Post # 1
I’ve been married 1 week, and my DH and I are fighting pretty badly. I was upset yesterday because he stopped at the grocery store to get a 6 pack of beer…and it he was coming home from a drunk driver course (he got a DUI a few months ago – long story – he wasn’t hammered – pulled over b/c headlight was out and turned out just over the legal limit. Still an absolutely horrible experience) The 6 pack wasnt really a big deal, but it seemed a little unnecesary since we had consumed more alcohol than usual during the weekend and week already (wedding and we had visitors) .
Then, today when I got home from work I noticed he’d already drunk 2, and we were about to go to a party where he would be drinking more. I brought up the fact that it bothered me – especially in light of all the horrible DUI related issues we’ve been dealing with – and he got really angry, saying that it was unreasonable for me to chastise him when it’s totally normal for a guy to drink ~4 beers on a Friday night. I think he’s right about the last part, but Ive noticed that he tends to drink 2-3 beers most nights of the week. 2 seems ok, but 3 seems like a little much.
I have to say that it’s never like he gets drunk – he just really likes beer. This has bothered me a lot since the DUI, because I feel like he’s become such a casual beer drinker that he’s no longer really aware of how much he’s drinking. I know he’ll never get another one, but I just thought the whole thing would make him think twice about drinking 3 beers on a weeknight.
Anyone else have this kind of issue?
Post # 3
That would be a huge issue for me, because he already "wasn’t drunk" but still managed to get a DUI – it shows me he lacks reasonable judgement about what is appropriate drinking behavior.
I don’t believe that daily drinking, and defensive behavior about drinking are good signs either. He may not have a problem now … but he could easily head in that direction.
FH rarely drinks, maybe once every few months, because his dad (who passed away when he was 13) was an alcoholic, and one of his good friends was driving drunk and was in an accident that caused a death, so I don’t have the same kind of issue, but I support how you are feeling.
Post # 4
This is a tough issue. For some people this is normal drinking. For others it is too much.
We use a screener called the CAGE questions for patients.
1) Have you ever felt the need to cut down on your drinking?
2) Have you ever gotten annoyed when people question your drinking?
3) Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?
4) Have you ever needed an eye opener? (Drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover.
If one answers yes to 2 or more questions they may be alcohol dependent… but I start talking to patients about alcohol dependence if they screen positive for any question.
Also, as soon as alcohol starts interfering with daily life, I get concerned (missing work, law infractions).
Hope that helps, and I hope that you can come to some peace with this issue.
Post # 5
Beer is just as addictive as any other alcohol or drug. I would be concerned if the drinking becomes a regular pattern. Maybe you can look into support groups like Alonon (not sure if I spelled it correctly).
Post # 6
In my opinion, drinking 2-3 beers almost every night is a bit much. It’s probably not good for his health for one thing, and like Miss Mini said, he obviously isn’t aware of his limitations regarding legal limits.
After reading doctorgirl’s post – the fact that he got so defensive when you brought up his drinking, is definately something to think about….
Post # 7
I would be concerned too. Particularly about his lack of concern, and defensiveness. I hope you can find some support to help you through. Best of luck.
Post # 8
I agree with doctorGirl on this one. It def. sounds like you need some more investigation. Also, do you know if there is any history of alcoholism in his family? There isn’t in mine, but a couple (blood-related) family members have married into families with alcoholism. What I’ve seen is that while there may have been signs earlier, it doesn’t always manifest itself as a huge problem until after settling down a bit more. Also, the fact that you are concerned enough to write this post indicates you’re probably intuiting something…he’s your husband, not a stranger, you are sensing something is up. It might not be an issue, but I think you def. don’t want to let it go. I wish I had better advice for how to handle it. I know that groups like Al-Anon and Alateen have help for families.
You might find some information on checking for signs and approaching him. Also, keep in mind that if it is a dependency, then it’s not just something he’s doing b/c he is trying to hurt you or doesn’t care about you. He has a problem that he needs help solving.
