Struggling with split from alcoholic fiance

Old 07-24-2022, 04:50 AM
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Struggling with split from alcoholic fiance

Hi. I'm here because I recently split with my fiance, who I'm pretty sure is an alcoholic. He doesn't accept that he's an alcoholic, and after really awful arguments over the past few months, we ended it.

We've been together for six years, we lived together for nearly two of those (we own a flat), and we have a dog we got together. Just to give some background info, I'm 35 (f) and he's 30, so he's younger than me, which always made me feel like his drinking was down to age. Nearly five years ago, he went through a bad time with drinking, and his work gave him an ultimatum to get help. He turned up to work three hours late, drunk, one morning, which was the final straw for his work. I struggled with him being so absent at the time (even though he was there, his eyes just had this absent look), that I ended it with him over the Christmas period. We got back together after a week, he had counselling, and after a few **** months we were better than before. We didn't have any major issues for the next few years, even though he was always a big drinker. He never stood me up or cancelled plans, he was always very reliable, even though he drank heavily. When we went out together, he wouldn't really drink around me, and if he did, it would be one or two drinks then we'd go home.

Once we moved in together, during the second lockdown, things were still good. He occasionally would come home later than I would like, but our relationship was still good, he was loving, committed, loyal, and still reliable at this point.

Then last year in November, he proposed, and I said yes. I'd initially told him I wanted to get engaged by 35, as I felt like time was running out for me to have kids. So on my 35th birthday, he proposed while we were away on holiday. While away, he went down to the hotel bar three out of the four nights we were staying there. I basically hated that holiday and didn't feel like a happy, newly engaged couple. Then came December, and his drinking suddenly really escalated. I put this down to the fact that he was starting a new job in January (which paid significantly more than his current one, so he seemed to be doing very well), so it seemed like he was blowing off some steam while he could as he had some time off between jobs, plus Christmas is always a time when he drinks more.

But by the time January rolled around, I was so fed up of his drinking, especially as one night I woke up to find him passed out on the sofa with sick all over his coat and the sofa. My first thought was that he could have choked. I woke him up and he came to bed. Then the next day I told him I'm going out for a bit to decide if I still want to be with him or not. I met a friend, came back, and told him I want to be with him but if he ever brings back alcohol to the house after being at the pub and continues drinking till the morning, I'd be done. So for the next for months, to my surprise, every time he got back from the pub, he came straight to bed. We spent more time at home, together, he cooked most nights and we watched TV, like a normal couple, and we seemed very happy. In the meantime, we booked the venue for the wedding, for next summer. All seemed good.

Then in late April, we had one argument after months of not having one, and he blamed this on going out and bringing drink back to the house and staying up and drinking. Slowly, the staying up and drinking crept back into our lives. At which point, I started resenting him and feeling distant. It must have been my way of trying to protect myself. So then came the cycle of him drinking, me shouting, him drinking more and blaming the arguments for drinking. Then somehow he started trying to make an effort to make things work better, and started making plans to go out with me and our dog more. It all seemed promising again. Then during a BBQ we were having in our garden, he threw a chicken bone into the bushes, not thinking that our dog would find it and eat it. Which he did. He then got sick, and this is when I started saying hurtful things to him. I told him I wasn't sure how I felt about him any more, and that I didn't want to sleep with him any more etc. Prior to this, we'd just got back from a really nice break in Madrid, where we stayed at his friends' place, a couple he's been friends with for years. He was on his best behaviour on this particular holiday, even though he was drinking, but he never stayed up alone to drink. However, my resentment was at the back of my mind, and, again, during a tiny argument we had, I told him I wasn't sure how I felt about him any more.

