I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is.. - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

So my husband and I are separated right now. About 2 months ago, he left me because I wasn't okay with having an open relationship, and he wanted more variety in our sex life than I was wanting to give, so his needs weren't being met (whole 'nother topic there!). This area of our life is on the mend as he deals with his porn addiction through counselling, although we have a ways to go.

Why I'm posting in this section, is that he wants to come home, but I'm not sure that I want him to do so until he's not drinking and smoking pot as much as he was before. I feel though, like I just don't know what healthy limits are to set here. In my mind, I'm okay with him having a few beers with friends every other weekend or so, and on camping trips and stuff like that.

I told him today that I was still concerned over his drinking and smoking pot, and he got upset, saying that if I expect him to be perfect before he comes home, then he'll expect me to be perfect too (i.e. much more sexual... not that I was not sexual during our marriage, but just not into some of the stuff he wanted to do, and didn't want it as often as him).

He is working hard at learning to control his anger, and not be the passive aggressive jerk he used to be. When I told him I felt the way he had been treating me was borderline abusive, he felt terrible and he doesn't want to be that way anymore. I'm hoping he'll change, but just not sure. And I feel that having regular drinking and pot in his life isn't going to help at all!

So, for an idea of how much he drinks and smokes now, he spends about $70/month on marijuana (which is legal here, but very strong) and drinks about 5-6 days a week, usually about 4-6 beer a day.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 06:52 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

That many drinks every day will be detrimental to his physical and mental health. Alcohol addictions is one of the hardest addictions to kick and it can even kill you. I've been around alcoholics in my life and it seems that they stop to emotionally mature as they keep drinking and almost go back to acting like a kid in high school does when they drink.

I would bring a third party into the situation. The alcohol addiction needs to go 4-6 beers everyday is more than enough to get a buzz on.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 06:58 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

That's plenty of alcohol to be a problem.
The pot I wouldn't be as worried about because it doesn't generally promote aggression, but that's still a lot.
Do you have kids?

Always remember the LD motto: "Sex isn't important!!!"
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 09:17 AM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

He drinks way too much. What I consider normal is probably a drink or two a week. Not everyday drinking. Everyday drinking is a problem,especially 6/7 a day. He needs to realize he has a drinking problem. He needs to stop drinking and attend AA.

I know people say smoking pot is ok and not so bad. Well, I think it's a problem. I have a brother who is addicted to pot. He does nothing with his life.

So, you need to figure out what you need from him and what you can live with. Let this be the guide to build your boundaries.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

Thanks for the replies. I have like a glass of wine a month, so my idea of normal and his are so different that I do find it hard to assess! Yes, I do have kids, and because of the mood swings he was showing, that's one of the biggest reasons we've separated. I worked in the morning, and he would have to get them to school, but every day they would tell me that he yells at them all morning. The final straw was my son saying that he's so angry that it's scaring him. It's not like he would drink in the morning, that was always after work. But I've wondered if it contributes to moodiness.

He isn't aggressive, even when he drinks. Well, not physically aggressive anyways, but he is definitely not pleasant to be around.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 03:19 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

It is probably affecting his mood because he needs a drink to fix himself until the evening. That was drunks do and how the act. I know I have a uncle who has been a drunk for over 20 years.

The moment he gets his drink he is somewhat ok. But when he needs a drink he is nasty and moody. There are some people who can have a drink a fall asleep or if they get drunk they love everyone. Then, you have the nasty drunks who are vile and angry.

Your hubby is either a drunk or on the borderline. Time to figure what you can live with. Will he get help if you ask him to?

I will never live with an alcoholic or someone who smokes pot on a regular basis. That is just me. Maybe, you don't mind living that way.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 04:32 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

An open relationship sounds like the perfect solution to all of your husband's problems...

Really and truly, he is a mess. He is an addict...and on multiple fronts.

If he is either drinking 4-6 beers every day, smoking pot or burying himself in porn, what is left mentally/emotionally for you and your kids? He is checked out.

Why exactly do you want him back?

Are you a "Fixer"? Co-dependent enabler?

