MY GIRLFRIEND SAYS I DRINK TOO MUCH
February 28, 2015
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR::
I am 49 and my girlfriend is 45. She is normal maybe a little on the conservative side, and we live together. She says I drink too much. I drink every day but it is like maybe two vodka tonics in the evening starting after dinner around 7 or 7:30 p.m. I do pour them strong but I rarely drink more than 2 because otherwise I will be hung over the next day. I don't go out often with my friends and when I do I don't usually drink too much. I do like to drink every day - does that make me an alcoholic? My girlfriend seems to think so but I'm not so sure. She's the type that she will find SOMETHING to complain about so my take is that if she's not
complaining about this then she will find something else to complain about. I don't want to stop drinking but she is asking me to. Whatever. Do you have advice for me? How can I get her off my back completely?
MIDLIFE BACHELOR ANSWER:Thanks for writing in. Your question is very entertaining, and is one that many men can relate to - not just from a drinking standpoint, but from an overall standpoint of being picked on about SOMETHING by their girlfriend or wife. The basic idea here is that you can either accept the input (and try to change) OR you can dismiss it. If you think you DO have a drinking problem, then it might be best to accept the input - otherwise I would lean toward dismissal, and take advantage of the enumerated suggestions that I have below. I think many of us men could easily have written in about a similar issue - so don't worry, Brother ... you are not alone!
If you decide to dismiss her complaints about your drinking then consider the following:
1) State matter-of-factly that you drink every day because of her, and the stress she puts on your relationship with her constant complaints and criticism. [She will love that.]
2) Tell her that with respect to your drinking, you do not have a problem with it. If she has a problem with it, then she is the one with the problem. [She will also love that. And it may confuse her, too - which is good.]
3) ) If you think it is possible that the bigger problem is that your girlfriend just talks too much, then please see the other article here entitled, Nine Signs Your Girlfriend Talks Too Much. You will be able to verify if that is the issue after reading that informative and diagnostic article.
4) In my opinion, you are probably normal ... not at alcoholic ... but (again, in my opinion) if you really want to know if you are an alcoholic, then try going without any booze for a while and see if you find yourself climbing the walls. When I say "climbing the walls", I mean that you find yourself physically craving or needing the booze ... and NOT simply that you cannot stand the sound of your girlfriend's voice (that's something different - it's called sobriety, and it sucks).
5) You are absolutely correct that if your girlfriend is not complaining about your drinking, then she will find something else to complain about. That's why when you live with someone, I say it can be "imprisoning" because you often have little choice other than to listen to it, at least to some extent. Now you could simply try turning up the volume on your TV or home theater, or maybe try some noise-canceling headphones. Women don't usually like that approach though.
Remember - women complaining is normal and expected behavior ... so you should really only worry about this if she seriously annoys you. It's possible that she has reached her shelf life or expiration date with you - and that simply means it is time to trade her in for a newer (younger) model. However, if you really love this woman, then you could always try to sit down with her and negotiate something that works out best for both of you (with respect to your drinking). Everything depends on how much you love her, and whether you really want to work with her on issues (hers or yours). Go pour yourself strong a drink, and consider all of this. Good luck!
Okay - I hope this was helpful. I would like you to consider joining our Midlife Dating Forum. Here is a link - Midlife Dating Forum. We have many people there in their 30s/40s/50s in similar situations ... divorced after long, imprisoning, suffocating marriages or relationships ... who support one another and bounce ideas off of one another. We would be happy to have you join our group. Good luck - please report back with how things go!
Here is a link to a discussion thread in our Midlife Forum on this topic of someone's girlfriend telling him he drinks too much ... so you can see what some of our regulars have to say about it.
Anyone who wishes can also add a COMMENT to this article directly below, in the COMMENT section.