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Post Info TOPIC: dating recovering alcoholics


Senior Member

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dating recovering alcoholics


For those of you who were married to or dated alcoholics, and are/were single and dating, how do you feel about dating recovering alcoholics?

I went out on a date with a guy who seems great. But he's in recovery. That scares the you know what out of me.

I liked talking to him, because we could discuss the program and all that. BUT he's only been sober a year and a half. Prior to that ,he was sober 5 years but he relapsed when the economy went south.

After my toxic relationship with my ex, I simply COULD NOT be with another alcoholic. It's too painful. I would probably end up in a mental hospital. (I'm thinking, what happens if he relapsed).

What do you guys think?

 

 



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Hey drummerchick423,

I'm still with my AH (who is in recovery now with around 70 days sober currently living in a sober living home) so I don't have any experience dating anyone in recovery... but I am interested in what others have to say about this.

I am so scared that my AH will relapse because, like you, I don't ever what to go through this hell again. I was very close to committing myself to a mental hospital.

There are no guarantees so I guess that's a risk/decision/choice we have to make. Are you willing to take the risk?

Out of curiosity, where did you meet this guy you are dating? I'm asking because it sounds like you've only been on a few dates, or just one first date, and he was taking about recovery already? Or, maybe recovering addicts are encouraged to do so... I dunno?

Take care of yourself:)

Danielle


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~*Service Worker*~

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One thing we know about us is that our "pickers" are broken, and we tend to pick people without protecting ourselves enough.  And also, somehow they gravitate to us, as if they know who will take on the risky propositions.  So I'm thinking I'd better err on the side of being too picky about alcoholism, rather than not picky enough.

It's true that thousands of people have gone into recovery and stayed sober for the rest of their lives.  The statistics are that it's somewhere between 5%-30% of alcoholics that really stay sober.

When it was clear that my husband was an alcoholic, I turned for advice to an old friend who was a pillar of AA.  He had really gotten his head straight, and he helped me understand a lot about alcoholism.  He ran meetings and did a lot of service work, he had a lot of sponsees over the years.  If there was anyone whose recovery was rock solid, it was him. And then -- he started drinking again. He had been sober around sixteen years.  His first night, he got roaring drunk and caused a public commotion.  The last I heard, a long time after that, he was still drinking.

That's how cunning, baffling, and powerful this disease is. Personally, my serenity is so hard-won and shaky that I don't dare risk disturbing it.  It's hard enough to stay serene even without alcoholism at my doorstep.  That's just my view of it.



-- Edited by Mattie on Friday 22nd of April 2011 08:49:32 PM

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I always pick alcoholics. But, my AF was the first one that I ever started dating that was in recovery. I though, "finally, one that knows he is an alcoholic and admitted it." But, lo and behold, he has relapsed twice since we have been together. In my opinon, he has relapsed worse than any of the A's that never admitted it. He goes on "benders" and drinks non stop for weeks, then goes to detox. Right now, he is in the midst of that. This is round two for me, and I am sad, lonely, discouraged and so disapointed. I don't think I will ever date anyone in recovery again. I love him so much and his disease is all that matters when it's active. It sucks.

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Katfshh

~The most beautiful sunsets are made by cloudy skies~



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I was married to an alcoholic for 8 years. We got divorced. 3 years later, I started dating a guy ... come to find out he was an alcoholic. He'd been sober for about 5 years but relapsed his first semester of law school. He's my husband now - he has a little more than 2 years of sobriety.

Funny, but when I started dating him, he wasn't sober. I mean, he was trying to be sober. He'd get a week here and there. I pushed him into rehab twice, but it didn't help. I think I was addicted to the drama and chaos, because there was plenty of it. After I got out of my marriage to an alcoholic, I swore I wouldn't date any more alcoholics.  But there I was.

He's my husband now, and it amazes me to see what his HP has done for him one day at a time. He works a very tight program - 1 meeting a day, works steps, meets sponsor once or twice a week, one or two service projects religiously every week.

Can he relapse? Sure. Any addict could relapse. But I have to choose not to focus on that, or else it steals the joy right out of today.

HOWEVER, in thinking about entering a new relationship, I'd like to think I'd be able to act logically and use my head and not my heart. If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not. I'm not sure, I'm capable of it, though, if I'm rigorously honest.  Seems like my picker was definitely broken, and even after it was very obvious I'd made a bad choice, I stayed. My HP has blessed me beyond belief, having a companion like my sober AH. But it wasn't always like that, and it may not always be the way it is now.

If you turn it over, the answer will become clear in time. :)



-- Edited by White Rabbit on Saturday 23rd of April 2011 07:21:36 AM



-- Edited by White Rabbit on Saturday 23rd of April 2011 07:25:52 AM

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* White Rabbit *

I can't fix my broken mind with my broken mind.


