My husband and I have been social drinkers since we were married.
As my responsibilities grew, children, home, etc. my drinking is now down to almost nothing. My husband went the other way, however, gradually increasing his consumption. It got to the point that he would pass out and not remember what he had done previously. The family was being affected by his behaivior. I finally told him that he had to stop or we wouldn't have a marriage left.
He has since stopped and our family life has improved. However, he says that he doesn't have a problem and should still be able to have an occaisional drink when he wants to. He says that I'm over reacting when I call him an alcoholic. I'm afraid that if he keeps having occaisional drinks that he might go back to his old behaivior. Is it possible for a alcoholic to still be able to have occaisional drinks without getting into trouble?
The short answer to your question is that it is very unlikely for an alcoholic to have occasional drinks in safety. While there are undoubtedly a few individuals who can, the odds are so stacked against this that it isn't worth arguing over. Please refer to my answer to Steve T. below for a discussion of some of the explanations for why apparently benign use can lead to relapse.
However, it is important for you to recognize the limits of what you can do to stop your husband's drinking. You took a stand in the past, and it seems to have been helpful. Now, you have to decide again what you can tolerate and what you cannot tolerate. Nagging, pleading, lecturing, etc. hardly ever work, and they may be counter-productive--that is, your husband may drink more in response to your well-meaning attempts to get him to stop. Whatever behavior you decide you can live with, tell him as calmly and clearly as possible, then STICK TO IT!
For example, you may decide to bite your tongue and not respond to his having an occasional drink, but you also are clear that if he drives a car while intoxicated, or fails to come home after work, you will enforce whatever threats you made when he stopped before. No one can tell you what drinking behavior is ok and what is not ok, nor can someone tell you whether you should leave, or have him leave. The important part is that you are clear, firm, and resolved, as you apparently were the first time around.
Please check out DrSteve's website, hyperlinked below, for more information
The information provided here is for general medical education purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific diagnostic and treatment options in your particular case.
Ask DrSteve: The Real Story: Smoking, Drinking, and Getting High
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