Help! Meltdowns ruining my relationship

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Cuckooflower
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23 Dec 2013, 9:50 am

I recently, in the last three months, began what is the most serious relationship in my life so far.
It has been really good for me.

I'll keep this brief, but basically problems are springing up on both sides and I'm scared we won't make it, and that I'll lose this truly wonderful person, someone who could be the right person for me- whatever that means.

He has drinking problems and can be very hard to deal with. I happen to be enormously tolerant- I have spent most of my life around mentally ill people and not much can shock me or phase me to be honest. I've seen a lot in the realm of extreme behaviour. I'm almost immune to stuff that others might find extremely disturbing.

But the problem is when he drinks he demands that I am in his company all the time.
I'm autistic. I find this intolerable.
He is less tolerant of my very severe OCD when he is drunk.
I have tried to get him to limit his drinking.

It has become so that I am having meltdowns, not coping with OCD and holding down other responsibilities, and we are recently having constant almost daily arguments.
On two occasions I have become so stressed out I have pushed him quite hard.
I feel very ashamed of this behaviour. I used to become physically aggressive as a teenager when I was very unwell and overloaded, and I see it as a sign that I cannot cope with holding down a close relationship, and have to be alone.
But I'm in love with him! I can't stand to lose him.

We met at a mental health facility, so we both knew to begin with that each had significant difficulties. There is understanding there too, which is important.

We've had wonderful times together mostly. Both of us are hard work and high maintenance, it's not that that is the problem.
(He is not autistic himself, but has a diagnosis of a mixed personality disorder).


I need him to understand that I won't cope unless I have some time alone every now and then. Otherwise I'm happy to be very close. I don't need a large group of friends, just having him is good enough for me; I struggle with anger and meltdowns trying to hold down the few special friends I do have.

I just don't know what to do. I'm oscillating between feeling so desperate and angry and stressed I think we should end it, to thinking we must figure it out.
In many ways, we're great together, and I would profoundly regret losing him.
But right now I cannot cope.

Advice?


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Last edited by Cuckooflower on 23 Dec 2013, 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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23 Dec 2013, 9:52 am

You're in for a ride, that's for sure.



Cuckooflower
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23 Dec 2013, 10:13 am

I agree, in some ways that's a given, but how can we salvage the good in the relationship, and stay together?

I have also recently started a new medication and feel like isolating myself completely.
I don't feel rational.
I'm trying so hard to be selfless here. To be there for him.

But I'm on the brink of crumbling apart. What the hell can I do? :(


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thewhitrbbit
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23 Dec 2013, 10:45 am

If he's an alcoholic, is it worth saving? Is he putting any effort into getting treatment?



aspiemike
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23 Dec 2013, 11:06 am

Doesn't sound like you're in a relationship where he is willing to compromise. Communicate with him now that you need some time to yourself to sort out your own problems and that you will be back because you like him. If he doesn't respond well... Tell us what the response was before making any further decisions


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MjrMajorMajor
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23 Dec 2013, 11:50 am

1. You can't control other people, or "get them" to to do something. That's out of your hands.

2. I agree with aspiemike. There has to be communication both ways, or it's not a real relationship. Above all, take care of yourself and take some time out to get in a better mental space. You shouldn't be "selfless" in a good relationship, and martyrdom is never a good plan.



animalcrackers
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23 Dec 2013, 12:59 pm

Cuckooflower wrote:
But the problem is when he drinks he demands that I am in his company all the time.
I'm autistic. I find this intolerable.
He is less tolerant of my very severe OCD when he is drunk.
I have tried to get him to limit his drinking.


Does your partner want to drink less? If he's not at a place where he's ready and wanting to do so for his own reasons (not just because you want him to), then he probably won't. Not because he doesn't want to do so for you, but because people usually have powerful reasons for drinking heavily as part of their everyday existance -- until they are all three of ready, willing, and able to figure out those reasons and other ways to manage, changing their drinking habits can be impossible for them to do.

Cuckooflower wrote:
It has become so that I am having meltdowns, not coping with OCD and holding down other responsibilities, and we are recently having constant almost daily arguments.
On two occasions I have become so stressed out I have pushed him quite hard.
I feel very ashamed of this behaviour. I used to become physically aggressive as a teenager when I was very unwell and overloaded, and I see it as a sign that I cannot cope with holding down a close relationship, and have to be alone.


