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Old 04-18-2014, 11:07 PM
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Red Flag List

I came on here to see if my fiance fits the bill. But I find that I have done some of the things on the list.

We started talking online on and off for a year and then we met in person for a week. At the end of the week we got engaged and 1.5 years later we still are.
I came from a family with a person who abused me physically, mentally and emotionally. I had about two major fights with him (and a bunch of little ones) and I realized that we fight about money and we fight about bedroom time. I knew I had to fix this problem as I had a temper and I knew it was going to cost me the relationship though he never said this. The two major fights we had resulted in us "breaking up" meaning we didn't sleep in the same bed. I remember I asked him why he asked me to even marry him and he said why did I even say yes and my gut reaction was bc I love him. We spent a week being civil and I told him I loved him. I told him I could go on without him but I didn't want to. I didn't want him absent from my life. That happened at the end of last September and we have not argued about money.

We did have to move in with my parents for a bit and still live here bc he is waiting to get situated with a job he landed. At first I was starting spats with him every night before bed and he pointed it out so I stopped. That was in the beginning of February. The other day we had our first major fight since February. It was over something ridiculous like him not looking inside an envelope. We talked about it and I realized I was the one being abusive and told him that if I didn't stop yelling and overreacting it was going to cost me my relationship and asked if he agreed and he nodded but we made up. Our sex life has also gotten better.

Him:
He was in the Marines and he drinks alot. Most of his friends are married, well off and have jobs. He used to say he was tired of never having money and it was a little bit awkward when his friends visited bc they had to kind of spend at our level which is much lower than theirs and he mentioned that it annoyed him. I said that this might not look temporary but it is and we went on to enjoy their company.
He completed some college courses but did badly in them and got kicked out. At the same time he landed the job I mentioned earlier. We were both excited about it as neither of us liked his school for a number of reasons. We kind of said "Good riddance, hello new beginnings"

At this point he used to drink an entire six pack over the course of a football game and then fall asleep, wake up, go get breakfast and finish any beer he had missed or sometimes get more beer if there was another game. If hockey was on too then he'd drink the too. He was drinking everyday. When I got a new job I got new clothes and some makeup. When we would fight about money and drinking the two shopping sprees would come up.

I told him to check with me first to see if we had enough money to drink after we paid the bills. (He had not been paying the electric bill for 6 months and they finally threatened to turn it off). Instead that money was going towards dinners and beer and leisure. So I said I would pay the bills and have done so ever since. At this point his drinking annoyed me bc he would pass out instead of spend time with me but I didn't demand for him to stop.

On Valentine's day we went out with my parents and we had access to an open bar. He got really drunk and threw up in the bathroom toilet and he told me that he wanted to stop drinking. He said that the only reason he didn't drink more was bc we didn't have money and that he would probably drink everyday if he could. He said he wanted to go to AA meetings and I supported all of this. He said he didn't want to lose me the way his uncle and father had lost their respective families and the way he was going, that's what was going to happen. I was actually really excited and relieved that he wanted this and spoke so honestly with me.

For the next two weeks neither of us drank. I should note that my dad is an alcoholic and went to therapy for marriage problems with my mother. He always has some sort of alcohol and my fiance started drinking. We were at the supermarket getting groceries and he asked me if he could get beer. I said it's up to him bc I wanted him to make the right decision on his own but he ended up getting a six pack and I got mad at him. I was really confused and upset with myself bc I told him he could do what he wanted and when he made the decision I thought to be wrong I got angry and was disappointed.

He ended up drinking two that night. I was really angry and my parents caught on to my bad mood. I explained that he had started drinking again after two weeks and they said that I should not stop him from enjoying.

I told him that that day it was two, soon it would be three then four then five.

However, he drank sometimes and was fine. I thought he was learning to control his drinking but he ended up drinking three a couple of weeks ago and feeling like poop the next day.

Today he ended up drinking three drinks and opened a big can of coors with the intention to drink it. I felt terrible but I told him this is exactly what I said was going to happen. I didn't yell. I asked, what do you want me to say? Do you think i wouldn't notice? He said he didn't know so I said "Well you're sleeping on the couch tonight." And I brought up a blanket.

