Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Group Therapy: Am I asking to much?

WELCOME TO GROUP THERAPY-Where we give each other advice through comments!

Before we start I did want to say: "Happy St. Patrick's Day" from Real World Venus vs. Mars- remember to pinch those not wearing green!!!

"I'm writing in just for advice. I'm at my wit's end really and since divorce for me isn't an option nor is it what I want I guess I'm just wanting opinions. Before we were married I knew my husband liked to drink, alcohol. I do not drink. As we dated he gave it up, I think partially for me because it was really hard for me to get intimate with him when I could barely stand the smell of alcohol on his breath.

After a few years of marriage he started taking up drinking on the weekends again. He's definitely a different person when he drinks and it's not that I hate that person, I just don't enjoy him. It's like he endures the week just to get drunk on the weekends. He's so into "relaxing/drinking" on the weekends with buddies and co-workers that I feel neglected. I don't go out with him because I have no interest in drinking. Sure it's usually one night a Friday or a Saturday but it seems selfish to me.
He works all week and I see him maybe an hour or so at night as we sit and relax before I drift off to sleep.

We just found out we are pregnant and I'm at a quandary. I want him to stop drinking for good, I don't want to have to worry about him getting "wasted" on the weekends or having that as an example for our children.
But is that asking to much? He doesn't drink during the week nor does he have alcohol around the house he only drinks when he goes out with his friends AND he sleeps in the guest bedroom when he comes home after one to many drinks because he knows I can't stand the smell of it. I can live with it if I absolutely have to, but I don't want to.

So readers of Real World Venus vs. Mars am I asking to much? Am I over worried? Should I approach him about it or will that bring unnecessary drama in our relationship?
"

***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com orrealworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.

18 comments:

Alex said...

Go soley on what you have written (because I understand people can't always write the entire story);

I don't see a problem with his drinking. If he doesn't drink at all throughout the week and then on Friday or Saturday he chooses to get together with the guys and have a few drinks, then that's perfectly fine. He also takes your feelings into consideration and sleeps in the guest bedroom (which I would be giving him major props for this, by the way, and telling him often that I appreciate this).

I think if he has become dependent on the alcohol (even if it is one night a week) then, yes, there is a problem. No one should become dependent on alcohol. It becomes a very dangerous and slippery slope from there.

Now, despite my opinion, you have a right to be worried. Those are your emotions and your thoughts and you have a right to those. If you feel you should talk to him about this, then do so. I would suggest not bringing up the fact that you want him to stop drinking all together though. He does have the right to see his friends and have a few drinks.

Do the conversation calmly. Remember to tell him the positives and that you appreciate the extra effort he goes to (to sleep in a seperate room, to only drink on the weekends, etc). But don't feel that you're not allowed to have those feelings.

Ask him if it's possible to still hang out with his buddies once a week and only have one drink? Or if he only drinks once a month?

Unless he's become dependent on the alcohol, these shouldn't be things he'd freak out on. If he does get upset over these questions, then you know something is up and maybe he does need some help when it comes to the drinking.

Good luck!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I definitely think you should approach him about it. Him quitting before you got married shows that he at least can do it and maybe you guy can come to a compromise that suits both of you?

But I say definitely bring it up... just don't give an ultimatum.

Just Jules said...

It needs to be a discussion for sure - because it is on your mind. All things should be on the table and dealt with.

However - do I think it is an issue? No. What I do think the issue is, is that you haven't been going with!!!!! Seriously- one does not have to drink to have a good time out with friends. If you don't like THOSE friends then maybe you guys could find a group of people to meet at the Mexican place and have nachos and soda and he a beer or margarita. I am an incredibly social person and need that time WITH people to refuel. So........

It needs to be discussed and a compromise found.

Now, the pregnancy adds a twist - you aren't feeling well and you want extra love and attention - I get that. Plus what about the baby...

He needs to understand that too - and this is where HE needs to bend a bit. To be there for the family. I do drink in front of my children - 1 beer or 1 drink only when I am around them. I teach them, that with all other things, there is a way to do things and with alcohol there are rules and the need for moderation. Sigh....
talk to him girl

Southern Sage said...

Hmmmm
Well in my mind its about precedents. Had he not quit while you were dating then I would say don't bring it up, but since he did then maybe you should. Just be real nice about it though. If he goes out with his friends on mostly Friday nights then start making plans with him doing something else HE likes with him. Whatever that is. Bowling, movies, whatever. Then you will have his time and he won't be able to drink.
You can do that covertly.

