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Michelle

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  • #344844
    Michelle
    Participant

    It sounds like you have paid your dues. How long have you known about this drinking problem? If you’ve been with him for three years and he’s been drinking for three years, you’ve put in your time, you’ve given him enough time to value the relationship he has with you more than the drinking.

    For a lack of a better saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. In this case you’ve tried to lead him away, but he keeps going back to the drink.

    I was with someone for three years who was a closet alcoholic. Never drank heavily in front of anyone else but me. I hateeeeed his behaviour when he drank and he wasn’t violent at all. We finally ended things last year. It never would have worked. I also have a history of alcoholics in my family. He still doesn’t see that his drinking was a problem, or that he could have changed. He is still probably drinking. There were many other issues that came about from the drinking and I imagine that they will for you too. Time will tell, but it sounds like you are already out. It’s so hard, because you love the person they are when they don’t drink.

    #335496
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi Valora and Anita. Thank you both for your responses.

    Valora, yes he did admit that he believes people get sick of each other in long term relationships and he thinks our differences with small things would eventually add up and we’d drive each other crazy. He seems to have a big need for control in his own way and wants his relationships to be perfect in many ways. He definitely does have an ideal in mind and I was not likely to change it or become it. He might find someone that better suits that idea, but it seems like so far no one has measured up. One of my friends did suggest that perhaps he has proposed to someone in the past and they turned him down. This could account for some of his hostility towards marriage. Also it could simply be that someone hurt him greatly and thus he is resigned to thinking he will never find anyone as good and ultimately compares anyone new to this person, or idea in his head of what they were like.

    He seemed so enthusiastic about our relationship throughout that it is still hard to see that he felt this way the whole time.

    Anita, I do agree he is depressed and I feel that a lot of that is clouding his thinking about this relationship with me. I do not agree that more patience and time might’ve changed the outcome. Despite what you may believe, I didn’t initiate this conversation and didn’t interrogate him, just asked him questions gently as he seemed to feel guilt and wanted to express the things he was feeling about us and a long-term potential. I did not go into a crying fit, I tried not to cry at all but it streamed out silently and slowly. In the end I don’t think he knew what to say so he left, and I became a little angry and sarcastic, because I was hurt, but I didn’t have the conversation hoping to end the relationship, I just liked that we were getting some truths out in the open.

    If anything waiting longer would have likely ended in the same result and i would’ve been more hurt. He was already not having feelings for me and I couldn’t have changed that with time.

    #331979
    Michelle
    Participant

    Thanks Anita. I agree. I feel that the friend thing is more my issue than his. He probably does see them as a nice reprieve from everyone else, where he can be completely himself.

    Regarding him not being vocal about what he wants… Part of of it has a lot to do with him living with his parents and seeing it as a real step backward. On New Year’s Eve we discussed the highlights of 2019 and he said his had its ups and downs. He didn’t foresee moving back home, but he also met me, so overall it felt good. I think he may feel more decisive when he is not living in limbo. I think career changes are also on his mind. I always seem to find men who aren’t exactly settled and feel the need to be settled before they can offer me things. That being said he has been more consistent and forward in action then anyone I’ve ever been with. He’s surprised me with quite a few events, and I never had to guess whether he was going to still be interested in seeing me after a date. Very early on he was the one to be asking for repeated dates and saying that it felt like a while since we’d seen each other (yet it had only been a few days in between meetings). He still contacts me every morning and throughout the day and is always concerned if I am sick or have another issue. He is expressive in those ways. In time, in service and occasionally in gifts. His love language is not words, and that is why I am the one to be more expressive in that way.

    I feel that I am different than other women he’s been with, because to say that any particular holiday has been the best ever compared to all other holidays like it in the past, feels quite expressive to me. He’s not always wordy in the ways I’d like, but he surprised me with nice things he says nonetheless.

    My dilemma Anita, is how long should I be waiting to be authentic? I am a social studies grad, so I am constantly reading about relationship stats. Most people fall in love between 4-6 months in, and declare such love to their partner. Should I be patient because I am waiting for him to be more verbally expressive about how he feels and where he wants things to go? What if he is never able to do that unless I declare first, but he continues to show his love in other ways? I mean obviously I wouldn’t be the one proposing, but is there really a right time or wrong time to tell someone you love them? I don’t think I’m looking for the worst to happen sooner rather than later, I think I am looking to be truthful and see what is reflected back at me. I find it hard to have surface relationships, I like to go deep. A lot of my qualms in my past long-term relationship surrounded the fact that I wasn’t being true to myself and my needs. I was just allowing someone to decide what they needed with no real concern about me, or meeting me half way. Basically I want to be able to be me, without fear of breaking dating rules, or scaring someone off with my emotions.

    Is there an amount of time that you would feel is an appropriate time to wait to express my love? Does he really need to do so first? I already know he’s going to have trouble expressing it back, or at all on his own. But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel it, and want him to know. One of my best friend’s told her now husband at about 6 months in, and it took him months after that to return the sentiment. She said she loved him so she just kept saying it and didn’t care that she was waiting. Sorry I’m not directing these questions at your pointedly, I’m just trying to figure it all out.

