My alcoholic partner of 23+ years recently told me to go to the internet and research how many couples break up if the drunk partner sobered up. This,to me, sounded like an implied threat, meaning that if he got sober, he wouldn't want to stay as a couple. I couldn't actually find much data to substantiate this and wonder if he is just using this as another weapon against against me, as he was loaded when he said it. When he's in a sober period, things are awesome, but as soon as he starts the vodka again, he becomes hostile towards me. I just try to give him space til he quits periodically, and things get good again.
I will tell you from the start, only so you know where I’m coming from, that I have been sober for many years. I would like you to look be aware of two things with a person who has gotten sober and stayed that way for the first time. Because of the damage that alcoholism does to a person’s life in the way of destroying relationships and limiting the possibility of ever having a meaningful relationship, when we finely realize we can have one, we will more often than not go for it like it’s the only thing that matters. So that is probably why he pursued you so vigorously. As for why he broke up with you, I believe very strongly it was because of protecting his sobriety, which is to say it has nothing to do with you but everything to do with no jeopardizing his sobriety. If there is one thing that is almost imposable to get through to a newly sober alcoholic is that they need to give themselves time to adjust to building and maintaining a life before they dive into a personal, potentially emotion filled relationship, where demands on their accountability and measured emotional connection is a must. Just about every alcoholic wants what has been taken from them by their addiction when they first sober up. There is a very deep sense of loss of time and a waist of life and we want to make up for it ASAP. But there is a huge transition that needs to take place first and the longer or more intense the interruption to that beginning of a new life is, the larger the chance is that it won’t work. I obviously don’t know all the details of his recovery, how long, what his use before was, and so on, but I can tell you, if he made the decision to end a relationship with someone he was that eager to get with in the first place, he didn’t do it lightly. And if you are not an alcoholic in recovery it is most likely the one thing that is so hard for you to comprehend, and that is that whatever a recovering alcoholic decides to put before his recovery, they will most likely have to give it up anyway. It really is a matter of life and death for us at first and the process of recovery as one puts time in being sober is filled with daily assessment of what we are honestly capable of at any given time. I’m not saying he may not be capable of having you in his life and still stay sober. I’ve had man relationships of all kinds since I got sober, but it may not be the right time for him right now and he needs the option of putting his sobriety first. You may want to try and look at it this way, giving him space may very well save his life and I don’t think this is the last you hear from him. So welcome to a little snap shot of what it’s like to get sober and stay sober. And if there is any way you can wrap your mind around this, it is the alcoholism that is coming between you and him, let his get on solid ground with his alcoholism, and who knows?
First off, great response, “I’m like an amusement park” Ha, love it. I think what he meant by “it’s been powerful” may have been in relation to how many emotional things in his own past where brought up by being in a relationship with you that could be connected with everything from intimacy too abandonment of which alcoholics will use alcohol to avoid dealing with.
And if he believes you are ready to settle down, he may feel like he’s hardly left the starting gate of being able to honor real long term commitments. Personally, I believe he is if he has as much time sober as you say, but the problem is, when will HE truly believe it. Long term use of alcohol has a way of doing that to our self confidence. And by that last remark you wrote about him saying, “you will find someone wonderful” I would say he may be thinking he could never measure up to you or really be able to see himself as being able to satisfy you completely given where he comes from and where you are. From being in recovery for so long I can see clearly where alcohol took from me what otherwise would have been a life at the equal of any other person’s life with all the ups, and downs, successes and failures, but it took a long time to realize that I have an illness of alcoholism and it doesn’t define me as an equal of any other human.
If it is any help, I think he may very well be fooling himself if he thinks he can cut it off that abruptly and their be less impact to feeling because he has the support of other alcoholics around. He may have their support, but what he will find out is that, that support doesn’t always come in the way he may think it should. If there is one thing that becomes really apparent is that now everything is real and we don’t get a pass. He can try and delay it, but sooner or later, he will have to deal with it and if there is any amends to be made, he will never stay sober if he doesn’t at least try to get right with his past.
