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New here, never been in this situation before

Old 08-09-2010, 12:49 PM
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New here, never been in this situation before

I just found this site, and just finished reading a thread started by BadChoices. After reading, I realize I am in the same place she is, but with a long distance difference. I want to share my story…from the beginning. I’m sorry it’s long, and if you can read through it, I would really like to read your thoughts. Good and bad.

In late October of 2009 I accepted a friend request on Face Book from a man I was in the same High School with. (High School was 18 years ago) He remembered me well because of a business my family owned in town. I remembered his name but needed to pull out and old yearbook to remember his face. He now lives in Florida and I live in Massachusetts. There were a few comment’s back and forth for about a month and one day I sent him a message in response to a post about wanting some coffee syrup. I had access to it and thought it would be nice to grant a wish. I asked for his address and sent it. We began to chat every once in a while and I thought…WOW…what a nice guy. He was genuine, open, honest, sensitive, and I liked it.

Over the months I learned that the mother of his child was his drinking buddy before they got into a relationship and had a child. (child is now 4) She had left him at some point. Just called him at work one day and told him it was over took the child and went back to live with her parents. I don’t know the reason, I never asked. I have learned that she has a drug problem. I learned that he had been in a very bad car accident that crushed his ankle and he now had metal rods in his right leg, and his ankle is fused and he walks with a limp. I also learned that he was drunk when this accident happened (2 years ago). I learned that he had a suspended license, fines because of it, and he relied on rides to get to work and back. I learned that he lives with his very ill parents because after paying child support and medical bills due to the accident (He started his current job only 2 weeks before the accident and his medical had not begun yet), trying to get his fines paid to re-establish his license, and helping out his parents he would have a very hard time living alone. I could tell that this man loves his family and his daughter whom he has with him every other week.

I continued to think that he was a wonderful man. A man that loved his family and I began to love our chats. Every once in a though I did notice that his chatting was a little bit discombobulated, some of these chats were late at night and he had mentioned a few different times we were chatting that he was drinking. I never thought anything of it because I did it too. It must have seemed to me that it was becoming more often than not so one Sunday in April I came right out and asked he only came on FB to chat with me when he was drinking. He got very defensive…telling me he couldn’t believe I thought that way of him and a few other small comments I don’t remember what they were. I left it alone and we didn’t chat all week (only saw him on briefly 1 time during the week). Friday night he sent me a very long apology saying that he was so sorry for the way he treated me and it had bothered him all week, more so than any argument he ever got into with his daughters mother. He told me I was right and he had been overdoing it lately. I was touched by our chat that night, and the next night I admitted I had feelings for him. He said he had a certain love for our time chatting and he looked forward to it, but because of the still difficult heartbreak with his child’s mother, and the fact that we were so far apart it scared him and wanted to take things slow and see what happened. I thought sure no big deal and I had no problem with that. We chatted a bit more frequently, and had a few phone calls…the first of which I think he had been drinking.

Fast forward a few weeks…we send back and forth a few text messages…he seems really excited, and we was flattering me, and he had been thinking about us and couldn’t wait to talk that night. He never called. I was crushed because I was sitting on the top of the first hill on the rollercoaster only to crash. The next day I got a message about having that conversation. I told him I wasn’t into that kind of rollercoaster ride and I didn’t want to talk that night. Later I got a text saying there had been a big argument with his daughter’s mother and he ended up going to a restaurant/pub with a co-worker. He accidently left his phone at work. He was so sorry he let me down. Please don’t burn our bridge of communication and he wanted to help me through my disappointment. (The argument was earlier in the day…he must have been texting me from the bar.) He called that night, and I didn’t want to answer…but I did. He was drinking, had had a big argument with his father and was spending the night in a local hotel. He talked I listened, and felt better when we hung up.

Over the next few months we talked almost every night. We decided that I would come to visit him and plans started to be made. He also started to tell me more about himself. I learned that at one time he was the Cheers “Norm” at a bar/club in our home town…had his own chair and all. Joined a dart league, and experimented with cocaine with a few members of the team, but ended that pretty quickly. He told me that he had a problem with pain meds after his accident, but was also able to end that. I learned that he frequented a gentleman’s club in a nearby town. (I thought it not uncommon for a single guy to do that so it wasn’t a big deal to me) He told me that both his mother and ex gf said the he could be verbally abusive. A few weeks before our trip he told me that before he moved to Florida he got a DWI.

