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How do you know when its time to give up

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I honestly don't know where to begin. I guess I should start by giving some background info on my relationship with my boyfriend. I have been dating him since I was 16 and am now 25. We were planning on getting married in a year but am having second thoughts and believe now that I don't want to go through with it. I would say that I have always kind of known that we were not always the most compatible but I always figured if we could respect each other's differences that we could move pass them. One of the biggest being our spiritual beliefs (he is an atheist and I am a Catholic). We also have very different lifestyles when it comes to being responsible with household tasks and financial affairs. I've always tried to be accepting and tolerant to who he is. So something that I am really struggling with is his relationship with drugs and alcohol. He smokes weed on the daily which doesn't bother me as much as his drinking. He drinks pretty much daily but usually not to excess. But then there are some days where he gets very drunk and doesn't remember much of how he acts. He gets very loud and belligerent where he can be very disrespectful to me and everyone in the house. Overall when he is not drunk he is nice to me but in general has no regard for others which bothers me because I believe everyone should have basic compassion and respect for one another. I guess mainly my problem amongst many others is his drinking. I believe that he has a dependeny issue with drugs and alcohol. I have talked to him about it on many occasions usually following a bad night of him drinking. He always says that he will decrease his drinking and whatever and does for a bit but then goes back to old habits. He does think that he has a little bit of a problem but doesn't really do anything to fix it. I just don't know how much more of his baggage I can take.


Ok so I guess where my thought process goes is everyone says that marriage is hard and requires work. That your not always going to like each other and you need to tough it out through the hard times. On the other side though I've heard people say that if your not happy then you need to leave the relationship. I feel like the two sayings go against each other and don't know what to do whether I should stay and try to help my boyfriend through this hard struggle in his life or if i need to look out for myself and leave? My boyfriend and I have been through so much over these 9 years that would have broken many couples but we managed to get through it. Can't say it has made us stronger, maybe weathered would be a better word. Regardless we have a lot of history together. Sorry the post was so long, I have so much to say and don't know how to summarize all of it. I would just love to hear someone else's unbiased perceptive of my situation.

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Reading your post hit me hard because I was also high school sweethearts with my husband. We started dating at 17ish and got married at about 30. We are now 37. I had the same 2nd thoughts you did before the marriage to the point of even rejecting the first proposal. We ended up getting married because I thought it was the best thing to do. All I can say is this - you are not going to be good together if you are spending most of your energy taking care of him. if you spend so much personal mental space and time taking care of his needs, worrying about him, and helping him with his struggle that you are neglecting yourself...you are not doing yourself or him any favors. You will end up resenting him and he will likely never appreciate your sacrifice.


Our long history together is the exact reason I am having trouble right now. I know I should leave due to some recent serious issues but it is hard because I almost feel like I owe him something and have only recently realized that I don't and that he is responsible for his choices. I am 37 and only now have realized that life is too short to neglect yourself for someone else.


37 isn't old but don't wait until you are my age to discover your worth. Marriage doesn't solve problems and neither does having children. The things you described are huge red flags and I would not suggest getting married until you have reconciled some of this through visiting a therapist.


Sending you my thoughts because I know how you feel. I would give anything to go back in time and not take the path I took. Don't waste your youth on trying to fix him if he isn't taking the steps. Focus on your health (physical and mental), your education or profession if that is what you want, hobbies, family, personal interests, etc.... I am not saying you should break up with him - I am only cautioning against marriage given what you wrote. I am also suggesting re-structuring the balance of your relationship since it seems him-focused. Best of luck to you.

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Marriage is supposed to be a next step into a happy relationship where two individuals commit themselves to make a life together.


How you describe this relationship now is how your marriage will be if go through with it. Things will not magically change. They will only get worse with time , because you will have this expectation that he somehow can be fixed.


You have severe compatibility issues, lifestyle, beliefs, etc. Perhaps it worked for some time home you were younger. Now at 25 you see life differently than at 16, I am sure. Deep down you know that he is not the one for you by the content in this post.


You are the only person responsible for your happiness.


Be brave and find it

Edited by Afireblue
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Put all wedding plans on hold. You two are in no position to marry right now.


