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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3395
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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My boyfriend and i were getting on really well two months ago

Customer Question

my boyfriend and i were getting on really well two months ago after a rough patch. He had been drinking very heavily but stopped. after a month of him stopping drinking heavy I had an old phone of his and I had a feeling he was hiding something so I checked his phone. I found out that he had been in contact with an ex while he was drinking heavily and even asked to call back to her place in the early hours of the morning while i was away on a hen. He had asked me to move in the day before and two days after finding everything out his mom was given 2 weeks to live. that was at the start of November. His mom was buried last thursday. He is very down and through everything I have been there for him but I have lost all trust in him. He has apologised repeatedly but I can't let him contacting another woman go. He tells me nothing happened and i was home the next morning and he was in bed on his own but the drinking and the lies have my heart broken and I don't know what to do next. I am very close to his family and planned the funeral mass for his mother and when we are on our own or out together we get on great but his friends are heavy drinkers and very disrespectful to women and I dread him going out with them. he hasn't in weeks because of everything but it will happen again
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear of all this for both of you. Sounds like you are both under tremendous stress. You have stepped up and been there for him during his very rough time. At the core, it sounds like the drinking is an issue and if this can be addressed then I think you have a better chance at working through all of this. I hear that he hasn't been drinking lately, but if he doesn't truly address it and the choices he makes while under the influence, then it is possible he returns to that behavior. You love him and I would continue to be there for him and as things settle down and he can have time with his grief about his Mom, then the two of you can sit down and talk about it all and what needs to be done in order to have a relationship that is filled with trust. Hard to let this go with the contact with the ex, but again, his choices were bad during drinking and that is what needs to be addressed. Give both of you the time to grieve his mother and then get in there and tackle it all. His mom's passing is too fresh to begin to do the tough work with him around rebuilding trust. Be there for him now as you have and let things play out and then address it all in a calm and loving manner.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I find that even when I have made a decision not to bring up the past how hurt I am or that I will put it to one side I some how manage to bring it up and then I am really cross with myself for bringing it up again because I know how crap a time it is for him and his family. Have you any tips on how i can stop myself from bickering about it? He has told me he is willing to stop getting drunk but still wants to be able to go out for a few drinks with a friend. I get nervous at his as I feel once he starts he drinks more but on the other side we are surrounded by big drinkers so I know he would never give it up completely. I'm struggling a bit to know if I should stay with him or go our seperate ways. I am worried I will always be this nervous of him out!
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
Well, if he is already bargaining about drinking just a few, that could indicate the problem. But you can let that play out and see if that is the case. I would not make any decisions at this point as I think the emotions are high and I don't want you to be reactive. When the thoughts about the past come creeping up for you, say to yourself I know these feelings, they are driving me crazy, but for now I will hold them to myself and in time it can all be discussed. Going to him when they creep up has not been helpful now. Just know that it will all be looked at and in time you will know one way or another if you should stay or go.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do believe he has a problem with drinking but he does not and he has a big group of guy friends who are very heavy drinkers going all day and spend all their time off in the pub. One of his friends has three children under 3 and he drinks every day and his other friend goes into work regularly drunk. He thinks because he isn't as bad as them he doesn't have a problem and uses them as a yard stick yet these are the people he is with everytime he dose get hammered and has been thrown out of pubs recently in town which is very embarrassing. I'm a local teacher and I am wary of parents seeing I am with him. Do you believe its possible for someone in this environment to stop heavy drinking or am I being naive? Thank you for your quick responses I really needed to speak to someone today I'm finding this all very stressful and I have a constant knot in stomach to know whats best to do for him and me.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
It is my pleasure to be responsive and supportive to you. If he does not see his drinking as a problem, then the chances of his stopping this behavior or having just a few are not high. The know comes from you wanting this to be different and changing that, but as you know, you can't. Only he can. So, from where I sit, it sounds to me that if he doesn't strop the drinking and get support to do so, then this won't work for you long-term.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yeah I was going to recommend he speak to someone and his father has already expressed to him that he wants him to stop getting drunk as well. his father is in AA for 25 years and his drinking has put a lot of strain on their family. I come from a family where my father might have one glass of porter and my mom might only have a glass of wine on occassion. I have asked him to stop drinking with one friend is that healthy to ask him to do that or is it too controlling?
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
I understand why you would ask him to stop drinking with a particular person...it's not unhealthy or controlling, but it just might not be effective. He needs to want to and then you are always in a position of worry and feeling on guard.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah you are right, when do I know to just walk away or how long should I wait? this is my last question sorry for the bombardment but I have my friends heads wrecked about everything and I don't want to tell them too much if we do decide to stay together and he does stop getting drunk.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
There is no golden rule about how long to wait....your gut will know. If you see him making changes you will want to give it time. If you see that nothing has changed, your gut will tell you what you need to know amd at that time you will make the decision that suits you best.

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