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alcoholic or social drinker?
September 12, 2000
12:36 am
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dharma
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My husband drinks about three or four drinks a night (beers) and sometimes has a beer at lunch ( or two ) is this signs of alcoholism?
I cant stand the way he smells ( I dont drink )
I also dont like him drinking around our children

September 12, 2000
10:34 am
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Cici
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The maximum number of drinks a man is allowed per day is 4.

Alcoholism isn't defined by the number of drinks per day, though. It is a disease. For an individual to be alcoholic, they must be physically dependent on alcohol (usually they have tremors or shaking when they go without). Alcohol must interfere with their family and social life. Often alcoholics begin by being dependent on alcohol for social interactions. As the disease progresses they tend to become violent, abusive OR depressive (there are different types).

I lived with two alcoholic roommates for a few months. They drank to get drunk every night of the week, neither was able to keep a steady job, they often skipped class and even normal social interactino to sit at an old man's bar because teh drink swere cheap. They couldn't function without drinking first thing in the morning.

I don't drink myself, by my fiance drinks a few beers a night and I let him be. A good relationship doesn't involve control. As long as it isn't damaging your relationship (and this doesn't mean because he's doing something you dislike) and it's not interfering with the normal functioning of his life, let him be.

September 12, 2000
1:16 pm
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Cici is pretty right on, there is a physical quantity that is damaging to the body, but mostly it is how the alcohol, or drug use is effecting the life. Friends work, family, law. If he is not honoring the request of not abstaining in front of the children, this is the first step in quality of life, marital and family relational disruption, this will escalate just because it gets in the way of love honor and cherish. If it did not bother you, there would be no issue, and thus not alcoholic behavior. That is why it is so difficult to diagnois, if they start to show up late for work with a hang over and cant to the job, they get written up, then they are just abscent, then they get fired. Alcoholism. If they only have one beer, and that one beer gets them riledup and they get into a fight at the local pub, that is social, no one wants to drink with him Alcoholism. If he gets behind the wheel of a car, that is against the law, so it goes on and on. How disrupted is the life, and is the disruption of the life due to substance abuse, it could be food, or sex, or anything that takes life out of balance. Rather than focus on the beer, why not focus on your requests to be honored, its a stronger argument.

September 12, 2000
5:31 pm
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dharma.

An alcoholic is one who after having picked up the first drink, can no longer guarantee his/her future behavior or alcohol consumption therein.

Only the alcoholic can really decide for themself whether or not they are alcoholic. At best, all others can do is say that they drink like an alcoholic. Of course, if you waddle like a duck, the chances are that you are a duck. 🙂

The symptoms are:

Blackouts.

Severe remorse next day (with or without anti-social behavior).

Inability to stop drinking and stay 'stopped'. (Going on and off the wagon)

Marked changes in personality after picking up a drink.

Hiding booze.

Having to have alcohol involved in every activity where possible.

When in a group, continually finding irritation that others never drink fast enough. (Bar hopping to compensate)

Drinking alone.

Making excuses for the drinking.

Having to have a 'hair of the dog' a 'heart starter' the next day to get going.

Making firm promises to come home straight away after work but being unable to keep them.

Denial of the obvious effects of alcohol on his/her life.

There is a difference between a drunk and an alcoholic. A drunk drinks becauses he/she likes drinking whereas an alcoholic drinks out of necessity and usually hates its effects on his/her life. A drunk doesn't try to hide the quantities and the other facts concerning his/her alcohol consumption; an alcoholic will.

Nothing can be done for an alcoholic, once they pass over the 'thin red line', until they hit a 'rock bottom'. Only then is the alcoholic sometimes prepared to admit defeat in the battle to control their drinking. Then they may have sufficient humility to admit that they have a problem with the way that they are living. They, then, may be willing to seek help.At such times, AA then becomes the most viable way out. Until then, there is little that loved ones can do but watch the horrendous devastation on all that come in close contact. Some alcoholics, after hitting a rock bottom, just give up and continue on drinking, finishing homeless in the parks. These alcoholics join the greatcoat and sandshoe brigades of hobos and derelicts. It is very sad. These people were once young, bright, talented and loved. But there is hope even for these people. Many have recovered even from this late stage of dereliction. Such is the power found in AA.

Al-Anon is a self help group for the partners of alcoholics. If you are in doubt about whether your man fits the category of alcoholic or not, a few visits to your local Al-Anon group will soon sort you out in this regard. They will advise you accordingly. All the best.