Veteran Member

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Hi Drummerchick,

All I can say on this topic is that there are no guarantees in life. All is a risk! I have dated a so-called recovering alcoholic and it is not easy. Just because they go to meetings does not mean that they are all better. There are some that attend meetings but don't work the program. Unless a person gets a sponsor and works the steps....they cannot and will not recover..They will be what is known as a dry drunk. Not a drop of alcohol without an ounce of recovery still equals insanity. I would absolutely take my time and make sure someone is really working the program before allowing myself to get emotionally involved with them. I have learned this from experience. Sobriety is about more than not drinking....it is about living and working the steps and spirituality of this program a day at a time. It takes time to see the true colors of any person. My suggestion: Proceed with caution. I wish you all the best. Pray on it and trust your gut and take your time...........

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Hi Danielle!
Congrats on your AH being in recovery.
I met him on OkCupid. It's weird, I don't know how we started talking about this stuff-it just came up organically in one of our phone conversations.
I might have to keep him at arm's length and just as a friend.
I've been broken up with my ex for a few months and still feel nutso. You may have seen my posting on him getting back with his ex, after I had to give him an ultimatum about the drinking-the same one he always ran to when we had issues.
danielle0516 wrote:

Hey drummerchick423,

I'm still with my AH (who is in recovery now with around 70 days sober currently living in a sober living home) so I don't have any experience dating anyone in recovery... but I am interested in what others have to say about this.

I am so scared that my AH will relapse because, like you, I don't ever what to go through this hell again. I was very close to committing myself to a mental hospital.

There are no guarantees so I guess that's a risk/decision/choice we have to make. Are you willing to take the risk?

Out of curiosity, where did you meet this guy you are dating? I'm asking because it sounds like you've only been on a few dates, or just one first date, and he was taking about recovery already? Or, maybe recovering addicts are encouraged to do so... I dunno?

Take care of yourself:)

Danielle


 

 



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My experience is probably going to be vastly different then most on this board

 

because I originally got sober in 1992

 

It's funny because I see the word "alcoholic" and I automatically think of a sober alcoholic, almost everyone I know and are friends with are well into their second or third decade of sobriety and a finer group of people I have never met, seriously, they are otherworldly, loving, kind, helpful, truthful, and self aware and spiritual like you wouldn't believe, they base ALL their actions on what is the kind and loving thing to do, as a matter of fact I don't do well trying to have a relationship with someone who -hasn't- worked the steps at least a few times, alcoholic or not, there is a different level of accountability and communication and denial has been stripped away, so...truth happens, intimacy happens, communication happens, the most amazing relationships I have had in my life both romantic and platonic have been with these people

Admittedly the rooms are filled with idiots, maroons, slippers, thieves, arseholes, and pedantic wacks as well, just not my friends haha, it's true haha I just avoid these people

That being said I would no more start dating a practicing alcoholic or even someone in their first five years any more then I would have unprotected sex with a rabid streetwalker that was foaming at the mouth, it's that dangerous and evokes that kind of fear and loathing in me, literally the prospect terrifies me, and for good reason, I have some experience with this that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, that and I was a destructive trainwreck for early sobriety, and then a roller coaster for the first few years after that, I often think the "no new relationships for a year" -suggestion- in AA is not to protect the newcomer as much as it is to protect us from the newcomer, newcomers are trainwrecks, and they stay that way for years, although they don't think so, that's why all us old timers sit in the back and just watch, those people amuse us greatly, it's like watching the chess club when someone gave the chess club all the sugar they could eat and all the coffee they could drink....meetings are fun for a lot of reasons lol

The only -practicing- alcoholics I have in my life any more are a few family members and I stay far far away from these people, ESPECIALLY if they start drinking, I have ZERO patience for drunk people, which is why I ALWAYS drive my own car to events, and won't go to events if people think I am going to be their designated driver because I don't drink...I just don't

A number of my female friends who got sober married male alcoholics with varying years of sobriety when they (the females) were in their first five years, in about half the cases it went horribly horribly wrong, and we now talk alanon and Coda together, in others miracles happen, my sponsor met and fell in love with a woman when he had 30 days, they got married when he had 6 months, they broke every "rule" there is to break, that was maybe 15 years ago, maybe more (I used to drag him to meetings when he was brand new lol) and a happier healthier more attractive couple I could never hope to meet, I was friends with a woman (my best friends room-mate) for nigh on a decade, we got together stayed together for 6 years or so and parted ways amicably when I moved away for family business, a better friend I could never ask for.

Another normie friend met and marrried an alcoholic with 6 years of sobriety and a more wonderful man I never met...until they got married, then a more ugly human being I have never met, so GO SLOW....IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS

people tell us who they are in the first 3 hours we meet them "I got drunk at...." or "I got arrested at..." or the WORST "I hate my ex because blah..blah..." or "I get a little jealous..." or "I'm new in sobriety..." or "I hate serial daters..(those people are ALL serial daters lolol) ." ALL of these have me signalling frantically for the waiter to bring me the check....and the ABSOLUTE SCARIEST ONE "I don't know what's wrong with me I just pick arsehole after arsehole, I'm like an arsehole magnet, I think I have a broken picker" Caligula, Stalin, Genghis Khan and that robot from lost in space going "Danger Danger Danger Will Robinson!!!" all go running for the door...so we just choose to ignore what they tell us because the rules don't appply to us, "he will change for me" "I'm different" ... ummm....no, what you see is what you get...always

so anyhow, exceptions to the rule happen, the rule happens, and everything in between happens, but one rule that is NOT flexible, the one "rule" that is a mathematical certainty, the one rule I have NEVER seen an exception to, is we pick our mirror, want to date an alcoholic, better be as centered as the dalai lama or you are playing a little game I call "Forrest Gump" when he opens that box of chocolate, because guarenteed, you aint centered when you start dating an alcoholic sober or otherwise you are opening up a box of crazy, it takes peactice to pick the ones that are gonna make it, they make us start practicing that game our first week when they told us "stick with the winners"

