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TobyS 08-26-2012 12:41 AM

First post. Not sober. Yet?
Hi everybody, my drinking has become an issue to the extent that it is threatening my marriage. My wife told me to find out about drinking alcoholsim, options, etc. and present her with a plan to get my drinking under control. (she doesn't want me to quite, necessarily, just to drink less and control my binge drinking). I don't drink every day, maybe nearly every other day, 3-4 days a week, but maybe 1-2 times a week I drink to get drunk.

Like all drinkers, the idea of never drinking again does not appeal, and if there is a moderation program with a good track record I would be interested to know about it.

But I haven't had much success with moderation in the past, and maybe my fear / dislike of never drinking again is a sign that I am an alcoholic and that moderation is not an option.

Reading some of the stickies, I feel that I am in the middle stage of alcoholism. I am ashamed that I ended up this way, and obviously don't want things to get any worse.

I love fine wine - is it okay to drink wine occasionally?

I love getting drunk - is it okay to get drunk occasionally?

Is it acceptable to put limits on potentially harmful behaviour to stop it occurring frequently? For example, can I drink red wine and champagne, but only if it is over $50/bottle? Is it okay to get drunk on special occasions, max. 4 times per year, and once the quota is up you have to wait until the 12 months is up?

Would this be moderation?

Am I just fooling myself?

Having lurked for a week or so this seems to be a forum with a lot of experience and knoweldge. I'd really appreciate and value any answers/contributions/thoughts.



ACT10Npack 08-26-2012 12:50 AM

Search for "mm alcohol" on google for moderating drinking program.

From your thread it seem like you don't want to change your drinking but instead your force to by your wife. Just by that statement alone your not ready to change to stop drinking at the time. All those rules you have will not work when it comes to alcohol more so it you're brain can't handle alcohol.

Do you want to quit drinking? Do you think you have a problem?

neferkamichael 08-26-2012 12:59 AM

Hi TobyS, welcome to SR. I tried for years and years to moderate my drinking but to no avail. I wouldn't say you can't moderate your drinking, so you would have to make a plan and stick to it. At first the idea of not drinking ever again wasn't appealing but after 2 years, 1 month, and 16 days sober it is very appealing to me. Good luck. :egypt:

Jeni26 08-26-2012 01:00 AM

Hi Toby, and welcome to SR.
I can only tell you that from my experience, moderation did not work and I regret the years I wasted trying to prove that to myself. I did all the usual things, limiting the nights I drank, changing what I drank, where I drank it etc etc. Limiting the amount was always futile because I felt there was little point to having 1 or 2, when my goal was always to get totally wasted.
I stopped when it started affecting my health, both mental and physical, my relationship with my family, and had crept into my performance at work. I never reached the point of losing it all as some have here, but I've no doubt that it would only have been a matter of time.
So, yes, my advice to you would be that you would need to quit completely. I know that seems scary and it requires a whole change of mindset and lifestyle.
There are members here with years of sobriety and I read and take on board what they say. Not one of them regret that decision. I'm 3 months sober, and already, my life has improved and changed beyond all recognition. I need support though. SR is a great start, but you may need to consider a plan for you. I am in AA and it has changed my life, but there are other methods of recovery too-AVRT, SMART etc.
Spend some time reading and keep us posted on how you're doing. Please seek medical advice too.
Go for it, it could well be the best decision you've ever made x

TobyS 08-26-2012 01:13 AM

Thanks for the input everybody - that was quick!

Act1onpack, I stumbled upon the Moderation Management site. At this stage I am considering trying that for 3 months. I have drawn up a plan with some hard rules based on the MM site. If I can keep to the plan for 3 months, I will try for another 3 months. And so on.

If I fail any aspect of the plan, then I am going straight to a local AA and aiming for sobriety. This is my last chance, if I don;'t do it right, then it is time to try something new - i./e. sobriety.

And drinking lots of tea.

Do I have a problem? TBH I don't know. My wife would say definitely yes - she doesn't drink, and thinks I drink too much. If you asked my friends and colleagues, some would say yes, others no. My family doesn't think it is a problem AFAIK.

Am I ready to change my life? Yes, I am ready to change whatever it takes to keep my wife, as she is the best thing that ever happened to me. Am I ready to quit drinking? Yes, I think I am, but as a last resort.

But the thought of never drinking again is certainly not my favoured option at this stage.

awuh1 08-26-2012 01:19 AM

Toby I’m going to give it to you straight ok? If you cannot fully control how much you drink once you start then this is more or less the definition of alcoholism. Alcoholics cannot moderate their drinking.


