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How to deal with your spouse drinking?

Old 01-10-2016, 01:42 PM
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How to deal with your spouse drinking?

Sorry for the long post!

I have an (irrational) fear of my bf going to bars or clubs or just drinking in general. He has never ever given me a reason to doubt his fidelity in any way, and even his friends have told me he is "not that kind of person" (who cheats or flirts). The one time he was drunk without me, all he did was text me many love messages then fall asleep.

Given my history with unstoppable drinking and the proceeding promiscuous behavior, I have a great fear of him drinking or going out. He stopped doing that for me, but I notice that he slightly resents me for it. I want him to be able to have some responsible fun. I don't want to be the one to forbid him to do things.

How do I deal with this? I think of so many possible things that can go wrong while I am not there, it makes me so afraid and upset. What do I do?

If I learn to drink responsibly myself (e.g. Just one cocktail) would that make it easier? Or is it dangerous to try and drink again? My whole alcoholism history has made me very uptight and sensitive about the subject. I just don't know what to do.

He invited me to come to a music bar with him and drink juice. Will it lower my fear of him going out alone if I do this? But just seeing him drink alcohol makes me kind of upset. I don't know what to do.

Why DO people drink? I don't understand. It kills your brain, it kills people, it makes you angry, sad, stupid, uncontrollable, irresponsible...I do not understand why someone wants to drink.

Please help or offer advice.

PS: I have been sober for 2 years after 5 years of extreme alcoholism.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:49 PM
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If going out with him and drinking juice would lower your fears, then why not? With two years sober you should be strong enough to not give in and drink.

If it were me, I'd go out with him just to enjoy his company.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:05 PM
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Bad idea for you to drink again. Big NO on that idea. Don't throw your sobriety away because you are insecure.

He has every right to be upset because you have requested that he stop drinking and going out. By your own admission he has done nothing for you to be upset about. and this insecurity is rooted in your own behavior and what you did, rather than what he has done.

If you have a problem with him drinking then you need to figure that out. It may be that you can't be, or choose to be with someone who doesn't drink. I'm not sure what to say about you going out with him - you mention seeing him drink upsets you but I wonder if you are uncomfortable being in the environment and concerned about if you will make a bad choice?

People drink for a myriad of reasons. You don't indicate he has a problem with alcohol - so I would assume he is just socially drinking. If he is not alcoholic or abusing alcohol, his experiences are different than yours.

How do I deal with this? I think of so many possible things that can go wrong while I am not there, it makes me so afraid and upset. What do I do? Sounds like you have some codepency issues. You are trying to control and manage him. He is complying, but resenting you. You say you don't want to be the one to forbid him from doing things, yet that is what you have done. nobody has control of another btw - your being somewhere doesn't stop anything.

Are you active in a recovery program? It might also be worth to see a therapist to work through these issues.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:07 PM
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this might help ?

How do I cope with a partner who drinks?
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:11 PM
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Just a quick rewind before I fully read your replies:

I did not and have NEVER requested him NOT to drink. He did that on his own because he knows I am scared of & hate alcohol.

Now let me read the rest. ^_^ Thanks.

Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
Bad idea for you to drink again. Big NO on that idea. Don't throw your sobriety away because you are insecure.

He has every right to be upset because you have requested that he stop drinking and going out. By your own admission he has done nothing for you to be upset about. and this insecurity is rooted in your own behavior and what you did, rather than what he has done.

If you have a problem with him drinking then you need to figure that out. It may be that you can't be, or choose to be with someone who doesn't drink. I'm not sure what to say about you going out with him - you mention seeing him drink upsets you but I wonder if you are uncomfortable being in the environment and concerned about if you will make a bad choice?

People drink for a myriad of reasons. You don't indicate he has a problem with alcohol - so I would assume he is just socially drinking. If he is not alcoholic or abusing alcohol, his experiences are different than yours.

How do I deal with this? I think of so many possible things that can go wrong while I am not there, it makes me so afraid and upset. What do I do? Sounds like you have some codepency issues. You are trying to control and manage him. He is complying, but resenting you. You say you don't want to be the one to forbid him from doing things, yet that is what you have done. nobody has control of another btw - your being somewhere doesn't stop anything.