All the things we talked about were not bad. He is intelligent, caring, open, sensitive, and honest. Sometimes he was so honest he would surprise me with what he would share. There were a few phone conversations where I couldn’t tell if he had been drinking or not. Thing is I felt very comfortable with this man and I think that was because of his honesty…but boy was I in for a shock.

August 2 I get on a plane to go visit him.

He met me at the hotel and we rented a car and drove to our destination. (about an hour and a half) It was comfortable. We talked, we laughed. We checked into the hotel, left the bags in the room and went to explore the place. We ended up at the pool bar to have a drink. I'll say were at the pool bar for 2 hours. I had a mixed drink and a little later a beer. I was hungry and didn't want to drink too much. He had a beer and a shot...then another beer and another shot...then another beer and another shot (I lost count). I dragged him out of there (trashed) to get something to eat. I found out later that he didn't even remember going out to eat, or ordering my dinner for me while I went to the ladies room. This is just my first few hours there, never mind later that evening. (I drank too, but not to excess)

Tuesday we had a nice day...we went to a local landmark, we made arrangements for the next day’s activities. Went back to the hotel to get ready for the show we had reservation for that night. Went to the show, shared 2 volcano bowls and had a good time. After the show...yep...we went out and had even more to drink.

Wednesday we went to the day’s activity and yep...he drinks. (We went deep sea fishing and I realize that some people like to drink when they fish. I'll give him that much.) After fishing we went back to the hotel to clean up and go back down to the pool bar and he drinks some more. I had a couple of beers too. Later on we went out and drank some more.

Thursday we went packed up, went for a very quiet breakfast and a very quiet hour and a half back to the airport. He stayed with me at the airport until I had to get through security and go to my gate. While we sat there he asked me what I thought about us. I didn't know what to say and I don't remember what exactly I said to him, but I know we both said we wanted to try for this relationship.

There were moment's I wasn't very happy with...I wanted to go across the street from our hotel to the gift shop to find something for my daughter and he said he was going to go next door to the gift shop to have a drink in the gentleman’s club...he said he was curious. One of the nights we were in a bar he actually leaned over to tell me something about looking at the bartender’s boobs and the boobs of the 2 girls sitting next to him. Both of these examples happened when he was drunk.

He called me the next morning after I came home and told me he spent a lot of time thinking about me and that he was sorry for all the drinking and that it wouldn't happen again. He said he loves me so much and he wanted me to see the real him not who he was on our trip. He said he would do anything to make us work, and told me how much he loves me and cares about my daughter
My points...I'm left wondering who this man really is. He was very honest with me prior to the trip about his history with alcohol, but I thought that was over and that he was just an occasional drinker. The more I think about it the more upset I become about the whole thing. I know that I need to accept some of the blame because I could have said something, but I didn’t…and I don’t know why. I did sleep with him and now don’t feel very good about that because of the condition he was in. Now that I’ve been home for a few days and have had a chance to think…the pieces fit. I’m sad because I thought I’d finally found a sweet caring, and honest man.

Again…I’m sorry it’s long. I just want you all to have all the information…maybe some of it you don’t need, but… I think I already know what you all are going to say, but I want to hear it all anyway. Also, maybe some kind ways I may be able to distance myself, yet still support him, (when he returned from out trip he learned that his daughter’s mother needs to move to TN and has petitioned to take the child with her. He is devastated right now and is trying to find ways to keep his daughter and also I never witnessed him drinking around his daughter we have had several conversations while she was with him, and I know he loves her with all his heart. He even mentioned a book one time that was suggested to him “Strong Fathers Strong Daughters”. I bought it and sent it to him weeks ago and he has mentioned some really great points in that book to me.) and maybe some ways I can break it off gently. Thanks in advance…I appreciate it more than you know.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:06 PM
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Welcome CatCountry. Thank you for sharing your story. What kind of feedback are you looking for? Is there a specific question you have or were you looking for advice about something?
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:07 PM
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Ah, internet relationships. I remember them well.

But seriously, how many red flags popped up when you went to visit him? Be honest, now. Okay, then stop and realize that most generally, when people meet for the first time, they both try to put their best foot forward. I have to say...if that was his best foot, I'd really, REALLY hate to see the other one.

