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Can Binge Drinking Escalate? Am I asking too much?

(28 Posts)
Unsure91 Sat 18-Jul-20 18:27:34

I'm going to start by apologizing because this is going to be abit of a long one!

I've been with my partner for two and a half years now. When I met him he was in the military and there was a degree of long distance about the situation.
We however made it pretty simple (and fun!) by renting airbnbs, seeing new places and when he was sent abroad I didn;t think twice about flying out to spend a month here or there with him when he had time off - my point is, I put 'my life on hold' if you want to fit in with his schedule, because put frankly if I hadn't then the relationship wouldn't have progressed - we'd still be long distance dating now! And to be fair, travelling is always fun.
About a year plus ago we moved in together to a rented house that I had found literally ten minutes from where he worked so he could move out of 'barracks' and have the trappings of a 'normal life'. I paid six months up front and sorted the bills. This meant me moving 80 miles and having to commute back and forwards to see my livestock etc. - not a huge issue at all, because if it's got to be done it's got to be done, but again, effort for me and all he had to do was turn up - HOWEVER this was a decision that i made because i felt like i was prioritizing the future and did so willingly
From the off his family were welcoming and almost used me as a bridge to get closer to him (in a good way!) because he'd put little effort into seeing or staying in contact with them regularly (again, in fairness they live in th enorth of the country and he in the south!) and they knew that I was very family orientated so encouraged him to ring them and remember their birthdays.
Also from the off this idea that he had been an arse to previous girlfriends was presented - his grandmother said that the last one he just stopped talking to and i know he sowed his wild oats a fair amount.. whereas I was relatively a blank canvas having been not sexually active for about 5 years. However, with me he's not been like this so we let it go as we can;t judge others on their past only on what they present to us!
His family and he have constantly said to me that i'm such a stable anchor for him, a safeplace to come back to and thank god he has me.. and that in order to keep him I have to 'keep my arms open and let him be a free spirit', which is fair enough we all love adventure.. BUT i'm finding myself asking (and one of my aunties said this) at what point does he have to start asking himself what does he have to do to keep ME? More on this is a minute.

So upon moving in together (and an inkling beforehand) I very quickly realized that he was a binge drinker to the point that he had black outs and lost teeth. It's almost like he can't help himself when it comes to going out with his friends, I dread him saying he's going out for a beer because I know he will disappear for a night with no contact and appear again at 5 am stinking of beer (the most recent he said he fell asleep on a sofa in a mess bar at the army base). I had a meeting in the house and he turned up in the morning still drunk to the point that even the dog wasn;t sure what was wrong with him. I HATE how much of a shrewish nag it makes me sound even typing that because it's NOT the going out that is the problem.. it's the fact that he just reverts to 18 years old (he's 34!). There's been instances where he's gone on three day benders and i've no idea where he is (despite asking him to just check in via text so I know he's alive and not dead in a dustbin somewhere!).. the second to last he went up to London and I hadn't heard from him two days in so i rang his phone and an uber driver picked up saying a very drunk man left it in his car - he was meant to be up there doing 'business' meetings as he's leaving the army and going into freelancing his services. We had a very stern chat about the drinking and the lying and I said my issue was NOT him going out and seeing his friends but the fact that he always ends up the worst in the bloody room, and whilst i'm sure it's hilarious for his pals, as his partner.. it's embarrassing.
Now I know that I'm going up against years of conditioning from the military, but the other thing is his need for secrecy. He has two phones, we aren't friends on social medias, i've met a handful of his friends.. and again, I can understand alot of this.. but the clandestine behaviour is so unnecessary now he's leaving the army. I trust him. That's not the issue.
It's the fact that he makes me feel like I should be grateful for the scraps that he tosses to me when he feels like it and I feel like i deserve more - be that attention or whatever. Ever since i've known him he's also had an issue with sexually performing and i've carried that burden, because I feel like it's my misfailing. I've never ever had problems with my self confidence before I met him but if i'm honest, it;s broke me. He goes ballistic when other men approach me to even just chat. Infact with the whole thing I feel like it's me whose asking too much, wanting too much - I'd like kids and to get married (i'm thirty this year) and i'm happy with my life as it is, I run my own business and I work hard, at the moment we are looking for a house together - Again, his mother on the phone was saying how much of a big step it was for him to be committing to it and she couldn;t believe it. But again, he's determined that he wants to work abroad, two weeks on two weeks of, he;s dressed it up as his need for adventure (he does all the climbing, free diving etc) or his need to be challenged and of course i'm supporting that...but again, it has to be give and take? What is he giving me?
As I say, I trust him.. but at what point should I be questioning that?
At the moment he is in London on another bender which is what has prompted this post. I've a vague idea of who with but i've never met them. I got contact out of him because I texted him to ask him if he was coming home tonight or tomorrow and I received a text back which suggested he was drunk. He left on Thursday lunchtime.
Again, of course I want him to have a life of his own as I do.. BUT I also want to have a life together. I can;t remember the last time he did something even remotely romantic. It's just easy now, for me to cook and do his washing.
This sounds terrible, but He gets almost petulant when i'm achieving something and I know it's down to insecurity and worry perhaps of leaving me. He's not able to finish anything he starts, he gets bored and says that he's got a short attention span. He's jumped from job to job in the army, albeit going higher each time, and nothing wrong with ambition, but even when he handed in his notice for leaving the army completely his superior said that he didn't seem able to commit to anything.

