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Old 05-16-2010, 07:20 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,817,357 times
Reputation: 5761


The subject of today, is "red flags". You can see 'em when they pop up, but do you watch them fly around for a bit? Or lite them on fire immediately? I think I did a little of both, which, I suppose, leads me to where I am now.
Let's start from the beginning.

Okay, so you can't call "2 years" into it, early exactly. But we're not married, and we have no kids, or joint property together. For the record, I'm 26.

We were engaged. We met online through an mmorpg game that we both used to play religiously. (I know..l) I moved up to MD about 3 years ago, when my dad left my mom, and her health began to fail, and have been living here under her roof ever since, in the decision to take over the mortgage, and responsibility for my 2 younger brothers, and to help out however I could.
He moved out here from California, to be with me, after an online "courting" style, so to speak, of about a year, with several back and forth time spent together at eachother's place. It was a rocky start in the beginning, after meeting the first time, (and not until coming back home) did he confess over the phone that he was lying to me about a few things... he wasn't really 37, he was 43. He didn't really own the house he was living in, he was renting one of the rooms from an older lady who let him move in a year back. Things like that. For better or worse, I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried to stress how important honesty was to me, and how devastating it has been in the past before, and that above all else, if he feels like he can always tell me the truth, then I feel like there will always be something worth saving in him. He said he was sorry. And we kept the ball rolling. Moving into your girlfriend's mom's house can't be the most pleasant of circumstances to be under, but we did well. In the beginning.

He had lost his job in CA, which pretty much sealed the fate and the decision that he would relocate up here, rather than ask me to leave my family and move down there permenantly - so I flew one way down there, and off we set on about a week-long road trip across the US with everything he owned in the back of his car. It was a blast. We got stuck in Denver's biggest freak-blizzard ever, snowed in repeatedly, ran off the road more than once spinning into a frenzy, sometimes stopping in hotels, sometimes driving all night, it was truly a sense of bonding and accomplishment when we made it back home to MD in one piece, ready to start our new life together. The only downside was the "not biologically confirmed" son that is 20, that was furious that his irresponsible father-figure was moving to the other side of the country to be with a girl, and not staying there to stay closer to him. I fielded more than one very angry and irrational phonecall from him and his current girlfriend, proclaiming that "I was ruining his life, and to stay away from his dad, his only family." etc. Even putting distance between both combatting parties, it continued to be a sore spot through the relationship, because while he didn't approve of what his son was saying or accusing me of constantly, he never did anything to confront his son on any of the matter, fearing that picking an argument with him would only estrange them further. I began accumulating a sense of "he's not sticking up for me, he's just passively trying to keep the peace" that in turn, I began resenting him for. Because having to live with what his son was saying to me, and about me whenever he chose to call, was an open wound. The salt, was the simple fact that the BF (fiancee at the time) never had a spine enough in my eyes, to stand up for our relationship to him and put his foot down. His only claim to preservation was "I moved out here to be with you, doesn't that say enough?" Moving on...

He had a very hard time finding a job here initially. (who didn't, in this economy, sheesh) It was a major struggle to support both of us off of my measly income at the time. We rejoiced and celebrated the day he landed a very high-paying job, within the same field that he had left in CA. The money began rolling in, and we were frivilously spending it just about as fast as it arrived, but we were covering everything we needed to at the time. Well, as every dysfunctional family has its quirks, so does mine. My mother can be overdramatic at times. One of my younger brothers is an idiot, rather pigheaded, sometimes he genuinely means well, but more often than not is only concerned with himself. (which we keep hoping he'll grow out of). So it's needless to say that it took some time for the welcome to wear thin, but the family drama found a way to whittle into our regular routine. I jokingly made him promise me, when we first got here, that above all else, if my family got to be too much for him (cause they're even too much for ME, sometimes, that he only promises that he wont' leave without me, when he finally does crack ) Despite all of it, he fit into the family seamlessly. He became the handy-man around the house. He would bring home misc power tools, bbq grills, little things to help out around the house and help fix it up.

