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Please don't say you need me...
July 13, 2005
9:46 pm
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Anonymous
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Here's my story...I'd love to have some feedback from any and all of you, because sometimes you know in your gut what's what, but you JUST NEED TO HEAR IT!

I was married to an angry man for 18 years who was verbally and emotionally abusive. We have 3 boys together. It was a VERY codependent relationship (as I now understand it). I divorced him when I realized that my boys were growing up thinking that this is the way men were supposed to treat women. Thankfully, none of them now exhibit any of their father's behavior.

So, I was divorced for 3 years before I decided to get back into dating. I spent that time getting to know myself again, reprogramming my head, and raising my boys. During this time, my ex re-married, two of my boys moved away to college, and just one at home who began to spend every other week with his new family. So, all of a sudden, I began feeling sorry for myself, and became pitifully lonely.

To give you all a little better perspective of my situation, I am a successful business owner, basically raised my 3 sons alone, I own my own home, I'm financially secure, young looking for my age (my son's friends always hit on me...yuk!) Anyway, I have had to be very careful and protective of myself and my boys, and not allow just ANYBODY to walk in and out of our lives. Therefore, I dated "secretly" for a while, making the decision that when I found someone I liked well enough to introduce them to, I would do so at that time.

Well, as most of you probably know, it ain't as easy at it sounds. I wasn't meeting ANYBODY worth dating or that I was attracted to. Then I found the internet. How cool was that? I could flirt online and be in my pj's...lol! It satisfied for a while, then I realized that some of them wanted to actually meet me...uh-oh!

Well, to cut to the chase, I finally met a guy that was living in Florida, but had family and friends that lived just an hour away from me. So we chatted probably 6 months or so online before we met. He is funny, charming, nice-looking, sweet, cuddly, thoughtful and UNEMPLOYED. He lost his job a month before we met, and has not worked since. We have been seeing each other for 2 years. He stayed in Florida and tried to get work in his field, but when funds ran out, he made the painful decision to come home. He was forced to move in with his parents and declare bankruptcy. I have stuck by him through all of the ups and downs that men go through when they lose their jobs and everything they've ever worked for. I have been a compassionate, caring, non-judmental friend. So here's where I need your help...

He was rejected so many times when he was looking for work, that something inside him just quit. He went thru a severe depression, got his nights days mixed up, gained about 40 lbs., and drank to numb the pain. Before all this happened, he was in awesome shape, very active athletically, and took great care of himself. So now he has been out of a job for so long, most days he just plays on a message board on the internet, doing only odd jobs here and there to bring in a little cash. He seems to be "content", although not happy, with his situation. Needless to say, over the past 2 years we have dated, I have footed the bill for everything we have done together. I have also given him money at times for gas, food, etc. Well, the last time I gave him some $$, I discovered that he went to a local casino and gambled it all away. He lied to me about it (of course), but I called him out on it. He also drinks heavily, and I have mentioned my concerns to him. He denies he has a problem.

I am definitely in love with him, and I know he loves me. But he makes really really BAD decisions. If you were me, would you get out now or give him a little more time to pull it together? When we are together, we totally enjoy each other's company. We never fight. He's a great great friend. But he scares me. I'm afraid I am in over my head (or will be). I can't understand why after all this time, he hasn't begun some "healing" and motivated himself to get his life back on track. I know I am an enabler. I know there is a fine line between helping someone and enabling them. I guess I'm afraid he has just settled into a comfortable place (away from the hurts and rejections), and is satisfied with the status quo.

I CANNOT allow that kind of man to be around my boys. They do not know he is unemployed. Even though I don't need a "father" for them, I am adamant about setting the right example, always have been! I've kept this "secret" from all my family and friends, because I know what they would say. I'm just hoping that he's gonna get thru this, because he really treats me wonderfully. Am I being naiive? I'm trusting to a fault...I believe in people even when they stop believing in themselves. Classic co-dependent...I know, I know:)

I know this was long, so those of you who are kind enough to read all of it, please give me your honest opinion. I would greatly appreciate it!