A single drink leads to more drinks which leads to problems. Sounds like you are just at the beginning of the “problems” phase. Your drinking is causing your wife to have a problem with your drinking, and her demands (you to change your drinking) is now a problem for you. Many of us here had to lose a lot before we gave up alcohol. If you stop now you can save yourself a lot of grief but if you are like most of us you will not …. Until it gets a lot worse. That’s because alcoholics love alcohol and generally they have to lose much before they give it up. I hope it does not need to come to that for you.

cheese1 08-26-2012 01:23 AM

i tried moderating, all it did was delay the landslide, imo at some point your drinking will completly take over yourlife, glad your on here, hope we can help you

purpleperson 08-26-2012 01:31 AM

I agree with the wisdom here. I don't think that people without alcoholic tendencies have to make a plan/program for their drinking. They just drink when they want, stop when they want and don't think too much about it. Based on my own experience and the experience of others here, if you have a problem you might be able to stick to a plan for a while, but it will be very irritating (a drink or two will make you want more and more) and may eventually fail (if you're mainly doing this for your wife, what if she goes out of town? what if you are away on business? Will you be able to stick to it?).

I promised my BF that I would make such a plan and like others I was irritated and resentful, snuck extra whenever I could (i.e. "sure I am only having 2 vodka cokes..." but each one was 2/3 vodka) and would leave the plan when he wasn't around.

In the end it was no good for me to drink only a few because it just led to trouble. So, no more for me.

Good Luck! It sounds like you love your wife and your marriage. Please think of this as a huge opportunity to prevent possibly irrepairably harming it in the future.

mecanix 08-26-2012 01:51 AM

I knew i had a problem with alcohol by 24 , i knew i was alcoholic at 26 i realized i was powerless over my problem and quite a lot of my life at 37 and then quit .

For me the only solution is complete abstinance followed by learning how to deal with life sober .

Deep down i think you'll know if you're alcoholic or not, even if you drink a premier cru from the vinyard in the shadow of the church at St Emilion itself .

I thought i'd never be able to cope with dinner again without wines from nuits st geroges or crozes hermitage ..

Being sober is actually quite nice after so many years lost , give it a try what have you got to loose ?

Dee74 08-26-2012 01:55 AM

Welcome Toby :)

I think pretty much everyone who asks 'can I do this' has already tried and already, deep down, knows the answer - there's no secret way, no trick to 'learn' control...either you have it...or you don't.

For those of us who don't, admitting and accepting that might feel like an ending now...but it's really not...

it's a beginning...of something pretty special :)

Good to have you join the community :)


Taking5 08-26-2012 02:37 AM

If moderation worked for people that are attracted to websites like this, we would have a moderation forum, full of moderation success stories. We don't. That speaks volumes IMHO.

Grace2 08-26-2012 03:44 AM


Moderation doesn't work for me.

I've tried it all, just drinking at weekends, not having a drink until after 21.00, drinking water in between. Didn't work and I know now, for me anyway, it has to be all or nothing.

It's not the 2nd or 3rd drink that does the damage, it's the 1st with me. Once I've had one all resolve goes out the window and I'll polish off the lot.

Good luck and we are all here for you.

Big hugs


BruceJ 08-26-2012 03:58 AM

Sup Toby,
All I can say is please be honest with yourself.
I was sober for about 10 years....tried a little moderation beer drinking. Over the course of 5-6 years, I lost da** near everything I, my Harley, etc.
I handled it pretty good for awhile but eventually it, very sneakily, had its way.

All the best.

bounced 08-26-2012 04:08 AM


Originally Posted by TobyS (Post 3549266)

I drink to get drunk.

I am ashamed that I ended up this way, and obviously don't want things to get any worse.

I love getting drunk

Do I have a problem? TBH I don't know. My wife would say definitely yes

I was where you are around 3 years ago, Toby. 82 days ago my wife asked me for a divorce.

flutter 08-26-2012 06:56 AM

Doesn't sound like your wife knows much about alcoholism. My husband doesn't either. He still thinks it's 'silly' that I can't just have one or two drinks occasionally. I ignore his ignorance, it's not his responsibility to understand this, he's not qualified to provide me any type of treatment recommendations (thank goodness!).

I read about MM in the beginning of my journey, I know (I think?) the 'program' requires you to be sober for 30 days to start with. That might answer a lot of your questions regarding the level of your addiction/dependence.

sugarbear1 08-26-2012 07:15 AM

Welcome to SR!

Read the first 43 pages of the book Alcoholics Anonymous on and see if you can relate to anything.

Glad you are here!

fgo 08-26-2012 07:29 AM

imo you here for a reason.... it took me 12 years to figure that out. Dont ever lie to your wife about your drinking.

Notmyrealname 08-26-2012 07:40 AM

Well you already know you can't control frequency and intensity, or you'd be doing it.

It's a lot easier to simply quit drinking than to go from unrestrained boozing to drinking in "moderation"--whatever that is.

Would you even know what your wife considers drinking in "moderation"? Would your allowance of drinking under her definition of "moderation" even be consistent from day-to-day? I'd think it would depend a lot on whether you were being argumentative, or whether she is drinking too, whether she's in a good mood, etc.

Do you really want the future of your marriage to be on such soft, unstable ground?

Good luck

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