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Post Info TOPIC: Boyfriend in AA


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I'm a little lost and confused about the situation I have recently got into. I have been with my boyfriend for two years and we were living together for a year. He has been an alcoholic since before we met, but I didn't know until we lived together. Now he is in AA meetings and a 12 step program. I tell him I'm proud of him and I am very supportive with his recovery, but we have been getting into fights recently because I don't feel like he is involing me in his recovery. For example, the last fight we had stared because I was reading through his 12 step papers and I noticed that for the question "who has your addition affected" and he wrote his ex wife, his children, his friends, and his boss. I brought this to his attention that it hurt me and we argued about it. I left and we talked later the next day. He told me that I was trying to ruin his recovery and he didn't know if he wanted to be around me while he is in recovery. He said all that he wants to do is go to his meetings and take care of himself and not worry about other people. I tried to tell him I don't want to ruin his recovery I just want to be involved in it. Am I doing something worng? If anybody that has/had a recovering other could you please give me any advice? Anything will help.



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kmclin52 wrote:

...could you please give me any advice?


Sure. It's great that he's started attending A.A. and beginning a recovery program.

People who've been living in a alcolhoic relationship usually need their own recovery program. You'd be doing yourself a huge favor by attending Al-
Anon meetings.



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Hey kmclin52, ... I have been in recovery a while so I'll give you my point of view ... My AA program is just that, mine ... and what notes I take to work the steps in the program are very confidentual, to the point I've never revealed these personal thoughts to anyone, other than my sponsor ... my wife knows nothing of my writings (notes) because it's not her trying to get and stay sober ... Our personal inventory of character defects and the affect they'd had on others takes a long time to make complete ... He probably started with his first memory of doing 'wrong' and still may have a ways to go ...In any event, it is VERY personal and no one has the right to look over his shoulder while he completes this task ... (unless he himself requests it)

He is right to put his recovery above all else, even a relationship ... Because until he's receiving the 'promises' of the program, he'll need to remain selfish in that his first priority is to stay sober ... He'll not be much use to you or anyone else if he returns to the bottle ... (if he stays in the program, he'll return to other responsibilities as he is able to do so without drinking)(meaning that if he's not showing you the attention that you deserve right now, give it some time)

I truly admire your wanting to be invloved, but if you're not an alcoholic, you have no idea what we go through when new to AA ... Only another alcoholic can truly relate to an alcoholic ... So if you'll be patient and stay in the background for a while and support him without prying into his self evaluation, then you'll be very pleased with the person you get back out of the process ...

There is a section in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous called 'To Wives' ... don't let the title bother you ... I highly recommend you read that chapter ... it will give you some insight as to what your friend is going through and provide you with a better knowledge of how to handle the situations that are bound to come ... And prayer for him from your end won't hurt a thing ...


Good Luck and God Bless,
Pappy



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"Life offers no guarantees ... just choices; no certainty ... but consequences; no predictable outcomes ... just the privilege of pursuit."    -Tim Conner



MIP Old Timer

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AL-Anon meetings is your best bet, for now. He has his own support group and so should you. So, try AL-Anon.




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Mr.David


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I agree go to some Al-Anon meetings and get a better understanding of what we are like in early recovery and why we do what we do. Work your program and let him work his and enjoy each other's company.



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"we have been getting into fights recently because I don't feel like he is involing me in his recovery."

Sorry, but how he conducts his recovery is none of your business. What he does for his 12-step work is none of your business. To whom he feels he owes amends is none of your business. Key phrase here: none of your business.

His sobriety needs to be his #1 priority right now. You are #2. If you can't deal with that on your own, you may need to start talking with your own therapist, and definitely attend Al-Anon as others have suggested.

GG



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Everything he has to learn in AA has to come from himself and his Higher Power and other's in AA. It's not going to come from you. If you try to take anothing other than a supportive role, the result will be negative. Recovery doesn't work unless the person is doing it for themselves....having you "involved" in his recovery is not helpful. You are involved with him and if that is not good enough, then there's a problem. In sum, recovery is a painful but rewarding journey. At the crux of it is getting to know our Higher Power better. It will be hard for you to remember this, but it is HIS journey and not yours. You are with him in a relationship, but not with him in his recovery (that part belongs to him).

