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Old 04-08-2008, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Drinking Socially, Etiquette, Boundaries


Has having an alcoholic in your life affected how you view drinking personally and socially for yourself? How do you feel about hosted bars? How do you deal with social drinking situations now?

I am basically asking this question because before I met my husband I really did not drink very much--occasionally wine, pina coladas, strawberry dacquiris. My husband drank a lot, and I tried new drinks with him. At most I have been tipsy , but I have never been drunk. I learned to like Jameson and Martinis. I felt like I was experiencing a fun social life by hanging out at bars and with other friends.

But when the alcoholism progressed --it is like our social life went kaput. Now that he is in recovery, we have to decline parties where we think that will have a lot of drinking. We left early from a wedding that had a hosted bar. I like my company holiday party--it has a nonhosted bar--and my husband has done well there because there is a lot to do.

And I know that etiquette is that a host should always pay for their guests, even the alcohol. But I also respect the host who wants a nonhosted bar because they are setting a boundary. For me, my husband was the worst in hosted bar events or parties where there was a lot of liquor, so it was difficult to enjoy these situations--I was more stressed out about how I was going to get through the situation.

And within the last 8 months, I have met a couple of times with my friends and taken a couple of sips of wine. I went to Red Robin a couple of weeks ago and had one strawberry dacquiri. I guess I feel guilty and do not like the taste of alcohol knowing that my husband is in recovery.

I am sure eventually I will either just not drink (socially) alcohol ever again or I will only drink a little bit of wine when I am around my friends. I like wineries because they are romantic (but for the time being, wineries can wait).

I want to set a good example to my husband, and his family and I are committed to his recovery and not drinking around him.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I want to set a good example to my husband, and his family and I are committed to his recovery and not drinking around him.
Good for you and his family. That is one thing that made me so angry when my xabf came out of rehab, is that his brothers and dad still continued to drink in front of him and as they were all chugging thier beers they sat a cup down in front of my xabf and me(who was also not drinking) and said here is some sparkling drink(the kind that comes in a wine bottle but is not alcohol). He felt so humiliated that they did that to him. I even talked with his family about it and they said that they will continue to drink and he needs to learn how to handle being around it. Maybe so but not 3 weeks after rehab. Can you imagine?
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I can imagine. People do what they want to do, whether it's selfish and inconsiderate or not. His family has a right to guzzle booze and your H has a right to remove himself from the situation.

I don't drink. I don't go to bars. It's not a matter of refraining from drinking to accommodate my AH. He's gonna drink whether I do or not. And he does. Almost constantly. I have nothing to do with it. It is no longer my concern. If I had a burning desire to have a mixed drink or a glass of wine, I suppose I would.

However, I made the choice for myself, regardless of what AH choses to do, that I would not drink.

If you want to enjoy a drink with friends, by all means do. It would probably be better not to do it with your H around. But then, you know him and you know whether or not it would bother him.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I can imagine. Why should they change for him if they don't want to? The option was to not put oneself in situations where this occurred.

Taking back my power has freed me. Setting boundaries allows others the dignity to decide how they will conduct themselves. For example, perhaps deciding to have no contact with the family as long as they drank in front of me, the family would change in order to be with me. Or not. Then I would know what I needed to do.

Blaming others gets me nowhere.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Boy, was this a complicated question for me. When I met my now-ex-boyfriend, he was almost a year clean/sober. I never felt comfortable drinking in front of him, and so I didn't.

I also asked him how he felt about it - me drinking wine or beer when I'm not with him, and when I am with him. He said it didn't bother him at all. He wouldn't want me to get drunk or anything, but he said he didn't care if I had a drink or two with him around.

I still didn't do it. I had wine a few times a week, and told him I did, but I still didn't do it around him. Then one evening, we were out to dinner, and I'd had a migraine all day, and Tylenol and water weren't doing anything. I asked him if it would be alright if I had some wine. He said of course.

It was still a few more months after that before I did it again. I had gotten overly worried and uptight about the relationship, and one stressful day, I had a glass of wine before I went to see him. I thought it might be easier to be easy-going when I saw him. I confessed to him that I had. He said, "That's fine." And then, "It's working. Maybe you should do that more often. You can even bring some wine with you, if you take it with you when you leave."

And I did. 2 or 3 times. Meanwhile, I'd made an appointment to see a therapist because I didn't want to be using alcohol if anxiety was a real problem for me.

Nevertheless, a week later (before the appointment actually arrived), he broke up with me.
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