Just from what you've posted, he sounds like a pretty heavy drinker and that could have something to do with why his wife took their daughter and left. Maybe not, but it sure couldn't have made the marriage very stable. You don't really know anything about the wife other than what he told you and he very well could have been lying or at least stretching the truth a bit.

Welcome to SR! Stick around and do a lot of reading and posting. We can't make decisions for you, but we can offer you experience, strength and hope while you try to figure things out. We are here to support you.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:14 PM
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Welcome to SR. I am fairly new here too. I've been reading a lot, the stickies on the top are filled with great information. I have been where you are, you will find that so many of us have the same story. You are definitely in the right place.
You are here because you are clearly uncertain and confused by this man's behavior. I've learned that what they say means nothing; how they behave means everything. What does his behavior tell you?
Keep reading and posting. There is a lot of wisdom and experience and support here.
I moved in with my ex ABF (ex-Alcoholic Boyfriend), almost lost my mind trying to reconcile what he said with what I saw with my own eyes. Thought my "support" and love would make a difference. It didn't. I left finally, it was so hard. Six months later, I am feeling better than I ever have before.
Alcoholism is a tornado that destroys everything in it's path before it's done. Thank God I got out of the way before it destroyed me.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:22 PM
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Honestly Learn2Live, I don't know what I'm looking for. I think I just need to get it out. Put in a place others understand. I know what I need to do, but this was the first man I let into my life for 11 years and I am just so disappointed. Especially because he told me who he was. I heard it with my own ears and chose to ignore it. I guess I should be grateful that he showed me his colors not and not after months and months of time and expensive visits.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:51 PM
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Hi Cat Country. Welcome to SR.

You might ask yourself to define your boundaries in a dating relationship, and then ask yourself if you see any of those boundaries being compromised. Ask yourself what YOU are getting out of the relationship, and what part of YOU might be lost if you continue to see this man.

I have learned since I came to SR that I have healthy boundaries with everyone in my life except when it comes to men who drink/drug/cheat. I compromise who I am and let the boundaries crumble. I turn into a pleaser for fear of losing that guy who "loves me more than anything". My boundaries start falling into the "collapsed" category. When I find a nice guy, I get scared, and my boundaries start falling into the "rigid" category.

I, too, have had relationships where the guy opens up immediately and shares all kinds of past history, deep feelings, hurts, and woes. My recent XABF did this with me and drew me in right away with his "honesty" about his past, and his openess and sincerity. Turns out there were some incredibly important things he didn't share with me...the frequency and intensity of his drinking...and his marijuana use. Turned out he is addicted to marijuana and alcohol. But he had me hooked and in love with him before the real him appeared.

Are you willing to commit to a guy who is a heavy drinker, has a penchant for "gentlemen's clubs" and bartenders/patrons boobs (this is probably only the surface of what is really on his list of likes, whether he is drinking or not), and a history of trouble created by drinking? If so, then he's your guy. If not, then you already know what you need to do. Please just don't compromise who YOU are for this guy.

Here is the awesome list of boundaries that Learn2Live posted a while ago. Like I said, they have become my personal checklist for deciding whether I will pursue a relationship. I have vowed to never "lose myself" again. I wish you the very best, and I'm glad you're here.


HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
• You can say no or yes, and you are ok when others say no to you.
• You have a strong sense of identity. You respect yourself.
• You expect reciprocity in a relationship—you share responsibility and power.
• You know when the problem is yours and when it belongs to someone else.
• You share personal information gradually in a mutually sharing/trusting relationship.
• You don’t tolerate abuse or disrespect.
• You know your own wants, needs and feelings. You communicate them clearly in your relationships.
• You are committed to and responsible for exploring and nurturing your full potential.
• You are responsible for your own happiness and fulfillment. You allow others to be responsible for their own happiness and fulfillment.
• You value your opinions and feelings as much as others.
• You know your limits. You allow others to define their limits.
• You are able to ask for help when you need it.
• You don’t compromise your values or integrity to avoid rejection.

