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Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue May 31, 2016 10:13 AM

I'm almost embarrassed to write this down, but I've been really struggling with this lately and my fiancé and I have been fighting more and more frequently. I'll preface this with the fact that we do have a counselling session coming up in a couple weeks, and we're going to try to work through this and some other issues before our wedding. I really just need some outside perspective.

My fiancé and I fight a LOT when he goes out drinking. I would say probably 75% of the time he goes out, we fight. His work is very social and involves a lot of parties, and they aren't usually "spouse-friendly" (i.e. spouses do not get an invite.) When we first started dating, I didn't have much of an issue with it, but my concern has definitely increased over the years (we have been together almost 5 years.)

Over the years, he has come close to being kicked out of hotels for partying. He's messaged me at all hours of the night, including calling me at 3:00 in the morning (usually to tell me that he wished I was there with him, but I can't because I don't get invited.) When I told him that he needed to stop messaging me in the middle of the night, he decided to put his phone away all night without letting me know. So I went over 12 hours not hearing from him, thinking that something had happened to him. I barely slept at all that night. He told me at these parties that there's always things that happen that just aren't "ok" to tell girlfriends/spouses about, but that I shouldn't worry because he's never the one involved. Things he says are just innocent (like girls giving other people lap dances, or everyone skinny dipping/getting naked in hot tubs and things like that).

He's driven home drunk on several occasions years ago. We once had an incident a couple years ago where we both left a party, but neither of us remembered the drive home. We made a promise to each other that we would NEVER let that happen again, and we've held true to that promise. However, about a month ago I found out that he had had several drinks at a party and smoked weed, and then drove 45 minutes home. When I gave him a hard time about that, he laughed and said "yeah, the drive home was hard!" When I called him out on it, he said that he actually wasn't that stoned and the drive was only hard because he was tired. But that he was safe to drive home, and that I needed to trust him on that that he wouldn't have driven home if he didn't feel like he was safe to. I've made the point that he could still easily lose his license/car and that would affect our relationship in a huge way, but he says that it's fine and that he doesn't need a lecture about it.

He goes away on work trips a couple times a year. The last one he went on, he got news that he was passed up for a major promotion for someone 10 years younger than him, with far less experience. That night, he was devastated and told me that he didn't want to talk, and he was just going to have a couple of drinks in his hotel room by himself. The next morning I found out that after we said goodnight, another girl finished work and messaged him. He invited her to his room and the two of them stayed up until 5 am drinking and talking. He said that he just needed a friend at that time, and that there was nothing I should worry about, but I couldn't help feel upset that he turned down the opportunity to talk to me that night, and instead spent it with another girl. When I asked him how he would have felt if I had done that, he said that he would have felt very uncomfortable with it. He apologized and knew it was wrong, but reassured me that nothing inappropriate happened.

6 months ago, after a work party, I found messages from one of his co-workers trying to get him to come to her house after the party. He was sending these text messages from the other room while I was sleeping in our bed. She was saying things like "I wish you were in my bed, I'm thinking about how I'm going to go home now and you're going to be in my bed f****** naked. I want you to get in a cab and undress and come see me and the things I would do..." He wasn't responding back with anything inappropriate, but he was asking what she was thinking about, and telling her that she wasn't a bad person for thinking those things. He kept encouraging her to say more. When I found these (on an iPad that we share, it's linked up to his phone messages) he apologized profusely and sat down with her afterwards to let her know that that type of thing couldn't happen again. However, when she came to our house for our house warming, she spent most of the night by his side, with her arm around him or leaning on the chair he was sitting on, etc. When I told him afterwards that I wasn't happy about the way she was hanging off of him, he said that I was overreacting and that she was like that with several other guys at our house that night.

My confidence has always been pretty high, but it's suffered quite a bit since that incident especially when it comes to him and other girls. He holds firm that he didn't cheat on me with those text messages, and that he stopped the conversation before it went too far, and that I just need to trust him. When it came up again recently (he was talking about girls that he's hired at work that are "bombshells" or "perfect 10's") I told him that I have been having a hard time with this ever since reading those text messages, he told me that it's been 6 months and I need to "get over it" and it's not his responsibility to make me feel better about that situation any more because he's "done everything that he possibly can" to make me feel better about it.

After reading all of that, I know this makes my fiancé sound like a complete dirtbag, and he really isn't. The guys that he works with that are married that are WAY worse. But does that make it right, just because he could be worse?

I also know that a lot of these issues are my fault too. I hate being left out of these events, especially since I'm friends with so many of his co-workers. His work is always going to have these types of events, and I know that I need to be better at not letting this get to me. I get very negative when he's out, and I'm often in a really bad mood when he gets home. We've definitely fought on nights where he hasn't done anything wrong, but I've just been mad that he's been out in general. But is this really just an issue of me trusting him? He says that I make him feel guilty every time he goes out with his friends and that he can never enjoy himself because he's worried about us fighting about it later.

I don't know what to do, or how to get past this constant issue in our relationship. :(

29 Replies to Issues with fiancé

re: Issues with fiancé (karma: 1)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 31, 2016 12:20 PM
HAHAHA, NOPE.

Look, for a relationship to work, you have to be able to trust each other. And you DON'T. And you don't really have any reason to - every time you get kind of close, you're almost there, you can almost trust him...he text-flirts with a co-worker, or drives home drunk, or whatever.

And there's no shame. There's a lot of times that relationships that otherwise were going great, break down because of a fundamental difference. For example, when one partner wants kids, and the other doesn't. In your case, one partner wants to only drive sober and be able to trust that her boyfriend isn't out cheating on her...and the other doesn't understand why those things are such a big deal in the first place.

So, your question now is - is this something you're willing to turn a blind eye to FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, or is this something you can't get past? I know my personal answer, but I can't answer that for you.
re: Issues with fiancé (karma: 2)
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 31, 2016 03:48 PM
The guys that he works with that are married that are WAY worse. But does that make it right, just because he could be worse?


The shiniest turd in the pile is still a turd.

He's gaslighting you hardcore, making you question your sanity/reasonableness, while making you the bad guy. You really want to sign up for 40 more years of this?
re: Issues with fiancé (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 31, 2016 10:53 PM
These jobs where it is required to do all this hard partying w/o partners and too much drinking and lap dances, etc. - I don't buy that. No one HAS TO do that for work. I mean, I know that there are work cultures where that goes on, but he doesn't have to participate to the level that he is that's for sure, it's a job not a college fraternity. And on top of that I think he's playing you like a fiddle. I'm literally rolling my eyes over these scenarios he's in with other women. And the drinking and driving? Totally unacceptable. And when after you are done writing the truth you backtrack with saying he's really not all that bad. Yes he is. Even if his work is never going to change and he is always going to be doing this kind of behavior - is that really the life you want?
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue May 31, 2016 11:43 PM
Not gonna lie, I quit reading after you said you fight a lot after he goes out drinking. Ding, ding, ding!! The problem is ALCOHOL. HUGE red flag. Tell your counselor this. And seriously, do not marry him until he gets a handle on the drinking.

kk~
re: Issues with fiancé (karma: 2)
By kandykanePremium member
On Tue May 31, 2016 11:45 PM
^ Me. Ugh. So upset for you I forgot to click the Anony button.

kk~
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 09:00 AM
Thanks guys. There's definitely a lot that needs to be brought up with the counsellor.

He's gaslighting you hardcore, making you question your sanity/reasonableness, while making you the bad guy.


This is kinda funny. Not "ha-ha" funny. Years ago, I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship. I always told myself that I would never put myself in that situation again, and I truly believe that my fiancé doesn't do this on purpose. He's not intentionally being manipulative, but he hates being "in trouble" or wrong, which is how he sees any fight or issue that we have. But, this happens in a lot of our fights (even about other issues). He'll turn it around on me by getting mad at me for bringing up an issue at an inopportune time (i.e. "why are you bringing this up after I've had such a terrible day" "why are you bringing this up when we're trying to relax and have a nice day together" "why did you bring this up this morning, now I'm going to have a terrible day at work.") I've brought this up a number of times when we fight, and he's been getting better, but that deflection or turning things around on me happens a lot.

We had another fight last night :?. He was out with friends, and I had assumed that he was going to be gone all night so I made other plans for my night. Then, he messaged me around 8 to say that he was done and heading home soon. I changed my plans so that we could spend the rest of the night together (we live together), I figured it would be nice to have an unexpected night together since he was coming home early. But then I didn't hear from him for an hour and a half. Finally I messaged him and turned out he decided to stay longer and forgot to message me. When he got home (2 hours after he told me that he was leaving), he apologized for not messaging me about staying out later, but I was frustrated that I had changed my plans and spent the last hour and a half waiting for him to get home. He told me that it wasn't fair that I was mad at him for changing my plans, because that was a choice I made based on an assumption that I made without checking with him first.

I guess that's fair, I shouldn't have changed my plans without asking him or letting him know. But it still makes me want to tear my hair out. Ugh.
re: Issues with fiancé
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:45 AM
You "assumed" only what he told you, which is that he was coming home. This isn't a miscommunication on your part. :-/

I'm re-reading what you wrote initially and I just keep getting angrier and angrier on your behalf. I'm sorry. You don't deserve this.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:53 AM
So...I mean...please tell us about the other ways that he's so awesome, that makes up for all this absurdity. He best be buying out Sephora every afternoon for you, or something. Because his response isn't rational. And not only that, but when you do the rational thing, he turns it around to the point that you begin questioning how rational it all was to begin with!
re: Issues with fiancé
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 02:16 PM
He is using the 'inopportune time' thing to shut you up. There will NEVER be a good time, he basically doesn't want to hear it ever and will use that line every time.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 03:13 PM
We bumped up our appointment to tomorrow night. I can't do this anymore, and I'm starting to get cold feet. Invitations went out at the start of this week. The wedding is less than 3 months away and I'm terrified.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 07:15 PM
I think it's good you bumped up the appointment. I also agree that it seems the root cause of all of this is alcohol. If not attending these social functions would put his job in jeopardy, would he be willing to give up drinking at them? If the answer is no that is a major red flag. Just because others are worse than him at his job doesn't mean that makes what he is doing right. Is there any chance he could switch jobs sometime in the near future to a more professional, family-friendly company? What is the job market like in your area in his field? Would you/him be able and willing to move somewhere else for work if necessary? Does he have friends outside of his job? How does he behave around them?

I can only imagine how you feel now that the wedding invitations are out. I hope the therapist is a good one and jumps right to the point. In fact, I would actually print out your original post and give it to him/her so they know what all the issues are right away.
re: Issues with fiancé (karma: 1)
By hummingbird
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 09:38 PM
Wow! He seems to be a bit of an expert at turning things round and making them your problem. You're not allowed to change you're plans without telling him but he can change his plans at the drop of a hat without telling you several times within the hour? Do you not see the imbalance here?

He has to grow up and commit to the relationship but you also need to look at how much hard work this relationship will be.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:23 AM
So...I mean...please tell us about the other ways that he's so awesome, that makes up for all this absurdity.


It's never going to be easy to describe a 5 year relationship in a few paragraphs. I'm not trying to discount the major issues that we're having, but overall he really is a wonderful partner. He's supported me through 2 very difficult university degrees, both emotionally and financially. He cooks dinner for us every night of the week. Whenever I meet people from his work, the first thing they tell me is how much he talks about how wonderful I am, and how proud he is of me and what I do. He is extremely supportive of my work and often networks for me with people that he meets through his work. He surprises me often with flowers, special dinners, and thoughtful gifts. He gets along amazingly with my whole family, and goes out of his way to do thoughtful things for them as well. He's used his connections at work to get my brother a job when he was struggling for money. We almost never fight about the normal relationship stuff (money, housework, future kids, even wedding planning has been pretty fight-free).

Wow! He seems to be a bit of an expert at turning things round and making them your problem.


In the last 2 years or so, his work has really changed the way they approach leadership, and I think he's using a lot of the same approaches with our relationship. Just last night, he said that he feels as though it is his responsibility to lead me through our fights, to realize the role that we both play. He essentially said that we need to look at every fight we have and take the approach that we both did something wrong to start the fight. In some ways, I agree. But it also boils my blood and I find it extremely condescending that he feels like he needs to take a "leadership" role in our relationship to "guide" me. Something I will also bring up in therapy....

Is there any chance he could switch jobs sometime in the near future to a more professional, family-friendly company? What is the job market like in your area in his field? Would you/him be able and willing to move somewhere else for work if necessary? Does he have friends outside of his job? How does he behave around them?


In the field that he is in, his company is actually one of the most tame there is when it comes to partying and social gatherings. If he were to get out of this atmosphere, he would literally have to make an entire career change. He's already done that once when he was laid off several years ago; I know he's said doing it again is something that he isn't really considering. We just bought a house together in the city we live in less than 6 months ago, so moving isn't really something that we're willing to do. Both of our earning potentials at work are highest in the city we live in too, and I absolutely love my job. In the fall, I'm also transferring to a location with work that is less than 3 miles from our house. He does have friends outside of his job, and they tend to be a lot more family-oriented and a few years older than the people he works with. They still drink and have a good time, but they are often a lot more responsible about it, and it's usually just the guys hanging out.
re: Issues with fiancé
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu Jun 02, 2016 03:18 PM
Address the alcohol issue. Head on. You say he's a great guy, normally. The excess drinking causes behavioral changes. It's easy to excuse and look for other reasons, but.... no. Ask him if he will quit drinking for one month. If he can't... or won't.... that should tell you something.

kk~
re: Issues with fiancé
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2016 07:45 AM
How did the counselling go?

I have to say, I'm worried for you. I have worked in industries where it's completely normal for people to go out after work, drink til 3am and turn up at work again the next day with a raging hangover and a guilty mind because that's "networking" and part of the job. Want to know how long that lasted? One night. I was home by 11pm because it was boring and expensive. And I got promoted in my job within 6 months. So it has nothing to do with the job - perhaps he should re-look at WHY he didn't get the promotion he was after?

If my husbands career affected our marriage, you get it would be a deal breaker. I don't deserve the worry, the disregard for our savings spent on booze, and the messages from the other co worker? That would have sent me over the edge.

If he has any respect for himself, you and his career - he'll settle down quick smart. How old is he?
re: Issues with fiancé
By hummingbird
On Tue Jun 07, 2016 01:51 PM
Also thinking about you and wondering how things are going.
re: Issues with fiancé
By ChristinePremium member
On Wed Jun 08, 2016 06:07 PM
anonymous wrote:

We bumped up our appointment to tomorrow night. I can't do this anymore, and I'm starting to get cold feet. Invitations went out at the start of this week. The wedding is less than 3 months away and I'm terrified.


I was about to jump in on this conversation and add my two cents, which like others, had to do with the Alcohol Problem (capitals intentional...)but when you posted this I thought, the professionals will make this call PDQ and decided not to pile on. Everyone else has given you excellent insights. Heartfelt, intelligent, and caring. Please listen to them.

I'm glad you are going to address this with a professional, and since it's been a week now, I'm hoping you have a better sense of your own sanity and confirmation that this is a genuine concern that needs to be addressed by him and not pushed off on you as your insecurities, etc.

I just wanted to join in and let you know I too have been thinking of you, worrying about your situation, and I just want to add one more thing.

Don't let the fact that the invitations have gone out, plans made, etc, cloud your judgement. Alcohol abuse isn't a problem than fixes itself. It doesn't "stay the same". It either gets better, or it gets worse. I pray your counselor has been helpful in assisting you in sorting this out. oxoxox

Keep On Dancing*
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Tue Jun 14, 2016 09:51 AM
Thanks for checking up on me, sorry I've been MIA. These last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind.

The first session went quite well, but we didn't delve too much into the drinking. We have some problems in other areas that needed to be addressed first, and a 1 hour session goes by really fast! We're seeing him again this Thursday, and I told my fiancé that this is what I really want to focus on in this session.

On the bright side, our counsellor feels that we've come to him at a really good time, and that we have a lot of really positive things going for our relationship. So, hopefully we can address the work/partying stuff.

To be honest, there's a big part of me that would love for him to find a different job. He just found out recently that his regional manager has had him on his "fire list" for months because he doesn't feel like he's ever going to get to the next level. At the same time, my fiancé found out that this same manager has been cheating on his wife and two kids for ages with another woman that works for the company (who happens to be best friends with his wife..) To the point where this other woman has gone on family vacations with them. He even slept with her in his own home while his wife was home in the other room taking a nap with their two children.

Stories like that make me absolutely sick. I know that my fiancé would never EVER do something like that, but just the fact that that kind of stuff goes on with people in the company is despicable.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:00 AM
It happened again..

He went out last night to a work party. He wasn't really excited to go to the party, and made it seem like he would only have a couple drinks and then come home. Things were going fine, and at 11pm he told me that the main event was wrapping up and he'd be out just a little longer. So, we said good night and I went to sleep. 2 hours later, I woke up and he still wasn't home, so I messaged him to see where he was. His response was "I just got iced 2 times" (i.e. chugging a bottle of Smirnoff Ice as quickly as possible). So, I asked him if he was still driving and he said no. Then I asked him what his plan was to get home, since it's about a $60 cab ride from where he was at. He told me that he didn't know how he was getting home and he didn't know when he was getting home. These messages were all sent over about an hour, so now it's past 1am and I have no idea how he's getting home. I told him that I was worried and wasn't going to be able to sleep not knowing what his plan was. So, he told me then that he was fine to drive and would come home. When he said that, I offered twice to go pick him up but he told me that he was safe to drive home. When he got home, I could tell that he was pretty tipsy and I asked him to be 100% honest if he was ok to drive, and he said no. He then told me that I was the reason he drove home drunk. He said he felt pressured to come home, and that was the only option for him to get home as quickly as possible.

We talked about these things in counselling the other night. Our counsellor suggested that when he's out, he calls me before I go to bed to ease my anxiety (which he didn't do). He told us to make a plan to get home in advance so that I'm not worried (which I thought we did, but he ended up drinking too much). I was honest with him in counselling that I don't trust him not to drive home drunk, and then 4 days later he does it again. But then he still insists that I just need to trust him to make good decisions.

He says that he feels like I am his mom, and that the only way I'm going to be satisfied is if I can keep tabs on him all night long. I don't feel like that's the case, but I don't know what to do.
re: Issues with fianc������©
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:27 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2016-06-21 12:28:18
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2016-06-21 12:28:43
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2016-06-21 12:30:32
And there he goes again, throwing it back on you--oh, it's YOUR fault I drove drunk because you wanted me back home (even though you gave me plenty of reasonable alternatives!)

Saying this from a totally non-professional standpoint because I am not a therapist and I've never met your fiance--I hear stories like this all the time at my job sitting in on clinical treatment meetings at an addiction recovery clinic. If he was honest with his answers, after an assessment I would not be shocked if he was recommended for an intensive outpatient program at the very least--but he would have to stop drinking, and for that to happen, he would have to want to change. A specific substance abuse evaluation for him might wake him up to how much of a problem it's become. Our clients are regularly shocked when they come in with huge drinking or drug issues and we recommend they go to residential, because to them it's just not a big deal.

I'm pretty convinced that this whole situation can boil down to a substance abuse issue and I'm honestly surprised your therapist hasn't highlighted this more. I hear your fear and frustration. I'm sorry you're going through this.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 21, 2016 04:49 PM
Anon, you've GOT to stop trying to be the "cool girlfriend." What he's doing is absolutely unacceptable. I'm very proud that you're being proactive with therapy, but it doesn't sound like he's changing. You can't control him, but you can control your reactions to his behavior.

All I can say is that you're clearly invested in this relationship, and he needs to meet you halfway. Something like this would be a dealbreaker for me, and many others, so he needs to be thankful that you don't feel the same way and shape up.

Drunk driving is never, ever okay. He could have killed several innocent people. It's a big deal, and when discussing that with him, you need to make it clear that you don't find it ok.
re: Issues with fiancé
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 21, 2016 09:33 PM

Stories like that make me absolutely sick. I know that my fiancé would never EVER do something like that, but just the fact that that kind of stuff goes on with people in the company is despicable.


But...do you know that? He's an alcoholic (or can see the road signs from where he is), that has proven over and over and over that when he drinks, he does NOT make good decisions. And yet...you're trusting that just this one time - !!! - when he drinks, he'll make a good decision?!
re: Issues with fiancé
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 22, 2016 07:57 AM
<3 much love, OP. It's very tough to navigate a situation where your love and hope for your SO outweigh the red flags that you see.

It's good that you're acknowledging this issue NOW. It's AWESOME that you're in therapy- use that therapy as a way to say stuff to your SO that would go south without a mediator. Hold him accountable for going against your agreements. Really utilize your therapist in that sense.

My SO was a closet alcoholic. He would get smashing drunk on weekdays and weekends alike, but for years I didn't realize because he just didn't drink openly. When he went into a job where drinking after work was the norm, it provided a societally-sanctioned outlet for his alcoholism and it didn't take long for him to become very much like how you describe your fiance.

We've been married 9 years. His binge drinking turned abusive, and I packed up my 4 children and snuck away while he was at work because he wouldn't allow me to leave the house. Divorce is pending.

What I learned is that he loves me, he will probably always love me. But he loves alcohol more, and didn't care when his alcohol usage hurt me. It was *my* fault for being too controlling/sensitive/whatever and I should just let him do his thing.

The problem is that I built a life, a family, my plans for thr future around the notion that I'd be married the rest of my life. And I held up my end of the bargain and I tried to relax and I tried to make home be the perfect place to come home to, but... I was never enough because I couldn't make him feel like the alcohol did.

You said that stories about cheating spouses make you sick, but would your situation feel very different if he WAS cheating? Is infidelity to a bottle of smirnoff ice that takes him away from you and makes him gaslight you all that much different?

In my case, I could deal with the infidelity that sometimes came from his drinking. But in the end he chose alcohol over me. Because he knew that infidelity was wrong, but having a few drinks? Totally fine. Even when those few drinks turned into a nightly binge with me having to explain to my toddlers why daddy was passed out on the floor at 6pm.

And honestly, didn't deserve any of it. But that's what I got when I ignored the red flags, decided that advice didn't apply to me because my situation wasn't identical to the people begging me to leace, and decided that my love and hope for him outweighed all of his bad qualities.
re: Issues with fiancé
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2016 09:23 AM
MidLake Muse hit it on the head when she said he has to want to change. And, clearly, he doesn't. He's having a good old time and considers you a party pooper. He's making you feel like you are the one with the problem.

I guarantee you, if he ever gets stopped for a DUI or has an alcohol related accident, he will look to you to bail him out.

I understand more than you think, that's it's hard to talk sense to him, it's hard to think about leaving him, it's hard to even plan dinner not knowing what he will do this time. If I could, I would sit you down and outline everything I've had to go through being married to an alcoholic. 30 years. In the early stages, it was hard partying. Just like your guy. He had to almost DIE to even try to quit and now, four years after his brush with death, he's drinking again and hiding it from me.

Don't be me. I beg you. Insist he get real help. If e refuses, get out before you have kids. They don't deserve to live a life with an alcoholic father. YOU don't deserve this, either.

kk~
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