The other thing I’m going to get on my soapbox and say is that drunk driving even slightly above the legal limit *is* a problem. I’m trained as an EMT and I can tell you that basically any Saturday night at the ER brings in some horrible, horrible things. It wasn’t clear from your story how you were getting there, but if he was having 2 beers before planning to *drive* to a party I’d be really concerned. I’m just saying, DUI is a big deal, regardless of the circumstances.
I really hope everything works out and it turns out to be jsut a bad week or soemthing…((Hugs)) and please keep us posted.
Post # 9
I don’t think it matters that he wasn’t "really drunk" at the time of the DUI. Driving while even a tinsy bit intoxicated is irresponsible. Reaction time, ability to judge distances and speeds, ect all go down hill whether you’ve consumed 1 or 4 drinks.
I think what’s concerning is that he’s not concerned by his habits at all and how its affecting your relationship and you made an excuse for his getting a DUI (headlight out or not, what he was doing was illegal and dangerous and should be a wake up call).
I’m sorry, I realize this is a bit aggressive, but this is near and dear to me.
Post # 10
This is the EXCAT situation that me and my FI went through. We were both pretty big drinkers in college, drinking many nights of the week, but that was college. After we moved in together he slowly got into a routine where he would drink 3-4 beers prob 4-5 times a week. Him & I have really high tolerances, so he never got buzzed or drunk, but it was the frequency that was concerning to me. We argued about this ALOT because he didn’t see a problem b/c he wasn’t getting buzzed, he just likes the taste of beer after a long day of work. And, he kept saying that all our other friends drink almost every night too. It came to the point where I was creating a log to show him how often he really was drinking, at about the same time, his dad had emergency surgery on his stomach.
My FI got his drinking habits from this father, his dad was the same, he would have a few beers almost every night after work, it became a habit. He, like my FI, didn’t see a problem because they never got buzzed or drunk, just liked the taste of beer. Well the doctor told his dad that the frequency of alcohol actually irrated a really bad ulcer that he had and he burned a hole in his stomach, causing him to have this emergency surgery.
This was eye opening for my FI. Since then he only drinks on the weekends, and once during the week (we like to go to our mid week happy hour 🙂 ) but he realized that just because he isn’t getting buzzed or anywhere near being drunk, that the frequency of alcohol can affect him.
I would suggest you do research to show the effects of long term drinking, but make sure it isn’t taking it to the extreme, becuase my guys drinking wasn’t affecting his mood, our relationship, or his work. I just found it bothersome. And it sounds like this is the same for you too.
Post # 11
Truthfully, I don’t think its a big deal if someone drinks a few beers a night. Like you said, its not like he gets drunk, he just likes beer. I had an ex whos parents drank 2 to 3 beers everynight before they went to bed, because they just really liked beer lol. I would think it would be a problem if he kept drinking and driving, or got stupid when he was buzzed. Or drank a 12 pack everynight. Since he got a DUI, I’m sure he has learned not to be stupid and realizes how stupid it was of him. You aren’t gonna go to AA for having a couple beers a night. Because truthfully 3 beers throughout a 2-3 hour period isn’t even going to get the typical guy even buzzed, considering one beer is out of your system in an hour. But I don’t see any problem with having a couple beers a night. I know. I’m on the completely other end of everyone’s opinion.
Post # 12
You’re not being ridiculous, first off. Secondly, I agree with the other posters; your husband should be checked for alcoholism/alcohol dependence. I’m sorry, he may like beer, but I’m of the opinion that even two beers is too many, especially if he’s then planning on DRIVING to a party where he will then drink more.
Frankly, his attitude reminds me of a frat boy. He needs to grow up, and take responsibility — he got busted for a DWI, and he needs to cut down on his alcohol consumption, ESPECIALLY before driving. He’s putting you in danger if he doesn’t.
Post # 13
Thanks for all the replies – I appreciate them!
