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Would you have left yur alcoholic partner if you could turn back the clock?

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Would you have left yur alcoholic partner if you could turn back the clock?

Old 05-07-2019, 07:41 AM
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Unhappy Would you have left yur alcoholic partner if you could turn back the clock?

I'm looking for answers only experience can bring. So, I've turned here for your opinions. As typical as I feel, I feel I have a tough emotional decision to make. So here's the story, sit back it's a long one:

I've been with my partner for just over 3 years. I am in my early 20's, he's in his late 20's. We are not married, no kids, no debt, no physical responsibilities towards each other. He is 90% of a dream partner. He is a well-travel, fun-loving man who is used to strong women in his life and ultra supportive of anything I wish to do with my life. He makes me feel loved, special, beautiful and intelligent beyond. People often approach us and praise our connection and our love for one another. I feel lucky for how her cares for me and is IN LOVE with me.

But over the years we've gone through situations which spell out 'alcoholism'. That 10% has emerged. I have recently realised that this has been showing face for years. He has ignored me for days while on a binge, drunkenly phoned me expressing deep love for me, drank alone in his room at various stages of life (college, high school, living alone, at our home while I was away), he has publically been intoxicated, gotten way too drunk at social events (birthday parties, christmas events), embarrassed me multiple times by being a clumsy and depressive drunk publically, aggressive and chosen alcohol over me at times. All the while lying continuously about how much he's drank, what he drank, how long he drank, hiding situations from me,etc.

Last year, I broke it off with him after a moment of realisation that he would forever be breaking his promises, lying and acting like a child until he hit rock bottom. After a couple of months I saw a major change and he seemed more of the man I believed he was. He calmed down the drinking, moved countries, loved his job, started earning a salary that made him proud and spoke of more insightful/meanful things with me.(Although, our conversations are always excellent, he became more self aware).

Ultimately how new aura attracted me again and we started officially dating again. It's been 6 months (all log distance) as our careers have us in different parts of the world, but we were going strong. Or so I thought.

We met up in Malaysia just a week ago. The night of my flight he called me to read a letter he had written to me. in his letter he confessed a whole bunch of cushy stuff then delivered the blow of my life. He cheated on me with a women from work. The kissed, fondled and almost had oral sex at a afterwork drinks session. The facts came down to that the group was doing shots and drinking hard liquor, some left, them went off to a balcony, had a moment and he disrespected me.

When I got to Malaysia I made him tell me EVERY.SINGLE.LIE he ever told me and confess every half truth as well. Turns out Drinking alone in his room, binge drinking to blackout for 'stress relief' and drink-driving has been an issues throughout our relationship, I was just too naive to see it.

My alcoholic (officially self confessed) boyfriend says and has been saying for multiple occasions that he will get better. His strategy this time is to quit drinking FOREVER. Never a drop again. I believe his drinking is caused by emotional issues in his teenage-hood after the divorce of his parents and his absentee father, he agrees. He has talked about seeing a therapist for this (he fought against this idea when I suggested it in previous issues, but now miraculously will try anything).

So here is my dilemma/question/issue:

Is my presence in his life making him too comfortable to change? If he has made so many promises before and broken all of them, does that mean he will never change? Should I hold on to what he so strongly believes he can be and wait/support him to that point?

I am not insecure about the cheating. I am PISSED at the fact that I have been lied to, disrespected, embarrassed and wasted so much time. But I am struggling with my high capacity of empathy. I constantly tell myself that 'people change', 'people can fix their mistakes if they're given a chance'. Am I being naive? Do I love him or do I love just the idea of him?

In your experience, has your partner actually changed? How did the change come about? did they do it on their own or did you two do it together? Also, if you could turn back the clock. Knowing what you know now, would you stay in that relationship? I NEED SOME GUIDANCE

**I feel there is so much more to say, but I am happy to elaborate further if you need extra info to answer.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:44 AM
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Hi Kimberly and welcome. Just some questions actually. You met up a week ago, what has he done since, has he quit drinking (while you were there and since)? Attended any AA meetings or sought out a therapist or other treatment? Rehab?
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kimberly702 View Post
In your experience, has your partner actually changed? How did the change come about? did they do it on their own or did you two do it together? Also, if you could turn back the clock. Knowing what you know now, would you stay in that relationship?
My XABF is also a very loving, sincere person and our love is absolutely real. I don't think it serves to worry about whether the love is real. All of us are here because we love or have loved a wonderful, but deeply troubled person.

