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Please Help-Dealing with alcoholism. I don't know what to do

Postby Notsurewhattodo » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:40 pm

I started dating my girlfriend in May 2016. I am 52 she is 50. We are both divorced(me 10 yrs, her 4 yrs) with children. She has 3 girls; two in college and one in middle school. I have 4 children all out of the house. From May to November, we clicked in all areas of our relationship, except for the amount of time together. Our time is limited to only seeing her every other weekend(due to the weekends with her daughter). I've met her youngest a few times though for the most part she wants her time with her daughter to be just between them. Thanksgiving 2016, she was having breakfast with her daughters so I invited her over to dinner with all of my family and she accepted. Early that afternoon she sent me a text that she wasn't feeling well and couldn't make it over. Never could reach her the rest of the day. A similar incident happened at Christmas Eve and day. January we had a discussion about things. I asked if she was seeing someone else which she said no. We agreed that we both needed to see each other more so we started dating during the week and every other weekend. She would occasionally need to cancel because she was not feeling well. In May we took a weekend trip out of town and had a wonderful time. It was a 6 hour drive to our destination and we talked and laughed the whole time. She said that was a true indicator for our relationship along with how well we got along the entire weekend. July 4th, we were invited over to my sons for a cookout. She sent me a text that morning excited to come. At noon she text me that she couldn't make it because there was drama between her daughters and their step sisters. Couldn't reach her the rest of the day.End of July I took her to an appointment to get a colonoscopy. She started crying for me after the procedure was completed. On the way home she told me that she was a recovering alcoholic. She said that she had been sober for 4 years. She admitted to being drunk on the 4th of July and said she might have been at other times when she canceled a date but not all the time. What I thought were therapy meetings she was going to were AA meetings. I didn't say much because I was trying to digest what she just told me. The next day we had a conversation about it, she was too embarrassed to tell me which I could understand. I told her that I would rather be alone than lied to she understood( I was married for 16 yrs when I found out my wife had lied to me having affairs during our whole marriage). I told her that I would help her however I could but I can't help her unless she is honest with me. We were getting along fine after that discussion until a few weeks later. One morning on my way to work she text me to please call her asap. I quickly called her thinking something was wrong. When she answered she said in a very solemn voice "hey I'm not really feeling this, I know you have a lot on your plate and you don't have the time to spend together" I was perplexed because I have tons of free time; any time away from her (spending with my kids or grandchild) she was always invited to join us. She then said"it's not you, it's me, I need to work on myself". I said that I would be willing to help her however I could. I would leave it up to her what she wants to really do with our relationship. After the call I realized that she made that call from work, at her desk, and even stopped talking to me for a minute to answer a question that someone in the office had. Who breaks up with someone on the phone while sitting at their desk at work? I ended up sending a 7 page handwritten letter, a card, and little things that she had left at my house. The main part of the letter was that I loved her and was willing to support her with her recovery however I could. She contacted me and wanted to talk. We met at the place where we first met and had lunch. We talked for almost 3 hours. We shared things about ourselves that we hadn't shared before and we both added how we could see us being life partners. We started seeing each other again, everything was great, we were seeing each other more and communicating better. In Oct we would have some casual time planned together then an opportunity would come up with her daughter and she would end up spending time with her. Not apologizing or acting like we had plans. On a Friday in November 17th, we sent each other text messages to have a nice day and love yous(a daily thing). I sent her a message in the afternoon to see how her day was going, then several more through the day with no response. I ended up going over to her house, her car was there. I called her on the phone and asked what she was doing she said just chilling at home. I asked why hadn't she responded to my messages she said that she was busy with work and came home and crashed. Her speech seemed slurred. I said that I was outside and asked if I could come in to see her. She sounded happily surprised but put off saying that she would be down in a moment. She let me in and gave me a hug but would not kiss me. She didn't look herself. I asked if she was okay, she said she was tired. I asked her if she had been drinking she said no. We chatted some more, then after the third time asking if she had been drinking she said yes. She began to cry, saying that she started drinking again in 2016 but didn't know why. She said it wasn't because of me. She then when on to talk about her relationships with her daughters, saying that they only cared about themselves. I asked her what she needed to do for herself to get back on track with her recovery. She told me several things. I said that she needed to make a list of everything that she needs to do so she could have a plan to follow and I would help. She agreed. The next day she sent me a text the next morning saying that she was sorry. We went to a play that night with her staying the night at my house. When we got home before going in the house I asked her if she made her list of things that she needed to do. She said no then proceeded to tell me what she needed to do but hadn't contacted her sponsor. I told her that I love her dearly but that I couldn't be in a relationship with her if she is not willing to take the initiative to get back on track. She said that she loved me dearly and didn't want to lose me and that she would get with her sponsor the next day. Sunday she sent me a message that she was going to meet with her sponsor on Monday. Thanksgiving, in the back of my mind I was expecting her to bail(we've never spent a holiday together). She showed up to dinner and we had a wonderful time together and she truly seem to enjoy her time with my family. She mentioned the next day what a nice time she had. As far as I know she was still attending her meetings. Nov 29 Wed I had major foot surgery, she sent me a card the previous day. The care was about how much she loved me and how I met the world to her. She wrote that she knows my concerns with the surgery and that she would be there to support me, signing it "I love you! We got this!" She drove to the hospital with me and stayed there for the day. She left as soon as I was released to go pick up her daughter to spend the evening together. She sent me several messages to make sure I was okay, saying that she would bring me some food on Sat. The next day she said she thought she had a urine infection but couldn't get into her doctor until the following week(she was concerned about a mesh bladder surgery that she had 10yrs ago having an issue). She was able to see her GYN the next day on Friday. The Dr said what she could see was fine but prescribed her some antibiotics and to keep her appointment with the urologist. Sat morning she asked for a rain check on bringing me food and seeing me because she wasn't feeling well. We were checking on each other via text. Later that day she was saying that she was hurting. I was concerned and said that I thought she needed to go to the ER. She replied that it hurt but not bad enough to go. Her text seem to be somewhat garbled. I called her and her speech was slurred but the signal kept breaking up because her cell signal isnt that great in her house thats why we text a lot when she's home. During the conversation I asked her twice if she had been drinking she said no. She said that her muscle relaxers made her feel loopy so I left it at that. Sun she was about the same. Monday she sent me a text saying I slipped up on Sat and I know you know. I am working on my recovery first and staying sober. I should have called you or a friend and I didn't. I replied back "your statement I am working on my recovery first and staying sober, you've slipped up twice that I know of in the past 2 weeks. Maybe you should focus on your recovery until you can get that under control." She said you're exactly right, you have every right to be angry with me. Its a disease/sickness and I need to take care of it" I told her that I'm not angry just hurt. I can't help you when you chose to lie to me or not tell me. You need to ask yourself how badly do you want to take care of it. She said I am very very sorry and I agree with you. I want this recovery then added that she went to a meeting before work, at lunch then one that evening. The two times that I've known her "to slip up" she seems to go all the meetings like gang busters then falls back again. I don't know what to do. Is this a relationship that I stay in to support her? Is that healthy relationship? Sorry so long
Notsurewhattodo
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Re: Please Help-Dealing with alcoholism. I don't know what to do