I know i'm painting him out to be a complete arse, but on top of that he is funny and kind and I do love him.
I am building a future with him I just wish it wasn't all on his terms.

But my dilema is this, I cant and don;t want to keep having the same conversations about the same things. I want to be happy and at the same time I don;t want to be the horrible controlling girlfriend BUT I do genuinely believe he has a problem..anyone who knocks their teeth out on a kurb and has to have a false one put in needs to really access what is going on I think.
The whole thing goes against the grain for me and I need some advice - so if anyone has any sage words of wisdom for a lost girl I'd much appreciate it.

Am I asking too much? How do I move forward?

OP’s posts: |
Chocolatesmellsfunny Sat 18-Jul-20 18:37:15

I don't think it's a question of whether it will escalate, it's a question of whether he is going to change completely from the person he is now. I would suggest not. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone who acts like this?

Bluntness100 Sat 18-Jul-20 18:43:37

Agree with chocolate, this isn’t about it escalating, it’s bad enough as it is, it’s about you want him to be someone he’s not and that’s highly unlikely to be successful.

Either he will be unhappy and resentful if he has to change or you will be the longer he doesn’t. Especially when kids come along and he’s off on the piss and you don’t know where he is, or the kids see him rolling in drunk.

Either accept this is who he is, it won’t change, it may get worse, and decide if you wish to live your life like this, with growing resentment, which will get worse with kids in the mix.

Biscoffscoff Sat 18-Jul-20 18:50:32

I think you're trying to rescue him. His actions show he isn't committed to you, unless it's from the perspective of owning you (when other men are interested). His binge drinking doesn't need to escalate, it's already problematic - if he's able to sustain long benders and keep functioning (walking, talking) when blacked out that means he has a very high tolerance for alcohol which you only get from long term heavy drinking. You're continuously trying to appease him and keep him happy by compromising.
Sorry op but no amount of him being funny and kind will make up for all of that. I don't go he's right for a relationship with anyone.

Unsure91 Sat 18-Jul-20 18:52:02

Thank you both for your replies and I know you are both right - he's not going to change, it's how I deal with it i.e either accept it or leave him.
Every time afterwards he is regretful and says he's too getting too old to drink so much and spends the next three days getting over the hangover, but then in the next breath he says it's how he lets loose.. I just wish it wasn't to such an extreme every single time. To quote him (and although I think he said it in jest but still rings true) his hobbies are climbing and drinking.

OP’s posts: |
anotherdisaster Sat 18-Jul-20 18:52:13

So, you have always made all the effort, found a home, paid the rent, do his washing and he does what he wants? without a thought for you? I thing that sums it. I can't see him changing. He doesn't seem to really care about you and just sounds immature and irresponsible.
Not sure what you get out of this relationship but surely you deserve someone who is fully committed to you! He's committed to his mates and drinking.

WhiskersPete Sat 18-Jul-20 18:54:53

He sounds awful and that was before you mentioned the drinking!

Hiccupiscal Sat 18-Jul-20 18:57:09

Op, dont move forward.
I have had 3 relationships with ex army. The traits you explain you could have probably be talking about any one of them, at different times.

