Life time relationship desired

A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment
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Life time relationship desired

Postby debvan » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:20 pm

I have been sober for 8 months today. Yea, maybe.

I have been attending AA meetings 11 months, 12 month since rehab, etc. It seems I can tell the month and the year by my alcoholism. Otherways I recall the date of events by month and year is by the number of years I have been married (34), when my sons were born, when they started school, when they graduated, got married, etc...............

Now having isolated myself except for work for approximately 5 years I drank until I could sleep. Rather passed out. Then blacked out and could not remember what I had done or said to who or even what. Half way through this time period my husband started going to an Al a non meetings in town. He was on his way to healing himself and he did. He treated me with what respect he could but he never covered for me. If I was late to work or late to a baby shower whatever . He made up no excuses for me. I just went looking like crap.

All the while he tried to help. My husband made efforts to cure me, send me to doctors but only 1 thing was missing. Me wanting help??? Then he became laid back and very Al-a-non. We were still very affectionate toward each other. We still slept together. Even If I did throwup on in bed once. He seemed to understand my need for him and his love.

Since the last 6 weeks or a lttle less he does not want anything to do with me. I have moved my stuff upstairs in one of the boys rooms. He sleeps downstairs. Something is very wrong with this picture. I am lonely up here by myself. I cannot promise to him if I move back downstairs into our bed, that I will leave him alone. I just think that this to is part of a relationship. Just like conversation, trusting, caring, etc.

And this is what I normally do is overthink things. So I have done it this time as well. Since I have been to rehab, regularly attend AA, sought therapy, did my steps with a very knowlegdeable, caring, intelligent sponsor. He feels like there is nothing he do for me now. he doesn't know I am still broken just temporarily super glued with God's grace and AA. He does not have to be that super husband now . Fate is giving him a hand in being a regular father and #1 dad. It's almost as if I were drinking he would have a cause? or something like that.

I have done very well upstairs on my own. Except for the thinking of having a drink to get to sleep (I haven't.........I just lay there). I don't want to drink. I say the Serenity Prayer many times a day.

This has consumed me for the last 6 weeks or so. And I am tired.

I hope I have put this under the correct topic or heading. I do Know this has been a relationship worth having over the last 34 years. Yet not worth investing in further if does not change for the next 34 years.

Does this make sense to anyone? Has anyone been through anything similar?


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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:54 am

Hello Debvan,

From my personal experiences I know about the feelings of loneliness, bewilderment, confusion, and hurt feelings and separations in a relationship. I know about the experience of the feelings associated with sleeping in separate rooms of the house and the lack of physical interaction and shared intimate moments and affections. And, I know the feelings associated with being in a relationship with someone who is moody, someone who seems to be a magnet for self-pity, and someone who seems to have a real knack for wanting me to feel guilt and remorse over their pitiful feelings. I’m a hyper-sensitive type. And, it’s often a full time job for me – to keep from buying in to participating on an emotional level – to the behaviors and experiences that belong to other people.

With all that said, I don’t have any personal experiences in a relationship that is just like the one that you described. I have had some experience with guys that I’ve sponsored, and other A.A.’s, both male and female, that I’ve known that have had experiences similar to yours. So, whatever I share here, may or may not have anything in it that might relate to your specific situation. But, I do hope that I can be helpful.

More than a few of the non-alcoholics that I’ve known seem to me to be a bit hyper-sensitive kind of like us alcoholics. Their feelings get hurt easy and more than a few are known to pout a lot and swim in their own ponds of self-pity. They’ve shared many of the same character defects that I have had to deal with – such as anger, resentment, fears, selfishness, self-centered, and the “it’s all about me and your the reason whyâ€
Last edited by Dallas on Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby tj » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:08 pm

Hi Debvan,

I am newly sober (almost 11 months) and can hear your pain, lonliness and bewilderment. With me and my family, there is no doubt that we are all sick. Once I decided to try to get better, the rest of my family was in utter disbelief--a common reaction so I've heard. Half of them said, "Wow, what a relief. It's about time." The other half said, "Oh, you're not an alcoholic--you're not that bad." Go figure. They all knew the same, drunk me but reacted differently to my sobriety. I did spend time at first trying to figure out and analyze their reactions. Finally, I came to the realization that their reactions were none of my business. No matter what their reactions were/are, I love them and want to make my relationship with them better. The only way that I can do that is work on me and my sobriety and God will take care of the rest. Thinking that really takes pressure off of me. I also have come to the realization that my relationship skills are not the best!! :shock: I know how to take a hostage, but I don't really know how to have a relationship, especially with men. I very much concentrate on staying in today. Things between my husband and I are not good but they are not horrible. I think that is true for lots of newly sober alcoholics. Take it a day at a time and do not impose a crisis when there is none. Admitting my feelings to my sponsor or some other women with whom I feel comfortable helps me not blow up or behave like a spoiled child when I am disappointed with my familys' behavior. Hang in there and work your program. God has you in His hand. Also, keep coming back.