Bills began popping up that were chasing him from California that I hadn't known about. He hadn't filed his taxes in over 5 years. He had a dentist, and 3 different banks after him for a number of various smaller things. Unemployment was actively seeking reimbursment for a fraud charge they filed, that he was guilty of, and had yet to start paying on years back... when you lumped all of the angry people after him together into a pile, it made a pretty intimidating pile of mail. Money got tighter, our fights became more regular. I thought that was the worst of what I was having to work on.
I was wrong.

He began spending longer nights at work, and not coming home right away. I never got the feeling that he was seeing anyone else. He was drinking his problems into oblivion. I've never been with a functioning alcoholic, and I'm still not even 100% sure that's the right word for him. We would go out to bars for fun, for the night, and I didn't think much of it. Would I have rather stayed home, ordered chineese and watched a movie and cuddled with the cats? Sure.. I've never been much into drinking. But I wanted to spend time with him, and he liked to go out on the town. We blew through a lot of money during those times. The catalyst in it all, was when we were fighting and he wasn't coming home, he was out drinking by himself. I slowly began forming myself into a high-strung overly emotional ball of chaos, when I found myself on nights of staying up late, having the house to myself, had made dinner, was waiting for him to get home - only to find that after an hour or 2, he had shut off his phone and disappeared to a bar, with no warning, no apology. I didn't want to turn into the overbearing ball and chain girlfriend, but that's all I saw happening. I hated every word coming out of my mouth, when I heard myself yelling at him, crying, asking where he was, didn't he know I was worried about him, if he wanted to go out at night, why wouldn't he at least warn me so I didn't waste my entire night waiting for someone to come home, that never did, and never saw it as a "big deal".

He cut down on how often he would go out at nights, but the amount he began drinking when he did "disappear" was frightening. He would turn his phone back on, and call me in a drunken slur, in the middle of the night, letting me know he was working late, and on his way home soon. Sometimes he was even drunk enough to tell me the truth, that he was at a bar down the street, had made a TON of new friends, and was having the time of his life, but that he'd be home soon, and didn't want me to worry. (at 3 in the morning). He would drive home, scaring me, and stumble in and pass out on the bed. And every time, I froze. Do I get upset, and try to wake him up and fight with him? Do I let it go? Do I sleep next to him stinking of alcohol and wait for morning, when he'll act like everything's okay?

I don't know how long it went on for, couldn't have been for more than a few months, there were too many nights. Nights where I only caught him drinking and lying about it, because I went to visit him at work when I got off early, and was turned away at the door feeling like an idiot, cause "didn't I know he left like 3 hours ago...?" Nights where my car wouldn't start at work, and was waiting for him to get there to help me start it, and never came. Having never dealt with an alcoholic in my life before, I made my next few moves as cautiously as possible. It was one of the biggest challenges in my life yet, to try to remain calm and keep from crying when I did it, but I did it. I waited for him one night, not any night inparticular, for him to come home late, staggering, and banished him to the couch. I let him sleep it off for a few hours (although he hadn't managed to find his way home until almost 4 in the morning). And I told him that it didn't matter how much I love him, that I can't handle this. And that if we wanted to make our relationship work, we needed to fix ourselves first, and he needed to move out to get his "ducks in a row".

I helped him pack. I booked him into a hotel for a few days until he found a place to rent. He was furious (while somehow forgetting that we both blew through the money fairly fast that we were both making) that there wasn't a lot of money in the account for him to take with and not have to worry about anything. He never stopped to think that I now had to worry, about everything. My job had cut me down to part time, and he drove away leaving me with only $150 in the bank. He moved all the way out here from CA to be with me, and I was kicking him to the curb. And the only thing that kept racing through my mind as he drove away, was the pact we made in the beginning, about promising not to leave me behind if the proverbial poop hit the fan. After all, I asked him to move out, right?

(to be continued)
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:23 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,817,357 times
Reputation: 5761

He found a beautiful half of a home to rent right on the water, which, if you ask me, was a lot more expensive than he could have probably settled with. But, this was about him finding his happiness, and getting his priorities back in order, who am I to judge what is best for him. If it made him happy, I wanted to be happy for him.

