Living with a recovering alcoholic

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I have lived with my partner for the past 4 years and when I met him he liked a drink, but at the time, it seemed just sociably.  As the relationship progressed, so did his drinking, if we were out socially he would end up so drunk and quite embarrasing on a number of occasions.  The drinking stepped up a notch when we bought our own place and for the past 3 years it has become a problem within the home more times than I care to mention, going from barely being able to speak, not wanting to do anything unless there was alcohol involved in the activity, making promises and reneging on them, wetting the bed, starting arguments when there was nothing to argue about, the culmination of this behaviour has been that 2 weeks ago he moved into the spare bedroom where he drank a bottle of vodka every night on his own, only to pop downstairs to start an arguement with my sons or me.  I told him I wanted out, house to go on the market and go our seperate ways.  With that he made an appointment to see his doctor, who in turn said if he continues drinking what he drinks, he will be lucky to live beyond another 4 years... he is only 40 years old.  He has confessed to me since the visit to the doctors that he's always drunk more than he should and has struggled with alcohol for the past 20 odd years.  He has moved to his parents to start his detox and has to go back to the doctors in two weeks to let him know progress there has been, also he's been to a meeting with  Inclusion, previously Homer, it was just an initial chat, they have given him some material to look through. He will go through an assessment following on from the next doctors appointment, and will then be assigned a key worker who he can chat to and will support him.  I suppose what I want to know is how I'm supposed to behave towards him, whilst I still have feelings for him, I'm not sure I want to sign up to be with him forever as I just can't believe he will never touch a drop again.  He's emailing me saying he still loves me and wants to get married when he's sober, but whats the reallity of that?  Do I tell him the truth that I can't stay with him or do I give him time to start the road to recovery without any stress from me?

  

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  • Posted

    At the end of the day, you have to look after number one (you & your children).

    First off, I'm alittle unsure of your last few lines. Do you want to give him another chance, or have you made your mind up, but just don't want to tell him right now, so as to add to his stress and push him further into the drink?

    I need to understand (and others giving advice) which route you plan to take, as the advice differs for each route.

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    • Posted

      I suppose I'm a little undecided.  He stopped drinking for 9 weeks earlier this year, attending AA meetings every week and was a different man I would have been happy to stay with him and move forward, but with all the things he blames his drinking on, his stressful job, the fact that he feels responsible for a family, which he's never had before... I can't see how either of those factors will change (unless he changes job and he's not with us)  My lads are 25 and 15 so hardly children.  The 15 year old seems sad for his "step dad" and the 25 year old is just polite unless my partner is being rude to me, then he will stick up for me.  I guess I want answers that alcoholics can reform and stay sober.  How long should I give him before he can move back in staying off the alcohol.  I want a Deed of Trust put in regarding equity in our property if I give him time, but he's saying he just wants time to recover before thinking about anything legal.  i don't want to be wasting my time...
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  • Posted

    I'll come back a bit later with a longer reply, but just to say, most of the people you speak to (metaphorically) on here were heavy drinkers/alcoholics and many of us (I'm including myself) have managed to shrug it off, it is possible, it is hard, and almost all of us have had a little relapse at some time, but that is usually short lived, as we know we can't go back to the way we were.
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    • Posted

      OK and thank you.  I just feel I don't really know who to speak to as my friends and family think I should leave him, but I know deep down inside he a fundamentally good guy, kind and caring - the demon drink makes him something else :-(

      I think I just need to hear that he can change and that life will resume albeit he won't be able to drink at all, which again is worrying when it comes to social occasions, stress at work etc etc

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    • Posted

      So, many things and they can't all be answered in one post, because there needs to be a dialogue. Anyway, you've heard from Paul, one of the few professionals on the forum, he is very unjugding and pragmatic, his advice is worth listening to.

      Regarding the deed of trust, this will ring alarm bells. You may think that an alcoholic doesn't have his wits about him. To me, that would signal, you're battening down the hatches and you're about to leave and protect your assets. Don't underestimate an alcoholic, you can't kid a kidder.

      You need to decide whether you are going to give it a go, or cut your losses. You've been married before, I don't know what caused the failure (I don't want to know), but that has probably scarred you a bit and you don't want to end up in the same situation.

      As regards speaking to people, talk on the forum, if you really want to talk one to one, I'm sure there are many that you could PM and have a telephone conversation with.

      Demon drink, well it affects as all in different ways, I was always a happpy drunk. never fell over, got aggressive or blacked out, my body told me when I'd had enough and my homing device took over and I just went home.

