I'm Concerned About Alcohol...

Updated on December 23, 2014
O.L. asks from Long Beach, CA
31 answers

I'm concerned about my husband and his drinking. Tonight he had 3 mixed drinks and by 9pm I could tell that he was tipsy. We had friends over tonight who are visiting. By 9, I could hear my husband's speech become more slurred. Once the kids went to bed, he told me he was going to ride his bike to a friend's. I immediately felt concern about him driving a bike 1-2 miles away after drinking. I felt that I couldn't let him ride off without telling him my concerns. I went to the garage and told him that I wasn't comfortable with him riding his bike there after drinking. Of course, he told me he was fine to ride, but I insisted that it wasn't a good choice. He put the bike away and came inside our house.

After being raised in an alcoholic home, I know that I tend to be sensitive about alcohol. I worry about raising kids in an alcoholic home. My husband and I went to talk with a therapist a couple of weeks ago because I was concerned about an argument we had had one night after he was drinking. We spoke openly about my concerns. He listened to them, heard them and the therapist didn't seem overly concerned.

But what I'm wondering is, do other people's spouses drink 3 mixed drinks at home on their weekend evenings? My husband drinks probably 2x per week. What I'm uncomfortable about is that he is tipsy at home and my kids are asking me why Daddy is going to see a friend at 9pm on his bike. It just feels uncomfortable to me. And it feels crappy that I'm having to stop him from making the choice to ride his bike after he's been drinking. When you or your spouse drink at home, do you ever get tipsy? If so, does the other person ever feel uncomfortable about it?

Im not saying that he's an alcoholic, but I'm fearful. He's an amazing husband, provider, Dad to our children, etc. I don't want to seem controlling... But I am concerned for him, for his safety, for our family. Am I overthinking this?

MORNING FOLLOW UP: My husband woke up this morning and came into the bedroom where I was.... He walked in and said, "I really appreciate what you did last night." I said, "What are you referring to exactly?" He told me that he really appreciated that I voiced my concern about him riding his bike after drinking and he is grateful that I did. He said that he felt like I handled the communication to him about it very well. I told him that I can respect that he wants to have a few drinks on the his days off, but that I feel we need to have some agreements about things before we are presented with them. For example, the bike riding while drinking. It seems that if you set up the expectation ahead of time, it shouldn't be an issue. Like, when he goes out with his friends, he either walks home or takes a cab. I'm fine with that. A week or so ago, he went out with his friends and his friends drove home after drinking and my husband walked with another one of the guys. I felt like that was the best choice. It seems like it's better to establish those expectations before they happen. Don't you think?

I'm glad that i expressed my concerns to him last night about riding his bike. The outcome was good, in that he didn't just go ahead and do it. He heard me and stopped and this morning he hugged me and told me he was grateful.

I'm still feeling really tired. I didn't sleep at all last night because I was very emotional about it. I agree with those of you who say that my fear can impact the kids, but what do you tell your kids when Dad's behaving different than usual because he's had a few stiff drinks? Or, wanting to go to a friend's house at 9pm?

A few of you have mentioned that I'm being controlling, but do you really think it's controlling to be aware of how much your husband has had to drink? Or, do you think I'm being overly sensitive because of my family history?

What can I do next?

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Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

You asked almost the same question a few weeks ago. Did you not read those answers? Or are you waitinh to get responses you want to hear instead of the honest advice that was offered?

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It doesn't matter (for you) what anyone else's husbands do, or how much they do it do not drink. You seem to want confirmation that he IS or is NOT an alcoholic.

I'll just copy & paste my answer from Dec. 9th:
"Very complicated.
Have you ever attended an Alanon meeting?
I'll bet you'd get lots of help with this there."

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think three mixed drinks is okay as long as he doesn't do it frequently. I think we usually stick to two mixed drinks, when we drink them, unless it's a party or special occasion.