COLLAPSED BOUNDARIES
• You can’t say no, because you are afraid of rejection or abandonment.
• Your identity consists of what you think others want you to be. You are a chameleon.
• You have no balance of power or responsibility in your relationships. You tend to be either overly responsible and controlling or passive and dependent.
• You take on other’s problems as your own.
• You share personal information too soon. . .before establishing mutual trust/sharing.
• You have a high tolerance for abuse or being treated with disrespect.
• Your wants, needs and feelings are secondary to others’ and are sometimes determined by others.
• You ignore your inner voice and allow others expectations to define your potential.
• You feel responsible for other’s happiness and fulfillment and sometimes rely on your relationships to create that for you.
• You tend to absorb the feelings of others.
• You rely on others opinions, feelings and ideas more than you do your own.
• You allow others to define your limits or try to define limits for others.
• You compromise your values and beliefs in order to please others or to avoid conflict.

RIGID BOUNDARIES
• You are likely to say no if the request involves close interaction.
• You avoid intimacy (pick fights, stay too busy, etc.)
• You fear abandonment OR engulfment, so you avoid closeness.
• You rarely share personal information.
• You have difficulty identifying wants, needs, feelings.
• You have few or no close relationships. If you have a partner, you have very separate lives and virtually no shared social life.
• You rarely ask for help.
• You do not allow yourself to connect with other people and their problems.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:18 PM
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Anyone have any ideas on how I can do this gently. I plan to talk to him and tell him how I feel. I'd like to tell him I think he is an alcoholic and I have no room for that in my life and I don't want to be in any kind of relationship with him. He made a post on face book that he found a woman he clicked with and the more he thinks about it he thinks she is the one. I know he's talking about me. Like I said I just want to be gentle as gentle as I can be in this situation.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:23 PM
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I'd like to tell him I think he is an alcoholic and I have no room for that in my life and I don't want to be in any kind of relationship with him.

That sounds good...I might suggest not actually saying you think he's an alcoholic. Maybe just say that he drinks more than you are comfortable with and you don't want to be in a relationship with someone who drinks so much. Either way would probably be fine, but he could argue about the word "alcoholic" whereas he can't argue that he didn't drink a lot because you were there to see it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:35 PM
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[QUOTE=CatCountry;2675171 Like I said I just want to be gentle as gentle as I can be in this situation.[/QUOTE]
Sometimes I find that if I am too gentle, my AH doesn't hear and understand what I am saying. If I fluff it up too much, then the message I am trying to convey gets lost. I find being direct and honest (and kind) works better for me.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:41 PM
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Cat, hon, have you been attracted to this type of man before? Because choosing this kind of guy after such a long hiatus is concerning.

I'd like to ask, why are u so concerned about being "gentle"? Are u afraid of hurting his feelings? Do u feel as though u owe him something?
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CatCountry View Post
He met me at the hotel and we rented a car and drove to our destination. (about an hour and a half) It was comfortable. We talked, we laughed. We checked into the hotel, left the bags in the room and went to explore the place. We ended up at the pool bar to have a drink. I'll say were at the pool bar for 2 hours. I had a mixed drink and a little later a beer. I was hungry and didn't want to drink too much. He had a beer and a shot...then another beer and another shot...then another beer and another shot (I lost count). I dragged him out of there (trashed) to get something to eat. I found out later that he didn't even remember going out to eat, or ordering my dinner for me while I went to the ladies room. This is just my first few hours there, never mind later that evening. (I drank too, but not to excess)
So this was your first date? The one where each person is on their best behavior trying to make a good first impression?

Just a guess, but I imagine you probably picked up the tab for it, too?

And now he's singing your praises on Facebook? And you're worried about hurting him?

Apologies, but it sounds like a chapter right out of the "Alcoholic Manual on How to Hook an Enabler."

If it were me, I would keep it as simple as possible. i.e. "I just don't think this is working out for me."

L
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:29 PM
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I'd think long and hard about wasting any time with this man. Just too much freakin' baggage.

I don't know that you owe him that much explanation--you haven't known each other that long. (If you had to look up his pic in the yearbook, high school doesn't count.)

I agree with LaTeeDa, you can just keep it simple and say, this really doesn't feel like it's right for me right now. Trust me, it's a lot less hurtful to break it off now than to let him down gradually.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:05 AM
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hi cat-

i agree with suki, to not label him as an alcoholic. you can merely state that you are not comfortable with how much he drinks and that you do not wish to pursue the relationship.

i think you are doing the wise thing in stepping back. look at all the problems his drinking have already caused: broken relationship, DWI, broken ankle, living with his parents. add to that his penchant for gentlemen's clubs, well, it's looking like a lot of heartache for you in the future if you stick with him.

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