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Post Info TOPIC: Tried to control my boyfriend's drinking, now want to back out?


Member

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Posts: 7
Date:
Tried to control my boyfriend's drinking, now want to back out?


Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone has insight. My boyfriend has agreed to not drink around me or on the days he sees me. Sometimes he drinks before seeing me and tries to hide it. I realize that asking him to not drink was kind of ridiculous and never going to work, and now it's causing more insanity than doing good. I think that when we are hanging out one on one I want to keep requiring him to not drink as a boundary (I am a sober addict-alcoholic myself), but to prevent him to do so in social settings and before he sees me might be unrealistic...

We are now scheduled to have a dinner with all his friends on Tuesday, and I am scared that he'll really want to drink and do it and be secretive about it...or something equally awkward and unpleasant.  I have been doing some alanon meetings and working on my spirituality and basically doing my best to focus on making MYSELF happy and complete. I realize that the battle of making him act a certain way is not a battle worth fighting in this case.

I am thinking of contacting him before the dinner to say something like 'I realize that me trying to control your drinking wasn't the right course of action, since I have no control over it and your desire to not drink needs to come from you.  I want you to know that if drinking at this dinner party is what you want to do, though I don't condone it, I accept that this is where you are right now and that drinking at your own dinner party might be what you need to do right now."  

 

Is that insane? Should I just drop it and let him drink in secret? Or try to not drink? I honestly just want the freedom of letting go but I feel like I set this up all wrong.



__________________
a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 966
Date:

As I reflect on my time in a similiar position, it is the insanity of the juggling act that strikes me.  Thank-you for sharing this conundrum. There's an impossible demand here:  To have a sober relationship with an alcoholic by removing the physical presence of the substance that contributes to one aspect of the four fold disease. It's cool that you have come your own conclusions around this. I know that the longer I spend in recovery the more I can observe the forest in spite of the trees.  In this instance, I'd probably just say it straight. "I don't want to be around you when you're drinking but I don't want to be anyone's Stalin on the Sidelines either. So, is this an evening for us as a couple, or a social thing you feel obligated to invite me to?" The answer might give you more of an idea of what is reasonable to expect....an there again, will be an opportunity if you think you need or can handle it, to see whether expectations are reasonable in the circumstance and what the cost benefit is. I'm not sure what the equally unpleasant aspect is but in line with acceptance, that an alcoholic is going to drink, should you decide to go, a plan b might help. When "x" does "y" I will call a cab and go home.  There's also the decision to change the plan and not go with him to this event. I came to conclude that having an alcoholic partner is a lot like accounting for a disability. It requires more planning and effort before, during and after. This is really at odds for me personally on too many levels, but it took time to get there. Good on you for bringing this to the boards to go over.  



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Senior Member

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Posts: 394
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Hi uhohcheerio. Glad you're here. After returning to alanon 7 months ago having been gone for app 10 years......I marvel how easy it can be to fall into negotiating with an alcoholic. I tried the no booze in the house last month or so. Then I realized the drinking and driving was seriously worrying me. Sooooooooooo I told him he could have booze in the house if he wouldn't drink and drive, just not left in my face etc. I had to work on me, realize what I was expecting was irrational because there's nothing rational with alcoholism. He is now drinking and driving and drinking at home. The difference is..........I'm at peace regardless of what he does now.

It's a program of progress not perfection. Learning how to live and let others live. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen or something like that. I can't remember right off if that slogan is correct but it means the same thing. These days I do my best to plan my day, my events, and take care of me. All else is loving and caring for my AH. Just not placing any real expectations on him. I like what a4l said in having a plan b. That helps take away a fight waiting to happen.

Glad you're here and hope you keep coming back:)

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Member

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Posts: 7
Date:

Thank you for your well written and sensible response! I think that seeing the forest instead of the trees is SUCH a good point here, wow. Sigh. I have so much anxiety about tonight, I am trying to let it go, the more time passes the more I do want to cancel. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around him and it sucks. If I do go, I will do as you say: make a simple statement.



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Member

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Posts: 7
Date:

Thank you for reminding me...this is irrational....because the disease is irrational..it's all crazy making. I guess that's why I need recovery. Sigh. I am sorry you are having those difiiculties with your A too. 



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Senior Member

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Posts: 169
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Aloha and welcome to the board.  I hope you stick around and keep coming back looking for more ESH and passing on what you have learned that works so that others can also learn more and better.

My program of recovery is the 12step/12tradition recovery program from AA and also practiced in our Family Groups.  Everyone who comes into contact with the disease is affected, drinker or not.  My former wife was alcoholic/addict.  She drank and got drunk and used drugs and got worse.  I tried every method I thought would work to get her to stop, change, think more of us etc.etc.  Her AA sponsor recommended Al-Anon to me and I hated that all.  After they got thru the discussions on how I drank they suggested AA and I hated that even more.  I knew nothing about alcoholism and didn't even know that I didn't know.  I was born and raised within the disease and didn't realized that was why my families of origin were so crazy and sick or why I was that way myself.  I never went to a meeting willingly until my HP (Higher Power) released me of the anxiety of trying to figure it out in my head, by myself, without any help.  I did learn that Alcoholism was a disease of the mind, body, spirit and emotions and that  it was a compulsion of the mind and allergy of the body and then that it could/would never be cured...only arrested by total abstinence also that both the drinker and the non-drinker were affected in much the same way except that we the spouses, family, friends and associates of the alcoholic/addicts were not addicted to the alcohol.   

I started to learn I was in deep trouble because I was doing the wrong things and almost caused my wife's demise from within a rage...which is how my powerlessness showed itself.  I was ready for my first meeting and I was able to sit quietly and listen to as much as I could and decide that I would keep coming back to hear and learn more. It was confirmed that I was absolutely powerless over this disease and needed deep help which I got from staying in program and following all suggestions I could including going to college to learn about Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.