I don't think it is a sign that you can't cope with a close relationship...not all relationships are the same -- some work and some don't. Also, relationships where one person has substance use problems and the other does not are extremely complicated.

Cuckooflower wrote:
I need him to understand that I won't cope unless I have some time alone every now and then. Otherwise I'm happy to be very close. I don't need a large group of friends, just having him is good enough for me; I struggle with anger and meltdowns trying to hold down the few special friends I do have.


One of the problems that you might have with this is that even if your partner does come to understand very well what your needs and difficulties are when he is sober, he might not be able to hold onto that understanding when he's drunk. He may come to understand it whether drunk or sober, but have difficulty acting on that understanding when he's intoxicated.

Cuckooflower wrote:
I just don't know what to do. I'm oscillating between feeling so desperate and angry and stressed I think we should end it, to thinking we must figure it out.
In many ways, we're great together, and I would profoundly regret losing him.
But right now I cannot cope.

Advice?


Well, as long as you are in the relationship, I would strongly suggest that you set clear boundaries to look after your own needs. If you cannot spend every moment of your time with your partner when he's drunk, then you don't have to do so -- as much as you may want to be there for him and meet his needs, your needs are important, too.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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24 Dec 2013, 3:27 am

Boot him out! He's no good for you! My mother dates an unstable drunk, and he treats her like crap.



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24 Dec 2013, 9:20 am

Your title says "melt downs ruining my relationship!"

And the majority of your post sounds like you're just focused on the relationship, but not so much on the drinking.

It should be the other way around. You should be much more focused on his problem drinking and the title of the thread should be alcoholism ruining the relationship.

After all you said that it's the drinking that triggers your melt downs, yes?

You need to get him in treatment and if he doesn't want to go then say hasta la vista, baby!


I'm a former drug addict - went to treatment, got clean, stayed clean for 4 months, then I decided to drink alcohol because I never had a problem with it. WELL, I became an alcoholic for months until my family managed to dump me back into rehab.

I've been clean for over 9 months since then.

During my drug and alcohol use, that was all I really cared about. Relationships and everything else was secondary. Also a lot of my friends told me I was a cruel, mean drunk then sometimes I was a silly stupid drunk and sometimes a sobbing spilling my guts drunk.

Alcohol changes peoples' emotions and the worst part is they hardly ever remember what happened the next day. It's humiliating and made me feel vulnerable. Like a hermit crab yanked out of his shell.

Being in a relationship while struggling with an addiction problem is generally a bad idea. The addict needs time to get sober and by doing that they need to be selfish and take care of themselves for a time and not so much be able to help themselves and maintain a relationship.

Every time I've gone to rehab I've not been in a relationship, (usually because by that time everything hit the fan).



em_tsuj
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25 Dec 2013, 2:26 am

Have you told him how you feel? Have you told him you will not be around him while he is drinking because his behavior is unbearable when he is intoxicated? Are you willing to stand up for yourself by not being around him when he is drinking? If you two live together, what can you do to get away from him when he is drunk?

You can't control his drinking. I don't even know if you have a right to try to control his drinking unless it is hurting him. You can control what you do though. If his drinking hurts you, you don't have to be around it.



Merle
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25 Dec 2013, 11:54 am

Walk away.

He has a problem, a serious addiction and self-control problem, and you avoiding it in one fashion or another, thinking it's something you can, will simply allow the behavior to continue. It's a frequent sign of co-dependency / enabling, usually because of self-esteem issue (e.g. I deserve it, or it's all that I can get).

Relationships are tough, they're tougher when one party has a problem and won't get help for it.

Drunks are totally fun! Until they drink too much or the next morning.



illneverbeold
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04 Apr 2018, 6:56 am

From reading your post it sounds like you are both trying to force the other to be different. You cannot change each other. He will never be able to change or accept your need for space and you'll never be able to accept his desire for drinking. My advice is to part ways, and when you start dating again, be sure to watch out for habits like his and run the other way!



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04 Apr 2018, 9:47 am

Just so everyone knows, this thread is over 4 years old.


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