Hello everyone. I happened on this site, alcoholicsfriend.com, perchance after viewing several YouTube videos concerning alcoholism and relationships. I must say it is a diamond in a sea of rough.
My name is Jim, I’m a 33yo male, educated, and hold a professional position in the technology field. According to my friends, I’m a contrast of sorts—extremely technically and logically oriented, yet I don’t possess the typical “IT guy” persona as it appears to my feelings, socializing, and getting my own self out there. I love people.
My story begins 13 years ago when I met, who I thought, was my soul mate—a girl that made life worth living. I was young, 20, had never really experienced love or life before, but felt all of the passion and convictions associated with it. It felt real. We fell quickly in love, before ever truly getting to know each other. Engagement quickly came, followed by a breakup, followed up by reuniting… A pattern began to emerge.
Over the years, our personalities developed as we matured through our early to mid 20’s, towards our 30s. Over those same years, as quickly as we fell in love, we fell out of love.
About three years ago, under very extreme circumstances, we were both unfaithful to each other. Both of us cheated. The bond of trust enjoyed for so many years was shattered.
Over the next 2.5 years, our relationship flattened out. We tried moving, buying homes, starting over… all temporary Band-Aids. Trust was gone. From there, we tried therapy a number of times, talking at length about “why” everything happened, things just weren’t the same.
We became roommates. Love was truly gone. Being that this is all I knew, this girl who I met over a decade before, I almost accepted this was my life. Game over.
All of this changed for me last Christmas season at a work function, our annual Christmas party. During the course of the night, I ran into a co-worker I sort of knew… she had worked with us about two years ago, left for another position, and then recently came back and accepted a new position within our organization. By chance, she decided to come to the Christmas party and socialize with her co-workers. Once the function ended, a group of us decided to retire to a local bar across the street for a drink prior to going home. We invited her group of friends to join us… the more the merrier. I fell into a conversation with this girl… a mesmerizing and tantalizing discussion about so many topics. We were spot on in agreement throughout it all. We complemented each other perfectly. During the course of the night, her words echoed inside my heart unlike I had ever heard before. I finally felt the parts of myself dormant for years with the girl I started dating 12 years before, come alive again. It was a truly uplifting experience. She felt the same way.
In short order, over the next couple of weeks, we spoke and hung constantly. There was never any inappropriate behavior or actions between us. She was also in a multi-year relationship with someone, and we had both committed to ending one chapter of our life before beginning another, the right way. . Things were so perfect between us in every conceivable way; we both knew what we had to do. By the time New Years rolled around, we jointly walked away from our lives to be together.
Now the fun, romantic dating times began…. At first, everything was absolutely perfect. We were inseparable. Every discussion was magical; every dinner date was perfect—sharing a single glass of wine, etc. There were no drunken times. About a month into our relationship, I was supposed to meet her for dinner at a steak house. As dinner time rolled around and I sat at the restaurant waiting, I began to worry. Calls and text messages went unanswered, etc. At no point did I assume alcohol was involved, I thought something happened to her! I left. A few hours later, she returned my call… said she needed a ride home and had lost her keys. Upon picking her up (from a bar), it was clear she was extremely intoxicated. I got her home safe and wrote it off to just a bad night, stress, family issues, etc.
The problems began to multiply–more of the same over the next few months. It was not as consistent as many of you experience, purely random, but I began to notice patterns in her behavior changing. She went from being the kind, outgoing, caring girlfriend who loved to just spend time holding my hand as we strolled through a neighborhood park, to someone who would ask me, “can we stop for a drink?” almost every time we would see each other without specific plans. At this point, we were still together 3-4 nights per week. When I began to take notice of this, and comment, “why?”, or ask her “can we have a night where we don’t drink?” she would get very quiet and almost bored with the evening…oddly, never disagreeing or forcing alcohol to enter the evening, but just elsewhere in her mind.
At the same time, several months into our relationship, she would exhibit mysterious behavior. For example, almost every time I would call her, she never answered, and would always call me back. I noticed her begin calling in sick at work randomly. Her availability seems to drastically decrease the more I mentioned she potential problems with alcohol.