I think that you would do best by not letting him back in the home until he cleaned himself up. AA/SAA/NA. Probably needs to go to all three and spend time in meetings every single day. Any expectations he has that you need to be super sex goddess for him need to be squashed, like NOW.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

Thanks Ann, that is very helpful to understand about how the drinking affects the mood. And no, I'm not okay with living with it anymore. I wasn't really ever okay with it, but he blamed me for his misery, and I accepted the blame. I thought if I tried harder, he would be happy like he said he would be if only I could meet his needs. I know that sounds idiotic, but it's complicated. Sometimes he is the nicest guy to be around, and the miserable bits fade away. Then the nice guy came back less and less. I thought maybe it was a midlife crisis. It's only when it was affecting the kids that I was able to see a bit more clearly that it was such unacceptable behaviour. It's like it crept up on me - we were once normal and happy. Then after a while, there were things I was completely ashamed for my friends and family to see about our struggles. Especially the sex bits. Once I finally opened up to a couple of friends, they were shocked. Turns out my normal was very abnormal.

Torn, I guess he is a mess. He is working on it. Going to counselling to deal with the porn issues, and cutting back on the pot and beer he says. I don't know at what point to believe he's conquered it, but hopefully the counsellor we're seeing will help with that part. He hopes to be home by Christmas - I think that's pretty premature. I need to see him be stable and well for a while and I have some healing to do, and need time to get all this in perspective. Honestly, I feel no affection for him at the moment, and once he fixes these issues about himself, then I will need to fall in love with him again because right now, there's just nothing there. He seems to be just dying from lack of affection/sex but after so many years of feeling constantly pushed to be all that for him, I can't give it. But I do feel very sorry for him.

As to why I want him back, there's a lot of reasons. For one, and I hope this doesn't sound cold, I've always stayed home with the kids, and have been out of the workforce until this year, and then I had to quit work when he left to take care of our kids, as one has special needs. I can make it without him - there's child support and spousal support - but it will be tight. However, I'm a resourceful gal and work that out. I won't go back to living in that hell for all the financial security he can offer. But beyond that, I take my marriage vow seriously. If he will change, I want to support him in that. My kids are young, and if they can have a healthy father, I want them to have that. I will not stay if he doesn't get better, but unfortunately after such a long time of things being so screwed up, I don't really feel like I have an idea of what healthy looks like. Especially not sexually. That's really going to take some time.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 09:45 AM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

Before self improvement you need self actualization that you have a problem.

His response to you about changing with "conditions" leads me to believe he's not really there. He needs to change because he wants to. No conditions attached.

Addiction really isn't defined in a "normal" quantity. It's defined in the craving. Six beer a night isn't an addiction if you don't feel like you need another six tomorrow and can do without. Although six beers a day isn't really healthy for your liver.

Same goes with the pot.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 04:38 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

I'm wondering about how much sex you had before your marriage and after you were married... did it decrease after your wedding? Did your husband have any reason to expect a certain level, or did it just get really turned down as time went on.

To say that the issue of sex here is a "whole 'nother topic" isn't necessarily so.

If my wife decided she didn't want to have sex as often anymore, and if it was a lot less, I would be concerned - at first... depressed and confused - second. I would most likely drink more, I believe, particularly if things weren't "working out". I would probably channel my frustration into porn... and according to some on here, that's just a stepping stone into some other, I guess "morally questionable" means of getting the job done.

Did he ALWAYS drink beer and smoke cannabis? Or was this something new? I mean, were you okay with it before, and for how long? Or is this just another card to play?

Yeah, 6 beers is just over "reasonable" for everyday. 4? It all depends on if there stretched out... he might not even be blowing a .08 at anytime of the evening unless he's pounding them. As you mentioned, he's not drinking in the day, just after work. Also, he's drinking beer, not spirits, or even wine... not trying to minimize the situation, but I've interacted with at least 100 alcoholics in clinical and group therapy, and perhaps this may be how it starts, but he's not there *yet*.

The marijuana. Obviously mixing the two isn't such a great call. If he stopped drinking would you be okay with his present use of (legal) weed? $70 a month, even of strong marijuana is not that much... pretty much a "self medicating" amount... maybe 7 grams per month... Cheech and Chong wouldn't even hang out with him.