    #331777
    Michelle
    Participant

    I want to hear from anyone who might want to play devil’s advocate and argue why I should tell him hah.

    #331775
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi Inky, I was looking for some honest feedback because sometimes others can see more about a situation than we can. I agree, I’d like to meet his friends and I don’t completely understand the reluctance there, but there are some reasons why your suggestion won’t work. There isn’t really anywhere to have his friends over too, because he is briefly living at home, so we would need to go out with them or visit them. Since I’ve discussed it with him and he seemed receptive to my feelings, I don’t believe he is actively looking to avoid it. He was even considering inviting me the last time he went, but his reasoning was that it would be too intimate of an event for an introduction. It was his best friend’s birthday and his friend’s family was there and their closest friends. It didn’t seem like an appropriate time to throw me into the mix. Honestly, we’ve spent A LOT of time together and when he goes to see his friends, which is infrequently, I think he enjoys it as a chance to have some time apart. The anxious side of me sees it as a red flag, but usually when a guy isn’t interested in inviting me into his life, he is reluctant in a lot of other ways, and inviting me to Christmas with his family would not be a part of that. I dated a guy I now call “the napper” for a month, who consistently couldn’t make it out to see me because he was “napping” after work. It got to the point where the napping just took over.. and it was too hard to ignore the lies. That guy was all happy to introduce me to his friends though.

    Another thing I guess I forgot to mention is that my ex was an alcoholic and my new guy knows about this. I have discussed how hard this was for me, especially because I had an aunt who died recently from alcoholism. When he goes out with his friends he will often partake in more drinking than usual. I believe he is trying to be respectful of me and not introduce me to that side of him so soon or too often, because of my past. He is not a big drinker at all, but on a few occasions he does throw a few back with the friends. So this might be another reason I haven’t been invited out yet. He is very willing to come to my family events and he has met my friends like I said. I feel like my new guy is a little more cautious and it may actually be a good thing.

    I was mostly kind of mulling over it because I would hope that we could share time with different people, and I hope that he thinks I will be a welcome to addition to his group eventually. Really I’m also curious to see a side of him that I do not see because he has a long history with a few of these friends. It would be nice to get to know some of that, and to see the kind of company he chooses to keep beyond me. I think because he is one of the few single friends among this married group it’s a bit of a declaration to bring a new relationship into it. There will be questions, especially if I disappear and I get the feeling that that has happened to girls he’s dated in the past.

    I sound like I’m being defensive, but I think I’ve made more peace with the not-meeting-his-friends-thing. It will start to bother me only if it goes on for a long time. As long as he continues to put effort into his relationship with me that matters a little more for now. He has turned down a few weekend outings with said friends to go on trips with me and such. As we’ve been settling into our relationship a little more, a few weekends ago he said he really needed a boys night. I could tell he didn’t want me to be upset about it. I’m happy he wants to do those things because my last ex didn’t have any friends. Also, when he gets his own place again there will be more of a common ground for us to hang out with various people together.

    I do agree that maybe I will wait a month or so to see if Valentine’s Day does reveal any extra feelings on his part.

    Anita, I also appreciate your input. I’ve come to realize that part of my being cautious about revealing my feelings has to do with not knowing how exactly I should express it. Part of that is because I realize the choice to be together is not mine. I have made up my mind. Declaring that he loves me will mean far more than me declaring that I love him. Not that my love is any less, but it has always been easier for me to give. I’m brave that way. Still I may declare it, to allow him to have all the information he may need. I will do this once I am comfortable with all the anxiety of the unknown of whether it will be returned. I am already programmed to expect the worst most of the time, so I can’t even picture a reciprocal scenario really.. I guess I’m always prepared.

    Occasionally I get these flashes of intuition about our future. I’ve been trying to ignore them, because they’re good. It’s so hard for me to believe that good could come for me. My life hasn’t played out that way.

    #331263
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi Daniel. I have felt these feelings of rejection in the past too, as I believe many of us have. They can feel immeasurably great and permanent and yet impermanence is something we can always rely on. The brain acts as if it is withdrawing from hard drugs when we are rejected, and thus explains some of the relative severity of your emotions.

    Watch the thoughts and feelings as you have them, feel them as great as you wish to, but realize that they are not your entirety. They will lose momentum and things will get easier. Attachment to ideas, people etc. causes us great pain. This is momentary attachment that will lessen with time and awareness.

    Also trust that there are many people who will wish to give you affection, share their time with you and become involved in your life. This girl has a general regard for your feelings as a human being, but she acted cowardly. Someone with real regard for you will likely act differently. There is nothing wrong with you being brave enough to give her attention and kindness and voice your feelings. Being able to give is a gift in and of itself. We just don’t always get to receive in return. I do believe the universe has ebbs and flows as mysterious as the tide that eventually cause a surplus of seashells to wash up on the beach. Gifts will be bestowed upon you. This too shall pass.

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