Mark

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It is HIS recovery...and his papers. If someone tried to make me 'wrong" based on my recovery writings I would not be pleased. AA is the place for him. Al-Anon for you.



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I know that alot of these post hurt you. But its all true. There is alot of good advice. The best one is an al anon meeting. You will be able to understand more about your situation. I know it hurts but it doent have to. Go to a meeting for yourself and let your healing begin too, :)


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Thank you everyone for the advice it has really helped me start to understand the situation. I want to make one thing clear though, I didn't do prying into his papers he told me it was okay to look. But, I do understand where everyone is coming from that his writings are his. I think that even if he tells me I can look I think it will be best if I don't. I guess we shouldn't talk about his recovery? And I will def. check out the chapter to wives in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and check out the Al Anon meetings. Thanks again and others feel free to leave you input.

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I think some of you guys are being a bit hard on this girl and sure their are two sides to every story but to say it's none of her business smacks of self centredness to me.
Page 104 "But for every man who drinks, others are involved- the wife who trembles in fear of the next debauch; the mother and father who see their son wasting away." Right there she's involved so it is her business for as long as she wants to help her man. Perhaps she made a mistake in reading sensitive papers, perhaps he made the mistake in leaving them lying around. 1st rule of written inventories is not to write anything that will incriminate you or hurt others if found.
So this girl has this newly sober boyfriend with his new friends and new way of life and she is just supposed to instantly trust him? In the real world that just doesn't happen. AA's first death on duty was an AA sponsor shot by a jealous husband, and he was only giving her a lift to a meeting.
When I got sober some in my family were sceptical with good reason, but I was so delighted when my father and one of my friends showed a real interest in what I was doing in AA, they even came to some meetings. I would talk to anyone in the family who showed an interest and it seems many AAs feel the same in early sobriety, some of us almost start preaching, we are so keen on this new way of life we have discovered. So why would we want to shut out our nearest and dearest? Why would we reject their support and try to keep them in ignorance of what we are doing? Would we be ashamed of what we are doing? Could we be leading a double life - the one we want our AA friends to see, and the real one at home? It wouldn't be the first time that has happened.

Kmclin, none of this is your fault. It's his disease and he is responsible for how he behaves. He is lucky to have your support, many of us ended up completely alone. If you want to stay with this man, Alanon is a great place to start. They can show you how to live happily in these circumsatnces and perhaps help you to avoid these (inocent) mistakes. Remember alcoholics are sick people, nothing is working to well in the brain department, and as far as feelings and emotions go, it takes quite a while for things to come right. As the days go by things look different, we become more aware of the people around us and eventually we actually start to consider others and show that we care. But to start with we are often so self obsessed that it simply does not occur to us that our actions, our lack of consideration for others might be hurting them. We find this out as we grow in the AA program, and then we learn to make amends, we learn that we must be hard on ourselves but always considerate of others.

God bless,
MikeH.

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You can talk about it it by all means...I would let him initiate the discussions more....but being supportive is good. You can say "how was the meeting?" "how are things with your sponsor?" That's just being supportive to him as a person. That's good. I also hope you didn't feel too smacked down by our responses. The fact that you care and are sticking around says a lot.

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No I'm not upset about your responses, some were a little harsh. I asked for feeback and got it! But he is very upset with what happened and told me he can't talk to me right now, so I am giving him space( should I just wait for him to contact me?) I just want him to know that I want to see him recover and I want to contribute to helping him get through everything. I didn't know that our fight would cause this big of problems and hinder his recovery.

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My thought is for you to let him know you're trying to give him space and that you now understand his need for working this out privately ... He is in the middle of a lot of 'soul-searching' right now and trying to put everything into perspective ... Relationships are especially tough during this period because the lack of alcohol changes everything ... We are different people when we drink ... I pray you have the patience to stick around long enough to see what kind a person a 'clean' boyfriend can be ... and I hope it's the kind of person you can like/love more than before ...

May God watch over you both.

