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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 11:10PM #1
Ladycwells
Posts: 12
Well, I will just tell it...I am engaged (well sort of) to a man I love vey much, but he is alcoholic and is very defensive about his drinking.  He don't beat me but his is threatening and verbally abusive when he is drinking.  He has done some things I forgave him for but I am not so easily persuaded to put myself in harms way again.  I tried to break things off with him but we seem to be drawn to each other and always, always he asks me to pray for him.  Sometimes I feel like I was put in his path for that very reason...to pray for him and be a guiding light.  But most of the time I find myself telling God I can't do it anymore and I need help and it seems help is nowhere in sight.
I believe people can and do change but he seems determined not to change.  He loves me (I certainly don't doubt it, he really do), but he is not able to keep a job and he has no ambition about himself and is literally a step from being a bum in the streets. 
I am the opposite, not better, just the opposite.  I love going to church and seeking the will of God and would love if he would come on and go with me.  I know I have destiny and I look daily for the move of God and am always examing my life and how things are going.  I have a home business now and I want things in life.  There is also a big age difference.  I am 42 and he is 34.  He says I treat him like a son rather than a mate.
He wants to get married but he knows how I feel and so he keeps putting it off until he gets his self together.  But I told him I would not see him this year (and I haven't) unless he does get himself together and we are headed to the alter as I am not laying with him.  He agreed and so he calls daily to tell me he is working on it but usually when he calls, he is drunk.
I feel like I am at the end of my rope.  I have come to terms that I may not see him anymore.  I love him and I know he loves me too but I am tired... really tired.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 8:10AM #2
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
Why are you engaged to him?  He is destructive, threatening, and WILL destroy both your lives.  An alcoholic MUST hit bottom before he/she can change, and you can't force that change. 
This relationship can only end badly for you. 
If you're treating him as less than equal, you are not helping. 
Get out of it before you both destroy your faith.

Yes, someone will say I'm a big meanie.  But I have an alcoholic sister who used to abuse her children and tried to kill me.  We tried to help her for years.  My parents finally had to wash their hands of her and let her bottom out.   My father died right after she hit bottom.  She didn't fall back.  My mom lived long enough to see her sober and happy.  I keep in touch with her, and love her dearly.  She apologized for the past, and I never held it against her.
You MUST get out before he destroys you.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 9:20AM #3
Hatman
Posts: 9,634

Ladycwells wrote:

Well, I will just tell it...I am engaged (well sort of) to a man I love vey much, but he is alcoholic and is very defensive about his drinking.  He don't beat me but his is threatening and verbally abusive when he is drinking.  He has done some things I forgave him for but I am not so easily persuaded to put myself in harms way again.  I tried to break things off with him but we seem to be drawn to each other and always, always he asks me to pray for him.  Sometimes I feel like I was put in his path for that very reason...to pray for him and be a guiding light.  But most of the time I find myself telling God I can't do it anymore and I need help and it seems help is nowhere in sight.
I believe people can and do change but he seems determined not to change.  He loves me (I certainly don't doubt it, he really do), but he is not able to keep a job and he has no ambition about himself and is literally a step from being a bum in the streets. 
I am the opposite, not better, just the opposite.  I love going to church and seeking the will of God and would love if he would come on and go with me.  I know I have destiny and I look daily for the move of God and am always examing my life and how things are going.  I have a home business now and I want things in life.  There is also a big age difference.  I am 42 and he is 34.  He says I treat him like a son rather than a mate.
He wants to get married but he knows how I feel and so he keeps putting it off until he gets his self together.  But I told him I would not see him this year (and I haven't) unless he does get himself together and we are headed to the alter as I am not laying with him.  He agreed and so he calls daily to tell me he is working on it but usually when he calls, he is drunk.
I feel like I am at the end of my rope.  I have come to terms that I may not see him anymore.  I love him and I know he loves me too but I am tired... really tired.



Ladyc-
I'm glad you're no longer enabling him, and that you've separated from him until he either gets disciplined with his drinking or quits it entirely.  Since he's an alcoholic, he has to hit bottom before he finally comes to the realization that he can no longer live that way, which will give him the strong motivation to be a man, instead of a slave.

Although I was once quite similar to your bf, I quit drinking entirely Jan 17, 1994---almost 14 years ago.  He has to do it for himself, for his own self-respect, not for you or for anyone else---for if he DOES do it for you, at any time in the future that you disappoint him, he can and will use this as an excuse to go right back to poisoning his brain and his body.

