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To break up with him because he's stopped drinking?

(315 Posts)
socksandshoes1 Wed 22-Jan-20 01:23:24

Fully expecting to get flamed for this, but please try to be constructive because my head's all over the place.

I'm 23, been in a relationship with my boyfriend (31) for 6 months. He's doing dry January and plans to continue being sober after that, partly because he's seen the effect that alcohol has on his alcoholic mother, and because it's made him feel a lot better in himself - fine, totally get that.

My issue is that we used to go on dates to bars, for meals and drink wine on the sofa most nights, and I really enjoyed that aspect of our relationship, it was fun. I wouldn't say I'm dependent on alcohol, but I am very much a 23 year old and not ready to give up alcohol just yet, but this decision is really showing the age difference between us. I feel like our relationship has really changed since he's made this decision. Also, he lives 1.5 hours away from me and I'm spending about 5 nights a week with him, so don't have a huge amount of time to let loose with my friends which would be an option if I were home more.

He is an amazing boyfriend and treats me very well, but I feel like I'm growing old before my time by being with him. I'm not asking if I should break up with him because I won't, I really do love him, but am I being really unreasonable for not liking how his sobriety is effecting our dynamic?

Elbeagle Wed 22-Jan-20 01:29:21

I voted YANBU because you can break up with someone for whatever reason you want, you don’t need permission.
It seems a bit sad though to be honest. I don’t see why him not drinking means you can’t have a glass of wine in front of the TV? DH is doing dry January this year and I’m not. I’ve done it before when he hasn’t. I’ve had three pregnancies where I obviously haven’t drank and he has.
Can you see him one fewer night a week and see friends a bit more?

Rosspoldarkssaddle Wed 22-Jan-20 01:33:08

Why does him not drinking make you feel life is passing you by? You can still go.out to bars, restaurants and cuddle on the sofa whilst he drinks a soft drink. He can do the driving! If you want to spend more time with your mates then cut the time you have with him. Sounds like there is more at play here than him not drinking alcohol.

socksandshoes1 Wed 22-Jan-20 01:38:18

Maybe I do have an issue. I want a drink every night, is that normal?

Thestrangestthing Wed 22-Jan-20 01:46:35

No, that's not normal. Do you need a drink every night, and if you decide not to have a drink, do you think about I t again after that or wish you were having a drink?

user1473878824 Wed 22-Jan-20 01:48:41

You’re 23! At 23 I thought I desperately wanted to settle down with someone in their thirties, and I hated bar hopping and clubs etc so thought it would be great. But I also didn’t actually want to get married and have babies and not go out on Sunday late afternoons for brunch and drink for 12 hours. So....! I think the fact you find him not drinking a hinderance to you life and more importantly your relationship a huge red flag: you say you won’t break up with him, but you’re obviously thinking about it, and also, in what’s probably the most patronising thing I’ll ever say, but stand by it, if he’s doing something good for his life and you find it irritating or it doesn’t work for you and you’re worried about that, you don’t really love him...

user1473878824 Wed 22-Jan-20 01:49:46

Also I’d like to make it clear I don’t think your an alcoholic but 99% of Mumsnet will say you are for drinking more than one glass of wine a year.

Showmethefood Wed 22-Jan-20 01:49:50

As said you can break up with a person for whatever reason you like. Drinking every night is something I wouldn’t do...but you are you. If you feel It has a grip on you though you might find it helpful to talk to someone about it.

Showmethefood Wed 22-Jan-20 01:51:28

Sorry don’t know where I saw you drank every night 😀🤣 read that bit wrong but still it depends on what you feel comfortable with

ILearnedItFromABook Wed 22-Jan-20 01:55:27

In my opinion, if the relationship is right/important enough to you, you won't feel upset at the thought of missing out on drinks and nights out with friends. The fact that it's bothering you is probably simply a sign that this relationship isn't that important to you. That's fine. Maybe you're not right for one another.

If you're not ready to call it quits, you could tell him that while you're happy for him to do as he pleases, you still enjoy nights out drinking... and then arrange to spend more nights out with friends. It shouldn't take long for you to decide which you prefer-- spending time with him or time drinking with friends. Or maybe he'll save you the trouble of deciding by making a decision of his own.

TheSandman Wed 22-Jan-20 01:57:10

I'm an alcoholic. Dry 17 years now. My dad was an alcoholic too and drank until the day he died. I have a lot of sympathy for your partner. Going to pubs and not drinking when you are very used to doing just that is HARD. Yes, there are non alcoholic drinks but trust me... .It is NOT the same.

