18 answers

How Much Drinking Is Too Much?

I love my husband very much but his drinking habits seem to upset me. As long as I've know him he has been drinking a six pack of beer or more every night, I guess this has been going on for twenty years. I think this is way too many, and I concerned about his health as he gets older. He, of course, thinks I am overreacting. He does have high blood pressure and has gone to the emergency room for chest pains, the doctors have looked him over and have asked how much he drinks but no one is telling him it is too much. Three different doctors have looked at him, asked about drinking and have not said anything about it. His chest pain problems were stopped occuring when he stopped drinking caffiene - apparently 6 -12 diet cokes a day will do that to you! My husbands father drinks more than him and is in his 60's. Father in law runs in races 5K to half marathon and claims that the doctors say he is in perfect health, just high blood pressure. So my husband sees that his dad appears healthy, so drinking must not be that bad for his health. Hubby never seems drunk when he drinks, is never violent and is successful at his job which is another reason why he thinks I'm overeacting. The last couple of days he has cut back to 4 beers a night, but I'm not sure that will last long. He has done this just because we've argued lately. So, somebody tell me how much is okay, am I overreacting? If I'm not, what can I do about it, he is in complete denial and honestly believes that alcohol has no health risks. I'm so confused, if the doctors don't care, maybe I shouldn't either. My grandfather died of liver cancer as a result of heavy drinking. It was miserable for him and for my father who watched him die. I don't want DH to have the same fate.

FYI - He has completely quit the diet coke habit, so thankfully that is no longer an issue. I can't figure out a way to convince him that drinking is not good for, he is active and cares about his health, just doesn't think alcohol has a negitive effect on it. It is obvious to me and the rest of his family except his dad but convincing him is another story. How do you deal with someone in denial, something needs to click in his mind, but it needs to happen before he get really sick

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I got into a huge fight about this with my husband yesterday! HUGE! He thinks that because he is not abusive that I should not have a problem with it. His dad drinks a fifth of vodka every night so his comparison is skewed. As in, I'm not my dad, blah, blah,blah. I tried to tell him his dad didn't start out with a fifth every night, it's a gradual process.

Anyway, I am sorry I have no advice because all the nagging and yelling in the world hasn't helped us yet. Just know you are not alone.

I would be more excited about him stopping the diet coke. Personally I believe that diet coke is way worse for you than beer. The ingredients are so very bad for you not to mention the aspartame. Too much beer can be detrimental, but not nearly as bad as the diet coke. I would be thankful for one thing at a time. Good Luck.

More Answers

A drink a night can be good for your health, but the combo of 12 diet cokes and 6 beers a day is REALLY bad. See if he can not drink for 4 days with out having withdrawal symptoms. If not, then he has a problem. The diet coke is not good either. Artificial sugars can ruin many of your bodily systems.
Just an FYI I am a medical coder and read charts daily. You are not overreacting, it shows he means a lot to you!!

2 moms found this helpful

Check your local listing for ALANON. It is a support group for those who have been affected by another's alcoholism. I would check it out and see. They may be able to help you. As far as your hubby, you can't change him--- you just have to tell him how you feel and leave it at that. You cant change him you can only change how you react to him and his drinking.

M.

2 moms found this helpful

Eh... personally I believe it's 6 of 1, half a dozen of another.

On the one hand, one beer an hour gets filtered out very easily and has little to no effect on blood pressure (binge drinking however, does). Even 2 an hour. How long is the period over which he's drinking? If he's slamming a 6 pack in 30-60 minutes... that's one thing. If he's drinking over the course of a night (several hours)... that's another & he wouldn't appear drunk because he's NOT drunk. 1 beer an hour wouldn't even create a buzz for most people.

Continuing on that hand... if he's being honest with his doctors (and THREE have said the same thing)... you can take that his alcohol consumption isn't medically concerning.