Are you active in a recovery program? It might also be worth to see a therapist to work through these issues.
I think half of this reply is valid but the other half is misdirected because actually I want to UNDERSTAND why he wants to drink so I can be OK with it. I do not forbid him to drink. I have not asked him that. He does it on his own without complaining, but I can tell he resents me for it, so I want to change and allow him to drink.

The real problem is: how do I become OK with that?

Yes, perhaps the environment makes me nervous. I probably project my own fears of what I did on alcohol on him. Do I want to control him? No more than he would not want me to kick a baby in the face. We have natural triggers that freak us out and of course we don't want our partner to do that, right?

I guess it would help to understand why people drink socially? For me social drinking always was with the goal to get drunk and hook up and do stupid ****. I do not understand real casual drinking. You don't need that poison to feel happy. It makes you sad, angry, it gives you a headache, you make bad decisions, it kills your brain cells, it kills people.

No, I am not in a recovery program. I quit on my own, cold-turkey, along with smoking. I haven't had any feeling of relapse or other issues personally.

Bad idea for you to drink again. Big NO on that idea. Don't throw your sobriety away because you are insecure.
Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by least View Post
If going out with him and drinking juice would lower your fears, then why not? With two years sober you should be strong enough to not give in and drink.

If it were me, I'd go out with him just to enjoy his company.
That is a good advice, thank you.

Do you have any words of advice for if I see him drink and..hmm..it makes me feel bad? I just think "WHY do you have to drink? Do you want to numb your feelings? What is wrong? You are killing your brain cells. Drink more and you will become sad or angry or dazed." etc.

Originally Posted by soberwolf View Post
this might help ?
Great link, thanks.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:13 PM
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I think you are measuring his social drinking as compared to your alcoholic drinking.
Two totally different things. . .

If you will feel bad seeing him drink, don't go out to see it.

How much fun will he have with you if you are telling how bad you feel
when he drinks and asking him to analyze what relaxing with a drink "is"
to your satisfaction?
Some people can actually enjoy a drink and not be using it to numb feelings
or the other dysfunctional purposes you and I drank for.
Sounds like that would breed quite a bit more resentment on his part.

Perhaps you should consider some therapy around managing this issue.
It does sound like it could cost you the relationship down the road--
nobody likes to live by other people's rules, especially when their behavior hasn't been the problem.

I get it--I hate when my husband drinks too--but it's his choice just like it was mine.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye13 View Post
I think you are measuring his social drinking as compared to your alcoholic drinking.
Two totally different things. . .

If you will feel bad seeing him drink, don't go out to see it.

How much fun will he have with you if you are telling how bad you feel
when he drinks and asking him to analyze what relaxing with a drink "is"
to your satisfaction?
Some people can actually enjoy a drink and not be using it to numb feelings
or the other dysfunctional purposes you and I drank for.
Sounds like that would breed quite a bit more resentment on his part.

Perhaps you should consider some therapy around managing this issue.
It does sound like it could cost you the relationship down the road--
nobody likes to live by other people's rules, especially when their behavior hasn't been the problem.

I get it--I hate when my husband drinks too--but it's his choice just like it was mine.
Yeah, that makes sense. If I just stare at him going "ughhh alcohol...." then it's no fun for him either.

If I don't go out with him though, I don't know what he is like drunk. That has only happened once when were in a different city. And who could reliably tell me if he behaved decently or became a *****? Better I find that out now than later if we get married. And I've been sober around drinking people before. It bothers me, but I can take it one time at least.

I don't know if therapy is the right course of action, though. Sounds to me like a psychotherapist would just tell me to go to AA meetings.
I've talked to a psychologist about addiction issues before and she told me exactly that.
Hell, it's worth a try I guess.

nobody likes to live by other people's rules, especially when their behavior hasn't been the problem.
That is very true.

I think you are measuring his social drinking as compared to your alcoholic drinking.
Also true.

This is a good topic.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:29 PM
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Anyway,

Main reason why I started this topic is to hear some arguments for casual drinking.

Why do people drink? What is so good or fun or enjoyable about it? I cannot wrap my mind around that. It would help to understand.

Only reasons I can come up with is "become numb", "forget worries", "change state of mood", "poison"...all negative things. Surely there are positive or responsible things to some casual drinking?