Depending on the age of the kids, I would probably just tell them that dad had a few drinks, and this is what being drunk sometimes looks like.

It sounds like it all worked out well.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

i understand your concern. i'm the daughter and wife of alcoholics, and it's nothing to take lightly. (both of mine have been sober for decades now, i hasten to add.)
the frequency and amount that your husband drinks aren't huge red flags. he's not drinking nightly, and 3 cocktails on a weekend night doesn't sound too heinous to me, especially since he's clearly a great guy who functions just fine.
riding his bike to a friend's house at 9pm is a poor decision, and i'm glad he listened to you. but it also sounds, at least from what you posted here, that it was a one-time thing that has got you started on a train of thought. being tipsy at home is better than being tipsy out at a bar, right? or is this the sort of thing he does habitually?
if he gets a buzz on during his weekends, and listens to you when you suggest he not act on buzzy impulses, you might be overthinking it. if he gets tanked every weekend and tries to hare off and do stupid things, you might have a problem.
i strongly suggest al-anon. you'll get a better feel there for what living with an alcoholic is like.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

To answer your basic question, your husband's drinking sounds well within the range of normal, and the situation you describe would likely happen to other people too. But in other marriages, it might be seen as humorous that you had to convince your husband not to bike somewhere at 9 pm when he was tipsy. For you, the situation was clouded by past trauma and just seemed scary. Your kiddos likely will look on the situation through the lens of your fear, because they take a lot of cues from us on how to feel.

You already clarified your situation in the same way I would have: He's not an alcoholic, but you are fearful.

It's normal to have anxiety about alcohol when you've grown up with a parent who was an alcoholic. I can completely relate and have had my own issues with this exact problem. But focus on the actual problem: your fear, not your husband's drinking.

If you grew up anything like I did, you know there is a very clear determination between the way an active alcoholic can destroy a family and what is going on with your husband. I wouldn't shrug it off and say you are just "overthinking" because I don't think many children of alcoholics can just turn off that fear.

It's not a problem your husband can fix with his behavior, but he could quit drinking, IF he is willing based on the fact that *he has no issues with alcohol, but you have issues with alcohol use in your home*. If he is not willing to quit, then you'll have to live with that. He is his own person and alcohol is legal and societally accepted.

Whether he agrees to something like that or not, I would consider therapy for you alone, because it really is such a loaded issue for children of alcoholics. Imagine what life would be like if all that fear and any responsibility you M. feel you have towards controlling him and his drinking could just be gone.

Good luck.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I'm glad to hear your husband is having his cocktail at home, he isn't driving home from the bar, and you are there to tell him to get off the bike.

I grew up around alcohol and it can be fun, funny, and scary...all in the same night. I get it that you are worried, but he is the only one who can make the change and can only do so when and if he wants to.

My husband does not drink, but I do. When I buy a bottle of wine, I am the only one who drinks it, so I have a small glass just about every night until it is gone. When I have art work, I tend to drink a little more. I never think to get in the car and drive anywhere. If we go out, I will have a couple of mixed drinks and my husband gladly drives for me. He never allows me to drive after a drink. To him it is not worth it. When I say allows, I mean, I am an adult and make my own choices, but he doesn't tell me I can or cannot drink, he just automatically knows he has to drive.

So yes, I get tipsy. No, my husband is not uncomfortable. Three drinks in one night is probably not excessive for most homes. I stopped drinking mixed drinks at home a while ago, just my choice. The only worry is perhaps 3 drinks 2x per week may be a little hard on the liver. Every person's tolerance is different and if he is slurring at 3 drinks, perhaps his tolerance is a little lower, unless they are stiff drinks.

If something is making you uncomfortable in your home, you should talk to the other person. If it is just the driving factor, tell him what is acceptable to you and what is not.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Since this is the second time you've asked basically the same question.... Maybe you realize that some of us, myself included, do see you as controlling.

He is not your child and a marriage likely will not survive if one of the partners is treated as a child vs a spouse. I personally would not put up with that behavior if my husband did me they way you do your husband.

