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Post Info TOPIC: Would you date an alcoholic who has a recovery program?


~*Service Worker*~

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Would you date an alcoholic who has a recovery program?


So, my Al Anon girlfriends and myself were talking last week about dating alcoholics.  We had a speaker at one of our meetings who talked about how she always managed to find the alcoholics on a group of men.  ALWAYS. After 2 marriages to practicing alcoholics with no recovery, she was 60 years old when she was approached by an old high school flame who admitted to her that he was 15 years sober.  She then said, "Well, I finally found my SOBER ALCOHOLIC after all those years!"  She's 71 now and they are happily married, both of them working solid recovery programs.

My girlfriend met a guy at the gym and after a few dates she heard him say things that sounded very 'recovery based'.  She asked him and it turns out he had an addiction problem at one point but after rehab and a year of AA, he stopped going and has remained sober.  Anyway, we all talk about how many people are affected by addiction and how most people could use a recovery program whether they've been affected by alcoholism or not, right?

So, I'm just throwing it out there as a general question.  My sponsor is 25 years sober now after battling her own drug addictions through her early 20s and I'd say she's quite a dateable lady. What are your thoughts?



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~*Service Worker*~

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As witness to the miracle of recovery on both sides of the rooms, I would be more inclined to date an alcoholic in recovery than an Al-Anon in recovery....that's just me - for the Alcoholic, the slip/relapse is obvious. Not so much for the Al-Anon.

I did meet, date and marry an Alcoholic in recovery. When we married, we both had several years under our belt. Between the birth of our kids, he relapsed and never returned. I don't regret being married to him at all, in spite of the challenges, chaos, drama and insanity the disease has brought to our lives. I actually feel very sad for him, out of genuine care and respect, that he was not able to make it back - I can see that he's haunted often.

He does know the way should he ever decide to return. For me, I do not discard anyone for any reason in my life, especially not one with a disease. My HP puts all in my life to learn from, even if the lesson is to keep my distance!!

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~*Service Worker*~

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Being in recovery is no guarantee.   I have experienced severe relapses from both my husband and son after being in program for over 6 years.   it is my experience no advise here



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Betty

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~*Service Worker*~

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I don't know. It's not on my list. But then again, neither, is the oppposite if that makes sense. Alone it wouldn't put me off. Nor would it relax me. It would really depend entirely on the person and where I am at in my own recovery.

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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What a great question. As with many, we've discussed this numerous times, and it's always turned out to be an interesting discussion, especially because all those who participate can hear many and different perspectives -- and to me, that is so very valuable, and beneficial.

That said, I've been in alanon for almost a quarter of a century. I've gone to open AA meetings, as part of my recovery, and I've been to many AA celebration meetings. At my age, where I am in my life, etc. -- I am not a serial dater, don't casually date multiple people, and my focus in on "dating" to find and be in a long-term relationship. With that being the case, personally, after hearing many perspectives, opinions, insight from others, etc. -- my position would be ranging, from, I would be very concerned to even leery, dating an alcoholic. The "longer" the person is in recovery the less concerned I would be. The collateral and direct damage I've seen, witnessed, and been impacted by has at times been massive. For my own health and well-being, I would have to be concerned. I've done far too much work on and for myself to "go back" vis a vis a relapse. However, the specifics of the relapse can be very different -- opposite ends of the spectrum -- yet there is no guarantee, as there is with anything in life. In my experience, the relapse can be followed by the alcoholic picking themselves up, and "starting over again" -- calling their sponsor, going to meetings, being committed and focusing on living a life of recovery and having their sobriety be the most important thing in the world. For me, this type of thing is in short, obvious. On the other hand, the relapse may not be followed by this. Then, you are, simply, back in the disease -- at worst, drinking, at best, simply being dry.

