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Whenever my gf and I get into an argument when I’ve had any kind of alcohol, she says my “drinking” is the reason. What do I do?


Ladyeagle14
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I met my gf my 2nd year in college. I’ll admit, I had a pretty sheltered childhood, so when I went off to college, I tried to have as much fun as I could. My 2nd year was when I made a lot of my friends and went out often. I drank pretty regularly and could occasionally be an *** when I drank too much. I completely understand that and owned up to it.
 

I started to lighten up on the drinking when I heard from my gf how much it bothered her. In present day, I’ve made some major changes in my life. I have a full time job at a large company now that I’m out of college, so I drink very rarely because I’m constantly busy and don’t really think about it. I usually only drink sometimes over the weekends at home when I’m playing video games and my gf has gone to sleep. It’s not anything even remotely close to how college was, but she still makes a big deal about it. There was one time that she upset me and I got mad at her and she immediately started going off about how I was acting the way I was “acting” because I was drunk despite the fact that I had sipped on half of a drink over the course of an hour. Not anything that could have gotten me even close to buzzed let alone drunk. And I’ve noticed that she constantly seems to do this. If I’ve had a drink of any sort and we have a disagreement, she automatically says it’s because of the alcohol. Like I get I had problems in the past and she’s probably feeling a little cautious because of that, but I think it’s a little unfair considering she wasn’t the best with alcohol either.
 

She didn’t drink as often as me, but anytime we went out together, I already knew how the night was going to end. She was going to be drunk an hour in or even before we got to the bar because she pregamed too hard,  and was 99% of the time going to have to be carried out. She’s tiny and can’t handle a lot, but she’d go in trying to out drink the guys and be plastered before the night had even started. It was even worse when I was away on school breaks. I’d trust my friends to look out for her, but obviously it’s not fair to expect them to be her babysitter, and there were quite a few times that she’d get herself into bad situations when they weren’t paying attention. People would flirt with her (some normal some dangerous) and my friends would have to pull her away because she was too drunk to realize they were trying to snatch her up and take advantage of her. So I completely understand the cautiousness when it comes to alcohol, cause people act stupid when they’ve been drinking, but I’m not blaming every fight on it whenever she has a glass of wine like she does to me.
 

I guess it’s just frustrating for me because we’re both adults well out of college that have learned better and are more responsible, so we’re able to have a drink here and there without it being some big dramatic thing, but she’s still treating me like that stupid college kid that’s going to be an ass like I was 5 years ago. I’ve talked to her about it multiple times, but she still doesn’t seem to get how much it bothers me that she holds my past problems over me when I don’t do that to her. How do I approach this? We’ve been together over 4 years and are living together now, so I’d like to work on this problem rather than just leaving her.

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16 minutes ago, Ladyeagle14 said:

we’re both adults well out of college that have learned better and are more responsible, so we’re able to have a drink here and there without it being some big dramatic thing,

Have you said this to her?

If anything, I'd expect her to understand some & lay off the criticism.

Was she exposed to alcoholic members in her family?  Sometimes that can cause a negative effect. So, she's lashing out about it because of underlying issue's.

She should be able to see with her own eyes, you are not drinking in excess anymore, so should not be such a big deal anymore.

Maybe suggest she either stop pestering you as it's getting on your nerves, or she consider some therapy with her issue's?  ( Otherwise, this will cause a wedge between you two soon enough).

 

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5 hours ago, Ladyeagle14 said:

 it bothers me that she holds my past problems over me 

It's not a "past problem" if you are still getting drunk and getting in stupid arguments.

Don't drink and drive. Don't drink and argue. Nothing is more nauseating than a pontificating argumentative drunk.

Yes move out. You're not compatible.  That way you can drink as much as you want without someone expecting you to have sane sober conversations.

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When I was in college I had one girlfriend like that. Her dad was an alcoholic and she didnt drink. I was(and still is) a social drinker and I was very careful around her. Meaning didnt get drunk when she was around, no "drunken stories" told to her etc. I still got flack with "Why are you drinking? Do you have any problems in life?" and stuff like that. 

