Post # 1
My SO and I started dating about 8 months ago and things have been going really, really well. He’s the sweetest, most affectionate guy I’ve ever dated. He isn’t controlling, not jealous… generally very happy and doesn’t anger easily. He has a lot of really close friends, is well liked by all my friends and family and has a really good job/career. He’s very responsible, treats his parents very well… I mean the list of positive attributes goes on and on…
My only issue is his drinking habits. He is 35 years old and every weekend pretty much he drinks… not just a couple beers but usually to the point where he can’t remember all the details the following day. Probably on a weekend night where he is out drinking he averages around 10 drinks (wine, beer, shots…) Even when he is drunk he is a nice guy. Never violent or mean. All of his friends also drink this much which is why I think he doesn’t understand that it’s not really normal to drink that much every weekend. He doesn’t drink during the week usually and if he does its maybe one drink. I’m just concerned about his health and possible damage he might be doing from the excessive binge drinking. His father is an alcoholic and my father is as well. I’m sort of sensitive about drinking because I’ve seen how it ruined my relationship with my own dad. I worry that he is more like his father than he might realize…
I love his so much and he is an amazing guy. I know I can’t make him change. I’ve talked to him about it a little bit but I worry that pushing the issue will cause him to be defensive. He does know that his drinking habits worry me so I’m hoping that he cuts back. What do you guys think? He makes me happy in every other way and treats me so well… he has a heart of gold. I know he loves me and is planning on proposing probably in the next 6 months. Do you think that his drinking is normal for a bachelor his age? It doesn’t affect his responsibilities in any way… or should I insist he cut back?
Post # 2
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I think quite a lot of people drink like that. It’s not healthy, but it doens’t mean he’s an alcoholic necessarily.
I don’t think pushing the issue is going to be constructive, b/c you’re right– you can’t make him change. But I dont’ think it could hurt to let him know that you worry about his health. I would think that the longer you’re together, the more time he’ll be spending with you and the less binge drinking he’ll do. If it doesn’t change, then it’s time to continue the talking.
Post # 3
Personally, I would advise a person to curb black out drinking for simple safety reasons….A) he will not change just by you getting married (I saw you get that but make sure you could live with him as he is today for the rest of your life) B) it is a lot.
Is it a ‘problem’? Well how much is too much? does it interfere with his life? I think it is getting there. If he can cut back now he should, and if he cannot then there is clearly an issue. My FI does drink too much and I did say things to him and he did cut back. There are still moments that I feel like ‘too much’ but they are very few and far between. Also, he did not get drunk like your guy but would do manybe 2-3 beers every night.
You do need to watch this a bit, imo.
oh – just realized how my post was written. I do not think that you have a huge ability to just change this and it is not your fault if he gets worse. He may still be receptive, so I do think it is worth talking about. Also, I want you to watch this for yourself. I do not want you getting so caught up in it that you become stressed and feel that everything is your responsibility and fault.
Post # 4
I think you’re right, or I’m hoping you are. I know he wants kids and he says when we are living together and especially when we have kids he will drink a lot less because of his responsibility as a parent. I believe him because I know he will make a great dad. This has just been on my mind a lot lately because I haven’t been sure if I should approach him on it and if so, how to approach it.
Post # 5
How old is he? The way you describe it, it does sound like he drinks a lot but since he is drinking in the company of his friends it might just be an age thing. Maybe he is just having fun, partying and drinking.
I understand that you are worried especially with having his and your dad in mind. As much as I am informed drinking turns into a problem when you can’t do without and start forming your life around it (hiding the amount, lying about drinking etc) Is he a fun drinker and enjoying his drinks or does he also drink (hard, not talikng about a glass of wine) to “relax” when being in bad mood?
I wouldn’t insist too much that he cuts back, I just think making the drinking to an issue in your relationship won’t help but might drive him further into it. Let him know that it does worry you (especially with both of yours dads) but don’t accuse him. I guess that is what I would do. I absolutely understand that this is a very difficult topic for you and don’t want you to think I am playing it down. I just think fighting about it and putting to much pressure on him might make things worse…
Post # 6
Zimtstern: I definitely agree that putting too much pressure isn’t a good thing and might make things worse. He’s 35 so the excuse of beinf young and partying doesn’t really fit. All of his friends are in their 30’s, most are divorced and dating, and they all seem to drink similarly to him. He drinks to “party” mostly, maybe he drinks after a long day of work, but I’d say his binge drinking really is more when he’s in party mode… or sometimes he even drinks that much on a Friday night when we are just watching TV at home.
Post # 7
Luckily though, he doesn’t “hide” it the way that alcoholics who know they have a problem do. So I don’t think he’s an alcoholic exactly… but maybe a borderline problem drinker.
Post # 8
NightOwl27: It seems like you are a realistic person and you know that you can’t change him. What you can do is work out a compromise. Decide what you can and cannot tolerate in the relationship and talk to him about it. My FI and I both like the sauce more than we probably should, with that being said I did have to talk to him when we started living together.
For example. I said I was not OK with not coming home. We live together, there is no reason you need to stay at someones house. If you can get to a buddys house, you can get home. Call me, call a cab, call your mother. But your rear end had better make it home. He would not be okay with me doing it, so why would it be okay for him.
