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Continuing the Journey with an Alcoholic

by Liz

I have already written here and want to keep asking questions along the way. As I see it it is a journey. I'm relatively new to this whole scene simply because I've fallen in love with a man who is a recovering alcoholic and I want to learn more.

I've been told that my man should get involved with a programme if he wants to remain alcohol free. He seems rather reticent about this.

One thing I want to know. As discussed in my first message my man started having "controlled drinking". He obviously realised he can't do this as one drink sets them off again. I've been staying with him for a week now however each night he has one 0.5% beer with his meals. Is this possible for him to have and be OK? I haven't seen any adverse effects such as drunkenness or being tipsy etc.

Another question I have is about the fact that he sleeps an awful lot. He goes to work OK but loves to sleep especially in the weekends. He gets out of bed rather late and can still have a nap through the day. Is this normal?

We are both mature people and I thought that the older you get the less sleep you need and I've not known someone to sleep as much as he. He tells me he has always loved his sleep. Does this have anything to do with the fact he may still be drinking?

Also he keeps a lot of energy drinks around i.e. in the fridge and shelf. I understand that alcoholics drink these with alcohol so they can function without appearing to be drunk. Should I be concerned? My gut sense is that he's not being totally upfront however I don't wish to make assumptions.

He has very little interest in anything other than going to work coming home, eating and going to bed. I'm worried about this new relationship as I am a very social person. He doesn't like to socialise. Do any of these things I've discussed ring any alarm bells?


Hi Liz

The biggest alarm bell in all this is your partner trying to continue with his controlled drinking. He might be able to stay on the 0.5% beers, but that is unlikely to last very long. It still seems he's not prepared to really accept his alcoholism and that a life of sobriety is the only real solution. Which means that down the line his drinking is likely to progress to what it was in active addiction (and beyond) and his life will become unmanageable.

As for the rest of the issues, I don't think they necessarily mean anything. Some people do like to sleep and aren't particularly social people. That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with their alcoholism. Yes alcoholism can make people become socially withdrawn, but some people are just not particularly social people so you'll have to try and figure out what kind of person he really is.

If you have concerns about the relationship even when its still so new, there's not just his drinking to consider, but you also have to think about whether you're genuinely compatible? If all he likes to do is watch TV and go to sleep, with you being a social person, how is your relationship going to be sustainable?

Why don't you get yourself to a couple of Al Anon meetings, which are specifically for loved one's of alcoholics? There you'll get a real understanding of what it's like to be in a relationship with an alcoholic and be able to learn from others who are in a position similar to yours.

Hopefully your partner does go on and embrace a life of recovery and in doing so gives your relationship the opportunity to flourish. But there are no shortcuts to achieving that - he needs to put in the work, and until he does that, I'd be cautious.

All the best.

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Jan 09, 2011
Controlled Drinking Almost Never Works
by: Anonymous

One of the major reasons alcoholics are alcoholics is that they can't control their drinking in the way non-alcoholics can. They may be able to for short periods but it almost always doesn't last long, and they end up falling off the wagon soon enough. Overcoming alcoholism requires major lifestyle and personal changes ... so be careful to fall for empty promises that sound good in theory but are extremely difficult to live up to ... especially when you can see your partner not putting in the effort he has to to deal with his alcoholism. There are no shortcuts. So make sure you know what you're letting yourself into and dealing with because you don't want it all to end in heartache.

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