Anyway, what I am trying to say to you is that it will probably never go away. She cant control her drinks and thinks alcohol creates a problem. Unless you become anti-alcoholic, she will always nag to you no matter what your alcohol consuption is. She has a problem with that. You dont. So that will probably always be there between you. So if you want to stay in that relationship you would have to accept that. 

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If you don't mind us asking, what are the arguments about? Do you argue a lot and are there any things (besides alcohol) that come up over and over?

If you're arguing hard and often and she always comes to the conclusion that you must be drunk then perhaps it is the frequency of the arguments, or how emotionally painful they are, or that issues raised are going unresolved that is bothering her, and she blames alcohol because it's easier to blame that as a sort of external factor than to accept there are more complex problems behind it all.

It's just a thought, because you didn't go into much detail about the arguments themselves and that detail might be relevant. I know that all couples will argue occasionally, but if it is just occasional then that also means her blaming your drinking is also occasional and therefore maybe is something that you can just live with. Is she fine with your drinking when you don't argue?

Anyway TLDR; if you're arguing often enough that her blaming alcohol has become a problem to you then probably address why you're arguing that often in the first place.

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It sounds like she doesn't believe in social drinking -meaning a drink where there is no drunk/buzzed consequence.  I think you tell her that your drinking problem is in the past, that you are able to have a drink that doesn't get you drunk because you enjoy it occasionally and if you have a disagreement it's not a consequence of your reaction to the alcohol you consumed. 

Just like if my husband  told me not to drink my morning coffee because in his perception it made me "irritable" (no, it doesn't) I'd tell him -my body, my choice, this is what I enjoy. 

Does she think you were an alcoholic who should never drink again?

Does she still get drunk or was this in the past? 

Also what are the arguments about?

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Maybe you are incompatible.  

Youve been together a long time.  What else is going on in the relationship?  

If you feel you've grown as a person and she still sees you as college you, what is that about? 

I feel like my older siblings treat me like I am still the baby in the family.  Meanwhile, we have grown children.  But I also recognize, they don't live near me, they aren't close to me, they don't know what they are talking about.  Frankly, I am more successful, at least financially and I am in better health due to lifestyle choices than all of them. 

My point is, how well do you two know each other?  How close are you?  It's unreasonable that you are saying you were nursing a drink and she's claiming you have a drinking problem.  One of you is not in the same argument. And it could mean that while you have a long term relationship, the quality of the relationship is not so good.  

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I think Carnatic is onto something here. The alcohol is the red herring while the real issue is your style of arguing and how you both address and resolve conflict.

When you say that you got mad at her, how did you behave toward her exactly? Did you get aggressive? Did you raise your voice? Did you make her feel unsafe in some way or unheard? I kind of wonder if she is using "you are just drunk" as a way to deflect and excuse a much bigger issue with your behavior.

On the flip side, she may also use the "you are drunk" accusation as a way to either end the argument or get what she wants from you or otherwise deflect from the issue at hand. Hard to tell without some details.

Rather than focusing on the drinking, I think you need to consider what you two argue about and how it gets resolved or not. How are your conflict resolution skills as a couple because that sounds like the real heart of the problem.

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What I find interesting is the total absence of argument content. This whole post is a defense that revolves around alcohol. Even the argument that the girlfriend can't hold her own liquor revolves around alcohol--what does that have to do with anything? 

It's so hard to know with something like this because alcoholics (and addicts) notoriously minimize their drinking and hide alcohol. They get really creative with their hiding spots, too. So their 'loved ones'* complain about their suspicions and try to address them but are effectively gaslit because they can't prove the truth. 

So here's the deal: Stop drinking. Just stop. Then see how the arguments play out. 

 

_____________________

*Quotes for irony. The 'loved ones' aren't loved at all they're just used as enablers.

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