The LIES began. She began to lie to me about people she would see, places she would go, and things she would do. In the next month or so, it became almost comical in a sad way just how poorly constructed some of these lies were. Still thinking this was the girl of my life, the girl whom I left everything I had known as a adult for 12 years, I felt horrifically depressed, sad, and I wanted ANSWERS. Being the dedicated and energetic boyfriend I am, I sought those answers out by showing up randomly at her house, (she, like I, had moved back in with our parents after we left our ex’s to be together), checking the local bars for her car, driving around for sometimes hours trying to find out where she is, every time she would just ignore me randomly. In doing so, I figured out a number of things … at one point, she was still hiding the fact she was going out drinking with her ex boyfriend (a guy who has never truly accepted their relationship was over), drinking excessively almost 5-6 nights a week, and calling into work to begin drinking at 10 or 11 in the morning.. At night, she would go out randomly, tell me she was her mother shopping, or some other story, and then call me several hours later while driving, completely intoxicated. This lead to many fights.
About a month ago, I tried to have a heart to heart conversation with her. I laid out my feelings, although admittedly I am capable of saying things that do nothing but make the situations worse, as I have never dealt with alcoholism before. I explained how her lying and drinking are directly related to trust for me, and I’m worried it is all but gone here. What can we do, if anything, to try to resolve this? I spoke about my love for her, about how much we both did in terms of changing our lives to be together, and felt we were getting close to a solution. She admitted she doesn’t know why she drinks, she doesn’t know when to stop, and writes a lot of this off as her having fun in her young years. She is 29. In her mind, as soon as she settles down and gets married, or plans to have children, the drinking will just stop. Again, not knowing how to deal with someone like this, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. As much as struggle with trust from my past relationship and now this one, I want to be in love. I am the type of person who feels the need to take care of their special someone. I think I’m a fixer when I know no one can fix alcoholism until the person with the disease wants to fix themselves.
Over the past month, her drinking has gotten worse. She writes it off to stress, or minimizes it… or flat out denies it. When I would see her, almost every time, I would smell alcohol on her breath… no matter what time of day. Most days I would be too ashamed to mention it and tried to ignore it. This has been a very difficult month for me. Her drinking seems to be accelerating to almost every day now… sometimes 5-6-7 days in a row. I only know about this from when I see her, she will hardly ever drink around me, but is perpetually late when we do have things to do, always showing up 30 minutes behind and smelling like alcohol.
Last weekend, things exploded when we went to a big musical festival together, spent the weekend at a nice hotel to catch the concerts, and I caught myself checking her cell phone and finding proof of her ex still trying to communicate with her, despite her telling me (and him), she wanted nothing to do with him. I want to believe her, but knowing how closely tied alcoholism and lying are together, I just can’t. We fought for a few days, with her always trying to steer the arguments away from her behavior and her drinking to my actions… placing the full blame on me.
She claims she’s afraid as far as this relationship; her biggest fear here is that the fighting will never go away. I try to tell her my attitude and sometimes anger is directly related and in response to her actions… the drinking, the lying, and the mysterious behavior that seems to follow all of this around. Despite that, she claims she wants to be happy in life, and just enjoy things… yet wants to be serious in a love-providing relationship with someone? She said she needs a break from me and my obsessive nature. One month. Prior to storming off, she said I should call her in one month when I figure myself out. ????
I am thoroughly confused. I thought people who try to care for the ones they love and prevent them from hurting themselves were good people, not bad. At this point, several days have gone by where she has flat out ignored me.
A couple of days ago, after finding this site and reading MANY of the articles and your stories, I tried to text her asking her if we can talk, no arguments. I felt I have some new tools available to me to deal with some of this behavior and am eager to try it out.
Long, long, story short, what the heck do I do now? In talking to my closest friends, they are in agreement – they feel this relationship isn’t worth my time, the new $300k house I just bought and want to find someone to share it with, shouldn’t be her. They feel I am wasting my effort, worrying about someone who just wants to have fun, who is self-fish, has substance abuse issues, and sees me as the kind of person who will always be there for them. They advise me to forget about her as soon as possible. I don’t know if I can do that though, I am truly someone who doesn’t invest in someone else like this unless my feelings are real… through thick and thin, I don’t commit to someone lightly, nor can I walk away easy….
Despite the fact we have been together for 7 months, aren’t married, and have no children, it isn’t easy for me to walk away when my heart still belongs to this girl, even with her problems… I want to help. There is a very special person in there who has everything I wanted in a life partner, a wife, but trying to find those elements in a sea of whiskey and beer is not easy. What should I do? As I titled this story, When Is The Right Time to Close the Door?
Thank you all, especially you JC, for this website. Your lessons are already affecting me in a positive way.
Jim from Chicago