Actually, I used to LOVE a cosmopolitan. Tastes amazing. Of course, I could not stop at one, and soon I would be drinking the Triple Sec straight as shots until I lost memory and woke up in bed the next day with take-away hot wings on my face.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sober4m View Post
Anyway,


Why do people drink? What is so good or fun or enjoyable about it? I cannot wrap my mind around that. It would help to understand.
For a lot of people, it's just a way to let off steam or relax quickly. In the same way, a lot of people like to play sport or go to the gym - it gives them some nice endorphins and helps them handle their stress levels. Unfortunately for me and I assume most others on this site, my drinking went way too far and I couldn't drink responsibly. But I don't think responsible drinkers have to drink themselves sick on a pretty regular basis, like I did.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:39 AM
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I love the take away hot wings...

I think there is a ritual around drinking the folks enjoy -- I know I did.

Happy hour, wine tasting, going to the pub, wine with dinner... All of that is fun, until it isn't.

Personally, I am happy doing all those thins with my partner but without the libation. And if he goes alone, that is fine too sometimes.

Given your posts, I think you know that joining him in a drink would be a very bad idea and this sounds like AV talk to me.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:30 AM
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My husband enjoys a daily cocktail or two. He likes the taste and there is really nothing wrong with it. Not everyone who drinks gets drunk every time. Nor is it necessarily going to lead to long term physical health problems. For many it is part of the socializing ritual and is completely ok.

You need to decide if you are ok with a drinker. It may be best for you to not be involved with someone who drinks at all.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:52 AM
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I cut my ex-wife loose (i.e. divorced her).

She had a boyfriend and an alcohol problem.

I wish her the best.

We got divorce in 1 day with both of us being generous to the other.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by elihoping View Post
For a lot of people, it's just a way to let off steam or relax quickly. In the same way, a lot of people like to play sport or go to the gym - it gives them some nice endorphins and helps them handle their stress levels. Unfortunately for me and I assume most others on this site, my drinking went way too far and I couldn't drink responsibly. But I don't think responsible drinkers have to drink themselves sick on a pretty regular basis, like I did.
Thank you for your kind reply.

Maybe I am a sensitive person but I felt many replies here were sort of passive aggressive towards me. All I seek here is some advice from kindred spirits.

Just being able to talk about this makes me feel better. I do not want to bother my SO with it too much.

I can understand it is a nice endorphin release. Comparing it to sports or the gym (or even dancing alone in the bedroom! ) is a good point.

Do you think attending an AA meeting is beneficial in my case? I have absolutely zero cravings for drinking, I would solely go there to talk about how to deal with being around people who drink. Is an AA meeting appropriate for that? Actually I am a very shy person. Haha. I would not feel comfortable sitting in a circle talking about my private life...
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dropsie View Post
Given your posts, I think you know that joining him in a drink would be a very bad idea and this sounds like AV talk to me.
What is AV talk?

When I said I want to go to a (music) bar with him, I would not drink alcohol. In fact, he forbids me to drink alcohol and says we would only drink juice together. He is very supportive of me.
I just wonder if it will relax my overall fear if I go to such an environment a few times instead of treating it like it is Satan's torture basement.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:24 PM
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Why don't you ask him why he drinks? This probably isn't the best place to get realistic advice about social drinking...

I find drinking stupid. I don't like being around people drinking so I don' t go to places where drinking is the main attraction. But I will go to a bar with my wife to hear a band. And that never fails to remind me why I quit drinking...
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sober4m View Post
How do I deal with this? I think of so many possible things that can go wrong while I am not there, it makes me so afraid and upset. What do I do?
I'm not trying to shut you down, or be passive aggressive. But I think the answer to this is therapy. Not about your drinking, it sounds like you're really successfully sober, which is great! But because you literally don't trust a guy that you talk about marrying to the point that you think he's potentially a completely different person behind your back and all of his friends are lying to you to cover it up. That's something you really can do work on and feel better about, but it's about you, not about him or the drinking (given that he hasn't treated you badly or done anything to incite the jealousy).

Why DO people drink? I don't understand. It kills your brain, it kills people, it makes you angry, sad, stupid, uncontrollable, irresponsible...I do not understand why someone wants to drink.
It releases endorphins, it makes people calm and energetic at the same time, and for people who don't abuse it, it has really no major downside.

