Dear Annie: I’ve been dating “Dayna” for eight months, and we moved in together three months ago. We fell in love from the moment we met.
I’m normally a calm guy. However, two months ago I made a mistake. I went out drinking with friends and was dropped off at home so drunk that I briefly blacked out. I got into an argument with Dayna and apparently gave her a black eye. I spent a month in jail on domestic battery charges. To my surprise, she did not break up with me, although we no longer live together. We each moved back in with our parents.
I know our relationship was moving too fast, but I believe in my heart that Dayna is the one for me. On the night of the incident, I had so much alcohol in my system that I’m pretty sure I would have fought with anyone who crossed my path.
Currently, I am enrolled in court-ordered classes on domestic violence. Although I know I don’t deserve her anymore, Dayna is still by my side, and I feel blessed for that. I made a promise to God while in jail to put the bottle down for good. I lost my job because of it, and it could have cost me my girlfriend. I’m not that person anymore. Alcoholism runs in my family. I’m a 27-year-old college-educated guy who dealt with problems by drinking because that’s what my family did. I’m determined to break the cycle and have made the first step toward that goal. I see life differently now, and all I want to do is make Dayna happy again. I know it will take time, but I’m determined to make it right with her and her family.
I love my girlfriend and hope to marry her one day. How do we bounce back from this horrific nightmare? — Sad and Depressed
Dear Sad: You need to rebuild Dayna’s trust. We are glad that you acknowledge your drinking problem and have taken steps to overcome it so you don’t repeat your mistakes. Dayna needs to know that you will remain sober over the long haul, through good and bad, and this takes much more time. Find a job, get your own place, live a solid life, and prove to Dayna that you are a man she can respect.