We are fine until he has a few beers….

by Rod Smith

“I am married and have three teenage sons. We are compatible, except in one area that threatens everything. I don’t drink at all and don’t like social situations where there is too much drinking or being around drunk people. He enjoys a ‘party’ or having a few beers a couple of times a week. Very often a ‘few beers’ ends up being a ‘few beers’ too many. When he has had too much to drink he often becomes argumentative and critical of me, and sometimes verbally abusive. I have tried to reason with him but nothing much changes. People say I should just accept it because there is so much else going for the marriage. He is a good provider and father and he is caring except for those occasions when drink is involved. But I am thinking perhaps I should leave the marriage, as the situation is never going to be amicably resolved. I am also concerned how the breakup of the marriage would affect my sons, but increasingly I feel I am in a trap that I don’t know how to get out of.” (Edited)

Your staying (in the marriage) or going (getting divorced) will impact your teenagers. Finding your voice, whether you stay or go, will have the greatest, lasting impact upon your sons. A voice-less mother, someone who resists challenging what causes herself  and her family discomfort, might be more damaging than a father who has too many beers.

5 Comments to “We are fine until he has a few beers….”

  1. Rod,
    Interesting, when I read this, I felt that the woman did have a voice, however the voice fell on deaf or in this case drunk ears.
    Truth is, he will only change when and if he wants to. There are two choices, accept what is or leave. Only you can weigh out that decision. Truth is, you already know the answer. You don’t need anyone to cofirm it for you. Good luck. Live in love and peace.

  2. Rod,
    I have kind of same problem, but I got married 3 months ago. I love to use your experiances. My husband is very nice man but after he get drunk he become so aggresive and selfish, i din’t know what to do. first i try to talk to him and everytime he said he will work on it, now i am ignoring it but my fear is how about if always happend same and he never change.

  3. …. as so many readers have pointed out, this is a life-long challenge to so many marriages…. and yes, tobeme, her voice has fallen on drunk ears and …… sometimes you have to decide when that is acceptable and when it is not…..

    thanks for all the comments,


  4. In my personal experience, if a partner is being critical and argumentative when drinking, it is because they are not giving voice to things that are bothering them on a day-to-day basis. Al-Anon is a wonderful program that will give this woman effective tools to use in this relationship, and for the benefit of the teens , whether she decides to stay in the relationship or leave.

  5. There is an underlying issue here with all of the guys. Some where they have said to themselves that it’s ok for them to act like this. They have also probably seen this from another male figure in their past. I myself came from such a home, a father that would drink until he would fall asleep. At times it was the same way as described, arguing and confrontational etc. As a 36 year old man, I have NEVER had a drink just for these reasons. I was predestine to turn out the same way.

    These guys need to be talked to both by the wife but also another guy that can inform them about what they are going to lose if nothing changes.

    Good luck, hope things change for both of you.

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