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Topic: 15 year relationship, was it for nothing?

18 posts, 0 answered
  1. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    30 June 2020

    I have been in a relationship with my partner for 15 years (16 in November) and we have been having issues for maybe the last year and a half. Pretty much since he started hanging out with new people. Anyway, he has been drinking to excess everyday, is at the pub minimum 3 times a week and gambles a lot. My issue is when he drinks he is a different person. He rarely remembers what happened when he wakes the next morning, which is fine for him, but not for me as he is usually quite mean in the things he says when he is drunk. He usually says things like he is going to leave me, he has had enough, im stupid etc. Last night was really bad where he said he wanted to move and I said i didnt (because i dont want to move away from family and be someone where i have no one, and my dad is also not in the best of health) so because of that I dont love him and have never loved him and ive just used him for 15 years (thats the nice version). He also accuses me of cheating all the time which i would never do. He was saying that his life is worthless etc. He said he left his kids for me and i have done nothing for him. His kids are still in our lives, i have always made an effort with them (they are all grown up now). He stormed out of the house and has not returned. I tried to call him a couple of times this morning to see if he was ok but he didnt answer. I sent a text saying if he didnt want to talk at least let me know that he is ok please and I got a text back saying "ok". that is all the communication i have got.

    Last year, he left me without warning but came back 2 or 3 days later realising he had 'made a mistake'. This was after he had an affair and i forgave him.

    i dont know what to do. Is this it? I have stood by him with all that he has done, been there for him through everything. I feel so alone and lost. My best friend is gone.

  2. Mr Paul
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    286 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Hi Manda

    It sounds like your partner has some serious issues. I wish my ex was as patient and as understanding as you.

    From what you have shared, I don't think you are the problem is you. His excessive drinking and an affair would suggest he is struggling with some internal demon.

    Can you get him to see a counsellor; either as a couple or by himself?

  3. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    513 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Dear Manda,

    Well done for reaching out with such a devastating issue. It's so awful when you see someone change and start spiralling out of control.

    I would like to suggest that you check out this link: https://www.al-anon.org.au/ and maybe, hopefully, there you might find the help and support that you are seeking.

    The situation you described in your post, seems almost exactly what I too experienced in a relationship many years ago. And although mine only lasted a total of about 3 years, the devastation and loneliness I felt was overwhelming.

    I now have a very different life, thanks to the help of Al-anon, and am very thankful for the help, support and understanding that was offered there. I don't think I would have made it this far without it, to be honest.

    Anyway, you can, of course keep coming back here as much as you like. I do hope things improve for you soon.

    Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  4. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to Mr Paul

    yes he does have some demons he struggles with that stem from his childhood and he also has depression. I know this is not an excuse for how he treats me but I try to understand that it is not easy for him.

    After the affair last year and when he left and then came back, i said my condition was i wanted him to see a counsellor (i have been wanting him to see one for years), he went maybe 3 or 4 times and stopped. he uses the excuse that they didnt call him for an appointment. I even saw one for myself as he said it wasnt fair he had to see one and i didnt. I still mention it every now and then but i dont see it happening, i honestly wouldnt know how honest he would be. I know he is not honest with his drs about the amount he drinks.

    He has come home, but is still in a bit of a mood. He gave me a hug so i dont know if he doesnt remember all of last night or just parts of it. He would know something happened as he would of woke up not home.

  5. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Thank you for your response. You are right, the loneliness is so overwhelming. I have put so many walls up around me to stop being hurt now. When he is drunk, i just shut down.

    I will check out the link you posted. thank you.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Mr Paul
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    286 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Maybe you need to go as a couple. That way there will be no excuses and you will know if he is being honest.

    The drinking and the affair are a symptom, not the cause of the problem. I know childhood issues can create a lot of problems in later life. It's not an excuse, but it might explain the problems you have now.

    In the short term, the link that Soberlicious96 sent looks to be a good place to start. If you can get the drinking under control you can work on the underlying demon; assuming that you still think the relationship can be salvaged.

