Further Reading

Visualize: What would your life be like with this man?

Dear Doctor:

I am 24 years old and my boyfriend of 5 years, he's 28, no longer wants to date me b/c he would prefer to go out every weekend with his male friends and get drunk. He tells me "he's not happy anymore" and that he doesn't want to have to answer to anyone about where he goes. He just wants to be alone. We don't live together and I pretty much let him do want he wants as far as going out. I don't hassle him b/c I know it makes him angry and I was scared that he was going to leave me but now he is leaving me anyway. His father is an alcoholic and my boyfriend tells me that one of the other reasons he doesn't want to be with me is that he see' himself neglecting me the way his father does to his mother. Is this something alcoholics do to the people who care about them most, shut them out? He's a different person and I know that I'm not the cause of his unhappiness, I'm just his scapegoat. I love him very much and I don't want to loose what we had. How do I get him back? How can I help him? He's not the type of person to go to therapy and I have a hard time getting him to express himself. He wants to remain friends and he has reassured me that there is no one else and I really believe him, not b/c I want to but b/c I really feel this is not about other women. Please give me some advice, is this relationship problem sound like it's a problem caused from his drinking? How do I handle this and get him back in my life?

Julie


Julie:

I can’t help you get somebody back who doesn’t want to be with you. And, even if I could, it wouldn’t be right. What if I had a love potion – like in “Midsummer Night’s Dream” – that made your boyfriend fall for you? Would it be right for me to give it to him?

Julie, what would you call it if you had a friend who kept pursuing a guy who said he didn’t want to be with her? Does that sound like stalking? You seem to think that the crucial difference is that your boyfriend drinks, and may be an alcoholic, and part of what he prefers to you is the booze, not other women. Tell me – does that sound like a good basis for getting married? If you could succeed in getting your boyfriend to do what you wanted, think ahead to five years from now. Can you imagine the letter you would write me about your marriage?

Julie, read your letter and tell me what it says about you. Do you have friends to talk to? How about your family? Have you gone on other dates recently? Are you working or going to school, and do you have career plans? Do you like to do things, like hike or go to the movies or read? Have you ever thought about moving somewhere else? Do you want to have children (think about them if your boyfriend were their father)? Perhaps you can talk to someone about visualizing your future, with and without this man.

Yours,
Stanton