Alcohol ruined my relationship

Amy, 21,Bradford
as told to Yasmine Blackman

Amy loved her fiancé, but he loved alcohol. Could they get past their problems and make it work? Grab a calming cup of chamomile and read on…

Tapping away at my laptop, a huge grin spread across my face. As a sixteen year old girl I’d heard plenty about internet safety and how meeting up with online friends could be dangerous but, that’s how I’d met *Paul and I couldn’t have been happier. As a teen I suffered badly with confidence and struggled with low self esteem, so when *Paul showed an interest, I didn’t care that we had nothing in common or that we lived 60 miles apart – I was just happy that he liked me.

Over time our relationship developed and although I was busy with college during the week, and he had a job stacking shelves at a local supermarket, we made a special effort to meet up at the weekends. We took it in turns to make the 60 mile trip to each others homes. At mine we would spend quality time together, cuddling up and talking about our lives. At his we spent boozy evenings in the pub. I didn’t mind too much, I just enjoyed spending time together.

We’d been together three and a half years and were engaged when we decided that we should take the next step in our relationship and get a place together. I’d just been let go from my job at a hairdressing salon and although the prospect of finding another job and starting up somewhere new was daunting, I was excited for the future I would be sharing with *Paul. We had begun to argue a lot and bicker over *Paul’s drinking. Living together will be just the thing to take the strain off of our long distance relationship I thought.

Soon enough we found the perfect flat to start our lives together in and things finally felt like they were falling in to place. There was just one problem; I would have to move in to *Paul’s parent’s house whilst we waited for our flat to be ready. On the 22nd July 2012 I sobbed as I packed up my stuff and moved out. I was excited but I was still young, and I felt nervous.

Reaching *Paul’s parent’s house I was tired and emotional. All I wanted to do was unpack and curl up in bed with my fiancé…but he had other plans. “Everyone is at the pub.” He said, shrugging on his coat. “Let’s go out for a bit.”  I refused but said he could go on without me, he promised he’d only be gone for two hours. *Paul headed off without me, leaving me to unpack everything and get settled in by myself. When he came back drunk, it was six hours later. I was devastated; had hoped that our first proper night together would be special, or at the very least relaxing- this was hardly the start of domestic bliss I had been hoping for.

Still we muddled on, our arguments increasing with *Paul’s drinking. It’s probably just the strain of living with *Paul’s parents. I thought hopefully. However, when we finally got the keys to our new flat, things only went from bad to worse. *Paul spent all of his free time at the pub next door, coming home drunk and reeking of booze. I hated the person he was when he was drunk; a thoughtless slob.

One night I came home from work to find *Paul passed out on the living room floor surrounded by piles of sick. I was terrified, thought he had died. *Paul was fine though, just a drunken mess as usual.

After weeks of my fiancés terrible behaviour I’d had enough. I just want a good nights kip I thought bitterly. I decided to sleep on the sofa, wanting to avoid my drunken fiancé stumbling in late and snoring. I was tired of him keeping me awake. Dragging my quilt to the sofa I felt like I could finally relax.

I was starting to drift off when lights blinded me and *Paul began tugging on my arm. “Come to bed.” He pleaded, yanking me so hard that I fell off the sofa. We began to argue; started yelling at each other. *Paul made a dig about our sex life and I saw red. The selfish bastard I thought. I slapped him across the face. “Why would I want to sleep with you, you’re a mess!” It was true. *Paul was always so drunk it was repulsive. In a fit of rage *Paul raised his fist and smashed it in to the cupboard door. “You’re never going to see me again!” He raged, grabbing his car keys. I was terrified, and flung myself in front of the door, desperate to stop him leaving and doing something stupid- I still loved him after all. *Paul repeatedly slammed the door in to my back, desperate to leave. I was in agony and couldn’t stop sobbing, I was so scared. *Paul threatened to throw himself off of the balcony. Eventually, at 3am, I had to call his mum to come and calm him down. I couldn’t believe what a low our relationship had reached, and I realised that I hardly recognised the fiancé that I had once spent hours chatting to online.

After that I knew we couldn’t fix things. I was tired of the arguments and the way *Paul treated me. We broke up and although I felt sad, a part of me was relieved I wouldn’t have to deal with *Paul’s drunken behaviour anymore. There was one problem though. We still had four months lease left on the flat and neither of us wanted to move out, which meant we would have to continue living under the same roof; what a nightmare.

Over the weeks I began to hate my thoughtless ex who continued to stumble home blind drunk and keep me awake with his blaring music. I decided to confront him; I just couldn’t carry on like that. *Paul took it badly; raised his fist at me when I confronted him about the music and his loud guests. I was terrified and locked myself in the bathroom for 15 minutes. I hoped he would calm down but as always the alcohol was fuelling his rage. *Paul grabbed a carving knife and tried to leave the flat. I wrestled it off him but he pushed past me. It was late and I wasn’t sure if he had his car keys on him. In a panic I tried to ring his mobile; no answer. Eventually I found him loitering across the road. We took a walk to a bench and had the first real conversation we’d had in months. Finally the sordid truth came spilling out. Whilst I had felt excited about our future and moving in together, *Paul had felt scared and had reacted by cheating on me. He had also spent £28,000 in just one year, splashing out on booze and gambling.

I felt shocked, humiliated and betrayed. How had I been so blind? My fiancé had slept with another woman and spent our savings on getting drunk – he hadn’t been thinking about our future at all. At least it’s over with now. I thought, although that was little comfort.

It’s been seven months since all of that happened now, and I’m moving on with my life. At first *Paul bombarded me with drunken apologetic texts but those have now stopped. I don’t think I will ever forgive him for putting me through all the things he did, but I do hope he finds help for his problems. *Paul was scared about our future so he turned to booze-unfortunately he didn’t find any answers at the bottom of the bottle, just demons.

To read Amy’s story in her own words, why not check our her blog at:

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