    Depression and alcohol are a bad mix!

  7. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Hi MandaC,

    I'm so glad you chose to reach out and I really commend you for seeking support on this issue, it is not easy! If I'm completely honest, I applaud you for tolerating your partners problematic drinking and behaviour for the last year and a bit, you are caring, SELFLESS and kind and it makes me anger when people abuse the kindness in others (probably because I have felt my kindness been taken for granted in the past!). From experience, hearing hurtful things from the people we love while under the influence really starts to take a mental tool. Like you said they hardly remember what they said which is half the problem, and we (the person in the firing line) and left to replay their dreadful words over and over in our heads, wondering whether there is some truth to it, it really sucks and is no way to feel in a relationship. I hope you know you are none of those awful things. I agree with the others on this post that it sounds like there may be something going on under the surface and that you just really want to help him. What happens when you do talk to him about this? This could offer some more insight into what going on for him...

    I hear you say you don't know what to do, that your partner has left the house with little to no communication. From my point of view the fact that you put your own feelings aside to check in on him and is safety was an amazing thing to do <3

  8. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to leesy_lou
    Hey, just checking in to see how you are, and how things going today?
  9. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to leesy_lou

    not the best today. started off ok. but tonight he basically said that if i dont move (pretty much 5 hours away from my family) he is leaving no matter what and i have wasted 15 years of his life and dont love him that i have just used him.

    I said to him that i dont seem to make him happy anymore and his response was "well whos fault is that then".

    I am so down i cant seem to pull myself back up now. i love him but i dont want to leave my family as we are a really close family.

  10. Mr Paul
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    Mr Paul avatar
    286 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    For what it is worth, I think the move would be a mistake.

    If you do move 5 hours away, the problem will follow wherever you go. If you have family nearby, you are better off where you are.

    In phycological terms your partner is projecting his problems onto you. He is clearly unhappy with his life and is trying to blame you for his problems. As I said previously, alcohol and depression are a bad mix.

    Here is a link that you might find useful. It is no silver bullet, but it might help you understand what is going on.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/projection

    You should not have to choose?

    1 person found this helpful
  11. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Muring MandaC,

    Sounds like a defeating day - a day where I would most likely end up crying in the shower. You found the strength to come on here and connect with us, I hope this in itself helps as we are always here wanting to connect with you and chat.

    From what you have said it sounds like he has given you an ultimatum that is really unfair, and to be completely honest not reflective of the REAL truth at all - that sucks!

    Either you move your whole life for him away from your support networks/family and especially your father who you support at the moment, or the relationship ends, you loose the family you have with him and you have "wastes" a large portion of your life pretending to love him. Standing back and looking at these options objectively, neither seem like good or healthy options, and that sucks. I completely understand why you would be feeling helpless and down yourself, and cant pull yourself up. When the people around us feel helpless its easy to fall into this frame of thinking as well, and almost dwell together, I think it happens to me and its not until you stand back, almost shake off the helplessness, that bits of hope pop back in.

    Thinking out aloud here but do you think the fact that he believes there are only two options in this scenario suggest that he only sees two scenarios playing out? If so, this is so untrue, and points to "learned helplessness". I'm no doctor but you said earlier that he experienced trauma in his childhood and sometimes that can lead to people believe they have no control over their life (learned helplessness)- this could be something you are beginning to feel yourself so could be interesting to check out, and flag early. Just knowing about this should help you gain some perspective.

    Remember you always have choices, you are not responsible for other peoples happiness, and just because we love someone beyond believe doesn't mean we stop loving ourselves <3

    I said it already but I feel you need to hear it again, the fact that always consider your partners feelings and are their for others is admirable and selfless, just don't leave yourself behind. There is a difference "Caring" and "Rescuing".

    Talk soon X

  12. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to leesy_lou
    Thank you again. We had a good weekend, we spent the weekend together at home, he took the days off work and spent time with me which was nice. No arguing which was even better.