As part of that same conversation -- those of us in alanon discussed, would we ever date someone in alanon. Originally, my answer was no, for many reasons. However, after being in alanon for about 20 years, a very good friend of mine said that he wasn't sure he could see himself dating and being in a relationship who was not in alanon. His reasons were very valid in my mind, and very applicable to the way he, and I, lives our lives, the kind of people we are, and how we "practice these principles in all our affairs." That conversation was very thought provoking to me. What I started to realize is that some people in alanon come to alanon because of the impact that someone's drinking has on them, their lives, etc. Others come to alanon and may learn they have "other" issues, that may have been caused by, were the byproduct of, or may have been the catalyst for so to speak. To me, for certain people, and for me, the slips I have are trivial to everyone but me. They don't even cause major damage to me. This was part of my 4th step, which the first time took me 2 years to do, the second time 18 months, and I still do an ongoing Blueprint for Progress and Paths to Recovery. I've been in long-term relationships after my divorce, and the slips I've had have ranged from unnoticable by the other person, to trivial, and the typical "on edge" so to speak. My point is that for me, my slips are non-starters. I can see it being different for others of course. For those who had/have their primary "issue" as originating with the alcoholic, it can be one way. For those where there may have been undiscovered, uncovered, or other issues -- co-dependency for example -- then perhaps it can be another way.

For me, it's always been about the person -- who they are, who they are being, core, and more -- so perhaps nothing is off the table, LOL. I can't say it's actively on my radar screen though, LOL.

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Bo

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~*Service Worker*~

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 Hmmm-... thanks Andromeda... smile... have bin married for a pretty long time- so the answer is 100% theoretical...

 ...but, given that, the short answer would be -yes. aww ...



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~*Service Worker*~

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hotrod wrote:

Being in recovery is no guarantee.   


 I go with Betty:  I would be open to an ACA'r or an Al-Anon'r because (now this is long terms folks who are serious about getting better) they would be low risk of being a drinker or drugger....I, too have seen alcoholic and drug relapses after long term being in program...yea, the chances are better for the long termers to stay sober, but that possibility is always there..and when THEY relapse , its bad...and lots of times they take a while to get back into recovery, and one "real bad ass" relapse could be a vehicular accident resulting in death, or a fire in the house, or a huge violent outburst, injuring me or another loved one or a pet........I just never want to go there....I dont' care if a guy has a beer now and again, but an alcoholic???  Nope....Not for me... 

I've been burned so much by alcoholics and addicts, I would not want to , at my age, take a chance on messing up a life that I have built up and made decent, working my program, living a healthy life style, responsible, no drama, no chaos,  a steady, "boring"  nice quiet life...Well:  as quiet as life can be in these times...but no more alcoholics for me.....................JUST saying



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~*Service Worker*~

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A good friend of mine relapsed after more than 15 years of sobriety in program ... I would have said he would be the last person to relapse.  To my knowledge (years later) he has not found sobriety again.  So ... that's alarming.

For myself, I have to be careful of alcoholics, even alcoholics who have solid recovery.  A regular, non-codependent person might take really good care of herself if the alcoholic relapsed.  But I already have a track record of losing my grip when my life is entangled with an addict's.  Maybe I'd keep my own recovery, but maybe not.  I think it's like an alcoholic spending time in a bar.  Maybe he'd keep his recovery in those surroundings, but the chances of slipping are higher.  That's the same with me if I were involved with an alcoholic who might relapse.  The whole thing is a big risk.  After what I've been through, I think I'd be wiser not to take the risk.



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~*Service Worker*~

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Mattie echoed exactly my concerns fears and so on my friend in AA who relapsed .. almost 30 years of recovery and is struggling from what I understand now in recovery. I have the utmost respect for people in recovery after my experience 2x with active addicts it's on my list of no's. It's not just for me .. it's them too .. I'm not a good partner for someone in recovery or active .. I don't like who I become .. lol .. I have days I question if .i'm a good partner period. So I see my no as self preservation for both parties. Lol. Hugs S :)

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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SerenityRUS wrote:

Mattie echoed exactly my concerns fears and so on my friend in AA who relapsed .. almost 30 years of recovery and is struggling from what I understand now in recovery. I have the utmost respect for people in recovery after my experience 2x with active addicts it's on my list of no's. It's not just for me .. it's them too .. I'm not a good partner for someone in recovery or active .. I don't like who I become .. lol .. I have days I question if .i'm a good partner period. So I see my no as self preservation for both parties. Lol. Hugs S :)


 

Excellent points. Thank you for sharing that and the perspective!



