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Hi all...I'm a 42 y/o woman and I'd like to hear from anyone in my situation.

I met someone while I was going through my divorce last year who supported me and helped me out a lot. We started dating, then got engaged and lived together. This all happened pretty quickly at the end of and after my divorce was finalized. When I met him, he told me he was a recovered alcoholic, very much involved in the AA program, and had been sober for a year and a half. I remember being so impressed with him and what he was involved in, and how he had recovered and helped himself.

To make a long story short, he had a set-back and started drinking again. So, I ended things. Life with him was an absolute nightmare when he drank. In fact, because of the off and on drinking, I've ended things and we've broken up more than once. But, he's always sobered up and apologized, and realized his shortcomings, and I've given him another chance....time and time again. When he's sober, he is very loving, caring and giving. I figured this was my shot at happiness, and I wouldn't be alone or struggling anymore. He's a hard worker, 41 years old and never been married. He just had this one little flaw that I thought would never come up again, or if it did, it would be no big deal.

Recently, he got sober again, and promises no more drinking, or insanity. Of course, I don't completely trust it, and do not want that in my life. He wants us to go on and have a normal life. So, for a while now, I've been living one day at a time, and waiting, and feeling my own heart and mind. I basically told him, this is over, I don't want this, if you're going to drink, then do it alone...be alone. Of course I worry and care and want him to be healthy and live his life the right way, but no one can make an alcoholic stop drinking. You have to keep your hands off their addiction and let them work it out on their own, and that's what I did. I said, I'm moving, you're not going with me and you're to leave me alone, this is over. His response was to stop drinking, and go back to AA, but he's done that before. He has struggled, and lost his spirituality.

I started going to Al-Anon meetings, (for friends and families of alcoholics) and made lots of friends through the group. It's also very spiritual, and you depend on your higher power, or God, to guide you through. one of my non Al-Anon friend, as I call her, has been very much against my fiance because of her life experience with her husband, who is also an alcoholic. He's never been in the AA program and instead got sober when he became a born-again Christian. She sees the same sort of hard life for me as she had with her husband. She has listened to me cry and go through anxiety for months now. I think she's been very frustrated with listening to me, while being very protective and caring as well. That's why I ended things and tried to be on my own for a while. But that didn't last very long at all.

I know what most anyone would think and say. Don't trust it, don't be with him, people with addictions don't change, you'll never have a normal life, it'll be normal for a while if he's not drinking, then if he drinks it'll be a nightmare again....this is what I've been fearful of, but he begs me not to leave him and promises miracles and an end to the drinking. Of course, when he's drinking he's telling me to go *f* myself, and that he's leaving me...sober is a different story. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I know I don't want a lifetime with an active alcoholic. I don't hold anyone's addictions or problems against them, but I also don't want it affecting me, or my life. The problem has been that I've told him all of this and he agrees and understands, and says he'd understand if I didn't want to be with him anymore, yet he hasn't left me. He's says he'll never leave, under any and all circumstances, and he has sobered up and plans to stay that way. He says he loves me more than anyone ever will, and he'll never love anyone else...yet, the uncertainty and craziness of it all is too much for me.

I don't always go to my Al-Anon meetings regularly, especially when he's not drinking and things are going well, but whenever there's been the threat of that old behavior and addiction returning, I return to Al-Anon, and the friends I've made there. I even have a sponsor, and I'm supposed to call her every day, and tell her what's going on in my life, a person to be accountable to, like they have in AA. I don't call her every day when things are going well, but I should. I check in with her once or twice a week, more when there are problems with my fiance.

It's now been almost two months since I moved into my new apartment, and since he stopped drinking. He just told me that at times, he's been really battling to stay sober, and not drink, but that his idle time isn't good, and the old bad thoughts sometimes creep in again. My reactions are fear and anxiety. I don't want this again. I feel at fault and responsible, even though I know that neither emotion is true. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells, never aggravate or upset him, or argue with him, or tell him any negative thoughts or feelings I have, because in the past, all of that has sent him to the bottle. He says he realizes his defects in this, and that I can't walk on eggshells, or have any of those emotions, that I have to share my thoughts with him without the fear of his reactions.

Sometimes I feel that this is hopeless, and I'm hanging on because of not just hope for him, but guilt. Guilt because when I have broken things off with him, it seems to have made the drinking worse, so I felt at fault. He says he doesn't even know WHY he has those old obsessions with alcohol again at times, but I think that just every day life is too much for most alcoholics. They can't live life on life's terms, a very telling slogan in both AA and Al-Anon. It's a real battle some days without drinking.

I sometimes feel like I'm fighting a losing battle myself. I just want a normal, happy relationship with no problems like this to deal with. I'm not the type of person to be alone. But, I feel like I'm trying to fix something that will never be right again, and I'll always have this fear and anxiety to deal with, no matter how well things seem to be going at times...it's always there, lurking in the background.

I came through so much heartache and issues already, too. I still have issues with my health and financial living situation to deal with on top of all this. The money I got from my divorce isn't going to last forever if I find it necessary to live on it, and I had wanted to save it for my retirement and future. This is one of the reasons I wanted the security of marriage again...along with having that bond and trust and love with someone.

But how can I ever plan to marry someone who, because of his past drinking and the mistakes he's made from it, has no real job, his working future put on hold because of a DUI and pending court case where he's looking at possible jail time, and an every day struggle to stay sober? I never knew it could be this bad, or this scary. Yet, like most people, when things are good, I tend to forget all this, and think that things are going to work out just fine. Am I kidding myself?

He got a DUI on February 1st 2006, almost 10 months ago. He was driving home drunk and he hit the sign outside of our apartment complex. Someone saw him do it and called the police, who then came to our apartment and arrested him after giving him all the field sobriety tests. Since then, his case has been dragging on, with all sorts of postponed preliminary hearings, and now it looks like it's going to trial in November. He's looking at possibly 6 months to a year in jail, unless they can either get him off or swing some sort of a deal, because this isn't his first DUI. One of the primary reasons I moved out of our apartment was because of that DUI, and the embarrassment and trouble with the police his drinking has caused. The apartment complex manager asked me not to renew my lease, that even though everyone knew it wasn't my fault, and they were all worried for me, she knew that as long as I lived there, he'd be there, possibly drinking and causing problems.

Some of it was my fault too, because I would scream and cry and get into arguments with him about his drinking, and what he would do and say when he drank...my reactions to a crazy situation that I didn't want to deal with. I just did not know how to handle it, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing at times. So, until I started going to Al-Anon, and learning about this disease, I handled it by being defensive and by fighting back, and by acting out in an irrational way...not the best ways to handle an active alcoholic. Even after being involved in Al-Anon, I still don't work a perfect program myself, and still at times feel like I'm never going to get the concept of it.

Anyway, I thank all of you for reading my story and letting me unload on you. I hope to hear from anyone who is going through or who has gone through it as well.





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