A normal drinker having a drink sometimes is not the same as kicking a baby in the face. If you want to be happy, you either need to figure out why you have such a sensitivity to it that it feels like it is (and why even though it's objectively not, as it's not causing any harm, you still feel that it's something that should be accommodated); or you need to date someone who feels the same way (alcohol=baby kicking... jk. But alcohol=very very bad possibly on the level of betrayal).

I'm not trying to be snarky or rude, even though it might sound that way because it's text. I'm really with 100% support of your goal of being both sober and happy in your relationship at the same time, suggesting that the answer to your questions might be spending some time with a therapist to untangle these heavy feelings that you're wrestling with. It sucks to not trust the person you're in a relationship with.

I hope it works out well. No matter what you do overall, I'd say yeah, go hang out with him at a show! It'll be better than sitting at home concocting worst case scenarios.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sober4m View Post
Anyway,

Main reason why I started this topic is to hear some arguments for casual drinking.

Why do people drink? What is so good or fun or enjoyable about it? I cannot wrap my mind around that. It would help to understand.

Only reasons I can come up with is "become numb", "forget worries", "change state of mood", "poison"...all negative things. Surely there are positive or responsible things to some casual drinking?

Actually, I used to LOVE a cosmopolitan. Tastes amazing. Of course, I could not stop at one, and soon I would be drinking the Triple Sec straight as shots until I lost memory and woke up in bed the next day with take-away hot wings on my face.
This is the same answer I would have written to your question, with the exception of substituting Jack Daniels and nothing (in my family, we were not known to put a lot of pollutants into good whiskey) for a Cosmopolitan.

To be numb.

To not feel.

To not have to think about my life and my problems.

To drown my fears and anxieties.

To make me feel better about myself.

It helped me to write this out, so thanks.

But, like I said, you did a better job articulating those reasons than me.

Good luck and stick around.

And keep the 2 years sober you have put together - congrats.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sober4m View Post
Thank you for your kind reply.

Maybe I am a sensitive person but I felt many replies here were sort of passive aggressive towards me. All I seek here is some advice from kindred spirits.

Just being able to talk about this makes me feel better. I do not want to bother my SO with it too much.

I can understand it is a nice endorphin release. Comparing it to sports or the gym (or even dancing alone in the bedroom! ) is a good point.

Do you think attending an AA meeting is beneficial in my case? I have absolutely zero cravings for drinking, I would solely go there to talk about how to deal with being around people who drink. Is an AA meeting appropriate for that? Actually I am a very shy person. Haha. I would not feel comfortable sitting in a circle talking about my private life...
I often felt that way when I first started reading SR. I'm a sensitive person too and I couldn't handle anyone responding to me in what I felt was a critical way. I can still be that way sometimes :-) but I'm definitely less affected by it now. I only think about it for half a day instead of a full one! Lol

AA has been very helpful for me. I was absolutely terrified when I first went in but I felt there was something there that could help me. A lot of people say "I came for my drinking but stay for my thinking", meaning that they don't want to drink anymore but the program they learn there helps them with their head and emotions. It's not just about giving up drinking. Some people come in who haven't drank in a while but need help with how their heads work. I decided to stay for 3 months and see if it helped and 3 years later, I'm still there.

If you do fancy giving it a go, don't worry about having to talk at the meetings. Just go and listen and maybe commit to going for a few weeks. But if it's not for you, therapy is also a wonderful tool. For me, the ultimate aim is to have peace with myself, good relationships with other people and a nice full life. I think most people want a version of that and whatever helps you get there, then go for it :-) :-)
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:11 PM
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Regarding giving AA a go; I got myself sober for the first month, and then went along to AA. I have been amazed by the whole experience of working the 12-steps. Out of the 12 steps, only one even mentions alcohol. The others are all about how we deal with life sober. Our fears and relationships being a massive part of this.

It's free, and is everywhere - what have you got to lose?? There are lots of different kinds of meeting, so I'd suggest try a few different ones and see what you prefer. You will not have to speak in front of the group unless you choose to. If you're really worried about going, I'd suggest calling ahead (the National number for where you are). They can get someone local to ring for a chat about meetings and meet you outside the meeting so you don't have to walk in alone - that can be a massive help the first time.
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