Thing is I have -experience- with choosing alcoholics now after attending meetings for so many years, I got sober young and every single one of us that ran around in the same "pack" are all still sober today, I learned to read alcoholics, now THAT being said I have had some friends "taken out" as the direct result of falling in love with an alcoholic in early sobriety, she gets pregnant, they have a baby, she relapses (or in many cases he does) and there is the sober one tracking down mommy or daddy at the bar or on the street corner with baby on the hip

my experience came from seeing who stayed sober for decades, from sponsoring countless others, from watching the ones that jumped in front of the bus, and from walking side by side with the same group of people for 20 years, I am still in contact with almost all of them, an old sponsor just facebooked me today, they are doctors, lawyers, screenwriters, actors, football players, they all got married and have happy healthy families, and believe me, seeing someone come in out of a mental ward after living on the streets with a purple mohawk go back to school in her twenties and thirties and get her masters then PHD, then get married last weekend is an amazing sight....

SO for me, I wouldn't choose anyone who hasn't worked the 12 steps THOROUGHLY and been accountable to a sponsor for years, I'd probably want some therapy in their past as well, I don't do well with people who don't have the level of accountability and insight the steps give us, and I've tried, I'm sure it's just me, but that's just how that is, this would include anyone I met at an Alanon meeting as well quite frankly, people who haven't worked the steps with a sponsor don't have what I want, they don't have the level of accountability I -demand- in someone in order to allow them to get close to me in my life, but I wouldn't recommend that course of action any more then I'd suggest someone become a animal handler for Lions with no training, you stick your head in the wrong lions cage and (s)he will eat you with no remorse, because that's what Lions do

So my experience has been dating a sober alcoholic is extraordinary, and for me was life changing since we went to therapy together and walked through some family of origin stuff and matching issues, but she had 15 years of sobriety when we started dating, and that was near ten years ago, and even then she could have given Dumbledore or Gandalf or Gandhi if you will a run for their money in benign wizardry coolness

 



-- Edited by linbaba on Friday 22nd of April 2011 11:19:37 PM

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OMG! That's so sad, the story about your friend who went out after 16 years of sobriety.
This disease is so horrible! That story made me cry. Maybe I am still raw after everything I went through with my ex.
Thanks so much for your advice, everyone. I think I just need to only date people who don't drink, and never had alcoholism, period. I'm too raw to take that risk.
Mattie wrote:

One thing we know about us is that our "pickers" are broken, and we tend to pick people without protecting ourselves enough.  And also, somehow they gravitate to us, as if they know who will take on the risky propositions.  So I'm thinking I'd better err on the side of being too picky about alcoholism, rather than not picky enough.

It's true that thousands of people have gone into recovery and stayed sober for the rest of their lives.  The statistics are that it's somewhere between 5%-30% of alcoholics that really stay sober.

When it was clear that my husband was an alcoholic, I turned for advice to an old friend who was a pillar of AA.  He had really gotten his head straight, and he helped me understand a lot about alcoholism.  He ran meetings and did a lot of service work, he had a lot of sponsees over the years.  If there was anyone whose recovery was rock solid, it was him. And then -- he started drinking again. He had been sober around sixteen years.  His first night, he got roaring drunk and caused a public commotion.  The last I heard, a long time after that, he was still drinking.

That's how cunning, baffling, and powerful this disease is. Personally, my serenity is so hard-won and shaky that I don't dare risk disturbing it.  It's hard enough to stay serene even without alcoholism at my doorstep.  That's just my view of it.



-- Edited by Mattie on Friday 22nd of April 2011 08:49:32 PM


 

 



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Haha! Linbaba, you're great. I love the way you write. Thank you so much for your insight.
I know exactly what you mean about the steps. I mean, jeez, I'm in al-anon and I wouldn't date me. I'm a mess! I don't have a sponsor yet and I'm stuck on my 3rd step. And in the past week I had a horrible codie relapse I'm still recovering from.
In fact, maybe i'm not suited to be dating anyone right now!
linbaba wrote:

My experience is probably going to be vastly different then most on this board

 

because I originally got sober in 1992

 

It's funny because I see the word "alcoholic" and I automatically think of a sober alcoholic, almost everyone I know and are friends with are well into their second or third decade of sobriety and a finer group of people I have never met, seriously, they are otherworldly, loving, kind, helpful, truthful, and self aware and spiritual like you wouldn't believe, they base ALL their actions on what is the kind and loving thing to do, as a matter of fact I don't do well trying to have a relationship with someone who -hasn't- worked the steps at least a few times, alcoholic or not, there is a different level of accountability and communication and denial has been stripped away, so...truth happens, intimacy happens, communication happens, the most amazing relationships I have had in my life both romantic and platonic have been with these people