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kmclin52 wrote:

No I'm not upset about your responses, some were a little harsh. I asked for feeback and got it! But he is very upset with what happened and told me he can't talk to me right now, so I am giving him space( should I just wait for him to contact me?) I just want him to know that I want to see him recover and I want to contribute to helping him get through everything. I didn't know that our fight would cause this big of problems and hinder his recovery.


 kmclin52,  If you really care about this guy, you need to give him some space for his recovery.  This is not like taking a class.  He's involved in a process (the steps) that requires rigerous honesty, that is bringing to light some pretty ugly and humiliating stuff.  It's no picnic and takes a lot of guts and walking through fear without his trusty annesthetic alcohol.  He will going through some changes and the last thing that he needs is to be arguing about anything.  Most of us do 90 meetings in 90 days (every day for awhile).  Thats what it takes to get us out of the habit of drinking every day while we learn how to live without and defuse the bomb that triggers us to drink. 



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StPeteDean wrote:
kmclin52 wrote:

No I'm not upset about your responses, some were a little harsh. I asked for feeback and got it! But he is very upset with what happened and told me he can't talk to me right now, so I am giving him space( should I just wait for him to contact me?) I just want him to know that I want to see him recover and I want to contribute to helping him get through everything. I didn't know that our fight would cause this big of problems and hinder his recovery.


  He will going through some changes and the last thing that he needs is to be arguing about anything. 


 An alternative view might be the last thing he needs is someone who will tolerate his BS. The original post indicated he told kmclin 52 she was ruining his recovery. Some might say that was laying on a guilt trip. Where is the sponsor in all this? If one of my pigeons came to me and said their partner wanted to be involved in their recovery, I'd say great, that's fantastic news, lets all get together and talk about the road ahead. I certainly wouldn't say "tell her to butt out, it's none of her business"

 God bless,

Mike H.

 



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Did you locate an Al-Anon meeting, and when is your first one?

GG

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 An alternative view might be the last thing he needs is someone who will tolerate his BS.  Mike H.

 


 getting out of a dysfunctional relationship to concentrate on his sobriety would acheive that objective as well.  It worked for me.  biggrin



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Yes I found an al anon meeting in my area I go Monday...I'm excited but nervous at the same time. Still havent got a call from my boyfriend...so i dont know whats going on. I am just trying to learn the steps I need to take for my part in all of this. I'm just lost in the whole thing. Also, I wouldnt say our relationship is dysfunctional we have normal fights like all couples. I feel like he thinks it was okay to bring me through the bs but its not okay for me to watch him recover. He told me that the people from AA told him he needs to only worry about himself...so just throw a supportive partner to the side? Yes I made a mistake for reading his personal papers and giving my input where it wasnt needed, but I have been behind this man through the whole thing I have never tried to ruin anything I do anything I can to try and make things more comfortable for him. I tried going to meetings with him and he doesnt want it. Now the only thing I can do is sit back and heal myself. Thanks for the comments everyone!

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I can't speak for him but I was pretty mixed up for the first couple of months (I still am a tad but not in a bad way). There was lots of guilt, regret, sadness, fear, confusion and on top of that the withdrawal process. It's a messy time for most.

No real advice here but just to let you know that how I felt last December was not how I felt in January and that was not how I felt in February etc.

I hope everything works out well for the both of you.

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Bravo to you for finding an Al-Anon meeting to go to. Just like we alcoholics need other alcoholics to help us heal, the Al-Anon community can be a great source of information and support for you.

I haven't had a drink in six months and I can tell you from my experience that the person I am today is very different than the person I was in those first few scary weeks of recovery. Things really do get better with time.

All the very best to you. :)



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ASO


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My BF is an alcoholic. I had no idea when I met him and had no prior experience with addiction. The book, Under the Influence has been my lifesaver. A stranger told me about it on a plane trip. BF has had several relapses in the last few years as well as a short self-directed stint in rehab. We are very close, and sometimes I do feel left out especially when AA "becomes his life." He has never let me see his "Life Story" for his sponsor and also does not talk about the meetings. However, his Mom and I have been his strongest support.

The best way to approach it is that you must have your own fulfilling life. Without AA, my BF would not be available to anyone, including himself. It is his lifeline. I had no idea his alcoholism had been off and on for 20 years. You would never ever guess if you knew him. I see it as a disease that I have accepted. I watch for signs and help him get straight. If he were diabetic, I would say have you taken your insulin today? Instead, I say: Have you called your sponsor? What time are you going to AA? No -- we can't go out tonight if you don't go to AA. If he's not sober, he will be dead -- so what good will he be then?

