Posted in Family Life, Marriage & Partnership, Relationships

Drinking habits

Anonymous

Warning.. a long post. My husband works in law enforcement. The first couple of years he would refuse to have one drink even at dinner during his work week. When we were dating this was his rule as well as after we got married - so marriage didn’t change a thing. This was just his rule and I respected his choice (even though I think the occasional drink with your significant other at dinner is not a big deal). He took his job really seriously. Within the past couple of months that zero drink rule changed. He was drinking 1-2 beers about 3 week nights a week on top of our usual going out on the weekend for social drinking with friends (he would drink 3-4 then). I asked him about it and it turns out that he was stress drinking. This is something that I didn’t want to become a habit and suggested other stress relievers like communicating with your wife, family or friends, or going on a walk with us (90% of the time he will refuse to walk with us). He did better for a couple of weeks but just recently he is starting to drink again but this time it’s 3 beers and when I’m not paying attention (because I’m busy taking care of our toddler) or not around (ie. Meeting up with coworkers, friends or I just found out thanksgiving night when I went out with family and he said he just wanted to stay home to rest - he also had work the next day). I asked him about it again and he said it wasn’t stress and that he’s not an alcoholic. I don’t consider this alcoholism but it has to start growing somewhere right? I’m not an expert.. but people don’t just all of a sudden go from 0-100 right? I’m just having a hard time understanding how he could go from a strict rule to 3 drinks a night on week nights. And this only happened within a course of the past 4 months. I was happy that he was having the occasional dinner drink with me but when you’re drinking alone and behind your wife’s back, isn’t that a problem? I got upset with him last night because it finally got to me. A couple of weeks ago I caught a stomach bug and was in the bathroom every hour. At the time he just got a promotion. In the middle of the night he checked on me and instead of offering to call in sick to work to help look after our toddler so I could get better he said, “I’m not calling in sick.” First off, I didn’t even ask him to. I figured I could get by the day with entertaining our toddler with tv. And second, I knew how much this promotion meant to him so I didn’t want to mess it up. So this told me that he still cared about his job... but then he is willing to go into his job breaking his strict rule and being extra tired the next day? Every time he drinks, the following day he is extra tired and lazy... every time. So when he comes home from work I get no help from him and he is complaining the entire time that he’s tired. It just really hurt me that his job meant more than the well being of his wife and child. But then does his job really mean that much to him that he is ok going into work not 100% when in the past that was super important to him too? He thinks I’m being unreasonable. Am I?

  • Kieli
    Dec 02

    My husband drinks about that much too in the work week. More on his days off. He chews a whole can of tobacco a day, and smokes cigarettes/cigars. I’ve tried talking to him because he’s already not in the best of health at age 21. But he does it still anyways, and his family encourages the drinking. I’ve come to a place where I know I can’t change him, the more I talk to him about it the more we fight. He doesn’t help me with our 1 yr old and I’m pregnant right now. I don’t get a day off, he’s out hunting right now. This is not how it was when we first got together at all. I think marriage and kids change men, and they don’t want to be controlled or worry about the effect their actions take on us mothers/wife’s. If it’s really bothering you, you can try and have a private conversation alone to express your feelings and just see how he reacts. He may not even realize what his actions are doing to you

  • Christa
    Dec 02

    So here are my thoughts. This is coming from a momma, a wife, and a friend. My husband was in the emergency medical services and worked as a paramedic for 15 years. For as long as he and I have been friends, dated and married. So I’ve been through it all, and he started out drinking really mildly then it got much like your husband is now, then it surpassed what I ever thought he needed to be doing. Drinking 1/2 gallons of hard liquor in weekend, and it turned into drinking in the morning- as early as 4:30 or 5 o’clock am, and go ALL day, sleep for a few hours and start all over again. And I kid you not, this drove me insane, to the point we argued EVERY time he was home, and he wanted to break up with me or divorce me EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. No joke. And I know this is going to sound crazy, but I started making him go to church with my son and I every Sunday for a while, which he would sneak a water bottle of vodka or something into service, but at least he was there. Then one night he got REALLY REALLY sick. Like to the point he almost considered going to the ER, all the while I didn’t say anything. I just prayed for him and did what I needed to do to take care of my family, all while watching him drink himself into a stupor, and if necessary yell at him about being an ass about stupid shit. That night he got super sick, I heard him pray and make a promise, if God would get him through that pain, and make him feel better, he would give up drinking cold turkey. That was 5 months ago and he’s been sober since. Now mind you, he still has his chew- which is astronomically better than the drinking. I know this is a long response, but hang in there. I knew that no matter how much he was drinking, or being an ass about stupid shit, and he was and he knew it, I tried not to question about him caring. What I discovered later after picking his brain, and you better believe I did, was that it was to numb what he as dealing with at work. As a fellow wife of the first responders, they have a damn hard job and see things that we couldn’t even imagine. They see everything from new life coming into the world, to the ends of life’s, to abuse and neglect and things again we could not begin to understand or even want to. I’m not by any means suggesting that the drinking is wrong, or maybe excessive, but perhaps step into his boots and try and see it from his perspective. Odds are, he’s drinking because it’s easier than trying to explain something that doesn’t necessarily have words to explain, and like my husband didn’t want to share with me what happened or what he had to deal with in a shift because he didn’t want to stress me out or make me worry or sad or whatever emotion he thought he was protecting me from, and my son from. So my best advice for you, is don’t be too hard on him. Give him an outlet and let him try and relax his mind. Maybe instead of bugging him to talk to you, because guys won’t- they aren’t like women who talk about everything, perhaps give him a hobby, give him a project of things to do when he’s home that are positive ways to redirect the energy that he’s trying to cover with the alcohol. And sometimes honestly, that doesn’t work either, and all you can do is just give him a hug every time he comes through the door, kiss him, and tell him how much you love him and appreciate what he does. Believe it or not, telling him that and showing him that will help a lot. Just knowing that their partner is supportive no matter what they are dealing with, helps more than is possible to even explain. If he thinks you’re questioning his love, or caring for you and baby, that will make it worse. My husband NEVER called in sick for me when I got sick and he had to work, because I am a stay at home mom and we have one income to cover the bills. And I heard about that a lot too. The best thing you can do, is just get a journal- honestly, and write it out. Don’t take it out on him, because it’s just going to make things escalate. You have to sometimes dig deeper than you think is possible, because when you marry into a mans life who is married to his work, you marry his work and all the craziness that comes with it. Give it time, let him know you’re there, no matter how badly you want to box his ears- trust me girl I feel you- and let him know you love him, and appreciate everything he does, and verbalize, that you can’t begin to imagine how crazy work must be or how hard things are that he must have to deal with. But you’re a safe spot to talk, and will just listen if that’s any help, and if he doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s okay too. That you love him and appreciate him. Sorry for the long response, but hope it helps a little. Sincerely a lady whose been there and seen the worst of it.