When to walk away from him

I’ve met someone who seems to be the perfect guy. Unfortunately this guy, Gary*, threw red flags that I believe is important to take note of, especially for a codependent addict like myself.

When I got out of treatment I was thirsty for attention without even knowing it. I should’ve considered the fact that for a few months shy of a year I’d been cooped in rooms with dozens of straight girls and that I may be a bit lonely. When I got home and saw my low inventory of friends, I remembered Gary, a guy from my high school who I saw had gotten sober years ago before I had considered it for myself.

Gary was eager to hang out and reconnect and told me he was still sober! When I saw him a few days later, I learned his idea of sober was much different than mine. He still smoked weed and drank, but I figured he must manage it well because he was living in a house (I later found out he wasn’t paying bills at and he doesn’t own) and was saving for his car that just broke down (he wasn’t saving).

He latched on fast. He asked me to be his girlfriend that day. Why I said yes, I’ll never fully understand. I liked moving slow with people. I was eager and he was available, and he was interested in going to my meetings with me and said he wanted a relationship that was more relaxed and emphasized the fact that we both have our own goals and lives. So we began.

He needed to know where I was and what I was doing at all times throughout every day. If he didn’t know, then I could expect several calls in a row and a “What have you been doing the past few hours” when I picked up. He wanted to fall asleep on the phone, and I told him I wanted to watch tv and sleep on my own (is it really too much to ask?) and he’d get mad and hang up.

It took two weeks for me to know it was too much for me. This is not the ideal relationship for me. It was far too controlling. he’d said he loved me already, he was obsessed, and honestly I was afraid. So I shot him a text (I figured a two week relationship could be broken off in a text, afterall it wasn’t that serious).

HE FREAKED OUT. the name-calling began, then the typos, the pictures of his liquor, and lastly a picture of him cutting himself. I called the police. They picked him up and let me know that he didn’t cut himself deep enough to cause any serious damage but that they appreciated the call and would be taking him to a psychiatric hospital to evaluate him. I broke into tears. I was trying to figure out why this was always happening to me. Why I was always cleaning blood in my relationships and “being the cause” of their meltdowns? I was crying. The whole situation took me back to my past relationships and I felt like I was broken and undeserving. That’s when I went into relapse mode and dealt with my pain the only way I knew how in the moment.

He called from the hospital and apologized for his actions (that he didn’t remember) and told me that he nicked and artery and almost died (despite what the officer said…). Having relapsed at this time, I felt closer to him than ever and I accepted his apology and by the end of the phone call we were back together. It lasted about a week. I didn’t really want to see him or be around him. I was pissed that I’d relapsed and that he was still so controlling. I backed out and endured the name-calling and belittling again. I had a new vision. I had gotten a good paying job and I was going to set goals to go back to school and see the world like I planned. I didn’t want him to hold me back more than I felt I had already let him.

But.. I had to talk to him the next day. This time it was different. I found out I was pregnant. I had an idea that we could move in together and take care of the baby without actually being together. But he wanted to get married (obviously NOT). And I was still getting used to the fact that I had a growing embryo in my uterus. I needed time to think (AKA cry and lay in my bed). I leaned on one of my best friends and we would go tot he movies and he would just listen to me vent about my anger or sadness or life in general. And the next day Gary sent him threats and sent me pictures of his eyebrows and head shaved.

I’d had enough of the games. I had a lot more to think about at this point, so I told him that he needed to get help. His healing is his responsibility! I know now that I need to take my time in relationships and that I have to know my worth. I’m in a vulnerable state but I’m not so dense that I didn’t see the red flags. I’m just unfortunately so used to them. but honestly… fuck that.

With that said, I hope he found a job, is saving money, is getting place of his own, and has a car. But until he wants to better himself I really don’t want him around me, my family, or my kid. Guys like this are dangerous. And when we are vulnerable and not careful, we will be snatched and dragged in relationships like this. I can spend the whole post talking about how disappointed I am at myself for “letting this happen”, but where would that get me? I’m proud that I am mature enough to see what happened for what it is so I can learn from it.

Walk away when he calls himself God or Jesus’ brother. Walk away when he makes your problems about himself. Walk away when he says his purpose in life in to FIX you. Walk away when he doesn’t see his self destructive behavior as an issue. Walk away when he needs to be on you like white on rice (and gets mad when you point it out). Walk away when he doesn’t like your friends or your family. Walk away when he says that if you ever want to relapse, to call him first so he knows what you’re doing and so you’re “not alone”.