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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 31-year-old guy, European-born and living here in the States with my American wife of 5 years. I married this wonderful woman because we were surprisingly compatible in pretty much every way and I fell in love with her. The five years we've been married have been great, with perhaps the exception of the last year or so. On the surface our relationship has continued to be good, and I guess you could call our sex life decent. When she was finishing college, I worked full-time, and now she works and I go to college full-time. We don't have any children as we want to wait until I finish school so that I'll have the means to support her when she's a stay-at-home mother, as is her wish.

We have been for the five years a very loving couple, some say we're still on our honeymoon. We would typically hug and kiss everytime one of us left the house, pretty much, very loving and touchy-feely. We still do, but for the past six months, and especially last few weeks, I've began feeling increasingly distant, emotionally, from my wife.

The issue is that she goes out drinking a lot after work with her work buddies. Sometimes it's just a couple of times per week, sometimes it's 3 or 4 nights in a row. Last night she didn't drag herself in until 4 am. She has a huge tolerance for alcohol so she doesn't show her drunkenness very quickly, but she isn't left unaffected by it. She doesn't come in leaning on walls (usually) but I dislike it all the same.

Part of the reason she does this a lot is that she didn't have many friends until about 2 years ago when she started working at her current job. Between the time when she left college and landed this job she had a slow social life. These co-workers of hers, they're mostly single, and all they do for fun is drink. In the 2 years she's worked there I do not recall a single occasion when she went out with her co-workers to do something that didn't involve drinking. They go to bars or they go to someone's house to, well, drink.

Now, I come from a broken home, had a man for a father who had me driving him to bars as soon as I got a license, and then from there to women's houses, and forced me to lie to my mother about where he's been. There's a lot of alcoholism in my family tree, and I've made a vow to myself that I will steer clear of the stuff, because I recognize addictive tendencies in my personality and I don't want my future children subjected to any of that. Therefore I rarely drink, and I certainly don't go to bars. I went one time about six months ago, because my wife would occasionally ask me to go with her, but I hated the whole time there. Drunk people are not as interesting company as they seem to think they are.

I was unnerved a little by her frequent bar-hopping with her co-workers, because I felt that this is not how a married woman should behave. Now please let me be clear on this: I don't presume to expect a woman to stay in the kitchen or any of that stuff. I don't subscribe to gender roles or whatever, it's just that if you have a spouse at home, why are you sitting in bars getting loaded? I don't understand it. If her friends would do something else, non-alcohol-related every now and then, maybe I'd feel better about it.

A few weeks ago my wife had gone drinking until 2 am on two consecutive nights, even though she had to get up at 6 am. After the second night, she told me that an ex-co-worker of hers who still hangs out with the crowd on occasion had tried, repeatedly, to get her to get in his car, so they could go and ****. She had told him no, but also told me that she had called him after she left the bar and was driving home, and that the guy was still waiting at the parking lot for her and she told him "it's okay" and to go home.

For my part, I don't think it's "okay" by any means, and I think she should have let the guy sit there all night long. But that's because I'm angry, and while my wife didn't seem to like what had happened, I don't think her reaction was what I had hoped, since she went out drinking the following night, business as usual, because "she promised some friends."

Now, this wife of mine believes in marriage very strongly. She doesn't even like movies about infidelity. She is morally opposed to the very idea of a cheating spouse. But I can't help but feel, deep down, that her behaviour is sending a signal to these *******s in those bars that she's looking for something. Why else would a married woman spend 3 nights in a row in bars, while her husband waits at home? You could argue that I should just go with her. Nobody's stopping me. The thing is, if I do, and I know this for a fact, I will not only hate every second of it (as I have,) but I will resent her for it. I don't see this as a solution.

Have we talked about it? Oh God, have we talked about it. It never goes anywhere, though. 8 months ago she said she would cut down the bar drill, and she did for a short period of time. Now it's pretty much the same again. She doesn't get off work until 9:30 anyway and car pools with her friend, and they usually stop off at a place near their work where they drink some beers before heading home. I suppose I can't argue with that, although if you ask me that should count as a night out considering that she won't get home until close to midnight.

I hate bringing it up because she always feels like she has to be on the defensive, and she ends up crying and then somehow I am the *******. I end up regretting bringing it up and trying to talk about it. These are her friends. Who am I to ask her not to see them, not to hang out with them?

I recently noticed that due to this bar **** I feel distant from her, emotionally, most of the time. Sometimes we have good sex on her days off, and I feel close again...then the regular day to day (or night to night) routine starts again and I feel just dead inside. There are times when I don't feel that warmth in my heart that I used to never stop feeling - it's not that it isn't there, but I don't feel the primary person in her life anymore. She usually doesn't go drinking on her days off, and on those days we could spend time together, but we don't really end up doing much. I desire her less because of the bar ****. I resent her for still going drinking a lot when she has guys asking her to **** them. Sometimes she initiates sex and I make up excuses, because I don't feel close to her emotionally, especially after a stretch of nights out.

She was not like this when I married her. I expected her to have finished this chapter in her life. I guess change is the only constant.