September 12, 2000
7:18 pm
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dharma
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Tez, your words were the most informative ( sounds like personal experience ) I am trying to prevent him from "stepping over that thin red line" as you say. I can see it coming, I am not trying to control so much as prevent.
He drinks at almost every occasion and does drink alone at home. He seems to be grouchy and angry when he isnt drinking but maybe thats not entirely true. Hes a happy drunk mainly, but I dont like alcohol in the house at all, I dont want it to seem the norm to our children.
I know if i ask him not to drink at home he will start coming home late again ( drinking and eating out after work with fellow drinkers )
I asked him if he could abstain for a couple months but he refused.

September 12, 2000
7:52 pm
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Molly
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You have an answer in a way, he has chosen drinking over you and the family, Tez is much more concise.

September 12, 2000
8:39 pm
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dharma
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how so molly?

September 12, 2000
10:38 pm
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Molly
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I asked him if he could abstain for a couple of months but he refused. That sentence says it, he refused. to a) honor your request B) demonstrate respect for the way the children are raised C) having it in the house to begin with. But he refused to abstain for a couple of months. Drinking over you. That is the way I see it, that is alcoholic talk if you ask me, Tez has lived it, I just counsel it. Its a tough one ultimatiums don't work action does. Have you ever gone to alanon? It must be his choice, he has offored to go out for the drink so the kids don't have to see it, but they know where dad is, and they will grow to resent that as they age, that dad, chosse the pub or bar if you will, over mom and us.
That is one of my husbands memories, his mom going to drag his dad out of the bar, and asking for milk money for the kids

September 13, 2000
10:21 am
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Cici
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You can't argue about addiction with an addict. I argue this from personal experience because of my own experience with harder drugs.

The only firm ground you have is that he isn't respecting your request and that he is behaving inappropriately in front of your children.

I was in and out of different rehab programs a full year. I quit on my own, in the end, with no outside help because I wanted to quit. My life was terrible and I saw it. No one else can make an addict see this. I say this over and over and people just don't believe it. Living with a real addict is hell.

As far as children seeing alcohol as the norm, there's not much you can do unless you prevent them from reading magazines, watching TV and going to the movies.

September 13, 2000
12:08 pm
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dharma
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I see your point Molly, but I also see his point when he says i am trying to control him. He says he has a right to enjoy his drinking, It is also his home. He doesnt get drunk, a little tippsy mostly or nothing at all....but i hate it. I think it will just get worse, he relies upon it to relax. Cici, seeing your father drinking and getting drunk at times is far worse emotionally then watching actors drinking on t.v or in magazines.
Should i just leave him be and if i continue to dislike him as a person for choosing to spend so much of his time drinking then he just isnt meant to be my mate. It is anxiety producing trying to get him see how unhealthy his ways are to himself and to us, my health and my childrens are way more important.
He is getting counselling for it on a weekly basis and I want to see the outcome. The counsellor is an addiction therapist and an alcoholic, i doubt whether my husb and has admitted he has a drinking problem.

September 13, 2000
12:21 pm
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Molly
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Ususally the alcoholic, doesn't see the problem of drinking until his life is some how effected. The kids will see the disharmony, and learn that you don't have to honor mom, or the wife, that is one problem, and that he is aving a relation with the drink and not the family, but keeping the family together is equally important, its a tough call on your part, it appears to be more annoying than disruptive.

September 13, 2000
1:02 pm
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Cici
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My Dad is a Vietnam and Korean War vet. When I was little, he would always get smashed on New Years until he puked his guts out, mumbling and slurring. He would have flashbacks and scream and yell and point at me or my sisters, thinking that we were his friends and other soldiers there.
We would stay up with him all night while he cried and raged. Only one night a year, but what a terrible night it was.

Yet when I got into college I started drinking and doing drugs myself after I was date raped. Funny, huh?

Does he rage at you or argue in front of the children? Does he put drinking before you and the family?

Have you talked to him, truely and honestly, about what the situation is? Not about his drinking but about your feelings, your worries about the children, your anger at him not respecting you? That's something that you can work with him on and change his perspective.

September 13, 2000
9:51 pm
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dharma
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hes out right now, i have supper ready and he didnt even call, what a jerk. I am sick of him robbing so much of my energy, am i expecting too much, is that my problem. Am i investing too much in a poor win?
I do not want to be "one of those women that put up and live with a drunk" He used to be so fine, hardly drank at all, i have told him how i feel, he says im over reacting, hes not a drunk, yet he will drive home drunk at times and get drunk in front of our children, they think dad is fun at thsoe times, but i am grossed out. I see he has problems, i am sick of sorting them out for him.