It doesn't sound like he has a problem or anything.

Good luck, and remember, anyone can be trained.

Anonymous said...

I think every weekend it a litte much. Once or twice a month maybe but every weekend, that is not fair to you. I think you should talk to him now because what is going to happen after you have the baby, is he going to let you have a break or go out and get "wasted". You are going to need him around more and as someone said before you are going to want more attention! I hope everything works out for you guys!

Anonymous said...

I think that if he is only drinking on one day during the weekend, that's 4 days a month, then it's somewhat selfish of you to ask him to stop. To be honest, this sounds like a classic control issue.

He is not drinking at home, he doesn't keep alcohol in the house, he even sleeps in the spare bedroom and he's not doing it every day or all weekend. I do not understand what the problem is.

Just because people get married and have babies doesn't mean they need to live their lives the way their spouses want or expect them to. It doesn't mean they need to give up friendships outside of their marriage. Of course that doesn't mean he should be able to go out and party with his buddies all of the time either. But some people need to have their "me" time. You wrote that he works so much during the week and then comes home, maybe he needs time to hang out with his buddies and relax. I don't think there's anything wrong that that, and honestly, it sounds like he deserves it.

If he were out doing drugs or being shady about where he's been when he goes out 4 times a month, then I could understand where you're coming from.

Based on what I read, it sounds like he's respectful toward you and committed but just needs that one night to wind down. For some guys it's not easy working full time, being a full time husband and having a baby on the way.

If 4 days a month is too much, which it is because you don't want him drinking at all, then I don't know what to tell you. I would suggest a compromise like maybe every other weekend let him go out and the other weekends maybe let him have the guys hang out at your place while you go to a girlfriends house. But based on what you wrote, you wouldn't be happy with that either.

In my opinion, I don't think him drinking alcohol is the real issue, there's more to it.

Good luck to you and your family. I do hope you find a happy middle ground.

SciFi Dad said...

As harsh as this sounds, people don't change because you make them; people change because they want to.

So, he stopped drinking when you were dating because he wanted to. Then, he started drinking again because he wanted to. I don't think he's going to quit again just because you ask him to.

That being said, I'll echo the others who opined that once a week isn't that big a deal. I mean, you didn't mention it, so I take it he doesn't come home hammered and puke all over everything, or wake you up or whatever.

You say it makes you feel neglected. Here's a question to ask yourself: would you feel neglected if he was out playing Scrabble with friends (without you) once a week, drinking coffee or tea or soda?

April said...

I pretty much agree with what the second anonymous commenter said.

Personally, I don't find myself ever needing too much "me time" as anon put it, but if I wanted to have it once a week, I would and should be allowed to. My significant other goes to hang out with his buddies whenever he wants. Sometimes he'll drink, sometimes he won't. I trust him completely so I don't mind. I also understand that his life isn't, nor should it be, all about me. He has needs too, which I greatly respect. At the end of the day, no matter what, I know he loves me and is committed to spending his life with me.

I don't mean to sound mean, but it sounds like there are other deep seeded issues going on here.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

As mentioned above I can only go by the details posted here.

Are you asking too much?

Yes.

You disapprove of his behavior because you don't like it or do it, not because it is destructive or hurtful to you. That is not enough of a reason to get someone to change.

For example: It is well documented that my wife does not like sci-fi movies. She doesn't agree with them. She doesn't want to watch them with me. But does that mean she should prevent me from taking a Friday night and seeing Avatar with some friends?

No. It shouldn't.

You say he's going out one night a weekend with his friends. Let the guy blow of some steam with his buddies. I know that he works a lot and you want to see him, but it doesn't seem like he's asking for a lot to hang with the boys here and there.

I need to hang out with my friends. Although my wife loves my friends, she doesn't want any part of our antics. She knows that I will ultimately spend more time at home with her than out with my friends, but I need that time or I will lose my mind.

Now...you mention you don't like the smell of alcohol on him. And I think he needs to acknowledge and respect that. I like to smoke the occasional cigar. My wife CANNOT STAND the smell. So we have some rules. No smoking in the house. No kissing after I smoke. And I need to change my clothes (and take a shower if necessary) before getting into our bed.

Those are rules I can live with.

People sometimes do things when courting to impress the others. Again, my wife rode a roller coaster with me at the beginning of our relationship. If you knew her you would understand how completely against type that is for her. But she was trying to woo me.

