Relationships in 1st year sobriety

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Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby kmith709 » Mon May 25, 2015 1:04 pm

Hi! I'd love to hear some experience, strength, and hope regarding relationships (especially romantic relationships) in early sobriety.

When I had 2 months sober, I met a guy from out of town. We had a really amazingly honest, open, fun, human connection-- nothing weird happened, he doesn't drink either-- and now we talk on the phone daily. We are open about everything, including the fact that we really like each other and about my early recovery. It's been over a month. I pray about the situation and have given up struggling. My sponsor still strongly encourages me to take one year off from talking to men. But this really feels like an exception to the rule!

What are your thoughts on connections and relationships in early sobriety? Thanks for letting me share!
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon May 25, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi kmith and welcome.

Congratulations on 3 months of sobriety!

Is your sponsor advising you to not talk to men or to not get involved in a relationship with one for a year?

There are really no rules in AA concerning this but I think your sponsor is giving you the same good advice that most AA sponsors generally give every newcomer. Unfortunately, because our libidos tend to "wake up" long before our brains become fully functional again (takes about a year) it's very good advice that is rarely followed by newcomers. Whether you choose to follow it or not is entirely up to you. The odds that any new romantic relationship any of us have before we've completely worked the Steps and applied AA's principles to all our affairs is going to turn into a happily-ever-after kind of thing are probably slim to none. That doesn't mean we can't learn and grow from the experience even if it doesn't work out. As long as you remember to not drink no matter what and keep going on your AA program, you'll be okay.

Keep coming back....
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Duke » Mon May 25, 2015 7:56 pm

As has been said, there are no hard and fast rules. But like many, my sponsor strongly suggested I make no major changes in the first two years. It was a good suggestion for me as the ones I'd had in mind early on probably wouldn't have worked out so well.

Glad you're here.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby PaigeB » Mon May 25, 2015 9:33 pm

Inside me I have a "Knower" deep down inside where we hold our deepest knowledge of right and wrong. I meditate to get in conscious contact with my HP there inside me and then I listen. Sometimes I hear the answer in my head, sometimes from my sponsor, sometimes in a meeting. My god does not give me answers on a billboard... I must remain honest, open minded and willing.

Keep in mind we all make mistakes. Just don't let those mistakes drive off the course where we end up drunk or dead. I tried not to make radical moves of any kind. During the first year, such moves can be especially radical.

Have you done the 12 Steps of this program yet? Put your focus on THAT no matter what.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Tosh » Mon May 25, 2015 10:42 pm

kmith709 wrote:What are your thoughts on connections and relationships in early sobriety? Thanks for letting me share!


Hi kmith, I'm no old timer, but I've been around recovery for long enough to understand the dynamics here, and the chances are that new relationships in early sobriety don't tend to pan out very well.

My suggestion would be to wait and put your focus on your sobriety; a sponsor, the steps, some service and some time. Two months sober is amazing, but when you get to 12 months sober, you will be a different person to who you are now; guaranteed.

However, as I say, I understand the dynamics, and part of that is that suggestions to newcomers to delay entering into relationships tend to fall upon deaf ears. I've had two sponsees drink in the past six months, and both entered into relationships in early sobriety. One's now sober (six months today in fact (he let me know last night)), the other isn't. I'm like "You drank, over a woman?" :(
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby ann2 » Tue May 26, 2015 12:13 am

Hi! Glad you're here and thanks for asking. I remember being in the same situation as you. My sponsor was understanding but she didn't think it would work out. She said I was a sick puppy :)

She was right, it didn't work out, but at least I wasn't surprised. Looking back I think I was putting energy in other people instead of my recovery. I would have benefited from spending that time on my step work. But I know I'm not the only one who has come to that conclusion, in retrospect.

