"I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

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"I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:34 am

Hi, first post - go easy :)

I don't really know if I need advice, or just someone to confirm my own feelings... maybe even just externalise all the agony I'm feeling right now. My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 7 years, I am 39 and she is 31. At the beginning it was amazing, things happened quite quickly. When I met her, at a birthday party, she had a boyfriend. We were introduced by her sister and we got along famously... we chatted for hours and I felt that I could be quite open with her. We added each other on Facebook and just remained friends - as we now had mutual friends I saw her a couple of times as part of our friendship group - I thought she was absolutely amazing, but having a BF I kept my distance.

Fast forward 4 weeks and her sister tells me she has split up with her boyfriend, so I ask her out and we go to the cinema. End of the night peck on the cheek and home separately. Things progress, few more dates and we start spending practically every moment we can together. 6 months after hooking up we move in together. Things are absolutely amazing and they remain this for less than a few weeks.

Please, please don't judge me, but I have a drink problem (not making excuses here) and one night at a party I got so drunk I assaulted my girlfriend. I was arrested and charged with Battery - quite rightly. I was prepared for it all to end, I was so ashamed of my behaviour. I still am. When I was released by the Police I wasn't placed on bail as we were living together - I went home with my tail stuck firmly between my legs and apolgised for my abhorrent behaviour.

I was given another chance. I was ordered, by the court, to attend an alcohol treatment programme and an integrated domestic abuse program, along with 2 years probation. I attended each course and probation meetings without fail, I participated fully in each session and at the end got a glowing report that stated I should be considered low risk for re-offending. I haven't re-offended.

I gave up drinking for a year to give myself a clear head whilst completing the course and probation. eventually I started drinking again, slowly at first then progressively worse - mainly binge drinking at the weekend and sometimes 1 night during the week. One night we'd both been out, my girlfriend assaulted me by kicking the fridge door shut as I reached in to get a drink. She called the police to get me removed from the flat. I spent the night on a friends sofa and she received a caution for the assault.

2 years after the first incident we had a child and everything was brilliant. It remained that way for some time, but I'd started binge drinking again but this time I was kicking out in my sleep and I hurt my partner a couple of times - the compromise was not to drink to excess, which worked for both of us. We bought a house together 18 months ago.

Again the drink has been creeping up again, a few time I've got wasted and woken up not knowing whats happened the night before, so I have to sheepishly ask my partner. Although I haven't lashed out in my sleep my drinking puts her on edge, and she doesn't feel like she can let go and enjoy herself on nights out etc. She can't let those past thoughts go, although she says she's forgiven me it's still at the back of her mind.

Basically I have been massively horrible to her and, truthfully, I don't deserve her, or her forgiveness.

So last week I got drunk at a BBQ, everyone got drunk including the GF. The few days afterwards I noticed a change in her behaviour towards me so I asked her if she wanted to talk. Which she did, stating she doesn't know how she feels about this relationship and, although she loves me and will probably always love me, she's tired and had enough of my behaviour. Which is fair enough - so have I.

When we are good we are amazing, seriously! But my lack of stop button when it comes to drinking has driven a massive wedge between us. I have lost her trust and have broken many promises. I behaved so badly because, so far, there have been no consequences other than a few days of guilt when I've sobered up.

Now, however, I am faced with prospect of losing it all and I can't carry on this way. I have promised to knock drinking on the head altogether, but she says she's heard it all before. I am so comitted to not drinking, not just for us, but primarily for myself - I can't hope to have a secure future while drinking like this.

I've had the same job for 12 years, I am an active parent in my sons life and I help out around the home. I support her financially and all our money is pooled - on the outside it would look great - inside we're falling apart. We are still living in the same house and sharing the same bed, by mutual agreement. She has said she wants to give it a few months to see if she can figure out what she wants - I'm a bit in limbo and I don't know what to do, do I stick it out and hope we can turn things around or do I save her from me and move out?
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:33 pm

HI
Sounds like you both love each other still, but as you point out the drinking is the problem.

Could you go to a support group to show her that you are serious this time and want to make a go of it for both your sakes and for your child's sake? It may help to keep your focused on not drinking. Does your GP have any groups you can go to about drinking?

It could be too tempting to just stop drinking then when things are 'good' just start again, you won't have broken the cycle.

Only your GF knows if she wants to give things a final try - but you have to do everything in your power to not drink again and prove this to her.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:18 pm

Thanks for the reply, Miaow. It's comforting to know that it is apparent that we still love each other. I have been so horrible to her in the past :(

I've looked into AA, and they have meetings locally. Maybe that is something to consider -the only thing that worries me is their 12 steps mention a lot about God, and that is definitely not for me! Maybe I'll try a local counseling service instead. Either way it will all boil down to will-power and, at the moment, I have tons of it.

My gut is telling me to stick around and implement the changes I've promised "under the radar" rather than make a song and dance about it. Actions speak louder and all that...! I try and give her as much space as is possible, I think asking to talk all the time will just drive a bigger wedge between us.

It's hard though! All eating meals at the table, sharing a house, sleeping in the same bed, holding conversations etc. I just have this huge knot in my stomach!
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:27 pm

I do think you need to talk to her, granted not going over old ground - but to find out if you are both going to give it another go.

Like you say you have lots of willpower at the moment - keys words being 'at the moment'. You need to still have this willpower 1 year / 5 years / 10 years down the line. My worry is that when things go back to being good and normal you will go to a party, or out with friends, or a bbq and have a drink - and the downward spiral will start and you'll be back at Sq 1.