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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:13 pm

After reading my post above -- I'm going to edit it to remove references to "Al-Anon types"... I can see how that could be offensive and unfair to some Al-Anons. Sorry Al-Anons. I'll try not to do that again. :(


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Postby debvan » Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:02 pm

Thanks Manette and Dallas for the thoughtful and insightful suggestions.

Yes, I take it one day at a time. I thank God every morning for my soberiety. Ask him for another day. During my evening mediation I thank him again and ask for the night without a drink. We are doing!!

I have mentioned this to others but its probably been over 2 months ago I started having a strong need or desire to attend a meeting a day. Even though 3 meetings were in a town 25 miles south of where I live and the meeting on Sunday is in a community approximately an hour away.
I thought to myself at the time no way. There are on 3 here where I live. Lots of time, lots of money....why go. But I went anyway. I have really strong feelings that God placed these resources before me, gave me the means of transportation, a job that enabled me to purchase fuel for the car and the time. At the time I thought so much about it because the desire just seemed intense, a must do part of my day! It was as if God was preparing me for something down the road or even taking care of a need unbeknownst to me at the time that was causing me a great deal of stress. And wow this just may be it.

And I know that I need to come first rather my soberiety and recovery.
Thinking about not doing so is a very ugly picture!! It's like if we can survive this juncture in our relationship that another 34 years is not so far out of the picture. Maybe?

First things first is finding a new way to fall to sleep!!!! Counting sheep,
reading a book, whatever will do the trick. Except a drink.


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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:30 pm

Debvan wrote:I have really strong feelings that God placed these resources before me, gave me the means of transportation, a job that enabled me to purchase fuel for the car and the time. At the time I thought so much about it because the desire just seemed intense, a must do part of my day! It was as if God was preparing me for something down the road or even taking care of a need unbeknownst to me at the time that was causing me a great deal of stress. And wow this just may be it.

For me, that's precisely the way He would be preparing me for something down the road... and taking care of a need unbeknownst to me.

When we place our sobriety, recovery and God as #1 in our lives -- and we're asking Him for His help and guidance -- there are no accidents and coincidences. He knows what we need before we ask because He knows what we need before we're going to need it. And, when we're making our sobriety, recovery and God #1, we can be sure that He knows all about our now and all about our future, and He's busy taking care of us.
I know that -- not as theory -- but from the facts of my life experiences.

There is a beautiful paragraph near the end of page 164 in the Big Book, that goes something like this:

"Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you -- until then."

And, when you combine that with what's on page 62, last paragraph... through the first paragraph on page 63... a wonderful confidence of knowing this truth -- helps me sleep and awaken and go through my day and face anything that might appear to me as a problem -- with a lot more serenity than I ever expected.

And, then -- when I read the bottom of page 83, through page 84 -- I know for a fact that this is what's happening to me -- and it will be happening for you and countless others, too!


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Postby garden variety » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:48 am

Hi Debvan,

First let me say - I am not a professional. I don't understand relationships that well. So take what I say lightly.

Let me share with you that I think I understand how you might feel. I have been married. I have watched a beautiful relationship go completely sour over a short period of time. I have slept in separate rooms with the woman I loved and cherished - then chased away with my alcoholism. I've also slept in the same bed with a former girlfriend that I still love to this day, but we didn't have a relationship in the comanionship sense. These kind of crazy things seem to happen to alcoholics. I don't know why.

Watching my marriage crumble in a way similar to what you described happened to me. I slept in a different room for several months. We no longer had physical or emotional intimacy. I was very much alone. This was the biggest heartbreak I ever experienced. Dallas said he was married once and breaking up nearly killed him. That's how it felt to me with my wife. It nearly killed me. It really REALLY was a bad heartbreak. Very bad. But it was a heartbreak that my drinking brought about.

It took a long time after I was sober to "get through" the hurt and make amends. A good long time - say 6-7 years. But the day came when I could look back and thank God that I did my very best at correcting what I did that was wrong. Today I know in the deepest part of my soul, my amends were the right things to do, and it cleaned up my side of the street as good as it can get. Today I'm relieved of that heartbreak, but there are times when it will still bring a tear.

There was a lady that I had a realtionship with, but we still remained friends after we split up. She moved in with a guy who abused her, and she had to get out of that relationship, but had no where to live. I told her my door was always open. What I didn't expect was her showing up the next day on my front porch. I gave her my room, and slept on the couch. She felt bad because she knew how much my bedroom was "my bedroom" - it was me (a part of my identity) - my place to find peace from everything - my "sanctuary" so to speak. She pretty much insisted that I sleep on my bed because she didn't feel right about just showing up and "taking over" my bedroom. So I slept in the same bed - it was a BIG king size bed - but we didn't have a "physical" relationship.

But let me tell you what (I know here - we go! :roll:). There were mornings when I woke up and she would be snuggled against me holding my arm. Now she wore some really pretty "nighties" - Victoria Secret style - and then there were some nights when she wasn't wearing anything but a smile, and, lord have mercy! Could she ever wear those things well! :shock: Buddy let me tell you what! I had some pretty strong feelings - I mean I still love the girl. So to wake up with her holding me on some nights without clothes, well that was something I had to come to terms with. She wanted her life without a relationship with me or anyone, and I offered her a place to stay until she could get her own life together (she wasn't drinking or using). So it stayed that way.

