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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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My husband and I are in our mid-50s, 2nd marriage for both

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My husband and I are in our mid-50's, 2nd marriage for both of us. We have been married 13 yrs. Everything is great...except my 1st husband was an alcoholic and I lose it every single time my husband has more than 3 drinks. I told him when we were dating I couldn't be with a "drinker". He agreed to my internal limit back then. Now he says he is not an alcoholic and we are almost divorced cause he drinks with friends, he drinks when kids come over, he drinks when we are on vacation....he drinks more than his 3 drinks and says Im the problem. Well, I sorta agree, I have an issue. What should I do? It is always a HUGE blow-up when I see him take his 4th drink or when he starts to act drunk.
Hello. This is a common issue with men and women overall. YOu have to think about this and decide what is ok and not ok with you. Now that you have been married, you know him a lot better, is it possible for you to bend on your 3 drink rule you had when you were dating? You have to decide how important is this to you and if you are willing to lose him over it if he refuses to compromise with you. Try and look at the big picture. Does his drinking effect anything in your life other than your problem with it? If he works, does it effect his job? Is he a danger when he drives? Does his behavior change to the point where it is dangerous or embarrassing? If you say you are almost to the point of divorce because of this and you are unable to come to a compromise with him, I would look into the couples counseling available in your area and see if he is willing to at least talk to a third party about this to determine if it is a problem which can be worked out. Ask him if HE is willing to lose you over this. Remember that you cannot make him change his behavior, only he can decide if he wants to or not. If he does not and doesn't want to listen to you about it, then you need to make a decision on whether to continue in this relationship or not. Maybe if you write him a letter expressing your feelings and let him read it when he is sober, it will help convey how serious you are about the situation. He will have a harder time arguing back with you if you leave it for him to read it through. Sometimes it helps get your feelings out this way and for him to see your point without the verbal arguments.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is willing to end our relationship over this. His drinking does not affect his job, does not do anything illigal, I dont stay around to see how his behavrior changes. Counseling is out. What can I do when he drinks? Leave? Not be there in the first place? Shut up and stew? I dont know how to handle myself when he drinks to much (he works in a "dry" camp for up to 3 weeks at a time, he is not addicted, it is just social drinking, but I hate it!! I dont care about other people, just my husband) Actually, maybe I need counselling?

That may be an option for you. I would be concerned that if he was given the choice of you or his drinking, he would choose drinking. That isn't a good sign. If he can't acknowledge his wife's feelings over the matter and at least talk with you to come to some sort of compromise, then there are other problems in the relationship other than the drinking.
As far as what to do when he drinks, what do you feel like you should do? I wouldn't recommend just letting it build up in you. What do you think you should do to handle it? The answer is different for everyone. If you leave, you need to find something to make you happy. Being with your husband should make you happy and this situation is not something which will just go away. You have to ask yourself what will your life be like having to live with this and for how long? There should be some sort of compromise where you both can come to a conclusion together and it should not be you vs him. Getting to that point and communicating effectively is how you get to that point. The problem lies within getting him to meet you half way. I think there are more issues here than just the drinking and this is how it is manifesting itself. I would look into some face to face counseling options in your area where you can get a fresh perspective to get to the bottom of the actual problem.
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