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What is happening...?
November 10, 2005
1:11 pm
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Toneus
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My first post.

Here I sit looking back at a relationship that has lasted just over a year. Two days ago, my girlfriend called me when I was on my way home from work. She told me she and her twin sister had just left my apartment, and that she had grabbed all of her things and was moving out.

I asked her why she had moved out and was telling me about this over the phone. Her response was that if she had talked to me about it, she wouldn't have done it.

Bear with me, I'm a guy, so I work backwards.

This move was a shocker to me because earlier that morning, we had sex, carpooled to work together, and she kiss me telling me to have a nice day at work. Later in the day she called and nothing was apparently wrong.

The night before, we had returned from 5 days of being with my extended family for my brother's wedding. I was the best man, and throughout the 5 days I had multiple responsibilities that had me running ragged.

The last two days of our trip were great because my responsibilities were over, and we got to spend a the rest of the time together.
But the beginning of the trip was a different story. We had an argument that was the result of a conversation where I told her that she made me feel bad an evening before.

I had met an old business acquaintance who was in town. It was a Monday night, and we met for dinner and drinks. When I got home (took a cab), I climbed into bed and her response was that I smelled like alcohol and rolled over. I laid in bed that night staring at the ceiling wondering what I had done that deserved such a cold shoulder.

I am sensitive to her reactions to me and alcohol because I find there are a lot of times that she is critical of drinking. This is probably due to her father dying when she was 13 from alcoholism.

I don't feel I have a drinking problem, and I've had many friends and family say that from their observations that I don't either. I do drink at social events and when dining out. So I'm having someone being critical of a behavior that I see as perfectly normal.

I'm just starting to understand the behaviors of adult children of alcoholics.

I'm at a loss, and I need to understand what I am doing wrong? I feel like I'm dealing with a timb bomb, and I don't know when it's going to go off next.

T

November 10, 2005
1:22 pm
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Anonymous
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T -

I too was always easily scared and offended around alchol and anyone that drank it. That made socializing very traumatizing to me as an adult and in college.

All I can say is that she probably has some DEEP ROOTED FEARS about alcohol that have NOTHING to do with you.

She lost her dad to it, so she probably is very scared by it and very scared when someone close to her drinks - even one drink. It probably sets off an obsessive thinking pattern that concludes with you becoming an alcoholic or alcohol killing you in some way.

This is something SHE needs to address - something SHE needs therapy for - something YOU can NOT fix for her.

This wasn't your fault at all - and you probably know that. And it probably does not help the pain you feel and the confusion.

But I have to say that when I was younger - I was VERY emotional around people that drank - cuz alcohol just SCARED me. Sounds irrational, but it is what it is.

Again, you weren't doing anything wrong - she is just hyper sensitive about it and she needs therapy to reduce her reaction to "social drinking".

Perhaps call her after a few days, after she has cooled off - and tell her you love her and want to work things out - but think to make it work, you guys need joint therapy - and in therapy, you can work on extracting this "fear" and help her work towards healing it on her own.

IF that is truly what want.

If not, then chalk it up as experience and move on and work on healing the heartbreak.

November 10, 2005
1:37 pm
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on my way
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sounds as if she found out something that upset her, she beleives it, and made her move. the old business aquaintance i am guessing due to part of her reaction may have been a female?

November 10, 2005
1:42 pm
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actually that is a good observation and question...

were you out with another woman?

or, was she feeling neglected while on the trip - was there someone to keep her company while you were caught up in the wedding stuff without her, or was she in foreign land with foreign people and the only person she was comfortable with (you) was too busy to be with her?

could you have taken her with you on the dinner with the old business acquaintance? could she feel left out because you didn't consider her feelings and went alone?

so many possibilities here...but in the end, only SHE knows.

Maybe you can get the answer out of her, maybe you can't. I can only say that if you try to get the answers and don't get them - then let it go and work on healing yourself.

November 10, 2005
2:14 pm
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Toneus
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The business aquantance is not a female. I had acutally told her about most of the conversation from that evening because he was in a very turbulent marriage (18 yrs) and I had gone through a divorce a few years back. I didn't take the GF with me to meet my business friend because she told me she was tired, and I knew that we would be throwing a few back and talking about old times.

