DAVE: What jumped out at me was the fact that he goes out 3-4 nights a week without you! The only reason I could find for this was that he likes to drink and feels he has to go out to do so. Fortunately, this is a prime area for compromise. Why not let him have a drink when he’s around you? He will probably drink less, and you will both benefit from spending more time together. Consider reforming your ideal of a “sober home” to a “drink responsibly” home. The latter provides a better platform from which to educate children on the subject.
Will he ever “settle down on his own”? Let’s just say that “adult life will beat him into submission.” If he is really a MAN, the responsibilities of a home and family will trump all else. That being the case, when he does want a drink, let him. He’ll deserve it.
JAREK: I’m going to assume you are more concerned about his actions rather than his drinking. If his drinking is affecting other parts of his life (missing work, getting confrontational with you, spending all of his money) then you may want to get his ass to AA. But if you just want him to stop acting like a frat boy, then that is totally understandable. Men do get their shit together when they are forced to. Right now he doesn’t have much motivation to change. Best thing you can do is sit down with him and tell him what you want: you’re at a point in your life where you want to start a family. He’s either going to be on board or not. Make sure he understands the sacrifices both of you are going to need to make. Assuming he is game, I’m confident he’ll straighten out once you two start a family. Hell, I did when I just got a dog. I can only image what a kid does to you.
DENNIS: Yes, some men may settle down on their own. Then again, some don’t. There’s simply no way you’re going to know which group your boyfriend belongs in if you don’t talk to him about it. Say something like, “Hey, I know you have a lot of stress at work, but sometimes I feel like your going out 3-4 nights a week, drinking 4-5 beers each time is a lot. I know this might still be far off, but someday, I’d like to raise my kids in a sober household. So, I guess I just want to see where you stand on the whole going-out-and-drinking thing.”
It’s not gonna be an easy issue to address. But, I think you absolutely have to address it, given that you have a potential deal-breaker situation here.
ART: More than anything, if you think he’s going to be the father of your children — or if there’s even the slightest possibility — you should be able to talk about his drinking, even if it isn’t a problem. If he’s sensitive, maybe just ask him about his philosophy on parenthood, but put it in the context of going out at night. And you need to be clear with him what a “sober home” means. It sounds like you have a pretty well defined vision of how you want to raise your children, which is awesome; your man will either love it or he won’t. Stick to your guns, make sure you have your priorities straight, but be willing to listen to how he wants to raise his children too. I’m only engaged, but I can already tell you marriage is definitely about compromise, whether it’s not eating potatoes or beans because you each hate one of them or allowing beers in the house but not going out to the bar for the sake of your (future) children.
* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at [email protected] with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.