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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby desypete » Tue May 26, 2015 9:34 am

they told me in aa to not bother with relationship until i have been around for at least 2 years, that i should not make any drastic changes in those 2 years

the told me to first get a plant and learn how to care for it and then get myself a pet and learn how to care for it before i can move on to a human being

did i listen ? did i hell

i was lonely and i wanted someone for me, i wanted to have someone take care of me and i would take care of them, i thought aa would be a great place to find someone just like me and we can both help each other and live happy ever after

i was soon kicked up the back side and told i dont go to aa to get a woman so i thought i would try dating online and find myself a perfect partner that way

i did i found many ladys online and dated them, i fell in love with them the moment i set eyes on them and they were going to be everything my life needed

until of course they wanted to do things there way ????

i was in and out of love every months with a different women i had met online and it always ended the same way, my personality that is so selfish and insecure would destroy it all after the sex was out of the way

i did all sorts of crazy things looking for love and i would justify it as well as i was lonely and i wanted what the others had a partner to share my life with etc

little did i know that without any change in me then i was always going to fail and even with changes made its still a hard thing to live with someone else and to give them what they want instead of me always getting what i want

i never knew this about me as a person until i came into aa and learned and got honest

i did all this running around in my first 2 years and felt the pain of it all, infact it helped me towards doing the steps

today i can still be the same but i have changed i am happy on my own its safer that way and i get my own way without hurting or upsetting anyone else lol

i am amzed when i look at just how much i have grown i am no longer that weak person who needed someone else to take care of them, i dont need a women at all in my life i am happy enough on my own and if i never have another realtionship again i will not mind

i heard someone say that to me many years ago and the guy was 14 years sober, he said he had given up with relationships as the pain it brings to him is to much for him to handle so he does his own thing and is enjoying his life

if he wants sex he can pay for it he doesnt have to fall in love for it as its what drove him on at times

i learn from others in aa and from my own experiences more so if i dont listen to the wisdom i have been given by others who are like me

although to be fair i really have grown up a lot in that department i can date someone without it being love at first sight anymore or building huge castles in the air

but as for living with someone else ?? well i dont think i have changed enough to be able to give them everything they want without me trying to get my own way yet !!
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby clouds » Tue May 26, 2015 9:58 am

I wasnt single until I was 9 years sober. The next 10 years were well filled with raising my kids on my own, getting and keeping a job and going to school to try to earn a better living. By the time I started dating, about 20 years sobriety by then, I was pretty picky about the guys I considered. Even though I was picky the first one was a total loser even though he was a big deal architecture professor and all that. So it was the next one who was a gem and we got married and still together and I am still having to practice the steps very hard in marraige, even though he is a non drinker and a really decent human being.

I think I wouldnt have been capable of dating and seeking a relationship for several years after getting sober myself!
I do see people falling in love and all early in AA and I see a lot of heartache, pain and resentments and anger from it too.

My sponsor said to read the part about sex in the BIg Book of AA, it talks of selfcenteredness and dishonesty with ourselves in regard to sexual relationships, it helps to set a certain kindof attitude we strive for in these kinds of areas.

Be wary and be sober!
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Roberth » Tue May 26, 2015 12:07 pm

Hello kmith709 and welcome to E-AA. There is nothing in AA literature about time spans excepted for the new person giving AA a year to see if it works for them. I would recommend the new person get a solid foundation before the get into a relationship which is what the 12 & 12 refers to about changes.
There needs to be a word of caution about sexual predators in the rooms. they are the ones that go from new comer to new comer.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Layne » Tue May 26, 2015 12:15 pm

My most challenging and difficult relationship early in recovery was with the guy in the mirror. I had to get know him on an intimate level first before I could have any chance of being real with anyone else.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby kmith709 » Wed May 27, 2015 6:03 am

Wow! Thanks so much everyone for your replies! These are all immensely helpful. I'm new to the forums and am thrilled to find the same sort of welcoming spirit here that I find in real-life meetings.

I can hear my higher power in all of your words. I have been prayerfully considering all of this and I am beginning to think that, for the sake of being unselfish and for consideration of the other person's well being, I may want to propose a break in our contact. At least, for the next eight months, or until I've finished working the steps...

Thank you again! I love you AA's so much.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Tosh » Thu May 28, 2015 12:18 am

kmith709 wrote: I may want to propose a break in our contact. At least, for the next eight months, or until I've finished working the steps...


