- Ex relationship affecting persons emotional sobriety

Ex relationship affecting persons emotional sobriety




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Ex relationship affecting persons emotional sobriety

Postby sober789 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:06 am

I have a friend in the program whom I am trying to help out with an issue that keeps coming up in his life. To his credit he has been working real hard with his program, he has been in and out of AA over the years, but he seems to be getting the hang of things this time. He has been sober and clean for one year and he is real excited and positive about the whole thing.
One of his big issues is his ex GF who is now the partner of someone else. To make matters worse the new partner of this woman is a well to do guy and helps pay for her "up keep" and looks after her children. My friend doesn't have the financial capacity to do this . However it seems the woman still likes my friend and he seems to be holding a candle to her as well. They do "run into" each other occasionally and sometimes contact is made by phone. My friend says he actually " loves her" and I believe him. I believe nobody can control with who and when you fall in love , and who am I to judge him on this matter. My job is to help him stay clean and sober so I am thinking of giving him the following suggestions :
1. Avoid contact with this person in any form until you get some more sober time. I believe he is still "emotionally immature" to be dealing with relationships especially an ex GF. She was also his drinking and using partner.
2. If you do run into her , and can't avoid a conversation do not bring up the past or put yourself down because of your past actions against her (he has a habit of doing this). Always stay positive and talk about yourself in a positive way. Example I have been clean and sober for 1 year and am very happy about that. My work is going good and life is looking good.
I hope you are happy and your kids are well etc
3. If you have any amends to make to her (esp. if they are making you feel guilty) then make them. This may help remove the burden of guilt you have about her and give you some closure. But check with your sponsor on this . (I'm not his sponsor but I seem to be :).
4. This relationship doesn't look like its got any future for you , if she is with another man and is still using you for her emotional needs , it means you are not available emotionally for another woman. This doesn't seem fair, she is being selfish and you are being a sucker . Break it off and move on . When the time is right find someone else and give her 100%.

4 seems harsh but I believe our disease kills, so I'd rather be harsh and he stay alive.

Any feedback appreciated.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:05 pm

It's always tough trying to give good relationship advice -- to an alkie. :lol: They don't want to hear it, they don't want to do it, and whatever they do... they often tend to try to blame the one that was trying to be helpful to them. :lol:

I think your suggestions are good. They are a lot kinder than mine would be. :wink:

This person needs to move on. He has an obsession with the GF and the possibility relationship -- similar to an alkies obsession with "just one more drink... really, that's all... just one! Some how! Some day! Some way!" And, we know where that leads.

I wish you the best in trying to help. The person is fortunate to have someone like you in their life.

Dallas
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Postby GeoffS » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:42 pm

Hi, I'm with Dallas.

If anyone or anything is threatening your sobriety then the best thing you can do is try to keep away as best as you can.

Your best suggestion was to make any ammends necessary and take it from there, under the guidance of a sponsor of course.
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Postby sober789 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:12 pm

Thanks Dallas and Geoffs , appreciate your feedback
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Postby tubeguy » Sun May 22, 2011 7:19 am

Dallas wrote:I think your suggestions are good. They are a lot kinder than mine would be. :wink:

Hi Dallas, wondering what your suggestions would be. I am sponsoring a guy in a halfway house and he can't seem to talk about anything else except "the mother of his children". Tons of anger and frustration, says he is still in love, emotional, physical and legal drama all around. Kids are both in their 20's, mother is a wreck and dragging him down with her, they are not married. Trying to get him to understand that this woman is not his problem. I'm thinking if I take a harder line he might see some reason but I don't want to scare him off. I guess what I'm wondering is how to divert all the time and energy he is putting into this obsession into something healthier. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Postby Dallas » Sun May 22, 2011 1:30 pm

My suggestion would be "total abstinence" or else. Because without it, the alcoholic will not be able to manage the relationship and manage to stay sober and recover. If you're going to help them do this -- I hope the below information will help you to be able to help them.

Unfortunately, to prepare yourself to help them -- it will take more work for you than it takes them.

Healthy Love is the result of "Choice." Unhealthy Love is the result of an "Emotional Dependency."