It was touch and go for a bit. It was so hard coming home every night to a place that we had shared together for over a year, now. He left absolutely nothing here. What were the rules of our new arrangement? Was I allowed to call him on my break at work to see how he’s doing? Were we supposed to set aside time to spend together once or twice a week? Or was it better to leave him alone while he fights with drinking? He had already agreed, for the sake of our relationship, to begin going to AA meetings. It wasn’t until I just now wrote that sentence, that I realize that was a mistake. You don’t sober up to save a relationship, or a marriage to be, you sober up to save yourself, then you work on the relationship. Everything felt like a competition. I didn’t want it coming out sounding like “it’s either me, or the drinking. Pick one, because I’m done trying to share my life with it.” But nevertheless, everything came out sounding like that

We still made an attempt to see eachother at least once a week. It was hard. It was physically exhausting, and emotionally draining. Granted, I didn’t have to do laundry 10 times a week for him as I had been before he moved out, but in the interim, had taken on a second full time job, and I was literally feeling like I was burning the candle at both ends. I would come home at night and cry, because I couldn’t have enough time to spend with the kitties cuddling them, kissing their little heads, and telling them all about my day. I didn’t have the time to stop by the store on the way home. I didn’t have the energy to take a shower before passing out in bed, just to repeat the whole day over again tomorrow. I would be up by 5am, and not come back home until 9pm. 6 days a week. But it kept my mind off of our problems for the most part.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the phone bill a week later! Three hundred dollars? Really? I went online to do some investigating. 700 text message overage charges? Hmmmm. I don’t text. I called the BF, to let him know about the bill, and he said he was sorry, they were his, and perhaps we should think about graduating from only 200 texts per month, to unlimited. I said I don’t text, ever.. he said he does! Every day! For work! Can’t live without ‘em! Okay.. 20 minutes later, and a smothering of reassurances that he would pay for his end of the extensions, I added unlimited texting to the secondary line on my phone plan (which was his). Just so no one’s confused – the phones are in my name. they have been since existence.

I, being an emotionally hand-grenade-ing ball of negative energy, began flipping back through the text logs online out of incriminating curiosity the next day. None of these numbers were from work. What is going on?? Out of the 30 texts a day on average, 25 of them were repeatedly to this one local number, and the other 5 or so were out of state to an unknown California area code. Again, kinda asking for it, I called him, and asked who the number was? He said he didn’t know, he doesn’t memorize numbers once they’re stored in his phone, he’ll have to check later, and hung up. Was that good enough for me? Nope.. this is where I let my gut reaction kick me in the ass, and evolved from the crippling dramatically wounded girlfriend, to the psycho stalker. I called the damn number. No answer, no surprise, but depressingly a young female’s voice on the other end of the machine when it picked up. I hung up and called him back, to let him know. All of a sudden, he remembers who he’s been texting back and forth 20 times a day, oh it must be Kat! The, uh, waitress over at Red Robin near where I work. You’ve met her before, haven’t you hunny? Hmmm, not ringing any bells on this end. So I ask him why in god’s name is he bouncing texts back and forth 20 times a day? (in my mind, again, cringing because I know what I sound like, and I just don’t stop pushing) – he got very defensive. She’s a friend, she’s turned into a great friend, I don’t have anyone else to talk to out here. You wanted me to make friends, didn’t you? Are you going to freak out just because she’s a girl now? She’s one of the best conversationalists. (although minutes earlier he said it was nothing but 2-3 word conversations per txt, usually about nothing inparticular). It took me awhile to come up with a substantial response, but the best I could do, was to let the BF know that, out of respect for trying to work on a long-term-relationship with me, moderation is key when being friends with the opposite sex. He went off on a tangent calling me paranoid, jealous, manipulative, the works. I’m sure by now I fit the bill for all of them.

