We are at odds over his drinking, and I don't know what to do.
Guestblogger lovehimorleavehim: My soon-to-be husband likes to drink ... a lot, and it's really starting to affect me. I am worried about how it will affect our future, and whether or not I can accept the way he is. The more I think about it, the more I become clear of how much of a deal breaker it is for me. I grew up in a household with lots of drinking, and I don't want to repeat that situation. Now, don't get me wrong, he isn't the town drunk, but when he drinks it's excessive. I can't have a conversation with him, he definitely cannot drive, and, well, he tells me things he doesn't remember the next day (even nice things...they lose meaning after a while). I have become the alcohol police: I worry about him when he is out at night, I cringe when we go out to dinner with friends and as a result I end up not having any fun. The problem, is that he doesn't think he has a problem, he thinks I am exaggerating. My question is this: Why does someone need to get DRUNK? Why not just have a few drinks and call it a day? I am losing respect, and more than that, I am getting turned off by his behavior. What do I do? Is it fair to ask him to curb it or is he going to resent me? How do I even begin to talk to him when we are on such separate pages? I talked to two different therapists for help ... and this is what they had to say:
1. Momlogic's Shannon Fox says "being with someone who cares more about the relationship than the alcohol is crucial." Sit him down, and tell him his drinking hurts you, and ask him to stop. His reaction alone is a good gauge as to where he stands.
2. Family and marriage therapist Dr. Jane Greer says "avoid pointing the finger. When you talk to him, make it about 'us or we,' not 'you.' For example, instead of saying 'I think you have an alcohol problem,' say 'The drinking is creating a problem in our relationship, what should we do?'"
3. Don't become the "mom" (aka alcohol police). Make an agreement that if he drinks too much and you are both out, that you will head home alone. You have to take care of you!
4. Saying "the drinking is spilling onto our relationship, and I am starting to get turned off," allows him the decision on how to proceed without you telling him what to do. No one wants to be told they are a turn-off.
5. If your partner has been drinking, do not bring it up while he is drunk. It will only lead to combustion, says Dr. Greer. Nine times out of ten, it will create more conflict.
Though this problem seems bigger than the sky, I can only start with talking to him. I know now to stay calm and share my feelings. The rest ... is up to him.