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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...

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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mamalioness wrote:
hotrod wrote:

Being in recovery is no guarantee.   


 I go with Betty:  I would be open to an ACA'r or an Al-Anon'r because (now this is long terms folks who are serious about getting better) they would be low risk of being a drinker or drugger....I, too have seen alcoholic and drug relapses after long term being in program...yea, the chances are better for the long termers to stay sober, but that possibility is always there..and when THEY relapse , its bad...and lots of times they take a while to get back into recovery, and one "real bad ass" relapse could be a vehicular accident resulting in death, or a fire in the house, or a huge violent outburst, injuring me or another loved one or a pet........I just never want to go there....I dont' care if a guy has a beer now and again, but an alcoholic???  Nope....Not for me... 

I've been burned so much by alcoholics and addicts, I would not want to , at my age, take a chance on messing up a life that I have built up and made decent, working my program, living a healthy life style, responsible, no drama, no chaos,  a steady, "boring"  nice quiet life...Well:  as quiet as life can be in these times...but no more alcoholics for me.....................JUST saying


 

The long-term thing offers some comfort, but again there is no guarantee. The serious about getting better aspect for me is real. I get that. That's always been what I've looked at in anyone's recovery, relapse, rock bottom, etc. I completely get what you are saying, and I've felt the same way -- and it's common, valid, and while having acceptance, and being past the anger, resentment, etc. -- how does one not look at the "been burned" type of thing. I get it. 

Thanks for the insight.



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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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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The fantasy part of me thinks that being married to someone with a program would be wonderful - we speak the same language, after all, when it comes to recovery. My sponsor is married to an alcoholic in recovery, and I get to listen to stories of how they both work to apply the steps, traditions, and concepts of their programs to their daily lives.

That said, the alcoholic is still very much an alcoholic when it comes down to the "stinkin' thinkin'" and I get to hear how that challenges her.

I think, also, that dating an Al-Anon would be even better. I've certainly dated some un-treated Al-Anons, and it really is a relief not having to worry about the drinking, at least.

However, I am reminded again and again that we are all in this program because we're sick. Granted, the longer we have in recovery and the more willing we are to put forth the work, that sickness crops up less and less, but I see it over and again in my own program members exhibiting sick behaviors, even the "old timers".

I think the biggest problem I have with this line of questioning is that ultimately we are all human beings and there are no guarantees, period. There are many Al-Anon members who realize after a period of time that they belong in AA's rooms themselves, for example. With alcoholics, yes, relapse is very possible (I've seen members with 15+ years relapse).

I see myself often trying to predict outcomes to preserve myself from possible pain and I can tell you it rarely works when it comes to interacting with other human beings. All I can do is take good care of myself and make sure I'm showing up with complete honesty in my relationships. The rest is in God's hands. When I open up a new relationship with someone I just try to keep my eyes wide open and watch the person's actions. If I get red flags, then it's time for me to move on.

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Aloha, excellent points. My friend who I referred to said the same thing -- he's in alanon for 20 years, and he was referring only to dating someone in alanon.

He said, we live out life the same way, speak the same language, have been through similar experiences, share the same concerns, and so on. That makes sense to me. 

I can see that for me with someone who is in alanon, however,  I think I can't see that for me with someone who is an alcoholic. I view recovery and relapses as different, the former perhaps not so much, but the latter as very different. Regardless, thanks again for the excellent points.



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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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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I hope this isn't arrogance on my part. I don't want to focus on the other person's behavior.
I will flourish (yes!) as long as I do my AlAnon part. Me. I have specific behaviors to align myself with Alanon. Examples are attending meetings regularly, taking that inventory of myself, contact with my HP. You know what works for you.
So "armed" with my own recovery, I want to think I would be open to someone with his own established recovery. No guarantees. I get it. I have my path to climb, too.