Tell him you'll see him again when he completes his first month sober in an AA program; give him the ph. numbers, addresses, and meeting times of a few places in your area so he can't use "I don't know" as an excuse.

Although you love him, you cannot take him as he is right now, for he is weak and dependent, not strong, decisive, and independent; in his heart, he knows this, which is why he takes out his anger and frustration with himself on you.  If you take him as he is right now, you will have told him/taught him that how he is is ok with you, and he'll have no motivation to do better and be a man.  So encourage him to man up whenever you talk with him, but find your joy and happiness---as much as you can---without him, for now. 

Warmest regards-

Hatman

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 9:35AM #4
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
[QUOTE=Ladycwells;214397]he is alcoholic and is very defensive about his drinking.  He don't beat me but his is threatening and verbally abusive when he is drinking...he seems determined not to change.  He loves me (I certainly don't doubt it, he really do), but he is not able to keep a job and he has no ambition about himself and is literally a step from being a bum in the streets.  /QUOTE]

I have a couple of questions: what do you find attractive about an abusive alcoholic who can't/won't keep a job or quit drinking, and who doesn't care enough about himself or you to quit?

And what does sort of engaged mean?

My advice: run do not walk away from this guy, and call Al-Anon to help you understand what the dynamics of a relationship with an addict are, and why you are self-destructive enough to want to participate in this trainwreck.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 9:59AM #5
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
Ladyc-
On review, I see that I didn't explain what I meant by "get disciplined with his drinking."

By that I mean setting self-imposed limits, then sticking by them with integrity.  For example, back when I was drinking, I would only drink on Friday and Saturday nights, there, toward the end(about the last 3 years); however, I would drink foolishly and to excess even then.  I had a friend(passed away recently, @ about 75 or so) who would only have one beer per day, only after 10PM, and only if he wanted one.  If called for help either during or after his beer, he would not drive to help anyone.  However, he WOULD say, "Call a cab, and when it gets here with you, I will pay him," and he would.  Now, THAT is disciplined.  Even though it's now 2 days from my 14th sober anniversary, if I ever DID drink again, I would try to take his example and do as he did.  However, even after all this time, I don't trust myself enough yet to tempt that old pattern, which I do not EVER want to help re-establish.

Warmest regards-

Hatman
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 3:00PM #6
Ladycwells
Posts: 12
Thank you all for your replies.  I said "sort of" engaged because we were engaged and I never offically broke it but at the beginning of the year I told him I would not see him until he got his self together.
I realized that he is going down hill and if I stayed in the relationship I would go down with him.  I also realized that I couldn't put life on hold for myself while I wait for him to "hit bottom" and hopefully come back up.  So I started a home business (so far, so...ok), and I made a commitment NOT to see him.
I do however talk with him on the phone because it is so easy to hang up.  When I talk to him, I do tell him to "man up" and be a "man" and not a little boy.  I am constantly telling him that part of being an adult is being responsible and right now he is not being an adult.
I stress again I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM THIS YEAR.

My problem is this:  I know our destinies are mixed with each other.  Each time I pray and I mean really listen for an answer, and really look for the hand writing on the wall, and really stay on my knees until my ears hear from God it is always the same.  God's mind has not changed.  Its always: Pray for him, remember where you came from, stand on Gods word for him, know he will be delivered, and you are my instrument.  Always!!
But I, the natural me, feel tired and worn out.  I guess like Jonas.  I know the truth but these don't want to know. "These being him".

By the way, his is listening but he switches.  One moment he is a 'grown man' who has been 'doing this a long time' and 'can darn well do as he wants' and the next minute he is agreeing that he needs to get him self  together, get a job and go to church.
I am NOT the one who is enableing him.  His mom is.  He would be a bum on the streets but she lets him stay at home, feed him and make excuses and try to cover for him.  While I on the other hand think he should spend some time at rock bottom, in the gutter and maybe jail.