September 14, 2000
2:02 am
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dharma
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well, my husband was just carted away in an ambulance after i phoned emergency on him because he went up to bed ( spare room ) sneakily when he got home and told me he was ashamed of his behavior, he looked pitiful. I was so sorry for him, his eyes were red and his face was pale and his skin was clammy. He was spraying laquers during the day and i think there was a bad combination, i was afraid of alcohol poisoning so they just took him away. The man i love, i have NEVER had any experience like this in my life and I am in in shock.
He told me he feels he is probably an alcoholic and wants me to phone his counselor tomorrow asap
I am so devastated i cant explain, but then again I am also glad this is now "out in the open"
I told him i cant watch him do this to himself, nor will i let him do this to me and our children.
He was dead serious and so am i.
He says he isnt going to drink again, if he does, im afraid im going to take the children and leave him until he stops all together.
pray for us, thankyou

September 18, 2000
5:27 pm
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dharma.

When alcohol consumption becomes a problem for social drinkers or drunks they usually moderate or stop their drinking. If your husband can do this and then lead a normal life then he is not an alcoholic.

If your husband is an alcoholic, his promise never to drink again will be almost impossible for him to keep.

If hubby is an alcoholic, the best thing for him to do is to not pick up the first drink for one day at a time and to regularly attend AA meetings. Then his sobriety will depend upon his these regular AA group attendances and his attempts at doing the 12 steps to the best of his ability.

At this stage, if he really is an alcoholic, he needs to admit without any reservations, that he is powerless over alcohol and that his life is unmanageable. This is the first step of the AA program.

If your husband is an alcoholic and he thinks that he can stop or control his drinking on his own, then he is like a little boy whistling in the dark.

You need Alanon. You can get the help that you need in ways that you are as yet unaware. Your husband, if he is at a point where he wants to stop drinking, needs to go to his first meeting of AA. Here, he will either identify with the recovering alcoholic speakers and admit that he is one of them or he will not. Either way he will be better off.

Make contact with your local AA central service office and get some free AA literature into his hands by very diplomatic means; especially the "How Kit". The internet makes finding your AA contact easy. This site here has links that will take you to the Alanon web sites. Click on the home page 'links' button and then 'substance abuse' link. Alternatively copy this URL to your browser.

http://www.Al-Anon-Alateen.org.....t_usa.html

If hubby is in hospital for alcoholism and wants to recover then this is an ideal window of opportunity for you to put the AA literature in his hands. If hubby responds positively to the AA literature, then suggest that he allow you to ring AA and get a member to come and talk to him.

It is most important that you understand that hubby has to want sobriety for himself. If you coerce him to stop drinking to keep your marriage together or for any other reason, then his sobriety will not last.

It is not recommended to try to 'prop up' the practicing alcoholic. Many husbands and wives of practicing alcoholics have found this out the hard way. Tough love is often the only way. Alanon will help you see the best course of action for you.

Yes, I do speak from experience. I've remained sober, one day at a time in AA, since 30th Jan 1973.

All the very best.

September 18, 2000
6:26 pm
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Molly
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I am sorry for your situation, snap out of your shock and please follow Tez's advice.

September 19, 2000
6:20 am
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dharma,
hugs, I have been there also, your description of your husband reminded me of my BF. The clammies and the remorse. yet in the morning, he would play down how bad it all was.
I refused to take anymore and he quit for a long time, but now he drinks again, although so far - never to that same extent. He knows better than to come near me in that state again. BUT tex is right, it takes a long time for the person to admit they have a problem - and admit that when SOBER! not when drunk.
All i cantell you is you must be strong about what you want. this is your life too, all you can control is how you react.
Like me, I cnnot stop himdrinking socially now. But I will not be around himwhen he drinks. if I ever see him in that state again, it is over. and to be honest, deep down, I expect one day that time will come. I HOPE that he has matured enough, but it is very rare for a person with abnormal drinking habits to re-educate themselves - although I have seen that happen. Nothing is 100 per cent, no matter what AA or anyone else tells you. Some people can recover and learn to moderate, but it is VERY rare I would think.
SO I have a hope that my BF is that type of [person, he certainly has the will power and ability to do just that, but I do not BANK on it.
the simple fact is you can only contro how you react to his drinking. You have asked him tostop and now you need to decide what is right for YOU.
that is not an easy thing to do, but you will end up very angry at yourself and him if you allow this to continue - that much I do believe.
we all have a point of no return. a point where you have seen it all and heard it all once too often. when that point comes for you you will realise that you do not want this to continue anymore and you will take whatever action you need to. that may be leaving him until he does recognise the problem, it may be working with him to sort it out ( with him, that is notdoing it FOR him) it may be that he will never be the person you want him to be.you can only see what feels right for you but do get outside support.
All the best
Hazza