It is ok to drink socially. It is not ok to police a spouse like you are doing.

That said, I also believe your issues have to do with your childhood and being around alcohol. You have some unhealthy views and the sad part is that you are passing this on to your children. They see you, your behavior, your fears.....

I don't know what type of answers you are looking for on this second attempt with your question.

Maybe you should speak with a counselor so you can stop this behavior before you make it worse for your children. You're lucky your husband has put up with this so far.... Be careful and get counseled so you don't lose everything thanks to your personal issues.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My mother went to al-anon due to her parents drinking during her childhood. She raved about how much it helped her and opened up her eyes. She still has the books and will read through from time to time.
Seeing you get over sensitive anytime dad does drink is probably not helpful for the kids either. The bike ride wasn't a good idea-but feeling your anxiety and fear anytime he unwinds is probably uncomfortable.
Take the oodles of advice you've recieved and seek some counseling. That way you won't have to worry about overthinking things, and can have a confident healthy attitude during social situations.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Did you do any of the suggestions that were given to you when you wrote about this on Dec 6th?
You got boatloads of good info.
You need therapy to deal with your childhood and your relationship with alcohol and how your husband drinks (which does not sound unusual).
You're fears and insecurities aren't going to get any better by asking the same questions/answers on a web site.

I'll repeat what I told you last time.

You have some anxiety and anger management issues - and this is all related and probably a delayed reaction to your parents and your childhood.
Your husband drinking as you describe does not sound like an alcoholic - but on some level you are jumping to that conclusion.
See a therapist and work through it.
You're going to destroy your marriage if you don't.

Please get some help.
If that last therapist didn't help (you are still concerned) then get another.
This is not about finding a therapist who will tell you 'yes, you are right your husband is an alcoholic'.
This is about YOU getting over YOUR issues about alcohol and being ok with the limited amount of drinking your husband does.
You'll feel better if you do!


You know, it's the lying awake all night that bothers me the most about this.
You are not alright - you are driving yourself nuts over this.
You're husband is working with you and understanding for right now but the more sleepless nights you have - this situation is going to deteriorate.
Because you are lying awake NOT TRUSTING HIM.
And I'm really hoping not to see more posts about this because none of us are qualified to go crawling around in your head to help you sort this out.
You need professional help.
Please get it.
And THEN I want to hear that you're all better, sleeping well and your family is thriving and happy!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Technically he's not even a heavy drinker. More than a social drinker but not an alcoholic.

I know a lot of families that have wine with dinner and they have a mixed drink before dinner, a wine with dinner, and then perhaps one or two mixed drinks with dessert.

I do think you have to accept this or walk away. I hope the therapist can help you deal with your left over issues from your childhood.

I truly don't think 3 drinks is enough over the period of several hours is enough to make him drunk. Perhaps slightly tipsy but I wouldn't think it would at all.

I can't say if he's an alcoholic or not, from what you've said I would not think so. Here's a link with some very valid information about body size, food intake, how much time the person takes to drink their drinks such as someone chugging 3 drinks at once verses a person who sips 1 drink per hour.


I have a friend who is also an adult child of alcoholics and her husband can't take a drink without her screaming and threatening to leave. He'd probably be really glad if she just left. I don't know how he lives with her. He's never had a DUI, never really done more than drank a mixed drink or two at business functions. Then she blows up at him the moment they're in private.

Please work with the therapist and try to work on the issues left over from your childhood. It will help you be a happier person. Those memories are hard to get to because a lot of them are buried deep.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Was your therapist certified in addictions?

I'm betting s/he was not because your ACOA issues were not addressed.

Please, please set up an appointment with a therapist certified in addictions and has experience with ACOA issues.

Something that causes problems IS one.

