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Why Can't I Be Happy?

by Stephanie
(Mukwonago, WI)

We are happy some of the time...please help us!

We are happy some of the time...please help us!

I have been struggling now for a few months dealing with my anger issues and just not being happy. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years now and we seem to fight A LOT!

Part of the problem is that he drinks and I can't stand the fact knowing he would rather drink and be with his buddies than be with me sober. Another problem that I have is that I can't seem to take responsibility for my own actions. We get into big physical fights and we end up hurting each other physically and emotionally. I try so hard to keep my cool but he knows exactly how to push my buttons. He'll shout to me that I'm fat and ugly and that I'm a whore and so much more.

I live with him at his apartment and I have been for about 14 months now. He kicks me out all the time and one time he kicked me out and I ended up meeting someone who I thought would be fun to hang out with. Things ended up going too far with this person and we slept together. My boyfriend and I ended up getting back together and I lied about what happened but eventually told him the truth and now he does not trust me at all.

I keep telling him that I choose him over that other guy and that he should try and forgive me for that so we can move on with our relationship, but he just keeps bringing it up all the time and then we fight all over again. My main concern is to fix my anger problem so that him and I can try and have a future together.

I love him more than anything else in this world and I want him to be happy. But I also want to be happy too. It's been so long since I have been happy with anything in my life and it's almost like I don't even remember how to be happy. I keep telling him I want him to go to AA and I want to get anger management help but we both just can't afford it. I want to make this relationship work more than anything else in my life. Sometimes I just wonder if love is enough to hold two people together, and if you can really change a person who doesn't want to change or doesn't think they need to.

I know that I need to help myself before I can help anyone else or fix anything, but I don't think he realizes that half the reason why I am the way I am is because I feel like I'm number 2 in his life. That alcohol will always be his number one.

I just want him to know that I love him and that I'm trying whether or not he can see it...I am. And I also want him to know that he can trust me because for once in my life I learned from my mistakes and that I would never sleep with someone else and that I don't ever want to betray his trust ever again.

I just don't know how you can move on with the future if you can't let go of the past. The thing is that he always tells me that I have told him this all before and it still happened so how is he supposed to believe that now is any different. I can kinda see where he is coming from but how am I supposed to earn his trust back when he doesn't believe anything I tell him even when it is the truth?!

Please help me fix our relationship and my anger issue. I love this man more than anything else and I want nothing more than to fix things.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hi Stephanie, and thanks for telling your story here. I will try to help you.

One thing is for are totally right that you are number two. That is true for anyone in a relationship with an alcoholic. It will always be that way until he gets a few years of recovery behind him, if that ever happens. You can get all of the anger management help in the world, and it won't change your relationship.

You have another problem, it's called codependency. You said a couple of times that you "love this man more than anything else." That is your problem. You need to love yourself, your health and happiness, and your own life and future more than you love him--that would be true even if he were not alcoholic.

Take a look at this page on self love, and see if there's anything there that might interest you.

Until you start to put yourself and your well being first in your life, you will not be happy, and you will have trouble in all of your relationships.

You are worthy of being with a healthy man. It is time for you to start letting go of your boyfriend. Here's a page on letting go of relationships.

Be good to yourself, Stephanie.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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