My XABF has changed for the worse. Despite his attempts to quit, for a few years or a few months at a time, he has always gone back to drinking - and always harder than before. I know now what I did not know before: that alcoholism is progressive unless treated by a full time, fully committed, life long program. Abstention is not enough. The likelihood of relapse is high and unless the alcoholic learns an entirely new set of life management strategies, the old continue on and make relationships extremely difficult. It's not about the drinking so much as about how this person navigates life.

Knowing what I now know, I would not have gotten involved with him. Knowing what I now know, I would see that it's extremely unlikely to have a good relationship with an untreated alcoholic, even if sober. It's impossible to have a good relationship with someone who is drinking alcoholicly. Most alcoholics have wonderful qualities, that's why we love them, but the drink takes them down, slowly and gruesomely. When you're with an untreated alcoholic, your choice is to go down with them or walk away to find happiness elsewhere. That's what I know now.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:55 AM
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I would say, no way to know.

I would not stay with him...you don't even live near enough to him to "see" if any of what he tells you is remotely true.

You're young. Meet men in your own neighborhood and start your life. I have been in lying/cheating/alcoholic relationships. They kept on lying and cheating and drinking. I've also been in two long-distance relationships and they are nothing but smoke and mirrors. I would surmise that what he's told you is the PG13 version.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
I would surmise that what he's told you is the PG13 version.
I was the "new" woman in my XABF's life, so for the first few years he was super honest with me and I heard every little detail about his real drinking, his other addictions and his exploits. I was shocked by how well oiled his manouvering and hiding techniques were, keeping much of the truth from his "old" family. I was amazed at what they couldn't see. Part of me worried that if he could keep so much from them that it was only a matter of time before he started keeping things from me. Secrets go hand in hand with alcoholism and codependence - and not only big secrets, but lots of little, everyday hiding and jockeying. I went cold turkey NC with him when he did indeed start shielding me from little and big truths of what he was up to, disappearing and carefully curating what he would share. It was heartbreaking.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:32 AM
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I had some good years with the alcoholic I married before the disease (and mental illness) took him away, and effectively killed the person I married. We were together for 25 years. Would I have given up those early years, if I had known what was coming? I think that yes, I would have chosen differently if I could have known what would happen. He is literally not the same person that I used to know, and a lot of damage has been done to me.

However, there are people on this board who have stuck with their alcoholic spouse long term and don't regret doing so. Your mileage may vary.

Two thoughts:

1. BIRTH CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL. You absolutely do not want to have a child with this man. You can make choices about whether you will run the risk of a relationship with an alcoholic, a child cannot. And if you've got a child, you will not be able to get entirely free of him if/when he deteriorates into someone you don't want to be with.

2. Don't let your decisions be swayed by "well, I've invested x years with this person so I don't want to/can't give up now ...". Don't let the length of the relationship influence your decision about whether you want to put more of your life into it.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:09 AM
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I am glad that you have found this wonderful site. Keep reading and posting.
I left my alcoholic...he was the love of my life, but I knew that if I stayed I would eventually lose my mind trying to understand, and being lied to about things I absolutely knew were untrue. I left for my own sanity, and to find a saner life, and I did.
Ultimately, you deserve a good life, we all do, and he will either find sobriety or not. Words mean nothing...actions are everything...long-term, sustained positive action.
Based on what you have shared, if you keep him in your life, you will have lots of heartache to come.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:40 AM
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I wish I would have left him the first time he showed me who he was. I had left but I came back. Each time he promised he would be bettee. Each time it was better but better is not ideal. Husband does not have the relationship skills and it's so hard training a grown man when their are men who know and do different.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:53 AM
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Hind sight being 20/20... I should have left my AXH the summer before we moved in together when I caught him in three separate lies... but we were 19 and I was in love.