I don't think that just cause this guy quit once means that he should have to do it again. Especially with a baby on the way and stress growing.

If his behavior isn't harming you, I think you need to open yourself up to some comprimises. That said, he also should respect your feelings about it and not take the attitude of "screw you Ima do what I want!"

Communication and understanding from both sides will smooth this one over.

Anonymous said...

Shelle said it was my choice whether I wanted to respond back to comments or not.

I'm surprised at some of the comments, but I also understand you are only getting one side of the story.

So I think I'm going to take a knack at responding to all of you since you are taking the time out of your day to give me advice, which I really do appreciate.

First of all, there is no seeded deeper issues. This is really it. And it's really just me, he has no idea I'm even worried about it.

Let me also explain.

One night is from right when he gets home he changes out of office clothes and into his night out clothes and then he's out the door, if I'm not there (which a lot of times he gets home before me) then I don't see him.

He's out all night and drags himself home at whatever hour he decides to show up, it's usually never earlier than midnight though. He sleeps in the guest bedroom not ONLY because he knows I hate the smell of alcohol but also so I don't wake him up the next morning!

One night turns into half the next day.

When he doesn't go out with his buddies to drink and they are just out to a movie or golfing or something like that, it's usually a couple of hours and he comes home to me, HIM, fully functioning HIM. And as for the next day, he's up and active and happy. Which isn't usually the case when he goes out drinking with his friends.

Whether or not he didn't drink to impress me he gave it up and set a standard. I think I'm not to out of line to wonder if he would be willing to give it up again for our child?

Tina

Anonymous said...

Alex: I agree with the compromise. I'm really willing to do that also. Going out once a month isn't bad? And going out with his friends to golf or do other activities I don't mind at all!

Shelle: Ultimatums don't work on him, it would drive him to do exactly what I ask him not to. So you are right. Thanks for the advice.

Just Jules: I can't really stand watching people drink first of all like I explained I can't stand the smell of it and secondly after a long night it's not the kind of crowd I like hanging around with a bit over indulgent seems to play a big part in their behavior after a couple of drinks in them, at least with my husband and friends. Most of them I can say are just fine, but it is the minority that ruin it for me. Plus, it's all guys, it's "guy time". I'm not really invited even though he has never said I wasn't.

Thanks for your excellent advice about the children. I could never be okay with him drinking in front of my kids because I ultimately want to keep them away from alcohol for as long as I can. My husband feels the same because he already doesn't keep it in the house. But I do agree that we need to probably discuss it if it is on my mind to get it out in the open, I just want to approach it right with him.

Sage: That sounds like a good idea. He doesn't have a problem except when he goes out the one night, it seems to me he feels like he has to play catch up because he definitely is DRUNK when he gets home.

ANON#1: That is exactly how I am feeling right now. Once a month, twice a month? Sure. But he's taking OUR weekends away from both of us! I do sometimes go out with my girlfriends when he goes out on his night, but I'd rather be with him. I really don't feel like I get enough time with him during the week. It WILL work out. I'm sure of it. It's just who will bend the most.

Tina

615sWife said...

Ok i think you are upset because your at home alone while he is out having a good time with his friends. So instead of staying home getting upset why dont you have a girls night? or go out as a big group and just ask him to please only have 1-2 drinks. I dont believe in getting drunk i just think it is stupid and pointless. but 1-2 drinks helps you relax. You should have fridays set for friends and then on saturday you two can be together. You both need "me time", give it a try and you may start to look forward to the weekends as well!

Anonymous said...

Anon #2: I definitely respect that you feel that way. And I can also see how it looks selfish of me to expect MORE from him.

But I do expect more from him. I'm not asking him to give up his life or his "ME time", I'm asking him for OUR time. Like I said, we don't really see each other during the day or really even at night that is worth much at all. And then with a child in the mix, what happens when he can't give that day (and a half really) up four days a month and I'm left with no time for myself without the baby? For me it's getting to the point where that is the only thing he looks forward to, that shouldn't be how it is in marriage, should it be? Can I not expect HIM during the weekend when he has free time without work to hang out with me? Like I said, if he can't give it up can't he do it less? Or go golfing for a few hours? Play pool? Just come back to ME fully there for ME and our soon to be child.

If that is selfish, then you are right I am a very selfish person.

But thank you, I believe a compromise is what will come about and I also hope we reach that middle ground. I'm not sure if I would be okay with every other weekend either, you might have me on that, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

SciFi Dad: I didn't mention it you're right, but if he's not "hammered" he's not really functioning at a 100% either, he's not even functioning at 50%.