July 13, 2005
10:22 pm
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hoping_2_feel_again
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My opinion is that you should leave him. If he hasn't had a job in 2 years and you have been footing the bill, what is to say he will ever shape up? Is this what you want for you after picking yourself up and dusting yourself off from an abusive marriage?

It is scary being alone at our age. I feel that I am getting to old. But what I am realizing through reading these threads is that I am ok and I don't want to go backwards.

If you are having second thoughts, go with them. You already had 1 unhappy marriage, do you really want another one? If you don't want your kids to know about how he is, don't stay with him.

Ultimately you have to do what you think is best. I can only give my opinion. It is better to be alone than miserable in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship.

Hope

July 14, 2005
12:20 am
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sdesigns
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Hi Plz: I can't tell you what to do but if it were me I think I would try to detach from his problems and not make them my own. Are you sure you are in love with him, or maybe just used to him, or maybe addicted to him? He is a big drinker- not good. He's unemployed- not good. He lets you give him money- not good. He gambles- not good. He lied to youo- not good. He's not taking care of himself- not good. He's letting you carry a awful lot of weight on your shoulders - is that how you see yourself in 5 years? 10? Is this waht you REALLy want? There's nothing wrong w/ holding out for what you want. I think he needs to step up to the plate and make a bigger effort. He's letting himself go to pot, and can use that as an excuse for not getting a job. It sounds like you have a great deal going for you and frankly, are settling for way too little. He can surely bring you down, and you don't deserve that with as much effort you have put into getting where you are. Maybe you can maintain a friendship w/ him, but as a partner I don't think he's a match for you.
Have you the "Women Who Love Too Much? - may be helpful to you. Good luck, SD

July 14, 2005
12:43 am
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EJ
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Hi,
Wow. I know it's tough to let go of someone when it seems like they'd be such a great person if they could just get past this or that problem. Is he willing to take any steps to get back on track? A psychologist, a career counselor, a gym membership (just kidding about that last one!)?

If so, great, but realize that it may be a very long haul since he's shown you some very serious character deficiencies that are not going to be easily repaired.

If not, I'm sure you already know that answer as well as anyone here.

I guess the question is, how much time do you want to devote to a very high-risk relationship at this point in your life?

Good luck,
EJ

July 14, 2005
7:58 am
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shyshy
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I say get out now!! You are a smart woman who has come a long way after your first marriage. You have been a good example to your kids. Don't ruin it now.

If anything, maybe he will shape up after he no longer has you around to lean on and come back to you in much better form.

July 14, 2005
9:02 am
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feelingused
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plyzdont-

Hey,, I maay not own my business, I may not be on my own. But,,, I am in the same type of relationship you ended. But I have three girls.
I think that was a very BIG thing you did by ending a bad relationship because of how you seen your children acting out... I'm seeing my girls finding young men they need to "help fix", which means a co-dependant situation!!! I'm working on getting out..
Okay,,, now that you have been on your own for three years and were picky on who you brought home because of your boys, why on earth do you feel this new man in your life is WORTHY of a very dedicating mother?? Sure your boys are moving on in their own life. BUT you still have one at home that needs to see a respectable man for his MOM..
Your ex has moved on and made a new family SO WHAT!!! don't be in a hurry to start another bad relationship. It takes time, yes more than two years hon!!! It may feel like love with this new man, but it could also be the codependant in you coming out again, needing to "help" another lost person in need...
You raised 3 young men yourself, you helped them be who they are today, do you REALLY want to be incharge of raising another person? because basically that will be what your getting into, with this new man.

You were well on your way of finding who the RIGHT person would be for you, and you gave up and went to the net!!! Use your own community, start meeting others through friends, or maybe volunteering with what you love to do out there, you could find someone with the same interest and that has their future together.. You will never know what this new guy has planned for HIMSELF. Because he himself doesn't know. Do you really need these problems right now?? Do you really want your boys and family to know you are choosing this type of man to spend your time with??

You said you have such a great time when your out with him, you don't fight. BUT... he has it made!! Your paying the bills for him. Its like he's a gigalo! Your paying for the time you spend with him!! and he's telling you the world you missed.