On the OTHER hand... "A problem is a problem when it's a problem." My dad does NOT have a drinking problem. For years he'd have 1-2 beers every night after coming home from work. At a certain point he'd come home, eat & drink, and go to bed... because the beer started making him sleepy. That created a problem in my parent's marriage, so he switched to "no beer on school nights" so that he wouldn't go straight to bed after dinner and could spend time with my mom.

So this is why I'm on the fence: The doctors aren't concerned about his drinking affecting his blood pressure... and it sounds like your *fears* of it affecting his BP are the only real problem his drinking is creating. I can understand altering a habit for a practical reason... but for an unfounded fear it seems like... overreacting? Controlling? Pandering? Not sure of the precise word. It's like putting a nightlight in a child's room. There's nothing to be afraid of in the dark... but we do it anyway. We treat their fear as real, even though it's not real. Not that it's the wrong thing to do, but it's not based in reality. It's just a kindness until they learn better. Not catering to an unfounded fear isn't being in denial... it's just not being kind.

In general patients with high blood pressure under 65 are told that 2 drinks a day are fine, and over 65 that 1 drink per day is fine. Pregnant women are also told that exercise is healthy. All 3 are true in most cases. But pregnant women on bedrest should NOT exercise. That's why we see doctors to begin with... to find out what is true in our specific case beyond "generalities". If he's been told repeatedly that his alcohol consumption is fine by medical professionals you can talk until you're blue in the face and not achieve anything.

1 mom found this helpful

1st thought: yes, it's too much. 2nd thought: but since he's been doing it for his adult lifetime, then he's pretty much immune to it.

I think what really concerns me is the total beverage consumption each day....that's a lot of soda & beer for one day! I cannot imagine how he can do it! & honestly, the diet soda is a risk in itself in such quantities.

What about seeing a nutritionist thru your local hospital.....& go together (as a couple) & make a commitment to each other to seek a healthier lifestyle?
Since he's had chest pains/trips to the ER, your insurance should cover it!

Good Luck....I'm stuck in the same boat with my husband - only he's a diabetic & just won't follow instructions! Large portions of food would be his downfall....not booze.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi W., it is so nice of you to be concerned for your husband, and it sounds like for good reason. I agree with the posters who suggest Al-anon. You must take care of yourself first. Probably the first thing they will teach you there are the '3 c's'- you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. It sounds like you need to hear 2 of these 3!

If in fact your husband has a problem with alcohol, no amount of logic or facts coming from you will change what he's doing. In this case, you are talking to the disease, and the disease is in control. Please don't frustrate yourself trying to reason him out of this. I really, really hope you go to an Al-anon meeting. You will feel much more centered and able to deal with this.

Good luck to you...

1 mom found this helpful

One question I have - you said he has seen health care providers who have asked him about how much he drinks, but haven't said "6 beers a day is too much." So, is this what he said (I.e.: your husband says, "I told them how much I drink and they didn't tell me to stop."), or were you actually present during the question from the providers?

...if he's the one telling you the information, you might treat it as suspect and get some independent information on your own, perhaps by talking to your own doctor or maybe checking the website for AA.

However, if he cannot stop drinking those beers, then I would say he has either a chemical dependence or a psychological dependence (or both).

I got into a huge fight about this with my husband yesterday! HUGE! He thinks that because he is not abusive that I should not have a problem with it. His dad drinks a fifth of vodka every night so his comparison is skewed. As in, I'm not my dad, blah, blah,blah. I tried to tell him his dad didn't start out with a fifth every night, it's a gradual process.

Anyway, I am sorry I have no advice because all the nagging and yelling in the world hasn't helped us yet. Just know you are not alone.

I would be more excited about him stopping the diet coke. Personally I believe that diet coke is way worse for you than beer. The ingredients are so very bad for you not to mention the aspartame. Too much beer can be detrimental, but not nearly as bad as the diet coke. I would be thankful for one thing at a time. Good Luck.

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