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Letting go of someone due to incompatibility (incompatible drinking habits)

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month ago.

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  • #327545

    Anette
    Participant

    I posted weeks ago asking for advise on what to do with a sweet/good guy (M31) that checked some of my boxes. I’m so glad I listened to you all and held off on ending it before I really got the chance to hash out the issue (of overdrinking in parties to the point of throwing up/passing out). I’ve spoken with him about my concern and he explained that alcohol isn’t a core need (doesn’t drink every day nor alone, doesn’t go to bars often). I was getting anxious about this issue/incompatibility we have. We were invited to a party where he drank 13 shots and was just buzzed.  I explained to him my discomfort some more; he explained that drinking lots is a part of family/friends tradition/culture. He has a wedding coming up where he told me that he might be/ will be blacked out because of the drinking challenges. When he couldn’t promise me that he would drink in moderation in these parties (I also knew that his core is to please family and friends, to make sure that everyone has a good time), I knew it had to end. These parties aren’t just limited to wedding, he has such a large network that there would be parties every month. I don’t have anything against people who party hard but I also know now that it’s not a value of mine, especially to take care of a partner passed out/throwing up multiple times a year.

    I’m flabbergasted that he suggested pretending. Do I address this when we meet up? He also told me that I’m using alcohol as an “OUT” since I was hesitant to move the relationship forward. I wonder why he said that? How can I heal? Am I being too hard on myself by saying I could have ended it once I found out how heavy he drank a month ago(even though maybe it can only be once or twice a year)? Sometimes I feel like I am being “too puritanical” but that’s my inner critic trying to convince me not to be too judgmental of him. My social network doesn’t drink this heavily and we don’t even get hammered anymore. We pretty much just have wine or a shot or two, that’s it. I tend to ruminate whether I made the right decision and I know I did. How can I move forward healthily?

    #327687

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annette:

    Your previous thread of a few weeks ago doesn’t appear under your current screen name, so I don’t have a record of it. Maybe there you explained what you mean by “he suggested pretending”- pretending what?

    “He said that you are “using alcohol as an ‘OUT'” of the relationship- but you are entitled to use any thing at all as an out. I mean, you are not a prisoner, or shouldn’t be a prisoner in any relationship. You have the right to exit any relationship (excluding one with your minor child, if you had one) for whatever reason, any and every reason will do.

    You can end a relationship with a man because he drinks heavily, or  lightly or because he doesn’t drink, all reasons are fine. Your only responsibility to the man is to be honest and consistent with him, respectful and not aggressive.

    “I tend to ruminate whether I made the right decision and I know I did. How can I move forward healthily”- be clear about responsibilities. His responsibility toward you is and has been to be consistently honest with you, respectful and not aggressive toward you. If he hasn’t been responsible toward you in these ways (asking you to pretend may be relevant here, as well as blaming you for looking for an Out instead of respecting your position regarding drinking), you definitely did the right thing to end the relationship.

    anita

    #327973

    Anette
    Participant

    Thank you for your grounded response. After reading what you discussed, it reinforced the feeling of being “at peace” with my decision. I was trying to like someone who I could not see a future with and that caused me so much mental distress. Now, I’ve learned that it’s important to put myself and my values first. I appreciate your points.

    #327977

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    “I’ve learned that it’s  important to put myself and  my values first”- most important indeed!

    You are welcome. Post again anytime.

    anita

    #328373

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Anette,

    If you come back to this thread..

    He has a drinking problem. He is a functioning alcoholic. He’d rather get blackout drunk than drink in moderation when you’re around. Throwing up is more important to him than your comfort. Read that again.

    There is one way to get him to stop drinking. He has to go through a series of  “little hurts” before he finally becomes well. People will stop inviting him to weddings. He won’t seem to hold onto relationships long term. His friends will be “busy”. If he does get invited anywhere it will be to church pot lucks or the movies.

    I double dog dare you to dump him to save him. If you really loved him, you would do anything to save his life. I’m not being dramatic. Frat boys get sick and black out drunk. Once. Maybe twice. Not full grown men. Full grown men will have a whisky and drive their ladies home because they can handle their alcohol, not the other way around.

    Give him a little hurt,

    Inky

    P.S. My husband had to give an old girlfriend that little hurt. She is still single, but hopefully doing WELL.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Inky.
    #328931

    Anette
    Participant

    Thank you for this reminder; it’s hard because of the holiday blues.

    #328935

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    You are welcome to share here about your holiday blues. Maybe the holiday will be less blue if you express yourself here, as much or as little as you want to.

    anita

    #329199

    Anette
    Participant

    Thank you Anita. I realize that he was good to me but not good for me in the long run. Although it’s only been a short time, we did spend a lot of time together and we had a healthy “relationship.” He was consistent, sweet, and really good to me. I keep reminding myself that I had to end it due to lifestyle incompatibility (he drank to the point of passing out/passed on occasions for weddings/bdays and has woken up somewhere he didn’t find familiar, although he didn’t drink everyday, and spent a lot of money on friends even if he still had a considerable debt). He wants to celebrate uninhibited for the next 3 years before he and his friends settle down(hence the large amount of drinking and spending). I value moderation and some sense of safety; I have anxious tendencies and realize I couldn’t keep up with him nor would I want to keep up.

