My Girlfriend Has Just Entered a Treatment Program For Alcohol Dependency and Bulimia
I have noticed her pulling away from me. I have given her as much support as I can, and realize that this is a very crucial period in her life for her to address her demons i.e. alcohol and the eating disorder.
I love her very very much, however in truth, I am having great difficulty dealing with the empty emotion and this feeling that the treatment process is encouraging her to pull away. Having said this, I am fully aware of the need for her to focus on herself and heal.
I have done an incredible amount of reading and it seems as though I just cannot glean enough information on the "relationship fallout" that is part and parcel to alcoholism.
The problem is ... no matter how much I read I still find myself here, loving her, wanting her, and needing her to be healthy ... help me, please!
I am so aware that this IS NOT about me ... however, most of my readings have indicated that the majority of 12-step programs (which I believe she is undertaking), advocate NOT being in a relationship for the first 12 months of recovery.
I have gone through months of confusion (before she entered rehab) dealing with her telling me she loves me one minute, and following this days later with "I only said that because I thought that is what you wanted to hear. This has been a recurring facet of our interaction, that she seems to say and do things that she feels people want her to do or say.
In this process I have explored my role as an enabler and the co-dependence issues and decided that I needed to end my alcohol consumption for "me", simply because I came to realize rather quickly, after she entered the program, and reflecting on our relationship dynamic, that it will be paramount for me to have a clean head, and be able to construct my behavior and responses in a clear and lucid manner.
In quitting drinking I am committed to the notion that I have done this for ME, and ONLY me ... this is a very beautiful person, I have seen glimpses of the person hiding under all the muck, and this is the person I am so in love with - am I wasting my time, and wagering my efforts on false hopes? I Sincerely thank you for your ear,
Hi Arjay, you've simply got to give your girlfriend the time and space she needs to heal and focus on her recovery. Because if she is ever going to heal completely from her alcohol and eating issues - she's going to have to be 'selfish' and put her own well-being first.
So while you're trying really hard to understand and no doubt want the best for her, give her the freedom she needs to do what she needs to do. No one can say what this will mean for your relationship, you simply have to trust that everything will work out as it's meant to.
Your girlfriend is incredibly vulnerable right now and there is so much she's going to have to process on all levels, especially emotionally, and the reality is unfortunately a relationship can distract one from doing that. That's why 12 step programs do recommend a person try and avoid getting into a relationship in their first year of their recovery.
Time will tell whether this all ultimately brings you closer together or causes you to drift apart. So the best thing you can do right now is instead of worrying what's going to happen to your relationship, focus on yourself for the time being, and let things unfold however they're meant to.
Of course that's hard and isn't easy when you really care about someone, but if you both spend this time productively working on yourselves, you give your relationship the best possible chance of succeeding in the long-term. Because he that knows himself, is someone who really has something to offer someone else.
Look into attending some Al-Anon meetings as well. They're for loved one's and family members of alcoholics and so you'll learn a lot about how to deal with what's going on. Hang in there and be patient. Everything will become clearer in time.