Wow; you've just spoilt my unbroken run of 'alkies who don't listen and get into relationships anyway'.

How could this happen to me? :lol:

Please keep posting; I've found this forum a great help to,... well, life - living sober - I guess.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby desypete » Thu May 28, 2015 3:59 am

what i found out about me doing the steps is that i was co dependant on people, i needed a women in my life as i couldn't cope on my own, my life would be so empty if i didn't have one and the fear of being alone was the only reason i stayed in my 24 year marriage

i was so worthless no one else would put up with me etc, so i clung on to my ex wife and put up with all sorts along the way just based on fear of facing life without her, hence when i was starting to get sober and my feet were better placed on the ground i started to look for a relationship. in my mind it would be perfect, the excitement a new relationship brings is a huge high in itself. but it doesn't last long, soon the cracks start to show, as i try to take them prisoner based on fear that they will leave me.

i had a good heart and i would be so loving but the down side was they had to be there for me or else i would turn nasty and controlling, i would take them my prisonor but i couldnt see it, i never knew this was a problem as its how i had always been

in aa the old timers knew this about me hence they would tell me not to rush into a new relationship as i wouldn't of had the time yet to start to face me and to start the long road of change.

the danger is and happens over and over is 2 people meet up in aa they both rush headlong in love and dress it up in there minds that its what there god has sent them etc then they find out after they live together just what the person is really like at home, it then becomes a mad place for them both to be in and if there not long enough around or have worked on themselves it will end in tears,
what happens when pain comes along ? it seems like a good idea to have a drink on it

so they could both end up back on the drink and might never come back again hence the strong advice would be to wait a good while before having a go at a relationship

i know a good few people in aa who still cling on to there partners, they can not bear to be on there own, etc i see my old self in them and i know that fear as i had to face it and like always when facing those fears its never as black as it might seem
i love being on my own these days, i feel no strong need or urge to have a relationship, i dont miss having someone there for me, but thats because i have had to cope on my own for so long i am used to it, i met a girl not so long ago who cared about me and i couldn't handle it

i didnt want her help as she felt sorry for me or felt the need to care for me and it made me run away faster than anything as that was how i always picked my women in the past, it was if i could take care of them i would be drawn to them

its a huge minefield is relationships and co dependency but the steps for me shown me the real me and how i dont have to be like that anymore

i do feel sorry for the people in aa who have clung on in a relationship out of fear of being alone, as there really is nothing to be scared of one old timer whos wife walked out on him a short while ago, was on his knees begging his wife to come back to him and it reminded me of me and how i never want to be that weak ever again

it really is amazing when i look back as i came to aa for help with my drink problem and i found a lot more than that
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby 4thDimension » Thu May 28, 2015 8:51 pm

My thoughts on relationships in early sobriety?

I had 2 absolute train wrecks of relationships in early sobriety that ended those sobrieties. That is what untreated alcoholism does to relationships and although I was trying to get better, I wasn't done with my first step if you get my drift.

The last time I got sober, I sought recovery like a drowning man does a life preserver. I was seeing a young lady at the time who was a tremendous emotional support. That was circa 1985. She's my wife today and she's got my number, meaning she knows the disease, she knows my history, she understands the whole deal, and I'm very lucky.

Relationships in early sobriety are very tricky. There are a lot of variables: the two people's personalities, recovery motivation, their realistic view of the situation, the non-alcoholics desire to support the alcoholic as well as explore their own recovery. My thoughts today are that people in recovery should have a lot of friends, but intimate relationships are just really slippery for a while. At least 6 months, most treatment centers say a year. But it helps to get some sobriety under your belt and not risk newly established sobriety on emotional relationship ups and downs.
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Re: Relationships in 1st year sobriety

Postby Sabrina321 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:40 am

She was right, it didn't work out, but at least I wasn't surprised. Looking back I think I was putting energy in other people instead of my recovery. I would have benefited from spending that time on my step work. But I know I'm not the only one who has come to that conclusion, in retrospect.
Similar to my situation! Totally agreed!
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