If this is causing problems for YOU then it is one, but you need to talk to someone who is trained about it instead of repeatingly asking anonymous people.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is it foolish to ride your bike at 9pm when you've had a few drinks? Yes, foolish and irresponsible. But does having three drinks in a social situation make you an alcoholic? No. He isn't drinking daily, he isn't drinking to the point of blacking out, he's getting a buzz a couple of times a week. I have a couple of glasses of wine a few times a week. Getting a buzz in a party situation does equal a drinking problem.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You really need to join Al-Anon...you also need a therapist to stop bringing your baggage from your childhood on to your husband.

You ARE saying he's an alcoholic....sorry - but you are. You are watching his every consumption of alcohol, counting it and judging him for it. You FEEL he's an alcoholic because if you didn't?? You would NOT be counting how many drinks he's dad EVERY DAY...

You are acting like his mother, NOT his partner. You are letting your childhood cloud you.

1. No. My husband doesn't drink mixed/alcoholic drinks. He drinks beer and wine.
2. No. I don't consume alcohol...I can't remember the last time I had an alcoholic drink.
3. No. Neither my husband or I drink and drive...ANYTHING - bikes, motorcycles, cars, etc. It's NOT wise. I would have stopped my husband too if he had contemplated it.

You REALLY need a therapist who specializes in addictions and you really need to get into marriage counseling so your husband can understand where you are coming from with his alcohol consumption!!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

My parents did a fabulous job of modeling responsible drinking. They would have a drink or two together just to unwind, but they never drove afterwards. And they never made a big deal about it. They even allowed us a sip now and then and a small glass of wine at Christmas dinner.

My husband is a recovering alcoholic and hasn't had a drink in over 25 years. There is no alcohol in our house, so I will need to have a different approach when talking to our boys about responsible drinking. But I will think of something.

You mentioned a couple of times that you are fearful. I'm just not sure what it is that you are fearful of. It sounds like he doesn't do anything dangerous. He doesn't drive, he doesn't get angry, he doesn't do anything stupid. So why are you afraid.

That is what I think you need to talk to a counselor about. It's not about how many drinks your husband has or how often he drinks or whether or not the kids notice that he's tipsy. You are scared. You need to figure out why you are scared. Once you are able to understand that, you will be able to talk to your husband about it. It sounds like he is trying very hard to show you that he takes your fears very seriously and does not want to upset you or do anything stupid.

Talk to a counselor. Really. It will help you so much!

ETA - Did you ever watch The West Wing? This is one of my favorite scenes where the White House Chief of Staff talks about being an alcoholic. He talks about being an addict.


An alcoholic is (generally) not someone who has a few drinks now and then. An alcoholic is someone who can't not drink. That's why recovering alcoholics do not drink ... ever. Because if they have one drink, they won't want to stop. I've really overly-simplified this, but I'm not sure how else to say it.

I don't think your husband can become an alcoholic. He either has addictive tendencies or he doesn't. I have needed pain meds a few times (c-sections, kidney stones, broken wrist). There have been a few that have made me so nauseous that I've had to be hospitalized for dehydration. Vicodin doesn't do that to me, so I always ask for it. Wow, did that make my husband nervous the first time he heard me request it. He was convinced I would become addicted. But the thing is, I don't have addictive tendencies like he does. That doesn't make me any better than him. It just means I don't have those same fears about myself. Now, I would hope no doctor would prescribe it for him, but I have never had any trouble taking it.

Please do talk to someone. You need to be able to talk about your fears. You need to be able to give examples and talk about how it makes you feel and what it makes you think is going to happen. You need to talk to someone who's qualified to help you sort through it all.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Al-anon. You need to go. Now. Seriously. You asked a similar question less that a month ago. Same answer - go to Al-anon and deal with your history so it doesn't screw up your present relationships.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think that you're being overly sensitive but if you keep trying to be controlling you're going to push him away. My suggestion to you is to attend an Alanon meeting or two (their number is in the phone book) and get some suggestions about how to deal with your issues in a productive way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I don't think you're over thinking it, but I also am not sure it's as dire as you describe. My husband usually has a drink several nights a week, never more than 2 and never to the point of being tipsy. It's good he didn't want to drive - is that why he was choosing a bike? Because he thought it would be safer? Or would he normally bike?

