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Supportive Partners

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
Tink
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Tink » 26 Dec 2010 23:45

Neal that was truly wonderful. Yes you are lucky and so is she but the love you two must share is incredible. It takes hard work and selflessness to be like that and keep the fire going. It takes two and true love. I am so happy for you. So completely happy for you. Inspired by that. It is rare these days to see that or hear a story like that. The kind of relationship we all dream of having.
I have allot of work to do on myself before I think I could ever have another relationship. Probably won't have one but at least I know they do exist and are real . Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I am crying too right now but good tears for joy for you. Congratulations mate for getting your happy thought back. <:)> (::) (::) ;)?

Tink
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Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 28 Dec 2010 15:29

Hi everyone, I am new to this site.

I am not an alocholic but the partner of someone who is, we split up over his drinking but recently got back together only after he committed to doing something about his drinking. Its a fairly new relationship but from the beginning I felt like it was the "real deal". My father is an alcoholic and have had several friends with problems, one of which died so I was very clear about what i felt was an acceptable future for me and what wasn't acceptable. Past problem relationships means that I have a pretty low tolerance on being treated badly and am conscious that my partner feels he is being made to pay for whats happened in my past.

He has been sober for 2 weeks now and I am very proud of him for this and have told him so. He's really suffered the past few days more so than in the earlier days, I have been very worried about him recently, awful physical withdrawal effects, ive been so worried that he would go back to drinking but so far he seems to have ridden it out.

We don't live anywhere near each other, so part of me is worried that he could hide a relapse from me but the other part knows that I need to give him trust and the opportunity to be honest with me over his struggles, although I have been honest that I only have one second chance in me -mainly because I see the life my stepmum had with my father and I don't want that, I also think I don't deserve to be the partner of an active alcoholic - however selfish that might sound. He's been pretty mean for a couple of days saying things that have upset me but I know its because he's been suffering so much recently.

I guess what I need right now is tips and ideas of how I can be supportive to him, things I can do to help him stick to sobriety and equally things I should say or do. I want him to succeed and I want to help him all I can. I don't have an addictive personality and am very conscious that theres a lot I just don't understand or have an appreciation for. I also need to understand what others do if their partners relapse.

thank you for taking the time to read my post.

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 29 Dec 2010 00:19

Hi Ellisbell,
First of all let me say that you do NOT sound selfish.
You know from experience what is acceptable in a relationship and what is not.
I am a bit concerned about this:
He's been pretty mean for a couple of days saying things that have upset me but I know its because he's been suffering so much recently.
It is probably good for now that there is some physical distance between you.
Ultimately the heavy lifting must be done by your partner, but perhaps you could encourage him to check out this website? It can be hard for people without addictive behaviors to understand what's going on with us, so I really commend you for this insight.
Others will come along with other ideas for you, but I would repeat that you are not being selfish to want a relationship without alcohol as a third players For some with serious drinking problems, the need to drink will trump, as you know from experience. So tread slowly and carefully.
Bela
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Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 29 Dec 2010 07:51

Thanks Bela I should quantify that really hes not physically mean or anything like that - its being short, snappy & sarcastic which is completely out of character.

I have told him about this site & i know hes doing lots of reading up on alcoholism, recovery & symptons which i think is helping him understand what is happening to his body. Hes under the care of the doctor & due to start counselling shortly.

nettii
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by nettii » 29 Dec 2010 14:50

Hi Elisbell

Firstly it's great that you are so supportive and his 2 weeks is a real achievement. I have experience of being a drinker and also having a drinking partner.

The fact that your OH is reading up and getting help is a very good sign that he wants to kick this addiction. Be assured that any real physical withdrawal would have gone in the first few days. Any grumpiness/bad moods are now caused by what we on here call the Evil Alcohol Fairy (EAF). It's the addiction playing with his mind and something that will get easier over time.

I would highly recommend you and he take a look at the Smart Recovery Website, it's very helpful in training your mind to overcome cravings. You could also look in to having some counselling from one of the Bright Eye Counsellors.