Your OH has a drink problem, made worse by the fact army men can drink like absolute fish and go to extremes, your OH is very much still involved in the army, and belive me when I say - my personal experience of these men are they are some of the most difficult, stubborn, set in thier ways type of men.

You are doing all the running around for him. You are absolutely right to question -whats he is doing for me?

Absolutely do not make excuses for his dislike of you achieving anything op, this will not go well. Its not because of him being scared of loosing you. There's more to it than this, and it will get worse.

I am still with a man who is ex army. If anything happened to us, I would never be with another man from the forces. I would steer well clear.

I can only tell you my experiences. This will not get better, he absolutely isn't any different to the majority of the other men from the forces.
I'm not saying all, obviously, but they make brilliant absuive partners, due to thier conditioning and of course, what they went through in the army.
They can have a whole mix of wonderful conditions caused from being in the army.

Many find it very difficult to go back into a civvy lifestyle if they've been in the army for a long period of time.

His family is also putting waaaaay too much on you, they obviously are desperate for him to settle, but to what detriment to you?

I honestly belive you are in for a very bumpy ride, op - and the drinking will be the least of your worries.

The secrecy stuff is also another thing I've found typical of military men. My OH did actually have 2 phones. He was doing private work on the side, and had the second phone.
There is no need for you not to be friends on SM, however. If he has SM, there's no reason to be hiding it from you, hes not hiding it from the work. My experience was if you were doing something in the army, which was dangerous and required secrecy, you wouldn't have SM active in the first place.

Op, i hate to say it, but i really do think this man is taking the absolute piss out of you, and my advice would be to please get out, and if settling down and finding somebody to have children etc with is really what you want - please find somebody more settled than this man.

I've sat there reading your words and I can just see everything I've been through (and continue to go through) in some respects, happening to you.

My OH is in his 50s, but he behaves like a 34 year old (im in my 30s).... his drinking, his anger, his views on certain things are all very military. I can make for a very difficult and strained life.

I would put money on this not ending well.

If you do want to talk further please feel free to inbox me.

Tlollj Sat 18-Jul-20 19:00:36

I don’t understand what you live about him. He doesn’t seem to have made any effort at all. You followed him to be with him, you found a house near his barracks, paid the rent and bills, you do his washing and cooking and your animals are 80 miles away. I truly don’t get it. Sex isn’t great so it’s not that. Is he rich? Probably not. What is it then? Why are you prepared to put up with so little?

namechange12a Sat 18-Jul-20 19:02:23

Omg OP what are you getting from this relationship? He's crap in bed, he loses teeth in drunken blackouts, he doesn't put in any effort into the relationship, he has jealous rages- you're like a little brown fieldmouse scurrying around after him greedily feeding on crumbs.

He's a clusterfuck OP. Pack up your stuff and move back to be with your livestock, I'm sure they're better company. Once you're safely away, have a think about why you were running around after a loser who couldn't care less about you.

Eslteacher06 Sat 18-Jul-20 19:02:28

Yeah. You're not going to get better than this unless he has a personality transplant. Take it from someone whose been there (long distance relationship, doing all the moving around, leaving my support to be with him, drink benders, lack of commitment).

You can have better than this.

QualityFeet Sat 18-Jul-20 19:09:13

There is nothing to handle. There is no relationship - that’s a two way thing.

He is controlling, an arse to previous partners, poor at maintaining family bonds, alcoholic to the point of being dangerous, can’t keep a job, is jealous of your successes and is appallingly secretive. There is no way this man is trustworthy even if he also isn’t even a good shag. Honestly the questions here are why on Earth you would think any of this ok.
Start again with an adult who can be your friend who will be there for you. This relationship will see you lose more than you ever gain. That’s already started and it will eventually hollow you out.

dangerrabbit Sat 18-Jul-20 19:16:38

Why are you with him?

Craftycorvid Sat 18-Jul-20 19:17:09

Whoah! Read back your first post, OP, and just imagine a friend telling you this about their partner. What would you think about the relationship then? This chap has clear problems that pre-date your being in his life, that are not your responsibility and are, in all probability, beyond your power to remedy. You can’t rescue him, but you can make your own life increasingly empty trying.

Is this a new experience for you or has the give and take in relationships mostly seemed like you giving and your partner taking? What was your parents’ relationship like and what messages did you get about your role in relationships?

