Social Question

holden's avatar

Does my fiance have a drinking problem?

Asked by holden (8419 points ) March 7th, 2010

1. He’s 21 years old and began drinking as a young teenager.
2. He gets drunk 2–4 weekends every month, to the point of total inebriation.
3. Tonight, he drank so much in such a short amount of time, that he vomited all over the bathroom floor, passed out in bed for a couple hours, woke up vomiting and got it all over my blanket, his clothes, his self and myself, and passed out again after we forced him to shower.
4. Sometimes he drinks during the week as well, normally after we argue or he’s had a particularly stressful day.
5. He drinks to deal with stress, to wind down from the week and to have a good time. Normally when he wants to have a good time it means alcohol will be involved.
6. He spends more money on booze than he does on food. I buy the food.
7. Alcoholism runs in his family in a serious way. His father was an alcoholic until he “found god” 7 or 8 years ago.
8. He normally knows his limit but tonight he totally, totally crossed it. I’ve only had to clean up his vomit twice and tonight was the second time.
9. His drinking habits, so far, have not impacted his professional or academic life. He works 4 days a week and goes to school. He is very responsible and knows how to take care of himself.

Details to follow as needed.

:(

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27 Answers

Violet's avatar

oh my goodness, yes! He has a very serious drinking problem (but I think you already knew that). I am so sorry you have to put up with that.
Are you willing to stay with him if he doesn’t change? Do you think he’s willing to get help (join AA or rehab)?

Bagardbilla's avatar

It’s a disease!
It’s a genetic disease, and runs in families.
He needs help, if he cannot learn to cope/deal with it early, it can become a major isssue. As someone who care
for him, it can become a problem for you and your future family as well.
Like any disease, early detection, ability to recognize signs and ways to manage it can make a difference in your current lives and the your future together.

FutureMemory's avatar

After reading 1 and 2 the answer is YES.

holden's avatar

I will talk to him about it tomorrow. I don’t want this to be a problem in the future.

mammal's avatar

unless he can out drink me, then no.

funkdaddy's avatar

For what it’s worth, I think #9 is the only fair measure. People always have something they do too much of, whether it’s drinking, watching bad TV, eating too much, or other “non-productive” habits.

If he’s handling his business Monday through Friday and drinks during his free time I don’t think that shows an addiction or reliance on alcohol.

Now if it affects your relationship (and it sounds like it does) then absolutely you need to address that with him. But from your limited description I would not say he’s an alcoholic in need of intervention or some of the steps mentioned.

You may just want to bring it up to him and offer to help. He’s probably embarrassed about puking all over and tired of feeling horrible (and like an ass) the entire day after. He probably would rather not get THAT drunk. You can very much help him there and talk about ways you can help him set a limit. Maybe set something to do the next morning when he’s going out, so he knows he has to be up at a certain time. Maybe it’s as easy as switching from liquor to beer, or drinking water in between each drink.

Look, he knows his dad was an alcoholic, he sees traces of that in himself and doesn’t want to go down that same path. Be understanding, be supportive, and help him learn good habits now while he’s young.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Of course he has a problem! It is affecting you!

If you really want to help him, you should not clean him up. Take picture, walk out the door, and stay at your parents or friends home until he wakes up and calls you.

Please find a nice guy and let this loser’s alcoholism gene die out.

davidbetterman's avatar

Yes. He’s sick. He’s unhappy. He’s addicted.
“Alcoholism runs in his family in a serious way.”
He has obsessive/compulsive disorder.
There are millions of people in this boat, and they quite often manage to live a productive lfe, albeit one that leads to abusive relationship patterns.
Watch your back.

jca's avatar

it’s not just an issue if someone drinks to where it affects their job. his drinking is affecting his relationship and it’s affecting his health (it can’t be good for someone’s health to drink to where they vomit, pass out, etc). he’s young so alcohol has not yet had a long term affect on his body: his liver, his stomach, his appearance (i’m sure you have seen red faced older guys – that’s from heavy drinking). AA has a booklet with questions that someone would answer to determine if they have a problem, and drinking affecting their work is only one aspect.

it’s very likely that his drinking will get worse in the future. are you willing to have his drinking affect your holidays or vacations? if you have children with this man, would you want your children to have to see their dad being taken to the shower or lying in a pool of vomit? do you want your children to grow up with that? are your children going to want their friends to come over and see their drunk dad passed out? (assuming you want children).

if you talk to him, i think it’s likely he will try to minimize it. that’s what alcoholics do. if you ask them how much they drink or if it’s a problem, they brush it off as not an issue. it’s also likely he’ll agree with whatever you want because i’m sure he loves you and so he is going to probably say “yes yes yes I will slow down.” that until the next stressful time, or night out, or whatever.

if i were you i would rethink my relationship and seriously consider whether or not these things are things you want to deal with for the rest of your life. if he says he is serious about wanting to slow down, maybe you can give your relationship a break and if you and he both want to, can return to it after he makes some changes. it’s not written in stone that “it’s now or never.”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

He’s got a problem.

BluRhino's avatar

Here are 12 questions posed by a 12-step program for determining a drinking problem…

1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted a couple of days?

2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking and stop telling you what to do?

3. Have you ever switched kinds of drinks to try to keep from getting drunk?

4. Have you ever had an eye-opener upon awakening in the last year?

5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?

6. Have you had problems connected with drinking in the past year?

7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?