Recovering from an addiction is a tremendous undertaking. It's not a matter of just attending rehab. There are times it may take a few YEARS. Addicts want a new life along with their recovery. To him you might represent the times when he was very bad off. As women our instinct is to nurture & protect. However if you did acheive some sort of relationship with him you will be suffering right along with him. Life is so short... Why saddle yourself with him? No I don't think he'll contact you. Leave it alone. You deserve much, much better & have bigger fish to fry. God Bless & good luck!
Most recovering alcoholics are about growth as an individual because his arrested development due to the disease.
Short answer: He's afraid of you.
Long answer: This is because you got too close to him for his comfort, started to mean a bit too much, and internal defense mechanisms, that he may not even be consciously aware of, kicked in...
And he bugged out.
Most people do not become addicts to anything...unless they are under a significant amount of internal stress. The internal stress that made him drink is still mostly there. Apparently that includes nervousness about close relationships.
It ain't likely you.
'Cause he sobered up...
The same exact situation just happened to me!! I am no teenager, I am a middle aged woman who several
months ago started communicating on an HLN website with a man a few years younger and we really seemed to click.
This was a long distance relationship which I wasn't too keen on, but this person was a very good talker. He always contacted me and to be honest I never had a man in my life before that was this attentive and sincere. He traveled out twice to see meet me over these months.
I did suspect he had been drinking on numerous occasions, from my previous experiences of my past relationships.
When we were together on his last trip out he was a perfect gentleman. He drank, but not excessively at first. Then one night he drank so many beers I couldn't count.
I could see a true transformation in his personality, like a totally different entity.
I knew at this time, I loved this man, an alcoholic.
A man I swore to from the very beginning of our relationship I wanted to take things slow and give each other enough time to really get to know each other. He would always laugh and say we will get serious quickly.
He would always say everyday when he would call "how's my wife?"...
I couldn't believe that I was actually falling for this man, despite my self reservation.
After his last visit here upon his arrival back home he seemed very depressed claiming he wanted to be here with me. Complimented, I encouraged him to be patient and in due time he would be transferring out as originally planned by me.
I felt he would try to monopolize my every free time over the phone, so I decided to give it a break and not talk so long on each call.
One day he said to me "don't you love me anymore baby?" because I wasn't spending as much devoted time with him!
As days went on, he had called me and everything seemed fine. I knew he wasn't feeling well. I was conveying to him at this time about a very sad situation involving my son's girlfriend's family member whom commited suicide.
We were both pretty emotional at this time in reference to this topic, but I was in no way directing anything I was saying to him. Then the next thing I know, he said "I'm going to hang up now", instead of just hanging up. Well, I was like....thinking to myself.... gee, thanks! Aggravated, I said, "well go ahead, hang up!" I mean I didn't say it rudely, just emphatically.
Well, I am dumbfounded!
He did not return my calls for days! I was really and truly hurt! Thinking to myself, what did I say wrong?
Like an idiot, despite reading advice online about what to do in this type of scenario I contacted him.
Only because due to the severe weather here and out where he lives I thought maybe there was a possibility it could be due to the phone company.
Sure enough, there was a website of many people complaining of not being able to get through to their loved ones, etc., just like my bf explained to me was experiencing the same when trying to contact me.
I contacted my TMobile and they said there was a possibility that could be the case, but if would take 72 hours to find out.
Well, I couldn't wait that long!
So, unfortunately the only way I would find out for sure if he was blocking me, would be to reach him at work, which I have never done. But, he was always saying you can call me anytime! .., but I was always respectful and considerate of when I would contact him. So, I called his job,
they page him, he finally reaches the phone and he says, "hello", I said "hi".
He replies, who's this?
I repeated twice. He said. "Oh no, you can't call here"!
I was shocked.
I am still trying to figure out what I did or said wrong on that phone conversation when he hung up on me.
I have to say, now, after texting this story out for all to read, I've come to the conclusion, I hit a nerve, somewhere in that last phone conversation. It hit me like a light bulb going off in my head. In the beginning my bf did confess he had multiple breakdowns, perhaps our last conversation just hit too close to home, when the discussion of suicide and depression, which is common in alcoholics.
All I want is to talk to him and at least be on good terms.