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Partner drinks but you dont - views/thoughts?

(30 Posts)
McD45 Thu 21-May-20 11:47:42

Hi, wondering what your views/thoughts are on this as its one of those things where I am unsure what to think as I am the opposite socially of my partner when it comes to drinking.

I am not really a drinker, if anything I can drink say 2 glasses if that of wine a week and I am gone, (oh boy cheap date here), I am hugely into my fitness, wellbeing and generally never really been that bothered about it really, my parents are the same, in fact never seen them drunk and we are all very active/fit and lead a healthy life where one glass a night with dinner is enough for us all......however my friends binge a lot at weekends, but still great friends, nothing bad however I cant really go out or away with them as most of the time is in I tend to meet with them for coffee/dinner etc instead.... but my unsettling feeling or maybe its just my worry is my partner can drink, so can his parents too....

I have known this guy as a friend and he has just recently asked me out and we couldnt previously as I was with someone and so was he etc.

He is ex army and use to drinking he says, in huge quantities more so when younger, but can still go for it, and with his friends, he admits his parents are huge drinkers too and will down a few glasses, a few bottles over the weekend and some....I had a bad experience with an ex many years ago with drink and kind of put me off as well as seeing my friends in awful situations too....

I have been invited over for dinner/drinks in the coming months when this COVID shifts a little/changes, they have already said, "what she doesnt really drink, we will soon change that!", ...probably meant in jest but I am going to be honest and bite the bullet here and tell them I only want one or two....

This guy doesnt seem that fussed that I dont drink, but wondering if anyone has had issues with this with partners where one drinks the other doesnt really?
He treats me well, lovely person and known him a long time so are taking things slow over this weird time but I dont want to appear really boring because I dont drink like I am not accepted socially....sometimes an issue with friends and out etc!

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Thu 21-May-20 11:56:12

No no no. Please don't ignore the red flags. He's a big drinker, his parents are "huge" drinkers. This does not align with your lifestyle and it will become a massive problem. I would be very concerned about alcoholism reading it's ugly head. You two are not suited for each other.

Gutterton Thu 21-May-20 12:04:20

This is v off. This is making you feel uncomfortable, confused, compromised. Red flag IMHO that you are not compatible at the v least - or he is being manipulative and grooming you to set you up to accept a quite dysfunctional environment maybe?

Consider why is he telling you he is a big binge drinker and so are his family?

It’s not about you drinking moderately - that’s the wrong way of looking at it. That’s v normal for you and for others - has anyone ever gone to the bother of telling you about their drinking habits and those of their parents? Doubt it. It’s “off” - not normal and there is a reason for it. Seems it’s been unacceptable or a barrier to others in the past and he is therefore priming you.

Totally weird, controlling and dysfunctional of his family to “joke” that they will “turn you” - would they say the same if you were vegetarian?

I suspect an inter generational alcoholic family.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 21-May-20 12:05:22

I think history is repeating itself here , you appear to be with someone just like your ex who was perhaps a heavy drinker too?. Do not indeed ignore the red flags here as Aquamarine wrote.

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?.

What gravitated you to such people like this man and your ex in the first place, getting to present day are you hoping that your cleaner living ways will somehow rub off on him?. It does not happen and he is clearly telling you who he is, his parents too are heavy drinkers and that certainly is a red flag (alcoholism can also be learnt behaviour).

I would be running a mile in the opposite direction frankly, you and he are patently not suited to each other.

BillieEilish Thu 21-May-20 12:06:30

My husband of nearly 20 years doesn't touch a drop, for health reasons. I have always drank quite a bit. It is my only treat in life.
I don't like chocolate/cake/shopping/go out etc etc

He calls me an alcoholic at every turn and it is wearing really thin now. It is a stick to beat me up with, if it wasn't this, he'd find something else, if he could.

I'm bloody sick of it. I am in no way an alcoholic and if I want a glass of wine, I'll have one.

It becomes a real issue when non drinkers make an issue over drinking and throw around the word 'alcoholic' at every turn. Especially when you are a responsible parent etc.