That being said I would no more start dating a practicing alcoholic or even someone in their first five years any more then I would have unprotected sex with a rabid streetwalker that was foaming at the mouth, it's that dangerous and evokes that kind of fear and loathing in me, literally the prospect terrifies me, and for good reason, I have some experience with this that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, that and I was a destructive trainwreck for early sobriety, and then a roller coaster for the first few years after that, I often think the "no new relationships for a year" -suggestion- in AA is not to protect the newcomer as much as it is to protect us from the newcomer, newcomers are trainwrecks, and they stay that way for years, although they don't think so, that's why all us old timers sit in the back and just watch, those people amuse us greatly, it's like watching the chess club when someone gave the chess club all the sugar they could eat and all the coffee they could drink....meetings are fun for a lot of reasons lol

The only -practicing- alcoholics I have in my life any more are a few family members and I stay far far away from these people, ESPECIALLY if they start drinking, I have ZERO patience for drunk people, which is why I ALWAYS drive my own car to events, and won't go to events if people think I am going to be their designated driver because I don't drink...I just don't

A number of my female friends who got sober married male alcoholics with varying years of sobriety when they (the females) were in their first five years, in about half the cases it went horribly horribly wrong, and we now talk alanon and Coda together, in others miracles happen, my sponsor met and fell in love with a woman when he had 30 days, they got married when he had 6 months, they broke every "rule" there is to break, that was maybe 15 years ago, maybe more (I used to drag him to meetings when he was brand new lol) and a happier healthier more attractive couple I could never hope to meet, I was friends with a woman (my best friends room-mate) for nigh on a decade, we got together stayed together for 6 years or so and parted ways amicably when I moved away for family business, a better friend I could never ask for.

so exceptions to the rule happen, the rule happens, and everything in between happens, but one rule that is NOT flexible, the one "rule" that is a mathematical certainty, the one rule I have NEVER seen an exception to, is we pick our mirror, want to date an alcoholic, better be as centered as the dalai lama or you are playing a little game I call "Forrest Gump" when he opens that box of chocolate, because guarenteed, you aint centered when you start dating an alcoholic sober or otherwise you are opening up a box of crazy, it takes peactice to pick the ones that are gonna make it, they make us start practicing that game our first week when they told us "stick with the winners"

Thing is I have -experience- with choosing alcoholics now after attending meetings for so many years, I got sober young and every single one of us that ran around in the same "pack" are all still sober today, I learned to read alcoholics, now THAT being said I have had some friends "taken out" as the direct result of falling in love with an alcoholic in early sobriety, she gets pregnant, they have a baby, she relapses (or in many cases he does) and there is the sober one tracking down mommy or daddy at the bar or on the street corner with baby on the hip

my experience came from seeing who stayed sober for decades, from sponsoring countless others, from watching the ones that jumped in front of the bus, and from walking side by side with the same group of people for 20 years, I am still in contact with almost all of them, an old sponsor just facebooked me today, they are doctors, lawyers, screenwriters, actors, football players, they all got married and have happy healthy families, and believe me, seeing someone come in out of a mental ward after living on the streets with a purple mohawk go back to school in her twenties and thirties and get her masters then PHD, then get married last weekend is an amazing sight....

SO for me, I wouldn't choose anyone who hasn't worked the 12 steps THOROUGHLY and been accountable to a sponsor for years, I'd probably want some therapy in their past as well, I don't do well with people who don't have the level of accountability and insight the steps give us, and I've tried, I'm sure it's just me, but that's just how that is, this would include anyone I met at an Alanon meeting as well quite frankly, people who haven't worked the steps with a sponsor don't have what I want, they don't have the level of accountability I -demand- in someone in order to allow them to get close to me in my life, but I wouldn't recommend that course of action any more then I'd suggest someone become a animal handler for Lions with no training, you stick your head in the wrong lions cage and (s)he will eat you with no remorse, because that's what Lions do

So my experience has been dating a sober alcoholic is extraordinary, and for me was life changing since we went to therapy together and walked through some family of origin stuff and matching issues, but she had 15 years of sobriety when we started dating, and that was near ten years ago, and even then she could have given Dumbledore or Gandalf or Gandhi if you will a run for their money in benign wizardry coolness


 

 



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~*Service Worker*~

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I have so many conflicting feelings on dating and relationships in general.

To me, love is just a risk. Always will be. Because I cannot step inside another person's head and immediately know 100% of who they are and what they're about, there's always that chance that I may end up with someone that just leaves me in a lot of pain.

From my own experience, I can tell you that I *thought* I knew who my exAH was. But he was extremely good at hiding his big secret for quite a while. No - the secret wasn't his drinking. It was that he was a closeted homosexual. All of my friends who'd ever met him - even the ones who thought they had great "gay-dar" were blown away when they found out the truth about him. No one knew because he was that good at hiding that part of himself until he got a little bit lax and I found out.

So, what I'm getting at here is that I could get into another relationship with another man one day, thinking for sure that he is completely healthy - clean, sober, spiritually fit, etc... but there's always that risk that this human being has some huge mess of a problem that will maybe one day boil to the top... or not!