Just to clarify, my husband was not going to drive to the party. I do almost all the driving now since he’s on a conditional license…which has added a lot of stress to our relationship. He used to do all the driving, and I think it’s very emasculating for him that I drive him everywhere.
We’ve been together 8 years, and just got married last weekend. The drinking has been a slight issue on and off (like AnnieAAA’s FI he drank a lot in college, but so did everyone else we knew). Still, it’s really never interfered in our relationship or his work until recently. The DUI was particularly painful because we live in a really rural area (he’s a farm manager) and we almost NEVER go out for drinks/dinner, period. That incident took place because we were out of town at a large event for accepted students at a graduate school that I’ll be attending this fall. We both felt horrible. I wasn’t paying attention to how much he was drinking, and he seemed fine to me when we left the event. I wasn’t even worried when we got pulled over, because I thought he was fine and under the limit. However the breathalyzer showed that he was over. The DUI ruined the weekend for us, and I had been working really hard for years to get into the program. On top of that, we almost canceled the wedding because all the costs involved w the court/lawyer and DMV came out to $4000 (half our wedding budget). But we managed to make it work and had a beautiful, low-budget wedding.
For those of you who feel really strongly about drinking and driving, dont worry -this has been an awful experience, and we’re both being punished for it. It will be on his record forever (no expungement in NY) and every job he application he submits will have this misdemeanor on it. I’m terrified that he’ll never get a good job after he’s done with grad school.
Our relationship has always been challenging – we REALLY REALLY love each other, but in some ways we are completely incompatible. We have thought about breaking up before, but we can’t imagine life without each other. And yet, I feel like I am crying myself to sleep way too much lately. Now I’m wondering if I was a total fool to get married. We have fought before, but I don’t think he has ever yelled at me before the way he did yesterday. It was the worst feeling in the world. Sorry for the long vent…I just feel really awful right now.
Post # 14
I’m really sorry about this, especially in light of the fact you JUST got married. If you are having serious doubts about the future of your marriage, maybe guys should consider some couples counseling. I don’t have much in the way of advice, but I really hope you two can work this out!
Post # 15
I really hope you can work this out. Alcohol dependence is such a serious issue that can cause so many problems for families. And unfortunately, getting the suffering parties to admit they make have an issue is the hardest thing. I’ve seen my family get torn apart over and over again by alcohol and it drives me insane. My FH and I have enough alcoholics in our family to form our own AA support group 🙁
And despite all of this, we still haven’t been able to resolve these issues. I hope you have better success than us :-/
Post # 16
diana, given some of your clarification, it sounds like maybe it’s more of a relationship/communication issue than actual concern about his drinking? So you’re fighting over this now, but you’ve fought over other things in the past? I still maintain that it’s worth objectively examining whether he has potential issues with alcohol dependency.
But it also sounds like you guys need to improve your communication. Is couples counseling a possibility? I don’t know his receptivity to it, but once you’re in grad school you will probably have access to less costly alternatives. Though I do sometimes think that no couseling can be better than bad counseling, you may get lucky with the university system. Also, given that it sounds like you have strong differences I *highly* recommend the book "Getting the Love you Want" by Harville Hendrix. It talks a lot about why "opposites attract" but it also teaches a very concrete method for talking about problems. It’s worked wonders for us. B/c perhaps part of what’s going on here is that you’re bugging him to drink less, and he’s very annoyed. Possibly more so b/c of the emasculation/embarassment he’s feeling. You both might be in your separate corners dealing with your own feeligns, not hearing the other person. I’m completely shocked at how often that happens to us, even when we feel like we’ve talked bout the same thing a million times. Bottom line, the technique (which is basically to let the other person speak their piece entirely and in small pieces that you repeat back, then switch) works.
I really hope that your fighting about his drinking is more of a miscommunication about how each of you feel about it than anything else. And good luck with this. No one deserves to be crying to sleep each night, least of all in their first week of marriage.