Me "Recovering Alcoholic" with Relapse & My Boyfriend..Advise

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    Sep 20, 2011 6:40 PM GMT
    After taking care of my sick mother for over a year, she died. A short time ago, I decided to quit drinking after my alcohol issues went full swing. My boyfriend was AMAZING during the entire process and easily deserves a metal of some kind. He is totally supportive, indeed very much in favor, of my choice to give up the booze and it is a very good thing for our relationship and me in general. A few days ago, I relapsed and had a few drinks at a party after a couple difficult days of dealing with issues surrounding my mothers death; my emotional issues in no way forgive me breaking a promise to myself & him to put down the bottle.
    Short hand, he is furiously pissed and I don't blame him a bit: I'm pissed at myself.. Should I expect him to be forgiving and let me prove my work to remain sober, or do you think I should accept his feeling and just end our relationship now. We live together, I love him, but I see his point of view?
    Guys, Assistance please?

    P.S. I'm sorry for no pic yet. Coming soon..
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    Sep 20, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    if he really loves you, he will forgive you... unless of course you're abusive when drinking? in which case, maybe he wont...
    alcohol is a tricky thing... i struggled with it for years, i was more a 'binge drinker'. makes us do, say, want crazy things....
    now i only drink the odd glass of red wine.... good luck to you both...
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:04 PM GMT
    First of all, I'm so sorry to hear that your mother passed away. I've lost someone super close to me and I know what a nightmare it can be.

    hairyandym saidif he really loves you, he will forgive you...


    That is so wrong I can't believe it.

    I was in a long term relationship with an alcoholic and "really loving" someone has NOTHING to do with whether he enables an alcoholic or not, which is what "forgiving" might amount to.

    I have a lot of questions for the OP. You were at a party and had some drinks. Did these friends you were at the party with not know you were an alcoholic? Did they not confront you about you having drinks? If they enable you to drink, they are not good friends and if I were your bf, I would have a serious talk about these friends of yours.

    I also want to know what sort of recovery you are in. How are you proving to yourself and others you are serious about eliminating drinking? Do you attend AA or some other support group regularly? Do you have a sponsor or an analogue that you contact when you are feeling the urge? Did you contact that person when you were at the party?

    I ask because if you are showing that you are working hard to overcome this, I think your boyfriend will be forgiving. of course he's upset and angry and disappointed, but if he sees that you are making a sincere effort (keyword there, because it's easy to see through false intent) he may give you another shot.

    Or he may not. It depends on how many "just one more shot!" you've asked for.

    Good luck to the both of you.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    I think he should give you a "free pass". I know you made the promise to quit drinking, but I'm sure the loss of your mother and the emotions that brings up from time to time made you want to do something to numb those emotions.

    I would suggest maybe going to AA or some sort of outpatient counseling if the drinking is getting out of control again. I have a family full of people with alcohol problems, and it has helped a lot of them.

    Maybe do something special for him to apologize and tell him you're going to get help. Actions def speak louder than words for most.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:20 PM GMT
    A good solid relationship with someone you love and that loves you is hard to find so don't break it up.

    Don't just expect him to forgive you because he loves you. You broke a promise and how he reacts is up to him. You need to make sure it does not happen again and show that to him and on his side he needs to decide if he want to keep up with the situation.

    If I can give any real advice it would be to talk as much as possible and share your thoughts and feelings.. especially if there are new issues and if its something you been struggling.

    Having seen what alcoholism can do to a family you should seriously think about how it impacts your family and yourself.

    Its simple mate. Sort your problems by any means possible but don't use alcohol to help because it doesn't. Its a choice you make and only you can keep. I hope it works outicon_smile.gif
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:24 PM GMT
    Jmoney5678 saidI think he should give you a "free pass". I know you made the promise to quit drinking, but I'm sure the loss of your mother and the emotions that brings up from time to time made you want to do something to numb those emotions.


    That's a cop out. My ex used everything imaginable as an excuse to relapse. several grandfathers supposedly died... who didn't. I'm not accusing the OP of lying about his mother at all, I'm just saying that's NOT a reason to relapse. There is NO reason to relapse.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Sep 20, 2011 7:25 PM GMT
    Communication is the key. It's not only essential for your relationship, but for how you deal with alcoholism. Many alcoholics resort to the drink because somehow, they feel they cannot effectively communicate their issues toward a workable solution and end up keeping their issues to themselves. If you abandon the relationship without communicating the issues, you're also abandoning yourself. You cannot give up!
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:49 PM GMT
    hairyandym saidif he really loves you, he will forgive you... unless of course you're abusive when drinking? in which case, maybe he wont...
    alcohol is a tricky thing... i struggled with it for years, i was more a 'binge drinker'. makes us do, say, want crazy things....
    now i only drink the odd glass of red wine.... good luck to you both...