What's important for me is that I need to learn the kind of people that I'm drawn to and WHY, and also, at the same time, decide if that's a bad thing or not. And if it's a bad thing, then what can I do to change me on the inside so perhaps I stop feeling drawn to people who are "bad" for me.

I was reflecting with my sponsor today about the alcoholic I'd dated for a bit... and one of the things I recognize in me is this constant behavior I exhibit of being drawn to people who are unavailable. Either emotionally, or, in my distant past - yes, I even shamelessly flirted with married men and encouraged their attention. It all boils down to my wanting to be the center of attention, and on top of it, if I feel challenged and like I'm not accomplishing getting their attention, then by God, I'm gonna get it from them... they WILL like and adore me, damnit, because I'm that wonderful and they're supposed to think I'm that wonderful!

However, the other interesting thing is, is I find myself NOT wanting to be the attention of people who are extremely interested in me. Learning experience from the last weekend while volunteering at the AA convention: I found myself subject to some pretty intense flirtation by a few people either volunteering at or attending the convention. And what goes on in my head under this kind of intense flirtation: #1 "Hey, cool!" followed immediately by #2 "Aaaaaahhh! Nooo! Back off!"

So I want attention from people who can't give it, and I don't want anyone's attention if they're 100% all about giving it to me.

I am insatiable, it seems.

So, those are some behaviors I have to look at for myself and think about it. Why do I feel like I HAVE to have Mr. Aloof's attention, and why am I so repelled by Mr. "I'll give you all the attention you want!"

So - back to the question of dating a recovering alcoholic. For me, I think any other human being out there is a potential time-bomb with some issue waiting to crop up and rock my world. I just never know.

Thanks for letting me share.

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I haven't done very well dating anyone affected by the disease of alcoholism be them alcoholic themselves or victim of the disease.  My early sponsor told me that the membership of either program don't come with strong credentials and are in program to recover their minds, bodies, spirits and emotions...just like me.  When I knew that I wasn't such a prize either the truth really hit home.  I got as sick or sicker than the alcoholic and didn't have the anesthesia of alcohol to block out reality. 

I listen to the stories in the rooms of recovery and dang all that stuff doesn't go away even in program.  I learned another way to live and still have the old plans and blueprints available on a daily basis.  Relapse?  it is a part of the disease itself.  As long as there is compulsion and availability relapse becomes real.  From my own personal experience the compulsions rise without warning and that still surprises the hell out of me after all these years.  I had an Al-Anon relapse the other day that came out of nowhere within a few seconds of time that left me with "Keep coming back".  Had it not been for the Al-Anon program of recovery I just might now be in jail.  The only excuse or justification for it as it is also for drinking is the compulsion arrived and along with it my opportunity to use old behaviors that didn't work before and drove me into the program.

I have lots of loving membership in my life and I love them to death...I would not date anyone of them and if I was interested in dating someone new...of course with my present wife's approval...LOL...I would need to know history or risk the journey.

HP doesn't have that as a part of HP's will for me today especially now that we both agree that I have brains which I can use to make better decisions.    Just for me.

(((((hugs)))))  smile



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I know what you mean. I feel pretty broken and damaged. Some of the people I've met in AA though, who've been in the program for years, seem very centered and well-adjusted. I dated a recovering alcoholic for a few months and he was cool, but after 3.5 yrs off and on with an active one, I don't think I'd take the chance again.
Jerry F wrote:

 

I haven't done very well dating anyone affected by the disease of alcoholism be them alcoholic themselves or victim of the disease.  My early sponsor told me that the membership of either program don't come with strong credentials and are in program to recover their minds, bodies, spirits and emotions...just like me.  When I knew that I wasn't such a prize either the truth really hit home.  I got as sick or sicker than the alcoholic and didn't have the anesthesia of alcohol to block out reality. 

I listen to the stories in the rooms of recovery and dang all that stuff doesn't go away even in program.  I learned another way to live and still have the old plans and blueprints available on a daily basis.  Relapse?  it is a part of the disease itself.  As long as there is compulsion and availability relapse becomes real.  From my own personal experience the compulsions rise without warning and that still surprises the hell out of me after all these years.  I had an Al-Anon relapse the other day that came out of nowhere within a few seconds of time that left me with "Keep coming back".  Had it not been for the Al-Anon program of recovery I just might now be in jail.  The only excuse or justification for it as it is also for drinking is the compulsion arrived and along with it my opportunity to use old behaviors that didn't work before and drove me into the program.

I have lots of loving membership in my life and I love them to death...I would not date anyone of them and if I was interested in dating someone new...of course with my present wife's approval...LOL...I would need to know history or risk the journey.

HP doesn't have that as a part of HP's will for me today especially now that we both agree that I have brains which I can use to make better decisions.    Just for me.

(((((hugs)))))  smile


 

 



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I appolagise in advance because my grammar and spelling is going to be atroshus but I have read some sterling stuff on here this morning and it's crossed alot of t's for me and dotted tons of eyes, I am just so excited to reply because so so  much has been written that I have thought deeply about and didn't know how to write about it, so?