      People can change, I did and many here have also done so. I did a stint in hospital before I knew I had to call it a day, or my GP gave me 5 years tops, and he is an honest guy. In the beginning, social ocassions are best avoided, it is difficult, but the best way to start, is not to be put in circumstances where you will be tempted to join in the alcohol. Later in life when the thoughts of alcohol have recinded, you can then rejoin and keep to soft drinks. My wife drinks, I have no problem with her having alcohol in the house, but I would not like to go to the pub (village pub, where eveyone knows you and you always have a laugh) because it brings back too many memories, happy ones, that I can no longer enjoy.

      I think at the back of your mind, you want to rescue the relationship, but don't want to get burnt. Maybe an ultimatum, in a kind way, not blunt, that it is you or the drink, might focus him. But you have to be very careful how you word it, because you could send him reaching for the bottle, if not said right.

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    • Posted

      Your response is what I'm looking for.  As its early days (2 weeks) I'm very weary of making promises I can't keep - and yes I did think the Deed of Trust would probably set alarm bells ringing, but unfortunately, I won't stay on board with him without it... too many broken promises have definitely scarred me along with my ex husband leaving his family for another woman - I'm a very caring, loyal person, but can and will only be pushed so far.  I'm keeping my distance with him at the moment although have said I will go back to the Doctor's with him a week Thursday and see where he's at.  He knows its me or the drink this time
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    • Posted

      i would take some of the answers you have been given with a pinch of salt. I think Paul's last short post was a good one.

      I think people have jumped the gun with, the cut him loose, he's a loser, a leopard never changes its spots.

      I think you have mentally explored that option and already have an exit strategy if it comes down to it.

      But reading between the lines, you have come here, to see if people do change (why I referred to Pauls's post) and the answer is yes they do, if they want to AND, this is important, that they are given the right help, because when you are an alcoholic, it is difficult to do it all on your own, you need support, probably both professionally and from family or friends.

      I don't think people realise that this loser is actually the person you love and really you are looking to get things back the way they were, and you're looking for advice on how to go about it and reassurance that it could possibly happen.

      See if he sticks to his detox. Ask if he will authorise you to talk to his key worker. They will make him sign some forms anyway, in my case (Addaction) I had to sign that they could talk with my GP, my hepatologist and a waiver that if I died on the premises, my wife would not sue them (I kid you not), so I'm sure they have a form for spousal contact.

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    • Posted

      I just read this and disagree with this (and I'm not in a bad mood tonight)...LOL.

      "as we know we can't go back to the way we were".

      No, No and No...Not true....I went RIGHT BACK to the way I was after not drinknig for 8 years...Actually, I was worse...this year I ended in hospital for medical care...due to organ shutdown because of my drinking and THAT never happened to me previously.

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    • Posted

      "as we know we can't go back to the way we were".

      I don't know where you read that, but I didn't type that. Re-read my message.

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    • Posted

      "and almost all of us have had a little relapse at some time, but that is usually short lived, as we know we can't go back to the way we were."

      Its in the 5th box going up your last paragraph.  Maybe you meant...."usually short lived, as we know we are GONERS if we go back to the way we were".

      I think when I read it...I thought you were saying we wouldn't "let" ourselves go back to the way we were.  When I read it again...I think the advice from experience you are giving is that we know we are "in trouble" if we go back to the way we were.  Right?

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    • Posted

      Hi Missy, Docs appt is Thursday 19th November, it'll be interesting to hear what the doc thinks. I saw my partner today, looked 100% better than last time I saw him 10 days ago. Thanks for asking.  How's your day been/going?
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    • Posted

      Ahhh...yes, we always look better when we stop drinking - that is my favorite benefit.  That is good and means he is not drinking!

      How was his attitude? Does he seem to have really "changed"?  I mean his spirit? And his will power to not pick up a drink?

      Did you have a nice visit?

      My day has been ok....because I'm still sober too.

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  • Posted

    Alcohol addiction is an illness, not a life choice. Some people's bodies react differently to alcohol than others and that means that their drinking gets out of control. I have never agreed with punitive treatment for a problem which is not the fault of the sufferer. I also disagree with the humiliation of a person standing up and taking the blame and saying how ashamed they are of themselves. You wouldn't tell people with cancer to do that.

    You clearly care about him so understanding his issue is important so you can give him the best support. OF COURSE, you cannot have your life ruined if he decides he doesn't want to sort out the problem, but he ought to at least know the options available to him first so that he can make the best choice for himself.