    Thank you guys for all the good input..
    I've always struggled with "managing" my drinking, but I admit the closer my mom came to dieing, the more I used alcohol to self medicate.. I was Never abusive when I drank. But I realize that I am not among the people that can "manage" drinking. I have to simply stay sober..
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    Ultraviolet13 said
    hairyandym saidif he really loves you, he will forgive you... unless of course you're abusive when drinking? in which case, maybe he wont...
    alcohol is a tricky thing... i struggled with it for years, i was more a 'binge drinker'. makes us do, say, want crazy things....
    now i only drink the odd glass of red wine.... good luck to you both...


    Thank you guys for all the good input..
    I've always struggled with "managing" my drinking, but I admit the closer my mom came to dieing, the more I used alcohol to self medicate.. I was Never abusive when I drank. But I realize that I am not among the people that can "manage" drinking. I have to simply stay sober..
    You do that for yourself.. no one else.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    Jmoney5678 saidI think he should give you a "free pass". I know you made the promise to quit drinking, but I'm sure the loss of your mother and the emotions that brings up from time to time made you want to do something to numb those emotions.

    I would suggest maybe going to AA or some sort of outpatient counseling if the drinking is getting out of control again. I have a family full of people with alcohol problems, and it has helped a lot of them.

    Maybe do something special for him to apologize and tell him you're going to get help. Actions def speak louder than words for most.


    I am presently in AA, reading up on alcoholism and how it generally effects relationships, before, during, & after. Also, i am seeing a therapist to help deal with grieving and general issues. I'd honestly love a "free pass" I realize that it's not fair to discount how he feels, or for me to shrug off my actions.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:54 PM GMT
    Are you seeing a therapist or going to AA or group meetings? You should do both. Perhaps your bf should go to one of those sessions where you learn how to be with an alcoholic- it might teach him a bit, support him in his sadness and frustration, and make him a better ally for you. If this is the only time you've relapsed, your relationship is strong, and you get your ass back on the wagon, then I don't see why he wouldn't give you another chance. Everyone knows that is a hard struggle.

    Oh and sorry about your mom. I lost my mom, too, at a young age- 32. It was very difficult. While I didn't turn to drinking, I having people to talk to was very important. Even a few years later the sadness is still there. Good luck to you. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidCommunication is the key. It's not only essential for your relationship, but for how you deal with alcoholism. Many alcoholics resort to the drink because somehow, they feel they cannot effectively communicate their issues toward a workable solution and end up keeping their issues to themselves. If you abandon the relationship without communicating the issues, you're also abandoning yourself. You cannot give up!


    I'd certainly used booze booze to deal with feelings I def didn't want to deal with...I am trying to communicate openly with my bf about my feelings, while trying to honoring his feelings..
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    Ultraviolet13 said
    coolarmydude saidCommunication is the key. It's not only essential for your relationship, but for how you deal with alcoholism. Many alcoholics resort to the drink because somehow, they feel they cannot effectively communicate their issues toward a workable solution and end up keeping their issues to themselves. If you abandon the relationship without communicating the issues, you're also abandoning yourself. You cannot give up!


    I'd certainly used booze booze to deal with feelings I def didn't want to deal with...I am trying to communicate openly with my bf about my feelings, while trying to honoring his feelings..
    Don't 'honor' his feelings, just listen to them.. That's all anyone can ask.
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    Honestly, One of my biggest fears is appearing weak. In the past, I'd just quit drinking m, then try to forget about it. I've done my best to do the same with my mothers death; I don't want to be one of those people that carries around a death shroud, moaning about someone dieing. Obviously I used booze to get through her last five or so months while she wasted away and no amount of me being there made any difference. Bah! Yes, I'm a headcase these days, but trying to do the right things
  • 2PecanDeBeurr...

    Posts: 302

    Sep 20, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    Ultraviolet13, don't beat yourself up. I have 19 years as of 20 may 2011. My first year of sobriety I experienced 6 deaths without a drink.