I had been thinking don't we all kind of fall into sort of four catorgories, lets just say four on here I know there are tons more but basically four, co d's, active a's and sober's a's, and dry a's, I think I am a dry alanon, I am on the cusp of recovery but not there yet, my husband is a dry drunk, and I have labelled drunks as bad people and how wrong am I, my husband is a very strong person, very comitted, very determined succesful, very hard at times and on our bad days he is not a person you would wish to cross swords with, but he's never worked the steps and nither have I, I private messaged someone on here, you know who you are, and asked could you be my sponsor, that person replied I am a recovering a, and I just was sooooooooooo shocked, truly I was, I thought my goodness I have asked the enemy to help me, sorry that sounds awful but up intill that point thats how It felt, it was all about them and us, and now? Stuff gets in my head that stops progress, I mean look at jerry F, sorry Jerry F to use you as my fine example, but we all feel it, what I am trying to say is there is good and bad in everyone, isn't it basically how we all go about treating one another, that this is all about,  I have a very close friend that has been kind of sponsoring me, she isn't in alanon and is happily married, you would think she wrote courage to change, and her and her family have all been my husbands friends too, infact I met her through my husband drinking with hers, now my husband has decided we should cut all contact, he isn't having any more to do with them,  now this has hurt me deeply, I have been so angry with him, but I think I understand that he feels threatened because she is making me strong and he's losing his hold on me, and I have complied with him and his manipulation, and told my friend who by the way has asked me right out has she done anything wrong, I said a resounding nope, I think I should keep this friendship  going because it could be a turning point for him too. 

My husband put the drink down almost five years ago, I don't worry that he might pick up again, I really trust that he said he wouldn't, and if he does I won't worry until that day happens.

Ermmmmmmm I am losing my thread here, oh ye, I do class myself as damaged, crackers bonkers raving looney at times, but you know waht? here in Alanon I never found such a nicer kinder sincere bunch of loonies.

 

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkaty

           x

 

 

 

 

 



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Katy


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((((Drummer Chick)))),

For me I would not want to get involved with another addict unless he had a lot of recovery time under his belt.  Perhaps it's a combination of things: memories of the "bad times" and fear that if I do get involved it might mean going back to some of those behaviors or perhaps my heart just isn't ready.

Now I have had dinner with friends that are addicts (some active, some not) and I do enjoy their company.  My program keeps on track when the active ones get "out of hand". 

I think it would depend on the individual.  There are addicts out there who have little recovery time but more than 100% comitted to their new life.  For me I would look for those "red flags" that can go off when you're dating anyone regardless if they are on addict or not.  Trust your inner voice, watch for those patterns that are a danger to your life (be it yours or his) and keep your program close.  All will be well.  Much love and blessings to you.

Live strong,

Karilynn & Pipers Kitty smile

 



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Drummer, my last two partners have been recovering alcoholics.  Although they described themselves as "in recovery", it turned out that their sobriety wasn't very solid.

Through my volunteer work, I am acquainted with a number of recovering As with decades of sobriety, so I guess I got a bit complacent about how shaky recovery could be.  Plus they were all really "together" people and it seemed like having a program had helped them in all areas of life.

Current ABF told me that he had been in recovery for 9 years; I figured that was pretty solid and safe.  As I later learned, when we met he was about a week out of a relapse and had been relapsing on a monthly or bimonthly basis up to that point.  He relapsed about 6 weeks after we started dating, and racked up 7 relapses in the first 16 months that we were together.  He looked more like a binge drinker than a recovering A.

Like Mattie says, my "picker" is broken.  I'm a magnet for alcoholics and addicts.  I can walk into a room full of them and their jaws drop like I'm some goddess, lol.  If I didn't know better, that level of attention would be dangerously flattering, especially for someone with low self-esteem like me.

Personally, I'd be very very wary of another relationship with a recovering A, simply because my experience has been that they can be a bit misleading about their level of commitment to recovery.



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Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could... Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Emerson


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listen, DC~ the way to have a relationship with you, one in which you have your own back (your own best interests at heart), a new relationship in which you can actually trust yourself and one that you wont continue to compromise yourself in ~ means that when you see a red or know a red flag, boundary that issue.  look at what you said:

"After my toxic relationship with my ex, I simply COULD NOT be with another alcoholic. It's too painful. I would probably end up in a mental hospital. (I'm thinking, what happens if he relapsed)."-drummer chick

Trust yourself, listen to your flags, triggers, intuition, feelings and issues.  With awareness, loving kindness and forgiveness, you can change what no longer supports your thoughts/beliefs about life.  Sacrificing you for someone else, is not love and it's not healthy.  Accept your limits, know them and boundary them (people, places and things).  If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quaks like a duck - I dont care how dynamic and charming it is, its still a duck!

I too did not want another addict in my life to be a partner/lover ever again.  I swore to myself that I would not do it and with boundaries when I could identify behaviors or attitudes that I could not stomach/accept in others, I stopped dating them.  I kept my solid boundaries and dated until I did find someone that genuinely was accepting of me and my boundaries.  If someone wont respect you and your boundaries, than they dont deserve to be with you bc they arent reflecting what you (say) you want.