Sit him down, when he's sober and clear-headed. Explain that you are considering ending the relationship because you are unhappy and don't see him making an effort to meet you in the middle. I doubt this will do much but get his back up, but after 9 years, I would give him fair warning that this is his come-to-Jesus moment and there is an expiration date on your tolerance. If you decide to go this route rather than breaking up immediately, make it very clear for yourself how long you're willing to wait to see if any real change happens.


My guess is that it will be too late, as there is a lot of resentment built up already and he would need to put in significant consistent and sustained effort to change his bad habits. You have essentially only ever known him as a romantic partner and I would encourage you to consider the possibility that you outgrew this relationship a while ago. What worked as teenagers hasn't transitioned well as adults, and you are on diverging paths.

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I see so many red flags all over the place. You don't share the same faith. He's an atheist and you're Catholic. Major differences right off the bat. You both have different lifestyles regarding household tasks and financial affairs. Oh my, I can tell it won't work between you two! If that wasn't bad enough you try to be accepting and tolerant. Girl, I need a talk with you! Then he does drugs, alcohol, drinks daily, sounds like an alcoholic, smokes weed daily, makes false promises he can't keep, reverts back to his habits and this vicious cycle repeats itself.


Yes, marriage requires work but let's be reasonable. You have to have something in common from the start such as shared faith or lack thereof, similar healthy lifestyle or unhealthy lifestyle, same behaviors toward household tasks, finances and the whole lot. Expecting both of you to succeed in a relationship and marriage is akin to expecting oil and water to mix. It's a no go.


Not liking each other and toughing it out through tough times means even though both of you could relate and had many attributes in common from the beginning, you'll face challenges along the way. However, generally, couples are attracted to each other when they can relate in the beginning and relating has a lot to do with where they're at in life and how one lives their life everyday. Opposites do not always attract. To the contrary, people who have a lot in common are very much attracted to each other and the longer they have special qualities in common, the more likely their relationships and marriages tend to endure.


I agree if you're not happy in a relationship, either try to fix it or leave. Either try professional intervention or if you feel it in your bones to leave, then leave. Some people know when they're done.


I doubt you'll be happy with your boyfriend if you continue on this same track and if you have marriage in mind, it will spell disaster. You deserve to be with a man who shares your Catholic faith, has a similar lifestyle to yours, practices same household expectations and can relate to your financial responsibility. Without those life's core basics, relationships and / or marriages are doomed for failure.


Those were all very serious issues you brought up. It's the serious issues that matter and either make or break all relationships married or not.


Don't ever think your boyfriend is as good as it gets for you because your relationship will improve greatly if you choose the right one. He's NOT for you.

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Marriage does take work and compromise but that is an oversimplification. Getting married shouldn't be hard work; it is maintaining the marriage that is usually what people refer to as the hard part. It is hard work to stay together and face challenges over time as you both grow and change and as life throws challenges at you over time.


I see that this is complicated for you because you have been together for so long and have faced these challenges over time. But you haven't really been adults living together for long. You've been young together, not mature. Now you are grown and capable of seeing things maturely, for the real long term. The past you have shared is not equivalent to adult mature time together.


This relationship doesn't seem to improve your life or make you happy. And that's not selfish to consider. I used to think that was selfish but it's not. Think about not just your feelings for him as a person, but about your feelings about this relationship. Think about the future with someone who makes your life harder than it would be if you were alone. It is fundamentally difficult to love someone who makes your life harder than it would be if you were alone.


You can care about him and love who he is, but change your relationship so that it doesn't take so much away from your chance at happiness. You can give up on the idea of marriage to him without having to give up on him as a person.

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I applaud you! for thinking this through and for reaching out. You sound like a very bright woman. My Church has a program called celebrate recovery for people who suffer with different types of addictions. They are given an accountability partner. I have heard many powerful stories of restoration in people’s lives through the program. I wonder if your fiancé would be open to going. It’s offered nationwide so there’s a good chance there’s one in your area. You are not alone. I will be praying for you this week, for God’s guidance in this situation and for peace with your decisions.

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Do not get married.


It would be great if he did get into a recovery programme, but he's unlikely to unless he's hit his own personal rock bottom, and makes the decision on his own. He will almost certainly not do so in the face of pressure.


What I would recommend is that you attend Alanon meetings; these are support groups for the friends and families of alcoholics and other addicts, and will help you gain some perspective on your situation. There is no point at all in attending couples counselling where any kind of substance dependency is present, and don't even try.


All you can do at the moment is practise self-care, and Alanon would be a good place to start.

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