I hope this wasn't harsh, I just feel just by reading what you wrote, you are a wonderful mom and a strong woman that could have the world at her feet!! and your giving up too soon!!!! I wish I could be what you are, but without the "new guy"!!! Stand strong, you came on here because you "feel" somethings wrong, go with your gut!!!!!

July 14, 2005
10:43 am
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Anonymous
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Wow! Thank you all so much for your very honest feedback. You'll never know how much I needed to hear all of it. Things I have been telling myself, but then I would "second-guess" my own good sense. I guess the co-dependent in me feels like I would be "kicking him when he's down" by abandoning him at this point. But I don't see things changing AT ALL. Day in, day out...he wastes a lot of precious time feeling sorry for himself.

Thank you for all the kind words also. I think it's amazing that from a few written words, you all could "sum me up" spot on. I am "rethinking" whether I am really "in love" or not. I have wondered if I wasn't just being selfish myself in hanging on to the way he makes me feel, because he really is all the things my ex-husband wasn't. And I know I can't turn a blind eye to all these other issues he has just because he treats me so well.

Thanks you for letting me talk (type) this all out. Sometimes reading what you write is the BEST way to listen to yourself. I'll keep you posted. I'm glad I found this place:)

July 14, 2005
12:14 pm
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EJ
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Good luck, sweetie. Just remember, there's a big difference between dating and doing social work -- or at least there should be! You're looking for someone who's your equal, who's as much into growth as you are!
Thinking of you,
EJ

July 14, 2005
12:31 pm
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Anonymous
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Thank you, EJ! I can look back over my life and see the pattern of "missionary" dating! ha

BTW, I did buy him a year-long gym membership for Christmas...he went for 3 months, then put a hold on his membership. Hasn't been back since.

As far as counseling, he doesn't think he has a "problem", just a run of bad luck. Right!

Thanks again for all the incredible advice from all of you! I think you guys are awesome!

July 14, 2005
12:35 pm
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Notsure
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There is nothing wrong with being unemployed. Nothing wrong with not being able to find work in your field and nothing wrong with getting depressed and gaining weight about not being able to find work. There is also IMHO nothing wrong with you giving a little money his way to help out, after all why not (you love him, you're in a relationship with him, you have some excess, yada yada). Having said that there I have a major problem with someone who won't look for work (no matter what kind) even if they are depressed when "money troubles" come about. There is almost always some kind of work available for someone who wants to work no matter what the job. It is wrong that he is drinking heavily and lies to you with what he did with the money that you gave him. Continuing here you will only be enabling him further, hurting yourself and assuming responsibilitiers that you don't need. As painful as it sounds and probably will be it is time to let him go. Not sure.

July 14, 2005
3:00 pm
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You are so right, Notsure! I have been very blessed financially, and my parents taught me to be responsible with what I was entrusted, but also to give out of my abundance. And yes, it sets me up for being taken advantage of sometimes, but I give for the right reasons, and I feel like if the person I am giving to does the wrong thing with that, then they have to answer for that! I often tell my parents that it's all THEIR fault that they raised a loving, caring, generous daughter (ha).

Seriously, thanks for your advice. There is definitely a difference in someone who can't work and someone who won't find work. I think I'm being played...

July 14, 2005
3:13 pm
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I say kick the loser out. You are not the red cross.

July 14, 2005
4:05 pm
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Let me share my story because it's seems so very similiar including the divorce and the situation behind it.

I met my ex and he moved in with me 6 mos later. When I met him he was party boy central. I had just come out of a nasty marriage/divorce and here was this guy that thought I was it...we did everything together. Things my ex would never do. But he drank ALL time. Within 8mos of living w/me he got a DUI in front of my house..IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. 6 units came in the pouring rain to take him away...I almost got arrested because I was stupid enough to try and intervene. I had been home waiting for him to come home, like I always did. I bailed him out the next am...I did let him spend the night. I bailed him out though w/his own money. I made him face all the responsibilities of the DUI on his own. His drinking slowed down instead of daily to 3 days a week. I could wake up in the am and knew that it would be a drinking day. You could see it in him. He was like a caged animal until he had that first beer.