I was also not okay with him being super hung over when we had made plans in advance. The first time or so I gave him a pass, hey it happens. I’m not a nazi. After I saw a pattern, it really kind of irked me. The next time I made him to follow through with our plans. He was miserable. Never happened again.
Another thing I noticed was the longer we were together, the party hard side of him started to go away. It wasn’t every weekend anymore. Sure we still go out and have beers, but it wasn’t a full on drinkathon like when we first met. For the record we are in our early 30’s.
Also, how is he not hungover! I hit 30 and I physically can’t handle drinking like that anymore.
Post # 9
I am on the opposite side. My FI is concerned about MY drinking. He has spoken to me about it in two ways….when he lovingly suggests a bath and a cup of tea (instead of a glass of wine to relax), I am much more receptive to his advice and I feel more in control of my intake. If he says (as he did tonight), “You aren’t feeling well so I’m not going to let you have a glass of wine”, I feel like having one out of spite even though I don’t really want one!! I know its very immature of me, what I’m trying to say is this – lead by example (my FI is a very light drinker and it has helped me A LOT – my last SO and I used to bring THREE bottles of wine to dinner for the 2 of us), and sort of distract him in a loving way to spend his time more constructively. For example, if he feels the need to have 10 drinks in a row watching TV with you, perhaps he is stressed/anxious and you could offer him a massage? My habit has decreased from a bottle of wine a night to 1 – 2 bottles a week. Still too much I know but so much better than before. I actually needed support and encouragement from my FI to cut back. But NO PRESSURE!! Pressure makes people defensive, and that will make him feel even more entitled to drink. Hope this helps. x
Post # 10
partyplanner83: Haha, I had to laugh at the last part of your response. At 35, he has double the amount of energy as me and I’m 28… In the morning after a heavy night of drinking he usually isn’t hungover and if he is… he doesn’t show it. I always have to ask him “are you hungover?” and sometimes he says a little, most of the time he says nope… and that amazes me cause usually I’m the one thats feeling like ass even though I didn’t drink nearly as much as him. So we’ve never had to miss plans due to him being hungover. He always seems to make it fine. I do like your suggestion of setting boundaries and expectations with his drinking. We don’t live together yet but that’s something that’s coming down the road.
Post # 11
If this is what he does every weekend, without fail, then yes, it is a problem. Many problem drinkers think if they have a bad day or are feeling too much pressure, or any number of excuses they make up to imbibe and head straight for the alcohol to unwind, looking for that quick fix isn’t getting them anywhere.
My cousin and I just had this conversation where he told me he finally realized he is an alcoholic. Same story,different day. He ‘saved’ his drinking for the weekends, thinking he ran his business with success and went in every day, but by the end of the week, the pull to get plastered was too strong….and he spent F,S, and Sundays oblivious to the world. He also found as he got older, he wasn’t feeling so great and went through a battery of medical tests looking for the answer. One of his friends asked if he thought his drinking could be the reason and why not stop for a few weeks and see if he felt better. It was then that he realized he just couldn’t stop. With help, he has now been sober for a year, but its a daily struggle. He has to talk himself through every day to not reach for a drink.
You are seeing the signs in someone you care about and I think you already know he has a problem. As far as what you can do to help is really up to you, as it isn’t any easy issue to confront when someone doesn’t see it in themselves.
Post # 12
Binge drinking on a regular basis to the point of blacking out absolutely is a problem and it is bad for your health, both for your liver and for the potential accidents. 10 drinks is a lot of drinks, and its hard to believe he cant have fun with 4 alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks interspersed. Marriage and kids do not change people – and you have to ask yourself if you can be happy with a husband going out every weekend and blacking out while you are home watching the kids. This is not an issue that will simply sort itself out if you let it alone. An engagement ring on your hand won’t fix this.
He will get a lot of flak from his buddies if he cuts down, but a good man will respect that your father is an alcoholic and that alcohol abuse is something you’re not looking for in a potential husband.
Post # 13
This. He’s drinking to the point of not remembering things. That’s serious. He’s abusing alcohol. My hunch is that OP will find he can’t cut back even if he promises OP he will. You don’t have to drink every day to be an alcoholic.
I suggest OP attend a few al-anon meetings to get some insight into his behavior.
Post # 14
I think this is all pretty open to interpretation as far as ” how much is too much”. My husband and I are drinkers, we go out on the weekends and can throw back several beers,wine,shots, etc. Sometimes the next day the details are fuzzy, we laugh at what we do remember and life goes on. A long as he 1- isn’t violent, 2- is absolutely NOT driving, 3- keeping it to a weekend activity that does not intefere with work then I truly don’t see the problem. That’s just me, though. Everyone has a different threshold for these things and it would seriously irk me if someone tried to “curb” my one or two nights a week where I don’t count calories and have as much wine as I want!
Post # 15
NightOwl27: There’s a difference between alcohol dependency (alcoholism) and alcohol abuse. He’s definitely abusing alcohol and it’s not healthy, but I don’t know that he’s definitely an alcoholic.
My concern would be that actions speak louder than words: he says he’s going to change with marriage and kids, but that’s all talk. How do you know he will? Honestly, in your position I would need to see some positive change before marriage and WAY before kids.
Have y’all ever gone out of town together for a weekend? Does he still “need” to drink if its just you and him?