NotaCoolMum Sat 18-Jul-20 19:17:16

Can you honestly see yourself having children with this man? He’ll be out on his latest benders and his “need” for adventure while you’re left at home doing all the heavy lifting. He’s showing you who he is- believe him.

Cyw2018 Sat 18-Jul-20 19:21:39

I was in a shorter relationship than yours with an army Captain about 10 years ago and could have written about 90% of your OP.

I adored him and we had great fun, like you, long distance relationship with air BnB and romantic mini breaks in order to meet up. But he was a heavy binge drinker, drink drove twice in one weekend, even his commanding officers report mentioned his "booze (grenade) pin" in his report. He couldn't see anything wrong with the fact that his drinking was coming to the attention of his co enough to be written down, and that's within a culture where heavy drinking is expected as the norm.

He finished with me when I started questioning his lifestyle and drinking, I was heartbroken, but with 10 years hindsight it would never have been a good relationship for me.

My advise to you op is to regain some dignity, leave him and have a great life without him .

I would also of made a terrible terrible officers wife!!!!

fucknuckle Sat 18-Jul-20 19:23:17

my ex was like this. he went to a festival once and came home without any bottom teeth - he fell on concrete and knocked them all out. another night out saw him stumbling part-way home along a dual carriageway.

he’s an alcoholic. i finally left him last year and the relief of him not being ‘my responsibility’ any more is immeasurable.

OP, get out of this now. it will never get any better.

user1645689876444 Sat 18-Jul-20 19:35:08

The alcohol is a distraction from the real issues here.

I am building a future with him I just wish it wasn't all on his terms.

It always has been and always will be. You declared from day one that you'd jump for him and centre him in everything. It's never been an equal relationship where you were valued.

I think you need to ask yourself why you jumped into "building a future" with him - single handedly - basically from the moment you met.

That's... not normal.

The whole way through it's like you've adopted him as a rescue project to fill a role in your life regardless of who he is, what he does, or how he behaves. It reads a bit like your mindset has been "anyone will do, I will make this the life I want". Was it a need to be loved or to have someone to love? Both?

You've been so determined to force this to turn into a long term relationship that you've shrunk yourself down into a tiny space where you're whoever he and his family want you to be and your needs don't matter, whilst trying to rescue and jolly things along into a future you've defined internally on your own.

Building a future should be something done together, not something you do alone.

For instance, chasing after him abroad when you'd only known him 5 minutes. I'm sure it was ultimately enjoyable for you, but you were so willing to run after him without any reciprocation or effort from him that you didn't pause to notice whether or not he was interested or genuinely caring or the right person for you or just found you convenient or saw you as someone who'd be easy to control.

Likewise sorting a rental property and paying the deposit and doing all of it yourself. Why???? And then taking on the role of "making him a better person" and reminding him to contact his own family.

What kind of model for relationships did you have growing up? How did your boundaries end up so skewed?

Have you ever valued yourself enough to put your needs first rather than subjugating them to everyone else's?

It's the fact that he makes me feel like I should be grateful for the scraps that he tosses to me when he feels like it and I feel like i deserve more

You do deserve more. This is just one example of several that suggests he is abusive (and no, that doesn't mean he's a monster, all abusers have nice sides and good moments otherwise nobody would get involved with them). Abuse is about power and control; your willingness to disregard your own needs, to do everything for him and do whatever he wanted from day one highlighted that you'd be an easy target to control.

He gets almost petulant when i'm achieving something and I know it's down to insecurity and worry perhaps of leaving me

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend trying to convince yourself that when other people treat you badly it's really a sign of love or your fault for somehow failing in some indescribable way?

Poor treatment is not a sign of love.

Somebody who loved you in a healthy relationship would be thrilled to see you succeed and would be proud of you. They would encourage you and build you up.

He has two phones, we aren't friends on social medias, i've met a handful of his friends

Not good.

You keep insisting you trust him and love him. Why? Did you ever build a foundation for trust or was it just another thing you thought you were supposed to do so you tried to conjure it up from nowhere?

I've never ever had problems with my self confidence before I met him but if i'm honest, it;s broke me.

He's not good for you. Good, healthy relationships build both sides up. They improve and enrich your life.

He goes ballistic when other men approach me to even just chat

Abusive. It's not a sign of how much he loves you, it's a sign he views you as a possession and that one day you'll be here telling us he hit you or strangled you for glancing in the wrong direction.