    Have a read about The Sinclair Method which is by far the most successful treatment method available in the world today with a 78% success rate, compared to less than 10% for any other method. It's a medical treatment and not a psychological treatment, which makes sense as alcohol addiction is the result of a medical disorder.

    There is lots of information on this forum about The Sinclair Method and about the drugs used for it (Naltrexone and Nalmefene.)

    You will also find plenty of information by Googling 'The Sinclair Method.'

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    • Posted

      Thank you Paul, I will look at the Sinclair Method.  I understand it's not a life choice for him, although telling me that he knew he had a problem with alcohol before he met me and my then 10 year old son, letting me believe he was one type of person and then revealing that actually he had the problem before he met me, but thought it would get better by being with me wasn't a life choice I would have made had I been in full possesion of the facts that he would choose the bottle over the wellbeing of me and my son.  In all of this, I am trying to ascertain whether he will ever be able to stay dry forever and I guess there's no real yes or no answer, but not sure I can live with the uncertainty of it.  However, not wishing to push him further into any misery, I am trying to be positive with him in that there will be life after being an alcoholic.  Maybe, I'm in the wrong thread, maybe I need to talk to people living and loving a recovering alcoholic... its like being in a dark tunnel and having nowhere to turn to as anyone not in my situation is saying "get out before he destroys you" :-(

       

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    • Posted

      I understand what you are saying MrsGee.

      He CAN sort it out because people do and you will find examples of people here who are doing that. Nobody can tell you what decisions you should make. It was only my intention to ensure that you were in possession of the facts because I would have hated you to walk out on him believing that he chose his illness. Having said that, people with alcohol problems can be hell to live with if they don't get them resolved and everybody deserves a life with choice smile

       

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    • Posted

      The Sinclair method would probably be wonderful if he were to GET SOBER.  He is not a recovering alcoholic...he is an ACTIVE alcoholic wanting to be recovered....maybe he can use the Sinclair method...or some method...but he has to....do all this on his OWN...without bringing it back into his new family. 

      What WAS his "fault" was he did not give this woman an chance to make a "CHOICE" by telling her his TRUE STORY.

      I agree with you (Paul) that this is not something an alcoholic asks for...and shouldn't be punished....and I am a FULL BLOWN alchy- so I do fully understand

      However, I've also been on the other side of the fence too....and this is definetly not something her or the boys asked for either and

      It is 100% his responsibility to fix his "Lie" and if he wants this family and this woman to trust him...he needs to do some work FIRST (using Sinclair...or whatever he CAN)....FIRST before involving her anymore.

      And she has 100% responsibility to make sure she isn't inviting more disaster into her life and around her children. 

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    • Posted

      Also MrsGee...You can not push anyone any further into misery..you don't have that power.  WE individually are supposed to have control over our own issues....and if we don't have that control...we are individually responsible to gain that control if we don't have it.

      What I'm saying is...you are in control...of your happines

      ....and he is in control of his. 

      If it is going to make you happy to move back in with someone who mislead you (probably because he loved you - twisted). And if its going to make you happy geniuely to be with him with no regrets (after talking it out and ACCEPTING he may drink)....than that is what you do.  I don't think this is going to make you happy.

      So...if he is going to be happy getting sober and really wants to be with you and your boys...than he has control over making a choice at this time...And he has to make the choice. 

      Anyone can "push" him at anytime...He has to make a choice that he isn't going to DRINK no matter what..you can't make that choice for him.

      You will hate yourself if you get back involved for HIM and not for the right reasons.....you can't save him...

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    • Posted

      I'm not saying people don't make mistakes, Missy and only MrsGee can make the decision what she should do. I just wanted to ensure that she was aware that he is suffering an illness which is no more his fault than it would be if his illness was cancer but it is fair for her to insist on honesty now.

      I'm not going to comment further on this because there is only one person who can decide what to do and I wouldn't want to be involved in a 'she should, she shouldn't' debate because none of us live her life and it would be unfair.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Paul, I'm going to try and take life one day at a time.  He is staying with his mother for the foreseeable future, so at least life is calm in our house. 

      And as for being hell to live with... I've given up 3 jobs (good jobs) as the stress of being called or emailed at work when he's drunk telling me to get home and sort my son out (he just hadn't come home from school on time) coming home and facing a belligerant, bullish and angry drunk wasn't what was needed at the end of a working day, listening to him saying nasty things and then not remembering what he said, has had a big affect on my self esteem and confidence to get back out into the working world... but today I have a job interview - so baby steps for me to try and gain back some of the woman I was before I met him :-)

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