To cut a long story short, I couldn't stop saying hurtful things. But we both still wanted to make things work. We finally had a heart to heart (he's very bad at communicating his feelings, he thinks it's weakness), and he told me even when things are bad with us and he doesn't have the will to try any more, he still tries. He told me he cried to a friend a week ago (even though I've never seen him cry and even when family members have passed away he hasn't cried). So I thought OK he wants to make this work, we're going to be OK. But for some reason, he just seemed not as affectionate and much quieter than before over the next few weeks. So I started picking arguments about why he was so quiet etc. Anyway, finally, things came to a head when after a huge argument I pushed him, threw his clothes on the floor and grabbed his phone out of his hand. At this point, he went to meet a friend, then messaged me saying 'let's have some space then find a new way of communicating'. So for the next few weeks, I spent all my time trying to give him space, even though it hurt. Though we'd always message if we weren't together, at this point he was no longer sending me any messages. I then went away for a week with my friends, and he hardly contacted me. I got back, and he was still extremely distant and cold. Then finally, he went out one night and didn't come home until 11am. He got home and told me he loves me but doesn't want to get married. To which I said I can't be with you then. So we broke up and I asked him to move out for a while, so he went to stay with a friend. And I went to stay with my parents for a while.

I stopped eating, and fainted on a hot day. He contacted me and I told him about it. We then met up at our flat to speak. At this point, all I wanted to do was fix things and get back to normal. I missed him and our life together so much. But he said he's done, he wants to be alone, and live alone. I tried to bargain, told him I loved him, but nothing worked. He told me he cares about me and doesn't want to hurt me, and that the age gap has finally started to show. So I asked if he's in live with me, to which he replied he doesn't know. He asked if he can stay at the flat and sleep on the sofa, and that it's my decision as he's the one who ruined the relationship. But I told him he couldn't stay. I'm the one who saved up for the deposit of the flat, and bought all the furniture etc, as he can never hold on to money, as he spends it all on alcohol and gambling. He also constantly complained about the area we lived in (he wants to live more central to London), which made me feel like he was being so ungrateful, as we have a lovely flat, a cute dog, both have good jobs, and we were happy.

Anyway, that's my story. I'm struggling a lot with the fact that he probably doesn't love me any more, as he's always been VERY loving and never doubted his love for me. We've also been through a lot as I come from a very traditional family who were opposed to us moving in together before marriage etc. So we got through all that, just to break up now? It feels like such a waste. And I know that I wouldn't have the life I wanted with him, as I wouldn't be able to trust him to have kids with, but I still can't help but think the future we planned has been stolen from me. We were in the process of planning our wedding, sent out all the save the dates, and then this happened. I'm really struggling to come to terms with it all. And i know we argued loads in the past two months, but I can't accept that he suddenly doesn't love me any more. Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2022, 05:26 AM
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Im sorry for what you are going through with all of this. It does sound very hard and painful. You are not the sole reason for the dissolve of the relationship. It sounds like the drinking really was a giant issue. It should be an issue. His alcohol consumption is not a normal response to life and the challenges we all go through. You knew this. Know this. Tried to make it work.

As painful as it is, and there is grieving involved for a loss of a relationship, I think you are dodging a bullet. His drinking sounds like he suffers from alcoholism. Alcoholism is really hard on everyone especially the partners. Its not something that gets better overnight and its not something that our loved ones can help us with. If he is suffering from alcoholism, he will need to come to this conclusion on his own and then seek out support and a plan to recover.

Now that I am sober, I would not wish for anyone to deal with me and active addiction. Its messy. Selfish. Destructive. Overall terrible.

Grieve what you need to grieve and move forward. You have an amazing life ahead of you. One that will not be filled worrying about someone and their alcohol consumption. Its a better road to walk. Seriously. Be done with it.
Hugs all around.
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Old 07-24-2022, 07:22 AM
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Dear NGB,
. I read thru your story and I'm sincerely sorry for the pain and grief that you are going thru.
You have done way more than your share to make your relationship work.
Unfortunately someone with an alcohol problem really has to want to change and it doesn't sound at all like he is interested in changing.
To start a life with this person sounds like it would be miserable.
Having children with him wouldn't be fair to those kids.
You mention that he enjoys gambling too.
This sounds like an all around raw deal for someone of your caliber.
I don't mean to sound cold as I know that you loved this person and probably still do.
But you will get past the grief that you feel now and you will be better for it.
Sending you positive thoughts for a bright future.
Ps 5 years isn't that great of an age difference, don't get down on yourself
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:27 AM
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Welcome to SR and I'm very sorry for what you are going through.