Talking about this has not gotten us anywhere. Probably because she's not really willing to cut back on her bar nights to a degree which I am satisfied with, and because there is no compromise to be made on my part. She has said that I could go with her sometimes, but I don't, honestly, want to. I hate drinking and being around people who drink (I don't mean having some wine over dinner, I do that myself on occasion, I mean drinking drinking) - and she knows it. I've asked her to call me if she's going to be out late, but she usually doesn't - she has said that I could call her if I am wondering where she is. But that's not how it works, to me, if you're the person going to be out all night, you should be the one making the call. I feel humiliated having to call to find out why my wife hasn't gotten home by midnight.

At this point, I am just looking for advice on how to get my mind in a place where I can stop thinking about this on a daily basis. Every single night she's out late I think about that guy that wanted her to get in his car. I am starting another very hard semester tomorrow and I need to focus on my studies. I need to find a way to get myself to accept the fact that she and I are married but leading two different lives for the time being.
 

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You covered many parts and all I give will not be what you like to hear.

The first thing is to explain the pain of growing up with an alcoholic father. I don't know what type of communication you have used but I think that you need to stress to her you are worried because you have seen what it can do to people.

Second, I would have her ask her doctor what classifies alcoholism, or pick some up yourself and give them to her explaining this is why you are worried at the amount of time she does these things.

Third GO WITH HER. She has invited you and any time you don't you are causing your own issues. Most places have pool tables and dart boards you can play. You would not be going for the drunks there but for your wife. She has expressed that she wants you to go. It will also set you more at ease too and you could get to know her friends too. You'd also be making sure your wife has a safe way home and maybe some of her friends too.

Although it isn't a way a married woman should be or anyone for that matter, sitting home stewing about doesn't help at all; You need to communicate to her, have her cut back to twice a week, go at least once a week. In the end though you are creating your own issue like a self fulfilling prophesy.

just my opinion.

draconis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your frank reply, Draconis. I appreciate it. I'm always willing to hear thoughts and suggestions, even if they were contrary to what one might want to hear.

The last time I went to the bar (she mostly just goes to the one and same one) with her, I couldn't even have a conversation with her. She said she was going to the bathroom and didn't come back for 20-25 minutes. I've very good hearing and the live music blasting in the bar literally physically hurt my ears the entire time. It was also so loud that I couldn't hear what her drunk friends were talking about.

The other problem is that these places allow smoking. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, and it is one of the triggers of my very debilitating migraines, which include vomiting etc.

I understand your suggestion in the "spending time together" sense, but I feel doing so would be more detrimental for our relationship. There are sacrifices one has to make in every relationship, but there should be a fair reason for it. I could go with her and watch her get drunk, and then hate her for it the next day, but I don't see how that would help the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why do you feel you would hate her?

Are you an introvert (like quiet time at home alone as opposed to [extrovert] going out and being the life of the party)?

draconis
Well admittedly 'hate' is too strong a word, but I would resent her for wanting me to be there just to sit by myself in a crowd of people whose judgment and intellect I'd bring into question, hating every second of it, and for what end?

If there was something that I enjoyed doing - let us say, going to strip joints and getting lap dances - that she felt was morally questionable and it bothered her, I would cease to participate in it. I don't think it's necessary for people to understand and appreciate everything their spouses do, but if what they do goes against the moral fiber of the spouse, then one should at least evaluate whether it is worth it to continue that behaviour. I am not an overbearing person to live with, and I've never wanted to attempt to veto anything she's wanted to do.

As for your inquiry, yes I am quite a bit of an introvert. I enjoy doing stuff outside too, like geocaching or whatever, but I am more at ease at home. I spend my free time writing, reading, watching DVDs, that sort of thing. I do enjoy a good conversation when the opportunity for one arises. I'm not a strictly serious person by any means, I don't think - but I am strongly of the opinion that one can have a good time without alcohol. And if not, then there's a problem.

Thanks for your continued interest in my dilemma.
 

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I grew up with an alcoholic parent and this is something that I refuse to bring my kids into or deal with. I know this is going to sound harsh but going with her as much as she is going out is going to start feeling like you are babysitting her. I wish I had the answer for you but I don't. At least not one you may like. I mean if she refuses to meet you halfway then something is wrong. I have a husband that does drink and am lucky in that he understands what I grew up in and if I feel that the drinking he is doing which is really not a lot becomes to much he has listened to what I have to say and compromises with me. I really hope that you two can find a medium ground in which you both can be happy. Good luck to you.
 

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I have an easy wife to get along with. True be told when she asked me to go out with the girls while I would sit at home with the kids I reversed the situation as a question and she understood what I would feel like. The problem I see with your wife is she has no empathy which is an important part of communication (I am writing my latest thesis on communicating better.)

If you are so opposed to alcohol I think AA or al-anon might be the trick to help if the two of you go together. Because it is so humbling to see the effects alcohol can have on a relationship and family. I have been to AA meetings to support my Father-in-Law and come away a better person every time. I have seen just how much it can change a person. It also might be the best way to start a meaningful conversation with her.

draconis
 
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