    Tonight he has walked out again. We had a good day, we were sitting down before i was about to cook dinner and he said he missed 'us' and wanted to get 'us' back. That he was going to try harder etc and I said I would try as well. Things were good. Then 5 mins later he asked about moving away again, I said I didn't want to, again, and then I just copped it all. Same verbal abuse as before, this time he included my family in it. Called them money hungry scum that only want our house. (They don't).
    He has said it's over, again, and walked out. He has been drinking so I have no idea if he is going to remember any of this or parts of this. If this really is over or it isn't?he says I treat him like shit. I apologised if I did, i didn't think i did.

    I feel so worthless, lonely, unloved. Obviously I am not good enough.
  13. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    8 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Morning MandaC,

    Sounds like the last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for you - no wonder you are feeling out of depth with it all.

    On one hand you were able to have a good weekend where you felt re-connected and enjoyed each other company, free of tension. Him taking work off for you sounds like a lovely gesture. But it now sounds like things have cycled back around in a way, to the same issues. What are you doing to cope when this happens?

    Feeling unloveable and lonely given the situation is completely understandable. Things seems to not be getting better and you blame yourself. Things are being said by your partner during heated conversation which stick like glue. They are hurtful comments and are aimed to put you down. From what your saying it sounds like this is followed by complete withdrawal leaving you isloated and in the dark with no support and love. This is not okay. It is abuse and never okay for someone to treat you or anyone like this. Someone else's actions are not your responsibility and do not point to your incapabilities. You are probably thinking - Maybe if I did this or didn't, I'll say less next time.....I really get it, I've been there. I know with myself and others that sharing the ugly parts of relationships is sensitive, so just know that I hear both what you are saying and not saying and you are not alone. But continuously changing ourselves to reduce conflict that is occurring due to someones else behaviour only silences us, and delays the inevitable.

    I'm so sorry that this relationship is not progressing the way wish and deserve, but that is not your fault. Is there anyone that you can talk to in your personal life that knows about this?

  14. MummaCat
    MummaCat avatar
    1 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Hi Manda,

    I have just joined this forum after reading your post.

    I was simply looking through to see if this might be a place I might find helpful when I came across your description “15 years wasted” and I caught my attention instantly.

    The more I read, the more I was shocked how similar our stories are.

    I have also had the 15 years, best friend, he walked out, had relations with other women whilst separated, has a drinking problem, his personality changes dramatically when drinking (even a little), is emotionally abusive whilst intoxicated, projects anger onto me and others in the family, when I know we have done nothing to deserve it and it instead stems from an abusive upbringing.

    However, this has been going on for more like 10 of our 15 years but it probably was gradually showing itself earlier but I didn’t realise.

    We have children from previous relationships (mostly grown) and one together who is still a child.

    I have endured all forms of chaos and haven’t been able to walk away because of the children.

    I haven’t had financial independence from a job as life with an alcoholic doesn’t afford that luxury when the care of children is at stake.

    I also haven’t had family at all as they just aren’t ‘available’.

    I don’t make many friendships as others don’t need the drama and I don’t blame them. It’s so consuming I have very little else to talk about.

    I wanted to reach out and let you know how similar our ‘ride’ is.

    If you have a good family I would be very reluctant to leave that. I feel this would only isolate you further and I can’t help but feel this may sadly be his endgame. Once you have nobody left but him, he could feel more empowered and increase the disrespect towards you.

    When he says he misses ‘us’ it sounds like he misses the times when perhaps you made him the centre of your world and he wants that back or to more of a degree than previous .This may be what he is trying to achieve (due to his own emotional issues) but this would not be a very happy place for you to be.

    I am currently trying to navigate what I should be doing but the only thing I do know is I need to be looking after me. I need to do what is best for me (and the youngest child).

    Exactly what that is changes from day to day so that’s how I’m tackling it.One day at a time. This is very hard since I am a planner and doer, I hate stagnating.

    I hope this helps you in some way. Perhaps in the very least to know that your situation isn’t unique and it isn’t your fault.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Hi MandaC,

    Noticed you hadn't replied to this forum (which is so okay - no preesure to reply) but just wanted to check-in to see if you are doing okay this week.