I assure you, anytime you make a choice/decision in program, hp/god will be there to throw a situation at you, one in which you can prove this choice and stand by what you say or not.  Standing by you and what you say, builds up tremendous self respect and even though you may spend some time alone, eventually you will meet more new people and attract someone that can and will be willing to resepct, accept and love you as you are.  This is just a test, to see if you mean what you say or not - its just how HP/god is, always giving us an opportunity for growth.

You are worth waiting and working for.  Be happy and love and respect yourself and it will begin to seep into other aspects of your life and your new esteem and confidence will be very magnetic, appealing and attractive to others.  People want to feel good and when you accept, are loving and respectful of yourself, it bubbles/ripples out to others. 

 You are worth it, kcb and working what works!  and treat yourself with extra special kindness, pamper yourself and allow you to feel secure in this new way of loving that you so desire and deserve.  Choose your over others and resepct your own best interests, life is hard enough without us adding extra complications to it and in the mean time, keep on dating to see if do want to get to know them better or not.  Dating is fun, keep it light, follow your own boundaries and interveiw them to see what they are interested in.

My bf now, we dated and kept putting our friendship first and for two years we set boundaries and got know each other.  We did fall in love and it is the first healthy relationship I have ever known.  Its healthy bc we communicate, resepct and listen to each other.  We dont try to change each other, no we support each other instead.  It is possible and it is a whole new world!  Being respected and appreciated for who I am, genuine love - it is not manipulation! lol  I found when I set and stuck to my own boundaries, others had more respect for me, even the A's bc they dont value anyone they can treat like a doormat.

SLipping is a part of our resepctive recoveries.  If this guy is working program fearlessly and  chaning truly, that is possibly do-able and I would never tell anyone who to love or be with or be-friend.  Remember always that you can only work your own program and (for me personally) I can see how it would be hard to not want to watch, mother, guide and baby sit their programs.  Perhaps you may wish to take some time off to get your boundaries and program stronger before you date - I know I took many months off to re- evaluate how to act with adults in a healthier way.  Be kind and gentle with yourself, become your own best friend and advocate and it will get better!



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Dear drummerchick423, life experience has taught me a few things.  I'll share a couple of them with you.

I believe that any intimate relationship takes time....a substantial amount of time to get to know all sides of a person (and you still won't know everything).  Don't make instant irreversible choices about "staying together forever" early on. 

NOW, here is the real kicker.  MOTHER NATURE has arranged that when we get that love feeling/attraction, it becomes chemistry for a certain period of time.  The chemistry is largely in the form of hormones secreted by the body.  There are good reasons for this (can't go into all that now due to lack of space), and it accounts for that wonderful euphoric high that all lovers get.  That warm, everything is o.k. feeling can cloud our judgements to a unbelieveable degree!!!!!!!

By the way, there are more things to consider than JUST addiction.  Some disasterous unions have been made with people who don't drink/use.

When in love/attraction/or lust, try to stay connected to your rational mind by giving a lot of time *******AND SETTING YOUR BOUNDRIES AS THE BEHAVIORS AND KNOWLEDGE OF PAST BEHAVIORS PRESENT THEMSELVES***********

Always remembering that your decisions about who you invite into your life are also the people you are inviting into your childrens' lives.  That is a huge responsibility.

Dear drummerchick423.  Just felt the need to share.

Sorry if I sound lie your mother (lol)

Respectfully, Otie



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Just  read lynbaba'a post.  I completely agree with him regarding the kind of scrutiny for those we choose to bring close to us (investing in/developing interdependency, dating, etc.)

******I also think we should use the same amount of scrutiny for those who are not addicted----addiction is not the only dealbuster in town!!

 



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Hello DC,
I don't know if this will make much sense to anyone else but thank you for giving me incentive to put my random thoughts about my experience in order. I've been contemplating the idea of dating anyone who suffers from addictions for a couple years now without being in a relationship with anyone but myself. My number one discovery about myself is that I believed dating was a relationship, and it does not have to be. I actually date more than one addict right now, lunch, conversation, companionship, even sex with one (only one) occasionally. But none of these dating attachments are what I consider relationships ... because in relationships I find I EXPECT things. And when I expect things like phone calls, favors, a commitment to living sober and in recovery and expect myself to react to relapses that hurt or addiction mindsets that frustrate me. I get disappointed, hurt and forget to work on me ... yes me me me me ... it's become all about me (LOL You know a decade ago if anyone would have told me that I would actually believe my life was all about me I would have been horrified at the selfishness of that thought, now I am horrified by the thought of putting the burden of providing the meaning of my life on someone else, my value of what selfishness is has changed drastically.) Anyway my point is that for now I can be a friend who dates with no expectations, complete appreciation and be attached to the men with addictions I date but a true relationship with trust, reliance and expectations is way too much for me for where I am in my recovery...  with anyone, addictions or not. Until I can find the same balance in expectations in a relationship that I have of the friends I date the potential for more committment would just be going down the same path as I always have before. Still a work in progress smile.gif

