Concerned with husband's recent forays into binge drinking
April 25, 2014 2:41 PM Subscribe
My moderate-drinker husband has twice in the last month drank to the point of repeatedly vomiting. These binges are out of character and deeply concerning. Should he see his doctor? What can I do?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My 30 year old husband has been a moderate drinker as long as I've known him. 1-2 cocktails an evening on average (strong ones)-- some nights none, never overboard. He's recently gotten into reading about craft liquors and nerding out on visiting local distilleries, buying special rare bottles, etc. A few weeks ago we had a quiet evening at home, doing separate activities in different rooms. At the end of the night he came to bed and said he thought he had overdone it a bit with the liquor. I sort of shrugged this off, although I became concerned when he got sick and vomited several times. He apologized multiple times, swore it wouldn't happen again, said he was sorry for scaring me, etc. He said he overdrank a couple of times in college but hadn't thrown up from drinking since then (so 10 years).
Yesterday he went off in the evening to a liquor tasting event at a nearby store. Three hours later he was banging on the front door, unable to use his key, barely able to stand or talk, and covered in his own vomit. I was EXTREMELY alarmed and scared for him. He vomited several more times, laid on the bathroom floor and wailed about feeling like a bad person in a world where everything's good. I was thinking about calling an ambulance if he became unresponsive, imagining what would have happened if he passed out on the street or in a cab. Apparently he threw up at the store and again in the taxi (and had to pay a $100 clean-up fee). He eventually was able to shower, talk to me a bit, cry some more (I've never seen him sob like this in the whole time I've known him), apologize profusely, and fall asleep.
This is really extremely out of character for him. He's a nice, smart guy with a good job and no other vices that I know of, nor any history of addiction. We've both been counting calories for about a month in an effort to slim down, and this has naturally reduced his drinking somewhat. Perhaps this cutting down led to a binge when he was "out on the town" and there were free samples? Incidentally he weighs over 250 pounds and is in no way a lightweight. He is being treated by a psychiatrist for depression, which seems to be in remission. He's been medicated for two years and recently has been weaning off the medication.
This morning we talked about it some more, I reiterated how concerned and scared I was for him, these bad choices and behaviors are not okay... I want him to make an appointment with his psychiatrist, or his primary care doctor, to tell them what has happened and get some help, whether medical or therapy. He agreed, but now is brushing off the incident as a silly mistake, and saying he doesn't think a doctor's appointment is necessary. He jokingly sent me an online article about "how to drink without getting shitfaced," which was not at all funny to me, and I said so.
I don't know what to do. This is not the behavior I expect from a partner and future co-parent. I don't want to be put in a role of mothering him or controlling him, I want a full fledged adult partner who has normal adult impulse control. The first incident was concerning, but such an outlier I didn't read much into it. This second incident (within a month of the first) was much more extreme and shocking. I don't want to think of what a third incident along these lines would entail. Ideas, suggestions, advice, support, hivemind? I don't feel like I can confide in my friends or family about this because it is so embarrassing for him. What should I do?