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Thread: Should I break off the engagement ?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Awesome post, Blue but I suggest she don't even take him back after a year sober if he hasn't done a goodly stint in either professional therapy or the support of a 12 step programme such as AA. He will need to replace a bad habit with a good one and the habit of relying on fellow addicts of alcohol for support and guidance will be a good habit that will help him to keep his sobriety. It will be far too easy for him to slip back into his drinking if he doesn't have the tools to keep him on the wagon and the knowledge of why drinking is his go to to begin with.
    Agree.

    Look, were I to be super blunt here I'd say: be done, for good. This just doesn't sound like compatibility, plain and simple. In ways, that hard fact is made more complicated by it being about drinking—rather than, say, sexual incompatibility—because it provides some kind of illusion that something can be worked on, worked through, and OP, perhaps from her family background, has both a predisposition to be repelled and compelled by problem drinkers.

    And yet: working on it has been attempted, with negative results. End of experiment.

    Every couple is going to have issues, and every relationship will "enable" some bad habits in both people. That's the stuff you "work on" here and there, and part of compatibility is that that work doesn't sound soul-destroying, because you see it and jut accept it. That is part of "I do." It's part of the package, not the thing that tears the bottom out of the package. This—the drinking—is not something these two see eye to eye on. Easier to call that than turn it into a war between two people with clashing definitions of peace.

    I have both a very lax view of drinking, even drugs, and a strident one. Anyone, in my book, can do these things as much, or as little, as they'd like. People that I think have serious issues with these things, or whose indulgence I find troubling? They are people I stay away from, save those who have made recognizing and taking care of the problem a foundation of their life, like my friends who have been sober for decades (didn't know them when they were on the stuff). That's a choice I made long ago. Less headaches, better connections.

    My few cents.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'd go with your gut feeling on the matter. It seems you're close to breaking point and perhaps it's the lying more than the drinking that's gotten out of hand. It doesn't have to be as complicated as whether or not he's binge drinking or a big drinker. He's starting to lie about it and if he's experiencing personality changes and vast changes in his character compared to the person you used to know (in a negative way), this should be enough for you to pull the plug if you feel it's having a negative impact on you.

    Keep it simple and look at the impact he's having on your life. If it doesn't feel good or if you don't see it progressing into something more positive or evolving in a increasingly brighter or more intriguing/joyful future, this is not the man for you.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You are smart to leave and I hope it sticks this time. Then you know that soon he will have ED, fatty liver, neurological, cardiac and other problems. Research Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome if you want to see what growing old with him could look like.

    You also know that one day that call will come from the ER, morgue, jail, etc. You can extrapolate the trajectory here because unless he turns it around, that is how it goes.

    Also consider the expense of defense attorneys when he gets duis, crashes into people, destroys the car or house, etc or kills someone. But most of all what a non-life you'll have with a problem drinker is the main consideration.
    Originally Posted by Llm
    I used to drink more when I met him in my 20’s. Drinking just doesn’t appeal to me at all anymore. I do maybe once a month if that. I am in the medical field and have alcoholism all throughout my family, so I have seen what it does to people.

  4. #14

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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    The fact that he doesn't see it as a problem in your indication that this is what married life would look like with him, too. He is surrounded by people who share that lifestyle, so the likelihood of him actually changing and sticking to it is slim. He enjoys it too much and is socializes with people who enable it. I have a hard time imagining he will ever agree to treatment, to be honest.

    It is sad that his father is very sick and I don't doubt he is struggling with that and leaning on booze even more to distract him. However, it seems the frequent binges have been an issue all along, even prior to his dad's illness. Is that correct?

    At the end of the day, this a serious incompatibility. It is not the foundation on which to build a marriage. What was his response when you left?
    He was at work when I got my stuff. I texted him after I left. I know it’s impersonal but talking face to face does nothing. I said that my hearts not in it anymore because of the same behavior over and over again and that I’m done talking about it because he just doesn’t care. Just told him how much he hurt me again.

    He texted me back 5 hours later and just said. “I’m so sorry”

    This is what he does every time this happens. He avoids me for a couple days. Doesn’t fight for the relationship and just texts me a few days later and says hi. Then he apologizes with empty promises etc.

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by Llm
    This is what he does every time this happens. He avoids me for a couple days. Doesn’t fight for the relationship and just texts me a few days later and says hi. Then he apologizes with empty promises etc.
    When a pattern like this exists in a relationship, it's not a relationship worth saving.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Putting aside the drinking issue, I think once you're entertaining the notion that a relationship is something your partner needs to "fight for," or "fight harder" for, is the moment a relationship has turned too fraught, that the fight is over. Relationships can't be sustained as wars, romantic partners can't be judged like soldiers.