He looked crushed and I can not stop feeling terrible.

I think we both have to work on things. It isn't like we fight all the time. We have our own friends. My friends like him. His friends have told me (and they said this when he wasn't around) that they like me. We love each other's parents.


I should also note that i know I have an addiction to chocolate and def. display some of the behavior on that Red Flag list while he doesn't. I am trying to work on myself and have told him I want to lose weight and be healthy. He is supportive of my goal.
He supports my professional and private goals and vice versa and our parents approve of our relationship and engagement and so does his father who has stayed with us.

I just wonder, I know there is nothing I can do top get him to stop drinking and he will have to realize it for himself.
It isn't like he drinks everyday but when I pointed that out he said it's bc is my dad's money and he would if we had money to do it.

I'm scared bc I want to eventually have kids and grow old together and I'm scared that his drinking and my temper will ruin this even though we have admitted our faults to each other and are trying to work on it.

I know real professional help is the way to go but we don't have any money right now to afford that though we will in the near future. Thanks for reading this far. Any advice? Sorry for typos. I

Last edited by nysiren; 04-18-2014 at 11:18 PM. Reason: explications
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:30 PM
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Welcome! You are doing well by reaching out to people who will understand what you are going through. I think you answered your own question, really. You know there are things that are off with your relationship, you just don't seem to understand how off they are. In fact, you mentioned many primary relationships in your life that involve heavy addiction, and that tends to skew our sense of normal a lot!

You have found a great community here that you can use 24 / 7 to help gain some perspective on your situation. If you haven't found them already, start learning more about alcoholism, addiction, and codependency by reading the "sticky" threads at the top of the main forum page for Friends & Family. Actually, there are a few varieties now of F&F forums (including Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)), so read around in all of them. There's a lot that will resonate with you, I think. Also, consider going to a few local AlAnon or ACOA meetings in person, just to see how you like it. They are free to try out, so what have you got to lose?

Keep coming back and let us know how you're doing!

Peace,
Fathom
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:34 PM
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When you look for professional help, I asked about finding a counselor or therapist here and received some really good replies:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...counselor.html

AA (alcoholics anonymous) and Alanon (for our own recovery) are two very good places to be. LOTS of good people have this disease. No judgements and lots of support.
Alcoholics Anonymous : Local Resources that provide A.A. Meeting Information (U.S./Canada)
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/local-meetings

Welcome to SR. Stick around.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:15 AM
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Hi! Thankyou for the warm welcomes! I have def read and re read the stickies and some of the regular posts in the alcohol, substance and families of abusers thread after paying on here.

I def have not yet gotten to the point where I'm crying every night. But I did notice that something is very off as you said. I'm going to try and sit with him today and see if he will agree to try out a meeting.

I know he knows he has a problem and I know he will not change until a light bulb goes off in his head.

When he drinks he is really happy and loving but he gets tired easily. My father is a mean drunk and my fiance is horrified at much of what goes on. But I think at the same time they both drink non stop once they start. If my fiance doesn't drink at all he is fine of course but my family in general drinks a lot. My mother isn't an alcoholic but she is an enabler and I realize I am too now.

I feel a bit scared bc many of the threads were about the spouse/so leaving the addict even though they loved him/her.
Overall I feel like we are positive forces in each others lives so far in that he got me to really consist getting out there and pursue my dreams. And he said that his life has improved since moving in with me. He is pursuing his goals too and he is on the right track with work. Yet, those things can stop very quickly if his drinking keeps going.

I don't think it has gotten to that point but I can see the two paths in his life: one with alcohol and one without.

And if he chooses alcohol then I'm well aware that he can not choose me.

I did find some great resources looking around like the five stages of recovery and I found some work sheets.

I am kind of confused however bc on one hand you have to work towards goals and on the other hand you have to let the addict come to their own realization. I want to sit him down and go over a pros and cons list of drinking but mostly I want to go to a meeting. I'm scared bc neither of us are religious though I guess you could say we are spiritual. However, I think that going to the meetings would be beneficial to him.

I Am really looking forward to professional help and one of the threads said not to wait to get help. Seems obvious but here I am not having gotten any help thus far!