Honestly, I wouldn't be comfortable with taking a bike at 9 pm, drunk or sober, because we have had a lot of people hit on bikes after dark.

You are the only one who can judge. As you describe it, he doesn't sound out of control. But that doesn't mean he isn't, and that doesn't mean you're off base. You sound reasonable and balanced.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If you haven't done the Adult Children of Alcoholics counseling, you should. My parents were both raised by alcoholics and I wish that they had done this kind of counseling and worked through their issues (which they denied that they had). My mom doesn't drink at all and my dad will have a beer or glass of wine on occasion so while they don't have a problem with alcohol themselves, their attitude toward it is rather toxic.

Sounds like you and your husband have a good relationship and communicate well. ACOC will help you to understand your triggers and manage them better so that you don't end up in this situation of needing to cope with your husband's social drinking and have anxiety interfere with your sleep and well being.

As to your question...my husband plays cards and drinks with his friends on Friday nights and probably has 4-5 drinks (and or smokes pot) over the course of the evening. He has had 3 mixed drinks at a restaurant during dinner (I drive home after a night like that). Three drinks in an evening for a grown man is nothing that would raise the alarm bells for me. Heck I'll have 3 glasses of wine if I don't have to drive.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You're trying to judge his alcoholism (or lack of it) by counting drinks. That's not the measure of a problem. You're also counting "mixed drinks" as if that's different from 3 beers or 3 glasses of wine. Why the distinction? He drinks 2x a week. You're backpedaling from the idea of him being an alcoholic, but you still worry about it. So you have totally unresolved feelings, and you didn't stay with the therapy. Go back.

Do many people have 3 mixed drinks (or any drinks) at a weekend party with guests? Absolutely. Do some people slur their words or do other things that show the alcohol has affected them? Of course. It doesn't mean they are alcoholics. Do other people drink 2 drinks and show no slurring of speech? Yes. Does it mean they aren't alcoholics? Not necessarily. There are many criteria for evaluating the existence of alcoholism.

What worries me more is that your husband decided it was okay to get on a bike and go out in traffic. Somehow he knew he wasn't able to to drive, but he still wanted to go out in traffic. That's a problem.

You have an issue with alcohol. He knows it and behaves, at least this one time, inappropriately after consuming alcohol. He wanted to leave the house. If that's to get away from your criticism, then you need to address it.

Go back to counseling - if not with that counselor, then with another. If the first counselor has a background in addictions or with ACOA, great. Maybe you didn't give it enough time because you didn't get the answer you were hoping for. But that's not the definition of good counseling. You and your husband have an issue between you, and it's going to take 2 of you to solve it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are punishing your husband for your childhood. He sounds like a pretty responsible drinker. Get to Al-Anon and get some counseling. He is not your parents, if you continue to shift the blame/fear caused by them onto him you will push him away.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I think you already know the answer to your questions.

My husband had 3 beers yesterday afternoon while he was in the garage working on building a bookshelf. He doesn't drink often, but when he does he drinks responsibly.

I don't think you were controlling in communicating your concerns. You care. I do think you are a little oversensitive about drinking because of your family history, and that you would be wise to go talk with a professional so that you are not inclined to punish your husband for the "fleas" that are biting you from your past.

Best of luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I can only say that I know my reactions to many things in life (only a few related to someone's use of alcohol) are deeply shaped by growing up in a household with a mentally-unstable parent who used alcohol and tranquilizers to sleep. Feel free to look at my last response to your message on this topic for more details. Attending meetings for Adult Children of Alcoholics and individual therapy both have helped me learn to react differently and generally reduced my anxiety level. I am certain that I am a better parent and spouse and a happier person overall as a whole. I understand your fears and struggles profoundly because I have experienced ones like them--not the same because our experiences are so different. So, asking other people what happens in their lives and how they feel about it is less likely to help you to get what you need.