We lived like this for 5 years. FIVE years. I could never sleep until he came home because he'd forget the security code and I'd have to let him in. I also waited up just to hear the sound of the garage door close. But yes, I loved this man and he loved me.

I am a very successful business woman just like you. I taught him skills and started him on his own business. But he'd rather blow all his money than be responsible. I kept making excuses for him and kept picking up the tab.

He finally drained me emotionally and financially and three weeks ago I just lost it and had enough...I threw him out...and where did this faithful man end up, in the arms of another woman.

And what did I do...ask the rest of this board and the alanon board...I begged and pleaded like a fool to have him come home.

I've been to therapy twice this week. TWICE...and already I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. He and I met yesterday and I read him a letter the therapist had me write him. The guy had the balls to say...well that's all nicely said and done...but I want my business back and I'm not leaving where I am at. She doesn't care what I do or when I come home.

I didn't beg or plead this time, I just drove off and sighed...I've made excuses for him for 5yrs now...and blamed the recent relapse on his depression over his business but realized...it wasn't my fault. I gave him every opportunity to wake up and smell the coffee...so now he has someone else to pick up the pieces of his life for him.

In the meantime...I'm refocusing my life on me, my daughter and my business and a new future for myself. I went clothes shopping for the first time in at least a year today...for me...I did something for me...and didn't feel guilty for the first time in ages.

I wish you well honey...but I've been there done that...take a look at your life from the outside in. Is this the rest of your life. You are succesful in business, which as the therapist told me...means that you are a intelligent and dedicated woman, amongst other wonderful things she told me I was. YOU ARE THE SAME WOMAN!!

Big hugs to you...take care of you, first and foremost...go to an Alanon meeting if you like but definitely get yourself to a therapist. I told her today that I thought it was ridiculous that here I was IN therapy over his drinking. She laughed...No, you are in Therapy for YOU!! She was right.

Best wishes...we're all here for you.

July 14, 2005
4:22 pm
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Oh, SS, I admire you so! Thank you for sharing your story with me, and yes, they are VERY similar. I have already invested 2 years into this relationship, and I know in my heart that it will only get more difficult to cut away from it if I continue to put it off. I ask myself, "What is my biggest fear", and the answer is what happened to you. That he will move on (very quickly) without giving me a second thought. It hurts so much to believe that I am that disposable. But I know by hanging on, I am manipulating the situation. That in the end, no good can come from this if HE doesn't want to change his own life and try to make it better. He must really hate himself. (Actually he has told me that before). And I know that people who don't love themselves are incapable of loving someone else.

I am really really really praying about this and I appreciate the good advice and support I am getting from everyone here. It's great to know that someone, somewhere understands how this feels.

Now, I am just trying to take my time, think this through, and act on my convictions. How can I judge him for not taking the bull by the horns and making something happen in his life if I am also "putting off" making decisions that are right for my own life? Timing is everything, I suppose.

Thank you, all of you, for taking your precious time to help me figure this out:)

July 14, 2005
4:25 pm
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And I AM AMAZED at the STRENGTH I have gained from posting to complete strangers!!! Woo hooooooooo!!!!

July 14, 2005
5:07 pm
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I think I knew a month ago when he woke up, looked at me and said "Have you seen the movie, Leaving Las Vegas?" I said no...he said well rent it and got up and walked out and went straight to the bar. That was when he started fading away on me and our life. I tried the last month to as you said manipulate the situation...but I realized, I lost control of it. He was already gone...

I wish you the best...and honey, only you will know when you have had enough of the situation...friends may steer you either way, but go with your instinct and yours alone. I've spent 3wks listening to friends advice and right now I while I am thankful for their support...I wish they had not gotten involved at all.

Read the board, and post away and as someone suggested to me...keep a journal...