I really want to work on this with him. I Am aware of the trend of alcoholism and abuse in my life and know I need to work on it in order to deal with it. The abuse threads resonate with me very loudly and I hate to say it but I expected it.

THe Co dependency thread was much more intense than I have experienced but it is good to be aware. Maybe it is because we are good at fixing problems like budgeting and chores but this alcohol addiction is out of my league.

And I did cry when I read the replies to this thread. You hinted at some thing I suspected/knew about the dysfunction of the Situation and gave me resources I could use. It's nice to know that I'm not truly alone in this.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:53 AM
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I used to be happy drunk. I think "meaness" is a stage just like "functional" for many drinkers.
As the years passed, I drank more, got more negative, finally got where I was mean at times. Just like my alcoholic mother.

As an alcoholic who tried to "moderate" my drinking, I gently suggest to you that it doesn't work and the only thing that does is quitting entirely.
If you look over on the alcoholism or newcomers threads you'll see that over and over and over again.

I would suggest at least one year of total sobriety for your fiance before you even consider getting legally entangled with him.
It isn't that you can't support or love him, but you rightly realize that such support begins with caring for yourself and that includes protection from the fallout of his drinking.
It is progressive unless he commits to sobriety--at least it was for me.

Welcome to SR nysiren and I hope things move forward in a positive way for you both.

I hope he chooses to seek help, and I'm very glad
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:03 AM
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I've rarely cried. I adapt. That is not a good thing. Learn, grown, keep learning. To adapt skewed my viewpoint of what is normal, that it isn't that bad yet (as so many others), that I was the odd one among most our friends and family and he was more sane than I - I knew that wasn't true and yet I adapted right along to where I was believing in my heart the opposite of what logic would tell me. Just as alcoholism is a chronic progressive disease, so is codependency. For both: first comes denial, then when we face up to it comes the lie that we can handle it by ourselves. Active recovery with the help of others who understand this disease and the subsequent other problems involved can turn things around. It isn't instant. It takes a lot of work.

Talking to my husband never did any good. He said it did, but it never changed anything. When things started to change were fully from me working on myself. I was honest with him about his drinking for a long time, and that was good. Yet emotions never helped, pleading, talking, asking, etc. The alcoholic brain doesn't think logically at all. When I started changing, that changed everything. He could see it and feel it. More importantly, so could I.

This book is for verbal and emotional abuse: Respect Me Rules
There are other books available regarding physical abuse. For ANY kind of abuse, call the domestic violence hotline any time:
1-800-799-7233
http://www.thehotline.org/

Also look up info for local women's advocacy groups or shelters. They often have free group sessions and/or personal counseling.


With any of this, try not to look for the ways your situation is different. I learned the most when I took nuggets of wisdom on even the smallest similarities. Wishing you the very best. It's so good that you're aware there is a problem. As you learn, be open and listen to your gut. Trust your instincts. If you're unsure, that's okay.
(((hugs)))
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye13 View Post
I used to be happy drunk. I think "meaness" is a stage just like "functional" for many drinkers.
As the years passed, I drank more, got more negative, finally got where I was mean at times. Just like my alcoholic mother.

As an alcoholic who tried to "moderate" my drinking, I gently suggest to you that it doesn't work and the only thing that does is quitting entirely.
If you look over on the alcoholism or newcomers threads you'll see that over and over and over again.

I would suggest at least one year of total sobriety for your fiance before you even consider getting legally entangled with him.
It isn't that you can't support or love him, but you rightly realize that such support begins with caring for yourself and that includes protection from the fallout of his drinking.
It is progressive unless he commits to sobriety--at least it was for me.

Welcome to SR nysiren and I hope things move forward in a positive way for you both.

I hope he chooses to seek help, and I'm very glad
Yeah you touched on many of my fears if his drinking continues. I did talk to him and we agreed to go to a meeting this wednesday. He said that he is just going to stop drinking bc he would rather stop than deal with this every time. That's perfectly fine with me if he keeps his word, which is what I told him.

I guess we will see.
Im glad he agreed to go to a meeting.

Thankyou for putting it so blatantly. It helps to read and reread it.
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