If we are going to recover, from alcohol addiction or love addition -- we must learn to use our Intellect to make our choices and decisions, instead of trying to live making Emotional choices and decisions.

I'll try to keep this as brief as I can. But, it wont be easy.

The First Step is to "Identify the Problem." We need some information about the problem so that we can identify the problem.

First, I want to direct your attention to thinking in the same terms like we do with drinking and the alcoholic... to set up a reference point and starting point for understanding.

a. Normal drinkers drink alcohol by choice. They choose what to drink, when to drink, how much to drink, and they stop drinking at any time they choose.

b. Alcoholics do not drink by choice. They drink because they are addicted to alcohol. They cannot safely take a drink at all -- because taking the drink triggers a physical and psychological change in their body and mind -- that prevents them from controlling their drinking "by choice." Once they drink, drinking is mandatory. This is why we say that they are Powerless over alcohol.

Now, think of what I wrote above about drinking, alcoholic, and alcohol, and change the words "drink" or "alcohol" or "alcoholic -- and use, instead, the words "love" or "relationship" or "addicted to love."

We know: the only solution for the alcoholic is, "total abstinence". So, our first working objective to deal w/ the love/relationship problem must become: "total abstinence". In other words "plugging the jug on this relationship."

After the person has "recovered" from their "love addiction" we'll help them learn a "healthy way to love."

Here are some references to read, that will hopefully give you a better understanding of what I'm trying to convey here:

Read: Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery
http://www.step12.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=863

Read: Emotional Sobriety
http://step12.com/emotional-sobriety.html

Addicted to Love or Relationship = Has formed a dependency on the biochemical results produced in the brain, that creates the euphoric sensations in the mind and body.

Think of this in terms of the "how and why" that the alcoholic becomes addicted to the substance alcohol. I believe the best way to get a layman's understanding that we can work with is to:

1. Read the Doctor's Opinion, in the Big Book. Each time you come to a word that is "alcohol" or relates to "alcohol" -- change this word to "love" or "relationship." Then,

2. Read Chapter 3, "More About Alcoholism" -- and with this reading, turn it into Chapter 3, "More about Love" or "More about Relationship."

3. Bill Wilson, wrote on pg 143, Big Book:
"To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business."

Now, take what Bill wrote -- and change this from "drinking" to "love" or "relationship".

Example: "To get over "this relationship" will require a transformation of thought and attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business."

4. Read: "Spiritual Experience" in Appendix II, in the back of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Here, do the same that you did with the other readings: Change the words from "drinking" to "love" or "relationship."

This background information will provide you with enough information so that you can view "Love and Relationships" from a different angle of understanding and perspective which will give you more options to choose to solve the problem.

Now, you take the person through "taking the 12 Steps" on this specific problem = "Using the 12 Steps on this Problem in our Life"

Here's what the objective is:

1. To get the individual to commit to "plugging the jug" on this relationship. Then,

2. To "produce a transformation of thought and attitude" that will help this person get over this problem.

We'll call this Phase One in their development. To move on to Phase Two, we've got to get past Phase One first -- and then, teach them some skills in regards to picking and choosing healthy relationships.

I hope that helps,

Dallas B.
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Postby tubeguy » Sun May 22, 2011 2:20 pm

Thanks Dallas! Total abstinence is what I and his other sponsor have been telling him. I've taken him to my wanderer's group and he got the same message there.

I appreciate the perspective you put on this though, that's seems like a more accessible way to look at it than I have been trying.

My concern is that I'm not with him 24/7 so he has plenty of time to respond to this woman's texts and emails, and there is a whole passive-aggressive thing happening on Facebook. But it's up to him to take the ball and run with it. This guy is definitely keeping me sober today. :-)
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Postby Dallas » Sun May 22, 2011 7:21 pm

You may want to check w/ your sponsor, and see if getting the guy into a few Al-Anon meetings, or at least introduce him to some long-time Al-Anons might help. In the past, they have been very helpful to me and some of the guys that I've sponsored. They have some good tips and suggestions on letting go and detachment. :lol:
Good luck with him!
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