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Old 11-04-2010, 11:06 AM
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Looking for feedback

Hi everyone,

I found this site on-line and thought I would ask some of the members what they think about this. I am wondering if my Fiance is an alcoholic. She doesn't drink throughout the day and it doesn't affect her daily activities. My issue is that she is consuming about a bottle of wine a night within about an hour to an hour and a half. And if we go out with friends it is tough for her to know when to stop. It frustrates me because it affects her ability to think clearly and she sometimes repeats things constantly. I believe she associates having fun with drinking.

We are having some issues in our relationship and this is one of them. She says she doesn't have a problem and she tells me that none of her friends say anything about her drinking. But they all drink as much as well. She says that I am the only one who is concerned about it.

I have thought about going to Al-anon but am not sure at this point if it would be good for me. Does drinking that much every night mean that someone has a problem or is it just me?
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:15 AM
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You already know the answer to this question...

You already know she is. She is. It is not just you, although she's probably trying to convince you that it is. This is an absolute and there is no other possible explanation (though there may be additional issues and underlying causes).

This is the textbook definition of a functioning alcoholic. Many of them can sustain this behavior for years as long as the people around them ignore it, support it, and make excuses for it (and the behaviors and consequences that go along with it).

Definitely go to an Al-Anon meeting, at least six different meetings before you decided if it is for you. I you don't, you may end up just like me--years into a relationship with an alcoholic wife, and a teenager who was raised by an alcoholic wife and, possibly as it was in my case, a co-dependant, enabling, controlling father just trying to keep the wheels from coming off and consistantly failing. Needless to say, she is now having problems of her own and my cluelessness contributed as much to this as her drunk mother did.

Good luck.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by seekanswers View Post
Hi everyone,

I found this site on-line and thought I would ask some of the members what they think about this. I am wondering if my Fiance is an alcoholic. She doesn't drink throughout the day and it doesn't affect her daily activities. My issue is that she is consuming about a bottle of wine a night within about an hour to an hour and a half. And if we go out with friends it is tough for her to know when to stop. It frustrates me because it affects her ability to think clearly and she sometimes repeats things constantly. I believe she associates having fun with drinking.

We are having some issues in our relationship and this is one of them. She says she doesn't have a problem and she tells me that none of her friends say anything about her drinking. But they all drink as much as well. She says that I am the only one who is concerned about it.

I have thought about going to Al-anon but am not sure at this point if it would be good for me. Does drinking that much every night mean that someone has a problem or is it just me?
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:41 AM
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it doesn't matter if she is an alcoholic or not. what matters is that you have a problem with the amount she is currently drinking and it's hurting your relationship.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:46 AM
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I've noticed that my generation and those younger tend to drink alcoholically. Binge drinking I guess you would call it. Not all of course, but many.

I especially see this in the college age drinkers.

So, to say that a person who drinks that way is automatically an alcoholic is, IMHO untrue.

Many of those young people will grow up, get tired of the hangovers, and never go back to drinking that way again.

But, as naive said, if it's a problem for you- it's a problem period.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:49 AM
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Um, and I know how exciting weddings can be...but I'd hold off on the marrying part until you know exactly where you stand in this relationship.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by naive View Post
it doesn't matter if she is an alcoholic or not. what matters is that you have a problem with the amount she is currently drinking and it's hurting your relationship.
This.

It is a problem for you and she is unwilling to prioritize your relationship over the drinking. Doesn't matter if she's an alcoholic or not - that fact should give you serious pause. Al-anon is an excellent idea.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by seekanswers View Post
We are having some issues in our relationship and this is one of them. She says she doesn't have a problem and she tells me that none of her friends say anything about her drinking. But they all drink as much as well. She says that I am the only one who is concerned about it.

Does drinking that much every night mean that someone has a problem or is it just me?
I would be concerned about the fact that her reaction to your concern is basically, "I don't have a problem, YOU have the problem." Whether the issue is alcohol or anything else, it is very difficult to be married to someone who not only disregards your concerns, but in fact BLAMES you for even expressing your concerns. That pattern of communication is toxic for a marriage.

If it turns out that your fiance DOES have a drinking problem (and we already know it's a problem for YOU), that also comes with a whole host of other issues, including the denial, blaming you, and making you think that you are the problem for even daring to suggest there might be an issue.