    Thinking about you <3

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Jsua
    Jsua avatar
    151 posts
    15 July 2020

    Good afternoon MandaC.

    I couldn't help but notice your post and want to know that this is a great place to seek support. I imagine that you must be feeing extremely emotionally and physically overwhelmed with the situation you and your partner are experiencing at the moment. I also understand from what you have said, that he has difficulties managing his emotions, he has intoxication issues and obsessed with wanting to know if you want to move. Obviously your partner has things going on in his mind that he may be trying to suppress with drinking, curiously, that it may all have something to with moving to another location. Can I ask you why he wants you both to move locations?

  17. MandaC
    MandaC avatar
    7 posts
    2 August 2020 in reply to leesy_lou
    Thank you for checking up on me and concern. Things seem to have settled down for a bit regarding moving at least. The verbal stuff when drinking has calmed down and he is trying to cut back hos drinking and has talked to his Dr, so progress. Another issue has been in th background and has gotten worse unfortunately. He has been going to a female neighbours for a while now and I have questioned it, every time. He says nothing is going on but is displaying same behavior as last time he cheated, protective of phone, she's calling him all the time, he leaves the room when she calls etc (when he puts everyone else on speaker phone), takes her shopping etc. It's been really upsetting me and he keeps saying he is 'sick of my shit' when I ask what they talked about or if she has called etc. I said to him how about if he agrees to tell me when she messages and calls/shows me and when she calls put her on speaker phone to help put me at ease then. He agreed. He says nothing is going on. Today we were going out to spend day together and I heard her on the phone in the car when he pulled up. He got out and said nothing, I left it a few minutes, still nothing so I asked what were they talking about. He lost it. Said he was sick of my sick, over it. He was done and leaving.
    I said he agreed this morning he was going to tell me not keep these secret. He denied it. I said if he wasn't hiding anything then why is he so angry over it.
    He stormed out of the house saying he is leaving and doesn't know if he will be back.i snapped and said don't come back 😳😭. He came back inside and grabbed stuffed said it's all my fault.
    I didn't mean it I don't want him to go.
  18. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    513 posts
    2 August 2020 in reply to MandaC

    Dear Manda,

    I want to ask one thing, and remind you of another;

    1) I know you said you "don't want him to leave" .... (and I'm not advocating leaving OR staying together) but why don't you want him to leave?

    People sometimes think that their partner is the only person they have in the whole world, and that if the partner leaves, then they'll be left with no one but sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes our friends (yes, even the ones we've lost touch with) and family can see what we can't and have backed away silently, BECAUSE OF the (Perhaps toxic?) partner, and can often come bouncing back once the toxic person is out of the picture. I know that when I was in a toxic relationship, I has lost contact with so many people .... but it was because of his behavior, rather than me thinking that he was the 'only one' I had left. Does that make sense?

    Maybe another way to put it is like this; I thought I drank because of my problems, but my problems were because of my drinking.

    2) The other thing I wanted to point out is that whether he, or you, or both of you relocate to somewhere else, your issues go right along with you. "Wherever you go, there you are" is what they said to me, in my drinking days. I kept thinking that a change of postcodes would 'fix' everything, but it never did. So yeah, wherever he goes, he takes himself and his dishonest, evasive behavior with him. The ONLY thing that 'fixes' bad/dishonest behavior, is healthy, honest behavior.

    I would like to (strongly) suggest that you contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) and/or Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) to get some advice and support, at least for yourself if nothing else.

    It just seems as though you are on a very UNfun merry-go-round and somewhere, somehow, that repeating cycle of pain needs to be broken or interrupted. I really do feel for you, and for what you are going through. It's hard to love someone who doesn't really seem to love you back in the way that you need.

    Anyway, still here if you want to talk some more. I tend to 'check in' most days on here, so I'll be keeping an eye out for your reply, if you want to.

    Take care.Thinking of you. xo

    1 person found this helpful

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