By the time I realized he was an alcoholic I was 26, married to him, mother to a preschooler, and pregnant with our second child. So in that vein, I would never wish away my relationship with my AXH, because I would never wish away my kids, but I sure do wish I had raised them in a much healthier home.

Knowing what I know now, I would not have started a family with an alcoholic... but at the time, I didn't know better, because I myself had been brought up in an alkie/codie home... that was my compass for "normal".

When we know better we do better. I hope you make wiser choices than I did.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hearthealth View Post
Husband does not have the relationship skills and it's so hard training a grown man when their are men who know and do different.
Because grown men are not meant to be trained, like puppies. They either desire to evolve or they don't.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:32 AM
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Kim,
Great question!! I started dating my alcoholic/addict at 15 years old, and lasted a hellish 34 years. Did I know at 15 that he "might" have issues, yea, probably. The lies the drinking and smoking dope, I just thought every boyfriend was like that; I was "strong" and I could handle everything, until I couldn't.

I divorced my addict, hardest thing I have ever done in my life, especially when you still "love" them. But I did it. Even though it was the hardest thing, it was the best thing for me and my kids. Now my kids call me and tell me about all the "crxp" he does to them. (Not my circus, not my monkey) It makes me sad that this addiction took over the person that I loved.

Keep reading this forum and realize that your boyfriend is no "special snow flake". He will do to you the same thing that many of them have done to all of us, eventually. You will wake up one day and go what the heck happened to me? Take this time and educate yourself on your future. If I could do it over again, I would run and run fast. Thirty four years of my life was wasted with me trying to "fix" this man; now I know that it was not my job to fix him. He was an addict and I needed to accept him for who he truly was and that's a hard thing to do.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:33 PM
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Here’s the thing, you are not dating his “potential” you are dating him just as he is, alcohol, cheating and all. He’s saying and using all the “correct words” – talked about seeing a therapist, quitting FOREVER to keep you dangling.
Actions are the real thing, words are not.

Betting on and investing yourself in “potential” is never ever a good or sound bet.

How about you step back to protect yourself and allow enough room to see if his actions actually match his words.

I hung around far longer then I should have waiting on that old potential to finally show up and guess what, to this day it hasn’t!!

Empathy is a noun not a verb, you certainly can have empathy for him without actually taking any actions on your part.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:44 PM
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Kimberly....given what you have seen that he is capable of, already....this is probably as good as it is going to get....A bad decision in a young woman's life can affect the rest of their lives....
Slow down....step back...educate yourself a lot more on the nature of alcoholism and how it can destroy all that it touches...

And, do observe Sasha's advice of BIRTH CONTROL.....
Don't ever intentionally (or carelessly) give a child an alcoholic or addict as a father....
This is the advice that I would give anyone....

It takes a lot more than the empathy feeling or the love feeling to make a healthy relationship.....

Also...for what it is worth....I divorced the father of my three small children, years and years ago...and, If I could turn the clock back....I would do it over and over again...only, I would do it sooner!
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:43 PM
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Oh boy. I heard it all. I will drink less. I will quit. I promise. I swear.

Run. Run quickly. You are young and have no ties except your heart to this man. You deserve so much more.

I say this all kindly because I know it comes with pain.

Just the two cents of someone who was married to an addict for 18 years....
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kimberly702 View Post

In your experience, has your partner actually changed? How did the change come about? did they do it on their own or did you two do it together? Also, if you could turn back the clock. Knowing what you know now, would you stay in that relationship?
No.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:13 PM
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I should have never returned the first time I left my AXGF. It was such an unhealthy decision, on my part, for both of us.

I was nearly homeless the first time we met & then I fell on hard times & she offered me a home. But being dependent on an addict is so risky, a decision that lead me to such massive consequences. I took care of her so much, I then became "stuck" & had less & less time to work/better myself as the years went by. I remained poor & more & more unhappy. Oh the cycle...