You also said, "would you feel neglected if he was out playing Scrabble with friends (without you) once a week, drinking coffee or tea or soda?" No because that usually doesn't take up all night AND he comes home to me fully functioning and usually before midnight AND he sleeps with ME. See what I mean? But then I'm not sure because he's not doing that every weekend. But I'd like to say I wouldn't feel neglected the same way I do now especially with a baby on the way.

Also I know I can't change him if he doesn't want to change which is why I question bringing it up at all. If it wasn't for the fact we are having a baby, I would just let it ride it's course unless of course it became an addiction.

Tina

Anonymous said...

April: I'm not against him having time with his friends at all. But EVERY weekend and he HAS to drink? You are stronger than I am. When he comes back from hanging out with his buddies I then want HIS time, but he has to sleep it off. If it was every once in a while then sure, no big deal, but it's not, it's consistent and with a child on the way I'm feeling left to wonder if he'll still need that ONE weekend (and a half) day to de-stress and I'm left without a break? Family is a big deal to me. I've put up with it and haven't mentioned it because it's just been him and I, but that was my mistake because now it's a habit and one I'm sure will be hard for him to break.

But I appreciate so much your comment and understand what you mean, I'm just not as selfless as you guys I guess. I wish this wasn't a big deal to me.

DaddyGeekBoy: It's not destructive or hurtful in a physical sense to me but on an emotional level it is. I feel that when he gets that free time he doesn't want to spend it with me, he'd rather spend it with his friends or the alcohol. I'm left alone. I'm also left alone half the next day cleaning and doing other things that don't get done during the week while he sleeps off the night before.

Like I've said before. I'm not against him hanging out with his buddies, in fact, I encourage it. When he wants to go take the four wheelers out I'm shoving him out the door, when he wants to go golfing I have his clothes washed and ready for him, I understand ME time. I don't think alcohol is necessary for it, nor do I think he should need it every weekend.

WOW. Thanks again you guys for your comments. Please continue your advice. I have read everything and taken it into account. I may sound defensive and I probably am because I'm human but everything is being read and considered and I appreciate it so much.

Tina

Southern Sage said...

I can see that. If you could only eat a meal you really liked once a week you would over eat it I would think.

I know I would.

You could stop it though if you decided it was a deal breaker of some sort.

Margaret said...

I don't see a problem with it personally. Now if he does it all the time or gets physical then yes I have a issue with that. He does respect your wish's and sleeps in the guest bedroom when he does drink but I also see your point on it all. Maybe you can work something out where he does it every other week or once a month.

Anjeny said...

I'm going to have to disagree with a lot of you...I don't think that Tina here is asking too much of her husband. Why is it asking too much if she wants her husband to spend time with her in his sober self instead of out with his friends?

Anon 2...you said her hub deserve to hang out with his friends just because he works all day. What about her? Doesn't she deseve that time with her husband too?

From her comment to the response, I can conclude that she works too. Since they're both working all week, why is her wanting the time together with her husband a selfish thing and since he quit drinking while they were dating, and started after they are married, why is it wrong for her to want him to care enough about her to quit?

And a lot of you don't seem to see this as a problem...I suppose it's easier for anyone to see this situation as small or even dismiss this as not a big deal because maybe none of you have ever experience or are in this kind of situation.

Tina...I don't think you're asking too much and I'm don't think you over worried at all. You are his wife and you have a right to want your time together with him, especially if weekends are the only time we guys have to spent together, so you need to talk to him. I agree with some of the commentors that you should be nice in how you approach him but be sure you let him know how you feel. Esp. now that you're pregnant, you are going to need his help with the baby...you do not need weekend drunk dad who's too hang over the next day to help out with the baby.

Thanks Tina for putting yourself out here on the line and for your willingness to take the advice even if some of the critism thrown your way. I do wish you the best.

April said...

Tina: Thank you for responding to the comments. It does make it a different situation to know that he's coming home wasted and sleeping half of the next day. Where my opinion differed from yours was asking him to stop drinking completely. But after reading your comments, I'm thinking that maybe he has issues that he's covering up with going out and getting drunk.

I would recommend what everyone has said and that's to talk to him. If you guys go to a church, maybe you can see if you can have your pastor be like a mediator or find a counselor.

I really do hope things work out for you guys and that you're able to get both of your feelings out in the open. Good luck to you, Tina. =)

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