Why have you been accepting this? Why has this been ok to you? What happened in your life to make you think this was ok?

I HATE how much of a shrewish nag

That's really misogynistic. Where did you get all these dysfunctional ideas about how you should behave in a relationship?

Please don't accept this toxic, abusive situation as your future. And please, please don't bring any children into such a hellhole. It would be cruel.

I think you might benefit from therapy to help you work through your approach to relationships and what has been going on for you internally as you've been making the various decisions involved here. I don't mean that - or any of this - judgementally, just that there are issues here and therapy is a good place to make sense of things with someone who understands psychology/human relationships and can reflect back to you and share knowledge.

Maybe Freedom Programme course would be useful too as a frame of reference for healthy vs dysfunctional / abusive relationships because whatever model you're using as a reference point right now is off kilter.

I really hope you do leave him so you can recover from this experience and live the happy life you deserve.

user1481840227 Sat 18-Jul-20 19:40:13

Also from the off this idea that he had been an arse to previous girlfriends was presented - his grandmother said that the last one he just stopped talking to and i know he sowed his wild oats a fair amount.. whereas I was relatively a blank canvas having been not sexually active for about 5 years. However, with me he's not been like this so we let it go as we can;t judge others on their past only on what they present to us!

You sound like act so easy breezy about everything so he has no reason to be an arse to you really. You make all the effort to go to see him. You paid for the house for him to live in. He doesn't want you on his social media and you tolerate that. He can't perform sexually but goes crazy if other men show you attention. You do the cooking and cleaning for him. He doesn't commit to anything. He's focused on himself. He's his number 1 and always will be.
Maybe the previous girls expected more from him and aired their expectations which is why it ended with him treating them like shit.

And to top it off he's a problem drinker....What you described isn't binge drinking, it's problem drinking....and the vast majority of people who attend AA probably fit into the problem drinker category, rather than the alcoholic category.

Holothane Sat 18-Jul-20 19:43:27

Run and go back to your life before this will not get any better, believe me I know I spent 16 years with a life like this.

tenlittlecygnets Sat 18-Jul-20 19:45:28

Quite apart from the out of control drinking and obsessive secrecy and throwing you scraps, this worries me.

I can;t remember the last time he did something even remotely romantic. It's just easy now, for me to cook and do his washing. This sounds terrible, but He gets almost petulant when i'm achieving something and I know it's down to insecurity and worry perhaps of leaving me. He's not able to finish anything he starts, he gets bored...

He sounds like a loser. Kind of attractive, trying to tame the bad boy when you're 20. Not so good when you're 30.

How about when you're 40 and your fertile years are behind you?

You have given him everything in this relationship - what do YOU get from it?!

Sounds like not a lot. Crumbs. You deserve much more.

Anothernick Sat 18-Jul-20 19:51:52

Here we have a guy who is jealous of your success, expects you to do all the donkey work of living - finding a house, paying the bills, cooking, washing etc, abandons you for days on end so he can ruin his health with alcohol and god knows what else, has an unexplained second phone, goes ballistic when another man looks at you and is known to have been an arse to all his previous girlfriends.

And you really see him as LTR material? You are crazy.

Hiccupiscal Sat 18-Jul-20 19:57:58

Absolutely EVERYTHING @user1645689876444 has said is spot on.
Please listen to her post. Its everything I couldnt articulate

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 18-Jul-20 20:17:01

What do you get out of this relationship now?

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?.
Is this sort of man what you envisaged for yourself?. A funny and kind man he may be to you but anyone can be funny and kind; your bar is so very low here its almost horizontal.

Why is your bar so low that this man has been allowed into your life at all; he is all told an abusive alcoholic and walking relationship disaster. I can only assume his family are glad you are with him currently primarily because they then do not have to deal with him; he is off their hands for the present at least.

Are you a rescuer and or saviour in relationships?. It seems so in this instance but neither approach works as you are all too clearly seeing.

AgentJohnson Sat 18-Jul-20 20:44:57

*It always has been and always will be. You declared from day one that you'd jump for him and centre him in everything. It's never been an equal relationship where you were valued.

I think you need to ask yourself why you jumped into "building a future" with him - single handedly - basically from the moment you met.*

This

Dear God woman! Stop being his Mum.

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