I totally understand your worry that he may be sneaking drinks when he's away from you. I'm afraid there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. If he's going to do it he will. Ultimately the responsibility to not drink is down to him. For a long time my ex OH tried methods to give up drink because it's what I wanted, but it doesn't work when you're doing it for someone else. In many ways he has to be selfish in stopping because he must do it for his own benefit, no one elses.

Your low tolerance of being treated badly is a GREAT thing in this situation. Set clear rules and stick to them as far as his treatment of you is concerned. I'm afraid dealing with alcoholics in a relationship is sometimes like dealing with a toddler. If there isn't a consequence to their actions they'll continue with the bad behaviour.

I wish you and your boyfriend the best of luck. Please keep posting if it helps. Would be great if he could join BE. I'm sure he'd get loads of support because we all understand what it's like for him.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 12:10

Hi everyone,

I am also new to this site and like Ellisbell I am not an alcoholic but my partner is.

He is the loveliest person on earth when he is not drinking but like Ellisbell's partner he completely changes when he is drinking.

He becomes short, snappy and sarcastic and also incredibly immature.

But the worst thing is that he becomes incredibly secretive which makes it very difficult for me to trust him.
I know that this is because he wants to pretend that everything is OK.
But everything is not OK and pretending will only make it worse.

I don't know whether to confront him with the things he has been hiding.
Would that be being "cruel to be kind"? or would it send him further down the spiral?

He uses this forum already. I think it was good at first but now he hardly talks to me about anything and is constantly on the forum giving other people good advice which he doesn't follow himself. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Beverley » 30 Dec 2010 15:03

Some of us are so lucky to have supportive partners. I know my poor OH suffered like hell putting up with me and the distress of seeing a once lovely woman looking the way I became.

He is my whole life and I really don't know if I would want to live if anything happened to him. I know he is so relieved. I wish I could take back the bad years but I can't so I will just cherish the the time ahead we still have.

Neals post has me in tears too. How very lovely.
Every moment is a gift - that's why it's called the present

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 15:07

So how do I support him?

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 30 Dec 2010 15:51

MaryAnne,
Wish I had a good answer for you. My reaction to the words I've posted is that, either way you should not see your actions as doing something to him, although you will likely be accused ot it. It is his drinking that is the agent in this situation. (I would have responded negatively to confrontration at one point.) I guess you have to make the determination how serious the drinking problem is (altho I am guessing very serious since your OH posts here and you are posting here). If support has not worked, then maybe confrontation. If confrontration has not worked, I suppose you could try the support. Truth told though, it won't come down to support if he wants to continue drinking, you will just be "off his back" for a while. There is absolutely and time and place for tough love and last chances. I am sure you appreciate what I am saying. Right now are you better off with him or without him?

So all these words, and I really can't offer much help. Still I wanted to respond and send you a <:)> .

I don't know whether to confront him with the things he has been hiding.
Would that be being "cruel to be kind"? or would it send him further down the spiral?
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 16:15

Thanks Bella and Digga for your replies. I will let you know what happens.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 17:39

"I am sure you appreciate what I am saying. Right now are you better off with him or without him?"

Thanks Bella I do appreciate what you are saying but the question I am asking myself is will I be better off with him or without him when he beats this? And I know that the answer to that is that I will be better off with him when he beats this.

I know this is true because we do love each other very much.

I just need to know what I should be doing to help him beat this.

I think you and Digga have both told me that I need to be the strong one.

At the moment I don't feel very strong and I feel like I am going behind his back because this has been his safe place but maybe its time for him to test the water outside his safe place.

Does this make sense?

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 17:56

Thank you!

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 30 Dec 2010 20:22

Thanks guys, this forum has been of great comfort and help to me, you sometimes think you are the only person in this awful situation, so its acutally reassuraing to know that you are now, others are in this too and there is like at the end of the tunnel.