    I used alcohol to "escape" my feelings and kept my thoughts (frustrations, rejections, abandonments, self-hatred, self-destruction, failures, disappointments, etc) to myself and Cognac.

    I am an obsessive guzziler, fish -throat. My solution was to be of service to others.

    Volunteer work( seniors, scouts, tutor, disabled, special olympics) Yes, I miss those that passed and can no longer share, discuss topics in life, yet meeting others opened my eyes.

    Action speaks very loud. Most of the older sober ones do not mention that they have helped others, humility is a great motivator.

    To thy own self be true. Do you need alcohol in your life?

    Others can drink moderately, I can not, so my drink is tonic water with a lime squeeze.

    Call someone before you take that first drink, remove yourself from pressure environments.
    j.c.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Sep 20, 2011 8:30 PM GMT
    You sound like you're doing fine, relapses do happen, its normal. This usually isn't something black or white. It takes time to break a habit/addiction and usually people will swing back and forth/relapse before it can become fully manageable and it should be expected/planned for. Hopefully you're boyfriend will forgive you on this one. You're not lying about wanting to change it, you're working on it from a lot of different sources and you do want to do it You'll learn new coping in skills in time. He should expect that this isn't going to be a neat, tidy process and its gonna take time and maybe he needs more knowledge/material about this sort of thing so he'll be able to understand better.
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
    alanon member here. from reading the "big book" and the "12&12," i gleaned that it is fear and pride that are the killers.

    i'm in no position to offer advice, b/c i have not experienced your situation. h/e one comment i heard in an "open mtg" still resonates w/ me: everyone hits bottom, for some ppl, that bottom is death.
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    Sep 20, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    SInce I've not experienced alcoholism first hand, I'm not sure I can comment. However, I was a smoker which is also an addiction. Speaking from that point of view, the first thing is to not do things that you associate with drinking. If you know there is a party where alcohol will be served, politely decline the invitation for awhile, until you get your feet on solid ground.

    Relationships can be so simple and yet so frickin complex. If he loves you and you are not abusive, and if he sees you sincerely trying, he should try to move past it as well.

    In our relationship, I can't count how may times over the last 19 years my partner has had to forgive me for things. It is a two way street. Relationships are about gladly compromising, forgiving, and forging ahead. The easy thing is to bale out and there were many times in the earlier years that I knew it would be easier to bale out than work through our problems. That is why so many relationships fail. However, making our relationship work was much more important than doing the easy thing when times got tough. Today, I treasure the rough times we had because, it only made our bond stronger and made me cherish him all the more.

    You can't stay sober for your relationship. You can't stay sober for your bf. You can only stay sober for you. When you do that, and he sees you trying and succeeding, he will naturally forgive you and eventually, he will take great pride in your strength and your success....

    Don't give up on him.

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    Sep 21, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    Ultraviolet13 saidAfter taking care of my sick mother for over a year, she died. A short time ago, I decided to quit drinking after my alcohol issues went full swing. My boyfriend was AMAZING during the entire process and easily deserves a metal of some kind. He is totally supportive, indeed very much in favor, of my choice to give up the booze and it is a very good thing for our relationship and me in general. A few days ago, I relapsed and had a few drinks at a party after a couple difficult days of dealing with issues surrounding my mothers death; my emotional issues in no way forgive me breaking a promise to myself & him to put down the bottle.
    Short hand, he is furiously pissed and I don't blame him a bit: I'm pissed at myself.. Should I expect him to be forgiving and let me prove my work to remain sober, or do you think I should accept his feeling and just end our relationship now. We live together, I love him, but I see his point of view?
    Guys, Assistance please?

    P.S. I'm sorry for no pic yet. Coming soon..


    Ive dealt with drug/alcohol addiction with people in my life... its upsetting dude. Unfortunately, sometimes relapse happens. If he loves you, and this isnt ur 40th relapse, he will try to stay by your side, but you have to show him that your serious about recovery... go to meetings, prove you mean business. Whatever happens happens my friend, but know this, if he leaves you because of 1 relapse, hes not the right guy for you... I wont say who but someone close to me in my family had a drug addiction, he relapsed almost 5 times before he got to where he is now, and i stand by him because hes family. If this man loves you, he will do the same for you (again, assuming your not relapsing every weekend).... hope this helps man, message me anytime for advice, i pretty much grew up with this..
  • Scriven

    Posts: 61

    Sep 23, 2011 3:31 PM GMT
    Let me just say it's wrong to expect anyone to forgive you. If you expect to be forgiven then what is the point in apologizing? And how bad do you really feel if you can expect to be forgiven?