He called back and apologized later, saying he loved me, he was very sorry, and he didn’t think having her as a friend was a problem, but if it was making me feel uncomfortable, he would ask her to tone it down a bit. Well that lasted about 3 days. I started seeing her number pop up at midnight, 2am, 3am, 7am. We had gone out on a date just the night before. (I don’t even want to have to mention that he waited until we were in line at the movies to buy our tickets and our name was called next to be helped, before he looked at me and said “you first, what, you think I have any money??”) I was immediately enraged to see that they were bouncing texts back and forth up to the minute he met me in front of the movies, and picked up as soon as it was over and we went to our own homes for the night. By this time, it doesn’t take much to flip my “pissed” switch on. What I’ll never understand, is why I repeatedly opened myself up for attack, or for being handed lie after lie by confronting him, when I never got a straight answer. Amidst my digging, I uncovered that he had gone out on a wild drinking binge for his birthday with 2 other guy friends from work, and that those 2 guy friends invited their girlfriends to accompany them – and, brought along Kat, the waitress, err, as it turns out, Bartender, to “entertain” the BF for the night. – How do I compete with that? ..I don’t even know where to begin. And what kind of friends take you out to get tanked, when they know you're struggling to change your life and stay sober!

When I brought it up, he commented on how he seems to be in trouble over every thing, no matter how minor when it comes to me now, and he’s sick of it. Again, after putting some thought into it, I realized that he was right, and it made sense. The only reason I was so infuriated with him over every new thing as it popped up, was because I was never allowed to feel angry over anything in the past. Was I allowed to be upset that he lied in the beginning about his age? Or where he lived? Or how? Or how many government or federal agencies were suing him for money? Or where he was late at night? Why he didn’t come home? Why he couldn’t just tell me the truth? No. I wasn’t allowed to be upset over any of them. I was supposed to swallow it down, suck it up, put my best foot forward for the sake of the relationship and keep charging onward. Well I was sick of it. I have never once doubted that he loves me. But I'm seriously beginning to question whether love has ANYTHING whatsoever to do with surviving a longlasting relationship.

I reminded him that he was well aware of trust issues I had from previous relationships before he even moved out here. He agreed. I reminded him that his behavior as of late hadn’t done much to enforce or stabilize that dwindling trust. He agreed. I told him I was turning myself into psycho girlfriend who couldn’t sleep at night, and never had a moment’s peace, because I was so scared to make the wrong move, that I ended up never making a move at all. He told me he loved me then, and that he wants me to be able to trust him, and that he knows he’s a screw up a lot, but that he has the best of intentions, and he doesn’t want to keep hurting me.

I looked him square in the eyes, and said, if you want me to trust you, you need to work on helping me trust you. And if you claim that this is all harmless and innocent, and that I’m the controlling one going over the deep-end over –reacting here….. then let me see your phone.

He froze like a deer in the headlights. I knew I was biting off more than I wanted to chew when I said it. But I meant it. He refused to hand me his phone. He whipped it out and started pressing lots of buttons really fast. (gee, I can only imagine what he was doing) And I went off. I told him he was crossing a line that there really, really, wasn’t any coming back from if he was actually going to do this. He flat out refused, saying I was going all “Rambo” on him. (I’m not a confrontational person, when this stops hurting so bad one day, I can only hope I look back on that night with pride. I don’t often stand up for myself. I’m not about to be insulted by him for it.) I noticed half way through his talking, that he was talking in circles, changing the subject, resurfacing other fights, anything- in a desperate attempt to get my mind off of wanting to physically hold his phone and look through it. So I cut him off at the knees on it. I told him that if he had nothing to hide, he had no reason not to show me his phone, and if he wanted to clear his name, why wouldn’t he want to? I told him that if I can’t trust him, it will never er get any better than this, and I just can not continue to live like this. So I repeated very calmly and very quietly, that if he still had no intentions of showing me his phone, which was, at the time, the only way in my mind as an easy fix to put my worst fears at ease, - then to please leave. He tried dancing around the issue again! Changing the subject! So I got forceful! And damnit my temper got the better of me, and when I began to cry it all went downhill. I remember pointing to the door to the shop (this all took place while I was at my second job for the evening, by the way!) and I was literally screaming at him, “do I look like an idiot? Can you really think, after all this time together, that I’m an idiot? LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I locked the door to the shop and went into the bathroom to bawl my eyes out. But when I got in there, I didn’t cry. I just kind of sat there dazed, in shock, in horror, I don’t know what to call it.

