I think my husband might be an alcoholic. Not a full-on need a drink as soon he gets up alcoholic, that would be easier to define. He definitely has a drink problem and I think he’s what some people call a ‘functional alcoholic’. He’s always liked a drink, but he doesn’t hold his beer too well, so at first I never saw it as a problem. I knew if he was on a lad’s night out that he would never be out all night drinking, just a couple of hours and then he would be home, worse for wear. We’ve always spent most weekends, Saturday or Sunday, sometimes both, at one of the local pubs in the afternoon, sometimes with friends and sometimes just us. I used to work every Saturday until having our son, and more often than not, would meet him at the pub to then chauffeur him home on my way home. I’m always the driver apart from the odd occasion where we might leave the car and walk home from the pub if we’ve had lunch out. As it takes about an hour walking at James’s speed, we don’t often do this.
As James gets older, I’m getting more conscious of the time Tom spends at the pub and indeed James, as he’s often in tow. It’s not so bad when the weather is nice and James can play in the beer garden, but otherwise I’m sure it must be boring for him. It certainly is for me! We don’t always accompany Tom, but James obviously wants to spend time with his dad especially if he hasn’t seen much of him in the week. Tom’s job means he can work long hours some days. Pub time is always around when James usually has his tea, so I find myself planning meals around what he could take to have as a pack up, or letting him have snacks to put him on until he gets home. I haven’t done a proper Sunday dinner for ages as Tom invariably doesn’t want to eat until later. Indeed, our normal everyday routine is that I eat with James on an evening around 5.30pm and Tom eats his dinner as late as 9pm some nights.
When he’s at the pub, he will have 4-5 pints of strong lager then he’s ready for home. He doesn’t drink lager at home but instead favours whiskey or Southern Comfort, getting through a bottle a week and sometimes more. Although he doesn’t go to the pub every day, he does drink his spirits every night. This is what concerns me, as the spirits alone are more units than he should be drinking a week, and with the lager on top, it’s quite scary. He’s overweight and though I’ve suggested that the alcohol may be a large factor, he hasn’t cut down. I worked out a couple of weekends back how much he had consumed in a week and it was a scary 90 units of alcohol and equivalent to over 7000 calories. I think this did shock him as he actually had two non drinking days last week, before telling me he had called at the pub on his way home on Wednesday, then saying “I’m not an alcoholic, I just like a drink”. He’s said in the past that he’s not going to drink mid-week but this rarely lasts more a week or two. Maybe this time will be different, but I’m not confident. This is why I think he may be a functional alcoholic. Someone who can hold down a job and to the outside world might not seem like he has a problem, but in reality, is drinking to excess on a nightly basis.