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 30 Dec 2010 22:29

MaryAnne, I think your partner needs to be strong, too, because your strength is not enough without a commitment from him. Just to clarify. Actions speak stronger than words, so look for actions taken not promises made. <:)>
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

nettii
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by nettii » 30 Dec 2010 22:37

Maryanne:

I 100% agree with what Digga says, pull him up on his lying. If he thinks he can get away with lying he will continue to do so. Face him, challenge him, be direct, even if it's uncomfortable (that is assuming he's not a violent drunk, which I'm assuming he isn't, or else my advise would be leave now.)

I too have stayed with someone because i know my life would be better with him once he beats this. Unfortunatly, so far, he hasn't beat it. And whilst I haven't given up hope that he will, I have to keep my distance from him, completely, because life is far worse with him whilst he's drinking.

It was Bela that once posted to me that for my partner "drink trumps over me and my children". I keep that with me, it keeps me very strong. Bela <:)>

He is very, very, lucky have you Maryanne. I bloody hope he appreciates it.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 22:44

Thanks Bela. I appreciate you taking the time to say that.
Bela wrote:MaryAnne, I think your partner needs to be strong, too, because your strength is not enough without a commitment from him. Just to clarify. Actions speak stronger than words, so look for actions taken not promises made. <:)>
I think that I have to take the bull by the horns and lead it for now though, if you catch my drift. Then when he's stronger we'll be able to walk side by side. Does that make sense? Or am I way off the mark?

I suppose what I'm saying is that I need to give him a boot up the backside!
Why didn't I just say that in the first place?

Any way thanks to you and some other people on this forum I think I can do that now.
I couldn't have contemplated it this morning. So thank you again! <:)>

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 22:50

Thanks Nettii.
I hope things get better for both you and me soon.
Maybe 2011 will be a better year.
Here's hoping.
<:)>
nettii wrote:Maryanne:

I 100% agree with what Digga says, pull him up on his lying. If he thinks he can get away with lying he will continue to do so. Face him, challenge him, be direct, even if it's uncomfortable (that is assuming he's not a violent drunk, which I'm assuming he isn't, or else my advise would be leave now.)

I too have stayed with someone because i know my life would be better with him once he beats this. Unfortunatly, so far, he hasn't beat it. And whilst I haven't given up hope that he will, I have to keep my distance from him, completely, because life is far worse with him whilst he's drinking.

It was Bela that once posted to me that for my partner "drink trumps over me and my children". I keep that with me, it keeps me very strong. Bela <:)>

He is very, very, lucky have you Maryanne. I bloody hope he appreciates it.

nettii
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by nettii » 30 Dec 2010 22:59

Maryanne, I'm COUNTING on 2011 to be a better year. ;)?

I've just read a thread about co-dependancy here on relationships which I've never read before. It's very , very insightful, sent shivers down me because it just sums me up. Every partner I've had has been dependant on me in some way, even most friendships. WOW!! That's going to give me something to think about.

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 30 Dec 2010 23:02

I think there is a lot of research out there about certain people being regular codependants - its all really interesting reading and like you I seem to be "attracted" to people that need looking after in some way - maybe 2011 should be the year that not only do we offer support and help to those we love but we look after ourselves as well!

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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 23:51

Thanks Nettii! I've just had a read at that myself.

I can definitely see myself there and I've known that for many years.
For me it stems back to my childhood and being in that kind of relationship with my sister.

I've had a lot of counselling for that over the years.
But I've also had a lot of relapses into this "codependency".

That's why I'm determined that I have to break the cycle this time.
I don't want to be a crutch. I didn't marry my current partner to be a crutch for him.
So he's going to get a boot up the backside.

Just pray for me that I don't back down on this!

24 hours and 10 minutes til 2011 (::)
nettii wrote:Maryanne, I'm COUNTING on 2011 to be a better year. ;)?

I've just read a thread about co-dependancy here on relationships which I've never read before. It's very , very insightful, sent shivers down me because it just sums me up. Every partner I've had has been dependant on me in some way, even most friendships. WOW!! That's going to give me something to think about.

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