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After an alcohol ex.

Hi, I'm new here and I'm looking for some advice or suggestions of how to cope with feelings and thoughts about alcohol in my life after I previously dated an alcoholic.

Sorry it's a long post.

My ex from years ago was an alcoholic and depressive, and two years after we broke up (but remained the best friends we always had been) he sadly died from suicide after a night out drinking (2017). ​(I f*cking missed his phonecall for help that fateful night, so I admit I live with huge guilt.)

Anyway...

My current partner (now fiance) I actually met when he was t-total, something that really appealed to me because it just simplifies things in my head regarding alcohol. But during the two years we have lived together he has started to introduce alcohol in to his life again, in a admittedly minor way. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I'm not overly comfortable. I told him that, and he said he wouldn't drink if it's really something that bothers me. But then I've said it's ok for him to have the odd drink if he fancies it. But he now tends to buy a box of 10 cans of beer (value for money is better apparently) and then drink them in one or more often two nights. Which isn't a lot, I know. But it makes me nervous. He doesn't have any aggression or misbehaviour but it still makes me nervous. We have three teenage kids in the house (his from a previous marriage) and the morning after drinking he usually sleeps-in and is very tired and slow. He sometimes regrets it and leaves it a while before repeating the drinking. This bothers me because he isn't usually slow or lethargic without alcohol, or not often anyway.

He occasionally fancies a beer or a cider or a wine and will buy something with the shopping, not often but maybe every couple of weeks now. It's usually to help him relax after a stressful week or stressful day.

And it's how it all makes me feel, that I'm struggling with. Tonight in the supermarket I said in a very controlling manner "you should only buy two beers, that's your limit, I say so" and then he laughed along with my bossy semi-jokey character, then decided he wanted a bottle of wine instead and I said "no please, you shouldn't, what happened to t-total life?" And he was mortified I said it aloud in a shop and might have caused a scene. He said it's not right to say stuff like that. He has since been in a mood with me all night. Says if it's such an issue I should never encourage him to buy alcohol or have a drink. But I don't! I said I don't recall ever doing that. I genuinely don't. But he thinks I do, I make suggestions he should have a wee drink.

I've said repeatedly that I'm not wholey comfortable with alcohol in the house, it brings back too many emotions and memories, but I know drink shouldn't be a problem because I trust him. He should be able to enjoy a drink. I shouldn't be watching and terrified of every can he has. But it's like alarms going off in my body that I can't control.

Is there anything I can do to help relax around alcohol? I'm ok with myself having a drink because I know I only ever have a single cider or alike, twice a year. I can easy go a year with none. It doesn't fuss me. But I also don't get any emotions, memories or bad feelings about alcohol when it's me drinking. But it's clearly a fear seeing a partner drink.

Like I said, he says he will go t-total for me why didn't I just say that. But I feel so controlling. Which makes me soooo unhappy I want to cry.

Help? Advice please

Edit: reflecting more on it. I realise I'm ok if he is having a drink withhhh me when I have my 'once or twice a year drink' ha! But when he drinks just himself which is most of the time, that's when I feel sooo strange and upset and anxious.

replying to Bungle2021

Hi - no one has responded to you and I feel really sorry about this. I think you may have PTSD and that is why you feel that alcohol will lead to something more dangerous. I think if you try (and I know it's hard because my partner died of alcoholism) not to worry when he is drinking - it won't become an issue. It is basically the law of attraction....I think.

Also, just want to say - there are many people on here with more experience than me who could have responded to your message, but it seems to sometimes be a 'no mans land'. You reach out for help and no one responds, not sure why that is. Seems pointless having a forum when people are clearly suffering.

replying to Bungle2021

Hi – well done for sharing firstly! You've been through so much and your strength really radiates through your whole message – you should be proud of yourself for that.

I can't advise on the specifics of your partner's situation because I don't know him, but most importantly because I'm not a professional.

But one thing I can say is do not blame yourself! For anything! I know it's so hard to do because when you live with addiction in a friend/partner/family member it is totally natural that we blame ourselves. A friend of mine lived with me for a year and attempted suicide during that time; self-harmed; binged regularly – all while I watched and tried to steer him away from it in a way I thought was right. I blamed myself everyday for what was going on. i didn't want to control someone's life at the same time as feeling bad for not doing more. It drove me to depression and occasional self-harm. My relationships suffered too because I was carrying so much around.

The most important thing which I have learned is that addiction is a scientific thing – psychologically, biologically, neurologically. It causes people to behave in a certain way to sustain itself. If we try to judge what's best for someone as a non-professional we will always become emotionally tied to the situation, believing that the whole thing is down to us. Inevitably things go up and down, and we start to blame ourselves for the downs. No one deserves that.

I would suggest talking to a professional if you can. Explain the whole situation, your partner's history with drink, how you feel now – and read everything online you can. Again – I can't talk about your partner's situation and what he needs to do. But if you feel anxious, depressed etc, that's for a reason – either because of your history or your partner's and I think only professional advice can help you work out what that reason is and change it!

Good luck and remember – none of any of this is your fault!

replying to Bungle2021

Hi. The effects of the damage done with your previous addict (I say that in the clinical and so not mean to minimise that relationship) are still deep in your core and are part of you. That is life.

You can only trust in your partner. What they do with that trust is not your thing to control.

I am currently the partner of an addict, C in my case. No matter what I do, no matter how many times we tread eggshells, no matter how many times we remain silent due to previous abuse…. People will do them. As long as you do you.

Continue to live your life, continue to try and release the pain of your past relationship with your addict and continue to work on you so that you no longer carry that guilt because an addict is an addict and we are decent and that is why we carry the guilt and the pain. I say that with tears in my eyes from being in a relationship with an addict and the abuse that that involves.

replying to Bungle2021

It’s a shame, I know the reason I don’t have constant access is because I have to physically search Adfam and sign in. In the times of constant access accessibility to social media, an app really does make the difference unfortunately

Please let me know if there is an App for this website, and if not, let’s create a GoFundMe for one to be created!

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