Stick with him. You just need to make a few tweaks to your relationship (with him and alcohol) not throw the whole thing out the window.

tweedler Wed 22-Jan-20 02:03:02

Break up with him if you wish, that is your prerogative, but I find it sad that you can't be more supportive of him for a temporary choice he has made about his healthy being sober doesn't mean a boring life.

You don't need alcohol to have fun and just because he isn't drinking, doesn't mean that you can't.

I would start thinking of the advantages, like you have a designated driver. Maybe say you will join him for 4 nights a week but not all of them.

If you want to spend more time with your friends, that is another issue, that's an easy conversation to have. If you want to break up with him, don't make excuses, own it and do it.

katy1213 Wed 22-Jan-20 02:04:27

Nothing wrong with a drink every night - but why does it bother you that he's not drinking too? Or do you think he'll find you less attractive when he's sober and you're pissed/hungover?
But seeing him five times a week seems rather too much at this stage of a fairly new relationship; you're as good as living together. Why not step back? See him two or three nights a week and see other friends or enjoy your own company the rest of the week.

socksandshoes1 Wed 22-Jan-20 02:05:06

TheSandman Thank you so much for your message, I needed to hear it from another perspective x

safariboot Wed 22-Jan-20 02:05:57

My issue is that we used to go on dates to bars, for meals and drink wine on the sofa most nights, and I really enjoyed that aspect of our relationship, it was fun.

And you can't still do that why exactly?

A friend of mine at university was teetotal. Didn't stop her partying with the rest of us.

heath48 Wed 22-Jan-20 02:06:00

I have been sober nearly 17years,I say sober not dry,there is a big difference.

You are the problem,not your boyfriend.Drinking every night is a red flag,you should have at least 2 days a week where you have no alcohol.

Patroclus Wed 22-Jan-20 02:06:46

You dont 'love' somebody who you would consider breaking up with cos theyve stopped drinking.

Cluckyandconfused Wed 22-Jan-20 02:07:46

I don’t think you’re well matched. I’m closer in age to your bf and am also doing dry January and contemplating a more sober 2020. At 23? I was out partying with my friends every weekend.
Be careful to protect and nourish your friendships. Even in a happy relationship you need these to give you some balance.

Patroclus Wed 22-Jan-20 02:08:25

And yeah you probably have a problem with drink. Maybe not an alcholic (although that just means somebody with a problem with drink doesnt it). Much better to be a sober 31 year old than an alcoholic at 23.

TheNestedIf Wed 22-Jan-20 02:08:50

I'm quite clear on the issue.

Is it that you don't do the dates and spending time on the sofa together because he's no longer drinking or is it that you still do these things but you don't like the fact he's not drinking with you?

BillHadersNewWife Wed 22-Jan-20 02:14:06

You should break up with him yes...because it's obvious you're not serious about him. My DH gave up drinking and I would never consider breaking up with him over that!

Also, you should not be drinking nightly. You're dependent already. He may have decided to stop because your influence is frightening him.

Cryingoverspilttea Wed 22-Jan-20 02:21:56

No, OP wanting a drink every night is not normal.


Patroclus Wed 22-Jan-20 02:24:28

Isnt it also costing a fuckin fortune?

Derbee Wed 22-Jan-20 02:30:52

My DP is doing dry January (mostly!). It’s handy because he’s the designated driver when we go out. If I’ve wanted a glass of wine, I have a mini bottle, we don’t need to open a large bottle.

As an aside, I wouldn’t say drinking every night is reasonable.

DeRigueurMortis Wed 22-Jan-20 02:31:05

OP you will get quite a lot of righteous indignation on this issue as well as some genuinely sad experiences re: alcohol addiction.

That said, at your age I would have found it an issue.

I have no problem whatsoever with anyone who doesn't drink alcohol (whatever the reason) but quite frankly I would have felt at that age the "imposition" of not being able to enjoy a glass of wine with my partner untenable.

The advice re: you are an alcoholic because at 23 you don't want to give up a glass of wine a night for a man 10 years older is bullshit as is the notion you love booze more than him.

He's made a lifestyle choice - good for him. It's not incumbent on you to make or agree with his decision.

My advice - leave him. Not because he's a bad person and neither are you but because you want different things that are not compatible and it's a blessing to have discovered this after 6 months of dating rather than years.

You can both move on thanks

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