Even if it's legal, he still shouldn't be smoking (anything) in front of the kids

Go with him to a DOCTOR, like a psychiatrist, perhaps to see what they might say. DON'T go to an "addictions specialist", a psychologist, or anyone who IS NOT a doctor...

Get a diagnosis, then, with or without one, go to a counselor AFTER.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

Sex didn't decrease dramatically, or really even at all, for the first few years after our marriage. Though he had a much wilder sexual history than I when we did get married, and I know he though that in time I would grow into being a more sexual person than I am. When I got pregnant with our first kid, it did go down in frequency, as I was on bedrest and not allowed, but we did do alternatives. Despite that, he slept with someone else, which he finally told me about a couple years ago. It's just never been as often or as wild as he would like. Our tastes and drives differ, and he feels there are some sex acts that I don't like that he can't live without.

Porn was before the marriage, though he said he'd quit and I foolishly believed him. Same with pot. With 3 kids, he feels like our love-life is on the backburner. I feel he's far too demanding. Sex was minimum once a week, usually 2 times or more, and that's not counting the bj's and other stuff we do when I'm not in the mood. Although the porn use bothered me, I've never made a huge deal about it simply because I thought he needed the outlet. Our solution was to make our own so that some times he would still be with me in some sense. But despite my efforts, it never seemed nearly enough. To the point that he wanted an open marriage to get his needs met that I wouldn't fill, as there's just some particular sex acts that he's really into and I'm really not. That's what eventually broke us up, as I told him I wasn't willing to get an STD for his happiness. So yeah, I have no doubt that his sexual frustration has played into all this. He's often complained that he's in a sexless marriage, and he really struggles with rejection. So you're quite right that it's not really another topic entirely, but I was also wondering especially how much the drinking could play into the mood swings. I'm so tired of the blame for not being a "good wife". He figures that if I was all he wanted in that department, our marriage wouldn't have ever gone to crap. I feel that he's a bottomless pit of sexual/affection needs and nothing I ever could have done would have made it work.

And the beer, honestly I don't care if he has some occasionally - just not regularly. He can go without. This last week he says he had none for a week. I don't know if that's true as he's not living here. But I do know that if he cuts down on the beer, the pot use goes up, and vice versa. It's like being sober just isn't a state he likes to be in outside the office. If either of them were occasionally with friends, I wouldn't make a fuss. But he does it alone, and often, and that's why I'm worried.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 04:42 AM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

Your H is not a man who is ready to be a decent H and father to kids. His drinking is too much and believe me without intervention, AA etc it will not get better. I would suggest holding off on letting him back home till that is dealt with too. You sound co-dependent, have you joined Al-Anon to help with this, you should. You cannot help him, if he cannot see his own vices and seek help, of course he will blame you, that is what addicts do so they do not have to take any responsibility. You have to think very very carefully whether you want this kind of drama and trauma in your life long term, because it will be.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 03:29 PM
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Re: I don't know how much of a problem his drinking is..

I'm thinking that the sexual incompatibility is at the root of all the other issues.

He's not getting the quantity and quality of sexual release he needs to stay relaxed and easygoing, so he turns to porn, alcohol and marijuana as a substitute. Unfortunately, those just mask the issues instead of being a good alternative.

He could quit booze and pot cold turkey, and still not be a good husband to you. The sexual mismatch would still be present. It's NOT your fault for not being the sexual partner he needs. It's NOT his fault for needing more than you can give. The sexual mismatch just IS. However, instead of coming to a mature realization about that being the root of the problem, he has chosen to blame you for being insufficiently sexual for him and cheat on you instead of solving the problem with you. That tells you everything you need to know about his integrity and his ability to cooperate with you to deal with the sexual mismatch in a way that you both can live with. Again, he could quit the booze and pot cold turkey and meet your conditions for ending the separation, and the issues with his lack of integrity, willingness to betray you, honesty, cooperation, blaming your lesser sexuality for his own problems, etc, would still be present. When he's ready to address THOSE, then maybe things could be different.
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