September 24, 2000
9:17 pm
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dharma
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well, he swore to me he wouldnt drink for five years but he saw his counselor last week, who deals in drug and alcohol abuse and this counselor told him, if it doesnt intefere with the rest of your life and relationships then you probably dont have a drinking problem and can probably continue to drink.
I believe this to be true, but driving drunk, showing up to work late and not showing up for dinners and puking on yourself is not normal.
My husband has told me hes keeping his promise but then he says to me
"what about xmas" this is the only time I really want to have a drink, i can go without for the rest of the time, I said, its up to you, i dont want to control you and I want to find happiness in my life despite your continued drinking....
I cant control him, if he fucks his life up well thats his problem. I wont make it ours. I have given him enough warning and helped him enough.
so far he has been great, he drinks water like its going out of style ( is this normal ) and he is eating regular meals.
His moodiness is less and he keeps telling me how much he loves and appreciates me and will do anything for me and hes sincere.
thanks guys, i will kee p you clued.

September 25, 2000
5:14 am
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I don't care what the therapist said, your husbands drinking IS effecting his relationship isn't it - after all that is why you are talking to us all here. So where does the therapist get the idea that your husbands drinking is NOT affecting his relationships? probably from your husband.
I also thought when My BF was at his worst - surely throwing up and getting that out of control at his age was a problem. and it is.
trouble is, many people do not see the difference in the different types of alcohol related problems.
We all know of course the " typical" alcoholic - drinks everyday etc etc.
What I found out was my BF was a typical "BINGE" drinker.
He could go for weeks at a time without drinking, but when he did drink he could not limit himself and went to the extreme - sounds like your hubby is the same way.
the problem is for you and I, we never know if we go anywhere, will someone offer then that first drink and start it all off again for that everning? it was way too much pressure for me and I flipped out finally.
these types of drinkers seem to be better than most at evading detection!
even councellors etc do not seem to recognise that type of drinker and the devastation they can cause within a family.
these types of drinkers, often have toubles moderating ANYTHING.
My BF can be on a diet, and eat sensibly for weeks - yet if he starts on junk food - he doesn't stop, if he starts by having one cigaretter in and evening he will be smoking full blown the entire weekend. If he starts an argument he must have the last word, If he asks a question he must have an answer there and then.
it is the problem that they cannot find the middle ground and take everything to the extreme. It is exhausting for those with them. and no doubt exhausting for them themselves.
you must explain to your husband so that he does know - his drinking IS affecting his relationships, he makes his own choices but he should not fool himself to think that his behaviour is not affecting things because it IS.
that is all you can do, that and also decide what YOU want. after all that is all you can control.
best of luck
Hazza

September 25, 2000
6:31 pm
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Molly
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You will never know what is really said in those sessions, and you don't need to. Disconnect from his drama, and keep your self, and your family together, I still suggest alanon, and let him do what he needs to do, until it harms you.

September 25, 2000
7:47 pm
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did anyone see the cartoon:
two men having bear . the note beneath the picture said: " though tom and barry had only ONE drink at lunch time, they found that their performance wasnt their best in the afternoons."

the glasses they were drinking were huge extra large size(like a large pot) drinking glasses. easily 2 liters.

September 27, 2000
5:35 am
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that is like the T-shirt I used to have. It says "down to one spliff a day" and has a picture of a guy sitting with a joint in his mouth the size of a tree, supported at the end with a "Y" shaped stick!
Hazza

September 27, 2000
5:24 pm
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dharma
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I guess the therapist felt it probably wasnt intefering with any one other than codependent me.
Husband wants us to both see him and so do i but he neglects to make the appts.
He hasnt drank anything for a while.
If he does, well I cant do anything about that, he cares more for the drink and his work than us..plain and simple.
Hes pretty sincere and his moods are great.
Im not really too interested anymore.
I cant control him, or anyone else for that matter.
ITs a ridiculous idea to think that I can.

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