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Partner has become a drain

  • 25-05-2023 11:07am
    Registered Users Posts: 3 Clare72

    My partners father died last year.

    He has huge expectations of me in terms of emotional support which I find increasing difficult to fulfil. Despite the fact that I was still grieving my own father who died 12 months before his, I offered 100% support, I went to see him at the drop of the hat (including during my working day) I listened to him for hours on the phone, I put up with a LOT of anger, much of which was directed towards me for not being there for him enough, a particular low point was when I had covid and he sent me rants about how crap I was for not answering a call (I was asleep). The irony is, he was pretty **** when my father died. A few drunken messages which were well meant, but on his anniversary a rant about how he had felt unloved and unwanted since my father died and that I had changed (I mean of course I had).

    I am in the unhappy position of understanding what he is going through, but I am also listening to negativity constantly for the last year (and beyond if I’m honest) and it’s grinding me down, I find myself constantly drained and more than a little stressed myself. I have spoken to him to no avail, at one point he got so pissed off he dumped me, then backed down dramatically when I agreed it was for the best, wept and said that this possible breakup felt worse than his father’s death, so then I backed down dramatically because I felt awful for him.

    I feel trapped. I don’t love him, but I do empathise with him. I don’t see a way out as he has threatened suicide more than once during our years together. He is a deeply unhappy/angry person, he holds grudges for things that happened more than 20 years ago. I’m at the end of my tether with him, but I feel trapped, he has threatened to harm himself on more than one occasion, but will often put that down to stress/drink/his dad’s death etc. I know what I want to do, but I simply don’t know how or if I can. 


  • Administrators Posts: 12,361 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Big Bag of Chips

    Can you imagine living the next 30 years in exactly this situation, with exactly this person?

    Life is very long when you're unhappy. You need to make a decision, and changes need to be made. If you think your relationship has a chance then you need to talk to him and he clear that his behaviour and attitudes towards you is no longer acceptable. Changes need to happen, and if they don't then you need to decide if this is something you can continue with.

    If you do decide to break up and he threatens suicide, contact his family. Tell them. He might be serious. He might be bluffing and looking for attention. If you remove your attention and direct him to those who are actually in a position to help him he will either get the help he needs, or he will stop making empty threats.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ Goodigal

    I feel very sorry for you OP, sympathies on the loss of your own dad. You've done your best to support your partner while not in the best place to do so. It doesn't sound like he can say the same for you.

    I understand you don't want him to cause harm to himself if you end things, but read your own post, and see how you describe your relationship, and can you honestly say this is how a good relationship should be? It's very one sided IMO, with you bearing the brunt of his anger and poor attitude to life in general. Anyone who can hold a grudge for 20 years is not someone I would want in my life!

    I know it'll be hard, but it might be time to end it permanently. It doesn't sound like you've got kids or property together from what you've said in your post. Don't allow him to bring you down any more, and start to enjoy your life a bit more without the cloud of negativity he's bringing right now. You deserve better. Best of luck.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,543 ✭✭✭ combat14

    if u dont love him time to bail

    if he is threatening to commit suicide if you end things that is a form of abuse in itself .. even more resason to get out quickly while the going is good

  • Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭ niallpatrick

    No love for him then it's best to call it quits, emotional vampires can bring you down to their level do that good a job you end up an emotional cripple

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Clare72

    Thanks to everyone who took the time, there’s not one comment above that I would disagree with.

    Truth is we were on the wane years ago, the pandemic was tough (for us all) he was terribly put out that we couldn’t/didn’t meet up and then I guess with my dad dying I didn’t have it in me to make big changes/engage in more emotional situations. I think I have also blocked a lot of stuff out. For example, the other day I remembered a time my father was quite ill in hospital, I was up the wall, and he text me to tell me that he was done with me, he was drunk and on stress leave from work. I genuinely pushed that to the back of my mind, and after he apologised I never thought of it again until very recently. I have let too much go and due to a pathological fear of confrontation I have become a bit (or a lot) of a doormat. That’s not to say he’s never nice, he is, and especially recently, it’s as if he knows I’m at my breaking point with him.

