for awhile in early recovery (like the first year, maybe 2), but its just a general guideline that people have come up with over time.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:17 AM
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Thank you for your thoughts everyone. He said early on that he's just trying to be honest with me and during sobriety, he cannot make it to the next level in a relationship right now which I understood. He said that once he's sober longer, we can reevaluate the status. Even al Anon said he's being manipulative but I know that's not his intent. His intent is to be fully honest. Should I tell him that I think he's manipulating me? I do like the sex but do want a relationship. I love him. Again, so confused.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:20 AM
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Thank you StartingOverNW- your story is very similar to mine which helps me a lot . Best of luck to you friend.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:23 AM
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I dont think there is any rule in AA that people cannot have new relationships in the first year. Its understandable why, over time, this "rule" would develop but its not a part of the Big Book as far as I know.

When people relapse or get sober again, all their energy is focused on getting making it through the initial days and getting their lives in order. Its a big task to undertake and it requires a lot of attention.

Its not your job to help this person through his struggles. The lines can get blurred here. He may need to go about fixing his life without the weight of a relationship. If that is the case, I think leaving it open to sex and other things is a bit confusing. You clearly have a lot of emotions invested in this guy.

You said that leaving him is not an option for you. In any relationship the road should be two ways. He should not be calling all the shots as to what takes place and what doesnt. If he just feels like he needs a break then take a solid break. Are you willing to set up some boundaries for yourself so you do not get overly invested or hurt?
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by confusedarewe View Post
Hi,

I met a wonderful man 3 months ago. We totally clicked! I fell in love with him pretty quickly. 2 1/2 months in
fell in love with him or an illusion you had?
did you tell him you fell in love then he drank again?
he didnt have a slip- slips are falling back into an old thought or behavior without drinking.
he drank.

"Meaning, we still see each other, still have sex and still stay exclusive but without the "bf/gf" title."
in other words, use you for his own benefit.

"or should I see it as a loving gesture that he isn't letting me go? '

its an unloving gesture towards yourself if you dont walk away.
he's unavailable mentally and emotionally.
you dont deserve to be used to in a relationship with a selfish, self centered, lieing egomaniac

keep going back to al anon. get their literature. listen. if you mentioned why you are there, they may have offered their expeirence and what they had to do without straight up telling you what to do.
but REMEMBER
al anon isnt about the alcoholic- its about YOU.

one more thing:
" Leaving him is not an option for me if we are both willing to work through this"
you could be in for a whole lot of gloom,dispair, and agony as HIS idea or "working through this " and yours arent the same
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:34 AM
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so you've known this guy for three months - supposedly he's been "in" AA for years, but didn't have a slip, went on a drinking binge that took three days to recover from. for all you know, he could have had a drink or twelve a week before you met, a month, a year. you only have the tiniest sliver of what this man is like in the 90 or so days you have known him. let's see, 24 hours in a day, 90 days, that amasses 2,160 HOURS of your life that you have known this guy...............

now his "new" plan is to continue all the friends with benefits stuff, but not call it a "relationship" so he can..........focus on his sobriety. that's not how it's done. unless you like to keep a booty call handy and play the sober card.

you may think you feel love towards this person. but you don't even know him. i think that's where i'd start......why did i "fall in love" with a virtual stranger?? how did you get to "we" will fight thru this, "we" will be whole again? you have no idea what you are up against....you are already wondering if he is using you. you have been told by others he is manipulating you. that's an awful lot of drama and chaos for 2000 or so hours of involvement.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by confusedarewe View Post
Thank you for your thoughts everyone. He said early on that he's just trying to be honest with me and during sobriety, he cannot make it to the next level in a relationship right now which I understood. He said that once he's sober longer, we can reevaluate the status. Even al Anon said he's being manipulative but I know that's not his intent. His intent is to be fully honest. Should I tell him that I think he's manipulating me? I do like the sex but do want a relationship. I love him. Again, so confused.

