"My Husband's Drinking Is Ruining Our Marriage"

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His Turn

"I Drink to Have Fun"

"Claudia is blowing this issue way out of proportion," said Jack, a friendly man of 46. "True, driving home from that party after I'd had a few too many showed poor judgment. But I didn't have an accident, I didn't get arrested, so can't we please just drop it? I told Claudia it would never happen again. Now she's harping more than ever about how much I drink at our beach parties. Please -- I'm on my own property with no need to drive. I work hard for our lifestyle. I deserve to have a few beers with my friends. 

"Claudia has seized on this idea that I might be an alcoholic because she recently started a part-time job as a receptionist in a doctor's office, and her boss has been in Alcoholics Anonymous for years. But I am not an alcoholic. I almost never drink during the week and once when I was on painkillers I didn't touch alcohol for two weeks. I never feel a 'need' to drink. Also, there's no history of alcoholism in my family, and I've heard that it's usually genetic.

"Drinking for me is purely social; I do it to have fun. We all used to binge on weekends in college, and I guess that's still my pattern. That's just the way my generation approaches alcohol. I never get mean; I just enjoy myself. How is that setting a bad example for the kids?

"She's a First-Class Nag"

"I wish Claudia would get off my case. She's turned into a first-class nag, and not just about my alcohol consumption, either. Much of the problem stems from the fact that she's spoiled. She has always been the center of her parents' attention, and she expects the same treatment from me. But I can't give Claudia that much attention. I come home exhausted, and she starts in on how I need to spend quality time with her and the kids.

"Before kids, all I heard was that she wanted to be able to stay home with them. Now she gripes about being lonely. This new part-time job helps some, but she still seems to need more than I can give.

"Maybe that's one reason I look forward to a few drinks. It gives me a chance to forget about how our life is turning out. I thought if I was a good provider, Claudia would be happy. But she's not, and it's killing me. I love her, but I feel that she doesn't love me the way she used to. I hope counseling will help."

Continued on page 4:  The Counselor's Turn


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