    It’s a bit of a pattern to be honest, though never to this extent. I’m far too laid back and far too soft for my own good. As a rule I’m really good natured and positive, but I have without doubt been taken advantage of by stronger personalities in my past.

    A red flag is that until recently I haven’t told anybody what he says/how he acts, it’s like I’m protecting him from them knowing how he really is. A friend I spoke to recently was beyond horrified and suggested I text him/block him and move on. I simply can’t do that.   

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,160 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34

    Everything else before and after "I don't love him" is just noise.

    End the relationship.

    Tell yourself over and over that you are not going to be persuaded differently by emotional blackmail, immature conduct or any other such tricks, and bring it to a proper end, forever.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    An alcoholic will almost invariably wear anyone down, unfortunately. The only people to save them is themselves if they want to. Otherwise it’s not up to anyone else, and you are NOT responsible for any decisions he takes about his life.

    He’s likely fully aware you are only in your own heart only barely tolerating him. It’s up to him to learn his worth outside of his relationship with you or anyone, but of course to do that he needs assessment for depression, and counselling. You can show the horse the water but not make them drink it. So it’s up to him in the end, but have very low expectations. Your empathy can be shown by drawing his attention to resources and telling him it’s all got you down to the point that his only resource now must be professional help. Of course he is looking for the soft touch, alcoholics get very angry when stood up to by their close associates and do often end up in an isolation of their own making. But it’s all up to them, you’ve done your bit.

    De tick definitely does do plotten only to thick in de stew

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Clare72

    He is without question depressed, he has mentioned this on numerous occassions but has yet to address it with a professional. He is also without a doubt an alcoholic, but he files that away under "enjoys a drink" and as he doesn't drink everyday thinks it's fine but by god, he can go on some binges when he gets the urge. I feel sorry that he won't help himself, but I am unable and unwilling to continue to take the flack for that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    Of course he’s depressed, but he’s got you depressed too and that’s not right. Remember he wasn’t nice to you when you had your troubles. There’s a dreadful meanness in alcoholics. I’m not at all saying it’s all their own fault for being the way they are, but too much empathy perpetuates a bad cycle, feeds into it, enables them. There’s often a complex background of childhood trauma or/and borderline personality disorder typically catastrophising all events that impact them & habitually blaming everyone else for what impacts them. Treatment can help, but they have to see the problem and choose to deal with it. You’ve to make it clear that it is their problem, not yours. Hold them responsible not for the way they are but the way they have acted towards you, that’s blaming the act and not the person.

    Mental health services are sadly often way too unreachable in this country, so if and when a person decides it’s time to start seeking help, it’s atrocious that it’s so hard to avail of.

    De tick definitely does do plotten only to thick in de stew

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,691 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper

    You are holding him back and he is holding you back. Agree to end it let him think it was his idea and then go no contact, tell them you need 6 months head space to recover from the break up then block, block, block

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,167 ✭✭✭ YellowLead

    For both your sakes, end this. You are enabling him (while clearly only having the best intentions). It sounds like you are only being there for him because you feel you have to and not because you want to.

    It’s time to put the adult pants on, deep breath and be brave. Contentment is waiting for you. Or at least a more peaceful life. You just have to jump :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,639 ✭✭✭ Caranica

    That's not a partner, that's a bully and most definitely a drain. OP you have already wasted years where you knew it wasn't right, please love yourself enough to walk away. It sounds like you don't live together so that's a major positive in this instance.

    Good luck, and be kind to yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 813 ✭✭✭ TheadoreT

    He's displayed far too many feminine qualities here for you to stay attracted to him. Don't feel guilty about it, it's just natural for you to feel uncomfortable and turned off by a man acting that needy. When guys expect their partners to be their emotional tampon over an extended period it only ever ends one way.


    Banned for 2 weeks for Breach of Charter. Repeated gender generalisations.

    Post edited by Big Bag of Chips on

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭ SlowChris

    Dump the leech.

    He's using and taking advantage of you.