    Last Wed, we officially ended it and both agreed that if I couldn’t accept his occasional getting passed out drunk, it wouldn’t work out for the long term. The last time I passed out from drinking was 10 years ago. I understand he isn’t an alcoholic and does only this ridiculous behaviors because he is super social and loves to be the life of the party. This is the first time where really I had to end something that wasn’t “bad.”

    How can I move forward? How do I stay optimistic? I feel that I made the right decision. I feel sad because of 2 reasons – Im grieving the lost of an attachment and the disappointment/tiredness from dating and having to start again. In hindsight, as someone who was abused when I was a kid and is healing from trauma, I feel like I’m finally choosing kind and somewhat emotionally available men. I just need to fine tune better so their lifestyle and core values align with mine.

    #329201

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    I am looking forward to read your recent post when I am back to the computer tomorrow morning, I about 12 hours from now. If you’d like to add more, if it helps to type away more of your thoughts and feelings before I return, please do and I will read and reply when I am back.

    anita

    #329285

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    It reads to me that you did the right thing ending this new relationship because he practiced, and planned to continue  practicing for the next three years, a lifestyle of occasional passing out drunk (and waking up “somewhere he didn’t find familiar”). It is not that he chose to drink, but he chose to occasionally pass out.

    I understand the desire to drink so to feel good. But if passing out is not a negative experience for him, what would cause him to stop drinking to excess after the three years?

    So you saved yourself the very stressful experience of a man who occasionally passes out drunk. Plus, his spending “a lot of money on friends even if he still had a considerable debt” , is not something to look for in a life partner.

    “This is the first time where really I had to end something that wasn’t ‘bad'”, yet. Not yet. Good choice, to prevent trouble, to end trouble before it starts.

    I understand that you feel sad because you were attached to him and because you are tired “from dating and having to start again”. When you do start again, in 2020, I imagine, start again using what you learned so far about dating. Change your profile and your strategy of dating so that you learn about and evaluate men before getting significantly attached to them, and therefore, being able to choose without heartache.

    You mentioned that you were abused as a child. If you want, only if you think it will help you to share about it here, please do. Otherwise you are welcome to share on any topic that comes to mind, on this Christmas Eve or any other time.

    anita

    #329339

    Anette
    Participant

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much Anita.

    I appreciate your analysis of the situation. I, too, felt like just because it’s good now doesn’t mean it will be good later. My gut was telling me I was going to be “in” a tough ride with him and my choice to weather out a “tough future” is entirely on me. That I will be responsible for my unhappiness and stress, not him, because he showed me who he was in the beginning. I firmly believe now that I can’t change people, especially in their 30s. I tried doing that in my long term relationship back then and that was a painful lesson I learned. A friend of mine mentioned that my sadness might stem from abandonment issues (my parents didn’t raise me and left me with an abusive grandparent) but somehow his choice of sticking with his lifestyle instead of furthering our relationship didn’t feel personal to me! It was a hooray moment because I’ve accepted that he won’t change and his choice is about him and not me.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I am also going to figure out how to pace a relationship and not get suckered in when I get pursued hard. I think I was pining for unavailable men who checked my boxes but wasn’t ready for a relationship and so when he came around, he seemed to check my boxes and was so kind, consistent, caring, and quick to introduce me to my circle that I ignored the red flags.</p>
    Again, thanks so much for checking in with me and offering your empathy and perspective.

     

    #329345

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    You are very welcome. I would like to re-read your recent post (and anything you may want to add to it) tomorrow morning, in about 13 hours from now, and reply then. Have a calm Christmas Eve and a restful sleep,

    anita

    #329409

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anette:

    You wrote earlier that you are “healing from trauma”, trauma is having been abused as a child. And indeed, your healing is evident in the choice you made regarding this man:

    1. You learned from your past experience that you can’t change people: “I tried doing that in my long term relationship back then and that was a painful lesson I learned”, and you acted on that lesson and ended this recent, beginning relationship.

    2. You took responsibility for your own projected experience of life with him and chose to take action and not have the life you don’t want to have: “I will be responsible for my unhappiness and stress, not him, because he showed me who he was in the beginning”.

    3. You saw the bigger, future picture, beyond the limited, immediate picture, and took action that made sense in the bigger picture. The limited picture is: (he) was so kind, consistent, caring, and quick to introduce me..”, and the bigger, future picture is this: “I was going to be ‘in’ a tough ride with him “. (I imagine it will be a tough ride to have a husband who passes out and keep you in debt, even if he makes sincere kind and caring gestures in between his passing out episodes and financial irresponsibility).

    4. You feel sad because you lost the comfort you experienced with this man (in the context of the limited, immediate picture I mentioned), and  because the emotional experience of childhood abuse and mistreatment doesn’t go away, but notice that you are enduring that sadness without drowning in it and desperately looking for whatever comfort is there for you (which is what lead us people to make poor choices), and sadness is not all that you feel, there is also  joy: “it was a hooray moment”!

    I wish you ongoing healing this holiday season and in the approaching new year. Endure the sadness, enjoy the moments of joy, that good feeling of being able to make thoughtful, responsible and proactive choices, knowing these choices will lead you to a better and better life.

    Post again anytime, be it today, tomorrow, a month from now, whenever you feel like it.

    anita

     

     

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