When to let go?
My partner of 12 years had become increasingly alcohol dependent over the last 3 or so years, with it increasing moreso over the last 6 months. She has a high profile/high stress job, but is also highly functioning and doesn't see it as an issue. I didn't act on it as in the past it has caused arguments, she was always a happy drunk, but would become irritating as we wouldn't be in the same head space.
To deal with her work stress, I would try and plan trips to force a 'work-life' balance. This had been working well as we could spend quality time together. However, in January of this year on holidays it wasn't the same- I could feel her stress and would let her drink as it seemed to immediately ease her conflict, but I would then become agitated in her company.
Six weeks ago, we had a major fight and she repeatedly told me I wasn't there for her when she needed me and I was very cold towards her. She was probably correct with her analysis, but I felt I never saw her with her working hours and when I did see her it was always with alcohol. She said she felt traumatized after our fight and moved out. Initially for a few days and then came back, but now its been about a month. She says she cant come back to our house as it's too emotional and she is not in love with me anymore. I feel we've neglected our relationship and both have some work to do on ourselves.
I dont have strong family or social support networks as we did absolutely everything together. My family is also interstate. She has strong family connections and has recently signed up to dating/social sites, with the intention to move on. She has also been spending more time at work social events.
I'm staying in our house, but I cant sleep, Im emotional, irrational and cant stop crying or thinking about the situation and starting to feel quite depressed. I am getting help for sleep and anxiety issues but my therapist is currently away.
I don't want to give up on our relationship, as I still love her and know that she is my soul mate. But, if she doesn't feel the same and cant come home, what do I do? Do I give her space and focus on getting myself together and continue hanging on to hope that she might come back? or do I accept that it's over and she will never come back, as she 'cant promise anything'? I feel like she is seeing someone else, but I could also be paranoid. I do feel totally alone and confused.
Thanks for listening
The loss of the dogs is a big thing, I know how much it would mean to me to lose my pets, so that empty feeling is horrible.
When you know something is going to happen the will affect you deeply it is good to have some sort of plan in place. You anticipate on your return things will be gone and the situation will hit home hard - so what plan can you make to tide you over the period?
While I don't know about what your circumstances are it could be anything from house hunting to staying with a friend to looking at puppies (which may make renting harder but be worth it). What do you think?
I'm sure your trip will help, I really hope you enjoy it and it gets your mind right away
Hi Eddie, not sure if you have left or not but it's going to be so difficult to lose your dogs, actually unbearable and I am truly sorry she has taken them.
What I'm also worried about is knowing what she may take from home after your time away, but you shouldn't try and imagine any of this while you are away for two reasons, firstly you maybe expecting items to be gone, but they haven't and some things may have unexpectedly disappeared, but what you don't know is to assume any of this.
Assumptions can make terrible conclusions because, in the absence of information, you have to fill in the blanks yourself which comes from past experiences that seem similar and may cause problems.
Enjoy your time away.
Hi Croix and Geoff,
Thanks so much for your replies, it truly means a lot. So, I am back from a week in the US. Although it wasn't entirely good headspace, it was certainly nice to get away and not think about the situation here 24/7. On my return, I got a messaging saying she had gone to check on the house and had taken a few things, such as linen etc... There is certainly more things than linen gone, but probably not to the extent as I expected. To be honest, I'm now not sure what to do with her stuff - has she left it because she doesn't want it or intends to come back and get it? I thought my week away would be the perfect opportunity for her to come and take it all. I will also (hopefully) get to see the dogs on the weekend. I found out from the vet that one was quite ill last week (she also told me in a text message today). I find when I hear from her I get angry/emotional/upset (many emotions), but when I don't I feel a bit calmer (today anyway). I would rather not have any contact with her at the moment, but I don't want to leave the dogs either? I actually feel a bit trapped on how to move on actually..
Hi Eddie, thanks for getting back to us.
I would think that she has taken everything she wants, although you could text her and say if she wants anything else to pick it up a.s.a.p otherwise, it will be taken to the opp shop or disposed of another way.