To answer your questions, my divorce was because my ex-wife cheated on me and decided that after a year separation that too much harm had been done to rekindle.

Apparenlty, she was feeling neglected on the trip. I was very busy all weekend. The first evening, we had a two on two dinner with my brother and his to be wife. This was so we could all have some get to know each other time. But our argument from the flight kept us from truly enjoying the evening.

I was trying to get her to enjoy the evening, by cooking her fondu items when she wanted me to, and holding her hand at the table.

When we were at the wedding. The first day she headed off with my now sister in law to get nails done. My mother picked her up and shuttled her off to my uncle's house where many of my family memebers where.

This was the first time meeting them, and she was sure to let me know I should have been there. I was with my brother picking up tuxs and shuttling him back to his house. Ultimately, I was delayed about 2 hours. This was out of my control at the time.

I think my GF is so wonderful and my family so loving that it never even occurred to me that this would be a stressful situation for her. But apparently it was.

At the end of our trip, we were on the plane and she was going through the pictures and she was rattling off all of their names with comments like. She my favorite, I can see why you talk about him so much... Da da da. Obviously, they aren't the sharks she felt I was throwing her to.

November 10, 2005
2:19 pm
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was this the first time you ever drank or came home reeking of alcohol while dating her?

how long have you been together?

how long since your divorce?

November 10, 2005
2:21 pm
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are you sure there may be "more" to this story??? i mean, her packing her bags and just up and out moving out....something, must have affected her very badly.

I can see you being the best man and all the responsibilites....you did spend a lil' time with her though when she met your family for the 1st time...and did she "seem" comfy with them??? it would have been up to her at the time to tell you she didn't feel comfy, instead of telling you this after the fact.

Keep venting here, our ears are listening.

November 10, 2005
2:24 pm
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Reeking, that's a might strong word. I had the courtesy of washing my face, brushing my teeth. It was apparently on my breath.

We've been dating a year and a half.

I dated my ex for 3 years, was married for 7 year, and it's been 4 years since we split. The legal portion was final 2 1/2 years ago.

November 10, 2005
2:32 pm
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I've seen a pattern where she throws our relationship out the window. Twice she's packed her bags. It appears to be a coping skill for her.

I could leave the Pope with my family. They would might shower him with kindness, but he'd survive.

November 10, 2005
2:42 pm
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Funny, I too have a "flight" reaction to stress.

I think if this is a pattern, like you said, then it's best to let her go and stand your ground about not taking her back when she comes back.

Reason I say this is - she has some issues she has to deal with. Perhaps she could get help and stay in the relaitonship and make it work - but it's a long road - and I don't know if you would want to travel it.

I have issues with people drinking. I flee when the going gets tough. I have been in my current relationship for 18 months. So I see similarities...and can only speak from my experience.

She needs therapy and recovery from growing up and losing her dad to alcohol. She lost a parent at a tender/vulnerable age, plus she witnessed the alcoholism -each on it's own does damage, together, they can create havoc.

As I said, perhaps there is hope - but I would suggest counseling if she wants to come back - start with joint counseling - so she feels "comfortable" with you being there as "comfort" - and the therapist will determine that she has issues she should explore on her own with her own therapist - and that way it's not you saying it's all her fault. But again, this is sneaky and not your responsibility - just a thought I had...in the end, it's her job to seek therapy and recovery to make herself a stronger person and a healthier partner for you...But you can't do it and it's not fair that you have to walk on eggshells wondering what might set her off and when she will pack her stuff again. I have done it many times...can't count how many times I left my last boyfriend in three years...the pattern doesn't change on it's own - sad to say...even if you have the most kind, loving, trusting, wonderful partner - the need for chaos and the need to run when things get tough are ingrained and there to stay until you decide to change them yourself.

November 10, 2005
2:51 pm
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artist 2
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Hey Toneus, I have a problem with my Bf drinking from time to time, so maybe I can shed some light.