If you make an issue of it, you make an issue of it. But is it an issue worth making? You seem to already be making an issue of it.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 21-May-20 12:07:08

I suspect an inter generational alcoholic family.

I agree with this 100%. You should be alarmed that he is essentially warning you about his drinking habits before you even start spending time together.

BillieEilish Thu 21-May-20 12:11:06

I suspect an inter generational alcoholic family what balderdash.

Where on earth and why do people drag up such crap? You know nothing about the man or his family yet.

AlternativePerspective Thu 21-May-20 12:15:42

There’s a difference between someone who drinks and someone who drinks a lot. I am teetotal. My eXH used to drink a glass or two of wine, a beer, go out for a couple of pints after work.He and his parents would drink a bottle of wine over a weekend. Similar to my parents.

My current partner likes a couple of beers.

That is what I consider drinking and I don’t see why their choices and mine would be incompatible because they drink as part of their social experience e.g. a glass with dinner for instance.

But someone who actively drinks several bottles over a weekend/evening, where the emphasis is on the drink rather than anything else is clearly not compatible with someone who doesn’t drink, or even someone who only drinks a small amount.

Someone who admits to drinking a lot and doesn’t consider this a problem and moreover considers those who have issue with it to be the problem have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

It wouldn’t be for me.

Gutterton Thu 21-May-20 12:22:13

I missed the ex drinker and the drinking friends ..... this is telling:

I dont want to appear really boring because I dont drink like I am not accepted socially....sometimes an issue with friends and out etc!

This thinking is wrong. YOU are not boring. Binge drinking, heavy drinking groups of friends and families can be v v boring and toxic unless you are as pissed as them and don’t notice.

The fact that you have to change your interactions with them tells me that you are not compatible especially with your negative assumption that YOU are antisocial - do they make you feel like that? Look to find new friends who you are more compatible with. I have made the mistake of changing the type of interactions I have with friends who were heavy drinkers - but seeing them on their hangover phase etc is not v fulfilling as some people have an negative alcoholic mindset even when they are not actively drinking at that moment. They are full of self loathing and you not drinking or drinking lightly is a red rag and they sometimes see it as a poor reflection on themselves so passive aggressive, contempt and resentment leaches out. That’s been my experience anyway especially as we have all got older when the problem drinkers don’t modify their consumption as responsibilities in adult life increase.

2007Millie Thu 21-May-20 12:27:07

Contrary to a lot of posters here, I haven't touched a drink since I had DS 18 months ago and DH still drinks. We still enjoy socialising, nights out etc. It hasn't affected our relationship.
The people on here are sometimes full of doom and gloom and every relationship is destined for hell.

Eesha Thu 21-May-20 12:29:30

My ex is ex army and an alcoholic. He also said he was a binge drinker. I rarely drink at all. I would personally be very wary. I just don't think relationships work when one loves the drink a little more than normal.

TheSecondMrsAshwell Thu 21-May-20 12:43:59

* "what she doesnt really drink, we will soon change that!"*

I drink - and probably more heavily than you would be comfy with - but this is a huge red flag. My DP is teetotal and I would never consider trying to make him drink .... I'd have a major sense of humour failure if anyone else tried.

Gutterton Thu 21-May-20 12:48:52

AA define problem drinking not by how much someone drinks, what they drink or when or where - but if the pattern of drinking impacts the relationships of the people around them - that’s the litmus test.

OP you are concerned and unsettled - these are your feelings - they are valid - pay close attention to them. They are all that matter and they will tell you if you are compatible with this guy and his family.

MitziK Thu 21-May-20 12:56:22

The 'we will soon change that' is the red flag to head for the hills.

Drinking in itself isn't a bad thing.

The thinking it's acceptable to coerce, manipulate, guilt or force somebody who doesn't drink is. Just like if it were a family saying they'd force a vegan to eat meat, a Muslim or Jew to eat pork or a non user to snort a couple of lines with them.

You will not be happy with this man or his family. So back away now before it's too late.

ErickBroch Thu 21-May-20 14:11:17

So you say you don't drink but you drink more than me! I drink 2-3 times a year and I am not into health/fitness lol, just my own reasons. My partner loves beer, he drinks it often but it doesn't bother me at all. It would bother me however if he was getting smashed every weekend and acting like a total idiot.