This is a lifelong battle. I learned when I watched him relapse a year ago. I was so shocked. Now I know it's like battling cancer or heart disease. One day at a time. Love and support without shame, and constant vigilence.

This cannot be about you, or you are with the wrong person.

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kmclin52 wrote:

He told me that the people from AA told him he needs to only worry about himself...so just throw a supportive partner to the side?


 Gosh it makes me cringe when I hear that sort of thing. I would hope that his AA group doesn't say that because it is completely opposite to what the AA program is all about. Often it is just a newcomer misinterpreting what he is being told. Certainly his sobriety must come first because without it there will be nothing else. But a big part of sobriety is to be responsible and  considerate towards others. It is not about putting self before all else. Our Big Book says : Page 20 "Our very lives, as ex problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs" P14-15 "For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead" P62 "Selfishness, self centredness!. That we think is the root of our troubles"  " So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of our selves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must or it kills us!"

I mention these things because a casual reader of this thread could draw the conclusion that, in order to recover through Alcoholics Anonymous, newly sober alcoholics are to be regarded as some how more privilaged than anyone else, that they need only think of themselves, and any hurt or suffering they cause to the people around them is not their problem. Nothing could be further from the truth.

God bless,

Mike H.



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You need to keep your nose out of his business.

His recovery isn't about you.

There's a reason why a particular type of men and women latch onto drunks...we're great at making you feel needed.

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TipsyMcstagger wrote:


There's a reason why a particular type of men and women latch onto drunks...we're great at making you feel needed.


 I'm a little curious of what this was supposed to mean??

But, I just wanted to give an update...my boyfriend and I are doing great now! He's coming up to his 3rd month sober and I am very proud of him...he's a completely different person! I would also like to thank you all for the positive responses and advice...I needed help with understanding his addiction! Thank you so much all!



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kmclin52 wrote:
TipsyMcstagger wrote:


There's a reason why a particular type of men and women latch onto drunks...we're great at making you feel needed.


 I'm a little curious of what this was supposed to mean??

 


Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence

These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.
They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.

Denial Patterns:

I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
I label others with my negative traits.
I can take care of myself without any help from others.
I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.

Low Self Esteem Patterns:

I have difficulty making decisions.
I judge what I think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
I am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
I value others approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
I am unable to ask others to meet my needs or desires.
I perceive myself as superior to others.
I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
I have trouble setting healthy priorities.

Compliance Patterns:

I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
I put aside my own interests in order to do what others want.
I am hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
I accept sexual attention when I want love.
I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.

Control Patterns:

I believe most people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
I attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
I freely offer advice and direction to others without being asked.
I become resentful when others decline my help or reject my advice.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I want to influence.
I use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
I have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
I demand that my needs be met by others.
I use charm and charisma to convince others of my capacity to be caring and compassionate.
I use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
I refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
I use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

Avoidance Patterns:

I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me.
I judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships.
I use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
I pull people toward me, but when they get close, I push them away.
I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.
I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
I withhold expressions of appreciation.

 www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship.  

 

 

 



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hmm so I'm co dependent because I'm in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic? So in order for me to not be considered co dependent when I found out my boyfriend had I problem I should of left? Since you have no idea who I am how could you possibly make such a judgement about me?

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it's not a judgment it's a generalization

Alcoholics date codependents

you are dating an alcoholic

therefore =

no one is judging you, it's about you taking that quiz and finding out for yourself, if you aren't, good, if you are great, you know where to go for help

aint no thang, you are on a self help board, we the last people in the world to judge someone if they need help..since,....ummm...that's why we're here

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No one's judging. Co = with , Dependent = alcoholic/addict as in Co-ed. People that spend a significant amount of time with addicts or alcoholics develop issues. Chances are very good that someone who is attracted to an alcoholic also had a parent that was an alcoholic or addict or codependent because they had an alcoholic for a parent. It's a familiarity thing that causes the attraction.
"Normal" people are not attracted to practicing alcoholics, they are generally repulsed.

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