I am so self-actualized when it comes to drinking, I know exactly why I don't want to. It has to do with being present. I know that when my BF drinks he's not present for me, and I suffer from abandonment issues. At the same time, I don't ask him to stop because he enjoys it and he's not an alchoholic. It's his business really, and dealing with his drinking is my business.

She may be having abandonment issues too. Seeing that her dad dies from the drink and all. Other than that, you sound like a loving and dedicated, trustworthy guy. She may have lots of issues, so the decision you have to make is, can you stick it out with her while she works through them?

Surprised? It could be that she thinks you couldn't possibly understand what it's like for her, and has given up on explaining it to you. She might have it in her mind to find someone who doesn't drink, rather than deal with the issue at hand.

Anyway, I hope that helps. Prayers with you, artist 2.

November 10, 2005
3:03 pm
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Toneus
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artist2,

Here's the curveball to this whole mess. Her Profession/Masters Program Interning is as Drug and Alcohol counselor. I have a feeling I'm getting help I haven't asked for, and this will be the undoing of us.

Her childhood experiences with her father's alcoholism and death are the source of her professional desires.

Thx for listening.

I must be crazy, but I love her dearly.

November 10, 2005
3:38 pm
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ton,

my father was an alcoholic. the smell of alcohol came through his skin, his mouth. I remember the oder distinctly. It is alcohol being metabolized that you can't get rid of no matter what you do. Whenever I smell that oder I am immediately turned off and feel the pain of smelling this on my father.

I don't think there's anything you can do about it except not drink.

But I would try to talk to her and find out if this is indeed the reason she left.

November 10, 2005
3:44 pm
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It could be that she's decided that life would be easier for her with a man who does not drink?

November 10, 2005
4:19 pm
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I have a question from a different angle...why have your family and friends speculated on your drinking? Have you asked about it before, or are they drinkers? My ex was and is a very active alcoholic, but his family insists to him on a regular basis our of the blue that he is not when they notice him not drinking for whatever reason. As i watched them I realized that they are ALL weekend alcoholics and functioning alcoholics, and that it has worked itself into being a way of life for their functional dysfunction. I at first thought they where "celebrating", but then realized that every day they found some weird excuse to celebrate. And when I decided not to drink at the functions myself, I noticed more how heavily anebriated they all got and how it REALLY didn't bring out the best in their personalities, and that they made excuses for their sons when they would get drunk and act out in negative manners, saying they where ill, stressed, just "overdid it", etc. People whos lives center around drinking can't bare to look at the reality of alcoholism in those that drink with them becasue it may also say something about themself...just something to concider--not saying this is our situation, but it seems interesting that people have speculated and that you have needed validation in your drinking patterns.

November 10, 2005
4:38 pm
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Toneus
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My statement was simply to point out that I have considered what her perseption is in relation to mine.

"I don't feel I have a drinking problem, and I've had many friends and family say that from their observations that I don't either. I do drink at social events and when dining out. So I'm having someone being critical of a behavior that I see as perfectly normal."

These same responses about my use of alcohol have come from her best friend. If you ask her, she would tell you that I'm not an alcoholic, nor am I an abuser of alcohol. I have seen a hyper-sensitivity to alcohol in her, and I don't know what to do.

November 10, 2005
4:47 pm
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I would say that if you think you drink responsibly...and she can't stand the idea of you drinking - then it's a volatile mix that will, more than likely, never work out.

Even IF she is a counselor - her counseling is to make people STOP drinking - not be responsible drinkers. She sees alcoholics and addicts all the time who say they are responsible about it - and most of them aren't...and her job is to help them dry out and stay dry.

So her being a counselor is no surprise - but only shows that she has strong convictions to the idea of being clean and sober.

You don't have to agree with it, and she doesn't have to agree with you. But to stay together, you need to accept it and live with it - and maybe she can't.

Also - the other two times she stormed out and left - what was the arguments those times?

See, no matter what the reasoning is - she needs counseling or some kind of therapy to figure out how to stay in a relationship and not "flee" when the going gets tough. Her counseling certification means nothing - most counselors have issues themselves - that's why they do it - they teach best what they need to learn most. But her "flight" reaction to stress is a red flag - and something that will take more than a few hours in therapy to correct.