I echo what others have said--you asked a similar question only a couple weeks ago, which indicates that this issue is really up for you right now. I encourage you to check out Al-Anon or adult-child oriented meetings, as well as seeking an individual therapist with whom you can meet for several months. You're retraining yourself from life-long habits of thought and attitude, and it doesn't happen in a week or a month. Wishing you lots of good luck with the process! It is SOOOOO worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

The best place to discuss these fears and what your history with alcoholism is doing to influence your behavior and perception of your husband's drinking is Alanon. You need to get yourself some help instead of allowing your past to cause your fears to run wild and over analyze every drop of alcohol your husband imbibes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I can really feel for you, and it's clear how much you are struggling with this. Remember that all of us answer through the lens of our own experience, so some people can be harsh because they come from a negative place. I do not think that you are being controlling, I think you are consumed with anxiety and unresolved issues from you past.

Many people are able to have some drinks a few times a week and it doesn't indicate a problem. Every once in a while, people without a drinking problem overdo it. But here's what I'm guessing happens with you. Instead of thinking that he overdid it this one time, he'll have a hangover the next day, and move on without a problem. You bring in all of your past experience and think "this is what I've been expecting- this is it, he's arrived as a full blown alcoholic." This is totally normal from what you've grown up with. But it is obviously not healthy for any of you.

Al-Anon is a good option for you, but I think actually finding an adult children of alcoholics group is even better. The fact that your hubby thanked you for addressing his bad judgment is HUGE. Someone with a drinking problem would not do that. Someone whose drinking is a problem is looking for ways to make it acceptable and allowed. Your husband was saying that he messed up, you helped, that's it. I don't think this is a pattern.

Your husband needs to support you through this because you are his wife and this is part of the package. But that does not make this all about him and make it his problem. You can work this out together. And it sounds like you are lucky enough that he is willing to.

Please read some books about children of alcoholics and/or seek support so you can find some peace with this issue. Don't beat yourself up about this, it makes perfect sense that you feel this way. But don't let it fester- not fair to any of you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

You know, without trying to sound mean or being rude, you asked this question a few weeks ago. I know a lot of women poured their hearts into their responses, as they have again here.

Please get help. You need a therapist, not just for you but for your marriage. Your husband needs to understand your sensitivity to alcohol and your reaction to it.

I do not feel that your husband is an alcoholic. I do agree with others that you believe he is, even if you state you aren't saying that. You are ultra-sensitive to alcohol and you watch every drink he consumes and count them. That's not normal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

His drinking doesn't sound excessive to me. I don't usually drink mixed drinks, but I do drink wine and beer, and will often have at least 2 or 3 drinks on the weekend, especially if we are socializing. Are you uncomfortable because it is becoming too routine? Maybe you could change the routine a bit. Go out as a family on a weekend evening someplace you wouldn't normally be drinking (ie the movies, or to play mini-golf). Remove him from the normal situation where he would be drinking and see how it goes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

What's the real difference between THIS question and your previous one? http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/16396771318642769921

It seems like it's more of the same, except you're ratcheting up your fears and anxiety.

Your husband's drinking is not why you can't sleep. Your fear of your family's alcoholism is why you can't sleep.

Yes, it's being controlling to count your husband's drinks. You had people over and he was enjoying himself. It is good that he didn't get on his bike. You COULD have driven him to his friend's house (and there's nothing wrong with visiting friends, as long as they were fine with him coming.)

I guess I'm just trying to figure out WHAT we could say here that would satisfy you. This is your second question about the same thing. Why ask twice? I think people told you to go to talk to someone or go to group meetings like Alanon. Why aren't you doing this? Instead of being bound and determined to label your husband, go get yourself some counseling. Asking this question over and over to a bunch of strangers isn't really helping you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

That doesn't sound like an unusual amount, but 3 mixed drinks would make me or even my husband feel awful the next day.