I also hate being pressured to drink - his friends/family don't make any comments to me (they prob asked him before) so it's fine, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with what his family have said.

Nosuchluck Thu 21-May-20 14:25:32

My DH drinks about 50 units a week and I have up to 5 and it’s not a problem. Help have his bottle wine of wine (10 units) I’ll either have my half bottle of bucks fizz(1.7 units a couple of times a week) or a 7 up and a few chocolate and we just get on with having a nice evening.

Gutterton Thu 21-May-20 14:42:56

As AA say - it’s not the quantity or the frequency - it’s how it impacts or not the relationships around the drinker. If you are emotionally comfortable in the relationship then that’s fine - as the how much, how often, what, when and where are acceptable then all good.

If it makes you feel uneasy - then you are not compatible. Listen to your gut.

MerryDeath Thu 21-May-20 14:44:40

absolutely do not expect him to change. if i had the benefit of hindsight i'd have saved myself a lot of anguish.

Onemansoapopera Thu 21-May-20 14:53:51

My family would probably be seen as drinkers ie people who like a party... We've all got good jobs and great kids and all is well though, believe me. We're a great, tight knit family. I think there's a massive difference between having a drink at a family get together or a few of an evening and an alcoholic who's everyday life revolves around it and I think it's fairly obvious the two are not the same and the former is probably not a red flag. We have family members who aren't arsed about drinking and some who enjoy it more... Nobody gets forced to drink... I think this is catastrophisung on a grand scale to be pulling out red flag bunting 🙄

Hadjab Thu 21-May-20 14:56:32

@BillieEilish my sister is the same - I can make a bottle of wine last up to two weeks, as far as she’s concerned, I’m an alcoholic 🙄

Dillo10 Thu 21-May-20 15:25:58

Some background as to why I feel I have relevant experience here:

My ex fiancee was a big drinker and would always comment on the fact that I wasn't, try and encourage me to drink with him especially on holidays/meals out. And would regularly put the spotlight on me in social situations for being a "lightweight" or "boring"

My DH is an ex rugby player and can definitely drink with the best of them, on occasional weekends he will easily have a few beers and bottle of wine to himself but he would NEVER encourage me to drink and accepts exactly who I am without so much as a comment.

I understand it can be uncomfortable when you're not a big drinker, but he hasn't actually said anything or made you feel that way yet has he? It's just been one comment about his family... And they might not even be that bad...

Depends if you trust yourself to act on a legitimate red flag further down the line... That's just my opinion

BarbedBloom Thu 21-May-20 16:28:40

I don't drink at all, my husband has a beer or two if we go out and that doesn't bother me at all. I don't think I could be with someone who wanted to get drunk every weekend. No judgement but it just wouldn't work for me.

I did however stop going out with a friendship group. They were fine with me not drinking, but I ended up feeling like their mother. Having to help them home as they were so drunk they couldn't speak. Making sure they didn't go off with some random man when they could barely stand up. Watching over them while they slept so they didn't choke to death. There is a huge difference between a few glasses of wine in the evening to that. The first wouldn't be an issue, the second would.

BarbedBloom Thu 21-May-20 16:30:02

It cut the end of my reply off. At the moment he respects you not drinking and seems okay. Obviously you can see what happens further down the line and whether the two of you are compatible.

Complimentarytreats Thu 21-May-20 17:05:27

Eh hang on a second ... OP you’ve said he has no problem with your moderate drinking and you have no ecdence that he’s an alcoholic. Lots of people drank loads in the past ... it’s out of line his family saying ‘we’ll soon change that’ but I’ve heard that kind of nonsenew talk a lot over the years.

My advice would be to always respect yourself and only drink what you want as you say But also maybe talk to him and or give him a chance before jumping to conclusions. Lots of, even most people drink...

I’ve never had this experience but an ex of mine expected my drinking habits to be the same as his - he didn’t drink at all. I found him to be controlling & judgemental.

Complimentarytreats Thu 21-May-20 17:05:45


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