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Reflections welcomed, am I ruining my relationship by asking too much of my bf?


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I (26/F) have been with my boyfriend (32M) for 4 years, ongoing problems with addiction, trust & expectations. Am I being unreasonable and asking too much of my partner?

 

We got together through tinder at a point where we were both struggling. I had broken up from a 6yr relationship and was finding it difficult adjusting to being alone. He has struggled with alcoholism since teenage years due to a difficult childhood and his dad dying. I want the best for us, what we’re doing just now isn’t working but when I try to speak to him about it he says that all I do is moan and bring him down.

 

He tells me that his life changed when we met. I love him, try to always treat him well and motivate us both to both feel good in life. Our relationship isn’t always difficult, we have some really great memories. He is the person I’m closest to, he makes me laugh, we have similar tastes in music, we’re attracted to each other, he always tells me I’m beautiful and the sex is good. He tells me that he loves me, and that he has cut down his drinking and started working for me - despite me always have encouraged him to do these things for himself. He has made a big effort to be close with my family, and at times he does try his best to spend quality time together. He enjoys spending time alone gaming, football and drinking. I enjoy spending time together doing anything, it’s a balance trying to meet both of our needs. I’m very aware that I need to respect his need for alone time.

 

Addiction:

He turns to alcohol to cope and has done since his teenage years. I understand this is a disease and the individual will only change if they want to. I tried to put boundaries in place but support him to get help. Last year he reluctantly went along to alcohol counselling, initially saying I left him no other option- but then said it changed his whole perspective on alcohol. He went 1 month sober. When drinking and after binging he experiences depression and anxiety, it really hurts me to see him in some of the states he’s been in - unwell for weeks, panic attacks, attempted to hang himself, vomit stains all over his trashed room. He still regularly lies about drinking, hiding bottles even though we have agreed that I accept he may relapse and there is no need to lie.

 

Around this time last year he went through a phase of disappearing to sisters house for benders. He done it again today and has now went awol, despite us having plans. She has her own house and young children, they drink in front of them, and have taken drugs.

I wasn’t brought up the same but snorting coke when you’re the main carer for toddlers in bed upstairs isn’t my idea of a good time. He told me that a guy should be able to hang about with his sister. Absolutely yes I agree family comes first and should always spend time - but surely seeing family doesn’t always have to involve alcohol? It’s convenient that he doesn’t speak to or offer to visit her when sober to help do the shopping, babysit etc.

 

Trust:

There have been issues with trust mostly during periods where his drinking increased.

In the first year or so of the relationship, if he was drinking a lot and I asked for distance to put boundaries in place - he perceived this as me not giving him attention so signed up to dating sites and spoke with other girls, text old girlfriends, snap chatted girls he was gaming with and hid it from me. He would not do this when sober, he tells me he is ashamed and embarrassed of it. I have a constant fear that he’s going to hurt me again.

 

Employment/Finances/Time together:

I’m 26 and earn a good wage, although still live at home with parents as I’ve got some debt to pay off. He also lives at home with his family.

He complains that I “forced” him to get a job after basically not working for past 4 years. He recently got a job where he works 2 long days per week which seems to be good for his motivation, confidence but I’m driving him there and back (100 miles per time) as he can’t drive, on top of my full time Monday-Friday 9-5 nursing job. After a shift he wants me to take him for food, drop him off at his home so he can get beer and game on his pc. He gets frustrated that I want to spend time with him.

I’ve paid for 3 fortnight holidays to abroad, trips away, food and goods, his vet bills etc. He has taken me on a few nice dates over the 4 years, but always things that I organised and he paid for I.e. cinema and dinner.

 

Self-Esteem:

Over the past month he has said,

“You ruin my happiness”

“You get enjoyment from bringing people down”

“You’ll never be happy until you see me completely miserable”

“You have nothing interesting in your life, that’s why you always want to spend time with me”

The comments make me feel worthless, coupled with not being treated special or taken on dates like I organise for him. He says he doesn’t make an effort because he’s a man and I shouldn’t expect so much, as he tries his best with me, and if I want something I should clearly tell him.

 

Mental Health:

My mental health has been awful over the past 3 weeks, I think as a response to how unhappy and unheard I am. I self harmed for the first time in 7 years for relief as I Didn’t know how to cope.

I know that my emotional health is 100% my own responsibility and I shouldn’t have called him, when I did he said “you’re doing this on purpose, can I not just have time to game?”

Last night tried to talk about how I feel, was in tears whilst he was messaging friends on discord, He ended up asking me for a lift home so he could game on the pc. I would never leave anyone feeling that alone and burdensome, is it wrong to expect him to support me? maybe I’m crossing boundaries and asking too much of him.

 

I’m not innocent. I clearly have issues with attachment and boundaries. I struggle with low self esteem and I’m working on this. I’m making changes with my lifestyle, learning to be assertive, I have contacted a therapist, I’m taking up new hobbies (exercise, guitar, learning a language, spending time alone) BUT I am so confused as to whether I’m over reacting, maybe I am asking for too much from him? maybe I have a personality disorder and I’m being completely unreasonable?

