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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking      Home login  
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 1tf84
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 1
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I always thought when it comes to alcohol, I could take it or leave it. But now I find it a little strange to not be a social drinker when we are out and about together. She says she doesn't mind if I drink, is that possible? I just wonder if we could ever have a healthy happy long term relationship, after all, she has some pretty heavy stuff in her past she is carrying with her that never really goes away. I'm hoping to learn from others experiences.
 TDH49
Joined: 8/13/2010
Msg: 2
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 4:31:12 PM
I know of recovering alcoholics who work as bartenders. With 11 years of sobriety under her belt she is just fine with you or anybody else drinking around her. Stop making it an issue and just carry on doing the things in your life that you would do normally.
 Welsh474
Joined: 9/13/2010
Msg: 3
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 4:34:14 PM
If she has been sober for 11 years and she says to you "go ahead, have a drink" I'm sure she means what she says. I'd venture to say that her demons are gone for the most part and if she hasn't fallen off the wagon by now, chances are she won't. Most alchoholics realize that "they" have a drinking problem, not us and know how to handle themselves in any situation. I've been with alchoholics at bars, weddings, Christmas parties, New Years parties, etc. and they handle the situation no differently than they do daily - they don't drink.

If you are a social drinker, drink socially. To me a social drinker is someone who has a drink or two at a function on the weekend. If you're drinking daily, you're not a social drinker. I think that at your age gone are the days of drinking to get wasted.
 WalksOnWater2
Joined: 5/19/2009
Msg: 4
she's an alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 4:44:07 PM
I had this experience with someone who was ex-alcoholic and dry for many years. He also said he doesn't mind if I drink, but a couple of times we went out to dance (which is the occasion that I have one drink or two in the course of the night) and it wasn't quite so.
So I ordered my drink and he was drinking sodas. Then, he asked me :
"Do you really NEED that? (the drink).
The first time I was nice "Yup, I like it!"

The second time he asked me if I absolutely HAVE to have a drink, I told him off.
"Yes, I do HAVE to have it, and I'll bloody well will, because I didn't drink my life's quota of booze in one year like you did, so lay off!"

The point is that he was scornful towards me for having a drink, and so AA biased towards people who drink once in a blue moon, that he pissed me off.
Also the 2-3 times a week of religiously attending AA meetings- along with work, did not leave him much time for dating etc. So that was the end of this romantic story.

 DrummingNut
Joined: 4/26/2010
Msg: 5
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 4:47:39 PM

I just wonder if we could ever have a healthy happy long term relationship, after all, she has some pretty heavy stuff in her past she is carrying with her that never really goes away.
THIS part is what can and usually does mess up a current relationship.
Not whether or not it would be alright for you to have a drink now and then when out with her.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 6
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 5:32:05 PM
Yes...I come from a huge family of partying people...met my late husband shortly into his sobriety. No problems for 17 years....he never waivered...relapsed at all.
Just never thought about it...he was simply a non drinker and we enjoyed normal outings.
I would think after 11 years...she's got it under control.
 Dorkvader27
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 7
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 5:40:58 PM
I think socially drinking would be okay.

You need to talk to her about what she can and can not handle and or do. You need to tell her she needs to be honest with you and not try to make you happy as her sobriety is important to you. From there you have to decide if you are okay with those things.

I highly recommend you never bring alcohol into the home. There will be NO finding common ground on this issue either. Meaning if she thinks it best you give up the alcohol then give it up. Don't say well what if I just drink when go out?

Alcohol is in her past and it needs to stay there.
 1tf84
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 8
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 5:52:52 PM
Good, insightful advice by all, thank you
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 9
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 6:03:38 PM

Msg 4 that sounds more like a dry drunk to me. I've known many people in recovery that have no problem being around social drinkers. This lady has been on the wagon for a very long time.

I'd run for the hills if it was someone for who sobriety was fairly new though.

Dry drunks, dry highs. The things that are all TOO often ignored when speaking of "recovery." No one seems to wish to talk about what happens once the substance of choice of alleviated. Doesn't mean someone isn't still an addict/alcoholic, just means they have the same issues without being drunk/high. I was with someone YEARS "sober" and the addiction still ruled our world. I will admit, he traded junk for AA, NA, CA, etc., but there was still the control issues, the need to absolutely control at home and the need for an addiction of some sort. When that "addition" turned to me? I simply drove away (literally... and sadly, because he was a great guy otherwise.) OP??? Sober or drunk, using or not, there is a personality situation that goes along with these things. Unless you are REALLY into self-sabotage? I'd suggest you just not go this route. No offense and kudos to those who kick their drug or choice, but it's just a miserable road that you will never understand, and thankfully so. Meet someone without the issues ~ past, present or future. If you want drama? Find a woman/man you can create some with!!! JMO
 OyVay...
Joined: 7/15/2011
Msg: 10
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 6:05:24 PM
Kinda different thing.

