We need a fresh start (LONG)
I am not sure where to begin...my partner (W) and I have been together for two-years sharing a home, taking care of our two dogs, and sharing finances. We have many differences, he is 25and I am 28, I am white and he is Dene (northern Canada Aboriginal), I grew up in a city he grew up in a town of 800, I grew up with a married and stable mother and father and he was raised by a single mom who used to be an alcoholic, he is catholic and I am atheist, etc. We also have opposite personalities but our differences have been what kept the relationship interesting for me.
Over the two-years we have had some pretty big problems that all stem from his binge drinking. It always bothered me when W would disappear partying, sometimes all night, but I thought I could tolerate it as he grew out of it.
A little over a year ago he was out of town partying instead of working and did not send me the money that was needed for our rent. Then a woman told me she had kissed him during this period (which he still denies and I now believe him) and I lost it and ended up binge drinking myself and kissed one of his friends. I told him about my indiscretion although he said he would forgive me and we could move on, he slowly started becoming abusive when he drank. One night he pushed me pretty hard and I got minor whiplash. I decided to get an Emergency Protection Order against him which meant he could not contact me for 60 days. He rented a room in the same town we had moved to together (rather than moving back to his home town) and landed a really good job. After the 60 days we decided to stay together and work things out. But the monthly binge drinking did not stop. There were small changes...he rarely stayed out past 3 am, he would call and let me know where he was, he would leave his bank card at home and take a small amount of cash with him, and he sometimes invited me. But there were still times when he would be abusive after drinking - saying mean things or holding me (doesn't sound that bad but he would hold me so I couldn't walk away). After one big blowup he ended up taking my wallet and saying our relationship was over before he headed out the door to who knows where. Wanting to end things for good I called up a guy that had been flirting with me for a while and we fooled around that night. But when my partner showed up regretful and apologetic the next morning with my wallet and the cash he had withdrawn, I could not bring myself to tell him what I had done. It was over two months later, after new years, before he found out.
The way he treated me this past new years was one of the most hurtful memories. For my first time I did not see my family for Christmas, I travelled with my partner to his remote northern community where I have no family and few friends. He had came home with me for Christmas the year before so I returned the gesture. He promised to treat me good - no wild partying and to stay by my side. Christmas day was beautiful but come new years eve, we were having a disagreement about cultural differences and he decided to take a day trip by road to another community that had a liquor store. He left me with the turkey we were supposed to enjoy together that night to get alcohol with his old drinking buddy. He returned just before midnight, drunk. I did not want to sit around sad on new years so I went out with a different group of people. When I went home at 7 am he was there waiting and I ended up calling the police because he was holding me and interrogating me and not letting me walk away.
Shortly after that I told him about the second man I had been unfaithful with (why do I wait so long!?!). I also revealed a man I fooled around with before I thought we were in a committed relationship. That was a lot for him to hear at once and it lead to W going on the longest binge drinking yet. This time he said our relationship was over for good and he drove back to his home town where he drank for almost a week and ended up kissing his ex-girlfriend. I decided to quit drinking, seeing how alcohol affected the love of my life tore me up inside and I did not want alcohol in my life. I was a responsible drinker and I enjoy making homemade beer and wine but I could not enjoy a glass of shiraz anymore. We had that final closure discussion over the phone. I told him that I had quit drinking and that if he ever decided to take that route he should give me a call.
He ended up showing up at our home, he drove through the night for 24 hours straight to tell me he loved me and wanted to change. He was open and honest about kissing his ex, he said it was a mistake, and he told me he would quit drinking too and had put down the bottle after I told him that I had quit. He begged for me to take him back and those old feelings came back and we made love. I was still uncertain about wanting to continue a relationship so he left me with his truck and said he'd give me space for the weekend. But then he was dishonest - he lied about his whereabouts that weekend and about not drinking alcohol - he was actually in the city with friends and although he did not binge-drink he did drink, only admitting that a week later. He lied to make sure my heart stayed committed to him while he went off and had fun.
We have been broken up for over month. We went to our first couples counseling session last week. W was actually very positive about the experience, he opened up and shared his plan and ideas about how to get our relationship on the right track. But his plan is "harm minimization" not cold turkey quitting alcohol. He is still staying sober for now while he builds resources and a plan to drink responsibly in the future. But I told him I am not comfortable with any alcohol now and at least for the foreseable future. I have a lot of apprehension and now this relationship no longer feels special to me. He is my first common law partner, the longest most important relationship of my life, but now my love just feels like blah. I still tell him I love him, I do, but I don't feel in love with him. For 90% of the time I was blissfully happy and 10% of the time I was in severe pain and sadness. I can still remember all those good feelings and the great influence his calm and gentle personality has had on me. The mind blowing sexual connection, the way his smile could turn even my darkest moods around, the way his hugs could take the weight of the world off my shoulders...it was really special. But now they just feel like memories.
Thank you to all those who make it through my longgg post. We do plan to continue counselling together but right now I don't really feel like I am living. I am stuck between two worlds - the single me with an open future and the committed me working with W for a brighter future. I feel hopeless...I can't give up on us but I can't give my heart back to him. What is happening with me and does this mean my love is really gone, can I ever get that pure feeling back where I look at him and see "my man" who is going to love me and take care of "his woman" or will we always be just two people with all these past pains stuck between us?