 

Please give me your perspective - I understand I’m only seeing it from my point of view and there’s a possibility that I’m being controlling, overly emotional or asking too much.

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You're not asking too much.

 

But you're asking for it from the wrong person. He is an addict. He cannot and will not offer you the love, support and mutual respect you're seeking. You've spent too long kissing a frog and hoping he turns into a prince. It's clearly not going to happen, and your own well-being is suffering terribly for it.

 

It's time to end this. You have enabled him for too long, and tolerated far too much disrespect. Hopefully your new therapist can help you with what seems to be some big codependency issues and guide you away from this dysfunctional relationship. This isn't what love looks like, and there are far better partners out there for you - but you won't meet them until you get yourself healthy and cut this man out of your life.

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Look into AlAnon. It's a support system for people who are addicted to addicts.

 

You are not going to fix him. Aside from being an alcoholic, he's just a run of the mill abuser.

 

End it. Forget new hobbies and take things more seriously. Get to a doctor for an evaluation and referral to a qualified therapist .

 

As you know quack therapies such as "reparenting" do more harm than good.

 

Watching YouTube and self diagnosing with google are unfortunately ways you are going down this rabbit hole of hell.

 

Not only does it derail you from finding effective help. It's damaging in itself.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Spend more time with others outside the relationship. You mentioned you live with parents. Spend more time with your family if you can't go out as much. Your partner needs help for his addiction, not a relationship. I think you know this has to end and you being here is acceptance that things are as bad as they are. You're only 26 with your entire life before you. Please don't make any mistakes moving out with this person or expecting him to hold down a job or maintain the same responsibilities as you. You have blinders on and it will pull you down until you're completely broken, destitute, in more debt or homeless.

 

Start distancing yourself from the relationship or end it completely. Address your mental health issues - low self-esteem and figure out where this is coming from. If you have issues with your appearance or have issues accepting other parts of yourself, feeling unworthy, unloved or undeserving of love please figure this out. Whether it's this man or another unhealthy relationship, you'll keep repeating the same mistakes over and over until you raise your self-esteem and self-confidence. Don't keep perpetuating the same cycle.

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There are so many dealbreakers here that a mentally healthy woman would walk away from as soon as she witnessed such toxicity: addiction, cheating, sucky work ethic.

 

Leave this so called relationship and be alone until you've put in years of intensive therapy. If you don't put this work into yourself now, you will repay the pattern of allowing dysfunction in your life.

 

You've always had a male partner since you were 16. Embrace some youthful freedom for a change and relish time with girlfriends, traveling, enjoying your new hobbies, learning to be happy solo, discovering who you are without a partner. You have plenty of time to settle down in the future when you're ready for that. Take care.

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You are asking too much from him. You're asking an addict to be able to be in a healthy relationship. The question is why do you want to be with him in a romantic relationship -other than "because I love him." You can help him by leaving the relationship and being available should he need the name of a new resource or a different therapist or medical professional or religious counselor -you can contribute in that limited way. Once he is sober for a long time then you might be able to interact with him as friends in the distant future as long as it's appropriate (meaning if you or he are involved with other people). I'm sorry.

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A lot of good advice here. You are not asking too much. You are asking the wrong person, as someone mentioned.

 

You should leave this relationship and work on yourself. being ok alone is something we all must learn. It's really the only way we can find the strength to reject being mistreated.

 

What I mean is, if you can't be alone, you'll accept bad company and that's really what you're doing. He's not just an addict. He's cruel to you and uses things like being with his sister to make you out to be the bad guy. Of course it's ok to be with one's sister. But not to do drugs or as even excuse to push you away.

 

People know what they do. This guy is not a good one. He's manipulating you and frankly not a good boyfriend. Anyone can tell you are pretty. Work on yourself to raise your standards.

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ongoing problems with addiction, trust & expectations.

We got together through tinder at a point where we were both struggling.

- definitely Big problems :/

 

 

He done it again today and has now went awol, despite us having plans.

 

She has her own house and young children, they drink in front of them, and have taken drugs.

- I will be honest.. Good luck with the 'having plans'- it will happen repeatedly- with an addict.

as for what goes on at sisters place, yeah, thats how alcy's function. Kids around means nothing. ( have an ex like this).

 

He told me that a guy should be able to hang about with his sister.

- Yup excuses...And his sis/family also seems toxic.. not good for you.

 

The thing is.. Are YOU willing to try & compete with the alcohol? Sad it is :/.. But we cannot really 'help or change them'.

They are pretty much married to the bottle- which is why so many relations fail.

 

Your own mental health is what counts here.. It will hurt you as well.

would be a good idea to look into some prof help therapist.. friends etc.. and to learn how an alcy functions & struggles.