I know - I still fight it...although it's been better since I found coda meetings and believe in a higher power.

You don't have to justify if you do or don't drink alot - in her mind, one drink may be too much for her to handle. Doesn't matter what everyone else's perception is - she doesn't have to live with their perception, she has to live with her own. Just like you and I have to live with our own.

But more than likely, you won't change her hypersensitivity to alcohol - which is what you seem to be asking in your last statement.

November 10, 2005
7:34 pm
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my question was this: why have people speculated on wheter or not you have an alcohol problem at all? What would have brought it up to begin with?

November 10, 2005
7:40 pm
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or were you just asking because you wanted to know if perhaps others thought you might?

November 10, 2005
7:42 pm
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Hi

I am an alcoholic recovering 5 years, your probably getting pissed off at this stage about the drink issue. My H has a drink problem, his friends, family etc would say no, just be sure if you know you are ok then she must deal with her own issues they are separate from you but if you have any lurking doubt that you drink a little too much. Try a wee honest AA Questionaire.

Pleaser

November 10, 2005
7:45 pm
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I know that I asked about it once when I was partying a lot when I was younger, there are a lot of reasons it may come up, I was just curious becasue conversation like that doesn't just come out of the blue and is usually triggered by something or other.

November 10, 2005
8:29 pm
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Just curious about her relationship with her family---could you elaborate. You have protrayed your family as very open and loving and kind and this was the first time she met them---it may have triggered something that made her uncomfortable---again not your stuff, but hers.

November 10, 2005
8:45 pm
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Also, no family is perfect, it's always easier to focus on another families problems than our own, and we are most critical of the people we love when we ourselves are unhealthy.

November 10, 2005
8:56 pm
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I guess i ma having a hard time with this in a lot of ways. It sounds to me like you are perfect, your family is perfect, and she is an issue ridden critical troubled adult child that is going to single handedly cost you your relationship? This hits home to me in that I have been on the other end of this, and I will step back from posting here at all, but I think that thou doth protest too much, there are things that don't make sense here, and I fell like this is a thread to helping a supposedly perfect person accept (or affirm in their own mind anyway) that soemone ELSE needs to fix their problems/issues. I mean, what is the real question here? Because the only one I see is "It's all her fault and I'm terrific, right?".

November 11, 2005
7:41 pm
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Oh, please do not interpret my post as a I am perfect statement. I am far from it. I'm typically the loud one in the middle of the room.

I'm trying to get my arms around codependancy and alcoholism's effect on people in their later life.

I myself was raped/sodimized as a child by a neighbor when I was about 5. My GF has pointed out that this is probalby directly tied to some very controlling behaviors I have in my life. I'm not obsesive compulsive, but propably about as close as one can get. Maybe I'm just lining up my silverware into a more comfortable position. Anyway, this was a new concept for me. I have never had any counselling for this, and I wasn't aware that I had any adverse effects from it. I just figured I had gotten my arms around it by myself.

Anyway, I do like to have a good time but I don't make it habitual. I can take alcohol or leave it. I haven't had a need or desire during this breakup to even use it as an escape. I'm just not programmed that way. I have a couple of friends that just plain don't drink. I experimented with drugs as a teenager, but never found drugs inticing.

My GF has asked me why I drink alcohol. The most honest answer I can come up with is that I like the taste. I'm mostly a beer person, but I also have a wine collection, but my last glass of wine from it was probably 3 weeks ago. I had two glasses at that sitting. I stress the word "collection".

Anyway, I'm far from perfect. I'm really confused by this situation, so I've been bouncing some of these statements my GF has made off my close friends, ones that have known me for 20 years. They have all commented along the lines of... No you're not that. I've never seen that in you. So I'm confused.

One of my GF's statements is I'm not very nice to people. I think this is more from a specific situation or two, but maybe maybe it's from my abuse. I don't trust very many people out of the gate. This probably gives me a very critical appearance with the general public. If you've double crossed me, then you're my enemy for life. But if someone I didn't know was in trouble, I would be the first one there to help. Weird?

Anyway, I really think the my drinking habits are getting too much airtime, but if that's the problem then I have to look at it closer.

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