    Whether that fight surrounds booze or putting down the toilet seat, if you're just going round for round, around and around, you're in a destructive pattern with a fellow human. Some people have drinking problems. Some people have bad bathroom etiquette. Pick the battle that doesn't feel like a battle, where whatever "fight" a person has to offer is something you can live with in harmony. That's who you marry.

    I'm not trying to negate the severity of the drinking—I'm the product of one parent with drug and alcohol issues—but this just sounds like a relationship you've outgrown. What works in our 20s doesn't always work in our 30s, and beyond. He remains rooted in a mode of living that you are not interested in, and he is not interested in changing.

    Is this him for the next year, the next 10, forever? Does anything good come for you in even making that kind of wager, or from trying to get him to "fight" in a way he has proven incapable of?

    I know how hard this is, I feel for you, and it's in my general nature to find silver linings in the darkest of situations. But in this one I think the silver lining may only come from moving on.

  8. #17

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Putting aside the drinking issue, I think once you're entertaining the notion that a relationship is something your partner needs to "fight for," or "fight harder" for, is the moment a relationship has turned too fraught, that the fight is over. Relationships can't be sustained as wars, romantic partners can't be judged like soldiers.

    Whether that fight surrounds booze or putting down the toilet seat, if you're just going round for round, around and around, you're in a destructive pattern with a fellow human. Some people have drinking problems. Some people have bad bathroom etiquette. Pick the battle that doesn't feel like a battle, where whatever "fight" a person has to offer is something you can live with in harmony. That's who you marry.

    I'm not trying to negate the severity of the drinking—I'm the product of one parent with drug and alcohol issues—but this just sounds like a relationship you've outgrown. What works in our 20s doesn't always work in our 30s, and beyond. He remains rooted in a mode of living that you are not interested in, and he is not interested in changing.

    Is this him for the next year, the next 10, forever? Does anything good come for you in even making that kind of wager, or from trying to get him to "fight" in a way he has proven incapable of?

    I know how hard this is, I feel for you, and it's in my general nature to find silver linings in the darkest of situations. But in this one I think the silver lining may only come from moving on.
    I guess by “fighting “ I don’t mean actually having a war. I mean by trying to fix things and make them better instead of saying sorry and doing the same things. I understand though, that this is something that more than likely can’t be fixed. Still, it is difficult to deal with being with someone and feeling that they don’t care enough to reach out to you and talk about things even if it were to end. Just because you have invested so much into them and they deserve that. Instead of avoiding the situation.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Llm
    I guess by “fighting “ I don’t mean actually having a war. I mean by trying to fix things and make them better instead of saying sorry and doing the same things. I understand though, that this is something that more than likely can’t be fixed. Still, it is difficult to deal with being with someone and feeling that they don’t care enough to reach out to you and talk about things even if it were to end. Just because you have invested so much into them and they deserve that. Instead of avoiding the situation.
    I get it, believe me. I had to go through something like this with a parent—and, being a parent, it means I'll kind of "always" be going through it, since I can't choose to have another one. But I would be a miserable shell of a human if I dedicated emotional energy to expecting that parent to magically "step up" in a way that parent has proven incapable of doing.

    You guys were super young when you met—and you remain pretty young. There are some qualities in people we don't even know are important until later in life—like, for instance, the quality of "fight" they have within them. Some people stand particularly tall in conflict, others wilt. Not sure where he fits in on that spectrum generally, but in this you are talking about a substance people consume, in ways big and small, with the specific purpose of avoiding things and feelings.

    I understand your frustrations, and your hurt. I'm just trying to be logical, so you can move in a direction instead of spinning in a loop.

  10. #19
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    Think of it like this: If he stayed exactly the same, did not changed, was out drinking (and possibly drunk driving) all night and said good morning from work, are you fine with that? if the answer is no, be done for good. He doesn't admit that he has a problem. He will drink a "little less" simply to pacify you. And wash, rinse, repeat.

    I would not make his father's cancer a deciding factor. Some people live quite awhile with stage 4 depending on the cancer -- some people might live up to 5 years. Those are outliers, but what i am trying to say is if you wait for dad to die, then you could have a long wait, or you will have the excuse he is getting over his dad's death.

    I would leave now. He has his family around to lean on. Who knows, maybe it all makes him hit rock bottom to realize he has a problem. Either way, don't be around to watch. I know someone who has wasted their life with an alcoholic. It was always "i don't want to leave him because he just lost his job/mom/is going through a hard transition" and 20 years later she finally did - but now has to deal with the consequences.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by Llm
    Just because you have invested so much into them
    There is such thing as making a bad investment

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