My Drinking Ruined My Relationship

Question:

Hi there,

I have a question to ask you in the hope of getting a better perspective on something which happened recently with an ex-girlfriend of mine. I didn’t want to bring up any “baggage” questions here, but to be honest it’s not a negative/grieving type of question. Let me explain.

I was in a short relationship with this girl back in 2011, which started off great because we really connected and were very compatible with each other. It ended sooner than I expected though, and I’ve always believed it ended before we had a chance to make any progress together. The reason it ended was because of a situation at a house party one night. I got a little bit too drunk and made an ass of myself. You see I’m normally just a social drinker – a beer or glass of wine is more than enough for me. I’ve never really been big on drinking, but I remember waking up the next day to her telling me how I had acted and how angry she was that I’d embarrassed her in front of her friends.

Obviously I felt really embarrassed to hear how I’d behaved – I honestly just felt like digging a hole and burying myself in it. She obviously wished I’d buried myself in a hole too because the relationship went downhill very quickly after that, and a few weeks later it was all over.

The odd thing is that even during those last few weeks we spent a lot of time together. I’d always heard that really being in love meant wanting to spend a lot of time together, but in our case I think we spent too much time together too quickly. In fact I think it overheated our relationship way too early – we got too serious too fast, and kinda lost ourselves in the process.

There was another incident in Nevada where my parents had met her for the first time. We’d planned on going seadooing the next day, but had a couple of drinks the night before. I’ll admit that I got drunk that night, so when we went out on the river the next day I wasn’t actually drunk but I still had alcohol in my system so I kept losing my balance and tipping the seadoo over. Eventually a river cop came over to me and asked me was I ok. I said “Yes”, but he asked me to take a breath test. I really thought I’d sail through the breath test because I hadn’t been drinking that day, but instead I blew a .081. They handcuffed me on the spot, with my family watching and my girlfriend right next to me. I swear I was in the wrong place at the wrong time – I really didn’t want my ex-girlfriend to see that happen to me. It was embarrassing enough that my family had to see it.

The last time I saw her we were taking a break from each other, but still talked on the phone almost every day. We both decided to slow our relationship down to try and make things work out. I felt pretty depressed at this point so I went out with my cousin and buddy Dana – they basically forced me to go out drinking with them. I said “Ok!” in the end just to keep them quiet. So anyways I’m sitting at the bar minding my own business and this cougar keeps hitting on me. I kept telling her that I have a girlfriend and that I wasn’t interested in her.

The next day I meet my ex for dinner and she asked me how the bar went the night before. I was honest with her and told her about the cougar hitting on me, but that nothing happened with her. My ex totally flipped out before I even finished my story, telling me that we can’t be together any more. Basically she told me I’m a loose cannon around other women, and after the Nevada incident she just sees me as being a liability – she’s an elementary school teacher and feels that even being around me is just bad news for her and her job.

She stormed off and left me there heartbroken.

I know we shouldn’t have spent so much time together at the beginning, but I was in love with her. I know you’re probably thinking “Michael that was in 2011 – 3 years ago! Shouldn’t you just move on?”

Well I tried. I even bit the bullet and dated another girl for a while, but it was just never the same as being with my ex. I can’t help shaking the feeling that she’s a great girl that I let slip away from me. I just think it was bad timing for us, and a series of honest mistakes on my part. I mean I never yelled at her or cheated on her, so I was completely loyal and she knew that.

I just found out recently that she’s currently single, so I’m looking for some advice or strategies I can use to get her attention again. I know it’s been 3 years but I want to prove to her that I’ve changed, and break down her defensive walls if she still has them up when she’s around me. I just want her to see that I’m not a drunken buffoon, that I’m not a liability for her, and basically show her that all my intentions towards her are honest and completely genuine.

I can understand that she’s probably still frustrated with me, and won’t have forgotten events like my DUI arrest in Nevada. The house party incident was an accident, and the “loose cannon” thing is just completely blown out of proportion by her.

I’m a person who prides himself on integrity, being respectful and loving, but also that I’m human and I do make mistakes. I was very loyal to her and never had any desire to be with another woman – she was “it” for me.

I can’t shake the feeling that she was the “one that got away” and that there was real potential for a long-term relationship there. I’ve been through a lot since then, like losing my father 2 years ago, and a close friend of mine just under a month ago. I look at life differently now, and understand that whatever time we have on this Earth is something we should make the most of and live life to the fullest. I’d hate to go through life thinking “maybe” about this girl – we had our bumps in the road, but they can be fixed. I just don’t want to go through life knowing that we could have rekindled our relationship and started over.