    I would say do what you have to do to clear the air to feel good about yourself but don't expect that to come with any sort of forgiveness or welcome from him. Before I got into my current relationship I had it out with my long term off again, on again boy friend and among other things professed my undying love for him. It didn't change how he felt about the relationship, but I felt better for saying it, and it allowed me to move on.

    If you're just apologizing because you want things to go back the way they were I don't think you really understand how much you've hurt him. My advice would be to state your case, and if things don't work out, move out. You're not doing either of you any favors by continuing to live together.

    Also, I'm sure you've heard the saying; the first time you go into rehab your friends embrace you when you get out. The second time you go to rehab no one returns your calls. I'm not saying it's right, but from watching a family member go through multiple stints in rehab I've seen the truth in that. Two things have helped my brother stay clean for about eight months now, prayer and counseling. AA is a good thing, but its not a uniform solution for everyone.

    Honestly, to me, it sounds like you're fairly new in your own recovery and don't understand the consequences of your addiction. I'm not going to blame you for that, it's how disease works, but you can't expect forgiveness.

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    Sep 23, 2011 3:33 PM GMT
    Call your sponsor....get to as many meetings as you can...raise your hand and share....put your oxygen mask on first before worrying about your bf or your relationship....without your sobriety, you'll have neither...

    my 2 cents...after 23 years of sobriety.

    Be well.
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    Sep 23, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    OaklandRocks saidCall your sponsor....get to as many meetings as you can...raise your hand and share....put your oxygen mask on first before worrying about your bf or your relationship....without your sobriety, you'll have neither...

    my 2 cents...after 23 years of sobriety.

    Be well.


    That is exactly what I'm learning to do. The sobriety has to come first. My trouble begins when I feel like I hit a wall and I know I need to stay sober to get over the wall, but my brain & me begin to rationalize the reasons why I should say "F&$K the wall!" to have a drink. With drunks, that saying about the first drink getting you drunk is So true. If i can mind f?!k myself into one drink, then it on.
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    Sep 23, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    To Scriven,
    You are totally right and I don't expect anyone to forgive me really. I broke a promise I made to myself & him; it's kind of like cheating really, except I did it with a bottle. I caused pain, broke trust, and really screwed up. Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel and go apartment shopping, not because it was the easy way out, but because I realize what I did and totally how justifiably pissed he was.
    And your also dead on when you say going to AA isn't exactly a magic bullet. AA says "Keep comin back," but what they don't say is if you keep coming back with relapeses, they think your an asshole, or so a very good friend tells me. I do see where relapeses can be a part of the recovery process, but even I didn't blow up a building, I still hurt the guy I love.
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    Sep 23, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    Tough love time: If you choose to use alcohol - fine. But take personal responsibility for it. Your friends did not make you drink, your boyfriend did not make you drink, your mother did not make you drink. You drank because you wanted to...because you failed to nurture your sobriety by surrounding yourself with the tools to deal with this roller coaster ride called life.

    I "woke up" in detox from a black out on my 21st birthday - April 3, 1984. My sobriety anniversary and now my official re-birth day.

    I will never forget sitting there, arms folded across my chest, talking to the intake counselor about what had brought me to this point. He basically said: "sobriety needs to be the most selfish thing you ever do in your life from this point forward. No one can give you sobriety - you have to take it."

    I did take it. I am sober for me and only me (and in some ways in spite of myself!). My sobriety is mine to dispose of ... or to nurture. Yours is too.

    I hope you seek the help you need. Through countless AA meetings, counseling and a strong supportive network of friends - I have maintained a number of 24 hours without alcohol.

    I hope you will be as selfish as I am and grab a sober life by the hand and never let go. It is a relationship that I have cherished for over 27 years.

    Peace
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    Feb 14, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    recovery is a journey filled with trial and error. All you can do is move forward. I don't think it's something to end your relationship over though. He does have every right to be upset. And you may have to work really hard to regain his trust. I have a family member who relapsed after almost 10 years of sobriety. It's difficult. Happily, she is back on track now. But I also recently lost someone who was clean and sober for 14 years and relapse and it eventually lead him to his death in a motorcycle accident. It is a VERY serious subject that should never be taken lightly. I hope you find your way back and stay. Maybe and hopefully the BF will learn to believe in you again. I know this was originally from September but it's my first time seeing it. I hope things have worked out for you both