We, or those who drink and have no issues, can not always, totally understand those with this problem. There are problem drinkers and alcoholics.

For the problem drinker who solves emotional issues with alcohol, some therapy can do the trick and put drinking in perspective. For the true alcoholic, temptation is never a good thing, in their mind they are one drink away from a relapse.

Yes there are people with will power, who once on the right track, will never touch another, even if it's in their face. For others, it WILL bother them, even if they say it won't.

IMO, no the twain shall not meet. Much as they say no, I wonder what effect kissing after drinking would have upon them. I can have a drink or 2 a day for a week, then not drink for a month. When a person has a problem, I don't want to tempt them, nor have them resent me for my few drinks when I want.

Just some thoughts...
 sunfloweryes
Joined: 8/7/2008
Msg: 11
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/1/2011 7:35:58 PM
You should think of her being a recovering alcoholic as a person with an allergy. She has been recovering for 11 years, in that time I am sure she was in AA and had a Sponsor, and also close friends to be there no matter what hour of the day. First of all congratulations to her, secondly shame on you for not believing her when she said "she doesn't mind that you drink". In your own way you are questioning her ability to stay sober....she will always be recovering, it never disappears, it's like craving peanuts, even though, you know eating just 2 peanuts will kill you....alcohol is the same. My question to you is have you ever thought of alcohol as an allergy....it is a disease, just like cancer, you can fight it or let it win. Congratulations to her on her recovery and let it be!!!
As for her heavy stuff in her past, she should look for therapy to help her get past this.
Even people who have no desease/allergy, have heavy stuff from their past.
You can have a healthy, happy long term relationship only if you are both there for each other.
A relationship is the best roller coaster ride you can take.....hold on there are lot of highs and lows....hold on to each other and enjoy.
If you can't be a social drinker and believe what she told you.....this relationship is doomed!!! A relationship is based on trust, honesty, openness, she has been open with you....have you been with her??? Does she know of your question on pof???
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 12
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 5:49:23 AM
just because somebody else's husband never fell off the wagon for 17 years, that doesn't mean your girlfriend never will because she's been dry for "11" years.... alcoholics can fall off the wagon at any time... or not. you simply can't predict one alcoholic's behavior and personal issues based on what you observed in another's.

on the other hand, just because your girlfriend is an alcoholic, that doesn't automatically mean she has a "weak mind" or is incapable of having a normal relationship. how many people do you think are out there who are NOT alcoholics, yet completely incapable of having anything less than a dysfunctional relationship? hello! the only thing that being an alcoholic GUARANTEES is that the person can never drink alcohol again without it causing *serious* problems.

lots of mixed-up thinking out there. i would suggest that you form your opinions based on her actual behavior and character... huh, same answer as for anybody else.
 five-marie
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 13
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 6:17:12 AM
Listen to her words, watch her actions. If she says and acts like your drinking doesn't bother her believe her.
11 years is a long time sober. I'd be more worried about the undesirable characteristics that go along with addicts. If she doesn't appear to have any major issues I'd say enjoy this new relationship and stop looking for problems.
 BrockLee74
Joined: 9/9/2011
Msg: 14
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 6:21:40 AM
The best thing I ever did was get a job in a nightclub after I quit. Watching how people act with a couple drinks in them cured me from ever wanting to touch the stuff again.
 SpecificTruths
Joined: 9/19/2009
Msg: 15
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 8:40:36 AM

No one seems to wish to talk about what happens once the substance of choice of alleviated. Doesn't mean someone isn't still an addict/alcoholic, just means they have the same issues without being drunk/high. I was with someone YEARS "sober" and the addiction still ruled our world.

Yup, their sobriety and the commitment to it is a huge, central part of their lives. Can't argue that point. But, if they let that rule their "world" and yours, me thinks this person was controlling and abusive pre-addiction as well.


I will admit, he traded junk for AA, NA, CA, etc., but there was still the control issues, the need to absolutely control at home and the need for an addiction of some sort. When that "addition" turned to me? I simply drove away (literally... and sadly, because he was a great guy otherwise.) OP??? Sober or drunk, using or not, there is a personality situation that goes along with these things.