I know it’s going to take time, patience and rebuilding trust, plus we’d be starting over as friends first and then building on that. I’m willing to take those steps to make it work again. If she could take the time to get to know me more before passing judgment on me then we could work this out.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about the past couple of days, and just wanted your opinion on if I should just move on, or reach for the stars and try again.

Michael

Answer:

Hi Michael,

There are some questions which take a lot of analysis to figure out how I can help people, and there are others which don’t take all that much time at all – your question is the latter, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Firstly I’m truly sorry that you lost your father and a close friend in such a short space of time – having to grieve that much takes a lot out of anyone. It can be a crushing experience.

However, if you want a really blunt answer to making this girl give you a second chance, then I can solve your life issues in less than 5 seconds: Quit drinking – it doesn’t suit you and you can’t handle it.

Why am I saying this?

Let me present you with what you’ve just told me:

  • You’re not a big drinker – just a glass of wine or beer is enough
  • You got hammered at a house party – to the point where you can’t remember what you actually did or said that night. Michael dude, you’re not a social drinker. Social drinkers don’t suffer from blackouts.

Let’s assume though that the party was just an accident though, right?

  • You then went out and got so wasted that you managed to blow a 0.081 the NEXT day. Michael if most people blew a .081 the same night it would mean they were seriously drunk and in danger of causing an accident. The fact that you blew a 0.81 several hours later means you were still drunk the next day, which means you consumed a massive amount of alcohol the night before. You’re just lucky that you didn’t hurt yourself or somebody else that day.

But let’s just assume that all of the above were just weird accidents and not your fault, because I get the sense that nothing ever is your fault.

  • You’re on a break from your girlfriend – this break caused by your Nevada drinking incident – so you decide to go out drinking with your buddies. They forced you to drink? Really? So your solution to being single because of a drunken incident was to go out drinking, and then spend time talking to a cougar at a bar.

If you read through your question you should notice a few themes:

  • You spend a lot of time drinking/drunk
  • Nothing that happened was your fault
  • She basically just needs to forgot about it all and forgive you
  • You don’t see anything wrong with what you did to her – including being arrested in public

There’s no point in apologizing for embarrassing her by being drunk, and then going and doing the same thing all over again – it’s the equivalent of saying “I’m really sorry for getting drunk. I’ll go and get drunk again to make it up to you!” I don’t think she’s going to care much about anything you say unless you’re sober, because right now she can’t trust you not to get drunk at the first opportunity – you have an excellent track record in doing that, you see.

As for strategies to win her over again, I’m sorry but there’s nothing to share here that would work. There are no magic wands with this stuff, or secret phrases to make her fall into your arms and never leave you again. YOU ARE the reason she left, and YOU CAN be the reason she’ll come back, but I would imagine the first thing she’ll ask you is whether or not you’re still drinking as much as you did.

Some women want guys to hang around in bars with them and get drunk all day. That’s cool – whatever floats your boat.

Most women, however, want a guy who’s honest, reliable and doesn’t get arrested for a DUI at 2pm in the afternoon. Most women want a guy who’s accountable for what he does in life, and doesn’t try to blame everyone else for his problems.

You have to decide which of these guys you’re going to be, but I think you already know which of these guys your ex wants too.

Life is all about choice Michael, and you have some very serious life choices to make if you truly love this woman the way you say you do.

Marlon

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michael Reply

Hi Marlon,
Thank you for taking the time to read and answering my question. I really liked your response: Honest and straight to the point and also wanted to say is that your right! I’m not a social drinker after that incident with her 3 years ago I never touched a drop of alcohol because of how much I embarrassed myself and most importantly how much I embarrassed the woman that I loved.

I know that there is no magic words or secret phases to have her in my arms again and I take full responsibility for how I acted and I never blamed anybody or anything for what I did. I’m my biggest critic, I don’t pass the blame I take full responsibility for what I did and will always be saddened by what happened 3 years ago, it will be in my heart forever.

Yes you’re also right! life is about choices and that’s why I chose to quit drinking 3 years ago. I truly do love this woman she was very special to me and I blew it. That’s why I come to you and ask for your help, thoughts, opinions and constructive criticism all I want is to be the best version of myself and also to life around me. As a person for what I been through the past couple of years life is short and I want to have the best life I can possibly have before I go. A life full of passion, greatness, fulfillment and especially love.

In my heart I hope that I can be blessed with a second chance with her. To show her that I’m not that person from my past that see saw. I want to show her who I really am on the inside a person of integrity, strength, full of love, compassion and most importantly a man that she can rely on and a man that she can show trust in. That’s why I came to you Marlon, I’m willing to do whatever it takes, I’ll do whatever it takes to be blessed with a second chance with her. I just can’t go through life without trying and I pray for that chance and in my hearts of hearts that we can rekindle our love again.

Thank you for your time Marlon, hope to hear from you soon.

Michael.

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