We spent about 5 years dating in our very unhealthy relationship. He really liked to drink a lot and he would have bartender friends in every bar and restaurant we went to. They would give him double shot drinks and he would tip them well. If that wasn’t a sign of alcoholism I do not know what is.
At that time I did not know what an alcoholic was. I think television and movies had really helped paint a picture of an alcoholic as a bum on the streets or a real wino. I did not know how many functional alcoholics existed in society. I did not know they look like everyone else and not only do they fool you into thinking it isn’t a problem they also fool themselves.
Sometime after the first year we dated he moved into my apartment. I use to enjoy playing billiards and I played in leagues. I remember he would get really upset about my going out and playing. He would tell me he wasn’t worried about me but the guys in the bar. He also also said he couldn’t see how my going out and the guys being nice to me would help our relationship. He was jealous for sure and he wouldn’t go shoot pool with me very often because I would beat him and I think that bruised his ego. Looking back I can see this was really all his problem and I just took them on. He wanted me to give up the things I loved for him and I did. (key warning signs: low self esteem, controlling, jealousy)
His mother would come to visit and she was a piece of work. She was terribly controlling and he always acted weird when she was around. He would have to stock up the refrigerator with tons of beer. He also had to buy her cheap wine because that was what she liked. He always wanted her to drink more expensive wines but she knew she was just going to drink and didn’t want to pay a lot. It was some kind of a love hate relationship, truly dysfunctional, and not healthy at all. (Warning signs: his relationship with his mother was a clear warning sign)
Now he always hated when my mother would come to visit. Whenever she came to visit I would vent about my relationship problems and gain some strength to confront him on the problems. My mother never liked him and she really kept her feelings to herself. I am not sure I would have listened to her anyway with the mental chains I had tied to him at that time. She didn’t like the way he controlled me or how he told me what to do all the time. She never liked the way he spoke to me. Sometimes I wish she would have said something but again am not sure I would have heard her. He would get really upset about her and would try to tell me she didn’t know me like he did, she didn’t understand me. (Warning sign: his attempting to isolate me from my family)
Now I had a dog at that time and she didn’t like him at all. I should have listened to the dog. He put his work clothes in the second bedroom closet and she would go to the bathroom in his closet. Clearly she was saying something was wrong. I still didn’t get it…
After a while we moved into a really nice two bedroom newly built apartment. He put his clothes in the second bedroom closet in the new apartment and she would go to the bathroom in that closet as well.
In this apartment I remember his getting upset over everything. He would get mad that I decorated the apartment. He would get upset over little things like my hanging my jean jacket on banister of the entrance. In this apartment there was a hole in the kitchen wall and he would stand on the other side of the wall to argue with me. He had a serious issue with communication. I tolerated this behavior though and it continued to get worse. (Note: Unhealthy relationships typically go from bad to worse, not the other way around)