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Do I have a drinking problem just because I sleep around when I'm drunk?

answered 08:39 AM EST, Mon January 16, 2012
I don’t have a drinking problem and I am faithful to my wife. But whenever I go out drinking once I get a little bit buzzed I always start checking the room out and will often start hitting on women around me. Many times, this has led to my being unfaithful.

I travel a lot for my job. I rarely drink at home but it is part of the culture of my company to go and get a bit toasted after finishing a project and so I am usually starting these evenings of drinking with coworkers, and these evenings are not really optional.

I will always feel terribly guilty about what I have done the next day and I never do anything like this, or even really have a desire to cheat, when I am not drinking.

Do I have to stop drinking entirely to stop myself from cheating on my wife? I am not an alcoholic and have no problem not drinking for weeks at a time when at home but it would be a disadvantage for me at work to not be able to socialize with alcohol from time to time. Is there some way I can learn to control myself better after having a few drinks? My intentions are always good, but things go downhill in a hurry after a few beers.

Art Matthews Says...

The first sentence of your statement doesn't sound like it was written by the same person who asked if they have to stop drinking. Are you not unfaithful to your wife because you only sleep around when you have had "a few beers" and have lost control? Sounds like you are minimizing and denying before we've even gotten started.

It's time to stop lying to yourself. If you engage in behavior you don't like when you drink that is endangering your happiness and the stability of your marriage, then you have a problem that involves alcohol. The very nature of the drug's effect on people is that it lowers inhibitions and causes us to consider doing things we wouldn't do sober. It ain't called the social lubricant for nothing. It's up to you to decide if you have to stop drinking completely, but I suspect you already know what you need to do in order to regain control. Besides what this could do to your marriage, you are also playing the fool for you co-worker's amusement and could possibly end up losing your job if your behavior continues to be out of control. Is it really worth all that risk just to keep drinking?

But don't take my word for it, talk to a therapist who specializes in treating people with alcohol abuse and co-occurring disorders. Your drive to drink may cover an underlying depression or anxiety that once treated would change your life for the better.

Do this immediately before you have to clean up some pretty monumental damage that is waiting on the horizon. It isn't if your wife will find out, it's WHEN.

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Page last updated Jan 16, 2012

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