 

 

 

 

 

I clearly have issues with attachment and boundaries. I struggle with low self esteem and I’m working on this.

- Okay.. then seriously.. you also need some serious down time- on your own to work on YOU for a while and get back to good!

None of this crap has done you any good.. and his crap is last thing you need.

 

And so you asked...Am I being unreasonable and asking too much of my partner?

- No. But you need to understand.. what you want & expect from people like this, you will not get.

Never ending challenges.

 

You tried.. but for your own well-being, is get out of this.. and move on.. far away and good that you came to 'learn' on how an alcy is.

Now, dont get involved with alcoholics.

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What do your parents/family members think of all the things you've told us here?

 

Or...have you hidden these things from them? If so, think about why.

 

My advice? Tell your family and then tell him you're leaving the relationship. Staying will make your mental health issues worse, not better.

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Thank you, this is helpful. I told him yesterday that I can’t do this anymore and we need to end things. He said I’m being dramatic and controlling, telling him how to live his life. I can’t expect understanding from an addict, I need to accept that whatever the outcome he will likely always blame me for the relationship ending, despite everything his behaviour has put me through. I need to continue to seek help, but this post has helped me to realise that I do deserve better and I’m not insane.

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You're not asking too much.

 

But you're asking for it from the wrong person. He is an addict. He cannot and will not offer you the love, support and mutual respect you're seeking.

 

Thank you, this is helpful. I told him yesterday that I can’t do this anymore and we need to end things. He said I’m being dramatic and controlling, telling him how to live his life. I can’t expect understanding from an addict, I need to accept that whatever the outcome he will likely always blame me for the relationship ending, despite everything his behaviour has put me through. I need to continue to seek help, but this post has helped me to realise that I do deserve better and I’m not insane.

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What do your parents/family members think of all the things you've told us here?

 

Or...have you hidden these things from them? If so, think about why.

 

Thank you for this helpful advice, I have never thought about it from this perspective. I have always hidden his alcoholism and periods where he has treated me bad and upset me. My dad was an addictions nurse all of his life, and my parents have a healthy marriage so I didn’t want them to judge my bf or think that he wasn’t good enough for me. As I mentioned he has always got on well with my family and never relapsed in front of them.

 

The act of me hiding it tells me a lot - his behaviours are wrong and I don’t want other people to know. It’s a burden that I’m being asked to cope with myself. When I try to seek support from him I’m told that I’m insane and making things up, fast forward 5 minutes he admits to lying, yet can’t that lying and accusing someone of being insane is wrong. As everyone else has commented, I am expecting too much from someone with an addiction.

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Don't hide anything anymore, not from yourself either. You've been making excuses for this person for a long while, thinking that by being non-judgmental you're saving someone or giving someone a chance where others won't. You're not asking for too much wanting a healthy and non-dysfunctional relationship that's stable and honest (also without addictions or untreated mental health problems).

 

Crazy-making is regular and normal in a dysfunctional relationship as is blame-shifting and hot/cold reactions. These are all emotionally and mentally abusive. You have to un-do all that damage and come back to reality, rehabilitate yourself in the break up. The first step is recognizing it's as bad as it is. Everything else will come into focus later. It'll feel like breaking bones and resetting them - all very painful but very worth it in the end. It's okay to seek help or support from family and other sources and it's all right to feel down and sad. Be kind to yourself and honest too.

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Haven't read any of the comments sorry. I'm just wondering, what part of the relationship is actually good or even worth it? He's got severe drinking issues (and even drugs) and he has treated you horribly all these years! Addicts are very selfish because the only thing they actually care about is their drug of choice. They just use people because they don't actually have regard for anyone or anything because the drug is their only number one thing. I know because my ex fiance is a drug addict. I really think it's time you ended this relationship. I don't think your boyfriend actually wants to change at all, so it won't get any better.

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Think about living the next 40 years of your life with him, exactly as he is now.

 

How does that make you feel? Warm, safe and loved? Or more like a nightmare?

 

Please think about this when you're tempted to go back because you "love him!!" or "miss" him.

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Thank you, this is helpful. I told him yesterday that I can’t do this anymore and we need to end things. He said I’m being dramatic and controlling, telling him how to live his life. I can’t expect understanding from an addict, I need to accept that whatever the outcome he will likely always blame me for the relationship ending, despite everything his behaviour has put me through. I need to continue to seek help, but this post has helped me to realise that I do deserve better and I’m not insane.

 

"we need to end thngs" vs "i am done. its over."

The other person does not have to agree to the breakup.

Tell him its over. if you do not feel strong, do it by phone.

If he contacts you again say "please don't contact me anymore"

and block his number. If he shows up, get a restraining order

and yes, call CPS if drugs are being used with kids present.

 

Make a deal with yourself to not accept going to get coffee with a man (i am not talking about relatives and catching coffee as a coworker group), do not create an online dating account, do not give your phone number out. In six months, say 'good job" and add another three. i also would suggest counseling

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