Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why I want to marry an Alcoholic

In Skool today we had to write a discussion post on "What are YOUR non-negotiables? What are you not willing to budge on when looking for a mate?" And I wrote a post but it was too long and so I thought, hells, let's blog and put it out there. Expand the thing. So, here you go:

I’m pretty flexible. There are quite a few things I’d be willing to compromise on and aren’t deal-breakers. Like race, income level, profession, religion, what the heck you look like, even man vs woman. There are things I’d like in a person, being Spanish speaking would be a bonus, or a writer. I think being with me would require an open mind and a really good sense of humor and a lot of patience. Probably mostly patience, I'm really not good at this, yet, and have no experience. I actually made a list about 6 months ago, which is dangerous, because if you do that, it’s likely your person will show up. It was a long list.

But there is one thing I’m pretty sure is non-negotiable.

I want an alcoholic.

I know. Not something many people consider an asset when looking for a mate. More specifically, I want an alcoholic in recovery. Because that’s what I am and it’s such a huge part of who I am, and it’s not a part that’s going to go away. 

I don’t want to come off sounding like the poster child for AA, but the program works for me. It’s shaped who I am, how I react to the world, and how I try to get along in the world. Mind you there's AA and there's AA and there are meetings and oh dear god there are meetings and not in a good way. If anyone reading this hasn't had a good experience with AA, I'm sorry for that, all I can suggest is try another meeting, find your people. I can promise you: They're there. Also, if you have another way, more power to you, go for it, and fly free. Recovery is unique to every person. This is about me.

We had a part of our lecture where our  Professor talked Projection Dances. Let me give you the short version: Three ways people fuck up relationships. Pursuer/Distancer, Over-functioning/Under-functioning, Submissive/Dominant (don't EVEN go there, or do if you must but keep it to a giggle) I think most people at various times can mess up their relationships, but if I might brag a little: We alcoholics are AWESOME at it.

But she also talked about Transforming Dances. Meaning you can change how you go about things with others. Self focus rather than other focus, naming the pattern, survey the emotional field, what is the fear. I thought listening that, hey, this is right out of AA. It’s what we do every day. Clean up our side of the street and don’t worry about if the other person is right or wrong (Step 9) and going thru naming all the resentments and look for patterns (Step 4) identify ways you control fear by controlling people around you (Step 5) Naming your fears, practicing the opposite (Step 6 and 7 right there) Then the section wound up suggesting with the Serenity Prayer, which AA’s say ALL THE FREAKING TIME. 

There’s a lot more to it, but you get the idea. Being with someone who understands that spirituality (not religion) is the basis of who we are is the most important thing. Someone in the program, in recovery, would get that. My primary purpose is indeed spiritual growth, and I can’t have all the other things I love and value in life if I don’t have that first. I want that in another person.

I think too that having another person in recovery around would be handy as well, for those times I get seriously wrong and off the rails. They wouldn't have to ask, "What the heck is wrong with her?" It's likely they'd know. It's also likely they wouldn't take it personally, but gently (or not so gently) suggest I call my Sponsor or get myself to a meeting.

It’s hard much of the time, and it sucks much of the time, this being alcoholic. And I can tell you for a fact that a person who has had to quit drinking has been through a battle. A person in recovery knows about that battle. And is willing to look at themselves, be honest about themselves, and to be honest with another person. Or at least they are willing (key word there) to wake up every morning and try.

That’s why I want an alcoholic. The kind in recovery.


  1. Quiche here, trying an Anonymous comment here to make sure it works.

    And thanks Joan! I try. It's kind of fun when you stop hiding pretty much anything.

  2. That was amazing...and makes a lot of sense.

    I think my non-negotiable is that the person have a sense of curiosity, or better yet just wonder about the world. I never want to stop learning things and I need to be with someone who understands, shares and supports that I think.

    1. Those are awesome things to want, and I am adding them to my list, ha!

  3. I'm coming from a long term relationship place. Prior to meeting the love of my life, I'd been in a few other long term relationships. The first one was when I was in my early 20s and stupid. He was foreign and exotic and well endowed. I ignored all his asshole qualities - although he never treated me badly, he was an asshole in general. We broke up when I'd had enough of his bullshit and I realised that I was NOT going to be a breeder for anyone.

    Next big relationship was with a very tall, cute boy who was very smart and very nice. I liked his intellect and his genuine niceness. I ignored that he was a turbo christian and he was not in it for the long haul. He broke up with me when he realised that I *was* in it for the long haul.

    The next one was similar: cute and very smart boy. But this time, he pursued me. He'd had puppy eyes over me for months. When the tall one dumped me, I let this one in. I really liked him a LOT, but it wasn't love. We were together 8 years. He's a neuroscientist, so he DEFINITELY hit on my intellectual notes. He was also adventurous and we began to explore swinging. It was great fun! I was always honest with him and told him that he felt more for me than I did for him. But it went along for 8 years, until...

    I met Nick. It was all lightning bolts and hot steamy sex (I was a swinger, so I had permission to play, btw). It was glorious. We both knew immediately that we'd found our ONE. Nick hit upon my nascent geek inside that was wanting to grow. Although our getting together was a bit rocky (a whole 'nother story), we did get together and have been together for about 17 years, April 1 will be our 13th anniversary. (!!) We are good for each other. We've worked together to bring out the best in one another. I'm a better woman because of him and he's a better man because of me. We are the definition of that oft maligned word "synergy". We are absolutely more together than apart. We work on our team every day. :) (I hope this is the sort of input you're looking for?)