Point is, I saw the red flags & didn't react when I should have. I remember even thinking what a potential problem this could be - but I was so quickly overtaken by "love"... honestly, sex & her need for me. I felt I finally had purpose. Thank god we didn't have children!!!

I should have taken the room, found a better job, paid her rent for a few weeks, thanked her & moved out ASAP. Perhaps we could have dated ??? but at least, then I would have realized her limitations & how bad her addiction already was. Living with her was so heartbreaking, toxic, & a constant mind f*ck.

Don't get stuck like I did... so easy to.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hearthealth View Post
I wish I would have left him the first time he showed me who he was. I had left but I came back. Each time he promised he would be bettee. Each time it was better but better is not ideal. Husband does not have the relationship skills and it's so hard training a grown man when their are men who know and do different.
Sorry, training wasn't the best use of words. There are men who know and do differently was my point. They will respect your boundaries or not. If they don't respect your boundaries they are not the right person for you.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:20 PM
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I can honestly say now (if I had known then what I know now) ...YES. He wasn't an alcoholic, he is a drug addict but I guess in the end it doesn't matter. We're all here for a reason, right? Their addictions, our pain. When I met him he was clean, going on a year, but about 2 months in he relapsed. I was naive, thought I could help him, as I had never dealt with addiction in my life. After years of attempts, more lies than I could even count, so much manipulation and so much blaming me for everything wrong in his life, he ended up taking me for 5k and left. Then I let him back, like an idiot. Then 2 weeks later, gone again to feed his addiction. I wasted years of my life, feeling sorry for him. I don't think I'll ever be the same.

I guess I have to look at it as a learning experience. If I ever see any signs from anyone in the future, I'll RUN like the wind.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:15 PM
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You love the idea of him. They can be very charming and kind and persuasive. You are only in your early 20s, honestly, I would cut all ties and be done with him. You have a long distance relationship, it is the perfect set up for him. He can do what he wants when you are not around and be at his best behavior when is he with you, but at some point he won’t be able to that either once the addiction progresses and it will unless he seeks treatment. He knows what you want to hear about his drinking and his intention of quitting. We have all heard it before, several times more than likely. Relationships should not be this much trouble if you are considering a long term commitment. Sure relationships are hard and not always easy sailing but should it really be that much work and pain at this point in your life? You have no commitments with him, no kids no property. Getting sober is so much more than just quitting drinking. People that just quit and don’t get help usually don’t succeed long term. Even if today he decided to take things serious and really seek recovery, he would really need to focus all his energy in his recovery. It is also very possible that after recovery he isn’t really the same person he was when you met him. It takes a good year of recovery to see if it really “takes” and if he really changes and even then there are no guarantees. Can people change? Yes they can but it takes a lot of work and therapy and meeting and insight. My ex is 2.5 years clean but is is a different person. He is not a bad person at all but too much damage was done during our marriage and we divorced 2 years after he got clean. He did change a lot for the better as far as behaviors etc but it took 3 months of rehab, lots of meeting and therapy and a lot of a dedication to recovery. We all tend to think we can help our SO with the addiction and recovery and be their support but we can’t. If love could heal addicts we would not be here. Also he cheated on you and told,you a bunch of lies. That’s not really a great base for a long term relationship. I probably tell him good luck with his recovery and you wish him the best and be on your merry way. Long distance relationships are hard enough as it is without the alcohol and lies. You should be enjoying your twenties and not have to deal with an addicted partner.
Anyone can talk the talk but actions speak louder than words. Alcoholics are masters at telling you what you want to hear.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Hi Kimberly and welcome. Just some questions actually. You met up a week ago, what has he done since, has he quit drinking (while you were there and since)? Attended any AA meetings or sought out a therapist or other treatment? Rehab?
On our trip he didn't drink; since we've parted, he says he hasn't drank. He has not been to AA, he says he is in the process of seeking out therapists by asking his friends where to go and also in South Africa; he has said no to rehab as he doesn't believe it will help him.
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