Hopefully with a support mechanism - whether it be AA or a counsellor or another support group that meets weekly - it may help to keep the focus.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:33 pm

Last time we spoke she said that she doesn't have the energy to carry on, and she doesn't know how she feels about "us" anymore. That she doesn't want to just split up as it might not be the right decision for her... as in, if we break up for good, will she think she's made a huge mistake a few months down the line.

So it's a "I don't know if I can carry on like this, but I don't want to break-up in case it's the wrong decision" situation. I know what I want, and what I need to do to achieve it, and she knows all of it.

I'm looking up local counseling services as we speak.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:43 pm

I understand. Sounds like you have both been talking but going over old ground and not getting anywhere. I can see how that would be draining.

Get all the information you can first and come up with a proposed plan of how to get your relationship back on track, then when you talk to her you can tell her it all in one go (date night each week, no more drinking and you will be attending whichever support group weekly to help yourself and also show a commitment to her that you don't want to drink again).

Treat it as a last chance to show her you want to make a final go of it and you are prepared to do whatever is necessary - if it still doesn't work then you've given it your best shot and there isn't much more you can do.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:47 pm

I have suggested date night (I'll drive!) and relationship counseling - she said she doesn't know if she has the energy for all that.

What it boils down to is that I have made promises and not kept them, now she, understandably, has a hard time believing me.

I'm ex-Army and come from a family of drinkers - it's going to be a difficult road, but I am willing, and have the determination, to face anything that's thrown my way. In the past I have not been this determined. I just hope it's not too late.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:01 pm

Fingers crossed - let us know how you get on.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:05 pm

I rang Drinkline and they gave me the number for the local Turning Point.

They are going to ring me either tomorrow or Thursday to arrange an appointment to come in and see someone.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:41 pm

Maybe she would like to come with you ?
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:05 pm

Do you think I should ask her?

I assumed this should be something I need to do on my own at first...
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby miaow » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:03 pm

Maybe not then - is your call. Good luck!
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby Mrconfused74 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:02 pm

Regardless of whether you stay together or not, you need to sort out your drinking problem, yes it could say this relationship, but if it doesn't it could affect anymore you have.
It's not easy giving up drinking, but if you only binge drink, it's easier than if you drink on a daily basis. So far this year I've managed to stay sober, I did it for a number of reasons, but I realised that I needed too or something was going to happen.
So unless your dependant on alcohol stopping is quite simple. Yes there are occasions when I fancy a drink but the soon pass, and I don't miss it either. No more wasted days hungover, saving money, feel healthier, lost weight, all benefits, that your partner will notice. Saying no can be hard when others around you are drinking, but I tell you one thing, it's interesting to see a group of people you know well slowly get drunk while your sober, and you see how they can be behave, sometimes it's enough to make you stop for good.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby LME79 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:16 pm

I haven't posted on this forum in years and have only been lurking recently but I couldn't not reply to this.

My dad was (is) an alcoholic and he was a nasty, violent drunk. When my sister and I were little (this is in the early 80s) he used to take us to his local social club on school nights whenever my mum was on nights and used to drink until he was so drunk he could hardly walk. My earliest memory of this is around 1984 when I would have been around 4/5 years old. At the time I didn't now what "drunk" was. But I knew that he used to walk into that place as 'Daddy' and come out again as somebody different - somebody I was scared of. One of my most vivid memories is of him strangling me after I cried at him that I was scared he would get cancer from smoking - I was six years old. He beat me regularly in drunken rages - when I was little it was because I was crying at him because I didn't like this other person and I was wishing for my 'Daddy' to come back - one time he beat me because I asked him to stop chanting "Susie Susie, show us your tits" at the newscaster on TV - even typing this now 30 years later makes me incredibly angry. I was pleading with him to stop as I thought it meant he didn't love my mum. The beatings went on until I was in my early 20s and only stopped because I started to hit him back.

He is still an alcoholic, a functioning one, but still an alcoholic. I have a very strange relationship with him because I love 'Dad' but I HATE and detest 'Drunk Dad'. Whenever he picks up a beer I still to this day go on edge. He has always denied he has had a problem and to be honest, my mum and sister brushed it all under the carpet. I have never had an apology for what happened and I have had two years worth of counselling (still ongoing) trying to deal with that and the issues it caused me. It made me someone who put so much pressure on herself to be perfect and never do anything wrong - because doing something wrong means an awful punishment.

I'm not berating you because you have recognised you have a problem and that in itself means that you are way ahead of my dad and I think that if you carry on with this determination then you will succeed. But I wanted to give you the perspective from the child of an alcoholic who grew up with it (and the consequences) from a young age and is still dealing with it today, 30 years on, with the hope that this can give you some more inspiration to keep going. With regards to your girlfriend, it'll be a long road before she can trust you which I know you know is understandable - this trust will have to be earned.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey and I'll be back to PP to hopefully see how you have progressed. Please feel free to PM if you want to.
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Re: "I don't know how I feel about this relationship"

Postby ConfusedAndy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:57 am

Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

I rarely drink during the week, if I did it would be on a Wednesday - justified by having "a difficult week already". Then it would be Friday and Saturday nights... nothing on Sunday, until Wednesday.

I've just come back from a stag weekend so I've been drinking this weekend. I tried to moderate myself, and on Saturday night I drank only water until 10pm, then had a few pints. I remember everything about both Friday and Saturday night - which is rare for me after going out with mates!

Now I'm back home I'm straight back on the wagon and fully intend to stay there. I have a meeting with a counselor on Friday lunchtime so it will be good to get the ball rolling.

Thanks again :)
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