Posted by: JENNY | 2009-07-14


Hi i' m engaged to be married to a recovering drug and alcohol addict. he has been clean for 2 years now but had 3 relapes in that time. things are good between us now and he is very caring and loving but i' m terrifed that when i marry him that he may go back and then My life will be runied. please help wat should i do.

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Our expert says:
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No way we can say yes or no to such a question. Alcoholics, including recovering alcoholics, differ significantly. That he's been dry for 3 years is good, that he's had 3 relapses not so good ( depending on how severe they were and how long they lasted ). And as Annon2 says, he has been dry since the last relapse ended. How does he behave during a relapse ? What help does he seek ( if he seeks it ) ? Who does he blame for his relapses ? Does he recognize potential triggers for relapses and does he strive to avoid those ? Be cautious. Maybe engagement was not a great idea till you had fully thought out all of this, and had observed him as a friend, for longer

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dude | 2009-07-15

No, the short answer.

Reply to Dude
Posted by: JENNY | 2009-07-15

Thank you all for the excellent advise. really made me think.

Reply to JENNY
Posted by: Liza | 2009-07-14

Firstly you should go to Al Anon meetings(Al Anon is a support group for friends and family of alcoholics) to learn how to support a recovering alcoholic. Also encourage him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. If he goes to meetings regularly the chances of him staying clean are much better.

I also agree with the others in that he has only been clean since his last relapse. I do have good news for you however. My dad is a recovering alcoholic. He has been going to AA meetings regularly for years. He was clean for only a short while before he married my mom. He has stayed clean ever since.

If your fiance is serious about staying clean, he will prove it to you in his actions. It sounds to me like he is trying. Just don' t write him off because you' re scared of something that might not even happen. Perhaps wait until he has been clean for a little while longer though. And then it is very important to support him to stay clean. Addicts find it much harder to stay clean if they do not have support.

Good Luck

Reply to Liza
Posted by: XXX | 2009-07-14

Marriage always has its risks but by marrying this guy you are adding to these.It is a huge risk that only you can decide on.I would be very careful as he has NOT been clean for 2 years-only since the last relapse.
Not a good foundation to start on.

Reply to XXX
Posted by: Annon2 | 2009-07-14

If he has been clean for two years but had 3 relapses in the two years - he has not been clean for two years, he has been clean since the last relapse.

What you need to ask your self is - can you raise your children with him, will they grow up in a save home environment or will there be unnecessary struggles added to the already struggles we face from day to day.

Will this man be abusive when he does have a relapse when you are married to him - might he blame you for the relapse.

Reply to Annon2

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