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~*Service Worker*~

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HI all! I am going to go with a definite no, just because I come from an alcoholic and addict parent and after being with my exAH for 15 years, it took me 35 years to shake off most of the damage from all of that. I am not better than anyone and that is not where I am coming from, but relationships are hard, so add the A part and I just wouldn't want to deal with that ever again. The scared to stress them for fear the drinking would come back or just waiting for the other shoe to drop. After this long just being able to have freedom of movement, well its so nice. I also am not single so I don't think I have to worry about that anytime soon on any real level. I know I kissed a few frogs before I found my man and I hate dating which is funny I used to love it when I was first single until I realized how many people were not aware, honest or just able to wow me. I at least did not settle nor will I ever. I had already settled for most of my 40 years and I have done the work and truly know my worth and I am worth it. I still come here to read sometimes, but rarely post.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks everyone for your input. Honestly, I often wonder what I would do in the situation. I'd probably be honest with the person and express my concerns. I doubt I'd be able to date a recovering alcoholic but maybe it would depend on their program and on me being willing to work my program a bit more honestly as well? Not sure. I've seen so many scenarios of relationships gone bad and not all of them revolved around one person being in a recovery program. Relationships fall apart for more reasons than addiction or alcoholism and I do know that even with a non-addict you are going to have problems.

As serenity said above, I question if I'm good partner material for anyone actually.

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Senior Member

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Im an AlAnon (obviously) who dated another Al Anon. The relationship wasnt perfect but it was miles better than anything I had before. We talked program all the time and he taught me a lot. The breakup was very calm and respectful and we still remain close. Anyway I had a good experience dating another Al Anon. As for another alcoholic like my XAH? I agree with the people who said theyd be afraid to do it. I just feel like I have had my quota of alcoholic chaos and drama so in this life. Its a life I dont ever want to return to. So their relapse would be a risk Id be very afraid to take.

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Jayla wrote:

Im an AlAnon (obviously) who dated another Al Anon. The relationship wasnt perfect but it was miles better than anything I had before. We talked program all the time and he taught me a lot. The breakup was very calm and respectful and we still remain close. Anyway I had a good experience dating another Al Anon. As for another alcoholic like my XAH? I agree with the people who said theyd be afraid to do it. I just feel like I have had my quota of alcoholic chaos and drama so in this life. Its a life I dont ever want to return to. So their relapse would be a risk Id be very afraid to take.


 

Jayla, thank you very much for so clearly and concisely expressing your point. After 25 years in alanon, I still land in the same place as you as far as the "concerns" or "risks" aspect to this. I am in alanon. I am not in AA. Date another person in alanon -- yes, absolutely, I can see it and think it would be extremely beneficial, for many reasons you mentioned and others. Finding a person in alanon who is healthy, happy, in recovery, has gone through what they've gone through, etc., I get it. However, dating a person who is in AA, recovering alcoholic, in recovery, an alcoholic, whatever you want to call it -- what you said, yes, I get it. I agree. 



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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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Great topic- thanks Andromeda.

Before I started dating my bf - of two and half years now, I reconnected with a HS flame of mine via Facebook. He lives in TX and I live in CA. He came out for a visit to see his CA family shortly after my AH passed and we met up while he was in town. To my surprise, he shared that he was a recovering alcoholic and was active in AA. After some frank sharing, we agreed that we'd always have to just be friends and nothing more. It was rather sad for both of us to have to come this realization, but we knew that it was for the best- for both of our recovery journeys. I'm going to be seeing him again this weekend at a HS reunion gathering. I'm looking forward to catching up with him, and to introducing him to my "I don't like to really like to drink because I don't like how I feel afterwards" bf. I think, and hope, that he will be happy for me. Thanks everyone, for your sharing on this post. Very insightful!

GE

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