Q: I am married now almost 7 yrs. When we first got married my husband drank a lot, almost every weekend. He doesn’t drink just a few he has many, to the point where he passes out or doesn’t remember anything the next day. He gets really mean when provoked. He did cut back a lot of the years, but it bothers me when he drinks. He may go weeks without having any, but then he starts back. It’s not an every night thing, but on weekends when we hang out with friends he drinks a lot, he consumes 7 to 12 beers and sometimes adds liquor in the mix. I have told him before that it bothers me; he calls me a stick in the mud. Men drink and drink a lot – that’s what he tells me. Am I making too much of it? He doesn’t do it all the time but when he does I get so mad.

A: I always say that when we are in a relationship part of our job is to come up with our “bottom lines,” in what we are willing to work with or around, or what is something about our partner or relationship that we are just not willing to tolerate. No one else can set these boundaries for you. It sounds like your husband’s drinking really upsets you, although you report that it has gotten better over the years. He may be what is called a binge drinker. They don’t drink all the time but when they do it is often excessive. I suggest that you continue to talk to him about your concerns and that you attend some Alanon meetings in your area. These are the companion groups for AA that are for friends, family and loved ones of those who may drink too much. They are very helpful and will help you deal with the issue for yourself, rather than trying to change him. You may also consider couple’s therapy if the issue is beginning to affect your marriage. I wish you luck.