And that is my inner fight.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 4:40PM #7
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
[QUOTE=Ladycwells;215608]My problem is this:  I know our destinies are mixed with each other.  Each time I pray and I mean really listen for an answer, and really look for the hand writing on the wall, and really stay on my knees until my ears hear from God it is always the same.  God's mind has not changed.  Its always: Pray for him, remember where you came from, stand on Gods word for him, know he will be delivered, and you are my instrument.  Always!![/QUOTE]

Two things to think about:
First of all, sometimes it is terribly difficult to discern what God is saying from what we desparately want to be true. So often, what we want seems so right to us that we figure God must agree with us!

Second, it may really be true that God is calling you to pray for him and assuring you that your prayer "will availeth much", it still doesn't necessarily mean that it's His plan for you to marry this guy or even have a relationship with him.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2008 - 7:15AM #8
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
[QUOTE=Ladycwells;215608]
My problem is this:  I know our destinies are mixed with each other.  Each time I pray and I mean really listen for an answer, and really look for the hand writing on the wall, and really stay on my knees until my ears hear from God it is always the same.  God's mind has not changed.  Its always: Pray for him, remember where you came from, stand on Gods word for him, know he will be delivered, and you are my instrument.  Always!!
But I, the natural me, feel tired and worn out.  I guess like Jonas.  I know the truth but these don't want to know. "These being him".

By the way, his is listening but he switches.  One moment he is a 'grown man' who has been 'doing this a long time' and 'can darn well do as he wants' and the next minute he is agreeing that he needs to get him self  together, get a job and go to church.
I am NOT the one who is enableing him.  His mom is.  He would be a bum on the streets but she lets him stay at home, feed him and make excuses and try to cover for him.  While I on the other hand think he should spend some time at rock bottom, in the gutter and maybe jail.

And that is my inner fight.[/QUOTE]

MALARKEY!!  Hasn't it occurred to you that when everyone in your life (even on the internet) is telling you the same thing that MAYBE it's God speaking?
You sound more like you're grasping for reasons NOT to leave.  Honestly, God doesn't have time to deal with the minute details of EVERY aspect of every person's life.  Don't put your failure to be an adult and make a decision on God.  It's YOU who needs to make the decision.
"Destiny" is malarkey.  If you're going to choose to wait for GOD to say something to you then you deserve whatever this bum does.  God IS telling you, and you're not listening.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2008 - 8:04AM #9
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849
Please reconsider what you are labeling “God’s Words” to you.  Maybe this is a case of preferring the “devil you know over the devil you don’t.”  Perhaps you are afraid of trying to find another man to be in a relationship with, or you are uncomfortable being alone, so part of you is trying to somehow forge a workable relationship with this man.  Your interactions with this man leave you “tired and worn out.”  That isn’t how one should feel when involved with a healthy partner in a relationship.  Aren’t you worth more than this?


Now, granted, this man may come around, face his demons and put them to rest permanently. But so far, he hasn’t really shown that he can do that –“One moment he is a 'grown man' who has been 'doing this a long time' and 'can darn well do as he wants' and the next minute he is agreeing that he needs to get him self together, get a job and go to church.”  I do understand that you have not seen him at all this year, but this year is a mere 16 days old. Not much time to make an impression on him that you are displeased with how he conducts himself.  And, he still is in contact with you via phone- right? Well, in his mind, this may be all he needs to think you are still in love with him and will tolerate his unreformed actions. In a sense, this is enabling him as well. You talk the talk, but are not walking the walk. That’s why he isn’t really committed to ending his relationship with alcohol. 

What would happen if you stopped all contact with this man with the clear understanding that he can only contact you when he has a year of sobriety- and a job- under his belt? And then you pulled together the courage to seek out someone who is worthy of you?  Meanwhile you pray hard and regularly for this man to defeat his demons.  If he truly wants a relationship with you, he will meet your requests and then seek you out when he knows he has met them.  That is the mark of a man with integrity. IF he fails to meet your requests, then he isn't a man you should be spending your time/energy on anyway.



Irene.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2008 - 10:49AM #10
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
Excellent advice!

Some other things to think about:

He's not 19 - he is a grown man, 34 yrs. old. Behavior that may be somewhat understandable in a young man is simply pathetic and disgusting in someone his age.

Since you are older, you may also represent another enabling "mother figure" rather than a lover and/or partner.

Addicts are expert manipulators par excellance. They will do/say literally anything to get their particular drug of choice and enable them to continue their self-destructive life.

Again, I recommend contacting Al-Anon. It's for people whose lives have been negatively impacted by loved ones who are alcoholics.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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