Whoa, hit the brakes a second.
Sure, addictive personalities can be troublesome. However, if this individual was committed to change, REAL change, than they should be self aware of the personality and how to control it. When my uncle became sober, his wife said that he became a much better husband. He gave her more space while at the same time being more aware and attentive to her needs in the relationship. AA/NA/CA/etc. is a good start, but often therapy is needed, and the person with them needs to understand addiction to truly understand the issues at large.
I've been around addicts my whole life (good 'ol Irish family), and trust me, reform is possible. Self awareness is a big part of recovery, and I suspect green eyes' mate was not recovered, just sober. There is a difference.

OP, don't let this person who obviously had a bad experience totally rule her out. Take some time to get to know her before you decide she's going to be a control freak with addictive personality that will focus on you.
 gentleplus
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 16
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 8:48:34 AM
OP some great advice here on sober vs recovery.... consider this...

Go and stop all drinking on your part and clear out your house too as a sign of your respect and validation of her efforts and see how the relationship deepens ever more
 want to travel
Joined: 7/29/2006
Msg: 17
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 11:37:18 AM
Look, you said you could take it or leave it, do her a favor and leave it!
I have a few friends that are recovering alcoholics,and there just one drink away from falling off the wagon, 1 year,11 years, or 20 or more
 bamagrl68
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 18
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/2/2011 3:35:22 PM
1tf84- I know what you are worried about. You think if you drink in front of her, you are tempting her and/or that you are sending her a message that it's ok for her to drink and she will start drinking again.
She's 11 years sober. That says a lot (congrats to her, btw).
She's at the point where she can be around people who are drinking and not drink.
You have to have faith in her. If she says she ok with you drinking socially, take her at her word.
It will become more comfortable for you to drink in front of her over time.
 kcladyz
Joined: 8/7/2009
Msg: 19
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 1:27:04 PM
Depends on the individual but seriously its not hard to " not drink". But if she is ok with you drinking then go for it but drink responsibly when around her. I myself in general do not drink when I am with a non-drinker.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 20
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 1:44:10 PM

just because somebody else's husband never fell off the wagon for 17 years, that doesn't mean your girlfriend never will because she's been dry for "11" years.... alcoholics can fall off the wagon at any time... or not


So right...I'm sorry...I should never have suggested that she has 11 yrs under her belt.....she's got it under control or ever will.
 peppermint petunias
Joined: 9/2/2009
Msg: 21
she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 2:09:35 PM
If she is the type that said "Every day I wake up and want a drink" I would run.

If you actually drink OFTEN and just call it social..She should run.
There is no guarantee you are not an alcoholic unless you stop and see.

All of them don't get falling down drunk and dance nekid on a bar.
Think of all the" social drinkers" out there that deny they have a problem.

You have some concern about her other than drinking if you have to ask us.

Let me guess..She isn't as hot as you would like..now is she?
 harbour_girl
Joined: 8/12/2008
Msg: 22
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 9:06:59 PM
She may not actually mind. But she maybe just being polite in hopes that you don't drink too much in a particular evening. Or hoping you eventually just stop drinking for the sake of the relationship. The ball is really in your court. Try talking to her about being totally honest with you about how she feels about being around anyone who drinks.

Communication is always impt. and caring about how the other person feels and knowing what their expectations are is key. Just be yourself and the answer should come to you.
 1tf84
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 23
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 9:25:26 PM
I was a bartender too, nothing like being around a bunch of drunks when you are sober to make that point clear. I'm a one or two drink kind of guy, like to catch just a little buzz and that's enough for me. Grew up in a family of alcoholics so seeing and being around it tend to turn me off rather than make me want to drink more.
 shnos
Joined: 9/21/2011
Msg: 24
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 9:27:51 PM
It's her problem not yours. if she is sober she will be fine
 1tf84
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 25
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she's and alcoholic, dry for 11 years, I'm a social drinker, looking for advice...
Posted: 10/3/2011 10:48:23 PM
Oh, that's a little nasty don't you think there Peppermint Petunias?

We met out dancing at a nightclub. I didn't give her a second thought at the time, thinking she was out of my league. Then she saw my profile here and made that first real contact.
So with that in mind, I encourage all you ladies to reach out and don't be shy about making that first contact.
By the way, we've talked about the drinking thing and recently went out where I was myself and had a couple drinks while at a big party and then went out dancing afterward and she was totally cool with it. Didn't seem to be an issue at all for her. She seems to have a really good handle on it and knows she simply cannot ever have another drink again and I think being around others drinking may reinforce that feeling rather than tempt her.
She is big on AA and leads a group. Both her parents drank themselves to death, she's not going to let that happen to her. And lately she's been through some incredibly difficult, personal, very stressful time and is handling it so I'm pretty impressed.
I'll be deactivating my profile to give her my full attention.
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