" Even al Anon said he's being manipulative but I know that's not his intent. "
if you know its not the intent, then why do you want to tell him you think he's manipulating you?
imo,because youre in denial!
tell him you think hes manipulating you and he will manipulate you why he isnt manipulating you.
and wouldnt surprise me if that manipulation ended with sex.

tell us what it was on how you 2 "clicked?"
it reads because you both liked sex and could talk.
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:44 PM
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So after reading everyone's responses, it appears that he's not so great, I don't know him so well and he's manipulating me. Wow- that seems to be what everyone sees and I'm blinded (somewhat) otherwise I wouldn't be asking for help. We clicked because we are both anxiety/panic sufferers. We can talk very openly and he is extremely sweet and calm. Yes there's drama now but he's very relaxed and doesn't fight which is very important to me. But, he rarely has time for me too. Maybe we see each other once a week. Yes, the sex is amazing . This just sucks because he is a nice guy. Never met anyone so much like me- and now- he's manipulating me. I thought his sobriety gave him a free pass here but you all say no. How is he manipulating me if he just wants to me "play ball" while he focuses on his sobriety? How do other bf/gf relationships deal with this? Anyone else been in my shoes with an alcoholic - or maybe you're an alcoholic and not married and have or had a significant other during recovery. I'd like to hear your stories.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:18 AM
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IMO, whether he is manipulating you or not has nothing to do with anything. You simply should not be in a relationship with someone who is wanting to focus on his sobriety right now. You already don't spend a whole lot of time with him. So why not just cut ties while it's early enough before you get hurt. You are obviously wanting something he is not prepared to give you right now, possibly ever. So why would you stay in the hopes he will change his mind, down the road. That is no way to live. Saying he wants to "take it down a notch" takes all of the pressure off of him to commit, while you sit around in limbo. I have a weird feeling if you cut it off, he would not be particularly devastated. Be STRONG and take care of YOU, because he is taking care of HIM. (((((Hugs)))))
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by confusedarewe View Post
So after reading everyone's responses, it appears that he's not so great, I don't know him so well and he's manipulating me. Wow- that seems to be what everyone sees and I'm blinded (somewhat) otherwise I wouldn't be asking for help. We clicked because we are both anxiety/panic sufferers. We can talk very openly and he is extremely sweet and calm. Yes there's drama now but he's very relaxed and doesn't fight which is very important to me. But, he rarely has time for me too. Maybe we see each other once a week. Yes, the sex is amazing . This just sucks because he is a nice guy. Never met anyone so much like me- and now- he's manipulating me. I thought his sobriety gave him a free pass here but you all say no. How is he manipulating me if he just wants to me "play ball" while he focuses on his sobriety? .
I think he wants to have his cake and eat it too. I think he's right to focus on sobriety, but with how fragile it is for him, it seems like a very vulnerable place for YOU to put yourself. If you are his friend and he works at his recovery, maybe then you can develop a relationship. If you don't stand up to him, it may be because you are afraid to lose him and that's never a good position to be in with anyone, especially an alcoholic.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:03 AM
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Hello,
There are two sides to this story. You have been given suggestions that has addressed your questions and concerns. Those questions and concerns are coming from your side of the relationship. We dont really know what is going on aside from the little info you have given.

He could be a good man. He could be a lot of things. We dont know. No one really knows but you and this man you are involved with. With little info, and what you have stated, the suggestions that are given are for you to protect yourself and to make yourself a priority as opposed to letting this individual call all the shots in the relationship.

Take it one day at a time and see where that goes.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:16 PM
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Thank you Muzzuno. You are correct. Nobody knows him but me and he is worth the wait. However, I feel that I should still support him but date others too so I'm not just waiting around for him until he's ready. Hopefully, once he's feeling better about his sobriety, we can be together the way I would like. I know i will remain in his life either way. This is so hard but I needed some guidance and this site is wonderful.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by confusedarewe View Post
Hopefully, once he's feeling better about his sobriety, we can be together the way I would like. I know i will remain in his life either way.
I think you should visit the Friends and Family of Alcoholics forum and see just exactly it is you are signing up for when you say you will remain in the life of an alcoholic.

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Just in case sobriety eludes him.
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