Jen



-- Edited by Jennifer on Saturday 23rd of April 2011 11:06:49 PM

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I don't think that I would get seriously involved in a relationship with an A, recovery or not. I dated someone for a few months last summer. I don't know for a fact if he was an A, but his story of past drug use, and his attraction to beer were all the signs I needed to determine that it would be a short-term, no strings attached relationship only. He was charming, kind, fun, caring, and attractive (aren't they all), and different enough from me that he challenged me to move outside my comfort zone, which I liked. I surprised myself in that I was able to put up an emotional boundary and just enjoy the relationship for what it was. We set the terms early on. It was the first time since my divorce that I really just played (I saw him only when I didn't have my kids) We hiked, rode bikes, did projects around my house smile.gif He was kind of mysterious, and I did not ask questions. I used al-anon a lot. He was somewhat of a lost soul, and one I totally could have taken care of if I chose, but I did not. The first and really only time I felt he was disrespectful to me (it had to do with him over-committing and being very late) I let him know, without fear of abandonment, that I would not be treated in such a way. My motto became, "when I come to the point of wanting him to be different than who he is, it is time to say goodbye". We enjoyed the summer and he moved away. We texted a few times, and that was it. Overall, it was empowering experience for me, and I don't regret any of it. I realized that as much as I enjoyed the attention and affection of another, and all the perks that brings, I love me more. My serenity was so hard-earned and still in process, and I will never go back to the turmoil and chaos that was destroying me. I know there are no guarantees, but I have choices, something I didn't know I had before.

Blessings,
Lou

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Every new day begins with new possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace.
~ Ronald Reagan~

Sometimes what you want to do has to fail, so you won't
~Marguerite Bro~


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Loupiness wrote:

My motto became, "when I come to the point of wanting him to be different than who he is, it is time to say goodbye".


 Oh, gosh.  That's sooooo good, I should get that one tattooed on my forehead or something.

For myself, I definitely see a pattern of falling for a guy's "potential" (as I judged it) and the totally arrogant notion that I would help him become the person he was "meant" to be.  That applied to the non-A partners as well.  I have been such a meddling little Fixer!

 



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Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could... Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Emerson


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I would not date another A. My ABF was sober (from alcohol not pot or gambling) for a two years when we got back together. But, just when everything seems ok in my experiance the diesese makes it's appearance again in the form of the dry drunk. I would say it takes a long time for the rollar coaster to end sometimes never. If I begin dating someone else it will not be anyone who is an A or in the program, it is just too stressful.

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I can say I would never date a person in recovery no matter how long they are sober. In my mind, it is not worth the incredible risk. There are tons of people on this planet so why choose someone you know have a high liklihood to bring you great heartache? Now, if my ex-AH was interested in getting sober when we were married then I would have stuck by his side but a new relationship? No way! Why don't I deserve a chance at a stable loving relationship not wrought with anxiety about a relapse? Life is difficult enough without piling on another problem that is out of my control.



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i've burned myself twice with my choices of alcoholic partners. for years i thought i was a bad person for not working hard enough at my young marriage to a not-even-close-to-recovery alcoholic. with Al-Anon i learned better. years later i met a clean-n-sober alcoholic, i admired all the work he'd done on himself, and i thought (incorrectly) it would be so much easier. it's been heart-wrenching to learn that even with so many years of work, his disease still affected him so deeply. it's been even harder to learn i was not strong enough to deal with it in healthy ways.

i do have a lot of strength, just not for certain types of relationships, and now i want to use my strength to better myself and improve my daughter's life. i have to say that a lot of what i've learned is here, just by going to the online meetings and listening, or reading the forums, being able to empathize with others and to share my experiences. i need to continue coming back so i can learn how to take care of myself and avoid potentially toxic relationships in the future while at the same time learning to not to be afraid of the possibility of any relationship.

it's not that i think addicts or alcoholics are bad people. it is only that i learned they're bad for me.



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I like to the K.I.S.S. of the program, Keep It Simple Sweetie in responding to posts.

Dating someone in recovery can be boiled down to this:

The Odds are Good, But the Goods are Odd



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lou


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 I dated a recovering alcholic and drug addict who had been clean for 8 years, for an year. He went on to date someone in the program after we broke up who was still using..then when that went pear shaped as you can imagine it would, he came back and has now gone again after another 9 months as he has met someone else. I have heard it all..the i love yous, the tears, the self loathing, guilt,the traumatic childhood,lots and lots of mixed mesages,loves you one minute cold the next i have heard it  all and then some. Emotionally it can be very crippling and i have spent many a night crying myself to sleep.  Just know this.Even tho they can be  extremely loving,kind,generous and will make you feel like the only girl in the world they also can be very emotionally unavailable,they can still be selfish and a bit vacant regarding emotions and what comes with being in a romantic relationship and all that it entails.Be prepared for a hard and emotional ride. I would not go down that road again.Not romantically. I do have met good people in the program and they are great.However romantic relationships with people who dont have other issues are hard enough,trying to have a mature romantic relationship with some one in recovery is ten times harder.This was harder than when i went through my divorce 6 years ago. Read up inform yourself talk to others,but always always go with what your heart tells you.if in doubt dont.



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