Drinking problems get worse, not better. If you are unsure about where this issue is headed, I would recommend holding off on the wedding. What it comes down to is whether you can live with her drinking, because only she can decide whether she will change her behavior. If this is potentially a deal-breaker, it's much better to figure that out before you get married.

I'm sorry that you are facing this issue, but I applaud you for recognizing and dealing with it instead of ignoring it and just hoping it will get better after you are married. Good luck, and please keep posting, this is a very supportive board with a lot of collective wisdom and experience.

Sasha
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:32 PM
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Welcome, it is great that you found SR now before you begin your life together.

I agree with everything that has been said, definitely Al-anon is so helpful.

You have good instincts...remember that. The hardest part sometimes when dealing with alcoholism is being told that what you know to be factual is not true.

I also found it very helpful to read the stickies (permanent posts) at the top of the forum, and the AA Big Book, which can be found on-line. Helped me understand that what I was dealing with was real.

Take care of you, keep reading and posting, and things will be ok, no matter whether your fiance is an alcoholic or not.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by seekingcalm View Post
You have good instincts...remember that. The hardest part sometimes when dealing with alcoholism is being told that what you know to be factual is not true.
I feel that needs to be highlighted :nod: Hold on to that.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:15 PM
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With all due respect I patently disagree...

There is no scenario in which this is not alcoholic behavior, whatever we want to label the people engaging in it. Her defensive answer to his questioning it makes it even more likely she's an alcoholic, especially because she made it a personal attack. Some of the people engaging in this type of drinking, as I did when I was in college, will move on from it and live lives as non-alcohlics. Nevertheless, it is alcoholic behavior and it is an issue for him.

The sad part is that many of the people doing it are alcoholics, and cloak it in the "it's a phase" language in order to excuse it or hide it.

Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
I've noticed that my generation and those younger tend to drink alcoholically. Binge drinking I guess you would call it. Not all of course, but many.

I especially see this in the college age drinkers.

So, to say that a person who drinks that way is automatically an alcoholic is, IMHO untrue.

Many of those young people will grow up, get tired of the hangovers, and never go back to drinking that way again.

But, as naive said, if it's a problem for you- it's a problem period.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:17 PM
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Rock on Sasha...

What Sasha said is dead nuts on. I wish I had, like you, sought help and read this before I got married.

Originally Posted by SashaMB View Post
I would be concerned about the fact that her reaction to your concern is basically, "I don't have a problem, YOU have the problem." Whether the issue is alcohol or anything else, it is very difficult to be married to someone who not only disregards your concerns, but in fact BLAMES you for even expressing your concerns. That pattern of communication is toxic for a marriage.

If it turns out that your fiance DOES have a drinking problem (and we already know it's a problem for YOU), that also comes with a whole host of other issues, including the denial, blaming you, and making you think that you are the problem for even daring to suggest there might be an issue.

Drinking problems get worse, not better. If you are unsure about where this issue is headed, I would recommend holding off on the wedding. What it comes down to is whether you can live with her drinking, because only she can decide whether she will change her behavior. If this is potentially a deal-breaker, it's much better to figure that out before you get married.

I'm sorry that you are facing this issue, but I applaud you for recognizing and dealing with it instead of ignoring it and just hoping it will get better after you are married. Good luck, and please keep posting, this is a very supportive board with a lot of collective wisdom and experience.

Sasha
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:14 AM
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I just want to thank all of you for the comments. I am trying to look deep inside myself to see if I will be able to deal with this in the future if nothing changes. I am also in therapy to help me with my own issues as well as our issues.

One reply was about college age kids binge drinking and hopefully growing out of it. Unfortunately my Fiance' is 50 years old. One other difficult part of the relationship is that she has a 26 year old son who has never held a job longer than six months and I believe has both a drug and alcohol addiction. He is now back living with her again and that part of it is very difficult for me.

This along with an aging parent who is living with advanced stages of Parkinson's disease has really been tough for me lately. So I think that with this support along with Al-anon I will be able to make the right decisions and get through all this.

Again, thanks for all the positive feedback! And Sasha everything you said really touched home!
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:54 AM
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Welcome Seekanswers,

You've got so many wonderful posts that there's little I can add! But I can reiterate:

If it's a problem for YOU, then it's a problem.

Please get yourself to an Al Anon meeting. You'll learn how to detach and take care of yourself.

I didn't see it posted yet so I'll give you the 3 Cs:

You didn't Cause this
You can't Control this
You can't Cure this

Please take care of yourself and keep posting. You are not alone!
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