'But he said he's done, he wants to be alone, and live alone.' When someone tells you this in a relationship please believe them.

I'm female too and understand how hard it is to be in your 30s and feel like the future you had mapped out is no longer. But I agree with Mizz - you really have dodged a bullet. You won't change him. Marriage and kids won't change him. If you are married and have children your life will just be miserable and kids shouldn't have to see that and witness that. Your future will be different than planned but it could be incredible with lots of adventures for you and not this endless cycle of pain and suffering you are going through.

I hope you can walk away with your head held high. There is great support out there for people in your position too. It's time to look after yourself not look after him.
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:53 AM
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Welcome, and you've been given good advice here. Believe him when he tells you he wants to be alone and doesn't want to marry you. Acceptance will help you begin to heal from the breakup. Use this time to focus on yourself, take care of you.
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:11 PM
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Thanks everyone for the supportive messages. It really does help to read that everyone here also thinks he's an alcoholic, as he often made me question myself and he would often imply that I'm boring because I don't drink the way he does and that most normal people drink that much.

It's so comforting to hear that you guys also believe it would be an awful mistake to bring a child into the world with him. I know I would basically be a single mother to the child, and also no child deserves to be born into an unstable home.

This is probably my ego speaking, and also the fact that I feel like I wasted six precious years on him, always (until recently) showing him love and kindness even when he was moody and distant and miserable on days he didn't drink. But I would love for him to come back and show some regret. At this moment, I can't see him doing this, as we have some practical stuff like the flat to sort out, plus I'm not allowing him to stay at the flat atm so I feel like he's angry with me for that. I'd just like him to realise that I did everything in the house while he was either drunk or hungover, I saved up for our flat, I bought all the furniture (btw he earns much more than I do), I would walk the dog when he was hungover, I would take him to the vet if he had an issue, I sorted all our finances and he didn't even pick up his dirty boxers off the floor. And this is the guy who decided he no longer wanted to marry me. I'm just very angry atm. I don't want to come across as bitter, but I just can't believe how ungrateful he has been.
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Old 07-24-2022, 04:39 PM
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so to the end of April all seemed good, although you were resentful .
Then then chicken bone happened. You started saying hurtful things:
"I told him I wasn't sure how I felt about him any more, and that I didn't want to sleep with him any more etc. "

"To cut a long story short, I couldn't stop saying hurtful things."

You had a heart to heart where he explained his side of things. You thought you guys were cool, but
he seemed not as affectionate and quieter. You started picking fighting about him being quiet till
"after a huge argument I pushed him, threw his clothes on the floor and grabbed his phone out of his hand. At this point, he went to meet a friend, then messaged me saying 'let's have some space then find a new way of communicating'.

Your story reminded me a lot about my last relationship. I would be in the role of your ex in this.

He very well just decided that it was time to bail due to all the things you wrote you have done to him.

Then you didn't eat and passed out and you got to have a conversation with him that didn't go as you thought it would.
He didn't change his mind and you now feel 1) you wasted all those years 2) he's ungrateful for all you've done 3) he doesn't love you.

Mmm... I'd bet he loves you dearly.

Wasted years? Then I'd question the love you even had for him that wasn't contingent on future plans/him changing.
For the ungrateful wrote about his many great qualities. Always reliable, Madrid was great, cooks most dinners, makes more $,etc.

He was 24 when you got together and was a drinker then. Doesn't sound like it escalated...

I'm not keen on slapping alcoholic label on anyone and everyone. There are heavy drinkers or AUD(alcohol use disorder) is what most health professionals are using these days and it's a term that has been heavily promoted to be use in the public too. For years.
But..hey...all those rehabs and advertisements don't pay for themselves!