Postby NewSunRising » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:28 am

Welcome Notsurewhattodo ,

I am a former partner of a person with alcohol addiction . It is a very rocky road in the beginning of commitment to sobriety . The disease does not want to let go and there is often a constant internal battle happening between the desire to quit and the addiction's determination to stay alive .

The mental onslaught of the cravings can be ceaseless and exhausting . It is so much easier to give in and feed the disease just to shut up the incessant voice in our heads ( I am a gambling addict - the recovery process is nearly identical to drug / alcohol addiction ).

I would ask her if you could accompany her to some AA meetings and I think it would be helpful to you to attend some Al-Anon meetings , if they are available . I believe that we will be in this fight for life , that there is no "cure" and the addiction is always ready and waiting to regain its control over us . Having a partner who understands that is a priceless thing . This disease beats up our self-esteem and sense of worth every time we experience relapse . It does everything it can to convince us that we are failures , weaklings , hopeless and helpless against it .

Having someone who can , without judging , encourage us to start over and remind us of our past successes in a valuable ally . People who have never experienced addiction are often under the impression that we could " just quit " if we really wanted too . The pressure to make it appear that easy is tremendous . Hence , the lies . We aren't hiding the fact that we are doing something naughty and getting away with it . We're hiding the fact that we should be able to stop destroying ourselves but we can't . The sense of shame is devastating , as is the fear of being written off as "unfixable" by those that we love .

I think that you need to give your girlfriend some space , but let her know that you love her and will be there for her . Tell her you understand that relapse happens , but so does recovery from it .
Remind her of her self-worth and that she is capable of maintaining sobriety and she knows it . This is a battle that is hers alone . Your support is a powerful thing , but you cannot do this for her .

It is far more important that she is still fighting . You can come back from relapse . You can't come back from giving up .

All the best to you both .
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