What a challenge! I mean there were many many nights I layed awake looking at the ceiling as she slept (boy did she ever snore!), or stare at the door of my bedroom and wondered how on earth did I ever end up in this kind of a situation. This was something I never would have planned, or set out to do. But there I was, having one hell of a desire to make love to this woman I loved before. And there was that still small voice of God deep within me making it inuitively clear what was pure and what was loving.

There's that profound alteration in my reaction to life - very very profound - see what you AA's taught me? So what I'm saying is that sleeping in the same bed with someone you once were physically intimate with is possible - if I can do it - anyone else can. It wasn' t the happiest or most comfortable time in my life, but it was my responsibility to be her friend, and not her lover, because "that hand of AA" was reaching out for help - with a bare butt in the middle of the night no less! :lol: In my heart I knew, especially after the rough times she had, I owed her the dignity of respecting her wishes, even though I wasn't the one to hurt her or abuse her. Like it says "for that I am responsible".

She's still a friend, and she is a very good friend. While she was living with me she busted her tail cleaning up my home and doing things that made it a comfortable and beautiful place. She bought me clothes - but I never charged her rent. She "looked after me" at times reminding me to take care of myself when I'd get stupid by "burning the candle at both ends" or seeing the doctor when I needed to. And yes, I also started seeing another girl and she knew about it. But that's all part of being a friend to a girl, I suppose - even after you break up. I still call her "Angel" which was my pet name for her when we had a relationship. I guess you could say I wouldn't feel the same, or much less want to, sleep with a "friend" that was a guy in the same way. So it was "friendship" with no intimate physical relationship, but being "friends" with a girl is pertty different than being "buddies" with a guy.

But even with this girl naked in my bed and holding me on some nights, I knew I was still "alone". I let her know a couple times that I still wanted her and loved her, and she knew it of course. But somehow we managed to love each other as friends without the extra burden of a physical relationship.

Now maybe that sounds crazy, so that's why I say take what I say very lightly, and I'm no relationship expert. But I do think I know a little bit about the way you feel and what you might be going through.

I'll ditto what Dallas said - keeping sobriety first is the most important thing any alcoholic can do. Without sobriety, everything else will disappear.

God bless.

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Sobriety #1

Postby debvan » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:38 pm

My name is Deb and I am still an alcoholic!

Sober for 1 year October 20th! Thanks to my higher power - God. My sponsors. My support system. Lots of love to my children, parents, friends..........the AA groups I attend and this forum. Also I pat myself on the back, as well. It hasn't been easy. But it hasn't been as hard at times as I thought it might be.

Arrangements at home have not changed since first shared back in June. I am still upstairs. I am very grateful for the comments and sharing of keeping my sobriety first. I am so glad that I did that with the strength of God and everyone else and ME. Today I feel physically wonderful. Mentally is an effort but nothing that I can' handle with His help.

I am not sure where things will go from here. I have since found out that in March of this year (even before I went upstairs), he had opened a secret checking account with his name only and has hidden away a significant amount of money. He has told me that this came from advise from the Alanon group?????? I am not sure this is their mission statement. I have bought the Alanon book and I am reading it to better understand this whole mess.

Thanks for letting me share.


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Postby Tim » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:01 pm

Your opening statement says the most important thing, Deb: you are sober and celebrating one year this month!

I am sorry to hear that some of your circumstances are still difficult, to put it mildly. I personally try to focus on my part in a relationship and try like the dickens not to change another person. That is easy to say, but painfully difficult to do (Read: I don't often succeed).

You are lucky, as I am, to have a Higher Power you can depend upon and who is for us.

Take care and hang in there...Tim

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Postby debvan » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:02 am

I need to make amends to a sister organization. The last two evenings I have attended AA meetings and have highlighted some of the points I touched on earlier. It took alot to get through my hard head and some heavy praying to understand and realize it is not Alanon that has a problem. It is my husband and me.

The individual suggested (he said told him)... or spoke to him of is exactly that of an individual talking not the whole group or organization. After the information is given to him, he becomes totally in control and has to decide whether to act upon the advise or not. Unfornatully, his chosen path is in direct conflict with what I feel appropriate after 34 years.

What I have decided to do is turn it over to my Higher Power, God and let go! It is not as simple as it sounds. It is taking alot of effort but I am really working hard at it. I want God to handle it in his way and in his time.

By letting go I can see I am becoming a happier person, more content with my sobriety and myself. I am hoping my husband notices this and realizes how postive the effect of being sober is. I want him to be happy with me. Then we can help each other with our fears that have brought us to where we are now.

I know this is not a fix everything bandaid. There are no guarantees. But as long as I continue working the program, letting God in my life 24 hrs a day, attending meetings......Anything is possible.

I spoke way out of line previously about Alanon. I humbly ask for forgiveness.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!


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