I'm sorry for your pain. Please don't feel he walked away because he doesn't love you. I think he might of made a good decision for both of you and now you have a chance to find someone much more suited in lifestyles.

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Old 07-24-2022, 04:40 PM
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Hi and welcome NotGoingBack

Some great wisdom in the posts before mine - I can only add that there is surely someone out there who feels the same you do about love and marriage and a life together.

Its good you found out now this guy is not that person after all.

This is a place for great support. Do also consider checking out our Family and Friends forum as well

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Old 07-24-2022, 05:01 PM
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Although it's painful, you can never change an alcoholic unless they themselves want to see change.
​​​​​​From what I've read, you've contributed much to the relationship: affection, support, money, etc. Good relationships exist when there's reciprocity...
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:24 PM
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You become the enemy when you get between the alcoholic and his drink. Sounds like he was far from doing his share in home, pet care, or finances.

This is actually a blessing in disguise. You, and your future children, deserve a fully present and responsible partner and parent.

Of course you are angry. You’ve been carrying most his share and your own for a long time. You were wise to not let him stay in the flat. Get things sorted and let your healing begin.
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Old 07-25-2022, 05:59 AM
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Hi IAmSam. Thank you for your opinion and your take on things. I was so worried someone might actually have that opinion, as I just can't work out if it's the drinking that did this to us and it's his decision because he just doesn't love me any more or if my behaviour in the last few months drove him to it. I do know he drank excessively and the relationship started to feel mentally and verbally abusive, but the thought that I may have been the one who ruined it really scares/upsets me. I get moments where I wish I had been more empathetic and shown him love while he was drinking or going through a bad time. But then I remember that towards the end he would stay up and drink until 9am on a work day, and I get confused all over again.

I just can't figure out if he really was drinking so much because he didn't want to marry me, and he was never going to want to, or if I drove him away with my resentment/words.

I've been spending a lot of time with family and I thought I was feeling better last night, but today I woke up feeling devastated all over again. I just miss him and my life with him in it so much. I'm still staying at my parents as I can't bring myself to be alone in the flat we shared together, with all our memories. I also can't stop thinking about how normal and loving he was in Madrid, which was only at the end of May. He would hold my hand, we'd mess around in the pool like usual and he mentioned trying to initiate sex a few times but I kept either getting up early or going to bed and passing out so we never ended up doing anything sexual. I just can't understand how someone's love would die in a month if they were together for six years and were planning on forever together?
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Old 07-25-2022, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by NoGoingBack1 View Post

I just can't work out if it's the drinking that did this to us and it's his decision because he just doesn't love me any more or if my behaviour in the last few months drove him to it.

I just can't figure out if he really was drinking so much because he didn't want to marry me, and he was never going to want to, or if I drove him away with my resentment/words.

I also can't stop thinking about how normal and loving he was in Madrid, which was only at the end of May. . I just can't understand how someone's love would die in a month if they were together for six years and were planning on forever together?
I think you are asking yourself the wrong questions. You will probably never know the answer to the above. Maybe reframe and ask yourself:

What do I deserve from a relationship and life? Someone who lets me down, drinks and lies to me. Do I deserve to be with someone who shows me little respect? Someone who puts drink first? Someone who doesn't want to really stop? Someone I have to look after and mother. Someone who goes to extremes and I then say and do hurtful things. It's easy to say 'I love you' anyone can say it. Actions speak louder than words though. a Nice weekend in Madrid isn't the day in day out of real life. It's so easy to remember the good times and forget the bad.

Or do I deserve a relationship with an equal partner who respects and cherishes me? Someone who puts me, not drink, first. Why do I think I am unworthy of a decent adult relationship on an equal footing? Am I trying to 'rescue' him or 'save' him.

