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RABF: Is this really about control?

Old 01-20-2012, 09:33 AM
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RABF: Is this really about control?

I'm new here, and would greatly appreciate some advice! My situation: I've been in a relationship with a man 3 yrs. When we started dating he told me he didn't drink alcohol- not because he'd had any 'problem', but by choice. He told me that he didn't mind when I had a glass of wine. (I am a one glass of wine / maybe 1 or 2X per month drinker.) Last year, he asked that I refrain from drinking if I were with him because he said he didn't like the smell of it on my breath. Later, upon more questioning on the subject, he told me, simply, that he is an addict.
I know that he had been a regular user of marijuana but had managed, after considerable struggle, to give it up. He said he found himself in danger of substituting alcohol and becoming dependent on it as well, so he completely abstained from ALL substance. Though I was confused because I have never known him to drink any alcohol, and he had not asked this of me until 3 yrs into the relationship, I honored his request, and don't have anything to drink when we are together. But I have some serious confusion over the matter. And yes, I have feelings of resentment. I sometime question his motives - is this just another control issue for him? He's definitely got control issues!
This is not the first time he has asked me to 'give up' something. He also didn't like any perfume I wore (I don't wear much!!) and insisted I wear only perfume he bought for me. He has told me he doesn't like what I'm wearing, and he has asked that I don't take any dancing lessons unless he is with me, which has made it all but impossible to pursue. (We met taking salsa lessons, but have hardly danced since- and I was loving it so much) Little things, like washing dishes, he has asked that I don't do at his place because he has his 'special way' of doing them. At times I'm walking on eggs around him because he can be so anal about stuff!!! And here's why I sometimes doubt his sincerity- He actually has wine and beer in his fridge, though he doesn't ever drink it-I think he just had it left over from before he decided to give up drinking altogether.
Last night, he talked of his ex, who was also RA. He made it sound as if this relationship was a better fit for him. I am feeling resentful but trying to understand what's really going on. Help!
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:03 AM
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Regardless of the acohol thing, he's a control freak and frankly does not sound like he's much fun to be around. What are you getting out of this relationship?
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:03 PM
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You might google "pathological narcissist" and see if the shoe fits.

He sounds so dangerous, your post made me shudder.

I do wish you all the best and hope you find your answers soon.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:01 PM
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He sounds like he is trying to MAKE you into his ex. Creepy.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:34 PM
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Hoping to get some better perspective

Thanks to you who have posted your very helpful insights. I have suggested we seek counseling over the issue. He is insistent that we seek a therapist specializing in addiction. But there are obviously other issues- I've never really felt secure in the relationship, but I also need to accept the fact that he is an addict- and not just to alcohol. I'm not in a position to psychoanalyze him, but I'm aware he has control issues, and some narcissistic tendencies though probably not a complete narcissist. Thank you again for your observations
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:33 PM
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A question comes up that may help me in the interim- I have to assume that RABF is telling the truth when he says he is an addict. How do others in similar circumstances handle it?? If you go to a party, does your RA expect you to abstain completely as support? Is this generally recognized as the best course? Is it ok to just have one glass? Or, is the addict out of bounds by insisting I don't drink at all? (Rememeber, I'm 'a one-glass-white-wine-please' drinker). He has asked that I don't drink when I'm with him, and he has a lot of anxiety around the subject. He also says he can smell wine on my breath even 12hrs after I've had even the smallest glass. He's told me it's a turn-off for him. He seems to want to work things out, but my sense is that ANY alcohol consumption by me will present problems in the relationship, since he seems to have a super-human nose. I have said that I won't drink anything in his presence, but I will not completely give up a glass of wine now & again. I think the thing that gets to me is being in a social situation, when I would enjoy sipping some wine very much. I'm resentful at times.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:18 PM
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I don't do relationships with control freaks. That's my boundary and I am sticking to it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:47 PM
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I'm new here, and would greatly appreciate some advice! My situation: I've been in a relationship with a man 3 yrs. When we started dating he told me he didn't drink alcohol- not because he'd had any 'problem', but by choice.
3 years later he admits to being an addict? He held that little piece of info from you for 3 years? Please think about that v. I am a recovering alcoholic, any person I could be serious with would have to know this truth about me. It is part of who I am.
But certainly, not all there is to me.
He does not want you to enjoy a few glasses of wine a year, or else keep away.
Somehow the dance lessons you enjoy are stopped.
A special way of doing the dishes?

I must be confused, are you saying he keeps booze in the fridge but it is from 3 years ago when he decided (not that there was a problem, oh heaven forbid!) to stop drinking.
He has anxiety about you drinking without him, because it is a problem for him, not you.
If you are of age, and you do not abuse alcohol, who is he to say when or if you can drink?


Please, v., watch what he does, not what he says.
I am recovering from alcohol, been married to an alcoholic, and my father died from cirrhosis (directly related to alcohol).
I can't psychoanalyze your boyfriend, I am not licensed for that.
But I do have some insight into slowing losing myself in the haze of alcohol.

Your relationship began with a BIG lie (just as mine did) and the lies will keep coming.

Beth
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by outtolunch View Post
I don't do relationships with control freaks. That's my boundary and I am sticking to it.
Neither do I. I had five years of that, along with escalating physical and verbal abuse. Never again will someone dictate what I wear, who I talk to, where I go, and the list goes on.

Today I am free to be me, and it feels pretty darned good.
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