His drinking every weekend is upsetting me, am I being unreasonable?

posted 11 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
573 posts
Busy bee

I come from a family with an alcoholic father so my views might be a little biased against drinking but honestly “stress” is an excuse. He drinks because he wants to and he won’t stop after he gets out of the military and it won’t be different. 

It is not unreasonable of you to want something different for your life, no matter what his drinking behavior is. So what that he’s not mean or abusive when he drinks? He doesn’t need to be for you to not like his constant drinking. 

This would quite honestly be a deal breaker for me. If someone needs substance to handle stress, I think that says more about the personal behaviorally than anything else ever could. No one NEEDS anything in this life but oxygen, water and food and the mindset that they do is rather dangerous. 

You can’t choose your family or the fact that you’ve dealt with their alcoholism in whatever way you were subjected to it in the past but you can choose who you spend your life with and what you will put up with in the future. 

Best of luck to you.

Post # 4
876 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

irmela :  hi bee,

I‘m sorry you are going through this. First off I want to assure you that how you are feeling is legitimate. His pattern of drinking is not healthy. I don’t think this is a dealbreaker though.

It’s a tricky situation to be in. Imagine being in his shoes and someone telling you they think your drinking is out of control? It would be usual for the first reaction to be defensive as it is probably embarrassing.

I would try talking to him again when the mood is good and he’s not had a drink etc and take the lead from him, so when he says things like “I’m so tired recently” maybe suggest “I’ve noticed that too. Have you thought about whether it is related to drinking?”

What did he do in the past to combat stress? Exercise/ movies/ etc? Maybe suggest to him trying to do those things or go with him. 

There’s support groups and advisors you can speak with online (in the UK) so I imagine there is the same in the US. Good luck bee. 

Post # 5
243 posts
Helper bee

I’m sorry, bee. Former military here. We drank a lot on the weekends. Mostly just Fridays and Saturdays, because we had to be back to work early on Sundays. However, I had Soldiers (I was an officer) who would show up to work at 0630 hungover/still reeking of booze. It definitely is part of the culture, and more than one of my Joes got shipped out to rehab (with countless more probably needing the same treatment, but they were “functional”). I’d keep an eye on it for sure.

Post # 6
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Addiction runs in my family and my dad is a hoarder/ alcoholic. He doesnt get shit faced drunk but he does drink everyday. It used to be only on the weekend. And little by little it went from a cup of wine to a whole box a day. Wine made him angry so he switched to beer which made him gain weight Nd now hes taking shots of hard liqour. He drinks a beer before he goes to work 

And all this started as weekend thing. Eventually he will not know how to enjoy himself of have fun witnout alcohol. He will become that guy who needs liquor to relax. And then it turns into alcoholism.  Im 27 now but i noticed it when i was 7 or 8.  Its not an instant deal breaker for me either but i dont and wont put up with no excuse. Im extremely drastic and controlling when it comes to addictions as i feel im generically inclined to it. I would ask for him to be sober for a whole month and the. He could pick either friday or Saturday’s to get shit faced.  If i dont get me way. Im going to show my way out fhe door because i dont need no uncertainty in my life because he wants to live that way.

Pick a side and be firm. 

Post # 7
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I also come from a family with an alcoholic parent so I may be biased too.

His drinking alone due to ‘stress’ (BS) and not willing to dial it back or admit he has a problem indicates to me that he’s a high-functioning alcoholic. Don’t be fooled by his jovial drunken self, an alcoholic is an alcoholic.

However, when you say he is drinking on his own, how much is he drinking? A couple of beers? Or the half bottle of Jack plus beers? 

Post # 8
2705 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

irmela :  You’re definitely *not* being unreasonable.If he wouldn’t stop,  this would be a deal breaker for me… sorry. 

Post # 10
3740 posts
Sugar bee

irmela :  How are you supposed to believe it? You’re not – so don’t.

He’s drinking to get drunk on a regular basis and it sounds like he’s smashed all weekend. As far as I’m concerned he meets the definition of alcoholic. And nothing will change until he decides to change it and that gets harder to do as the years pass. 


Post # 11
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

Using drinking as a coping mechanism for stress is a major issue on a regular basis. And I guarantee it isnt going to be n ow and change later like he claimed in your original post- he is setting up a pattern. 

I can imagine the you pressure he is under to socialise like his mates plus work. But these red flags are serious red flags. 

Can you talk to the other girlfriends/wives/fiances?

Post # 13
99 posts
Worker bee

Unfortunately I doubt that you bringing it up as an issue will lead to any change on his part. HE has to see it as an issue and see that there are going to be consequences of the behaviour to make him want to change before any real change will occur. Right now it sounds like he doesn’t have any interest in changing and is just giving you lip service. Even if you got angry enough to make him cut back on the drinking, I’d bet it would only be temporary. 

This is such a tough spot and I feel for you. 21 is young, yes, but I think you’re right to expect a higher level of maturity than “Well they all do it, so I can too!” I understand why you wouldn’t want to break it off right now, but you’re right to have some doubts, I think. Even having dated for 4 years, at your age people are going through a lot of personal change/growth and incompatibilities may arise (I’m 22 – no judgement on your young engagement, to be clear!). Poor communication and a lack of real effort to resolve issues with his partner would be red flags for me already, but the drinking is also very concerning and if that’s a dealbreaker for you now or down the road, that’s pretty reasonable. You absolutely should not have to baby a grown man, he should know his limits and the consequences of irresponsible behaviour.

Relationships are work but you can’t be the only one putting in the work – that will never end well. You seem to know what your priorities and goals are right now, and if his no longer align with yours then it may be time to move on. At the very least I’d put any upcoming wedding on hold because no way would I marry someone on their word that they’ll change, especially when they’ve made no real moves towards that. I’d need to see some concrete, lasting change before tying myself to someone with a potential alcohol abuse problem. “Give me time” is bull, in my opinion, and it sounds like he’s just buying himself time to keep doing what he’s doing without you “nagging” him. 

Post # 14
6932 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m going to give some advice you might not want to hear. Growing up doesn’t always mean growing together, sometimes it means growing apart. You guys are 20 & 21. That is young, even though you feel grown. You guys started dating as teenagers and you said yourself you weren’t into the party scene in high school. Now he’s 21 and it sounds like he’s making up for lost time so to speak. This situation sounds so classic textbook, committed guy starts a new job, makes new friends, and is around all bachelors living the party life. After a while the grass starts to look greener on the other side.

I think a serious talk is due. Tell him your feelings and see where he is on the matter. You might find it’s something you can work through, but if it’s not it’s better to figure it out before you get married.

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