July 18, 2005
12:18 pm
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greywolfess
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Hey chicky šŸ™‚
I took your advise to check out your thread....
Okay. If your biggest fear is that he would end up in the arms of another woman ..... was it really meant to be? If he REALLY loves you, that will not happen .....if maybe you did THIS: What if you still saw each other but instead told him that you cannot maintain the same level of committment (since he's not in other ways) that you have had to be exclusive and that although you want to still see him, you also want to date again. Just because you date someone, doesn't mean you have to sleep with them. And if you DO find someone you feel that way about, have the talk with your "b/f" that you are at a cross-roads that will change the relationship forever and give him a short amount of time to make a change if there ever IS going to be one. If he's just not strong enough or doesn't think he and the relationship are worth picking his sorry ass up off the floor for --there's your answer....Because you're not getting any younger and you only live once. We've got ONE life and ONE crack at it. Why spend it with someone who SAYS they love you, who doesn't only not love himself, but HATES himself ... therefore how could you REALLY love him when he can't and how can you really believe he loves you when he doesn't love himself. That's messed up. Nobody says you have to leave him completely, especially if you ARE good friends .... Although .... define ...."good friends"?

We don't have a rewind button. And life is FAR too precious. Love him? Let him "go". If he straighens up his crap and comes back to you, he was yours. If he doesn't he never should have been. You've touched each others lives ... and probably benefitted from one another's company. But you deserve nothing less than the purest, truest love you can find in this lifetime.....This isn't a dress rehersal :).

Give yourself ONLY what you deserve and nothing less. It sounds like you have worked hard on yourself and you deserve someone who can help you restore that faith a little bit more than THAT.

peace and hugs

July 19, 2005
9:11 am
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thewall
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Get out girl, he's using you. You've invested 2yrs into this relationship and he hasn't done anything to heal from his issues, can't even admit he has them.

You are keeping him from getting professional help, are keeping him stuck b/c you are bailing him out and providing for him all the time. With you, he doesn't need help or need to face his problems or need to stop drinking b/c you do it all for him and encourage it by putting up with it.

If he runs to the arms of another woman I can gurantee you it will only be with someone who is willing to provide for him again and put up with his drinking. Thats his pattern, he wants to be a kept man so he can drink and not have to work or be an adult.

Is that the kind of man you want to be with the rest of your life? Thats what you have to decide.

Sounds like the book "Codependent NO More" would be a good one for you to review.

Good luck.

July 24, 2005
3:32 am
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greywolfess
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Okay. If you really are being an enabler for this guy ... "the wall" is right .... (Said in the Arnold Schwartenegger tongue): GEEEEEEETH OUUUUUUUTH! ... You'll eventually wind up just having to "cut the cord" anyway.... Unless you wanna go down with 'im ....

Chin up .... You have US šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ ....

July 24, 2005
7:38 am
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SexySadie
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Honey go read through all my past threads on here...I've been walking the same path as you. Except my biggest nightmare did happen, he did end up in the arms of another woman. However, she is just another symptom of HIS disease. She is a safe haven for him, actually while yes it hurts like someone has taken a knife into my heart and twisted it around, she is the least of our problems. Because again as the therapist pointed out, he's not like this normally, his drinking has increased from twice a week to 24/7 with her as she is also an alcoholic.

Take a breather from everything, for yourself honey. It's the best thing for the both of you right now.I know it will be tough, ask everyone on here, they've seen me go through emotional hell...but I'm not alone, everyone here has been where I am, where you are.

If you can afford one, see a therapist even if its just a couple of times. I've been 3x now in the month that he has been gone. Last Thursday was my moment of glory, when for the first time in 5yrs I didn't enable him.

July 24, 2005
9:34 am
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Anonymous
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Thanks for all the great advice, guys! We had a "come to Jesus meeting" last night and I'm done! In fact, I started another thread after he left last night and told most of the dirty little details:( It's the "Well, It's done" thread.

You guys are gonna have to be my "support" for the next few weeks, as I know what a rollercoaster ride I am in for. I KNOW I did the right thing, but it just sucks right now. Tempers flared and he bolted (as usual). He turned everything around and said I was a wacko, stalker, bitch (all because I called him out on some of his lies and behavior). I know he wonders how I know so much, but I have my sources. I told him I couldn't be in a relationship with someone who wasn't an open book.

Anyway, I will be here ALOT in the next few weeks. Looking forward to getting to know some of you better. And thanks in advance for "holding my hand". I'm gonna need it!

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