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Thread: Our relationship doesn't "feel" like a relationship.

  1. #11
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Have you ever thought that he's not happy in the relationship, and cowardly about breaking up, so is performing in this very activity so that you'll be the one to break up with him so he can avoid drama?

    You've communicated that you don't enjoy his company when he drinks to the point that his personality changes. He doesn't care that you feel that way. If he cared about retaining the relationship, he'd want to please you on this reasonable request.

    You're past the honeymoon period and are now seeing what your life will be like forever with him. Don't hope for change. What you see is what you get. People choose their addictions over the people in their lives. Either he's doing this or as I said earlier, sabotaging the relationship so you'll pull the plug. He doesn't care, so why stay?

  2. #12
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    He's 40. Good job, good finances, opposite of what the internet would call a "loser" these days.

    It's definitely coming out of nowhere for me though. I get that it's hard to believe, but I've known him well for about 6 years now and known him before that too. And I've spent nearly every free minute with him in those past years. He hasn't had the opportunity to develop a drinking habit without my knowledge or without anyone else noticing ...

    Well he said himself that he doesn't want to continue the relationship if it's such a big issue for me, because he clearly noticed the sharp decline in the time we spend together. But he doesn't attribute it to drinking - he believes I simply don't like him because of my comments.

    We haven't had much conflict over the past year and before that. We know each other well and we are super compatible in all the ways, apart from the sudden drinking. If we have a disagreement, we usually sit down together, talk about it and try to find a solution or a compromise that works for both of us. For example, at the start of our relationship he used to point out attractive women that we met. At first, it wasn't an issue for me (as he used to do this when we were not in a relationship too), but it got to the point where I started to feel insecure because if everyone else is so attractive to him, why was he with me? So I told him about this and he immediately apologized and toned it down.

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    Have you ever thought that he's not happy in the relationship, and cowardly about breaking up, so is performing in this very activity so that you'll be the one to break up with him so he can avoid drama?

    You've communicated that you don't enjoy his company when he drinks to the point that his personality changes. He doesn't care that you feel that way. If he cared about retaining the relationship, he'd want to please you on this reasonable request.

    You're past the honeymoon period and are now seeing what your life will be like forever with him. Don't hope for change. What you see is what you get. People choose their addictions over the people in their lives. Either he's doing this or as I said earlier, sabotaging the relationship so you'll pull the plug. He doesn't care, so why stay?
    Yes, I've entertained that idea. I've point-blank asked him if he wants to sneakily break up with me because he's unhappy and he was horrified and denied it.

    I'm trying to figure out if he cares or not. If he really doesn't, yeah, there's no point in staying with him.

    I'm starting to get the feeling that he might not care about relationships generally, though he cares about people. Maybe he feels trapped in a traditional relationship. I met one of his exes accidentally a few days ago (they're still friendly with each other) and she told me she's very surprised to hear he's in a relationship with me, as he's always been very upfront with her about being scared of commitment. She said he never was the type to be in a "normal" relationship and always preferred FWB as less feelings were involved.

    This was news to me, as he's never even hinted at this before. When we started dating he initially stated he wasn't sure if he wanted a relationship, but he very quickly changed his mind.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    So he hasn't had any longterm relationships that you know of? From what his ex says and what you're saying, he's not a safe bet for the forever kind of relationship you likely seek. He might've been a good friend, but he's not a good partner. Always look at a person's past relationship history for clues of what you can expect.

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    So he hasn't had any longterm relationships that you know of? From what his ex says and what you're saying, he's not a safe bet for the forever kind of relationship you likely seek. He might've been a good friend, but he's not a good partner. Always look at a person's past relationship history for clues of what you can expect.
    He's had 4 longterm relationships that I know of, so this came as a surprise to me. When I met him a few years ago he was still in a relationship too.
    I did end up asking him about his previous relationships after I met his ex, and he admitted that the only "real" longterm relationship had been the last one. The other ones were really just FWB but people assumed he was in a partnership and he never corrected them. The last relationship ended badly (they had a fight after 8 years together and she walked out and never came back, left all her stuff etc, she had been cheating on him) and he said after that he felt relationships just weren't for him.

    And he said it was different with me. At first, he thought we'd just be FWB too, but then he realized how much he actually cared about me. And since I was so open with my feelings, he felt he could do the same, and that's when he realized that he did want a relationship with me.