    1. Completely the sort of input Im looking for. I want to know what makes relationships work, what doesn't, what matters in the long run. All of it.

      I also think I'm now adding "Someone who releases my nascent geek side" to my list.

  4. Very recently, my sister was put in the hospital with liver damage. She left the hospital knowing that if she drinks again, she'll die. Reading this gave me hope for her. I hope she finds her people, finds a good sponsor, and finds another person in recovery who will love her the way she needs/deserves. Thank you.

    1. There is hope, there is a way, and recovery is possible. Everything is possible. I hope she finds her people too, and a Sponsor. I promise you, they're out there, and they'll be so very happy to meet her.

      It's really hard, and I know what you're going thru (and what she's going thru) . I'm at fabulouslorraine@gmail.com if you ever need a listener. I'm here.

  5. I'm not sure I should be weighing in on this one, as I don't plan on being in another relationship. Ever. I'm too emotionally and physically scarred to go through it again, and I actually like the company of my own bad self. I know some will say, oh you say that now but what if...Well, that's not going to happen. Here is why (and also why I'm posting anonymously this time): When I was 24 and newly married, I first discovered my (now ex) husband was cheating on me when he gave me herpes when I was 5 months pregnant. We got through it, baby was fine, had another baby a few years later, never had another outbreak. Husband kept cheating, and was abusive, took me 8 yrs to toss him to the curb. Family doctor at the time said she didn't think I'd have another outbreak, you're fine, it was only one blister, blah blah...Fast forward 22 yrs to March 2016 (I dated sporadically in the interim, nothing serious, safe sex used) I have some semi serious health issues, so when I got this horrible headache and feeling terrible I didn't think much of it at first. Got so sick my son called 9-1-1. It was meningitis. From herpes. Very rare, they tell me. My hospital experience was horrible, the dr was from Hell, she talked about what had caused the meningitis very loudly with visitors and strangers in the room and told my SON I had herpes. I have felt like a social pariah ever since. I have to take meds morning and night for the rest of my life or I will get herpetic meningitis again. Now, before this post gets to the point where you're thinking "this girl needs serious therapy"(which I've tried and too late, you're probably already thinking that! Ha.) I'll tie this in to your topic. I have thought maybe a partner who also has herpes? But then I think "what if they have a different or worse version and I have an outbreak, which I haven't had since I was 24?" So I have thought this through to come to my I Like Being Alone status. So yeah, herpes would be on my list if I wasn't so OCD and set in my loner ways. (Sorry for War and Peace-esque post)

    1. Not at all, and don't be sorry for a moment. Thank you for sharing here. And I don't think anything about what you "should do" or "ought to have" or "what you need" I think actually, where you are is probably exactly where you need to be right this moment.

      I'm glad you're here. That sounds like a huge lot of really seriously stressful situations. You survived this. If one day you decide differently, and someone shows up, that's then. I think that, and I think someone said this on another post, that it's having people that's important. Doesn't need to be THE ONE. Just having people. And like I said: You're here, and welcome.

    2. Thank you, Quiche. ❤

  6. Love your honesty, Fablo.
    I've been single for a while: I'd like to think it's because I am appropriately choosy, and not that I'm simply unlovable!
    I think my biggest non-negotiable is a willingness to negotiate and be prepared to cheerfully compromise. (I once went out with someone (fairly briefly for this reason!) who couldn't/wouldn't do this. He would sometimes agree to a compromise, but would then make it so very obviously that it wasn't what he wanted, or that he didn't like it, or that he thought it would have been better to do it a different way. So draining.

    I think the other thing for me, which I'm finding a little hard to articulate, is about space - mental and physical. No matter how much I love someone or enjoy their company, I don't want to be with them constantly, and more particularly, I do want to be alone some of the time.
    I'd put it higher and say I absolutely *need* to have time when I can be alone, so someone who couldn't put up with that, or was hurt or upset that I would want to be alone rather than with them would not be compatible. I just couldn't do it.

  7. Good point and I wonder about that one in myself. Coming home to someone EVERY NIGHT? Working full time, and being in skool I can barely stand my cats at night ;)

    Alone time is just as important. And just as valuable. And there's nothing wrong with not, gods, what's the word people use? Settle? "Well, I had to settle" Meaning accept some one they weren't all that excited about just so they wouldn't be "alone."

    Let me shout this:


    I'm here. All'y'all are here. Not alone.

  8. I had forgotten about this. And indeed that you should want someone that is going through the same battle makes total sense: you need common ground in a couple for understanding. And you could prop each other, which would make the battle less painful and scary.

    Oh and: Happy birthday, my dear. Hugs.

  9. HAHA! Yes, you are the future indeed, and thank you, Madame Europe!

    For me, AA is so much more than a way not to drink. It's more of a design for living. For that matter, being sober in general doesn't mean: Oh gods, I can never drink again, now my life sucks.

    Sobriety/recovery whatever you want to call is is about living again, connecting, waking up, growth and learning.

    Drinking isn't something you miss. I can't speak for everyone, but for me, drinking had become a big huge scary monster of a thing, not something I could control or stop. Quitting was easy. Learning to live to again took work.

    And I want to be with someone who gets that, and has been through it too. Mind you, they're going to have to be GOOD at too, haha. No early recovery for me. I need someone with some years, as well as a solid relationship with a sponsor.