Did I get to sober and clean up my wife?...No.  I got to love her unconditionally and to thank God that God used her as the instrument for my humility.  We parted in love without a reason to be married and I came home.  

Early suggestions to me were to do 90X90   ...90 meetings in 90 days and I got in 102.  Get to the meetings and listen and learn.  Get a sponsor (I've been deeply blessed in this need) Get and read and use the literature and more also to do service to the program which I still do.  More over stay in contact with HP and sponsor and the rest of the tools.   MIP ...here is one of the greatest tools in my serenity/sobriety and I keep coming back.

I suggest you do MIP daily for 90 days and pass on what you learn to those of us who are trying to get it also.   This works when you work it.  Go back to your question "Is this insane?" and try to answer it now.  (((((hugs))))) smile 



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Jerry F


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1471
Date:

Uhoh WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY :)

You have Sure landed in the Right Place for Experience, Strength & Hope (ESH) I too Tried my Best to Control My Qualifier before I Found Al-Anon, My Qualifier was My Dad, and Sadly I Lost him to this Very disease, Just a Month before I Landed here on MIP, almost 10 years ago... But I remember the Battles, Not Taking my Son around Him but in the Mid/Morning Hours so My Son could know his Pap and Not Know his Drinking! Trying to Convince him NOT To Embarrass himself in Public by Drinking to Much, Not to have Booze on his Breathe when I Picked him up for Thanksgiving Dinner, I was the Child Trying to Control the Afather with Any and Every Excuse I Could Muster just to get him to "Do as I Say!" Well... I'm Sure you can Get how that Turned out, the Only thing I did RIGHT... Was not Allow my Son to Witness what I did as a Child of an Alcoholic...

Al-Anon Taught me that Boundaries are a Wonderful thing... But They also Taught me what "Healthy Boundaries" are... And Sometimes Not Sharing them with My Alcoholic, but Knowing in my Heart... "I Will be Ok with this, However I WILL NOT Telerate that by NO Means!" AND weather I made that Promise to Myself, or Said it out loud... The Main thing for me was Making Sure I Followed thru with it! If I Said NO MORE... Then it had to be NO MORE...

I Will Say, Going to Face to Face Meetings in my area for Added Support was AMAZING, Coming here to MIP and Reading and Listening to the Struggles & Triumphs of those that Have "Been there! Done That!" and See the Change their Journey has Made for them Over time... You truly are at the Right Place to Find YOU Again...

And I Hope you Do Keep Coming Back, I Can tell you... It is So Worth it, and So is Your Happiness, and Well-being...

Please Take what you Like & Leave the Rest :)

So Glad Your Here!

Jozie

__________________

Thee Only Journey I Control Is MY Own :)

Gratitude.... Is a God Honoring Attitude! :D



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3576
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In my experience, the only statement that's going to bear much resemblance to reality is, "I realize that I was trying to control your drinking, which is not something anyone can do for anyone else.  So I'm going to shut the door on that effort.  I won't be trying to police your drinking any longer.  However it unfolds is however it unfolds.  My only responsibility is to take care of myself, and that's where I'm going to try to put my attention now."

Take good care of yourself.



__________________
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 900
Date:

I had to deal with situations like this countless times. Early on, pre-recovery -- I can say I was never successful in any of these situations. So, what did I learn from failing? Well, the best lesson I learned was that you cannot negotiate with: an alcoholic, alcohol, or alcoholism. Period. If anyone here has a way to control whether the alcoholic drinks or not, I'd be more than happy to hear it. LOL. In my experience, "negotiating" is no different than trying to control. We negotiate to get what we want, but we do it under the guise of something that we can rationalize. Negotiating is me trying to get what I want. It never worked. The only progress I made pre-recovery -- was that I left the event, dinner, etc., early, and I did that under the guise that I wasn't feeling well. I did so, because I chose not to be around her when she was drinking and it was getting worse. This was before I learned how not to enable or contribute to the situation, and before I learned about boundaries, and how to establish, implement, and enforce them.

Then, I found recovery, and I never had this problem again. I always took my own car, or had a car service, cab, lined up. I also reminded my ex about my boundary. I reiterated it, I explained it. I also made sure that I stood by it -- I honored it!!! There were some events, that I knew she was going to want to drink, and if the event was "for her" -- I politely declined going...even though she wanted me there. It wasn't about her. It was about me. But, whenever I went -- I made sure I had the ability to leave. It worked for me, every single time, but that was because it took me a long time and a lot of work to get to that point.

For me, pre-recovery, it was disastrous, because, like you said -- I set it up all wrong! LOL. I tried and did everything we learn in alanon not to do. LOL. It was years I tried to control her drinking, prove to her that she shouldn't drink, get her to stop, tried to fix it, and more. Once we start to focus on ourselves, and what we need to do -- then we can better, then we get healthy. It was then that her drinking didn't "bother" me anymore. I didn't become immune to it, I didn't ignore it. I just learned the tools that allowed me to do what I needed to do, given the circumstances. I still did not accept unacceptable behavior. But I learned to detach, both physical detachment and emotional detachment, when I wanted to -- when it wasn't healthy or good for me to stay. I learned how to let go, and let live. If she wanted to drink, I didn't have to be a part of it. She could go drink. It was her decision. I learned that she wasn't going to quit UNLESS and UNTIL she wanted to. Not me. Again, I learned about boundaries and I used them, a lot! I learned about acceptance and that I couldn't do anything about what she wanted to do. I learned to let go, to surrender. And, when I got healthy, I was able to make decisions, healthy decisions...and I found contentment, and happiness, whether the alcoholic was still drinking or not.

All the best.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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