That amount for me would be a New Years Eve type of thing and not regular. You husband's body is more used to that amount.

See if he is willing to be 'clean' for a month for a fun challenge. What matters is his 'tipsy' behavior is bothering you and the two of you need to handle it. If my husband was drinking that frequently, yes it would bother me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have to second the idea of going to Al-Anon. There are meetings all over the place, almost every day in the week. It's for family members of alcoholics, and will help you better figure out whether your husband's drinking is the issue you feel it is or not - you will hear from others who have alcoholics in their lives right now.

I also notice you mention that you and your husband "went to talk with a therapist a few weeks ago" and that therapist didn't seem concerned -- but was this just a single visit? If so, to be honest, I wouldn't know that I could credit it much. A therapist needs to see you both over time to know you and your fears, history and concerns, and to talk with your husband about his drinking or lack of it. If you and he are not regularly seeing a professional, together or singly, you really need to consider that, especially as you have issues about your own birth family that need examination. You already know that the alcoholism in your family is affecting you still; if you have never had therapy yourself to work through that past so you can live less fearfully in your present, you need to get that therapy now.

As for whether your husband drinks to excess: If children are noticing the change in daddy's personality, he is drinking enough that he's behaving differently. I can't say that makes him an alcoholic, but it does mean that his own kids know something is "off" with daddy. Is HE aware that the kids ask you why daddy acts oddly at times? Does he know that his own kids know when he's tipsy but just don't know the name for it? I would want him to know that he is changed enough by drinking that they are conscious of it. Again -- this is something a therapist can help you both sort out.

It is very positive that he came to you and thanked you for stopping him from that nighttime bike ride. Very positive indeed. Many people would not have given that thanks. Can you go to him, tell him that you are unable to see the boundary between what is your own past and its fears and your current worries about him and your kids, and you would like for both of you to explore this with a therapist? Regularly and over time, not for a one-time "checkup"? Make clear how much you value his coming to you and communicating with you, and that you know you need to work through your family past and the way it's affecting your present.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Yes, go to some Al-alon meetings and get some healing for yourself.

Growing up my dad had one to two beers every evening after work, while watching the news. I never saw him tipsy or drunk. And to me it was totally just a thing dad's did after work before dinner.

At family gatherings everyone had one or two mixed drinks or beers while visiting and waiting for dinner to be put on the table. No one got drunk or tipsy.

So from an early age I associated alcohol and something you had one or two of before dinner or to be social then you stopped the alcohol and moved on to iced tea or water or coffee.

I wouldn't classify your husband as an alcoholic drinking a few drinks a couple times a week...the getting tipsy part would bother me because I wouldn't want my kids to see that.

My husband I and I hardly ever drink...maybe once a month or every six weeks I will have a glass of wine while fixing dinner and he might have a mixed drink if we go to a fancy restaurant.

It sounds like he is trying very hard to be sensitive to your feelings and it sounds like you are trying to overcome your past. Keep talking about it and try to meet in the middle. You are very very sensitive to alcohol consumption read up on the internet good sources about what is healthy and what isn't and once again get to Al-anon (they can really help you the best!!)




answers from San Francisco on

I don't think you're being controlling over overly sensitive. If your hubby drinks until he's tipsy every time he drinks, he's an alcoholic and needs help. Sorry, but that's the plain truth of it.

It's really good that he listened to you last night. It would be horrible to have a DUI or worse, an accident. But, if he continues to drink, he WILL eventually have one or both - DUI and/or accident.

I would talk to hubby about the kids noticing his behavior when he's intoxicated. They are learning everything the two of you do. If they see that you're okay with his getting tipsy a couple of times a week, then at some point they very well may do the same.

I think you need to have another heart-to-heart with hubby and maybe get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting

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