The phone lines have been severed. I called T Mobile and told them I couldn’t bear to look at the activity going on on his other line anymore, and they removed him from my phone plan, and put him on his own. It wasn’t until I got home from work, fed the cats, and got into the shower that I completely broke down and sobbed.

I put on a movie and fell asleep trying to not think about anything, that it would all slightly shift in the morning and I might be able to sort it out better then.

I woke up (on the only day I have to sleep in past 5am), to an incoming text message. It’s really bothersome that I haven’t been able to get back to sleep since. It was from that number. From Kat his bartender. All it said was, “Thank you”.

Last edited by Marylandkitten; 05-16-2010 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:50 AM
Location: NYC
7,366 posts, read 13,834,306 times
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I would have dumped him when I found out he was 43 and renting a room. A 43 year old man who doesn't have his stuff together is a loser. What kind of man moves across the country to live with a girl and her mother? A loser. Of course you later learned he had all kinds of problems, because he's a loser.

Lesson learned, put a period behind it. Next time, walk at the first sign the guy is a loser, don't wait for sign #12.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:17 AM
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,081 posts, read 26,401,593 times
Reputation: 18124
Sorry the relationship didn't work out, but this is what you can expect meeting a quy on line from across the country and he moves in, your actually lucky he wasn't something far worse than being a loser.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:25 AM
4,253 posts, read 8,813,517 times
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Yes, lots of red flags.

Not showing his phone to you, - a huge red flag.
Watching his son verbally abusing you and doing nothing - red flag.
Not having anything to show at 43 (and now at 46) - red flag.
Alcoholism - red flag.
Poor financial decisions - red flag.
Texting at 46 to younger than you (26) girls - red flag.

One relationship gone wrong.

To be fair, putting some distance (him finding his own place to live) should have meant distancing in other matters - no knowing who he's texting to, how he spends his free time.... You didn't know in what state your relationship was after he left, and it had to be more distant than before - two people sorting out their emotions independently from each other, and deciding without extra entanglement (living arrangements, etc) if they still meant to be together.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:27 AM
Location: California
147 posts, read 276,792 times
Reputation: 120
Yeah, OP, that sucks....I do believe in warning signs....I believe people deserve second chances to prove that is was just a mistake afterall we are all human. None of us are perfect. BUT fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me....You seem like a very intelligent, hardworking, family oriented woman...you can find a man that has the same values. A man that is honest, doesn't have a ton of debt, and isn't an alcoholic is out there for you! Nice guys that would rather stay home and eat Chinese then go out and meet other girls DO EXIST. Keep your eyes open and don't settle for some guy MUCH older than you who still doesn't have his life together! You deserve better than that!
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:37 PM
Location: Wyoming
9,728 posts, read 19,425,581 times
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If the question was did you end it too early or not early enough, the answer is not early enough. I suspect more people (men and women) will hold back a little information in the beginning of a relationship that would cast them in a bad light, but it seems this guy was flat out lying. One thing you can be sure of is that you still don't know everything.

You were right to send him on his way, even if a little late doing it. It would be a mistake to let him back into your life -- the less contact with him the better. Don't think of the last two years as a waste, for you did have some good times, but he has major problems that would never allow you to have a healthy life and relationship. This should be the end that chapter; time to start forming the next one. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:31 PM
11,869 posts, read 15,851,688 times
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If any of this is true, you should have put the brakes on when the first significant problem arose. That's not to say that you had to completely break it off, but asking for a credit report or making sure he cleaned up his messes before he moved in with you would have been good.
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Old 05-16-2010, 03:21 PM
Location: Wherever women are
19,011 posts, read 27,682,804 times
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Note to all women:

When you enter a relationship with a jobless loser with a bag of lies, you are writing your own death sentence

Men who are jobless and have a lot of personal issues do not deserve to go into a relationship and bring a woman down with them.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:32 PM
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 8,159,912 times
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MK, I'm so sorry you've been through all this! (((Hugs))) But Oh, I'm so glad he's out of your life. (At least it seems like he is....)
A man who loves a woman does not lie to her, ever. His actions after moving out speaks very much louder than anything he could say to you. Stay strong!
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