    I'm not sure what I'm looking for anymore (Depeche Mode, anyone?). I wanted a future with him but I can see it less and less.
    But when we started dating, I wasn't thinking about a future. He was just kind of there when I needed the comfort of someone being there, and I think neither of us really thought we'd end up in a relationship. But that's what happened. And now it feels a bit like we're back at the start and neither really knows where to go from there.

    edit: he's going to call me in a few minutes. Wish me luck.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I really don't think he's an alcoholic. I've read several books on alcoholism and discussed this with a therapist. The increased drinking is a red flag, but I don't believe that suddenly turns him into the stereotypic addict.
    It's not necessary to split hairs to diagnose anyone as an alcoholic. If their drinking 'behavior' is a problem for you, then it's a drinking problem for YOU--and that's all you really need to know.

    If you want to learn how to walk the tightrope to avoid becoming an enabler versus policing another adult, this state of limbo is one you'll need the resilience to become comfortable with adopting as your new 'normal'.

    At some point it may occur to you that this is not really enough for you in terms of the kind of relationship you envision for yourself and your future. In that case, the best favor you can do for both him and yourself is to tell him, "I adore you and can picture the two of us together in the future. That's why I'm walking away while we both still think highly of one another. You get to explore the party world to whatever degree you wish, and if you ever decide to pursue sobriety for a year, and then you're ready to pursue a relationship based on sober living, you can let me know. If I'm still available then, we can meet to catch up. Otherwise, I wish you the best."

    This leaves your door open to future potential even while it frees you to possibly find someone who's goals, interests and lifestyle better align with your own. However, if you opt to keep this guy in your life, I'd consider attending AlaNon to learn from others who've walked down this road.

    Head high, and my heart goes out to you.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    It's not necessary to split hairs to diagnose anyone as an alcoholic. If their drinking 'behavior' is a problem for you, then it's a drinking problem for YOU--and that's all you really need to know.
    That's true. I just mentioned this because I felt like I'd only get "he's an addict, leave him" replies. I think that's not the real issue, but you are right of course - it's a problem, no matter what we're going to call it.
    Thanks for your kind words. I'll have to think about this and decide what I want vs. what I'm willing to put up with.

  9. #18
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    Honestly, OP, the more you write...the less it sounds like he's material for anything really long-term.

    It seems he's used to doing what he wants, when he wants. He's previously been fairly uncommitted. When you raised concerns over this new drinking habit, he responded like a petulant teenager rebelling against a parent. I'm just about his age, and would be very put off by the behaviour you're describing. It would make me wonder if he's getting bored/stifled of being in a committed relationship again and is looking for a way out. People who do this very rarely ever admit to it, and sometimes don't even really recognize that's what they're doing, so calling him out on that wasn't going to yield an honest response.

    Rather than looking to find a reasonable compromise with you, he's taken the "if you don't like it, then leave"-approach. That is very telling. Think about what he's not saying, and what his actions are telling you.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Men......they are the worst communicators when it comes to expressing their feelings. Showing weakness scares the hell out of them. He's hiding something. The alcohol only exasperates the issue and causes denial. Depression? possibly. Depression and addiction usually go hand in hand. I agree when they brush you off and continue to deny it, that's when it no longer becomes your problem. They need to hit rock bottom before they will do anything about it, and you shouldn't be wasting your time waiting for that to happen.
    He needs tough love. Letting him get away with it without any REAL consequences makes you the enabler. My mother was the same. I had to cut her off and go no contact. It was the only way it hit home for her if she didn't get the help, she wouldn't have a family ...that's real consequences.
    You have to tell him you are done with it. Walk. Let him know he can contact you when he gets help and cleans himself up. You ain't doing it for him, he has to do this on his own. If you don't do this, he won't stop.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    He may not be drinking to get you to break up with him but he's definitely drinking to accomplish SOMETHING.

    The part where you comment about him only having one glass to which he reacts by pouring another glass...this is someone who is figuratively screaming that he will NOT allow you to tell him what to do. My guess is he's rebelling over some aspect of the relationship that he's unhappy with but isn't mature enough to just tell you.

    In other words, he is passive-aggressively telling you to shut up and wine drinking is his way of doing it. He knows you dislike it so he doubles down.

    This is not a man who is interested in a harmonious relationship with you. He is deliberately creating conflict. The question is, why? Why does he love getting blitzed on wine more than he loves you?

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