She's had every chance to take what she wants while you were o/s.
Now you need to realise that without her being around you are so much better, except for the dogs, I really understand this, it's so difficult, but if you walk through the lost dogs or those up for adoption, there will be another that takes your attention, it just getting there.
I'm looking for an objective opinion. After I got back from the US, I did eventually get the dogs back - as she couldn't look after them. Anyway, we've had little to no communication for the last month, except for the fact that she wants to sort out finances but won't go to mediation and sort things out properly. I'm still working on this. She stopped paying her share of the mortgage a few months ago and owes money on a joint credit card account we had. She has a high profile, high paying job so money is not an issue.
She has asked to see the dogs on the weekend and I'm not sure how to respond to this? Should I hold my ground and say not until you pay your share of the mortgage etc etc or stick with our original (although never confirmed) agreement that we would share them - even though they have been staying with her Mum when they go with her?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I'm glad you got your dogs back, they do mean a lot.
I've thought about your problem, wiht finances what options do you really have. Trying to force someone to pay is most probably either not going to work or cost more that the debt, plus breeds very bad feeling. Withholding access to the dogs may make matters worse.
I think if it was me I'd tend to be cooperative, but maybe generate an unspoken idea she is not holding her end up, in a subtle way, no blackmail or even saying it straight out. I've found if one starts nice, one can always become more proactive, however if one starts wiht the big guns and they don't work, then you have nowhere to go.
What do you think?
Hi Eddie, good to hear back from you.
I would be contacting the bank to see what you can do about the credit card being stopped because you don't want her to be mounting up any more debt, especially if she's not paying her share.
The same applies to the mortgage, a decision has to be made whether you sell or whether you buy out her share before it gets out of hand.
It's a catch-22, she wants to see the dogs, then she has to fulfil her part of the bargain, it can't go all her way.
What you need to do is make a list of what she owes on the credit card and balance this out with her share of the mortgage.
It's not going to be easy but you can't let it drag on.
Thanks very much for your reply, as always it is greatly appreciated. So, her credit card has been stopped. There's nothing I can do about her share of the mortgage - except sell the house. I can't afford to buy her out. Regarding the dogs, she sent me a text saying she loves them and misses them so much and wants to see them on the weekend. So, I said I can arrange for them to be dropped off and picked up. But she didn't want this and asked me if I would ever get through this and if I was having trouble with anything I could talk to her? A very confusing text/conversation, she had probably been drinking.
The house and finances definitely need to sorted out. The way I see it is that initial mediation through Relationships Australia is the cheapest and easiest way to go or to start with. She knows the legal system, so I want to have it done properly, but she doesn't want this either and things we can sort things out amicably. As she has a legal background I feel the need to have support. Am I doing the right thing?
Thank you for your reply as always it is greatly appreciated. So, I didn't reply to her initial text message asking to see the dogs on the weekend. I left it for a few hours until I work out what to reply. She then sends another asking me if 'everything is ok?'. And then asking me if I was having any issues to talk to her?? I think she may have been drinking. I got more texts, saying she loves the dogs and misses them very much. I tried to cooperate as you mentioned and suggested I could have them dropped off and picked up on the weekend. She didn't want this and asked to try again next weekend, also asking if I would ever get through it? Very confusing.
What I do know is that I feel much better when I don't have contact with her and I think not having contact is the only way to move forward, yet I also feel some guilt that I have the dogs and she doesn't? However, when she left she never thought what might happen to them?
Of course you need guidance thogh the settlement of the mortgage and house, it can be very tricky, if you are using Relationships Australia you are on the right track. Have you considered the fact that she may not want you to have competent legal help? In your place I'd insist.
As for the dogs, if you do not think being amicable about them and letting her keep them on weekends is the way to go then don't, let it be part of the settlement.
Being around her is not surprisingly upsetting, and if you are getting confusing messages from here even more so. Those confusing messages -and the interest in the dogs, may be her way of trying to get back together - do you think that is a possibility?