8. Do you ever try to get ‘extra’ drinks at a party because you do not get enough?

9.Do you tell yourself you can stop any time, even though you keep getting drunk when you dont mean to?

10. Have you missed work or school because of drinking?

11. Do you have blackouts?

12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?

If the answer is yes four or more times, there is a problem…

…..And I really hope he is not driving like that !!

I used to drink like that, too. Quitting is the only smart thing I’ve done so far.

marinelife's avatar

He is an alcoholic. I wish you peace in the future. It is a bad sign that you cleaned up after him.

He will not change. You need to be prepared to leave him.

You should go to Al-Anon. It will help you.

My brother is an alcoholic, and I have heard and seen it all.

CMaz's avatar

“He gets drunk 2–4 weekends every month”

I don’t know. It is not necessarily a good thing. Too early to tell. 2–4? I was like every weekend, week night and everything revolved around it. Lets not forget the pot, and the coke and the pills.

If I could do it over again I would not. But I turned out ok. Learned plenty about life and people.

It is part of society, still. If it is something you do not like. Stay away.

Blondesjon's avatar

He’s 21. Whether he is an alcoholic or not is a moot point. What you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want to put up with this shit?”

He’s the only one who can change himself. You need to look out for you.

nikipedia's avatar

If his drinking is causing problems, it’s a problem.

If it bothers you, that’s a problem.

The NIAAA has some good information here.

I am sure this will be an unpopular statement, but I want to point out that his drinking behavior is pretty socially appropriate for his age group.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes it’s a problem because it’s affecting his home life. Maybe he thinks it’s not a big deal because he gets to work and whatever but in time he will start to mess up in all areas. At 21 he probably doesn’t feel any physical repurcussions but in ten years if he keeps this up and also becomes a heavy social drinker then he can look forward to high blood pressure which will mess up his ability to have sex he probably takes for granted now, compromised kidneys and maybe even liver damage along with depression for things that will not have gone his way. People he loves and trusts will eventually leave him in order to save themselves and he’ll be an angry and sad broken still-young person. No one can tell who will pass beyond this “phase” and ease up or develop a destructive lifestyle but the odds are against him to come out unscathed.

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t know if he is actually alcoholic but he seems to be headed into a lifestyle that will negatively impact both his personal and professional life eventually. I would have already talked to him seriously about this to be sure he knows that it is already affecting the relationship he has with you. He also needs to know where your limit lays.

stardust's avatar

I’m not sure about alcoholism.
The bottom line for me would be if it’s causing problems in a relationship, then it’s not healthy. I think it’s something you should talk to him about. I hope it goes well

YARNLADY's avatar

I agree with @Blondesjon, it shouldn’t be about him, it should be about you. I hope talking to him helps, but you really need to talk to yourself about this. Why are you putting up with it?

Jerikao's avatar

Oh wow. I actually hadn’t noticed this one. Nice.

Jerikao's avatar

Holy crap. Reading through some of these responses.. So many assumptions flying around. Horrifying.

In any case, it’s good to know that yet another item of my personal life has been aired in a public forum. Neato.

Jerikao's avatar

@BluRhino & since these questions weren’t actually posed to me at any point:

Here are 12 questions posed by a 12-step program for determining a drinking problem…

1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted a couple of days?
No.

2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking and stop telling you what to do?
No, it’s wonderful to hear their opinions.

3. Have you ever switched kinds of drinks to try to keep from getting drunk?
No.

4. Have you ever had an eye-opener upon awakening in the last year?
Yes.

5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
No.

6. Have you had problems connected with drinking in the past year?
No.

7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Depends on what you mean by trouble. But I’ll give this one to you, sure. It’s a problem to me that anyone has to clean up after me.

8. Do you ever try to get ‘extra’ drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
No

9.Do you tell yourself you can stop any time, even though you keep getting drunk when you dont mean to?
No.

10. Have you missed work or school because of drinking?
No.

11. Do you have blackouts?
Three times in my life.

12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
No.

le_inferno's avatar

Substance abuse and substance dependence are both psychological diseases listed in the DSM. They’re not diagnoses to be slapped around on anyone who gets drunk fairly often. The last point you make is an important one; it’s not interfering with his functioning. However, this is not to say that it’s not at all problematic. Clearly, as shown by your list, you have an issue with his drinking. This warrants a discussion with him about it. Also, while he may not have alcoholism (dependence), he may exhibit the last point of substance abuse as listed in the DSM (recurrent interpersonal problems, if you consider it to be genuinely affecting your relationship).
http://www.dawnfarm.org/pdf/DSM_Abuse_and_dependence_criteria.pdf

le_inferno's avatar

@davidbetterman Wtf? Where the hell do you get off diagnosing this guy with substance dependence and obsessive compulsive disorder? That is completely nonsensical. And what do you know about his happiness? All you know about this guy is a short list about his drinking habits. And to assume that he’ll become abusive because he likes to drink is just absurd.

YARNLADY's avatar

@le_inferno People who ask questions like this one are inviting all kinds of answers. @davidbetterman is just as qualified to diagnose this issue as any of us are.

le_inferno's avatar

@YARNLADY I understand that, but I see it as my personal duty to point out erroneous information/advice. There is no information in holden’s post that implies her fiance has obsessive-compulsive disorder. There is also no information affirming that her fiance is an addict, nor unhappy, nor abusive. Clearly, @davidbetterman is uneducated about the aforementioned psychological disorders and has made hasty assumptions. I am merely providing a counter-response.

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