How can I help my loved one after a relapse


#1

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I have been dating a man for almost 4 months and he recently celebrated his 1 year of sobriety. I got him a card and a coin with the date he quit drinking. We work opposite shifts and don’t get to see eachother much. He had worked 2 weeks straight and I know he missed 2 meetings. His contact with me has been minimal in the last few weeks. I finally confronted him and asked him if he was OK. He wouldn’t look at me, he just said I don’t know if I can give you what you deserve. Im in a fucked place in my life right now. In his card, I wrote, I will be there to stand by you and support you because I love you. I said it again to him that day. I think he relapsed. He has been shutting me out, but I feel it’s my fault. I still do want to support him, but I also feel I should give him his space. What do I do to help him?


#2

Hi @Squirrel1978 - lucky man to have a supportive friend! :chipmunk: 1978- how amazing that your friend has reached a milestone of one year. It was thoughtful of you to try and acknowledge / commemorate the day. You ask “What do I do to help him?” and a few things come to mind- you can clarify his and your boundaries and read up on the CRAFT technique . You can give him some space. You seem to be in touch with your feelings. You also demonstrate good awareness of other people.

SInce he is trying to sort something out, he may prefer to come up with his own solutions. My S.O. feels trapped/incompetent/lame when I am too helpful to him and when I try to participate in his sobriety too much. Going to Al-Alon was helpful to remind me to stay in my own lane, and We The Village Course taught me some dynamic skills for improving communication and connection with others.

Everyone tolerates recovery in a different way- sober or not. Our emotional recoveries are very personal and inconsistent- so what I perceive as support one day can be interpreted as meddling the next day.

Maybe you can take a page from the German Shepherd’s Playbook… watch, listen, check the perimeters for danger, don’t jump at the first squeak, and be a faithful friend. :cat2:

Good luck and let us know how it’s going for you. There is a constant whirl of change occurring- visible or not.:grinning: