My boyfriend was a different person when he drank. Was I wrong to just leave him? Ask Ellie
Q: I’m a woman, 33, recently out of a relationship that began three years ago. I was introduced to my partner by a mutual friend.
Both men are late 30s with “big” jobs. Dating my new boyfriend was very exciting. He urged me to move in with him after one month. It was very flattering and romantic!
But our social life as a couple involved frequent dinners and drinks with his colleagues, cocktail parties with his “associates” and boozy weekends at friends’ cottages.
All these were difficult for me because I’ve never tolerated alcohol well. What’s worse is I learned that my partner’s different when he drinks.
He’d start an argument over nothing, criticize me, until I’d get very angry and go home crying. He’d later try to get intimate but fall asleep and not apologize in the morning.
I considered leaving him, but then COVID-19 changed everything. We both had to work from home. We figured out a routine for work and meals, but his drinking increased.
He’d easily get angry and blame me for something, but then he’d apologize and cry about how he loved and needed me.
I left. A few months later he was living with someone else.
Meanwhile, I’ve lost faith in men who sweep women off their feet, and in myself in wasting three years with an alcoholic who loved the bottle more than me.
How do I gain back my self-confidence? Was I wrong to just leave him instead of going with him for therapy?
A: You were swept up by his pursuit when you hardly knew the man, only his seeming romantic nature and social lifestyle.
But practised “social” alcoholics usually know how to get what they want, i.e., the companion they can lean on.
The fact that you left is your stamp of self-confidence. You didn’t love him … his angry outbursts at you ended that.
You’d benefit from attending an Al-Anon mutual support group to hear how others have dealt with alcoholic relatives, partners, close friends.
It would provide a learning experience to better understand alcohol’s hold on some drinkers. It would also help you realize that you have nothing to regret … you weren’t committed to this man, because he never fully committed to you, only to his next drink.
Q: I’m a guy, 25, with a girlfriend who’s sending me mixed messages. We’ve been together a few years with four months off last year when she decided we needed a “break.” I was very hurt, assuming she liked someone
But it turned out that her girlfriends talked her into “a break” from me because we met when both 21. As if that meant we were too stupid to know what we wanted!
We’re back together with things fine … then suddenly she’s wanting to spend more time with her besties, girls only. That lasted three weeks.