It doesn't matter is we or he or anyone else thinks he is an alcoholic, has AUD or anything. The fact is you are not happy with his drinking and you need to put yourself first and look after you because he isn't ever going to
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:12 AM
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Thanks RAL. You're 100% right, but I'm having a pretty bad day and feeling sorry for myself. I've been in bed all day, can't seem to do anything.

My phone vibrated earlier and I had a feeling it was him, so I had a look and it was. He asked how me and our dog is doing, but I didn't reply. He then messaged again asking if he can take some money out of the joint account to pay for a 'potential deposit', so I replied and said that money is for bills so needs to stay. He then said I'll leave it then, and asked again how me and the dog are. I didn't reply again. I hate that he's clearly only messaging because he needed money, and not because he actually cares about me and our dog.
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:22 AM
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I'm sorry for you going through this but I think you are being really brave and strong and ensuring he doesn't get money allocated for bills which will clearly be spent on alcohol.

The sooner you can sell your place and cut all financial ties with him the easier and quicker it will be for you to move on. I've been there and know how hard it is when you have a financial commitment but you will get through it, even if it takes time. On the bright side the housing market is good atm so hopefully it won't take too long.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:28 PM
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I am sorry you're going through this. Believe me when I say I understand the pain of living with an alcoholic and the way that it erodes you over time. Try not to beat yourself up too much over the way you have reacted to certain situations. We aren't taught how to cope with living in such a toxic environment, and the anger and resentment will rear it's ugly head at some point. When we as humans feel our world is being ripped apart, it's natural to want to try to control it. And that unfortunately, comes out as anger with an alcoholic. You had this beautiful life and this beautiful love and he was trading it all in for drinking. Of course you're angry!

I am going through my own break up with my ex alcoholic/drug addict boyfriend. A bad combination. I can't say he changed me as I'm responsible for my own behaviour, but the situation changed me. It caused severe depression and anxiety, and I also started to act out of character. I can't speak for you, but judging by the way you've described your actions, I am willing to bet you are a shadow of your former self.

Take some space and use this time to clear your head. I can tell you that being in the throes of the chaos only creates more chaos and trying to figure everything out in that state is not rational or smart. It's natural to miss your life together and grieve for the life you planned, but it's time to focus on the reality of the situation and ask yourself some tough questions.

Hugs xx
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Old 07-28-2022, 03:24 AM
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Thanks for your message BruisednBroken. And I'm sorry you're going though a similar thing. Do you mind me asking when you broke up and how long you were together for? And how are you doing at the moment?

You're so right, for the first time in my life, I've experienced anxiety and depression. I experienced anxiety while living with him as I couldn't predict his actions, when he'd be home, what state he'd be in, if he'd go on a bender and how long it would take him to get out of it, whether he would be in a mood or not, if the plans we'd made would go ahead or not. All this caused me more and more anxiety, until towards the end I was just a mess. And now that I'm staying at my parents, I feel safe and not anxious, but now I feel completely depressed. I struggle to get out of bed, I've taken time off from work, and the tiniest of tasks really takes it out of me. I haven't walked my dog in days (my mum has been taking care of him), I've lost nearly 10 pounds (and I was really small to start with), and I just can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The only thing that I'm doing well with is not messaging him or even wanting to message him. Even though I'm completely devastated and I miss our life and what we used to have together, I don't miss the last few months, and I think that makes me not have the urge to contact him. I really am struggling with the thought that he doesn't love me any more, though, as I believed he always would, and he never gave me any idea that he wouldn't. Although, looking back, I don't know if this was the drinking taking over or him losing feelings for me, but the last few months he wouldn't message me when he went out and he was much less affectionate. He didn't even hug me if I cried in the last few months. So I don't miss any of that.

I have days when I really focus on his drinking and how bad things got and I start to dislike him and not want anything to do with him, then suddenly something stupid reminds me of him and I get this huge rush of longing for him. It's the little things that suddenly make me sad too, like the thought of our fridge having food in it that we haven't touched and that we will never stock up that fridge again…

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